Frank and I have been living the encore career lifestyle for about three years. During the two years before we decided to take the plunge from our CAREERS to our encore careers we worked over our household monthly expenses, debits and credits endlessly. We worried, planned, talked, and were terrified of making a financial mistake.
Managing a household budget is a well-documented best practice for families. And creating budget scenarios for a new lifestyle is a smart planning activity. Still, I am thrilled to share what we learned after we jumped off the hamster wheel into our version 2.0 selves.
- Dry cleaning: almost all the business clothes I owned had care instructions like “Hand wash and lay flat to dry or may be dry cleaned”. Guess which option I chose. D’oh… We went from a $75/month dry cleaning bill to $0/month.
- Groceries: I was the queen of take-out. Grocery shopping, if at all, was squeezed in between 6:00-6:30pm when I was starving, cranky, and filled with dread about shopping, much less cooking! Now we make a weekly menu, then a grocery shopping list, then spend a few minutes clipping coupons. We cut our food expenses by $400/month.
- Clothes and shoes: do the words Retail Therapy resonate with you? Even though my daily mantra was “I have no me time” somehow I found time to shop online. Shopping was sort of a warped reward that I gave myself. Exit first career, welcome encore career and my monthly clothing budget decreased by $200/month.
- Magazines: while I waited in line at Target or the grocery store I was such a compliant impulse buyer to the tune of about $60/month. Good grief.
- Last but not least is a crazy category of spending called “I don’t know where the heck that money went”.Disposable income may be a benefit of a hard-earned salary. It is also an oxymoron!
To my fellow boomers, if you have unrealized dreams, fire in your belly and are ready to start your own encore career, do the math, make a plan, trust your intuition, and have a little faith. #Followyourbliss.