Thursday, February 2, 2017

It's the little things and a non-inflated life style

I have been a frugal person most of my life. There was a period, I was not concerned about money but, I had a rude awakening and figured it out the hard way and went back to my frugal ways.

It is always nice to put aside big chunks of money from a savings perspective if you can. However, many people do not realize the importance of little things. For instance, I have just changed my wi-fi and cable provider. I technically do not need a cable provider but when mom visits, her shows are important and I feel compelled to provide her what she needs. Right before the end of last year, I went through my routine bills and tried to find good year end campaigns to lure customers into changing providers. I found a good deal and signed up for it. Now, I am paying 30% less than what I was paying for wi-fi and cable separately. Also, I am getting one invoice for both things. Works for me!

Last year I had also changed the cell phone company for me and mom. It was based on political reasons but I was able to get better pricing so, it was a double-win. I cut ff my relationship with a provider I dislike and lowered my bills. Mom uses a phone in my name and she is on the cheapest possible plan. That is still more than she needs.

I like the advice the Ultimate Cheapskate gives. He basically tells you, when you are in your thirties and when you have reached a sufficient income level, stay there. Even if you make more money, keep your budget the same and bank the extra. I think, this is very sound advice.

During the last two years, I had been earning real well when compared to the past. I have not let my spending get out out of control, despite the extra money. I splurged once with my kitchen renovation and may have surprised my family members with some gifts that they did not expect. That is all.

So, when I looked at my Net Worth and Savings graph for the last 10 years, I have happily noticed that, I have bought an apartment and now own it free and clear, bought another apartment and still paying the mortgage on it and did two major renovations in my primary residence within the last ten years. The best thing is; I have more than quadrupled my savings during the last two years. I will probably be able to pull this income may be for another 6 months-2 years. So, I am in a super-saver mode now. Still, I have room for small indulgences in my monthly budget like a nice dinner out with friends, couple of  bottles of wine etc. I can save over 50% of my current income. However, this has happened to me just recently. Before 2015, I was never able bring in this much income and save at such a rate. So, while it lasts, I am determined to be smart about it.

Our company is at the verge of being sold. It may or may not happen. If it does get sold, I have a feeling that, the new owner which is a big company may let me go in a fairly short time. My boss thinks otherwise. So, if I last until the end of this year, that is really good. If I can last another year, that will be wonderful. However, I would need to go back to consulting for a few years more since, I am paying a family member's debts to keep an apartment and a house in the family. I am not asking for any help at the moment from mom or sis but I know, they are ready to jump in if I lose my job.

The ideal scenario for me would be to be able to work at my current job until the end of 2019. If not, I will probably have to work until 2023 doing consultancy. It is an irregular income but still, instead of eating away my savings, that is something.

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