Monday, February 28, 2011

February Non-Purchases

Hey!  This is fun - keeping track of stuff I didn't buy and converting it into gallons of gas. 

Bike Helmet - $25

Bike Seat - $25
My current helmet and saddle work fine.  The helmet is an older model - it's massive and makes me look even more dorky than is either normal or necessary.  The seat is the original but bike seat technology has come a long way since the early 90's.  I need one for a gynecoid pelvis not one modeled for a guy.  And gel.  Gel is good.  But the bike accessories can wait as I'm not exactly burning up the roads right now - it's winter after all and I'm only riding on the weekends (provided the temps are above 45).

Febraury total = $50
January total = 0$
December total = $110
November total = $ 88

Grand total savings = $248

This month savings convers to 15 gallons @ 3.33/gal. (OUCH!).

That’s 1,288 miles worth of gasoline so far! 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Goals and Gravity

It’s a balmy 56 degrees and sunny here so I went on a long bike ride and freed up some mental hard drive space to think about the future. I don’t know about you, but my long-term goals can be easily derailed due to the erosion of day-to-day living if I don’t pay attention. The gravitational pull of the present seems stronger than that of the future.

Here’s my dilemma: I’ve decided to chase tenure which requires an enormous life commitment. I’ve also decided to start making a dent in that to-do travel list that has been neglected long enough in deference to all the other to-do lists.

What to do with 2 priorities? And isn’t that a contradiction in terms since a priority is, by definition, singular? What’s more important – to continue building the foundation for a comfortable and secure retirement or living a balanced life (which, for me, includes road trips?).  I am greedy, I want it all.  I’m hedging my bets with this plan. And yes, I know what John Lennon would say. 

If all goes perfectly, I’ll be through with school 12/11 (see countdown clock) Big IF. To say I’m ready to finish and move on is a cheap understatement.  It should go something like this:

  • Finish coursework May 2011
  • Collect data June 2011
  • Finish dissertation July 2011
  • Defend dissertation August 2011
  • Graduate December 2011
  • Buy the RV Fall 2011
  • Job interviews Fall 2011
  • Travel Winter 2012
  • Begin work April 2012

Now ..... here’s the hard part ….   

Finding the time to travel other than during our meager breaks in the class schedule. I've blogged about this before i.e. my ambivalence about taking on an all-consuming academic role in my 50’s when I should be slowing down a bit professionally. I DON’T want to be one of those people who sells her RV because it's deteriorating in the driveway.

How I envy those of you who are already retired or soon-to-be!

Okay!  I feel better now I’ve set my plans down on virtual paper so I can refer to it and stay on track.

Thanks for listening!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

January Savings Report

                              fundraising ideas

Good news!  Got some traction this month!  

Our big-ticket bills were not as high as they’ve been of late.  Big-ticket items = home repairs, homeowner’s insurance, appliance replacement.  Notice a theme?  Most of these big expenses are related to housing.  Take note, all you full-timers out there!   

Our only big outlay this month was $745 for landscaping.  (Another whopper bill is due for landscaping next month).     

Sigh.  It’s enough to make you want to rent an apartment.

Or get an RV. 

So, the bottom line for the bottom line .... 2 K to the RV/Travel fund!

62.5% there!

And 65% through with school!