It feels great to be able to donate to worthwhile charities, but this also means generating enough income to do "good works" AND maintain my standard of living. Or as close to it as possible without becoming a charity case myself! Of course I have the advantage of belonging to a family that would feed me and shelter me if worse came to worse (right siblings? .....hello?.....anyone there?).
I am also still on the quest of getting rid of non-essential stuff or outdated stuff like the CD player above that I've had for about 10 years. Seems that electronics updates happen faster and faster these days and now I have my music on my computer and iPod. I really like using my iPod as its so portable and has a large storage capacity - I can take it upstairs to my exercise bike and pedal like crazy through The Distillers hard-hitting songs, I can take it to my trailer and put it in an iPod dock and can listen to it in my car via my FM adapter. And here's a tip for all you iPod users: I took several boxes of CDs down to a used CD shop and received over $200!! Mad money for two weeks which left more $ in my account for saving! Yippee! Next to go will be all my VHS movies and my record albums.
So I advertised my CD player on Kijiji a week or two ago and sold it to a grateful young woman now attending college as a mature student. A great bargain indeed for someone in her situation. I took what she offered as I can still recall with humiliating clarity my own university days when sometimes I had to pay for my groceries with my Visa card, sad but true. Luckily my diet consisted of tea and toast so the outlay was minimal!
I find I spend a fair bit of time thinking about money still. Today I was reading the Sunday Globe and Mail online and there was an article on retirement income - the first in a series looking at how most Canadians don't have enough money socked away to live on when they retire. I realize I am one of the lucky ones with a great pension although my contributions have risen by several percent over the last couple of years to make up for the economic crisis - at least I'm not one of the 60% of Canadian workers without a pension at all! Even so, when I completed the pension calculator it recommended I save more money. I'm already saving over $900 a month: $400 into a tax-free account, $180 into RRSPs; $140 into an emergency fund and $200 towards my daughter's tuition.
Anything beyond that will have to come from downsizing my considerable belongings as I journey towards a two-suitcase retirement! I want to travel lightly through the rest of my life as my partner and I continue our work.
So next spring I will be holding a mammoth yard sale! Watch for it!