Monday, November 23, 2009

Fun Weekend

My snow tires are getting put on today. I've had no luck finding used rims at the wrecking yards or private sales. My car is too old perhaps or maybe the other people who own them still have theirs' and do not get into bad accidents? So I will bite the bullet and pay for the tire swap. Note to self, next car, buy extra set of rims immediately.

I went through an interesting exercise this weekend. My spreadsheet currently goes to 2013. My question to myself was "How much more can I decrease my earnings before I have to compromise my goals?"

The impetus for the question came earlier this week when I realized that I am now making roughly 50% of what I did 6 years ago. Over my 12 year career, I've been gradually decreasing my working week so that I can gain more life. With it, came the decreasing income.

I figure if I can still afford to save and pay for everything else and retire early, what is the problem? This last year of frugal changes has helped more than I could have thought possible, making it much easier to live on less. It also gives others the opportunity to make more.

The results of the spreadsheet was this. I can afford to make $1500 less per month and still make my mortgage prepayment and saving obligations. Any more and I would be under. Now I know what the low water mark is for the next 3 years. It was a worthwhile exercise.

Once mortgage prepayments are no longer needed, I then can afford to cut back some more (very likely), keep things up for a year and see how I feel (not likely) or quit altogether and have D take care of things (not sure my ego can take that).

Being that our Christmas shopping has been done for a while (yes, I'm one of those types), I like going into shops this time of year to take in the various decorations and holiday spirit. It's really the only time I go into a shopping mall nowadays.

Our tradition is to buy this year's holiday coffee from Starbucks or Second Cup (for me, always something chocolate mint flavored, with loads of whip cream) and just wander and people watch. It's really nice when you are not pressured to find something. We would also end up grabbing a slice a pizza for a snack and our journey is done for another year.

Where we did end up afterwards was much more fun. We went to an art supply store. D is developing an interest in sketching so he wanted to look at the various types of pencils, erasers and paper available.

It has been a while since I've been in a good art supply store. I've always felt that such stores ought to be crowded and loaded with stuff to feel authentic. We weren't disappointed yesterday. Apparently I was walking around with a big smile on my face.

I practically lived in an art store growing up and when I studied art on weekends seriously for 7 years. I also forgot how much I know about art supplies and how much stuff I've used and owned over the years. They are looking for part time help. I'm considering it.


  1. I have a similar attitude as you do regarding working hours. If I could find an employer willing to hire me part-time immediately after our mortgage payoff goal is finished, I would probably jump on that opportunity. I want to work about 2-3 days a week until we have achieved our savings goals, then stop working (for pay) completely. It's too bad more employers aren't willing to offer part-time jobs for meaningful work; they could probably attract a lot of talented people that way.

  2. I agree. We in North America tend to be backwards in that regard. I think they view it as "not as committed" when one does not work full time.

    Ironically the happiest people I know are the ones who aren't employed full time. They want to have a life and can see beyond the pay cheque.

    Perhaps because of that they are better financial planners which allows them the freedom to exit.