Knuckle-Down Time

Yes, that’s a fistful of dollars – but please note that they are all singles!

The plumber has returned and resolved the issue of the leaky new kitchen sink.  The fence installation begins next week (yay!).  The expensive major household construction is done, and all that’s left will be cosmetic enhancements (painting, curtains, pictures, etc.)

Now, it’s time to pay for the work that was performed and for which I took out several home improvement loans.

So, I sat down with my checkbook and figured out the budget.  The plan is to pay off all (or at least most) of those loans within the next two years so that should I lose my job (again) or become disabled, the household expenses can be met with only my Social Security.  Presumably, my husband would still be working – or if not, he will also be on Social Security and the proceeds from his small 401K.  Whatever income he has will pay for food, his car, and health insurance.

It can be done –

If all (or at least most) frivolous expenses are cut off immediately. That means:

  • No more new books – but that’s ok because there are a number of library branches nearby, and they have more books than I could possibly read in the rest of my lifetime.
  • No new clothing – but that’s ok, too, because I have enough casual clothes and I wouldn’t need work clothes once I become fully retired (again).  Underwear and socks have been stocked up.
  • Less wine – caught that, did you?  No, I won’t cut off wine completely, but I won’t stock up the way I have been, and I may go to the cheaper brands (at least most of the time).
  • No traveling – not that we do much anyway, but any trips will be day-trips not requiring the cost of an overnight hotel stay, and all travel will be by car (which is ok, because we don’t fly anyway).
  • Less doggie treats  (ok, let’s not get carried away.  Puppy Cody deserves a treat now and then).

Not really a lot to cut out, is it?  The fact is, we’ve cut back dramatically over the last couple of years so that our budget is bare-bones already.

The only other large expense I could maybe cut out would be my car.  Once I’m not working any more, we probably will need only one car.  Deleting that extra car payment, and the lower insurance premiums, would be just enough to bring the budget in line with Social Security.

By reducing costs now, I should be able to pay off those loans and maybe put a wee bit of cash back into savings before I find myself in a truly tight financial situation.

At least, that’s the plan.  I’m amazed that so far, things have worked out as I anticipated when I first considered quitting my last job and applying for Social Security.  Hopefully, everything will continue to go the way I want.

I’ll keep you posted ’cause I know your lives revolve around mine.  At least from where I’m sitting.

Happy Weekend, Everyone.  Don’t forget to say thanks to our servicemen and servicewomen for their sacrifices to keep this country safe so that we can enjoy lovely warm weekends like this one.


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Image by Cordelia’s Mom

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23 Responses to Knuckle-Down Time

  1. Tippy Gnu says:

    Wow, looks like you’re stretched out pretty thin. I’ll keep my fingers crossed so that nothing will go wrong over the next few years.


  2. Good luck with the budget! That was one thing we found about downsizing to the boat, we already lived frugally so it wasn’t too much of a culture shock!
    Now we’re back in a house, I’m reading my utility meters every week (working out cheaper than the cottage actually, but then this property is practically half the size even allowing for price increases).
    I’m still cutting corners though trying to save a few quid here and there as we cannot claim a state pension until 2021 and 2022 respectively, so are reliant on our works pensions and two very small (total £150 PA!) annuities I have. People wonder how we manage on so little, and to be honest so do I, but we don’t have rent or a mortgage, nor any loans to worry about. My utility bill prices are fixed until the end of next year, but the biggest concern is fuel for the car and food increases which are quite frankly going nuts just now. I can tweak both by walking more and cutting down on what we eat, but even that will have limits.


    • Cutting down on food really is not much of an option if you’re buying frugally to begin with. Of course, in your case you now have a garden so you can at least save on veggies. I thought about putting one in, but the bunnies would eat everything as soon as it came up. Never mind that if I ever got down on the ground to put the seeds in, I’d probably never get back up again.

      I’ll see how things go. Worst case, I can always still work part-time to supplement Social Security, like I’m doing now.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Retirement does tend to be pretty bare bones, but not working helps improve it’s flavor. The problem is that stuff still needs doing. You’ve done what you’ve done, but houses are always waiting for that perfect moment to inform you of something you never even thought about. We get by. It isn’t easy, but we manage … somehow.


  4. joey says:

    Back to the book and wine cutbacks, eek! There’s the library, but no wine library. Although that’d be cool.
    Life here is extra costly lately.
    Budget is a four-letter word sometimes, but oh, ya gotta have one! Good for you sorting it out.


  5. Great post, CM…it does make a lot of cents. LOL! I think I should get my hubby to do the groceries shopping. I will be able to save a lot more. ヘ(= ̄∇ ̄)ノ


    • At some point, my husband just decided to take over the grocery shopping, probably because I was sick at the time and couldn’t do it. Then he found he enjoyed it (and I didn’t), so he just continued. He actually is a better shopper than I am. I tend to fall into impulse purchases whereas he sticks pretty much to the budget.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. markbialczak says:

    I look at you as a good example of yes-we-can, CM. Have a lovely weekend, my friend.


  7. Dan Antion says:

    Sorting it out up front is the best way to go – good luck.


  8. willowdot21 says:

    Let’s hope the bad things pass you by without stopping 💜💜


  9. Pingback: Come On! Really? | Cordelia's Mom, Still

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