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