Home > Okay, NOW I'm settling in

Okay, NOW I'm settling in

June 29th, 2007 at 11:56 am

I wrote yesterday that even though I had successfully made the move, I was upset because my cat was missing in action. He has reappeared, and now I can breathe a sigh of relief and get on with it.

Of course, the most exciting thing is that all my debts are paid off! That's the delightful part about selling a house. Now that I'm living in my cousin's house, as a sort of caretaker, I will have no housing expense. We've also worked out a deal on food. At first she suggested we share food expenses. Reasonable, but then I found out she spends $600 a month on groceries. I didn't like the idea of spending $300 a month, which is easily twice what I was spending on my own. So I have offered to be the "food manager" and I am promising to bring in a lower grocery bill for two than she did for one. This will be easy; I just have to get her out of her wasteful habits and shop with an eye toward value, as I always have.

My "suite" in her her house is basically two rooms -- a nice, but rather small bedroom, with an attached full bathroom and large walk-in closet, and a sitting room with space for a couch and TV, maybe an end table or two. It's not set up yet. I also have my own patio off the bedroom door. My view is a wooded area with mountains in the distance. As my son said, I am a "pretty lucky girl."

My official retirement income is about $600 per month (it will vary a bit, since half of it comes from interest on my TIAA account, the other half is a systematic withdrawal from my CREF account.) I also have an emergency fund of close to $10,000. I will use this for big bills, such as my insurance premiums. I will also have access to make withdrawals from my CREF account, but of course I will have to be careful to protect my nest egg.

Although $600 a month sounds paltry, I think with my limited expenses, it will do me fine. When I'm 62, I can start drawing social security (which I will draw on my ex-husband's salary -- much greater than mine!) If I find I am cash-poor before then, I will get into a temp pool, or work part-time. I really don't want another job. I want some free time to write, to pursue artistic interests, and read all the books I want to!

I have many boxes yet to unpack, but I will be taking my time. I am already functioning pretty well on what I've done already.

It's good to be back, and it's good to be in Carolina!

9 Responses to “Okay, NOW I'm settling in”

  1. jason-lee Says:

    You know, in my opinion, $300 am month on food, although doesn't sound like much, but when you consider that many live on a fraction of that when deep in debt.

    Good to hear you are now out of debt!

  2. nance Says:

    Good news about the cat's return!

    I think that you will discover that you will be able to live on quite a bit less than $300. a month now that you aren't working outside the home. You will have more time to check out the ads, shop, cook from scratch, bake, etc.
    When I quit my high-stress job, I was surprized at how little money I spent on food, clothing, gasoline, etc.
    Six hundred a month, when you are debt free is not a paltry amount.

  3. Ima saver Says:

    Are you in North Carolina or South carolina? I am guessing North Carolina if you can see mountains. I live in the mountains of N. Ga. only about 10 miles from North Carolina.

  4. fern Says:

    I hope your cousin's situation is a stable one, eg, she will be there for a while?

    Your little suite there sounds sweet, especially with your own private patio and now your kitty has a place to bask.

    You may find that a simple part-time job of less than 20 hours a week would really not be a burden to you but could make a nice difference in the amount of discretionary cash for you. Just a thought.

    I perfectly understand your desire to leave the work world and do your own thing. But i find sometimes that when i have huge amounts of free time, i end up wasting it and not being nearly as productive as i am when i have limited time. (What's that expression, if you want to get somethign done, give it to a busy person? So true!)

    When i retire, i anticipate creating a fairly structured schedule for myself that will combine a little part-time work, a little volunteer work and then plenty of free personal time to do what i want.

  5. PauletteGoddard Says:

    Sweet debt freedom! Happy reading/shopping. Did you ever wake up and think "nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina in the morning"? :-)

  6. LuxLivingFrugalis Says:

    Glad to hear you are getting settled in and W.O.N.D.E.R.ful to know that you've been able to clear the debt slate!!

    ENJOY your new life of freedom!


    (pea green over here!)

  7. carol Says:

    Glad to hear that kitty is back alive and safe. Sounds like you have a nice place to live with cool views.

    Best of wishes to you.

  8. Carolina Bound Says:

    Thanks, all.

    Julie, my new home is in North Carolina, near Asheville.

    Fern, I will probably take on some kind of employment in the future. Right now I am so busy trying to get unpacked and moved in, I can't imagine too much free time!

  9. monkeymama Says:

    I am so happy your kitty came back too! Hooray!

    Now relax and enjoy!

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