July 2017 Retirement Costs - Ouch...holidays & pets
Being on holiday always meant this was going to be a tough money month, but still being on holiday means that I'm relaxed enough to take the news in my stride. As a quick aside, I do wonder whether it is strange that I look forward to my holidays even though I'm retired!
In July, we have been on holiday for 3 out of the 4 weeks, so there has been even more eating out and drinking of wine than usual, plus trains, buses and taxis, entry fees to attractions, travel insurance and some crazy cat costs!
Not the main point of this post, but I often say that Dubai is a more expensive place to live than wherever we will eventually make our forever home, and I have another example of this. We bought an annual multi trip travel insurance policy which cost £380 ($469), but if we'd bought it in UK it would have cost only 25% or 30% of this. Obviously this is an extreme example, but it seems pretty outrageous to me.
About crazy cat costs, we recently moved to an apartment and haven't made friends with a neighbour to be able to ask them to look after the cats - and to ask someone to look after them for five weeks may be a bit much anyway. Well, I nearly collapsed when the guy came to pick the cats up and I had to pay him £1,009 ($1,245). I think they must be staying at the Ritz!
As in previous months, I've listed our various costs for July, with what I see as our normal monthly costs in the top part of the table with a sub-total, and then the holiday costs shown in the bottom part of the table. I do this because I think the holiday costs are more discretionary than some of the others. However, as we've been on holiday for three quarters of July, it makes the costs look a bit weird. I think the best way to deal with this is to look at the monthly average cost column more than the July-17 column. Also, there will be ups and downs during the year, so the clearest picture will come when we get to December-17 and have a whole year of data.
So, here is the normal cost table up to the end of July-17. I've also added a separate table below it to show a breakdown of the holiday cost in the month, as it is a chunky figure.
Here is the breakdown of the holiday costs:
To give you a sense of what the holiday is:
Sally is away from home for just over five weeks and it's just over four weeks for me by the time we go home. For the most part it is in UK, visiting family and friends, but we have also had a week in Switzerland and France (by the way, if you want to go to an expensive country, go to Switzerland!). We also had a week in a cottage by the sea on the East coast of England. There have mostly been three of us, as our son is with us before he goes to university. Oh, and some of the holiday grocery spend is on wine, and I dare not estimate how much!
Before I go, I'll repeat a couple of things that I've said in previous posts for those who may be reading one of my monthly cost posts for the first time...living in Dubai is expensive, so our costs are higher than I would expect them to be when we relocate to either Europe or North America. I'm sure that we would easily save a third (or more) on grocery costs and probably the same on going out/casual dining costs. Also, holidays have to be much less, I suspect we should see a 50% saving without too much trying. Anyway, we will see in due course, which is part of the reason for keeping track over time.
That's me done for the day, I'm going to enjoy a bit more holiday, if only it weren't raining!