I can feel my belt tightening already
Most of you will know that OH retired at the end of November and now we are finally getting to see what this will mean for our finances. We opted to draw down as little as possible from his annuity for the next five years while I am still working in order to preserve as much capital as possible.
The reality of this decision, whilst financially sound, is going to put a bit of a spoke in our wheels. The coming year will be a learning curve in that every purchase will have to be justified if we are to keep within our reduced budget.
It won’t be all frugality though; one has to find the balance between living in the present and preparing for the future which could be months, 5 years, twenty years or more. I think I’m pretty good at saving money when it comes to food shopping. I can make a little go a long way and OH is not a fussy eater. We don’t buy many luxuries in the food department and never any processed or prepared foods. Winter is much easier than summer in that regard as healthy soups, stews and casseroles can be made in bulk and frozen in portion sizes and I already do a lot of that. Summer is more difficult as we both love salads and salad ingredients have a short shelf life as does summer fruit.
Eating out will definitely have to be one of the pleasures that we enjoy less of although we don’t go crazy there either. Our theatre season tickets will definitely stay as half-price shows are a pensioner’s friend and it’s normally a great night out. We will make more use of our Discovery movie benefit and watch out for specials and deals that we can enjoy without a guilty conscience.
I’ve had some experience in belt tightening in my lifetime and I’m hoping that the things I learnt in the past will come back to me now that I need to budget more carefully again. I would love to hear from others at this stage of life what adjustments they have made and what advice they can offer.
Obviously if OH should be offered some contract / consultant work he would seriously consider it but I do think that having reached 65 and having survived both leukaemia and a heart attack he deserves to take it easy now.
I’d better get back to work since I’m now the main breadwinner 😉