This month, I've continued in small ways in my quest to simplify our lives more and live with less stuff and less disorganisation, the latter, in particular, in relation to my finances. I've not been able to declutter anywhere near the amount I managed last month, but nevertheless, I've still found a reasonable amount of things to pass on to others who might be able to use them.
The main area that I've managed to focus on this month has been my finances. I've opened a new regular saver account to benefit from 5% interest and will be transferring savings not currently earning this amount of interest into it each month for the next year. It's a little bit of hassle, but worth it to make better returns on my money.
Another financial measure I've taken this month, is to try to track down the value of my two occupational pensions. I've obtained a statement on the one from the NHS, which was available on line, after I obtained an activation code for the site in the post. This was quite encouraging. The second from the Civil Service, I am still waiting for. I originally emailed Capita, who were the last known company responsible for it, but apparently, it is now being managed by some other organisation, so my enquiry has been passed along. Hopefully, they will respond to it eventually.
The purpose of doing the above, is to see what shortfall I need to make up in the next 15 years before I retire. Both the above pensions include a lump sum payable and monthly payments start at age 60. I also have a (very) small personal pension, which starts at age 55, but it's value is very insignificant, although that too provides a lump sum. I'm assuming that I will be able to use these and any savings I accrue to buy some sort of annuity in the future, to give me a reasonable income in retirement and I am still intending to pay my National Insurance contributions voluntarily each year, to qualify for a full state pension (if it is still available in 16 years time).
As a consequence of the above, I feel like I've made some progress this month. The other main area of progress in simplifying my life has been the allotment, which I'm now up to scratch on and the maintenance of which is now much easier, now it is fully cultivated. Having a plot almost on my doorstep is now starting to pay dividends, as I can get to it very easily to water, weed and harvest, so as a consequence everything grows much better and things don't go over as easily between visits and go to waste.
Next month, now that I've taken all of the donations to the Give & Take, I'll be focusing on simplifying the sewing/spare room, as I can now more easily get access to everything, both for cleaning and decluttering purposes. I'm looking forward to spending some time in this room next month both being creative and re-organising it.