Author Topic: Shutting off spending leaks to fund fun - Post-Fire freedom!  (Read 1000 times)

Moustachienne

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Shutting off spending leaks to fund fun - Post-Fire freedom!
« on: December 01, 2017, 06:59:38 PM »
DH and I retired a few months ago and have gotten serious about fixing some suboptimal expenses.  Pre-Fire we had a 60-70% savings rate so didn't focus on every opportunity to dial everything down. And some expenses were related to work.

Now we have the time, changing needs, and no further excuses to not turn off the leaks! We've reduced newspaper subscription (may cancel) and cut off house alarm monitoring, among other small things, but the big impact changes are:

Cleaners cancelled - $2300/yr saved
Property taxes deferred - $5000/yr saved (due when we sell the property but until then equivalent to 1% loan cost)
Transit costs reduced - $1000/yr saved
Insurance for one car only - $1400/yr saved

So without pain (well, we do miss the biweekly cleaners) we have "found" $9600 to redirect to other more pleasurable goals. Being in our spending rather than accumulating phase, we don't need to direct this money to savings.  We get to figure out how to spend it for maximum value!  This feels incredible to us.

Next up, getting serious about that cable bill.

terran

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Re: Shutting off spending leaks to fund fun - Post-Fire freedom!
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2017, 09:36:10 PM »
Nice! Where will you redirect it?

soccerluvof4

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Re: Shutting off spending leaks to fund fun - Post-Fire freedom!
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2017, 04:08:06 PM »
Well done! I am sure you will find many many other areas yet where you can save if not by just doing more things yourself.
" In life you don't get what you deserve you get what you negotiate"

Larsg

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Re: Shutting off spending leaks to fund fun - Post-Fire freedom!
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2017, 09:53:39 PM »

Insurance for one car only - $1400/yr saved

Next up, getting serious about that cable bill.
[/quote]

Congratulations and great work! For car insurance, we were recently shocked when we got our renewal from Allstate that was 500 more than last year - no incidents in over 15 years and our car is over 12 yrs old so for no good reason it increased. Did an online search and found that progressive offered us the best deal, avoiding the 500 increase, plus an additional 500 in savings so I would check it out.

For cable, we cut the cord back in 2008, saving 600 per year x 10 years in Jan will be 6000 base + investment earnings.
Also, we have had no land line since 2000. We use very low cost cell phone service and then if at home, we never use cells, we only use skype that is entirely FREE in the US or Google Talk, also FREE. Microsoft headphones for Skype make the sound crysatal celar - they cost ~35-40$ on AMZN and have been well worth it.

Pls keep sharing as we are not retired yet but well on our way and planning in 18 or 19.

Moustachienne

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Re: Shutting off spending leaks to fund fun - Post-Fire freedom!
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2017, 09:13:10 AM »
Thanks!  I posted this in Post-Fire as the changes would be a very humble brag in Share Your Badassity.  In fact, it's embarrassing that we didn't plug some of these leaks and others years ago (the home alarm monitoring was over $500/yr!).

It was a combination of being "too busy" while working, as well as our overall high savings rate and dialled down lifestyle.  A classic example of the Not Paying Attention Tax!

Now that we are FIRE (not as early some on here but still great for us - we're 60) we are still working on shifting our mindset from saving to spending - and trying to get a bead on what "spending" will look like now.  We haven't close tracked for years as we had a pretty good bead on what our basic working lifestyle cost as tracked by savings rate, dumb leaks aside.  But now we have a new life, with time for new hobbies, travel, and other activities (concerts, courses, plays!).   We are in the fun stage of figuring out what activities have the most value for us and how to spend wisely on them.

Saving from these recently dealt with leaks will go into our new activities and some deferred home decor improvements. We still have the drapes that came with the house 20+ years ago and they're looking a bit faded.  :)    For the first time in years we've set up (healthy) monthly allowances for each of us for optional spending.  This helps to put a ceiling on DH's spending as he's an enthusiastic hobbyist and a floor on my saving as I have trouble spending unless I'm sure we can afford it.  Win-win.

Side note- there is government auto insurance in our jurisdiction so no opportunity/need to shop around.  We replaced two infrequently driven cars (2000 and 2004) with one (2015).  Newer car so a bit more insurance on it, e.g. collision.  OMG - the tech changes since 2000/2004 are incredible!  We keep cars a long time but now think we will rent one every 5 years or so just to see what's new in even base level cars.  Our new to us car isn't the fanciest level but still - auto almost everything and we're still being surprised by "features". 


Dicey

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Re: Shutting off spending leaks to fund fun - Post-Fire freedom!
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2017, 10:15:39 AM »
Side note- there is government auto insurance in our jurisdiction so no opportunity/need to shop around.  We replaced two infrequently driven cars (2000 and 2004) with one (2015).  Newer car so a bit more insurance on it, e.g. collision.  OMG - the tech changes since 2000/2004 are incredible!  We keep cars a long time but now think we will rent one every 5 years or so just to see what's new in even base level cars.  Our new to us car isn't the fanciest level but still - auto almost everything and we're still being surprised by "features".
Oh boy is this true! I went from my former company car, a 2007 Dodge Grand Caravan, to a 2014 [different vehicle] last year. What a DIFFERENCE!

On the housecleaners: I use this service. There's a lot they don't do, like laundry, and changing the linens. Having them here on a regular basis forces me to keep up with all the other parts of the household, and for that alone, it's well worth it, IMO. You might consider keeping them, but on a gradually lower frequency, just to help you maintain a baseline.
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infromsea

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Re: Shutting off spending leaks to fund fun - Post-Fire freedom!
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2017, 01:00:28 PM »
We've reduced newspaper subscription (may cancel)

We did the same thing. Initially, it was painful, I read the obituaries daily to remind myself that this is all finite and I love having the paper to use for defrosting meat/draining cooked bacon/painting etc. but I've gotten used to not having it and I don't miss it too much. I didn't read it for anything other than local content anyway, much of which was getting too "internty" and "social media" type of articles. Some are forecasting "hyper-local" writings as the future, seeing the growth of niche zines in paper again, I think they might be right and, they are mostly free.

Congrats on your progress!