Thoughts for the week

The $2700 November Challenge

At the beginning of November I set myself a challenge to save $2700 in the month, which is the amount I would need to save every month in order to semi-retire at 60. I did actually manage to save my goal of $2700  – kinda, sorta. I already had some money sitting in my side gig account so I transferred that to savings, otherwise I would not have been able to do it. I have come to the conclusion that while I am paying $1000/month on the heloc it is going to be impossible to save an additional $2700 that I would need to retire at 60. So I am just going to keep plugging away, being frugal where I can and saving what I can. I think a good goal is $1700 average savings/month. My side gig income is not always the same every month, so I have to average it out.

It was a good exercise though, and I think I got into some better habits like taking my lunch more often. I usually don’t feel like packing my lunch in the morning, but if I pack it the night before I can just grab it and go.

Christmas Plans

My kids and I are taking a trip to California this year at Christmas instead of exchanging gifts. I think these experiences are worth more than presents. I will still get them something small so they have something to open on Christmas Day. The reason we are going is that my Dad is down there for the winter and he is going to spread my Mom’s ashes, so we want to be there for that. Plus I don’t want my Dad to be alone for Christmas. He is 80 and you just never know when something might happen.

The trip is actually going to cost more than I would normally spend on Christmas gifts, but I will use my vacation savings and it will be fine. I rented a 4 bedroom house in Temecula, CA near the vineyards. That way we will each have our own bedroom and room to spread out. We can also make some meals there, which will save on restaurant costs.

I’m looking forward to getting out of the snow and cold for a week. Not looking forward to the drive, though. I hope the roads are good.

Speaking of Snow and Cold

“Oh the weather outside is frightful!” We had a blizzard last Monday that left so much snow that we had a snow day on Tuesday (which never happens). Nice to stay home on a work day, but not so nice to lose a day’s pay.


All this snow and cold has made me dream of retiring somewhere warm. Many retirees here are snowbirds and spend their winters in Arizona. I have been thinking that might be something I would enjoy. I could get a park model trailer, that way I could just drive down without having to pull an RV. The park model trailers are hooked up to electricity, sewer, water, even cable, so you have everything you need.

Something to dream about on a cold day anyway. Lots of debt repayment and saving to do before that day ever arrives.


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2 Responses to Thoughts for the week

  1. I think that is a lovely Christmas gift, and a nice sentiment behind it. When I was in Temecula they had jeep tours to get you from vineyard to vineyard so that you don’t have to worry about anyone drinking and driving – they even picked us up at the hotel!

    Keep in mind that paying $1000 to your HELOC, and $1700 to your savings is still increasing your Net Worth by the same amount (minus interest on the HELOC), but it just doesn’t feel as good because one number is shrinking and the other is growing 🙂

    • jlgund says:

      You are right about the net worth, Alicia. I always try to think of it in those terms. It’s just that in order to have my nest egg intact by age 60, I figured I would need to save $2700/month. But there are only so many dollars to go around.

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