This is a guest post by Dave, who is also looking to retire no later than 45, but unlike Tim has no kids and doesn’t want any. Dave is from Ontario and is working towards his CGA certification.
My wife and I ate out at a popular fast food restaurant over the weekend. We do this about twice a year, then we remember why we don’t go to those types of restaurants and eat at home after that for a while.
While we were at this establishment, we got to witness an exchange between an older gentleman and the teenage cashier. He had brought a coupon to get 2 free coffees, which he wanted to use. The cashier was fine with this, but balked when the guy tried to tell her he should get 2 free muffins as well. This discussion continued for an uncomfortable five minutes and resulted with the older guy being incredibly ticked off and going without his $2 worth of muffin.
Although entertaining to watch, after seeing this guy hassle the poor high-school student, I almost just bought the muffin in question for the guy, as he really didn’t seem to want to let it go. My wife and I discussed this particular altercation afterwards and we were both happy that 1) We would never do this and 2) we could never see ourselves in a position that a muffin would cause us to make a huge scene at a fast-food restaurant.
I also questioned the fact that if the guy really couldn’t afford the $2 muffin, why he wouldn’t bake it himself at home for probably $0.25 each. It would save him the stress of having to fight with high-school kids and generally go into public, which (from viewing this interaction) he really isn’t suited for.
Looking 30 or 40 years ahead, I’m really hoping that I don’t come into a situation that I feel it necessary to profess my extreme cheapness in public. I would call myself a frugal person, generally over thinking my purchase decisions rather than cheap – spending money on things that I (eventually) decide are important to me and in the end, I usually decide not to buy something.
You hear and read stories, whether they’re true or not, of retired people living off of cat food and are not capable of making more money to support their retirement. I am hoping that my financial plan will allow me to avoid either this kind of fate, or being a curmudgeon (a word I have always liked) at a fast food restaurant….both of which are not desirable at all.
My goal is to have enough money to not have to worry too much about it, and stick to my financial plan and budget, while still retiring by the time I’m 45 years old – this means that I have to make my next 12 years count.