Ds has been gone camping all week with his girlfriend and her family. We still have tons of pop left...the jar of peanut butter is still full....lots of bread still left....which got me to thinking. When both my kids are grown up and on their own I will be saving A LOT of money! Health insurance, car insurance, car gas, food, electricity, clothing, allowances. I estimate around $10,000 a year! Ds is probably about 2 1/2 years from full independence, when he fnishes his 4-year degree. Though I am hoping at some point along the way he picks up at least a part time job to help a little with his expenses. I still have almost 6 years for Dd to reach independance. She has 3 more years of high school, but she plans to also get (or as close as possible) her 2 year AA degree by the time she graduates high school, thereby getting her 4 year degree 2 years after that, when she is 20. Plus, knowing her, she will find a part time job while in high school and college to help a little with her gas and clothing.
It's a nice thought that I will have that much extra money each year in less than 6 years! I'll really be able to get our HELOC loan paid down/off and/or ramp up the 401k contributions. I'm not currently contributing anything right now. I had to stop 2 years ago when dh couldn't work anymore. The $280/mo I was contributing was just too much of a strain for our budget. Fortunately at the same time this happened my employer added a profit sharing portion to our benefits, whereby I get approximately $2100 (3.4% of my yearly salary) put into my 401k each year.
At a minimum life financially won't be quite such a struggle when it's just me and dh. I was previously kind of worried that once the kids were grown and gone we'd be poor, stuck at home, bored, etc. But we'll be able to afford going out to dinner every so often and even a couple of little trips :-)