It looked like May was off to a terrible start. We didn't get the budget done until late, and then we didn't get envelope money until a week into the month. Needless to say, it was an ugly beginning, and I was sure the budget was blown.
But wouldn't you know. We still came out ahead, AND we were able to get 20% of the way through our new debt thermometer!! I really don't know how that happened, except to say that I married a hard-working man who is putting every extra penny from the US Army and teaching LSAT classes toward being out of debt. These major strides mean that we now have under $40,000 in loans left!
June is off to another rough start--the laptop I use that has the budget and savings spreadsheet on it is kaput. At least the battery is dead and I currently do not have access to the budget. We can assume it's about the same as last month as far as envelope money is concerned (that generally does not change from month to month--not by much anyway), but it makes it difficult to know how much is in each savings category for when we need to purchase something using our monthly savings. I'm hoping to get this resolved in the next week or so.
Lesson learned: I need to e-mail the spreadsheet to myself each month so that I have a back-up copy.
Anyway, we spent the Memorial Day weekend down in Mobile with the in-laws, and took two day-trips to Orange Beach, AL. The first day we played on the beach. The second day we stayed at home. The third day we went back to the beach, but this time boated around the Gulf of Mexico.
I forget that this is basically Eli's upbringing since it is such a foreign lifestyle for me. Give me land and give me shade any day. But it sparked some interesting conversations about retirement (which for us, realistically, is over 25 years away). I read or heard recently from a source I can't remember that in order to retire successfully, we have to know what we're working toward, we have to know what we want out of retirement. In our culture, we spend a whole lot of time asking small children what they want to be/do when they grow up, decades before they reach this goal, but we don't ask adults what they want to be/do when they retire, decades before they reach that goal. So nobody thinks seriously about it, until it's only a couple of years away, if they get to retire at all.
So Eli mentions that he's informally planning a beach retirement. That is, he informally is planning to retire and then move to the beach where he can boat and fish and live the coastal lifestyle.
I had never considered this.
In fact, it almost scares me. Now that I've gotten over my discomfort with putting down roots, I can't imagine spending so much time cultivating those roots to then rip them up and move to a place where I don't know anyone. Now, there's a 180-degree turn.
In looking at my teacher-retiree friends, I had a different vision for retirement. I want to volunteer for literacy causes, be a docent at a museum, join civic organizations, get more involved at church, make a difference in my community, have lunch with my retired friends, start/join a bridge club (need to learn to play first), mentor young teachers and mothers, decorate my house, cultivate my garden, play with the grandkids (God willing). Stuff like that. I'm a workaholic, so I want to work in some form or fashion, even if it's for free.
Notice there was no beach involved there. It's just so foreign to me.
So, after the weekend and discussing Eli's vision, my vision for retirement has been amended to have a "town" house and "beach" house. We can live in two worlds, seasonally or whimsically. Whatever. We'll be together and we'll spend some healthy time apart. All will be well.
Now I know what I want to be/do when I grow old with Eli. That's a part of my debt-free vision. And that's why I'm including it here.