Travel planning for 2018:
- January - I have a work trip to Tokyo. (Last one? Unclear, work plans TBD)
- February - we're taking the kids skiing at Tahoe for a few days over ski week
- March - nothing planned. If I have to squeeze in a final London trip, I'll do it in March
- April - tentatively have a girls trip planned to Las Vegas. We have a free room booked at the Encore (my favorite), so assuming we can find cheap flights, this is a go.
- May - potentially a girls trip to the beach (my mom + my sister) for Mother's Day. We've been discussing this for a year, but are open on dates. It's my mom's Mother's Day & birthday gifts for a few years, and her top request for any gift is time with her daughters. :-)
- June - TBD. Will likely head to the Oregon coast for family time, near the 4th.
- July - 4th of July at the beach, and potentially a girls trip tacked onto that.
- August - Portland to Coast relay
- September - nothing planned
- October - nothing planned
- November - nothing planned
- December - Christmas with my family + the Oregon coast
As usual, things get a little jammed for the first half, and settle down a bit the last few months of the year. We'll see if that holds.
Financial planning for 2018:
As for the financial planning, there are plenty of unknowns. The major one is my job, and when I plan to quit. Dates I'm currently considering are 3/25 & 6/25, but anything is possible. I'm waiting for equity details from my recent performance review, and a large equity grant could keep me there a bit longer. We also are working through house plans (updates) & any big budget items may require a slightly longer time horizon, depending on how we choose to fund. M & I plan to have a few "budget/planning" days over the upcoming months to lock in these plans & ensure we're aligned.
The electric car purchase:
I didn't make much mention of it, but we bought an electric car. I'm pretty excited about it. There is great infrastructure where we live to support this, and I get free charging at work, as does M. The car will be my primary car for everything, and we will sell our 2005 sedan to cover the base price of the electric car. We're leasing it (buying an electric car gives me pause, as batteries and such are unknown from a life time perspective, and the technology is changing so much in this space). We'll make some other minor budget changes to accommodate the $120/month leasing fee. Our reduction in gas will hopefully cover the majority of this. It's our first month with the electric car, so I'll report back once I have a better sense of overall cost/benefit.
Other financial changes in 2018:
- We're cutting out our cleaning service. The boys can continue to increase their chores on weekends, and if I'm not working and/or traveling less, this is definitely something we can (perhaps uncomfortably while I'm working) make happen. It's a pricey expense, so one I'm motivated to end.
- Healthcare coverage. Depending on when I leave my job, M will add us all to his insurance, and that increase will need to be factored in.
- Gym membership (after I leave my job). I'm on the fence with this one. I live in California, so outdoor workouts can happen pretty much throughout the year. Especially as I'm a Seattle girl who isn't afraid of rain. ;-) But, once I quit my job, I feel like I might need the social connection & structure, and the local YMCA has a bunch of classes for not that much money. TBD.
- I'll review all of our 2017 budget categories & adjust based on actual spend. Sometimes, actual spend doesn't quite align with planned spend. ;-) Who knew?
We're also spending quite a bit of time thinking about the kids out of the house future, which for us, is about 7.5 years away. It helps to break our planning into a few chunks:
- Kids in the house
- Kids out of the house - in college
- Kids out of college - on their own
- M hits 65
- I hit 65
All of these milestones factor into our financial & lifestyle planning. Once the kids go to college, we can sell our current house & move somewhere much more affordable. We're in the research phase for that, but want to stay west coast. Current options we're considering are:
- San Louis Obispo
- Bend, Oregon
- Vancouver, Washington (also known as where my sister lives!)
- Hawaii is on the potential list, but travel costs make this hard, as is general COL. We'd likely do this part time, while retaining our Oregon house.
Ahhh, so much to think about & plan for! I love the planning & thinking that goes into life. It's one of my favorite things to ponder. What about you? What changes are you considering for 2018?