Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Early Retirement???

For my parents, not me. I just started working a year ago :)

So many times, as a young working adult trying to balance my life and bank account, I wonder how my parents raised us. With only one working parent from when I was in kindergarten until I was in grade 7, I am still befuddled as to how my parents managed to take care of us with one income source. (My dad was the breadwinner, though my mom did babysit for cash, which mainly went to savings for emergencies. We also saved money on day care and other services that way, too.)

My sisters and I grew up blessed with the greatest parents in the world. Who had so little, and yet were able to give us so much.

One of the greatest lessons that my parents taught us was appreciation for money, and how to be frugal. Though money cannot buy many things, money can give us a choice.

My parents did not have much of a choice when they were raising us. Yet, they still chose to be good parents.

Even though we could have used the money, my dad tried not to work overtime too much. Instead, he would spend the extra time, bringing my sisters and I to the library. Fixing things around the house. In the summers, he would take our whole family to various trips. CNE and Ontario Place (with the school coupon), Wasaga Beach, camping, and watching fireworks on Victoria Day and Canada Day.

My mom chose to be a stay at home mom. My mom also babysat other children for some extra cash. My mom went beyond the call of duty for a babysitter. She taught the kids Chinese lessons when it was time for my sisters and I to do our Chinese homework. She shared her homecooked meals and snacks. She treated everyone fairly. In the summer time, my mom would take us all to the neighborhood park (with a splashpool, a petting zoo, and a very decent jungle gym) for a day of playing and picnicing. I don't know how or where my mom got the energy to bring 8 kids to the park on a regular basis.

My sisters and I are really lucky to have grown up with so many fond memories of our childhood.

My dad has always were in factories. From what I can recall, he worked at a factory making airplane wings on the assembly lines. Then he worked at wallpaper factory until it closed. After that, my dad was older (almost 50), and he got a job at an automotive plant where he was been working since.

There is a lot of seniority at his company, and my dad has only been there for 10 years. Because of his lack of seniority, my dad has now been put on the night shift. It has been really hard on his body, and I am worried.

My parents are frugal, but they have been able to put away some money throughout the years. My dad and I took a look at his finances, and were crunching the numbers to see if they could retire early. We took a look at my parent's current monthly spending, and budgeted for how much we could reduce their spending by. I am now looking into getting a software with long term planning so we can have a better picture of how my parents' finances will look in the next few years.

One option that my dad and I were looking into was downgrading our house. They currently live in the same house we grew up in, and it's too big for two people. There is also maintenance that my dad finds overwhelming at times, such as lawn mowing, yard work, and snow shoveling.

We worked out my parent's current monthly budget to be $1500 and can probably we can get it down to $1200 if they move to a smaller place with less overhead costs (utilities, property taxes, housing maintenance, etc.) They should have enough with their pensions, RRSP contributions, old age securities (after they turn 65), and of course, my sisters and myself are working full time.

In a society where we are constantly told to use our hard earned money to buy things to make our lives happier / better / more glamourous. Rarely are we told to use our money to invest in ourselves and buy freedom. Freedom from having to work at a job that we don't like. Freedom to persue our hobbies. Freedom to spend time with our families and friends. Freedom from having to live month to month paying off debts.

I'm looking into purchasing Microsoft Money. I don't think Quicken Cash Manager has a long term planning function (it didn't specify).

Do you have any suggestions for a long term budgetting money managing software??? What are your thoughts on budgetting and money management???

1 comment:

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