Monday, April 26, 2010

The First 100,000 is the hardest?

My net worth is now hovering around 100k--to be exact, on April 6, it was $105,000. I've read that once you've accumulated $100,000, interest and investment gains start to add up and it starts feeling easier to save. I still feel like I'm a long way away from my "number" for early semi-retirement, which is somewhere between 300k and 500k. I used to think my goal was the lower end, but realistically, despite all our little frugal actions, R and I still managed to spend $40,000 last year. Ugh. Which, actually, would make our "number" 1 million. Double ugh.

I'm trying to decrease that this year, but we're not really interested in moving for financial reasons (we had a hard enough time last year finding an apartment we liked in this price range) and his health insurance and car insurance are pretty much set expenses. (Thankfully, we don't have a car payment, since the car is a hand-me-down, and it's used mostly for his brief commute to work, so gas and repairs are fairly small.)

We don't spend much on entertainment or household things. The biggest things we can cut on this year are travel (me), groceries (both), and eating out (both). It's likely I'll spend very little on travel in 2010, decreasing our expenses by 1-2000 dollars.

Groceries are a continual battle between "ooh, Doritos!" and "oh yeah, cauliflower." And there is definitely a balance between having appealing groceries on hand and the likelihood that we'll be tempted to eat out (which for us mostly means ordering a pizza).

On the plus side, our current apartment costs the same in rent as our old apartment, but our utilities costs are about $90/month less because of the smaller space and better insulation.