Bean Counting

Hello Bloggers

After the bleak financial forecast we received on Friday afternoon I have been doing some sums and I am starting to feel a little more positive about our future. Make no mistake it is going to take extreme discipline to keep to a tight budget and resist the urge to splurge. Not that we are big impulse buyers at all. Most of our big purchases are well researched before we go ahead but it’s the little things that add up. Eating out will have to be far less frequent, maybe once or twice a month. But even now we tend to be quite frugal even when eating out taking advantage of specials and group buying offers where we can.

It’s the things that we don’t have control over that are the biggest concern. Utility bills will keep rising, that’s for definite and medical expenses cannot be predicted in advance.  But I am dead serious about not giving up on our dreams of future travel.  We will just have to find a way to put money aside each month.  At my age I spend very little on clothes and cosmetics. I have my hair done once a month and treat myself to a facial every three months or so and whilst I am working and bringing in money I am not going to give that up.

I have also spent some time looking at country properties. We have dreamt about retiring to the country but did not think it could become a reality. If, however, in five years time we could still purchase a house in the country for roughly half of the value of our current house we will be able to add a significant amount to our retirement capital and probably live more economically than we do in the city. There are still country properties available under R1 million with outbuildings or cottages that can be renovated and rented out to provide another income stream.

In the meantime if OH should manage to get some contract or part-time work after November our future will look even better. He is a lot more confident on his moonboots now to the point where he sometimes “forgets” where he left his crutches. I would much rather he took it more slowly and carefully but I can see that he is itching to get up to speed again.

And on a completely different tack, at lunch time today I commented on the fact that our so called closest friends had only been around to see OH once since his op and had not even phoned to find out how he was doing. OH surprised me by saying that he thinks our new car might have put their nose out of joint. If that’s the case then one cannot really call them close friends.  It’s just as well that we bought the car before seeing our Financial Advisor otherwise we might have been too scared to proceed with the purchase. 

We did not buy a new car to impress anyone, we thought it prudent not to move into retirement with a 16 year old vehicle and serendipitously an endowment policy matured at just the right time. I wish I knew exactly what our friends’ story is but I suppose we’ll never find out. They don’t have any retirement provision but that’s because of really poor judgement and bad decisions which they acknowledge but … there’s always a BUT!

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14 thoughts on “Bean Counting

  1. Hey sounds like you’re seeing the cloud’s silver lining, that’s great Optie. And I agree with you, when you retire you need a car that’s going to be good to go for years to last. Last thing you want is something that keeps on breaking down and that costs you a small fortune! Country living – sounds nice and relaxing – which part of the country are you interested it or does it depend on the bargain – well, if you decide to retire to rural bliss, that is.

  2. You’re right about house prices in the country being more affordable. My brother, who was laid-off recently, found a beautiful little house in Stilfontein near Klerksdorp.

    • That reminds me of the young Indian chap in the movie “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”. He was always quoting that “things will be alright in the end and if things are not alright then it’s not the end”

  3. I was able to convince my mom to get rid of her car which she had for 25 years because if they get these new laws passed you have to get a roadworthy every two years and it is a lot of hassle. It is better that she enjoys a more modern car before she retires from driving forever.

  4. You’re sounding more cheerful today, optie. I’m glad that OH is doing so well. Good for him. You were very sensible to buy the car when you did, as prices are rising all the time.

  5. If you were prepared to rent ‘in the country’ rather than buy, I knew of dozens of delightful farm houses standing empty (OFS). Many farmers own more than one farm and these are never advertised. Way to find them is go knocking on doors and simply ask 🙂

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