It‘s been over a year since Katie left the nest. I’ve used the time to not only come to terms with the fact that I’ve entered into another stage of this adventure called Life, but to figure out what I wanted to do next.
I’m not about to just rest upon my laurels, after all. That’s not the stuff that I am made of.
The first thing I did was take complete stock of my circumstances. I’ve come a long way! I’ve more than tripled my income since 2019. I’ve gained a bedroom and a bed which feels heavenly whenever it is time to sleep, along with some other items to increase my comfort level.
Quietly, I began to make plans. I didn’t speak of these plans, not even to you. Instead, I considered my options and formed a basic game plan while I engaged in the mindless tasks at my job.
Yet I did form a plan. To start, I knew that I not only needed reliable transportation, but I also needed to increase my credit score as well. This will allow me to take the steps needed to build my wealth even further as I move forward. I invested in a new car to accomplish that.
Once that was sorted, I crafted an office area in a private spot, invested in some books to build both skills and knowledge, and got to work.
I wrote in a post several years back that, after spending my life exploring frugality and life on less to achieve the goal of being a stay at home single mother, that I wanted to explore the other end of the spectrum, a life where frugality is a choice and not a necessity. I want to see how far I can go now that my maternal obligations have been discharged.
The basic preparation phase is complete. I have launched the next phase.
Forgive me for not sharing too much of my goal. While I’ve discussed it in the past (many of you should be able to work it out), I want to hold it close for a bit longer while I position myself to make this goal a reality. I will share more as I get closer.
For now, I am exploring options for long-term employment at a simple, yet less physically intensive, position. I’m not sure what the results will be, but the income from a public job will allow me to maximize my savings for a major purchase that I am planning. While I could do it without working a public job due to my royalties and investment income, the journey would take longer. I can reduce the time span by working a public job as well as pay into Social Security for my eventual retirement. I’m not sure if Social Security will exist by that time but I’m willing to take a chance.
At the moment I am taking advantage of the weather in my area. With the use of creative ventilation combined with some fans, I hope to keep my electric bill low for a few months in order to maximize the money I can squirrel away. I want to have as much down payment as possible in order to minimize my monthly payment when the time comes.
I’ve also began to teach myself how to cook. Every meal I can prepare at home is more money saved. It will also be far healthier than I could get at a restaurant. It will also give me creative food ideas as we continue to have shortages of one thing or another.
One of my investments has been an Instant Pot. It allows me to pressure cook cheaper cuts of meat to my desired tenderness while saving time. Given the price of meat these days, it has already paid for itself in the short time I’ve had it.
I have also began to rework my yard a bit. I wanted to pull my car off of the street to reduce the risk of it being hit, since I live on a narrow street. This will also allow me to avoid being snowed in; the snowplow drivers seem determined to plow anyone in who parks on the street in winter. I’ve had to miss work in the past or call for a ride after discovering that they’d blocked me in with piles of snow.
I removed a piece of fence so that I can save money in another way: washing my car at home. Commercial car washes are not cheap; I’ve no desire to give them money if I can avoid it. I’d rather stick the savings back to get closer to my goal.
While I will continue to invest in books, I have set a limit upon my purchases. I tend to buy several at a time based upon subject, so instead of running the risk of buying a mountain of books that I never get around to I refuse to order more until the current round is completely finished.
Every penny I can conserve will take me closer to my goal. My challenge is to maintain a higher standard of living than I allowed myself to enjoy in years previous.
I will keep you posted on my progress as I move forward. So far, my simple efforts have taken me $2,000 closer to my goal. I’m curious to see how well I do.
What goal are you currently working on? What stage are you at? Please share your stories in the comments below.
12 thoughts on “Phase Two, Engage!”
I recommend a cook book called : More-with-Less. I know you live alone. But I like the recipes & of course they can can be reduced. Good luck.
Thank you! I can use all of the advice I can get! I still stink at this cooking thing!
Thank you so much!
My favorite cookbook is Well Fed. She teaches you how to batch cook on the weekend so you can eat well all week and she gives you alternative ways to serve the food to keep it from getting boring.
Thank you! I will definitely check into it. That would serve three goals: eating better, variety, and saving money. Awesome!
Thanks! I’m definitely going to invest in more cookbooks as I go along. I do need to learn how to cook, at least a bit lol!
Love how you make a plan and then proceed to march forward! (I love making plans, but often flounder on the implementation.)
For good and thrifty recipes, along with great how-to’s, I recommend BudgetBytes.com
Thanks for the link! You are awesome!
Hi Annie! Good to ‘hear’ from you. Sounds like you have been busy with executing all sorts of great ideas that will get you to your next goal. Looking forward to hearing what that is. Gosh, it is hard to believe that you lived such a frugal life yet have still to teach yourself how to cook. For great ideas, the US and state governments have nutrition, food budgeting and recipe ideas free for the reading! Here are a few of those resources: https://www.fns.usda.gov/
and even right there in your hometown…
Yeah, I kinda ended up with a complex about my cooking. My early disasters resulted in some serious teasing. I’m slowly getting over it. 🙂
I have a 3qt Instant Pot, just right for 1 pd of dried beans.
Thanks for letting me know! I think the one I have is 3 quarts. I’ll have to look now.
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