I’ve read a lot about finances over the past few years. I’m still poor but now I have a better understanding about why I have no money. If I had a real job (and a paycheck) that would help a lot with my finances…but that’s another story. There’s a lot of good information floating around out there but, for me, the two pieces of advice that really hit home are as follows: balance your financial “now” life with your “retirement” life and find the things you feel are important enough to spend your hard earned money on.
As a devout Libra, when I read the story about balancing your financial life, I was all over it. Basically, if you deny yourself little pleasures now, so you can retire six months early, does that make living worthwhile? Would your quality of life suck if you lived like a miser so you could retire at 65 to have the life you always wanted? What if you lived like a miser, retire at 65 with a chunk of change, and then died at 66? That would be terrible for you; good for your benefactors. On the other hand, if you buy everything you want before you retire, thumb your nose at saving money and are forced to choose between medication and cat food in retirement, does that sound like fun? I personally choose to spend with abandon now and buy lottery tickets for my retirement.
Another important tenet in my life: not spending frivolously, but buying things I really care about. Before we started on the cursed budget, Janet and I wondered where all her money went. I’m pretty sure it goes to 5 hour energy, hot chocolate, and candy but Janet swore it had to be more than that. So, now that we’re on a budget, we see exactly where it all goes and it’s shocking. It goes everywhere. We needed to cut back on certain things so we could spend more in areas that were important to us. We decided to cut back on clothes, veggies, preventative healthcare, and cleaning supplies so we could concentrate on spending money on gifts, travel, dining out, and Snapple. We now look like hobos but we can do it in several different cities a year.
One thing we didn’t want to cut was our personal training. Yes, it’s a little expensive, but worth every penny, in my opinion. Janet met a personal trainer, many years ago, named Craig Thurman. Craig is a great guy except for the fact he won’t let us get out of working out no matter how much we beg/plead/cry/play dead. I’ve been working out, on and off, since I took an aerobics/weight lifting class in high school back in…well, it doesn’t matter when, just know it’s been a while, and I didn’t really think I needed a personal trainer.
I was wrong, yes, you heard that right, Janet, I was wrong. Craig pushes me just beyond my comfort zone, to a place I need to visit more often, and showed me just what I am capable of. In the year I have joined Janet in her workouts with Craig, I’ve learned so much more than I had hoped for. He’s incredibly intuitive, helpful, and knowledgeable about the human body. He comes to our workouts with a general idea of what he wants us to work on, finds out if we have any injuries, and adjusts to maximize our workouts. I really enjoy the way his workouts make me feel…after they are over and the soreness is gone.
When we decided to move to Bend, and ultimately Seattle, we were upset at the thought of leaving Craig. But Craig had an idea: he’d send us a weekly upper- and lower-body workout so he could torture us from afar! So now he sends us a spreadsheet once a week and we send him updates on our progress. Of course, that is the theory, we are a little behind in our workouts due to illness and our nonstop need to drive long distances in our vehicles. It’s cheaper now that Craig can torture us from his couch, so Budge is happy. Our bodies are happy because we are still moving when we really just want to sit on the couch. And, most importantly, we still get tortured by Craig, or as Janet likes to call him: Craig El Terrible.
So, if you feel the need to get into better shape, from afar, Craig’s your guy. I’m sure Craig would love to torture you too.
Book Update: I did it! I finished the book. It’s on Amazon as we read. Devan’s Story: Blue Hydrangeas by JJ Wallingford. You don’t need a kindle to order one, you can download it on your laptop or desktop, or to the cloud…wherever that is. It should be in the Apple store soon. Ditto for the Nook. The book is all of $2.99 and if your budget won’t allow it I strongly suggest you cut back on vegetables and cleaning supplies.