My main financial goal for 2023 is to continue to live on my current monthly income without dipping into savings or increasing my monthly retirement distribution. If I find that I can't, and I am just stretched too thin, I will increase my retirement distribution by $100 a month.
When I first retired at age 60, I knew that I would be on a very tight budget until I can switch my health insurance to Medicare at age 65, and start taking social security at my full retirement age of 67. I am now 62, so a few more years to go! My retirement account that I currently draw from will last me long past that, even if I need to incresase my monthly distribution a bit to keep up with inflation. So, I'll be fine, but will still need to live frugally and watch my spending.
My only other goal is to lose this 11 pounds I packed on since September. I am a stress eater, and after the sudden loss of my sister-in-law I just really fell off the healthy eating and exercise routine I was on. So, I have refocused and know I'll be able to get back to my ideal weight.
I received $250 in gift cards for Christmas! I will be using most of it on things I really need. I already ordered furnace filters, filters for my water pitcher, restocking my make-up and facial care products, and a phone case for my new phone. Nothing very exciting but all things I need. There are a few other household products I will also stock up on, I'm still working on that list.
I mentioned before that I had saved $866 on my car and condo insurance by changing companies. I had originally earmarked some of that savings for a new phone, but when I got the free phone I decided that I would take $500 of that money and fully fund my 2023 Christmas fund. So that is already taken care of. The other $366 I will use for monthly expenses if I am running short any month.
I also plan to use my tax refund this year for monthly expenses, if I need to.
I also plan to forward any money I may not spend in any given month from my monthly income to the next month to use. I doubt this will happen very often, but I did have almost $300 that I didn't spend in December that I'll be using as income for this month, if I need it.
So, overall I think I will be just fine, as long as I continue to budget carefully and live frugally.
I had so many leftovers from hosting Christmas Eve that I have a very stocked freezer. I'll be making some ham and pea soup, having leftover BBQ pulled chicken, leftover pierogies, and more. I also still have the free frozen turkey that I got in November for future meals. This past week I have been eating things down that would not freeze well, so I haven't been to the grocery store since before Christmas Eve.
One thing I do not want to do is return to work, even part time. I am so much happier and healthier now and just thinking about going back to work makes me anxious and unhappy. My best friend and I were discussing this yesterday and she feels the same, as do my other retired friends that I am in touch with. It helps to have a social circle of frugal friends.
So I will continue on living my frugal, happy retired life and keep finding ways to stretch my dollars!