Just Because You’re Retired Doesn’t Mean You Stop Saving.

Somewhere along my retirement journey, I forgot the importance of saving money. I had gotten so used to just constantly pulling money out of my savings account that I had totally forgotten that I also had to put some money back in. Duh?

saving-money-for-travelNo worries. It took my thick skull a bit of reminding, but I am happy to say that I am back on track to refreshing my savings accounts rather than the other way around. Even though we are retired, we still need that $1000 Emergency Fund. We also need goal-centered savings accounts. For me, I needed to set up a ‘gas’ account for when we RV travel on vacation. I never realized that round trip gas for us to Florida, based on today’s fuel costs, came to around $900. With DH not working as much, we can no longer rely on his paycheck to cover extraordinary expenses. We need to plan for it. Thus, the start of our ‘gas’ account.

So, how do you set up a savings account in retirement when all your income is geared towards spending? We did it by looking over all our expenses and seeing what we could cut back on. Whatever we could cut back on or simply eliminate became the extra money we needed to put into a savings account. For us, it was cutting back on groceries, doing more menu planning, more cooking at home from scratch, totally eliminating meals out (what was more important? eating in a restaurant or lounging on a beach in Florida during the cold winter months?)

We cut out entertainment costs by only going to freebies. There’s a plethora of free things to do in our neck of the woods. The secret is to be vigilant and search social media for free things to do. I also scoured the local libraries around me and found a lot of free activities to keep me happy, occupied and solvent.

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My home made banana bread. Looks great, right?

In other words, DH and I started to prioritize what was important to us and what wasn’t. We also started brainstorming on how we could earn more money to put towards a savings account. One idea was to eliminate frequent flyer charge cards and replace them with cash back reward cards (paying at least 2%). We quickly starting coming up with extra cash (in $25 increments) that we transferred over into our newly formed savings account. DH put in some extra hours at work. I monetized my blog and also took on more computer work.

Once I made the mental switch from spending to saving, it became an obsession with me. I’m starting to enjoy seeing my savings account increase rather than see my original savings account decrease. I hadn’t realized that you can save money in retirement! What a concept!

I set up a budget account with my propane (heating) supplier. Rather than try to cough up $500 to $600 per delivery, we evened out the billing to $180 a month for 10 months. This will help out our monthly budget tremendously. I also had two CDs come due (@ a measly 1.25% and rolled them over to a CD paying 2.70%) DH and I are going to need expensive dental work soon (ah! old age! you gotta love it!). So, I enrolled us into a great, low cost ($43 a month for the two of us) dental plan that covers all preventative treatments, cleanings and routine work 100% (no deductible). The interest earned on the two rollover CD’s will fund our monthly dental insurance expense.

I started watching YouTube videos of other people, who were living on less and saving more. One of my favorites is this lady called Kate (Coffee With Kate). She and her husband (who earns minimum wage) along with their two young sons, live on about $30,000 a year. Kate does this by moving out of an expensive California neighborhood and buying a 1000 sq foot home (built in 1941 and a pure fixer-upper) in a seedy neighborhood and revamping the whole place. She and her husband worked tirelessly to bring the smallish home back to life, set up a garden, plant fruit trees, vegetable gardens and gorgeous flower beds. Once Kate revamped her home, so did her neighbors. Her seedy neighborhood is seedy no more. Kate makes money from vlogging and writing books. Her husband, despite earning a minimum wage, works long hours BUT his job is right down the block. Kate cooks from scratch, buys organic whenever she can, does her best to keep a clean and orderly home AND makes a mean cup of coffee!

Here’s a video of Kate’s before and after home remodeling, sure to inspire. Enjoy:

 

PS: Side Note. I did get a little slack about those hydrangeas I bought last week. Please be advised that I bought those plants at Aldi’s. I was food shopping that day and my weekly budget is $100. When I put those two plants in my shopping cart (value @$11.99 each X 2= $23.98) I had to take food items OUT of my cart to balance the budget back to the $100 limit. I put back meat, and other expensive food items to make room for the hydrangeas. My husband and I discussed the purchase right there in the grocery food isles. I had always wanted hydrangeas in my garden but we could never afford them. The Aldi sale price was within reason for me, finally, so I made the leap and purchased them. Flowers bring me happiness. That’s what I figured out from watching Kate’s vlogs. She may be financially challenged, but she so enjoys sitting out in her garden every day and drinking a cup of really good coffee. Sometimes people, life doesn’t get any better than that.

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Live well and prosper, my friend. Live well and prosper.
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14 comments

  1. Dear twin, separated at birth, we, too, have an emergency savings account, both for emergencies or if intact for some time, we dip into it for something else. It was getting quite high and we were smiling to ourselves for being so brilliant. Then I had a toothache and I left the dental office $3600 poorer. The pain had moved to my wallet. But we easily had the money in that account, so didn’t feel as bad as I might. Totally interested in your dental insurance. Can you tell us the name?

    Also, hydrangeas are my favorite flower in the whole world. I buy some cheapies every single year at Lowe’s, even though I live in the sizzling hot desert (109 degrees yesterday). I have a tiny bit of shade on the back patio and can grow three pots worth, no more. I love driving past houses in other states that have yards full of hydrangea bushes.

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    • Hi Anne. You’re so funny! I was worried about our dental care. got our insurance through Humana. It’s a plan specified for NY. All preventative care is covered 100% with no deductible. We have a $150 a year deductible for everything else (crowns, bridges etc.) but only up to $1000 each per year. I’m hoping we never go above that but you made me think. If we do, we have our newly established emergency fund.
      My Newport RI beach house was drenching in hydrangeas. As was my Long Island home too. I really missed them. Now, we’re all together again. People don’t realize that flowers are a living thing. They respond and connect to humans.
      Share the love!
      Enjoy your desert heat because its still cold here in New York! UGH! (fall like)
      Thanks for your comment, Anne.

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  2. Hi Cindi, I just had a feeling this was going to be your next blog! After exchanging so many emails.
    In the 21 years of retirement only one year last year came close to not increasing the bottom line and saving something because I do prioritize long term future goals over short term impulse purchases. And prioritize my wants. Savings can be done by always living a little below your means and skimming a little for your savings off the top.
    I have a few suggestions to get even more savings on your food budget that really work.
    What ever meat you have in the freezer, use one third of the meal for another meal. Instead of eating three pieces of chicken use a third on top of your salads or chicken salad sandwiches Or stretch it by making stirfrys that are two dinners and a lunch or adding spaghetti for Lomein and make Chinese or Japanese noodle soup by adding home made broth and angel hair or vermicelli and some soy sauce or coconut aminos. Stretch your ground beef by making 2 skinnier burgers and use the rest in another way.
    When I-make home broth I make it concentrated and fill one ice cube tray for flavor cubes to add to dishes. After they are frozen I store in a clean bread wrapper instead of zip lock purchase bags.
    Count the total protein in a days meals. You need at least 45 grams but I usually have around sixty grams easily after this you just are creating expensive pee!
    Make your sandwiches open face or as lettuce wraps and stretch your bread for twice as long. When making pizza make two garlic butter breadsticks (the pizza crust is a little thinner less calories) to go along with your salad the next day. Sincerely, Lara

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    • Hi Lara. It’s difficult for me to realize that I had forgotten all about savings for so, so long. What a nincompoop I was. Duh? I was just so used to constantly transferring money over to my checking to cover my bills. I thought it was an infinity well. OMFG. Anyway, I’ve made the switch highlighting savings over spending and now I’m on the war path to save, save, save.
      I made roasted chicken last night, the one that I got for $1.49 a pound per package. The pac included 4 breast, 4 thighs and 4 legs. I cut in in half (2-2-2) and froze both pacs. We saved one of the cooked chicken breasts and Nick sliced it and we had chicken sandwiches today with mayo and cranberry sauce. YUM! I’m freezing the larger bones to make a broth later on. I like the ice cube idea.
      I’m learning. We’re really nearing closer to a total retirement than I realized. Until you are actually living in a retirement state of mine, nothing can prepare you for what it really is like. Not getting a steady paycheck is a frightening thing! Not being able to work overtime is even worse. Who knew?
      Live and learn.
      Live and learn.
      Thanks again Lara!

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  3. Yep had given you all the details transfer Fidelity CDs to Merrill $250 become Premier Honors jewel and Bank if America 123 card is enhanced by 75%.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It is all your fault that I haven’t gotten a thing done today. I’ve been reading Kate Singh’s blog and watching her YouTube. She is wonderful and I love her attitude. Now I’ve got to go get something done!! 😜

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    • Florence, that’s so funny! Isn’t she mesmerizing. I love her and her two adorable sons. You only get wisps of her husband. Kate is an inspiration! Now go do something! LOL

      Like

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