Saturday, 26 January 2019

Clothes 2018 and 2019

My target budget clothes was for 2018 10€ per month, a total of 120€ for the year. 
I have kept a list during the year of all clothes acquired and their cost. If paid for by gift cards (received as payment for on line surveys or presents) the cost has been what I have paid out of pocket. Clothes that have been gifted from friends or the trash gods have no cost at all, unless I have paid for repairs.
My total cost has been added up to 109€ for the year. The result for 2017 with the same budget was 67 €. 2018 I have spent money on underwear, sports clothes and jeans in smaller sizes when I got fed up living in clothes two sizes too big after my hard work on grinding off my excess weight.
Some of the clothes bought did not last the year, some cheap clothes are cheap only as a reflection of quality and presumably the low wages paid the people who manufacture these garments. Some clothes lost shape although brand name, returned and refunded, reducing the spending.

It seems the spending was well within budget but it is only because there it is a questionable budget.
For among other things the following reasons:
- Shoes are not included and I bought running shoes for 130 € last year, calculated as a part of my jolly-time or vacation budget. That may be fair but I know that 2019 will most probably need a pair of regular shoes and I have no shoe budget, and that shoots all calculations out of the water already. Note to self: Add shoe budget to the annual budget.

- I live in jeans, sweaters and walking shoes. I need no work clothes with a certain style and I am surrounded by people who could not care what I wear. I also still have an extensive wardrobe with fancy clothes from my affluent and high flying years to bring out on the rare occasions when I need or want to dress up. Adjust your budget to your needs, but cut your wants.

- I have applied for a new job and am advancing in the recruitment process. If I go another step further, I will need a new outfit and if hired, all hell breaks loose as I working wardrobe for a new work environment will have to be sourced. (Not looking forward to that part.)

- The above step is a reason that I may be culling some of the worst garments remaining in the wardrobe starting in spring. It is fine to wear thirty year old thermal shirts under a sweater in winter because it is warm an nobody will see it. But unacceptable in an office situation where the jacket may come off at any moment. Also will affect well-fitting office shirts which are pristine white everywhere except under the armpits. ( A change of deodorant makes a huge difference.)

I will need to budget money for a going back to work wardrobe. But if, no, I mean WHEN, I get the position, I will as the leader insist the entire team wears jeans in the office. We'll see what happens.
I may have to blow my entire clothes budget on one garment.

Remember to start your clothes-list now if you want to remember everything brought into the house during the year.

Tuesday, 22 January 2019


Yeah, it is great that I have a health target for the year.
Didn't really make any difference. I've been sick since my last post.

After a visit to our favourite children - lovely but snotty - the man started coughing.
He got better and promptly gave it to me. I have never stopped.
Not bound to bed but definitely anti-social.
I have also not run for the latest three weeks. I have barely exercised beyond the morning bellies.
What I have done however, is gained weight and lost stamina.

Coughing is boring. It is tiring for the cougher and also for the audience who have to listen to it.
My new trick is jumping up and down instead of coughing, I recommend it, it is so much easier on the body to get the liquids out of the lungs.

My other ideas for good coughing health are:
Cough into elbow.
Wash hands with soap.
Drink double the amount of liquids you ever think you need or can handle.
Sleep sitting up.
Walk around as much as there is energy for.
Go outside at least once a day.
Do lots and lots of laundry, especially sweaters, blankets and pillowcases, to avoid re-infection.

But then, don't listen to me. I still cough.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Health 2018/19

Health is my primary target.
A few years ago work and money and happiness and such things were more important.
Then I had health issues and my priorities changed.

In 2015, I started the process to increase my movements with a daily walk. In 2017 I started the process to reduce weight (there is no loosing in weight, there is only dedicated grinding off the excess). In 2018 I finally managed to learn how to run.

After years of dedicated attention, I am proud to start 2019 at 50 years old with the same weight I had before 40, and the same weight as at the beginning of 2018.
The 15 kilos I took off in 2017, I have kept off for over a year. Deal with physical health issues, taking off the over-weight off is a good start for a serious approach to health - even though my heart problems are completely unrelated to weight.

I start 2019 having run for 30 minutes at a steady pace and ending it with a rush and energy to spare.
I have had two long breaks in the running training in 2018 (both over a month each) for a cold and an injury but that does not matter. The only thing that matters is that I have come back to it again. The success is in doing it, not in how it is done. Re-start is the success.

I also start 2019 with an eighteen month track record of daily morning belly exercises. By now, both the man and I are so completely into the routine of waking up, drinking coffee, changing into sports clothes, showing furniture aside, doing bellies on the floor, preparing breakfast, showering, dressing, eating that it is more like brushing teeth than an exercise. It is just done. Success is only measured in doing it, not how well it was done or even if it felt good. Over 18 months, we have progressed from five minutes to ten minutes in a free training app  and adding personal exercises before and after. There is no space to skip rope in our apartment but I figured out a way and can now do over fifty hops in a row. Without breaking anything. Still working on the 100 hops'.

2019 will also be a continuation of our eighteen month long vegetarian eating. There has been meat eaten in the time, and the man eats more than I do, but it is more on a monthly basis than daily or even weekly. I try to eat fish once a week but probably don't and then mostly canned sardines or salmon anyway. The veggies have been an important part of reducing calorific intake to reduce my weight and to keep healthy intestines. As the man is struggling with his now, food has been an enormous issue for the last months. As we cook almost everything we eat from scratch, we pay attention to what we eat. We still wait for final test results although we know the problem isn't related to lactose, gluten, sugar, fibre or any additives or preservatives - which is good.

The health target for 2019 is to end it as it has started. On weight and running 30 min a few times a week. Mental strength will be my next training target and I will look around to see if I can find some training version that I like.
How do you prioritise health in 2019?

Tuesday, 1 January 2019


From a financial independence number of 35,81 on 1 January 2018 to a financial independence number one year later, today 1 January 2019, of 35,47 doesn't sound so bad, does it?

It is as if I have kept my assets at an even level, lived off my income and not saved anything.
But it is not so.
Instead I worked hard and saved lots of money by living cheaply and consciously and I have nothing to show for all that work.
It is also as if all previous years of savings and investments had stagnated instead of increasing during the year to a high of FI40,08 on 1 October.
Instead the last months of the year suddenly wiped out every increase in the uncertainty of the political and financial future. Financial markets - and me - like certainty.
Straw men and short sighted politicians are not predictable or reliable.

My last day of employment in the year (14 October) was also the last day of the financial increase. Retrospectively, I should have sold all financial instruments then and converted it into something else. But I didn't. No not angry, not bitter - just disappointed.
The positive aspect is also that I have assets whose value can be increased again.
I also do not own a house to pay through the nose for while property prices decrease nor a car that costs both to use and not use. There are many burdens of other, quite normal people that I don't have to worry about.
My student flat keeps or increases in value every year with the growth of the nearby university. The apartment where the man and I live on the other hand is rent controlled. Housing will be fine. I do not include the value of my flat in the calculation of my assets.

Food costs and taxes are increasing and the annual budget will be difficult to keep in the coming years. This is one of the reasons why I also do not include future pension payments or similar assets as their value cannot be estimated until they start paying out (and by then there might not be much left - or worth much.)

There is no doubt that financial concerns are on my mind, especially since I do not have any income any more and do not know if and how I would gain any under the current business climate. What I did professionally is one of the tasks that gets cut quickly but on the other hand, I also could just go and eat humble pie with my previous employer and have my old job back - or not (gughrrr - sudden nausea just hit me). There has to be another way than that!

On the other hand, I have a free university master degree to finish this coming year and the daily thesis writing makes me very happy. My new "title" is much more comforting than my previous one (although there is no hope of paid work in my "new" field.)

The man and I are also very happy together and that does count for a lot (a bloody miracle it is). The health concerns we are dealing with at the moment are manageable and although we would prefer them cured, they are not life threatening. We humbly accept that we have made choices a long long time ago that we are now reaping the benefits from - even if it means cabbage for dinner every day.

But seriously, dude, who stole five annual budgets from me since October?