Dave 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.
I try not to waste money. I over-think most things I purchase to the point of exasperating my wife with my many visits to stores and websites and constant discussion before I usually don’t purchase anything. There are two things that I don’t really hesitate in spending money on – golf, and beer.
I’ve golfed for almost 25 years now – some years more than others, but it has been one constant in my life through every summer. I really enjoy walking a course, the strategy of playing shots and the feeling of hitting the ball exactly the way you wanted to. As I’m finishing one round of golf, I’m figuring out when I can play the next one, for the entire summer.
In the same manner, but hopefully not in a destructive way, I enjoy drinking beer. I like trying out small breweries offerings, and comparing what’s been made. This past weekend, I shared a couple of 2 litre growlers with a friend in the sun and had a really good time.
I figure golf costs me somewhere between $750 and $1000 per year. I try to keep it as cheap as possible. I’ve found that used balls that I buy off the Internet for about $40 for 10 dozen balls work just as well for me as any of the balls that cost 10 times that much. I’ve owned the exact same clubs for the past 5 years and reject fancy upgrades as there would be almost zero impact to my score for the cost of the equipment. Most of my cost is green-fees, and I try to keep this as cheap as possible by playing at twilight, when there are steep discounts.
For beer, most of what I drink, I make on my stove. One of my favourite recipes (especially for summer, because it’s nice and light) takes $8 in malted barley, $4 in yeast, and $2 in hops, which makes approximately 20 litres of beer, for $0.70 per litre. More expensive beers cost a little bit more for more specialized barley, but are still reasonable. 20 litres of beer lasts me about 2 or 3 months, unless I share a lot of it.
These are my two major personal expenses. I realize that I could quit both of my vices and save 100% of the money I’m currently spending, which would leave more money to invest and eventually retire on. I’d probably be healthier without beer, and definitely richer without golf. My problem with this solution is that I like to do both things. If I were to use a 4% withdrawal rate, I would need somewhere around $25,000 saved to finance these activities (in today’s dollars). For me, I think this is worth it, even though it is expensive.
What would you classify as your major vices? Did you get rid of them to retire, or never really have any to start with?