The Lady in the Black reflects on her pretty damn awesome week. Some of the most profitable things? Future. Furniture. Fun.
The 3 Most Profitable Things I Did This Week
Week Ending July 28, 2017
For those of you solidly entrenched in the FIRE or PF community, you know that envisioning and planning for the future is a HUGE part of what personal finance is all about.
However, not all of us are pre-programmed to be future-focused.
Some people I’ve met are stuck in the past. They are caught up in who they were in college or still feel entitled for decades-old accomplishments. Some people are single-mindedly living in the here and now. Unfortunately, I have seen this a lot in the people who struggle with money. They are so wrapped up in how to pay the bills that their imaginations are too exhausted to peer too far ahead into the future. Other gifted individuals seem to live life on rails; a straight-line path toward the horizon and the head of steam to get them there.
Me? Well, I’ve largely lived my life for today. My past does hold some fairly significant traumas that I have had to survive. But I’m not stuck there. Healing from the past while simultaneously trying to thrive in the present is pretty all-consuming and energy draining. My creativity and imagination have always been strong but I had rarely applied those talents to my own future.
This week I made some difficult calls of who would move forward on my path and who would not. I also re-evaluated my credit score and some miscellaneous debts (charge-off debt and car loan) with an eye to the near future. I even extrapolated out my current savings and investment balances to determine the best move to make with that money when the experiment concludes 5 months from now. I’ve run some calculations to determine how much I could save toward a house in 5 and/or 10 years. And most frightening of all, I faced the possibility that I might not always be able to earn money from my passion. My anxious mind realized that writers need their eyes and their hands and their creativity to earn a living. What happens if one of those fail me?
For many of you, those who have elaborate retirement draw-down strategies and diversified portfolios, I’m certain none of these thoughts are impressive. But they are for me.
Switching my focus toward the future has been a true game changer for me over the past year–but it doesn’t come easy.
How cute are those little beauties? Before you get all riled up about me spending too much money, I should elaborate that when I said I “picked up” these lovely, well-built, glass-door side tables I mean picked them up from the sidewalk–where they were in someone’s trash.
While I recently self-diagnosed myself as a minimalist, I also need to admit to my “picking” tendencies.
For me, there is something so satisfying about rescuing someone’s trash and giving it new life. When I describe my idea of a profitable life, I often mention a life that provides greater returns than your original investment. Getting free stuff and then loving it certainly falls into this camp.
I had been thinking about getting matching white nightstands for my bedroom for a few months now. However, they were clearly a “want” not a “need” so I let it go. And then tonight, as I drove my daughter to her dad’s house, there they were. Just waiting for me.They were pretty dirty but I could tell from a distance they were top-quality. I looked at my daughter and said “should we get them” and she answered “I’ll help!”
The ironic thing about this particular “pick” was that the owner was in her yard. I jumped from my car and asked if she was giving them away for free and if I could have them. She said yes. As I was struggling to lift them into my car, I thanked her and then asked over my shoulder “Isn’t it a great feeling to get rid of stuff?” Haha. (I make myself laugh.)
Some heavy lifting down some stairs, some elbow grease, and within an hour, they are gorgeous. (I MAY touch up the paint in a few places.)
I can’t wait to move them into my bedroom this weekend and leave the drawers empty–for now.
Having fun is profitable, you ask? Hell yes! In fact, I thinking having fun is kinda the whole damn point of strategic personal finance and money management.
Just this past week alone, I went to the beach and just chatted with a new friend for hours as we kept watch over our kids at the lagoon. I went for sushi and forced a guy to watch African Queen with me. I wrote blog posts about my life that made me laugh. I indulged in a little binge watching (Reign.) I watered my plants and waxed poetic about basil. I got my hair done. I blasted rock music at work. I made ice coffee in a mixing bowl because I don’t have a pitcher. I bought ice cream and toppings and made homemade sundaes. I went to dinner at a friend’s house and taught her about Twitter. I read blogs and offered praise. I admired the colors of the sunset. I worked from home, in my pajamas. I had sex into the wee hours of the night. I ran out of groceries and ate cereal for dinner. I sang Fleetwood Mac at the top of my lungs in my car. I received recognition of one of my blogs from Rockstar Finance. I brought home trash and transformed it into treasure.
Sure, my finances still aren’t great but my life is pretty f’ing awesome.
One of the beauties of being my age and “starting over” (again) is the realization that, regardless of which chapter of your story you’re in, you are truly the best character that has ever been written.