Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Planning for 2018

As one of my November goals, I'm working on our 2018 budget & travel plans. I haven't quite gotten my head around the travel plans, as so much of that will be dependent on my work schedule. Currently, our travel looks as follows (and, doesn't take into account any work trips for M).

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:
  1. Kids in the house
  2. Kids out of the house - in college
  3. Kids out of college - on their own
  4. M hits 65
  5. 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? 


  1. Our big Italy and France trip in May with 2 kids (much money but worth it) which is 90 percent totally saved for. We also have been doing some planning for retirement. I am 48 and hubby 55. I have done budgets up for when he is 60 which is the earliest we would shut our business down and then at 65. Due to our age difference the budgeting side is difficult as I collect pensions much later. Likely I will just have a parttime job when he retires and I am fine with that, gets me out of the house

    1. I never regret travel, particularly with family. Sounds like a fabulous trip! I'm also younger than hubby, but I think he will likely work longer than me - his choice. He doesn't ever "want" to be retired. I'm 41 & he's 50, so similar age gap. I'm totally open to a part time job now & in the future, should it make sense.

  2. I have found my kindred souls financially on the web with you and Cheap chick. I have an excel spread sheets for now through hubs and I turning 95 and 91 respectively! On paper, it all looks great, factoring in travel, college, weddings. Our big unknown, everyone's unknown is the cost of retirement once we can't be independent. I do not wan tot be a burden on my kids, but also do not want to be in a retirement home. I hope I am like my parents and hubs grandma on his dad's side-just decide one day to be done, while having lived in my own home.

    1. Love it! Planning is my favorite. We've had young kids for so long & retirement felt so far off. Now that we're a little more than 1/2 way through the "kids at home" phase, it's exciting & daunting to consider the next planning cycle. But, fun. I'm enjoying it. Particularly the freedom to relocate.

  3. It's always exciting (and rather eye-opening) to read posts like yours - well planned, well thought out, consideration for yourselves and the kids, etc. I struggle with planning for myself, so 2018 needs to a bit of a kick in the pants for me (I'll be 51) in respect of finances and health and getting myself together. I'd also like to get back to school so have to plan for that cost (although it won't mean quitting work, fortunately), as well as take one or two trips to the Continent if at all possible. I've been in the UK for 4 years now and haven't gone international yet! :O Excited to see how things come together for you next year! xx

  4. You were very smart to think about those batteries in the electric car. I have heard they are beyond expensive and go right at the 3 year mark. I would have a planning meeting with D every weekend if I could. I love to plan, implementation is where I need the work! I am very excited to see how your stopping work goes. Maybe consider keeping the cleaners until you actually stop working. With the travel, the boys activities and life while you are working, it may cause a lot of stress. Maybe just cutting back how often they come?

  5. That's a great point about the electric car batteries. It sounds like a good idea for our driving about town since we have deliberately engineered a short commute everywhere but I'm also a bit iffy about the longevity so I'll look forward to hearing what your experience is!

    Travel for 2018 is hovering in the back of my mind. I'd normally be planning now but getting our financial and physical houses in order are first priorities. I'm enjoying the house too, and we have guests coming to visit in the next few months as well so that's a bigger priority.

    So for now, planning consists of racking up points and miles to cover our travels like for my dream epic vacation to Japan or Italy or .... some place else at some unknown time.

    1. The three year lease is a great time horizon. All repairs are covered under warranty, and you don't have to worry if something goes wrong with the car in the long-term. Given the low price point, it's almost a break even investment, and I'm happy to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak, on the environmental impact. If we really optimize, we can probably get it quite close to break even. We opted for the Chevy Bolt, which just won 2nd place or something as car of the year, so it's pretty well regarded. M loves research like that. ;-)

      I'm with you on the traveling - when we first bought, you just have to settle in before you can really think of any other big plans.

      Would love to know more about any mileage/points optimization you've got going on! It's something I'm focused on as well.

  6. We made some major changes in 2017, we relocated to our forever retirement home, so 2018 will be somewhat low key as a result. We will be making one major outlay in 2018 - we're planning a complete re-do of our backyard - but otherwise we'll be sticking pretty closely to our projected budget.

    Although we did pay more for our new home because of it being just two miles from the ocean vs our prior more-inland home, all of our other expenses have dropped save property taxes. Our HOA is lower, our electric, cable and water bills are lower, and our earthquake insurance is way, way lower.

    Other than our backyard project, our focus in 2018 will be to continue to enjoy the many free activities are move made possible. We have an array of scenic hiking and biking trails, harbors and bays in which to kayak, beaches to picnic at, and a multitude of no-cost concerts, lectures and festivals. As you said above, the urge to travel has diminished somewhat due to our enjoyment in getting to know our new area.