Save. Spend. Splurge.

Getting ready for early retirement




Not me, silly…

I’m too spend-y.

And I would have to save for 60 years because I’m really only in my 30s, so even if I only spent $30,000 a year:

$30,000 x 60 years = $1.8 million

The older I get, and the more I work, the less I have to have stashed away, if you know what I mean…

At this point, if I retired now and spent only $30,000 a year, I would only be able to last for 5 years without working.

That’s my “emergency fund” until my next contract, but you know.

Then WHO?

I am talking about my partner. He is retiring this year.

At least, that’s the plan.

My partner doesn’t like working as much as I do.

He doesn’t like the office, he doesn’t like people, he gets so angry sometimes… but we do what we gotta do to make some $$$$ to live you know..

Anyway, his other argument is that he’s tired and SOMEONE has to watch “the baby” and bring him to school, bring him home for lunch, bring him back to school, pick him up, and manage life at home.

He is imagining a beautiful life, but he better make sure that he also concentrates on Little Bun and teaches him on the side outside of school because that is what I do now and I work full-time!

Fine by me…. saves me on preschool fees anyway.

He had a plan to go back to school and live HIS life without any work nonsense, and he has enough saved to not only work in a vacation every year to Europe (I told him it was MANDATORY), he also has a $500 a month buffer to “play” with.

I told him I did not want to eat “beans and rice” forever, and he told me that beans and rice are delicious. I said that I still wanted to enjoy life.. and food.. and afford things.


More nervous than him.

I told him he has to go back to work if he needs money. I will not tolerate this nonsense if he doesn’t keep up his half because he makes a good salary and he is still ABLE but not really willing to work.

In the same vein, I am pretty excited for him as well.

Then I started thinking about how I would manage my own early retirement if I wanted one.

What if I wanted to retire today? What would I need to make it?

If I “retire” early it would be at least in my 50s… and even then, I need to save at least $1,000,000 even taking into account that my house and car is paid in full.

I’m only 1/10 of the way there or so.

If I keep saving at about $50,000 a year, I can reach my end goal in 18 years.

If I increase my savings, the saving time goes down.

If I spend LESS (can’t see how, have expenses..), the saving time goes down.

If I can figure out passive income that pays me as it is being invested, the saving time goes down.

I am working on a strategy (on the side) for this, but only after I get my head straightened out and I feel like I am caught up on everything – Family, Work, Blog…..

For now, not in the cards. I am working for at least the next 10 years, probably 20 and I am okay with that.

I like working, and I would be too bored without other non-family adults to talk to.

My secret dream?

If I could somehow pair the income I earn from the blog (around $1000 – $1500 a month and this is how I did it), with some passive dividend income coming in from investing, that would cover my living/basic expenses, and all of my earnings from my actual day job would just be pure savings.

Pure 100% savings popped into investing accounts, and I wouldn’t actually need to find work or feel stressed about any of it.

The strategy….

What I do need to do, to make this happen is to first lower my expenses and get that stabilized, under control with some strong wilful need to stop wasting money, and still feel like I am happy AND ENJOYING my money.

This is my rough budget of fixed & variable “normal” expenses:

Fixed expenses = $1550

  • Home: $600 – condo fees & taxes in
  • Utilities: $100 – internet, energy bills
  • Home Insurance: $15
  • Telephone: $35
  • Medical: $300
  • Government/Fees: $500

Variable expenses = $1220

If we don’t work (either of us), preschool disappears as a fee

  • Preschool (for next year or so): $220
  • Groceries: $500 – We can lie and say I can spend less but we all know I won’t
  • Household: $500

Non-essential for living but essential for life: $450

I could probably chop non-essential down in half, to $225 and still feel okay, but I’d rather now. This is already “bare bones” for me.

  • Yoga: $100 – I could eliminate this but for now… let’s leave it
  • Treats/Starbucks/Tea: $100
  • Eating Out: $100
  • Office/Postage: $25
  • Repairs/Drycleaning: $25
  • Clothing/Style: $100

TOTAL = $3220


So this means that $1000 let’s say is covered by the blog…

I need to make up for another $2220 a month or $26,640 a year.

This means if I assume 2% in returned in cash conservatively, I need a capital of $1.332,000 of capital invested.

If I assume 3% returned, then $888,000 invested.

I right now have about $150,000 saved in cash to handle this, so I have about $738,000 to go to save.

At a savings rate of $50,000 a year, that’s in 15 years that this is achievable.

Or.. I lower my expenses. By a lot but then I won’t be happy and WTF is the point of money if you aren’t happy?

At any rate, I need more than $150,000 invested and saved.

I need at least $500,000 if not more, to pull in any kind of income before I can consider “early retirement”.

That’s, not going to happen for about 15 years, and that isn’t so bad! I wasn’t even planning on retiring early anyway. 🙂

Do you ever think about quitting early?


  • George

    Planning for early retirement is very important to avoid the strains that might arise when only one person is bringing the bread. However, it is a broad move.

  • Alexis

    Just think of it as an extended sabbatical for your partner 🙂

    Good going!

  • Financial Orchid

    Yea, I’m actually living your dream right now – saving 100% of my salary, albeit I don’t bring in as much as you do in a year but I bring in about the same as your total lifetime earnings averaged annually and I have been working for about the same time as you, except I do much less important work than u 😛
    PS Don’t tell my boss.
    I would like to bring up my blog income to as much as u tho -more for personal fulfillment from the active income side, but I live off of 100% passive now, which is why I track my expenses to proof to myself that this is in fact mathematically true.

    May be your partner will become a full time blogger 😛 with his own brand and help you out with you back end stuff. HAHA. Welcome to FIRE community.

  • B.

    Sherry, may I suggest that you guys keep Baby Bun in preschool even if your partner does decide to stay home? It will give you both much needed time alone/together as a couple and Baby Bun probably learns so much at school (our 2 year old learns to share, take turns etc). And really, it’s only for a short time anyway until Baby Bun starts kindergarten. It’s one thing for your partner to look forward to picking Baby Bun up early and spending time together, quite another to be “stuck” with him all day, everyday. You know first hand how exhausting that can be! Only downside is money but you’re lucky to be in Quebec where fees are low and it’s only temporary till kindergarten. A bit of unsolicited advice that is coming from a good place 🙂

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Hey, I am all for this. In fact, I am ENCOURAGING IT to happen but he is adamant he wants to spend as much time with him as possible…. which I love but also secretly think: noooooo please noooooo….

      We will see what happens. If we have to, we need to start making more playdates where HE TAKES HIM TO THEM and I chill at home.

  • Elisa

    Since you are in Canada, they do provide OAS (and supplemental) and CPP benefit (and I think Quebec has QPP benefit as well) so that’s an additional income once you are retirement age :). You might have more than you think and can retire earlier.

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Yes you are right! I try not to include that in my calculations though. Who freakin’ knows where the money will be by the time I’m ready to retire. I also don’t really pay into CPP, OAS or QPP because I take dividends, not a salary.

  • Cassie

    I think about it, but I also know I’m nowhere near it. My near term goal is to pay off our mortgage first (I feel more secure with lower bill requirements), then start saving more aggressively.

    I told my coworkers last week that we should all pool our resources and buy an island in the caribbean. They thought it was funny. I was half-serious.

  • Sense

    Wow, that is impressive! 🙂 Congrats to your partner! May I ask how old he is (general age range)?

    Would he ever consider sharing his savings strategy and $$ plans with us here on your blog? I’d be ever so keen on hearing about it!

    Your plan sounds stellar and very smart. I know you think you spend “too much” and are out of control, but honestly I don’t make much (am on a PhD stipend) and spend ~$2,500/mo on “basics” + a few things that make my life bearable. You honestly don’t spend that much more than me in that budget above.

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      He is in his late 40s.. 🙂

      Oh he has no savings strategy. His strategy is:
      A) Make money
      B) Save as much of it as possible
      C) Plow it into the things Sherry told me to buy

      Wash, rinse, repeat.

      He spends practically nothing on himself, and in contrast, I spend everything on myself LOL.. I’m a hedonist in all aspects — food, shopping, Little Bun …

      I always feel guilty spending so much because I remember being in debt and having to staple my pants to avoid buying smaller pairs..

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