Wednesday 23rd August 2017

What’s Enough Money? #LifeThisWeek 6/52. 2017.21.

What’s Enough Money? #LifeThisWeek 6/52. 2017.21.

I am someone who thought she never had ‘enough money’ for quite some time. Decades.

It did not matter that I worked full-time in a professional career, and we were paying off a lovely house and car, could buy most things I needed when I needed them, could assist our family in a financial way if necessary.

This was because I continued to compare myself to others.

Especially others who I believed were doing better than me, who had more than me and were obviously well-off financially.

It has taken around the past 2 years for me to edge this belief to the kerb, and whilst not quite kicking it down the gutter, my mind set has shifted for these reasons.

  • gratitude to have a healthy and happy relationship with my husband
  • thankful to arise each day to a new day where I remain well in most respects in accord with my age
  • grown up family members who are settled and caring for themselves and no longer need our input in any respect
  • a comfortable house which we rent until we are ready to buy and this is giving us time to determine where our permanent home will be
  • a day to day existence that is relaxed, pleasant and we have enough to keep us safe, fed, sheltered, learning  and amused
  • we can afford health insurance, insurance for belongings and cars, items such as gifts although we have dialled back the spending there considerably,  some spending for a short holiday but neither of us want to travel so that satisfies us, money for art supplies and hobbies such as music and woodworking
  • there is a back-up plan of savings for what might be needed but there is no longer an obsession that it is not enough

There was a time in mid-late 2014 when it was not this pleasant. I had to finish work and our mortgage payments could not be sustained but more than that…we were actually ready to sell and move on but it took both reasons – I wanted to finish work and we had to get some money behind us to leave Sydney – for us to do so.

The relief from the house sale going through in mid January 2015 was marvellous and I celebrated not with a champagne but an icy pole gazing at the waters at Ettalong.

Keeping it real. And from then on, the attitude shift has evolved.

We have enough money.

How is this for you?

Everyone is different of course.

We have been married for over 46 years and one of us receives a lifetime pension and both of us some government benefits based on our age. It is enough.

Denyse.

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Comments

  1. I’m actually sticking to topic, sort of, this week. It’s a subject that’s very close to front of mind as we do our sea-change and start again. I think our idea of enough differs through our life cycles and ages. I think we’re leaving for similar reasons to you – hubby has taken an early retirement & I can’t afford the mortgage & for us to live on my salary alone. I’m about to turn 50 & hubby has just hit 55, so we have plenty of work in us yet, but our ambitions are very different to what they were even 10 years ago.

    • Interesting parallels Jo even though I am yet to read your post. It was a bit sad to think we “had” to get out of Sydney and it has taken a LOT of time for me to get used to no longer having what was familiar nearby but I am adjusting better now. You can make quite the go of life in your new setting now and I look forward to reading more over time. Let’s get that house sold quick sticks hey! Denyse

  2. We definitely have enough money for who we are and how we live right now. That’s not to say we’ve got enough to sustain that in the future though when the weekly pay cheque stops rolling in. But we’ll just adjust our life choices accordingly.

    • Yes that is a good philosophy. Work life for me and my husband was not traditional even though it started that way. We were both affected by illnesses that saw us having to stop work on a professional salary (him at 30, me at 53) so adjustments were huge. Still, we are where we are and quite satisfied now but life can take us on ‘different paths’ to the ones expected and money does play a role there.

  3. We have enough but also a huge debt. I still dream of the lotto win, not for luxury, but to get rid of the mortgage – just for the peace of mind!

    • Huge debt = Sydney dweller..I know, not really limited to there but I cringe when I see the people outlaying what they do for houses now and think “what if one of you lost your job?” Our mortgage was higher than it needed to be I guess but that was because we helped our adult kids with deposits for home in Sydney and added that amount to our mortgage. Foolish? Maybe. Still, it was what is was then in 2005-2006.

  4. Thanks for this week’s topic, Denyse. It was an interesting and important one for me to write about with regards to how it pertains to me as my life is now. I also appreciate your journey beyond comparing yourself to others financially to now being very comfortable with what you have and what you have worked hard for.

    SSG xx

  5. The fact that I’m considering changing from part time work to full time work probably answers the question of whether I have enough money or not! Three kids, a husband on a low wage and living in Sydney is tough!

    • I guess that IS true. Working part-time maybe great lifestyle wise but as you say, in Sydney it is almost a luxury. Wishing you well with your decision. Denyse x

  6. Unfortunately, Denyse, society places so much importance on money for comfort and security reasons. We have become so obsessed with owning a home with a mortgage that is barely manageable and working so hard for a lifestyle we can’t afford to enjoy. Thanks for the reminder that life is not about money but about prioritising and enjoying life. Thanks for the link up I’ll be by later to post.

    • It is so true. I was also raised by an accountant…and I heard about the importance of money A LOT. Mind you I did not have his mindset so that’s probably why I made quite a few mistakes. Nevertheless, I have always equated money with security and so this topic made me realise I probably have what I need. It was a philosophical prompt really. Denyse x

  7. I earn ok right now, which is good as the sole income earner. More would help us go private with medical which would improve quality of life rather than many years of wait lists in public hospitals. I’m also a bit unsure how I’m supposed to get a house deposit saved when I cover bases & not much more!
    I always knew I had a different money mindset to many but I also took Caz Makepeace’s money course which helped refine a few parts.

    • It’s good to know that you are doing OK. I understand the limitations of having one person chronically unwell and unable to work. It sucks. We were “lucky” in that my husband had to be medically retired at 30 and in those days, the benefit was a pension. It never really made up for what might have been which is why I worked full time too. We got help in a small way from my parents with our first house, and we helped our kids in a large way for their house deposits. It seems like the ‘bank of mum and dad’ is the way and I know that doesn’t apply to all. Wishing you well though because you have tenacity and a can-do attitude!

  8. We make do, I am not working so I can stay home with the children which I am really grateful for. I keep thinking we should sell up and travel around oz but they you need to start again eventually!

  9. Although we often can feel as though we need more money, I am always reminding myself and my husband that we are in fact very lucky and a lot luckier than others. We don’t struggle to put food on the table, we have a roof over our head and can afford to send our son to a good school. I am able to stay home with my daughter. We are extremely lucky.

  10. Apparently I am a rare creature, I am happy with where we are at financially and yes, I do feel like we have enough. Hubster tends to disagree, maybe it is the whole male provider thing kicking in, he wishes we were in a bigger better house etc but honestly, I am content. Like you say, we have enough money for the necessities like food and shelter and even the more expensive ones like insurance; and enough money to do fun things. I can buy a new dress if I feel like it, we go on holidays and outings, and can help family out when needed. Hubster says my standards are low, and maybe he is right, I had to go without a lot during my formative years being raised by a single parent, and even when I left home it was always a struggle. Then when we got married we paid triple payments off our house, and were very frugal, it paid off though as I was able to be a SAHM for 9 years when our kids were little. So I am enjoying the more relaxed purse strings these days, let me assure you!!! And this comment is so long I think I might have to turn it into a blog post!

    • This was so refreshing to read Janet. I do think it is about balance and you have that sorted! As for your husband, it’s about living a different life to you growing up. I reckon between the two of you it’s all sorted! Paying off the mortgage as you did was terrific. My suggestion would only be ‘don’t go bigger for the next house’ if you move. There will be more space to clean and maintain. We are used to 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and 2 living rooms but truly for the house we buy we can certainly come down in size…and as we do the cleaning now, I am up for that! Denyse x

  11. Ah yes… it’s hard to not fall into that comparison trap. I certainly do. Even when I earned a good salary and had a nice apartment etc I’d look at others with BIGGER houses and better paying jobs and who travelled overseas regularly and wondered what it was I was doing wrong.

    I’ve made a more conscious decision to put ‘life’ ahead of ‘money’ now, but not sure I’m totally in acceptance of the fact.

    • Hard to let go completely Deb and I know I find it a challenge at times. I get a bit envious when I see places now selling for amounts we could have afforded 2 years ago but not now. Patience is NOT my middle name. I am learning slowly. D x

  12. inthegoodbooksblog says:

    I haven’t worked in about 13 years as I made the decision with my husband that I would stay home to look after our daughters. It can be tough financially at times but we always get by, and we are trying to raise our daughters to see that money doesn’t always equal happiness. The cost of living seems to constantly increase, but we try our best to handle it and I think we are doing reasonably well and count our blessings!

    • That is such a good outlook. I cared for some of our grandchildren when their mums had to return to work and I know they’d have preferred to be at home..but, Sydney and mortgages! Anyway, one of the mums is now working part-time and the other has been able to stay home full time now. I am glad for her. In my case, I was much better off emotionally being at school than staying at home. Everyone needs to find their balance don’t they?

  13. We are lucky enough to own a home and to get by on one wage by being very frugal. It would be nice to splurge a bit now and again, or travel, but we do have the basics covered which is more than some. Occasionally I feel a bit blah about not having the ability to earn money for my family due to my ASD and mental health challenges, but I suppose I am contributing in other ways. I’ve been able to stay home with my boys and form close bonds with them. That’s something money can’t buy!

    • That last statement nails it. Your family has a gift of presence and time and love from you. What more would they need? I think you and your husband have made tremendous life choices for you all. Owning your home these days is medal-winning! Go you! Denyse.

  14. So glad you are no longer comparing yourself to others. Nothing good ever comes of it I’ve learnt!

  15. Whenever we have hit a financial challenge (and we have had a few) I have reminded myself that “there is always enough money” and funnily enough there always has been. Not to say that we haven’t sometimes felt the pinch but we always got through, had a roof over our heads and food on the table. Thanks as always for the link up. For once I can share an older post which is right on topic 🙂

    • Yes indeed. There is “always” something found (even $20 in a pocket you forget about)when you think you are rock bottom. Glad this post resonated too. I look forward to reading your post. Denyse

  16. We have enough to happily live and pay our mortgage/bills/food, etc. with some treats from time to time. For us it isn’t about the dollar figure but the experiences we get to enjoy, whether these are free or not.

  17. I am glad you’ve found contentment with what you have Denyse. I have battled with discontentment too when I was younger but now have learned to love all the simple things I have. xx

    Jacq
    jacqwritesworld.com

  18. We have enough to live a comfortable life. We’re not extravagant but we don’t go without and the only thing we owe is a relatively small mortgage. I can put items in the trolley without having to think too much about it and that is good enough for me. I was just made redundant from my job of 10 years so for the first time in a long time (after maternity leave and part time work), I have some considerable savings !

    • How wonderful to read the words “relatively small mortgage”. Nice! I am pleased you can find a big plus in the ‘made redundant’ statement and I like your outlook re comfortable life. Denyse x

  19. This is certainly a lesson that midlife brings isn’t it Denyse? I found the same thing, after worrying about finances for years, and living very frugally, we have now reached the point where we have enough for all that we need. Not a lot of excess but we don’t need excess. We’re just really happy with where we’re at right now and I couldn’t ask for more.

    • Thanks Leanne! yes, you are right and I think I am tipped past that ‘midlife’ now into ‘aged’ but I will take that as a compliment. I was only saying to my hub today, we are in our late 60s and I feel like I cant quite get my head around ageing because my dad is still around at 93!! Mind you, slowly ageing and enjoying a more relaxed life for a while is pretty good. D x

  20. I don’t know. Having moved and worked in two countries outside of Australia I’m very mindful that my Super account is pitiful to say the least so I do worry about retirement etc at the moment. Plus I rent and can’t see how I’d afford a house what with the way prices are both here and in Australia. I have enough to live on though, which is more than most people so I’m thankful for that.

    • I know that would be the case for many who have changed jobs and countries. However, you seem pretty chuffed to be doing what you are for now so that is your answer. These days the old super going in regularly only seems to apply to those who are fortunate to have government jobs that are permanent or those whose employer are diligent and comply with regulations. You are having life experiences and working to pay for them and that would be the way to go at your age and stage of life it seems. Denyse x

  21. Gratitude for what we have that money can’t buy is our health. So true.

  22. I went through a stage my life that I wanted to keep up with everyone. No adays I don’t really care about what Everyone else has. We live with second hand, hand me downs and love to seek out bargains at second hand stores. I’m a lot happier and as long as we have a roof over our heads, food on the table and the bills are being paid then we have enough money.

  23. I’ve always said if you have a roof over your head, paid bills and money for food, then all is good. I think the extra stuff is a bonus if you are lucky enough to afford it. I don’t pretend to have more than i do, and I don’t like people who like to big time for the sake of ego. It’s so easy to see through and not a great character trait.