The Pursuit of Frugal March 2015

pursuit of frugal Messy money March 2015Welcome to the pursuit of frugal for March 2015. A few weeks ago I finally sat down and figured out when we can retire. I shared the date and the amount of money we need with husband and his response was, “We will never have the much money.”

I left it for a day or two and then asked him to find a compound interest calculator on the internet and plug in the following:

  • The current balance of our accounts
  • 8 % return (maybe a bit high but wanted to make a point)
  • 20 years

The results:  Over 2 Million Dollars.

His response: “I don’t believe it.”

Not ” Wow, that’s amazing, I don’t believe it!”. No, more like “That is impossible, I don’t believe it.” Sigh.  I will keep trying.

Attempts at Frugalness

WordPress tells me that frugalness is not a word. Our spending has been surprising low (for us anyway). I think that the effort we I have put into managing our expenses is starting to pay off in a noticeable way now. The small things, really do add up.

  • I replaced my cracked car windshield. I managed to reduce the cost by $50 by asking for a discount.  We will be paying for it with credit card rewards so we will not be out-of-pocket.
  • My husband is newspaper crazy. I hate it but there is only so much I can do. He agreed to cancel on the of the papers a few months ago but still clings to one subscription. I called them and asked for a better price and they offered a knock $20 off a month until June. Score!
  • I have a new personal policy on medical, dental and business expenses.  All expenses much be claimed within 48 hours. In the past I have let the claims pile up and linger. This isn’t really saving us money per se, but it will make it easier to budget and manage cashflow.
  • We are going on a road trip! This week we will be travelling to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada to play in an international hockey tournament. There will be teams for US, Canada and England. I can’t wait. I have budgeted $2,000 for the trip and husband has agreed that he will not call me cheap if I try to save on some of the expenses. We want to take in some of the museums and I am going to buy a family museum pass to save on admissions.  We are also going to keep some food in our hotel room (it has a refrigerator) to save on meals. We might keep some beer in there too. 😉

Other News

A real estate agent will be coming to see our messy house in a few weeks to give us an idea of the market value. We came very close to buying another house a few weeks ago (long story), and we want to understand how much money we have to work with.

I started Mindfulness-based stress reduction therapy. I was skeptical but I have learned a lot after only one session!  Such as..

  • I can’t necessarily change all the stress in my life but I can learn to manage my response to it.
  • I am surprised by how physical my response to stress is. (It’s my damn lizard brain!)
  • My stress is nothing compared to others in the class. It is along the lines of, “I was sad that I had no shoes, until I met a man with no feet.” It really puts things in perspective.
  • I can meditate.  I didn’t think it was possible, but the mediation we do is very forgiving and I don’t need to feel like a failure because have trouble controlling my wandering mind.

All that after only one class! I can’t wait to see how I feel after the program.

Well, we are off on our road trip. My passive voice will be back soon.  Thanks for visiting!

17 Comments


  1. We can tell you first hand that compound interest is the magic of increasing you net worth. My wife and I both retired in January of 2014 at the ripe old age of 49. We are enjoying every minute of retirement. So many more things to do than giving your life to your job!

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    1. Congratulations on your early retirement! Impressive. Hope I can join you at some point. I can’t wait to experience life after work. Thanks for visiting.

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  2. Ha I guess your husband has no faith in compound interest. It really does grow on trees honey, that’s what I would say. 2 million that’s awesome, keep it invested. Have fun on the trip.

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    1. Thanks. Compound interest is magical. I hope my husband will come around…..

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  3. It’s hard to comprehend having that much money before you look at the math. Glad you could show your husband the details and show him what is possible!
    Fig @ Figuring Money Out recently posted…Bits & PiecesMy Profile

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  4. I find your husband’s reaction to your retirement calculations so interesting. Just keep on working on him.

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  5. How was your trip to Ottawa? (I wish I had read this right after you had written it!) Which hockey venue did you use? Who are the hockey players in your family? I think that your mindfulness is kicking in with your expenditures. Just being aware of the money coming out of your pocket is huge. And then to think of ways to save – or perhaps to allow these ideas to come to mind – is something even more. I believe your husband will come around. Just wait and see : )
    Prudence Debtfree recently posted…Debt-Reduction Website: fruclassity.comMy Profile

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    1. Thanks PDF. Trip was awesome. I think we were in your neck of the woods. I checked out Fruclassity and it looks great and it is awesome that you have the blogging community behind you (including me!)

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  6. Great to hear you’re enjoying the stress classes! I’m on the fence about being a bit more proactive with my own mental health, especially through the winter.

    What’s up with the move? Is this an upgrade or a downgrade? Haha, I’m sure I don’t have to remind you, but moving is the WORST!
    Jonny recently posted…Wealth – The Happiness Illusion?My Profile

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  7. Simply asking for a discount seriously works on so many occasion. I got $60 of credits from TDwaterhouse as they were only giving away new investors free trades so I asked for some compensation. I received a 10% discount on a restaurant that my work place is at. All we have to do is asking nicely to get that easy and fast discount.

    Thanks for the posting.

    BSR
    BeSmartRich recently posted…Recent Buy- Home Capital Group Inc (HCG) +$63 annual dividendMy Profile

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  8. May, you astound me! You really have this financial thing in the bag. I think your husband just needs to read this fantastic blog I love to frequent. “messymoney.com”. Then he’ll be a believer for sure! 🙂

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  9. I had the same opinion as your husband for a while. “Early retirement, it can’t be done. It takes too much Money!” It wasn’t until I went digging into the details, mainly as a defense strategy against ER, that I found out, “Holy cow, it CAN be done!” He’ll come around, so don’t give up.
    We also stay in places with refrigerators and kitchens and cook most of our meals when on vacation. Granted, 2 young kids means we’re tied to our room from 7pm onward, but it’s great for cutting down on travel related costs.
    Mr. SSC recently posted…Commuting takes its’ “Toll”!My Profile

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    1. Thanks – I will keep working with him and hope he will have his own epiphany. He has shown interest in “getting off the grid” so that might be my way in. LOL

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