Diary to Restrain Spending!
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Thread: Diary to Restrain Spending!

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Frankfurt Germany
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    30

    Baby Boomer Fast Approaching Retirement

    Updated the thread title to reflect what this really is. I’m a baby boomer fast approaching retirement and the balancing act of saving enough and being able to enjoy those peak earning years. It’s hard to believe how fast the years have gone by. It just seem like yesterday that the wife came home and asked if I’d be willing to move to Europe for a year. Well nearly 20 years we’re still here. I'm retired and she is T minus 8 to retirement!

    So this diary, at least for the next year, is about the struggle to balance all this. Here’s an overview.
    We just renovated and moved back into one of our rental properties. While we lost the income it was way cheaper than the rent we were paying. The renos and move left a pretty big debt overhang which needs to be paid off.
    Pensions. We’re mostly covered but it would be ideal if we paid off our mortgage and ideally the two investment property mortgages. We can pay a max of 3600€ per unit per year. 10 grand a year is a stretch.

    Travel

    We’ve been going home (Canada) pretty much every two years since we’ve arrived and we’d really like to travel more here. Big unkown is my wife’s parents health. Her dad isn’t done well. Waiting for the inevitable phone call. Everything is on hold that we see what happens.
    Seriously debating a 12 day cruise this fall but as mentioned a lot will depend on my father in laws health. Torn between making one more run home and wanted to be there for the funeral. Trips home are seriously expensive and I don’t think we can swing both.

    Budget Overview

    Income 6700€ take home
    We just moved back so I’m still getting a handle on our costs but basisicly it’s 1/3 fixed everyday spending 1/3 investments 1/3 free.

    Short term debt

    The move left us with some short term debt as follows
    10,000 Barclay credit
    4000 Visa
    4000 O/D
    2600 Amex -

    I use Amex for cash advances buy something and return it. They give cash rather than charge back to the card. Hugely helped when we ran into an end of the year cash crunch (long story not really relevant. Basicly I’ve gone to cash and making huge payments on the cards, by summer Barclay will be gone and Visa will be half gone. Unless we have to go home I expect everything to be paid off by the end of the year.

    Last edited by Lost in Space 2; 2017-02-18 at 01:20 PM.

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Frankfurt Germany
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    30
    We were able to move back into our own place because my wife worked out a deal that she could work from home as long as she travelled to the office twice a month at her expense. It would be like travelling London to Toronto twice a month for 2 days. Bit too far for a day trip. We (I join her) drive up early Monday and leave late Tuesday but neither of like this so we leave Sunday evening. An extra night in a hotel is worth avoiding the traffic! Even with this extra costs we still save over what we were paying rent in Munich. Plus were back in our own place!!!!

    One downside to being an expat is making friends means joining various English speaking meetups around the city. This are always in a restarant which means at least drinks sometime dinner.

    Year overview

    6 weeks vacation means we have a lot weeks to fill so big goal is a 12 day cruise in October. The rest of the time will be staycations! Don’t really mind she’s been a road most of her working years so time at home is very nice. We also need to say vacation days for funerals as well.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Frankfurt Germany
    Posts
    30
    Loyalty Programs

    I belong to 3 different shopping and 1 hotel loyalty program programs

    Payback
    Deutschlandcard
    Swagbucks DE


    On the first 3 each “point” is worth 1 cent, my goal is to collect 5000 point and exchange it either for cash or for a good as cash gift certificate. The key here is to pay attention to coupons, if you just collecting 1 cent per € it takes forever. Swagbucks but is good only for online shopping. I happen to discover it just as switched to All You Need Is Fresh for my weekly shopping, I get between 200 and 700 points per weekly shopping and then exchange them for Amazon gift cards (500 points = 5€)

    For a minor amount of work a few times a year I get 50€ gift certificates.

    Accor LeClub

    We’ve both road warriors (I’m retired so I join her on most trips) so I make the point of collecting points, for every 2000 points = a 40€ certificate. We use this to pay for non business hotels. With a bit of planning we can often cover the full cost of a stay. I also do surveys to earn points but once I reach the next level I’ll call it quits, too much work

    Lottery Club: the wife just signed up for a 60 day free lottery membership thingy, who knows we might win some money LOL, as long as we cancel before April 11 it's no cost.

    Last edited by Lost in Space 2; 2017-02-21 at 08:30 AM.

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