After my last post on stuff I took some more time for myself and putting things in perspective (and I sold one of the MacBooks, which of course gave a little more breathing room). The thing is, we human people are pretty decent hardwired by default, yet the programming part (or conditioning or whatever you call it) can sometimes contain bugs. Most of those bugs are created in our youth in reaction on receiving (or needing) love and care of our parents. And no matter how hard they try, there will always be deficiencies that you want to be made up for in one way or another. This making up for might grow out into behavior that might not be of best interest to one other.
As for me, I have developed a couple of surrogate moves myself. One of them is the idea that knowing and understanding everything gives me an advantage (knowledge is power, apparently I've experienced some kind of failure on that part somewhere when I was a little boy and as a counterstrike I promised myself that would never happen again so I became the smart one). Yet with a lot of thinking there might also be a lot less doing, ending in a vicious cycle of more thinking and even less doing.
Another one (or is this more or less character? Sometimes the border between character and conditioning isn't quite clear) is I'm more or less comfortable in my own comfort zone and feel a tendency to withdraw myself from life. This is more or less a copy (or more advanced version) of the little boy withdrawing himself in his room in his own world.
Yet another one is when I more or less feel helpless and alone I seem to need someone else (a friend, a significant other, more or less reproductions of the little boy needing his parents to giving him direction) to pull me out of it. And with it comes the thought that no one thinks about me and so I don't ask for help but wait until someone rescues me (which, of course, never happens since that's just not the way things work).
When you add 'conditioned behaviors' one, two and three up you get a nice cocktail assuring for depression in some form. Mix this up with a little 'I don't feel so very challenged at work' and there's your magical recipe for self-destruction in some form or another.
Well. Self destruction this time came in the form of chasing expensive products (justifying them by telling myself I could make a little profit) followed by a dive back into the abyss feeling more or less like I felt when still in debt last year.
I sat on it for a while and went through the whole process of feeling itchy, wanting distraction, wanting to be rescued by someone, blaming the people surrounding me for not doing so, staying with all those feelings, feeling more relaxed, getting triggered again by thoughts and going through the proces all over again. This lasted for a couple of days and slowly I got a little more back to myself. I actually noticed the world outside again and felt a little more alive! I guess three years of mindfulness, meditation and seeing the challenges in staying in contact with that what I would rather get away from are really helping me out here!
Later that week I came to the conclusion that, in a practical way, it's mostly my lack of clear goals that make life tedious right now. I am searching for meaning and joy in life, but doing so should also be accompanied by some practical goals.
I guess I found another weak spot in my programming during this process since I am not able to simply dump money in a savings account and leave it there. Sounds stupid, but if that's the way it is, that's the way it is, not? When invested I don't touch it, when dumped into a debt (with a goal) I do everything to free up more money, but without some sort of a framework I just keep doing ridiculous things with it. So, it was time to set myself some clear goals. And this turned out to be pretty convenient with one of my bank accounts too, I can set up 10 different saving goals to fill up completely. That's like paying of debt, yet this time I pay myself and don't pay interest!
So in order to make things work, I set up a couple of reasonable life goals:
- health care own risk at 900 euro's (fully filled of course)
- emergency fund at 3500 euro's (I think it's a lot, but hey, it's better to have some)
- FU money (one year of living expenses) set at 15000 euro's (serious goal)
- vacation set at 3000 euro's (as budgeted)
- free to spend on fun things (set at 550 euro's)
Once my emergency fund is filled (I don't feel compelled to sell any stocks since the stocks rollercoasted downwards a lot lately due to 'political world issues' otherwise that would be filled up already) I'll be putting more or less even shares into the remaining funds.
With more or less this kind of diversification of funds I'm also rethinking the reporting thing. I would like to start posting my savings rate regularly just like all the other FI/RE bloggers are doing but I am not so fond of my current tracking since it involves a lot of work and there's only so little to be improved on my 'regular' (no, my latest macbook era isn't regular!) spending that I'm loosing interest in keeping track of every penny. I know my biggest issues (diner and 'fun things'). As a matter of fact, without the 'fun things', things went pretty decent. With that category added things really escalated out of hand :-)
I guess it's time to develop some form of infographic or something that suits my needs and is easy updatable!
From feeling down to yet another goal! Getting there, one step at a time...