A question has been asked about my long term financial plans, lizzie is worried that I am paring things down to the bone with not much emergency back up. She asks, do I have any wiggle room in case I get sick? A good point lizzie, let me try and answer.
I was brought up in a family which didn't have any spare cash. We lived from week to week, my mum doing the best she could on the little resources she had. Her coping strategies have rubbed off onto me. When we (one brother one sister),were little, we didn't get any pocket money so we couldn't save very much. Sometimes we had cash for birthdays and Christmas, or we did some jobs and earned a bob or two. We saved for bigger things and bought them when we had enough, but we never saved long term, and that is how it has been for me ever since. I have worked to earn money, saved up for things, and also spent some on having a good time. I haven't any long term savings.
All my money is tied up in my house. I could sell it but would have to pay a heck of a lot more than my small mortgage, in rent, and there isn't enough capital in it to downsize to a smaller property unless I buy a static mobile home on a park. I don't want to do that because of the ground rent and other things I would have to pay, I would be no better off. So for now I will stay put, besides I like where I live.
My belief is that I came into this world with nothing, I would like to go out with nothing. None of us can take our cash with us so I cant think of any reason why I need long term savings. Eventually I will find a way to release the equity in my house, but not yet, I will know when the time comes.
If I am sick I shall have to throw myself at the mercy of the National Health, I hope it will still be there if I need it. My pension will hopefully be paid into my bank account untill I die, which is a comfort, at least I won't have to go back to work again. So I can't see a time when I will have absolutely no money, but if the government went bust then I would find a way to survive.
My house would benefit from some updating. I could do with a few new roof tiles, a new garage, the drive needs tarmacing, and one or two other jobs need doing, but I can't afford it, and besides it isn't a priority for me. It is a solidly built house, it has the facilities I need, and it will not fall down around my ears. That is enough for me.
I could switch the heating on if I wanted to. The small problem which stopped it working seems to have put itself right. It could have been down to the amount of snow stacked up at the side of the house, burying the pipes, but it's working ok now. To be honest if I put the heating on it has to be very cold, and then I am turning it off again an hour later, because I find it too stuffy. Give me fresh air any day.
While I was in the process of downshifting, reducing my work hours, I found myself with a lot less money to spend. I watched my bank balance shrink because I couldn't face going to work. But a strange thing happened, I didn't panic, I didn't worry about how I was going to cope, I didn't care that I hadn't got much money. So what, I was a much happier person for it. As long as I had enough to pay the mortgage that month, the rest of it would fall into place.
What I am saying is I don't look at things long term. The now is an exciting time for me, not five or ten years away. Uncertainties are a challenge I relish, the stepping out into the unknown, and using my gut instincts to make decisions. This is why I love walking from one side of the country to the other, with a map to find the way, not knowing where I am going to lay my head. This is why I don't meal plan, I cook something up with whatever I have in the cupboard or fridge, ten minutes before I want to eat.
In answer to the question do I have any long term financial plans, the short answer is no. I will sort out any problems if and when they arise. I don't know what is round the corner, and neither does anyone else. You can have all the cushions in place to give you a soft landing should things go tits up, but if the old guy up there says it's your turn now, you go, no questions.