I know… It’s been a long time since I’ve posted. I just had way more time to write when I lived a regular life of working 9-5. I could write during my lunch break, in the morning before the kids got up or at night after the kids went to bed. Now, the kids get up super early and I seem to sleep in a little more than before (probably because I am way more active and need more rest). And now when I get any kind of break I just always find other things to do that are more pressing.
I definitely love this new lifestyle. I have much less stress than I did while working in a regular job. I feel a lot more fulfilled and feel like my days are way more productive than before. I was hoping that in June things would slow down and I would have more time to write but we just found out that one of our tenants is leaving this week (without notice). But its a blessing because this unit is in desperate need of updating and is extremely under market value for the area, so we will be increasing our cash flow substantially once it’s re rented.
A lot of things about being retired have been way different than I expected and I’ve also noticed a lot of things that have changed about myself in this short amount of time.
5 Observations Since Being Retired
- I almost always give the right away to other cars. In this small town there are 4-way stops at every street corner so when we are driving or biking into town we face a dozen on each journey. I haven’t made a point of doing this but just noticed that I am always giving the go ahead to all the regular people around town. Even when I know I’m the first one stopped and even when I’m on the bike. I guess we just aren’t as much in a rush anymore.
- We are spending much less on food than I thought. I was anticipating our grocery bill to go up slightly since we would be feeding the kids all day now (in daycare, snacks and lunch were provided). But since being settled in our new place, we have lots of pantry space and we’ve been strategically grocery shopping. We’ve been buying huge amounts of non perishables when they are on deep discount. A couple examples in the last month were pasta for $0.80 a bag and salmon for $2 a can. We buy 3 to 4 months worth when we see these prices. Even though we’re in a small town, we still have lots of selection. There is a No Frills that always has really good prices on everything. Especially produce. We also have a Metro where we get to redeem our large accumulation of Air Miles. We plan to make a Costco run every few months and we are still taking advantage of Walmart’s great prices on certain non perishables. Walmart delivers all the way to our small town for free as long as we spend $50. Sometimes I wonder how they even make any money. Last week we ordered 5 bags of oatmeal, 2 packages of chow mein noodles, 2 bottles of soya sauce, some pasta sauce and some diapers all for about $55. The package arrived in about 2 business days and was in 3 large boxes which I estimate would normally cost close to $30 in shipping. So they are definitely losing money on our orders.
- I seem to drink more beer than before. I would normally only have a beer or 2 on weekends as a working person. But now with the workweek no longer defined, I seem to be enjoying a beer a little more often. I’m trying to limit myself to 2 days per week and just a couple of beers but on some of these hot days after working really hard for a few hours it’s hard to pass up a beer.
- I love living in small town much more than I expected. The biggest reason is because how easy biking has become. We have biked nearly 150 km just in the month of May and have been taking the car out sometimes only once a week. The other day, I biked my son to school. Then with my daughter still in the trailer, we biked to 2 different grocery stores, the Dollarama plus picked up rent money from a tenant. And then picked up my son back at school. We biked about 12 km in total and I had over 50lbs of groceries along with the 2 kids in the trailer.
- We are going to use a lot less gas. We are on track to gas up once every 2 months unless we go on a long distance trip. So our $2,400 gas expense in 2017 will go way way down. A full tank only costs us $50. So this number should be $300 a year plus the gas we use for travelling (i.e. our east cost trip). This will put us closer to the MMM household figure.
I will provide an overall financial update soon. Even with overlapping bills from our old places in Ottawa we are spending around $2000 a month. And that includes still lots of house repair expenses (finishing touches on the renovations).