Friday, June 04, 2010

Where We Haven't Cut Back

This Great Recession of 2008 -2010 has caused many people to cut back spending and our family is no different. However, even on a tight retirement budget, there are some areas in which we have chosen not to cut back. Here are the areas:

  • Insurance - We've maintained our all of our insurance policies at the pre-recession limits: health, home, auto, and long term care. The only major policy we no longer have is life, since we are in early retirement. Even though funds are tight, we decided that our current levels of insurance were appropriate and worth maintaining.

  • Healthy food - We've continue to buy fresh, non-processed, no anti-biotic and no pesticide foods. For us, having good health is a high priority. We believe eating properly is important to good health.

  • Enrichment activities - We continue to put our five year daughter in various programs to increase her exposure to various experiences. Soccer, tumbling, swimming, language, music and nature are the primary activities. We believe that it is important to expose children to a wide range of experiences in preparation for future learning.

  • Home maintenance - Having lived previously in a 90 year old house, we realize that deferred maintenance can be compounded into serious problems, that are much more costly. So we are very conscientious on doing maintenance to avoid major problems. Fortunately, we were able to some major cost items, e.g. roof, furnace, air conditioning and exterior painting, near retirement when we still had fund from working.

  • Paper products - The primary non-essential area of no cut back has been in the area of paper products, such as toilet paper, napkins, paper towels and tissues. We continue to buy the branded, high quality products in these categories. I know a common argument is "why pay premium prices for single use, throw away products?" I've made the same argument myself when I was younger :-). However, we've become accustomed to the better products, and decided not to keep using them. Our compromise solution was to buy in bulk from warehouse stores and on sale.
  • Although we've made cut backs in other areas, I estimate we are keeping close to our pre-recessions and pre-retirement levels of spending in these five categories.

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    This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

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