I have a problem. It's actually not a problem but a way of life for me, unfortunately. I have to eat Gluten-free. I don't have celiac disease, thank God, but I definitely have developed an intolerance over the years. I was never formally diagnosed, and I don't think the doctors in my town even have a way of figuring it out. But through trial and error, I've eliminated gluten from my diet and my troubles were gone. I'll have some future posts about my journey - that's another story for another time.
I've been thinking alot about retirement lately. I'm not sure if it's because I'm turning 40 in 2 months or just a sense of reality, but it seems to dominate my thoughts. And while I've never sat down and did the exact calculation, I'm guessing about $3 million is needed in my retirement account by the time I hit 70. I am also assuming that I will live close to 100 - my family gene pool is telling me so - along with the life line on my right hand!
I feel I have some adequate savings - not alot by any stretch of the imagination - but it's a start. I was fortunate to have some decent positions in my career that allowed me to start retirement accounts. Now that they are all rolled into one, I definitely need more. And, I work for someone who doesn't offer an account - frankly because she doesn't really believe in them. Her retirement income will come from selling her business.
So where does the $10 per week for cereal come in? It's a two-fold answer. One is I need more fiber in my diet - enough said there. The second is my food budget. I allow $200 per week for DH and I to eat on (along with our 2 kitties). I looked at how I was spending that allotment and realized the 2 cereals I mix together cost $10. Granted that's 5% of my budget, but it just seems ridiculous to me. One cereal is $4.50 per bag and the other is $5.68, and that is Wal-Mart prices. I can't find them any cheaper than that! On the contrary, I can spend about $3 for a 42 ounce (2lb. 10 oz) container of Quaker Oats and it'll last me longer than a week and I get more fiber. Plus, I can shave a little off of our food budget and allot it over to the retirement budget.
I know it seems like such a tiny step, but it's all those tiny steps that will add up to retirement dollars later in life. I think it's when you start looking at all those little things in life that you start to realize where your money is going. Being gluten-free isn't easy and it certainly isn't cheap!