Wednesday, May 23, 2018

May's Money Challenge

My money challenge this month (and pretty much every month) is to get to the end of the month before I get to the end of my money :) As I am sure you would agree some months are harder than others! Sometimes things come along that you want to take advantage of (sales at your favourite store...I don't really fall into that category as I rarely go shopping), an appliance or car breaks down (so far so good), you eat out more often (nope), there are a lot of birthdays/anniversaries, (yes, to some extant), old furniture needs replacing (yes but I'm going to postpone those sorts of purchases for awhile longer), home repairs or redecorating etc etc etc...

 Budget BUSTERS can occur at at any time, some are small, some are large, some can be squeezed out of a monthly budget, some need an infusion of money drawn from savings. I HATE it when THAT happens!

I haven't had any large budget busters this month BUT I did decide to take an online course with Ekhart Tolle, author of "The Power of Now" and other helpful, inspirational books. When I first retired and my mind wasn't filled with schoolwork and students and clubs and curriculum anymore I found my mind became busy with less positive thoughts and I spent too much time in negative thinking, dwelling on the past and wondering about the future and what retirement was going to look like. If you are a long time reader you will remember (possibly) that in 2014, the year I retired, I made a LOT of changes in my life - some were my own decisions (taking an early retirement, selling my house in PEI and remaining in London), and others were thrust upon me (the breakdown of a relationship, the death of a pet and so on.)

Gradually I tried lots of different things to help myself through this period of transition - some have fallen by the wayside (crocheting, sewing, spool knitting, anxiety meds!!) and others have stuck (hiking, being out in nature, cycling, volleyball, reading, blogging, meeting friends for breakfast and movies, photography, travel and...Ekhart Tolle!)

His book, "The Power of Now", wasn't easy to read (I find non-fiction a tough read usually) so I borrowed the book on audiotape and listened to Ekhart as he read and explained the book. It was a real life saver. Living in the present moment is the only way to live - there is no past or future moment, there is only now. Due to many traumatic events happening over the past 60+ years I was STUCK and Ekhart's revelation of a book was very significant in helping me to become unstuck.

I hemmed and hawed about taking this course online but decided it was a very worthwhile expense for me. It is eight weeks long and the second week starts tomorrow. So far I would say I'm getting a lot of value for my dollar and it is money well spent. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and do things that will be a benefit to your life even if it costs money. Sometimes you just have to loosen the pocketbook a little bit. Living frugally doesn't mean never spending! I'm saying that to myself, not to you, as it can become a bad habit tucking every bit of my money away into savings.

I am learning a lot and hope I can successfully apply it to my life.

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