I'm under pressure - today is the 27th December and I'm only now writing my November costs and targets post. Is it a new record for tardiness or a sign that early retirement is still going well and I've been busy doing other things?
Hand on heart, I can say the latter, I've been busy. Finishing my travels; visiting family; catching up with friends; getting ready for Christmas; having my first few days on the ski slopes. These are all great reasons to be a little late with my post. Yep, I'm thinking early retirement is still pretty good.
November was a full travel month for me with plenty of opportunity to lose track of both my targets and our spending. Fingers crossed they haven't gone too far of course.
It's almost a case of wherever I am against my targets, how they look now is how they're going to look at the end of the year. At least there's more green than any other colour but I'm still a little disappointed to see two targets with a lot of red against them.
Obviously I'm not going to turn around my paltry effort to learn French in the few days left in the year, although I did speak French in the boulangerie this morning. I start my conversation with "J'essaye en Francais...", the literal translation being "I try in French..." but what I'm really saying is "OK, I'm about to feel really stupid, please don't laugh at me". In fairness, they never laugh, maybe because they are too mystified trying to figure out what I'm saying🤣
I had hoped that making the GoPro video target a little less red could be possible in the next few days, but with Sally's sisters arriving today I'm sure that's unrealistic. Maybe if I can do just one video, even a not very good one, in the first part of January, I'll treat it as close enough to make this target a little less red.
Exercising while travelling in November was difficult, not helped by being a little unwell for a week. I think, however, that I made enough effort to not downgrade my exercise score. Healthy eating went mostly OK, although less well once I arrived in the USA. Nicely green are travel as the whole of November was spent travelling and I've kept up with weekly blog posts too.
It's interesting how we perceive things - having stepped away from corporate life some people would see routines and target trackers as the complete opposite of what retired life should be. But I'm a big fan of both the tracker and my routines. I don't see them as a chore, but rather a tool that helps ensure I get to the things I want to do.
I feel our November costs are a little weird as Sally was at home and I was away travelling. It seems that because we're in two different places that we somehow have double the costs. It's not actually the case, just that perception thing again.
We did have some higher costs though with Christmas shopping and also Sally's medical appointments for the bone she broke in her hand during our Route des Grandes Alpes cycle trip back in August. Our medical insurance has a high deductible to keep the premium lower so we're having to pay these bills ourselves. We also paid one of the annual municipal/property taxes but it was tempered by discovering that another property tax won't be billed until next year.
Groceries were double what I expected as it's only for Sally, but I suspect it's got a few other things included. Re-acquiring the cats from our daughter adds cat groceries which add up surprisingly quickly - why will they only eat the most expensive cat food?!
Travel costs were me in Colombia and California and, if you're interested in seeing more detail, I did weekly travel posts as well as an end of trip summary which included information on the costs.
In little more than the blink of an eye it will be time for the December costs and targets post, so I'd better end this post now and try not to be so late for the next one.