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Friday, December 11, 2015

Dangerous Hope

Now that the initial terror of an emotionally measurable end of the mortgage has ebbed ('cause we all know it will be back), I'm getting a little excited about the possibilities.

Excitement makes me nervous, and not in the synonymous way. Keeping my expectations low is what keeps the Turtle happy with life. I'm a born cynic, after all, and I can make the return of Christ a gloomfest if you give me half a chance. The moment I make actual plans, life will smack me with a 4x4 (such as Lavender Squeak the Van), and I will not pass "go" and collect my $200.

However, since life will progress until I die, I may as well have a sketch for the future. I'm already considering how to shave down that six years without eating beans and rice, or cats.

There are only 3 things to do with money: save, spend and give. A balanced life does all three.

Save: Without the mortgage, I could get my retirement up to 15%. I could get my emergency fund to what I consider fully funded. Dave Ramsey says everyone has a "security gland" that begins secreting anxiety when certain things happen, like the emergency fund being too low. I haven't yet experienced what I consider the "right amount" of emergency fund. I suspect six months of expenses in cash would do the trick, but I don't want to be greedy.

Spend: I could vinyl-side the house. I could build that screened-in porch I crave, and maybe add a foot or two to the kitchen while I'm at it. I could take friends to lunch and pay for both of us, or bribe the nieces to visit me. I could be a Realm Makers sponsor and force them to come to Topeka for a conference.

Give: I could give equally to my current charities, and maybe add one or two to my monthly giving instead of just what I can manage here and there. I could give spontaneously to those opportunities I hear about on AFR, or be that anonymous matching donor for pledges. Who doesn't want to be that anonymous donor?

Well, we'll see how life goes. No point getting too excited. Something horrible is bound to happen and screw it all up.

Happy Friday! Push button. Receive bacon.

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