I'm making tacos for supper right now. I have roughly one pound of ground beef simmering on the stove, Spanish rice warming, and I'll add a side of refried beans. When I made taco's a few weeks ago, I used some already browned beef form the freezer, probably slightly way less than a pound, so when cooking, I only used 1/2 the packet of seasoning. I wanted to use that one up and thought I would just add chili powder if it needed more. I gave it a taste and decided it is just fine the way it is. Half of the packet was just fine. Not to get to reflective over a packet of seasoning, it does make me think how much of something is really needed, vs. what is just habit?
I regularly find partially drank cups of coffee laying around-left one on my desk all day today, and ended up throwing about 20% of it. I bought the 20 ounce cup at the gas station when the 16 would have been perfectly adequate. Growing up as a member of the clean plate club, I still often over eat because of not wanting to waste when I should have just had much smaller portions to begin with. I've been conscientious about the portion sizes in restaurants of late, and have done well the last two time going out boxing up half my entree and eating for a second meal.
I could apply the question of need to housecleaning products or house cleaning in general-how much do I need to clean my house? I'm kidding about the second part-no one would accuse me of over cleaning. But I do find I aimlessly douse the toilet bowl with cleaner, give the dish water a big squeeze of dish soap, and pour a full cap into the washing machine without thought. Wasting money and sending more product down the drain than is probably needed.
These are the mundane habits that I don't think about, just do, and in that am probably using more resources than needed. The bigger picture though is how much do I need financially in the future. A new reader, and welcome Wendy at The Contented Cavern, shares how at 56 she decided to take back her personal life and retired early. In the US, the age of retirement keeps getting pushed back later and later. If it is still viable, I'm not eligible for social security until I am 67. Never been one to rely on the government doing well with their checkbook, DH and I have been in charge of our own retirement planning, aiming for 64 for him, and 62 for me. He'll have a head start on me by two years.
Lately though, as I read about more early retirees, or at least folks who have left the 9-5 grind for very part time work to supplement savings, I am rethinking my timeline, and what we really need to live off of. We have one more child to get through college, hopefully a few weddings to help fund, and I still want to do some travel and support charitable causes. Even so, knocking off a few years from our timeline sounds pretty good right now, and with planning, doable. It comes down to a question of how much do I need, now and then. Less needs now, means more funds for then. Less needs then, means additional time I can chip off the timeline.
If you are working outside the home, what is your target age to stop working in your current schedule? Have you changed any behaviors to help you accomplish the goal?
|I don't know where this picture is from, but I thought the timeline for |
ramen noodles was funny. I hope to not have to eat ramen noodles in retirement.