A different type of savings account.
Charles and I understand the ups and downs of life because we have been through some ourselves. We look forward to when Charles will retire but the way things are today we have our concerns. It is not the same as when our parents or grandparents retired. I am a few years older than Charles, we didn't know how old each other was when we met and then it did not matter. So I was the first one to discover the world of medicare and social security and the tremendous amount of junk mail that comes with that.
We have been doing all we can to save money but I wanted to do more.
Charles and I have a good marriage, we are both open to listening to each other and we never run out of conversation. I hope that some of our off the shoulder ideas and some of the things we do make sense to you. It does not matter if you are married or single with this article, whether you are just starting off or planning retirement, this is simply sharing what we do in hopes that it might help your situation.
So we started looking at this with a different perspective. What else can we do to save money?
It is always helpful when someone starts out life with a hope chest. In the past when we were teens it was common to start a hope chest. We dreamed of our own home one day and started filling our hope chest with linens and dishes and such things. Why not a hope chest for retirement? Why not a hope chest for the bumps in the road?
So we started our hope chest, hoping and looking forward to many more years. When one of us should pass away, it makes us feel more secure to know that the other will have these things and not have to spend money on them and is something we bought together. If I go first I will feel good to know that Charles will have a good supply of good socks and underwear. :)
Our hope chest is different than one would have when they are young, this one is a necessary dry goods savings plan.
Our son and daughter-in-law have three children in college at this time and this could be an example when a hope chest full of dry goods would be helpful.
We started building a “Dry Goods” savings stock. We have been and continue to purchase cotton socks, underclothing, towels, wash cloths, yarn, fabric, thread, elastic, extra sewing needles and put them away in our hope chest which at this time is a cabinet. We have also put away cotton sheets and pillow cases that were on sale. All of these things will cost more later on. I also cut up fabric from old shirts, blouses, and other things to be reused for other purposes later. I have a whole new perspective now.
Some things are not new, I have picked up good quality older material, flour sack cloth and goods from yard sales or the thrift shop for later use.
You might be reading this and saying to yourself we can barely buy new underwear now but keep this in mind for when you get over the bump in the road you are at now so it will be there as a safety net next time.
No one is safe from the curves life can throw, I have seen people that were on top fall to the bottom and a job loss or medical issue throw the family into serious financial issues. We are doing this a little at a time because we are aware of things that can happen.
Proper tools and hardware fall into our dry goods savings and are very important when planning for a sensible life, otherwise we would have to pay for even the most simple repair to be done. We need non electric hand tools for repairs. Electric tools are handy but non electric are necessary. A sewing machine is nice to have but good needles, good scissors and thread is the most important.
We need tools that can actually be used for repairs and not just for hanging pictures or curtain rods. This above the screwdrivers is a rivet gun. It is amazing what we can rivet together.
Planers can help smooth sticking doors and things at times. That hand saw is something my husband uses often. I have found it quite handy too. These type of tools are not stored away but are an important piece of our needed goods.
I need tools to crochet and knit. Early in my life I never saw myself as a knitter or someone that would crochet. I don't like to sit for very long but then I realized that it could be a very important skill to learn and it is. I am mostly self taught, my mother showed me the basics of knitting, the knit and purl but I could not read directions and my grandmother taught me some basic crochet. I self taught myself, bobbin lace, tatting and embroidery.
Sewing I have done since home economics in school where I made my first skirt but I am not great at it. I am more a self design and sew but mostly I can repair and that is what is important. Some people say, "oh I can't do that", and I say Yes you can! because if I can do it you can do it.
I started putting away some yarn, pink and blue here so I would be able to make something special for a baby gift instead of going out and purchasing something. That would help later on. These are much larger rolls than they look.
I am going to add cotton yarns to my hope chest..
I am adding a basic yarn to make dish cloths and facecloths, those will be very useful for our home and for gifts which again is a savings. I might be too busy to do much knitting or crocheting now but I might have more time later on and later on this yarn may cost double what it costs now. The other thing is I really like it and there seems to be a trend that when we find something we like they stop making it or just don't carry it anymore.
I like to knit with bamboo so I have bought a few extra in the main sizes I use. They will go in the hope chest.
I have metal ones to use if I break or wear the others out.
We cannot predict our future and I realize that anything can happen so if we “check out” early then I feel our hope chest would be a wonderful thing to leave for them. Just think if we would have started our life hope chest many years ago at the prices these things were then.
I have a tendency to lean how to do things by diving right in on a difficult piece and once you have ripped it out a few times you got it! That is how I learned how to bobbin lace.
If I were a mother with a baby or babies in diapers I would certainly have a couple of dozen old fashioned cloth diapers put away in my hope chest. If you run out of disposable or the budget is tight, the good old fashioned cotton cloth diapers/nappies can be very helpful. My children never wore disposables. If you never need to use them then they are still very useful to use for other purposes.
We all need to draw on our good common sense today. The way we afford to add to our hope chest is by living an old fashioned life. We don't purchase the junk anymore, food or otherwise so that money goes into our savings and now also our hope chest which is another way of savings.
Our plan is when we need something such as underwear or socks, we will not pull it from our hope chest, we will purchase it at the store unless we "need" to due to budget concerns or we feel the time is right to do so.
If you have read my blog for awhile you know that I like to live prepared, it has gotten us over the humps at times, we have pulled from our stocked pantry several times when we have had unexpected expenses. I believe in being prepared because of the risk of storm damage.
To me our new hope chest is a savings account because later on these things will cost more. The things going in the hope chest are just sensible things, this is not a storage solution. These items are goods that wear out and need to be replaced and the goods for me when I am ready to sit a little more to make things.
I hope this post triggers some ideas for you today. Grandma Donna
An older post called the Chuck Pantry