For the first time in my life, I sat down and formally put together a monthly budget. Since I am now 59 and a half years around the sun, some people may be shaking their heads that I am just doing this for the first time. It simply was never really on my radar. What persuaded me to sit down and do it is the fact that retiring from the work world is not too far ahead for me, and when the time comes, I desire to be able to do so without worrying about money. To me retiring is not the end of life, but the beginning of new chapter that simply does not include an 8 to 5 job anymore. I will be able to get up every morning and do whatever I feel like doing, and I should not be worrying about money. I am not the type of person who needs to be going out to a job each day to feel useful, or to avoid being bored with life. I do enjoy and love my present job, so it certainly is not about that either. My present job is one that I will happily keep until I decide to retire from working.
My budget will mainly be focused on paying off my auto loan this year, and paying down the principal on my mortgage and school loans. If you have been reading my blog for a few years, then you know that I returned to college in 2013. I have a total of $44K in student loan debt for the last two years of undergrad and the first year of graduate school. I decided not to continue pursuing my masters degree, so there will not be anymore school loans adding debt to my finances. As it is, I consider myself a bit lucky that my school loans are not much higher. Many younger people graduate from college facing student loans closer to 100k and over. That is a lot of debt when you are just starting out your adult life.
I will be relocating when I stop working too, so I prefer to have the principal paid down on the mortgage as much as possible so that when I sell my house, I will end up with more cash for myself. I am not sure if I am going to purchase another house whatever I relocate to, or purchase a condo. I am leaning more towards getting another house, something like a small cottage with enough land around it to have a nice garden to grow vegetables and flowers. I do also desire to do quite a bit of traveling when I stop working. Not being able to stop working and enjoy life more because of lots of debt is not going to be a reality for me.