Goal Setting, Positivity, Retirement Journey, Rising Prices

Sometimes plans change.

And in this case, our timeline for retirement. We originally had planned on retiring in early 2023. However, in the course of the last 9 months so much has changed.

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com

We, like many others, rode the wave of the stock market that was on the rise for the past two years. And in a blink of an eye, two years’ growth was wiped out. We originally had planned to move the money to safer funds but decided to continue to ride the wave instead. We are still far ahead of the game, being that savings rates have been dismal.

History tells us that the market will come back. In the meantime, we have decided to save cash and use some online savings accounts, CDs, and I Bonds, to secure 3 years’ worth of expenses. We also plan to pay off the mortgage within 18 months. That will put us in a much better position if it takes a little longer for our retirement accounts to recover.

However, in order to complete the above plan, we will need to add a year or two to our timeline for retirement. (As you can see from my header, I am no longer putting a definite timeframe on our retirement.)

I know we are fortunate to be able to make that decision. There are retirees out there who don’t have that choice. Hopefully, most of them have secured their savings in safer investments. I know we will start doing that with our investments little by little until we feel secure in the amount we have to live on.

Could we still retire today if we so chose? Yes. But it wouldn’t feel nearly as secure as it did just nine short months ago.

Anyone else holding off their retirement date?

No/Low Buy Update, Retirement Journey, Rising Prices, Spending

Spending Update: May 1 – 7th

Every Monday during 2022, I am posting an update on what I spent for the week (variable spending only) as a way of keeping myself accountable for my impulse spending disorder.* Also, in order to see my true savings, I am also tracking items I was tempted to buy but didn’t. 

I’m writing these spending posts – both to keep myself accountable and to catch myself from impulsively purchasing items I truly don’t need. I think it’s important, especially in these highly inflated times, to make sure I am spending my money wisely and getting value out of our hard-earned money. If nothing else, these posts will most likely make you feel better about your spending when you see mine. 😉

The first week in May turned out to be a bit of a spendy week. I hope expenses will slow way down for the rest of the month.

Here is the May 1 – 7 spending:

  • Groceries: $120.00
  • Eating Out: $62.00 (dinner out)
  • Personal Care: $179.00 (shampoo, conditioner, make-up — IT Cosmetics)
  • Dog: $131.28 (monthly dog food and bully sticks)
  • Hair cut & color and tip: $135.00
  • Home repair: $25.12 (Hubby fixed a sink)
  • Mom: $75.75 (dinners sent)
  • Gifts: $250.64 (1st Holy Communion, Father’s Day (early), Birthday)
  • Charitable Giving: $50.00
  • Deposit on 90th birthday cruise for my Mom: $300.00

Total Spent: $1,328.79

As you can see, there were some hefty charges already in the first week. Lots of gift-giving, for sure. And there is still more to come! I’m hoping my cosmetic purchase will last for at least 6 months. Otherwise, I’ll have to switch products. The costs are just too prohibitive.

There was really nothing I wanted but didn’t buy — I pretty much broke the bank in April, so it’s no wonder I didn’t really want anything.

How was your first week in May? Feeling much better about what you spent when you look at mine? 😉

Inflation, Rising Prices

Inflation is rearing its ugly head in my budget.

In one year, the following bills jumped in price to percentage amounts that I wasn’t prepared for. I knew prices were increasing, but the percentages of the increases shocked me. Below are the bills I received this month and the increase by percentage.

  • Sewer Line Insurance +65%
  • Gas (heating bill) +37%. (This could also be due to colder months than last Dec/Jan, but that is a huge increase).
  • Subscriptions (Hulu, Frndly) 12%

The sewer line insurance shocked me the most. In just one year, it went from $70.40 to $107.40. No reason was given as to why they raised the price by 65%! I’ve shopped around to see if I could find a lower rate, but this is the lowest I’ve found. What is so insidious about this and what irks me the most, is that there was no warning that they were raising the prices from the previous year. Did they think we wouldn’t notice?

I was well aware that inflation was at an all-time high, but this is ridiculous. Even my beloved YNAB budget program went from $50 to $100 this year. Even though I’ve paid the same amount for several years, this jump seemed a little over the top. 100%??

I’m sure insurance and taxes will jump on the bandwagon and go up an astronomical amount as well.

I’ll have to learn how to hold on tight because 2022 is going to be a very rocky ride.