As I mentioned before, we have a lot of expenses coming up in the month of November. Some things I planned for, such as my doggie’s vet visit. Other things we didn’t plan for, such as my appointment with an eye specialist because I am having problems with my right eye. I’m predicting a new prescription for me is in the horizon. Hopefully, they can use the eyeglass frame I already have. Ditto for hubby. He’s having new eyeglasses done this month as well. I don’t want to withdraw money from my savings to cover it all. I’d rather use some of my monthly income to cover a few of these November expenses. That means we have to cut back on some of our monthly expenses. And we all know which category all of us go to first: groceries. That’s because that category is the most adjustible.
So far, from January 1st to now, this is how much our stationary expenses have increased and what we are doing about it to get our monthly budget back in balance.
I’ve only addressed the accounts that have risen the most, due in part to inflation. Gas, food, tolls, electricity, home heating and upcoming Medicare expenses have all increased and there isn’t much we can do about it. I am trying to cut back on our monthly grocery bill by starting to utilize our pandemic stockpile. That should be good for us to continue for at least one year. We installed a pellet stove which will cut down our propane heating bill by 50% (includes the cost of annual pellets). I’ve cancelled all streaming accounts plus discontinued paying for movies online. We bought a Roku device for $29 and it has zillions of freebie TV and movies we can watch for like forever without spending any more money.
I do have one account/investment that I had set up specifically to address upcoming bouts of inflation in our retirement years. Unfortunately no one, including myself, could have ever imagined hyperinflation reaching the highest level that it is reaching right now. With no end in sight. Gas prices have doubled, as well as our normal tolls. Food is sky high. And every retiree has been warned about rising Medicare costs. Just to cover 20 years of a 65 year old couple, they would need $265,000 in savings. Our inflation account is only paying us $375 a month and unfortunately our monthly deficit will soon exceed this amount.
We will NOT tap in to our savings this soon in to our retirement. Instead, DH has taken on a seasonal, part-time job with the intention of saving all of his income so that we can ward off any future deficits.
In the interim we have done the following to further cut down on our bills:
- No paid haircuts. Hubby is very handy with his buzz cut. He’s been doing his hair for years and is now giving me my own buzz (pixie) cut.
- Ditto for our maltipoo doggie. No paid grooming. I bought all the tools, watched YouTube videos and have now mastered grooming my own dog. Except for the nails: vet does them for free.
- No paid restaurant meals. No take-out. No paid pizzas.
- No paid entertainment. The venue must be free.
- No more paid streaming. We bought a Roku @$29 and watch TV & movies for free.
- No buying replacements until the item can no longer be fixed, glued, sewn or repaired.
- Reduced red meat consumption to 2X per month. Chicken, turkey, fish and discounted pork instead.
- More vegetarian meals. More creativity in the bean department!
- No hiring help unless absolutely necessary. More DIY.
- No new clothes. I like going to Goodwill. DH does not.
- All meals are now portion controlled. I lost 5 pounds already. Good for me!
- Shorter hot showers and I limited my hot baths to once per week (preferably Saturday night!)
- I’m back to sewing again (making gifts etc) plus an at-home side job @$18 an hour.
- DH has taken on a seasonal, part-time job @$17 an hr. Hoping to go full season/still part time.
- No RV travel right now. Winter in Florida is cancelled. Spring/Summer/Fall travel will be local.
For now, I think the above procedures my husband and I have incorporated into our retirement lifestyle will work for us. Inflation doesn’t look like it is going to go away any time soon. Nor do I think any of these prices will return to our stratosphere, so we might as well get used to it and adjust. We’re fortunate that DH is still quite ‘young’ in the retirement years and has no qualms about continuing to work.
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