In a week and a half, I’m leaving for a two-week vacation in the U.K. – mostly Wales, flying in and out of London. This vacation is the culmination of a long-term goal for me, albeit one that turned out to be shorter-term than I expected. I started saving up for this trip a little over a year ago, and intended to go next spring. However, when the tour company told me they had a spot in September/October, I grabbed the opportunity (after getting permission from my boss, of course). Who knows what will be happening by next spring? – especially with the airlines. I already had enough money saved, and the tour company gave me a small discount since they had an open spot – so, when I get back, that goal will be accomplished!
So, what comes next? I’ve been pondering that for the past month or so, and I think my next goals need to be related to preparedness. Mostly, that means building up a long-term emergency fund. I already have a short-term emergency fund, enough to cover all of my deductibles. I need to boost that fund, too, but it’s much closer to where it should be. The usual figure I see for a long-term fund is 3 to 6 months of expenses. I’m not quite sure what one month’s expenses are – it’s less than my monthly budget, because I do have expenses that I could drop if necessary, like cable. Whatever it is, though, I know that right now, I have less than one month – that doesn’t give me a very secure feeling.
The second goal, of course, is to get the garden underway. As soon as I get back, I’m going to plant lettuce and spinach. I’d like to add one new food per quarter. I think that will give me time to learn to grow each one as I add it. If I planted too many things at once, it might be too much, especially with working full time. Eventually, I want to do a lot of growing and then learn to preserve – canning, freezing, making jam, etc. But I’m going to take it one step at a time.
A third goal is to have a larger emergency food supply. Right now I have about a week’s worth, tops – probably not that much in reality. That isn’t even enough to last through a two-week power outage after a hurricane, much less a flu epidemic where everyone has to stay home for a couple of months, or worse. My family’s philosophy has always been, “Hope for the best but expect the worst,” and expectation leads to preparation.