Saturday, December 29, 2007

Frivolous Purchases

Trent at The Simple Dollar has a great post today about how he talks himself out of frivolous purchases. I am always inspired by the different things he is able to do since I haven't been able to put tactics in place to improve my self control. I admit that I often set myself up for frivolous purchases. This past December has been a huge spending month for my husband and I. Some of the purchases were sorely needed (e.g. some sweaters for me to replace the ones that I wore out over the summer). Others were more frivolous purchases that I will use, but that I don't need (e.g. the new suit I bought).

I am planning on doing a tally on how much my husband and I spend on clothes for me in the month of December. Since I don't track our finances that closely, I won't know how that compares with other months, but I'm thinking the amount spent in the month of December is probably similar to the amount spent the rest of the year.

I need to work better at resisting the $2 chocolate chip cookies at Mrs. Fields while I'm out shopping. I need to think, "Do I want a house, or do I want this cookie?" And when I do resist these items, I need to save them elsewhere so the savings don't get frittered away on other items.

Friday, December 28, 2007

I Didn't Mean to Stop Blogging

. . .it just sort of happened. Once you get out of a habit, it's a lot harder to get back on track.

Recently I've been struggling a lot with how my husband and I spend our money. There are so many things that we want to do, that we can afford to do. But each of these little things that we do gets in the way of my larger goal of early retirement (it should be noted that my husband does not share the same goal of early retirement and is afraid that I'll bug him all day at work if I retire early).

One of the main issues is that our goals are so murky and undefined. Yes, we're saving a lot of money (we make almost the same amount of money and we save the equivalent of one after tax salary) and the money goes to retirement, emergency fund, and our down payment fund. However, we've never calculated how much we would need for me to retire early (and become the primary caretaker of our future kids). We've only done rough calculations on a home purchase (we know the max we could pay for a house and the max we want to pay for a house).

For 2008, I hope to get more defined goals, especially around how I'm going to progress towards early retirement (for me, early retirement means that I will be able to work at something I love, not just something I like, with the flexibility to quit whenever I want).

C and I are off for a vacation for this upcoming weekend, but expect to see more posts in early January, including a post where I define some goals and talk about how I did on my goals from 2007.