Why do I still have spreadsheets? As an ex-accountant, these were normal work tools, but shouldn't I have left them behind once I stepped away from my job and into early retirement?
The reality is that while I retired early, I didn't have a personality transplant, so things that I did for the previous thirty years, such as work on spreadsheets, were never going to disappear overnight. Another reason is that my spreadsheets help keep me organised. That might sound boring, but these tools help me achieve my early retirement aims instead of having the days slip by without much to show for them. Another thing that helps me get things done is routine, I know that it sounds boring, but it works, at least for me.
Early retirement target tracker
I don't do so well with my targets when I'm outside of my normal routine, so the last month while we were away from home has seen a dip in progress against some of my targets.
I didn't run quite as much, didn't post so many blog posts, let my daily Duolingo French lessons slip and got out of the habit of sorting out our old photos. None of these are a big issues, but still I like that my monthly targets check-in reminds me that I've lost some focus and that I should make an effort to get back on track over the next month.
On the plus side, we did visit a new place, the Isle of Coll and during the month, made some progress against my invest cash target. I'm not sure whether going car shopping with my son counts as "doing things with our kids", but I know he's very excited about the electric car that he'll be taking delivery of in the next few weeks.
Early retirement costs
Yet again, my monthly costs section of the blog starts with the words "we spent a lot this month".
Vehicle costs included extra fuel for our campervan road-trip to Scotland and, unfortunately, a visit to the body shop after our camper got to know the house wall a little better than we'd have liked - the details of who was driving at the time shall remain a secret!
Sally has decided to have her teeth straightened, so the first installment for this is included in medical costs. I think her teeth look just fine as they are, but it's something she's always been self conscious about so has decided to get it done. If I had a choice between straightening my teeth or getting a new bike...🤣
We've also spent quite a bit this month on the UK house. We've decided to see if there's an Airbnb market for it in our non-touristy area. In readiness for this, we've bought various things such as a dishwasher, porch light, loft boards and ladder and some new furniture. Unfortunately the boiler has also started to malfunction and, despite paying for some repairs, it looks like we'll shortly need to buy a new one.
I hope that we'll be able to rent the UK property on Airbnb - we seem likely to only use it for two or three months a year and it seems wasteful to have the property empty for the other nine months.
I'll finish now, to leave me time to get back into the routine of daily French Duolingo practice and, well, maybe I'll just browse a couple more bike websites. Hopefully sports equipment won't have a big spend item in it next month!