My name is Helene and I am newly retired. Well, almost. I was a tax accountant for years – and loved it. While so many people hate tax season, I love the challenge of every return. They are all different and they always provide me a challenge. It’s kind of like a big puzzle. It’s been my life and I made a good living. Even in retirement, I still do a few taxes for clients I’ve worked with for years. It’s not hard, keeps me sharp on the tax laws and earns me a bit of play money during the busy season.
I’ve been divorced for years. I think I’ve been on my own longer than I’ve been married. I have three grown children and six grand-children who are the apple of my eye.
I live in a two-bedroom condo, that’s fully paid for; own my car and don’t have many other expenses. Of course, I my overspend on my poodle – Cottonball! I couldn’t live without her!
I golf in a women’s league once a week, take an easy yoga class at the health center, and I love to travel. I recently got back from two weeks in Paris. I thought I’d track my expenses for the week, well because I am a numbers person, and because I just thought it was a great experiment to see what I really spend. Here’s what I learned:
Golf with my girlfriends: $75
Lunch after golf: $28
Grocery shopping for the week: $72
Specialty Dog food for Cottonball: $38
Cleaning lady: $110
New walking shoes: $140
Box of golf balls: $85
Dinner with a friend: $48
Weekly hair appt: $85
Cottonball grooming: $95
Salad to bring to a family dinner: $32
3 Grandkids to movies: $78
Brunch after church $48
Bucket of balls: $25
This was a great exercise – just to see what I spend on a weekly basis. If you’d have told me I spent over $1000 a week, I would have disagreed – but now I see where my money goes. There’s not much to argue with here. I am retired and enjoying the perks of life like golf, someone to clean my house and taking my grandchildren out.
I have saved way over a million dollars while working over my lifetime, and although I do go on nice trips, I don’t anticipate outliving my money.
The one thing that really scares me though – is that I don’t have Long Term Care insurance. If something were to happen to me, I am sure I could go through my money pretty quickly. I am healthy and both my parents lived into their 90’s. Being alone, I think I do need to look into some insurance that could assist me as I age, so my children are not burdened with my care.
No matter what stage of life you are, or how much money you have, tracking your money for just one week is really a good way to see where your money goes.