Early retirement costs & targets - February 2020
Our February costs were going pretty well until I bought some ski touring gear. How much can some skis, binding, boots, poles and skins cost? The answer is €1,500 (£1,271 or US$1,652), which is a third of our total spend in the month.
My test isn't how much something costs, but whether it's affordable and represents good value, i.e. will it be appreciated and well used. For the first point, our income is more than our costs so we can afford it. As to value, although it's a big cost, the equipment should last many years and I should get good use from it - my idea is that ski touring can replace the cycling that I can't do during winter. Spending money on health and fitness doesn't seem to be the worst thing to spend on. The photo is from my first ski touring trip and, in my opinion, the scenery itself is worth a reasonable amount on money.
Medical costs continued to run high in February with Sally's appointments and scans on her wrist. The good news for Sally and also next month's medical costs are that the bone has healed. Medical costs are an interesting category for me because they would be zero cost if we decided to live in the UK.
With our neighbours, we contributed to the cost of a surveyor to check that the new house being built next to our apartment complies with the building permit. The answer is that it doesn't but nobody seems to be bothered about it, which makes me wonder what was the point of engaging the surveyor?! In hindsight, this doesn't meet my good value test, we may as well have saved that money.
I'm still a fan of the progress tracker, even though it shows only a third of my targets are currently green. Rather than getting me down, I like that it points in the direction of the items that I probably need to concentrate on a little more. Plus I still have ten months of the year to make more progress.
My running feels like the most pressing item as London Marathon is less than two months away. The difficulty is that I'm struggling with an injury. Do I take another two weeks away from running and hope it heals but find that I'm undertrained for the marathon, or do I try to run through the injury and risk making it worse?
February was busy with visitors, we had three sets in the month which was lovely but does cut down on time for other things. I wouldn't change it, even though it did mean that my efforts to progress my French were limited and volunteering didn't even get a thought.
As to where we'll live, I still change my mind on a regular basis. I need to get some tax advice and then we'll have all the information that we should need to make a call. There's no reason to procrastinate and if we subsequently find that we made the wrong choice then we can adjust. I'm going to aim to make a decision by the end of March, although that depends on whether we have the tax information by then.
On a green for good target, I've moved my eating healthily to green based on my decision to abstain from alcohol which, even though I didn't drink too much before, still feels like a healthy move. I did this for three months last year while we travelled and believe it made me feel better. I've set myself a target date of no alcohol before London Marathon which is on 26 April and decide if I want to continue it further at that time.
And with this post done, hopefully I'm back on track to return my weekly post target back to green next month.