Roger here... One of our goals with our travels has been to live, as much as possible, off of my teachers' retirement pension. That being said, in order to enjoy the RV lifestyle, we have always intended to cut back on some of the expenses that we have always had, while at the same time spending our money on new adventures. Here are a couple examples of how we are cutting back without feeling deprived:
We don't eat out as often, but instead enjoy healthier meals that Dianne prepares. (I often help by doing the outdoor grilling, which I enjoy.) We need to acknowledge that we have saved a lot of money during the times that we have eaten out by using the generous gift cards that my colleagues gave me as retirement gifts. Though we prefer to eat at home, we certainly have not, nor intend to, miss out on unique restaurants as we find them. We loved the seafood and low country food in SC and GA.
We have no need for dressy or expensive clothing. (My new dress shoes are a pair of LL Bean hiking shoes that my brother and sister-in-law gave me for Christmas a couple of years ago.) Most of the time I wear sandals or running shoes, shorts and one of my endless supply of t-shirts. I did not bring any ties!!! :-)
Related to all this, one of the minor disagreements that Dianne and I have had regarding our new budget has been that of haircuts. I have taken the stance that it is not necessary for us to shell out $20 every time my hair gets a little shaggy. I purchased a hair cutting kit at a local CVS in Indiana several months ago and have invested a great deal of time since then convincing Dianne that she is perfectly capable of cutting my hair using a #3 attachment. Dianne has been very, very, very hesitant about this.
[NOTE FROM DIANNE: Keep in mind, not ONCE did I ever even cut my two daughters' bangs when they were small!]
I guess I don't blame her, since she is the one who has to look at the results. Yesterday, I tactfully spent the day hinting that it was time for a haircut. Late afternoon I went into the motor home and presented Dianne with the hair trimmer and scissors. This was a tactical move, having earlier established that we had no other activities to pursue for the day. Dianne tried to invent some, but in the end, I prevailed (one of the very few times in our marriage) and she cut my hair. She worried and fussed the entire time, but she did a great job. We now have $20 that we can spend on something else.
The stressful time over, and another new experience behind us, we were able to enjoy the evening news outside on our "recliners" and an extraordinary south Florida sunset.
Now for part two...... I offered to reciprocate and cut Dianne's hair today. The immediate result was Dianne fleeing to the nearby Hair Cuttery in Weston, FL. This economizing can evidently only be taken so far.