Well, I didn’t tell you that but last Saturday (13 October) was my 50th birthday. I am becoming an ‘old bird’, indeed. Apart from having to work on that day and receiving many messages of congratulation this has a very special meaning for me. Three years ago we first found out in exactly how deep and frightening financial mess we were; after reaching the stage of acceptance and regaining my reason I made a pledge to myself – that I am going to be debt free by my fiftieth birthday.
Did we do it? Well, not quite – then we are talking a rather substantial amount.
Whilst we are not quite there yet we are certainly on a ‘home run’ – my spreadsheet shows that we would have paid off all our consumer debt by Christmas; the worst case scenario is that it will be all gone by the end of January. All depends on when money from side hustles will hit our account. Great reason for financial optimism!
Did I mention financial optimism? Yeah, I did! This is how we feel now after three years of insecurity, smart work and no spending: optimistic. It is not only that we would pay off our consumer debt but also over the last three years we managed to build new income streams. At the moment we have reasons to believe that at least two of these will grow.
Financial optimism brings to attention all the things that we have been neglecting – the places in the house that need re-decorating, the bathroom that needs re-furbishing, the garden that needs attention and we are not the people to give it, and my really shabby wardrobe. It doesn’t mean, however, that we need to abandon the healthy financial habits we have developed.
One of these is the habit of practicing ‘frugality as an art form’ – or getting the best value for money. Given that doing up the last bathroom in our house is becoming a priority, the question is how can we apply this habit.
One option to save money on this kind of project is to Do It Yourself or DIY. Whilst neither John nor I are particularly good at DIY, the extent to which it is practiced doesn’t cease to amaze me. Did you know that people even DIY conservatories? Don’t believe me? I’ll never understand it and can just imagine what will happen to our house if we decide to DIY a brand new bathroom but…
We are going for the other obvious option: as a sign of our financial optimism and in homage to our sound financial habits we are getting professionals to re-furbish the bathroom but John has found a place where he can get all we need for less than half the price we would have paid in a high street shop. Not bad at all! And in a couple of weeks we will have the last of our bathrooms done up, a room re-decorated and…
…two more reasons for financial optimism! Getting this work done will increase the value of the house and will allow us to take in a lodger for some of the year.