March 12, 2015

Frugality Born out of Desperation – Now a Choice

Life for me has changed dramatically from when I started this blog back in 2009.  So much so, that I have pondered whether I wanted to continue this blog or start a new blog.  Since I haven’t posted in months due to busyness, I thought it would be time to bring the blog to a close.  After all our circumstances have changed a lot and perhaps blogging about a “Path to Frugality” when we no longer have to live so frugally isn’t relevant for me. 

We no longer struggle with day to day finances because we have paid off debt.  Our income has increased due to a few raises along the way and extra jobs here and there. When you have more income and less expenses there is the tendency on my part to reward myself with some purchases and yes I did that.  Then, one month ago my husband told me that if we “watch our money” he could retire at age 65.  He is now 57. 

My husband had been talking about wanting to retire at 65 instead of 67 ½ but we didn’t think it was possible.  Then he “ran the numbers” and realized that if we were to live a frugal lifestyle that we lived 6 years ago when I lost my job, he could retire early.  Honestly I didn’t think I could go back to living like that because money was so tight.  I worried so much about paying the bills back then but then I realized that this would be different.  Living a frugal lifestyle is easier when you don’t feel desperate to save every single penny.  Frugality because more of a hobby than a necessity.  That is where I am at right now.

My husband doesn’t hate his job.  He enjoys his job but he wants to be free to do other things that he loves.  He coached cross country for years and is now a certified official for cross country and track and he earns around $100 per meet that he officiates at.  This is extra income and we don’t count on it and we wouldn’t count on it during retirement either.  He loves doing this and wants to do it more, hence the talk about retirement.  My husband has been a runner for 46 years and he loves running 10K’s, half marathons and even marathons.  He wants to spend more time running and training.

I love him and I want him to be able to retire at 65 – just 8 short years away.  We are best friends and when he is on vacation, I enjoy him being at home. 

There are a few changes I am going to make on this different Path to Frugality.  I won’t be making my own laundry soap, except when necessary.  While it cleaned okay, I like a name brand detergent that I can afford now as it does a better job.  BUT – if there isn’t a coupon or if it isn’t on sale, the homemade will work for that week.  We are trying to eat as healthy as possible which can be a challenge with the cost of fresh fruit and some fresh veggies.  BUT – we have cut out junk food and when the Farmer’s Market is open in the late spring and summer, I save a lot of money.  I buy country fresh eggs for only $2 a dozen and when the freezer gets low I will be locating and purchasing chicken, beef and pork from local farmers.  This is something I couldn’t afford to do back in 2009 as I didn’t have the money up front to do it.

AND Yes – I will be posting a few times a week as I now have a new take on frugality – not from a point of stress and desperation, but as a choice in order to fulfill a dream of early retirement. 


Anonymous said...

Hooray! I am so glad to hear you will keep the blog and that you are doing well financially. Congratulations on your hard work getting rid of all debt.

We also are focusing on retirement now, but unfortunately, we have the added burden of having to take care of my mother financially as she ages. She has no money aside from her home (which she has a reverse mortgage on) and social security.

Thankfully, we have no debt but I am anticipating healthcare bills for my mother once her reverse mortgage "income" runs out. That alone could wipe us out. Oh yeah, and we also have to save for our own healthcare/long term care in the future. There is a lot to save for yet...

Linda said...

Thank you for resuming your blog -- I certainly look forward to the information and the inspiration you provide.

Lee Ann said...

So happy to hear that you are back. I missed you and the blog!!

midlifemom said...

Glad you will be posting. I look to your blog as motivation when I need to save!