On the first day of every month, I sit down with my accounts. I go through my assets and add them all together. I currently only have a small tax debt to subtract. The full amount divided with a reasonable, and actual, annual budget. This takes into account future cost increases (hopefully covered by dividends and interests) as well as taxes connected to the realisation of some of these assets. The result gives me a financial independence number (FI for short) and financial peace of mind.
Currently the FI sits at 53,37. This means the assets covers a modest lifestyle for as long as I shall live.
There is however nothing to spend money on currently. We are in continuous hard lock-down, everything except essentials are closed, and who ever is out on the streets are people I do not want to be within a whips distance of. I do go out every day and go cycling within my means every day with good weather.
It is however not good times for nervous people.
I am continuously on sick-leave with increasing health issues. The investigation into the source of my illness is indicating that it is work related. (Duh!) The conservative government of this country has established financial protection and the income still keeps coming. I try not to think too much about it as any form of frustration or anger is entirely unhelpful.
Money is also not an issue. I tire quickly both mentally and physically. All tasks are limited to about three minutes and one thing at the time. I search and find as many joys as I possibly can.
The first little seedlings have looked up and plans are made for the summer.
We hope for vaccination before June but will not start waiting until September. Until then we will not be away any longer time, if at all. (We will not leave the region before vaccination. It is simply not worth the risk.) The benefit of that is that we can be watering plants safely through the season.
So, there will be a balcony garden this year too.
I grow the seeds I already have available. I have harvested all sorts of seeds from the fruit and vegetables we have bought over the winter. Big fat red and yellow bell peppers have given seeds which sprouted within days. It remains to see if the seeds are fertile enough to give fruit. But I will seed more of them.
We bought some big Roma tomatoes for our End of Year party and some of the seeds were dried and saved. They sprouted within days. Tall, powerful, forceful. I have had to move them into a cooler part of the house to not grow to big, to quickly. I rejoice in their growing power. Again, it remains to see if they will give fruit.
It is really a little too early to start seedlings here in the Netherlands, especially since we have no green-house or even outdoor space with wind protection. The joy of growing is worth the risk though. I will advance slowly and seed more later on in March.
I try to use my limited focus abilities on random short learnings. I read books about geography, geology, history of science and art. This naturally leads to theology, medicine and poetry. Eclectic but not random.
I own an art book with a label stating that it had been bequeathed to The Linen Hall Library in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1941. A bit of research gave me the history of the library, the full identity of the donater, the original owner, and a picture of the castle where she once had lived.
Grand, I'm telling you.
Way fancier than the bookshelf in Amsterdam where that book currently lives. Through maps, I walk her hills and look at the views where the book once sat.
The book has no real value beyond the knowledge it contains and the history it represents.
I value intellectual stimulation higher than financial independence but does not pay rent so not included in the FI-number.