Speaking of counting money, I do not just count the money coming in, but also that going out. While I do not have a strict budget, I want to know where we are each year with respect to the target that I have in mind. I always keep track after the fact of all expenses to detect any telltale sign of lifestyle creep.
Yesterday, I was looking at my Quicken screen, and amazed myself that our spending YTD was lower than the first 4 months of previous years. Then, my wife reminded me that the upcoming trip expense, much of it already paid, was probably not accounted for. Duh!
What happened was that we booked a flight from LAX to CDG as it was less expensive than from our home city, even if we had to book Southwest flights to/from LAX. While booking the SW flight, I saw that they offered $200 for applying for their credit card, which is $100 after deducting the $100 annual membership, I went for that. They also said no foreign transaction fees, so I have been using it to book hotels, Airbnb, and to pay for the car rental.
And I have not gotten around to enter this new credit card account into Quicken for the latter to download all transactions. After doing that, I then saw that the YTD expenses were brought up to the same as last year. Hah! My wife has been paying all the bills. I only use my Quicken to do a higher-level look of where we are, so missed this credit card account.
I never spent as much time "counting money" like this when I was still working and bringing in money. Now that I have to live off my investments and savings, I pay more attention.
And seeing that the stash grows despite withdrawal for spending is indeed fun! If the stash shrank, it would no longer be fun, but then I would have to "count" even harder.
PS. The initial card bonus paid for much of the SW flight to LAX. Then, we waited to book the flight coming back to see if there would be better deals. My wife finally booked that, and by that time we had enough expenses on the card that the mileage on it was enough to get us a free flight back. Son of a gun!