Holly continued working a few hours through the end of 2018, so we still had paychecks and health insurance. January was our first month without any money coming in from a traditional paycheck. We thought we were going to be super cool about the whole thing, but we might have freaked out just a little.
We became complete cheapskates overnight. Seriously. Here’s a list of some of our cheapskate moves:
- Started eating in for every meal. No eating out. No happy hours. No takeout. Just glad Carter didn’t start having us go to Costco to get free samples for lunch. 😊
- Didn’t buy anniversary cards. We agreed to not buy cards for each other since that would have cost ~$15. Pre-retirement we wouldn’t have given cards a second thought.
- Started combing through weekly grocery ads. If ground beef is on sale this week, that’s what we’re eating!
- Started going to movies on Tuesdays only. AMC has $5 movies all day on Tuesdays, so that’s our entertainment till we settle into our new lifestyle.
- Rethought BINGO night. In the past, we’ve won every time we’ve played bingo in our community. Not last week. NONE of us won. Made us think twice about spending $15 each to watch everyone else win. 😊
- Rethought the drive to the gym. Holly goes to the gym 4-5 times per week. We never even thought about the mileage to and from the gym (probably 1 gallon of gas each time) until this month.
- Emptied our Amazon cart. We usually have at least 3-4 things in our Amazon cart just waiting to purchase everything at once. It’s hard to believe it, but we’ve gone an entire month without ordering anything from Amazon.
Saving money, looking for deals, and a healthy level of concern is a good way to live, but we’ve got to figure out a way to balance saving money with having a good time and not worrying too much.
We’re trying to take a deep breath and remain calm. We have plenty of money to live on, but something kicked in and we’ve both been hesitant to spend any money AT ALL. Retiring early is what we wanted; now we need to be OK with spending money and actually enjoying ourselves…on a budget! If you have any psychology advice, let us know!