Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Planning for 2016 ( Part I )

It's just a few short weeks until 2016. This is the time of the year when Hubby and I set our financial goals for the coming year. We realized many years ago that if you don't know where you are going, you can't get there.

Let me tell you who we are so that you will know why we do certain things. We are frugal homebodies. We haven't always been as frugal as we are now. We enjoyed our first six years of marriage doing the normal things that newlyweds do. We threw parties, went out with friends almost every weekend, furnished a home, bought lots of clothes, traveled with friends, and ate expensive meats. However the one thing we never did was use credit to pay for these things. We used cash that we could have invested for future goals. The frugal things we did do was max out our retirement accounts, open taxable  mutual fund accounts and savings accounts, and save for a 20% down payment on our first home which we bought a year and a half after our marriage. 

After we found out that we were pregnant with our first child we knew that things had to change. We became pretty much the homebodies we are today. We still had friends over and threw parties. Most of our friends had children too and this became the norm for all of us. But we stopped wasting our money on things that didn't fulfill us. We saved for our children's education and we started really thinking about early retirement and how we could achieve that in our early 50's. We felt that would be after the children were out of college. We finally retired when our last child had graduated.

It was not an easy path since my husband was the sole provider for most of those years. We made choices based on our goals. Hubby even changed jobs so that he could better provide for our family's future. We did our best to live very frugally so that we could build our net income. But it was a path that we were fully invested in. When we decided to send our children to an expensive private school for junior high and high school, I found a job that would help pay for that. Having saved for college, our children had choices. One went to a public college and the other went to a private college. 

Today, we still are the homebodies we became back in our 20's. We enjoy our home which will most likely be our last. It was paid for in cash. We furnished it so that we would be comfortable and surrounded by things of beauty. It is a pleasure to stay home. We do have close friends who we party with and dine out with. But less frequently than when we were 19. Our children and grandchildren are close enough that we see one family weekly and one every 10-12 weeks. That is all we need to be happy.

We never kept up with the "Joneses" and still don't. Most of the "Joneses" we knew are scrimping now that they are retired. A lot of them are living on Social Security trying to make ends meet. They didn't plan for their future. Please don't make that mistake. It's not fun deciding whether you eat or pay for an expensive drug you need. Most of the people I knew would not go to a food bank or take any kind of handout even if they needed it. They are too proud.
Now that you know a little bit about who we are, let's get back to our 2016 goals.The largest one is:

- Save $50,000. to add to investments and savings. We always have to be mindful of inflation. Our income today if it was the same as when we retired 14 and 1/2 years ago would have lost over 42% of it's purchasing power. Fortunately we have saved and invested as much as could so that we don't have to worry about future inflation. We would also like to leave our children and grandchildren a nice nest egg. Since we don't buy into making corporations rich by buying every little thing, we believe that we can do  this by making a series of cuts and living on as little as possible this coming year.

Since this post is getting too long, I will give you a brief synopsis in my next post on how we hope to accomplish this large goal.

To be continued............


  1. Wow, what a wonderful goal! I hope that you are able to save $50,000 this year. Looking forward to reading more of your tips. We are debt free also since we paid off our mortgage in November. I was hoping that we would be able to put that money in savings, but $3000 vet bills and $500 car repairs have limited our savings. Hoping to ramp up the savings in April while still enjoying some luxuries like a weekend getaway.
    Hope you have a great year.

  2. Again congrats on paying off your mortgage. Vet bills will do that. Good luck with your savings in April. Enjoy your getaway.