I think I've convinced DH to shorten his retirement date by four months, from January 2024 to September 2023. He's fed up with the work environment, the laziness of his coworkers, and the fear his boss has in losing staff, even bad ones, so let's their behavior continue. I'd love for him to say enough this fall, but he wants to one, wait until DD2 graduates, and two, after he turns 62. He may not draw on social security then, but wants the safety net that he could.
I'm not going to say I have no concerns financially of being the only earner, but they are minimal. The extra four months is huge for both our morale. He can get ease into full retirement by cutting back to no weekends, including Friday if he chooses. That alone would be a game changer. I look at how much we try cramming into his small windows of days off, and combat with both his physical and mental exhaustion, and it's no wonder we're both cranky with each other so much.
It's not so much a goal reset, but a financial audit heading into the 12 month countdown. Some are tied into my self imposed money challenges. Others are to help improve our current quality of life, while moving into a different life style.
- Realistically look at what we are spending on meals out of the house including DH's lunches. This week aside ( because budget be damned when I've got all my kids around), we easily have $200 a month spent on meals out that brought no added enjoyment, and likely were detrimental to our health. This is above planned nights out with or without friends or family. He's got to cut his fast food lunches by half or more. Cutting this out still gives us room in our budget to meet up with friends, take our kids or his mom out, or a nice meal for two, but keeps $1,800-$2,400 in our pockets.
- Get the bathroom and deck/ patio scheduled so both are done and paid for before he retires. I know his mindset. Seeing thousands of dollars go out the door without means to replace savings, even if earmarked, will play mental tricks on him. Better to know these are done while he's got a paycheck.
- Make list and schedule all the minor household tasks that are not fully done. Rank them in order of requirements. This might be silly, but there are stupid issues not taken care of that hurt our quality of life. Replacing and painting a board below the front window, replacing the florescent light bulb tube in the laundry room, the ceiling fix in the downstairs bathroom, and the gas fireplace insert repair are all on that list of annoyances. Again, just having our house feel more maintained will help him transition, and me feel like he won't be interfering with my work day if these all wait until then.
- In light of inflation, review every line item of our budget to see if it's accurate or not. This needs to be done quarterly, starting in September. Tweaks can be made on some spending and we can look at frivolous outputs that aren't for a need or giving us joy, to shore up the lines.
- Examine why we do what we do, and make subtle changes for the fiscal better. Even if DH isn't big on leftovers, I can still double batch items for a future week. I've talked about cutting a streaming service and getting an antenna instead of Direct TV. We need to actually do this. It's just wasteful at this point.