Well you’ll no doubt have noticed that the year is drawing to a close, and as it does, I think most of us are thinking back over whether it has been a good year or not.
A year of ill discipline
For me, there has been no year since 2010 (when I moved out and no longer relied on my parents’ financial support) where I have been less disciplined financially.
I am in the fortunate position of having developed certain habits, admittedly, that make my spending look pretty frugal. But I have not pushed to make the best used of every pound that has come into our household, not made the most efficient windfalls that come along now and then. When insurance prices have come down for example, or when replacement items have come in under budget.
Not only that, but if you pop by my blog now and then, or follow me on twitter, you’ll notice I’ve lost my discipline of posting here regularly too.
A year of self doubt
Perhaps my self doubt is the cause of my ill discipline. You see, last year (and the start of this) I was unemployed. Being unemployed, but in the fortunate position to not need to work to cover our bills, was like a mini taste of early retirement. And I realised that maybe the relentless slog to early retirement wasn’t the way I wanted to live my life. Of course, I want financial comfort, and the freedom of choice and flexibility. I’ll continue to be a good steward of our resources. But I won’t sacrifice quite as much of our today.
Was anything about this year good?
Looking at those two things, you’d think my year had been pretty disappointing. But it hasn’t. In fact, it’s been a great year for me personally.
The slight let up in focus on the pennies has made day to day life more relaxed, more focussed on what is important to me. If you’re the sort of person that has money spinning round their brain all the time, seemingly without an off switch, you’ll know how much of a success that actually is.
This year, my husband got his health back, and I got a new job. 2016 felt like we were wading through treacle that was slowly setting. It was tough and frustrating and some days we felt that all we could do was put on a brave face and trudge on. By comparison, we have glided through 2017. And jumped and leapt and danced. We have recovered and made up for lost time and we’re ready for whatever is next!
What else? Well writing a bit less was a deliberate choice. And instead of writing, I’ve gotten into a board gaming group, which has provided a lot of fun this year. AND, I’ve spent more time my with my sister and nieces. The eldest is learning to read, and being part of that is such a huge, huge privelege. I can blog any time in my life. She will only learn to read once.
So I put less than I could have in investments? Big deal!