Friday, October 8, 2010

Budgeting for a fixed income

Simple, isn't it?
You have either been doing it all of your life
or not.
We have, but it has not been precise
A year before retiring we wrote down, in general,
how much we spent.
This is different than how much we thought we would spend.

Categories began to emerge.
First ones are easy:
taxes, travel, food in, food out, gasoline, electricity....
The next categories were a bit more complicated:
Car repair (is an oil change a repair?),
clothing purchases (is that a part of our individual allowances?),
pet fees (we never tracked that one- should we track their food as well?).

Slowly I saw the trends.
The taxes and insurance are far more than I expected.
20% of our budget goes to those.
That is AFTER we paid our mortgage off.
The dogs are another surprising expense.
Even though we cannot see our lives without them
there is a cost to having your furry friend at home.

We spend far more on our adult children than either of our parents ever did.
That is something to process.
Are we giving them too much- and in turn a false sense of security?

When we stopped working full time our gasoline expenses and clothing costs dropped dramatically.
I shouldn't be surprised, but I am.

It is important to continue saving for the end of retirement
so I decided to work part time for that. Substitute teaching.
We are both young.
Most likely I have 45 years and my husband 30 according to
how long our parents lived.

There is a lot to process.
Anyone have a better way of working through it?

No comments:

Post a Comment