2020 was our first full year of retirement. This was also the year that the entire world shut down. Like many others we stayed home, wear mask, social distance and limit the time spent with our extended families.
On a happy note, this year also brought some joy in our lives with the birth of our second son, AHP. I discovered weight training and lost 30 lbs post pregnancy and MBP’s preschool moved outdoors and I became more involve in the preschool.
Our Second Son
I was already pregnant when I quit my W2 job back in July 2019. I thought about staying and quitting after taking the maternity leave. My main concern was the cost of health care. I’m glad I left then. I probably lose out over $200k of vested stocks and salary, but we have more than enough. It was a good practice on saying no, it really is enough. During this time, I was able to focus on my pregnant body and spent a lot of time with our growing toddler. AHP was born in February 2020. About 3 weeks later, our state shut down. It was difficult to have a newborn during the shutdown. The outside help from our family was very very limited. We have to pull MBP out of preschool and struggle on making some decisions – like enrolling MBP for this school year, the frequency of our grocery trips and going to the parks. We were trying to protect our newborn and our preemie. Now, we somewhat accepted our new normal and still live our lives with all the precautions that we can take and situation under our control. AHP just turned one. We celebrated it with my parents. He had a cake. We also started taking both kids to Costco – a trip that they enjoy.
Weight Training and Losing Weight
Like everyone else, I gained weight during this pandemic. I was also post partum, so of course I gained weight. I was at my highest at 140 lbs. After getting a green light from my doctor and started sleep training AHP, I set a goal to go back to my previous weight of 105 lbs by the end of the year. I tracked my food intake, tracked my weight and by the time of this writing I’m 108.5 lbs. I didn’t hit the 105 lbs goal, but I’m glad with where I’m at.
MBP’s Outdoor Preschool
MBP is part of a Cooperative Preschool. This means that parents work during class several times a month and take a very active role in the classroom. I enjoy being in the classroom and watching these kids outside. It also gives me an opportunity to be outside for at least 2.5 hours whenever I’m working. We experience rain, sunshine and cold weather and the kids are still having a blast. I’m a co-treasurer this year and I’m glad to be using my background as a CPA to help the school.
Every month, I published our monthly spending. We retired without necessarily creating a budget so I’m curious of our spending after our first full year of retirement. The total — $39,955.36. We spent just under $40k! This includes adding an additional person in our household! I don’t think we ever spent this low at any given year. Hunkering down definitely helped since we never traveled this year.
What we didn’t pay
Let me go through some of the items that we didn’t spent on this year. First is housing. We do not have a mortgage, so you cannot see that here. Our property taxes was over $6k, given that we live in a suburb of Seattle. This property tax was about half of what we paid when we were living in Seattle. We also didn’t pay for healthcare. In 2020, we have $0 of earned income. Our dividends will hit under $30k so we qualify for Apple Health. We planned for this because my pregnancy was high risk. In 2021, we are paying for a full health care coverage through marketplace without any subsidy for a family of 4.
I used Mint to track our spending. I’m very detailed on the category because I want to track which line items can be optimized. Given that we hit under $40K, I think everything is optimized at this point. $40k is definitely our floor and will go up next year with the cost of our health insurance being the main driver.
Housing – $10,005.61
Housing still top our spending even though we do not have a mortgage. As I said, we live in a suburb of Seattle and property taxes alone was more than $6k. We also have monthly HOA dues and we signed up for lawn care last year. The rest was our household supplies.
Kids – $7,927.14
About $6k of these expenses were contribution to the kids 529 plan. I choose to consider these as expenses and will continue to do so. The rest were some supplies and MBP’s preschool tuition.
Food – $7,788.75
About $7,300 were spent on groceries and the rest were on restaurants and fast food. I am trying to categorize the unhealthy snacks that we buy at the groceries. I want to see if this will be an added motivation to stop buying it. Ruffles, Nutella and Donuts are my enemy and I can’t seem to stop eating them when it is in the house.
Gifts – $5,678.57
The biggest chunk of this was the cash gifted to my parents during Christmas.
Utilities – $3,928.84
Part of living in high cost of living city is paying for high utilities. This was probably half of what we would have paid in Seattle.
Shopping – $1,423.42
This category was combination of clothes, new iPhone, and other items we bought from Amazon.
Pets – $778.68
Not bad for this year. This was mainly her food and treats. We were slowly cutting back on treats because even our furbaby needs to lose weight.
Health – $428.73
This includes a procedure for AHP that was not covered by insurance, one month of gym membership pre-covid, one year supply of contact lenses and some prescription drugs.
Combination of all the other items we paid for.
Future 2021 Spending
I expect to spend more in 2021. We are paying our health insurance without any subsidy this year. We are also looking to buy a new to us minivan. I’m also hoping that we can start traveling to see family and visit the happiest place on earth! All of that will require more spending, which we are happy to make.