No Pair of Shoes is Worth 2 Million Bucks

Screenshot 2018-01-27 19.03.19

I thought the hard part was going to be a year of no shopping—that’s what kicked me into gear just five weeks ago, motivated by an op-ed by Ann Patchett: no more personal shopping for clothes, shoes, bags, or jewelry.

I was wrong.

The hard part is not being able to not shop fast enough to make all this debt go away. I was so clueless about the mess I was in. Serious denial. Crazy. Batshit. Crazy.

And now, as I wrote a few days ago, I am totally woke.

So now I make lists of how long it will take me to get out of debt. I’ve used a variety of budget apps to budget loose $4,000 a month. With that, along with my side consulting income, I think we will be

  • free of credit card debt by January 2019;
  • liberated from auto loan payments by March 2019 (and the two cars should see us through the end of the era of the personal automobile);
  • flush with an emergency fund to cover three months expenses by June 2019;
  • back to investing in retirement accounts (on top of what our employers already do) by August 2019;
  • in the process of cash flowing our remaining kids’ college expenses through 2022;
  • paying off the house by 2025 (there’s a lot of dreaming involved in this aspiration);
  • and then maximizing our investments over the next five years until we retire in 2030 with, if my numbers and the economy hold up even moderately, about $2 million saved plus the worth of the house.

Those are the goals that will keep me focused. And I hardly care if I ever buy another pair of shoes again.

 

Pangs of Longing

I’m traveling for work. All my expenses are going straight on my corporate card and funds will be taken from my modest research account: hotel room, meals. that’s it.

No stopping at the gift shop for that lovely velvet top in the window. No running into town for the extra pair of pants I wished I’d brought. No web shopping in my down time for that pair of shoes — Fluevog pumps with all kinds of sweet little designs — Screenshot 2018-01-05 16.40.41I just saw someone wearing. No. None of that.

This reminds me of when I suddenly quit smoking three decades ago. I’d find myself sitting down with an ashtray in hand. Where did that come from? Oh, it’s my basal ganglia on auto pilot following ingrained habits.

So, here away on travel, I’ll just relish the fabulous blue velvet shirt dress I brought with me and my own pair of Fluevog pumps (black, for god’s sake, I never wear pink) on my feet right this very second.  I already have all I need.