Hard work and hedonic treadmills
1 Bank Balance
Last month’s decision to cut some money out of an ISA investment is looking reasonably clever for those interested in such things as market timing. The indices are generally lower than they were at the point of sale. I’m avoiding feeling too smug about this, and am fully aware that I’ve traded some money working hard for me through compounding for reduced outgoings. As I keep saying, reducing outgoings is the name of the game for the foreseeable.
I’ve had a ‘good’ month at work and billings are healthy. The inverted commas are there because it’s actually been far from good. It’s been too stressful because I took too much on. I won’t remember this month for being a good biller, I’ll remember it for being a bit of a pain in the arse quite frankly. Numbers don’t lie but they don’t tell the story of some of the efforts, early, mornings, late nights and strain that lie beneath them. As I’ve stated before; I have a good ‘why’ and I know what I’m aiming for which is very helpful in putting the efforts into perspective. When I see people busting their balls and not really making any true financial progress due to spending decisions I feel super grateful to have learned the importance of being an investor rather than consumer.
This month has seen a drop in overall NW due to some market moves. Because I’m not salaried the regular drip feed effect doesn’t show up in regular purchases of units but I’m building up some reserves in the business which I’ll put into something in the next few months (probably the pension where it will have a good few years to work away before being available. Marshmallow test, anyone?
Of course I’m super proud that we’re taking our country back and having a red, white and blue, great British Brexit but I am slightly worried that it might cause some boring old hullabaloo in the form of economic downturn (actual) or economic downturn (actual, caused by perceived future economic downturn) so will continue to reserve cash in the event of some kind of slowdown in my business – while I’m getting my bunting out in in preparation taking our country back.
So overall the financial picture continues to look OK. I’d be surprised if we lose the house and the rest if gravy!
The calf has improved following a bit of rest and I’m very happy with that. I’m having a bit of a quiet one on the exercise front having overdone it – leading up to the calf injury. I am *going to* look into weight training but at the moment I’m a bit short of time, and frankly don’t quite know what to do.
On the booze front, a good friend of mine has given up and it’s given me a bit of impetus to cut down. I’m occasionally a bit of a lush and occasionally tuck in a bit on Friday. I’m really enjoying not doing so and am finding the habit of not boozing pretty easy to get into. I think I was in habit territory and a long way from dependency; nonetheless the health (weight, complexion, mood, vitality) benefits are truly outweighing the enjoyment of being pissed. Finally – I’m a grown up!
I must say, while we’re on the subject that I do worry about the glamorisation of booze. ‘Wine O’Clock’, ‘Gin time’ and ‘cheeky cider’ all seem pretty fun and all of that but I see people on social media at it every night and what we don’t see is posts with narrative such as – ‘just been sick’, or ‘shouted at kids and feel a bit shit now’, or ‘I don’t think I can go a day without’. Anyway I’m definitely bought into the concerns that alcohol is the scourge of the chattering classes. And I say this coming from a long line of boozers.
The hedonic treadmill dictates that the warm and fuzzy feeling associated with paying down a large chunk of mortgage has gone away and I still seek to find ways to cut outgoings. I do continue too revel in the notion that I really have come a long way. I’m a long way ahead in health, wealth and professional terms than I could have hoped to be looking ahead to now from ten years ago. That in itself is a useful stress-reliever. The power of perspective is a useful mind tool. As is the subtle art of carefully choosing what to give a fuck about.
This month has been stressful and it’s a continuing reminder that I’ll hope to not need to do all of this work as soon as possible. I look at high earners who are still working in their sixties and wonder why. I’ll reserve judgement until I get there but I’d like to be at the stage where work is optional well before that. for now, I’m running hard towards August which is a month in which I will not be working; I do have a decent boss.
So in summary; I’m in a bit of a ‘head down and suck it up period’, but it’s for the greater good and what I’m sucking up doesn’t taste too bad so I’m gonna keep on trucking. I would like to see a bit more sun during this nice weather though!