Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Life .... my way

Lately I am searching for a way to organise my life better, because I've noticed that the result of an uncluttered house means to me an uncluttered head!! It gives me a feeling of freedom to loose all the surplus stuff.
I am structuring this goal by taking it one step at the time but with steady progress. I have figured out that this is a goal that only can be reached if you have the stamina and perceverance to keep working on it for the rest of your life. So I  do it at my pace in order to keep it up.
I have put al my surplus books on bol.com (a sort of dutch Amazon) and am selling them quite regularly. In hindsight, I lost a lot of money on these books because I sell them to appr. half the price I have paid for them.
That means to me that I won't buy "reading"books anymore, just "study"books. I have become a member of the library so I am saving a lot of money by NOT buying so many books anymore!! And I get a little bit back from the books I sell. (Allready have enough sold to pay for my library card)

When I had started process I noticed my finance needed restructuring too!!
I am living of an unemployment benefit and that isn't exactly easy. I own my house (well, I own allmost the door knob and the bank owns the rest) and although there are a lot of subsidies for people on benefits who rent their house,  unfortunately there isn't one for home owners. Even weirder: the tax refund every month based on the paid intrest of your mortgage diminishes dramatically because you have a smaller income and therefore pay less taxes. (The influence on your (allready) smaller income is that your net income goes even further down...... so verrrrry logical!!! NOT!!)

I am following a couple of blogs about inventive, creative, frugal moms and I am learning a lot of them!!
Some are keeping a home management book, which includes time management, money management, organizing, frugal or green lifestyle and how to symplify your life, gratefullness etc.
What catched my eye was that they all lived on a budget.
So, the last couple of days I have straightened out my finances and made a budget with goals. I am not there yet, but I've made a beginning.

A budget is no more then a management tool, it's like a travel guide to moneyland.
The relation between money and happiness is different for every individual so the goals can differ substantially. Mine are relatively simple:
I want financial freedom, which doesn't mean to me financial wealth (although I won't turn it down if it crosses my path) but peace of mind and being content with a lower standard of living. It's time to leave fantasy island.... grin

The illustration above shows much resemblance with Maslow's pyramid!! Maslow shows us visually how people aren't able to care for others or have feelings of love and belonging somewhere, let alone selfactualization or creativity, before the basic needs of food, water, housing, safety and security are fulfilled.

My ultimate goal is living completely debt free which means a paid off mortgage or at least to lower my mortgage so I can sell my house without any worries (and go living  in a subsidiced rented home) and thus reducing the risk to a minimum of being left with a debt because the mortgage is higher then the worth of the house at this moment.

The chance of getting a job is very small at this point in time for a woman over 50 (and therefore expensive) so the chance of increasing my income on the short term is allmost zero. Unemployment rates go up every month, in October 127.000 unemployed people were added to the allready large unemployed legion and there is now 7% unemployment in the Netherlands!!

Charlie Park, who has a guest post in http://simplemom.net/ says it well:
How you want to spend money, how you think you spend money and how you actually spend money probably won't line up very well. (True!!)
He also says:
A budget doesn't tell you to buy less of the stuff you want. It tells you to buy more of the stuff that matters!!
(need vs want).

Summarized this is what I want:
  • financial freedom
  • an uncluttered household
  • to manage my time better
  • blog at least 3 times a week
  • simplify my life and live greener (vertical gardening next spring)
  • to give something back to my community 
  • to take a moment every day to memorize gratitude towards life and people I love.
  • to be content with what I've got.
So, I've got a lot to think about!!

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