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Cutting Back
Old 06-21-2008, 01:54 PM   #1
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Cutting Back

Is anybody cutting back on expenses due to the stock market and the economy ? I'm a little hesitant to spend a lot on travel right now which I wonder if it is foolish . I'm way under the 4% and I'm not getting any younger . Are other members doing the same ?
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Old 06-21-2008, 02:00 PM   #2
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I'm way under the 4% and I'm not getting any younger . Are other members doing the same ?
No, I'm not 'way under' 4%. And yes, I'm not getting any younger.

As to the cutting back question, not really. I set aside 2-3 years expenses in CD's and MMkts which insulates me a bit from having to spend 'depreciated assets' at the moment. I might tighten the belt some if things don't improve in the next 12-18 months, but as for now it's pretty much business as usual.
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Old 06-21-2008, 02:01 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Moemg View Post
Is anybody cutting back on expenses due to the stock market and the economy ? I'm a little hesitant to spend a lot on travel right now which I wonder if it is foolish . I'm way under the 4% and I'm not getting any younger . Are other members doing the same ?
Nope. I'm not going to feed the media fear and doom monster.

Silliness aside, no -- we still meet all our needs plus fully fund our retirement accounts (my 401K plus two Roths), plus we have close to year's expenses in our emergency fund. Obviously, if the doom-mongers are correct, at some point we'd have to adjust, yes. But for now I see this as a speed bump.

If anything, we'd cut back on spending because we want to invest more money while the market is down.
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Old 06-21-2008, 02:16 PM   #4
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If anything, we'd cut back on spending because we want to invest more money while the market is down.
I have cut back on discretionary expenses, including clothing, entertainment and gifts. I have stopped self funding work related expenses, e.g. parking, meetings requiring travel. (If it's important that I be there, they can pay my expenses).

However, I continue to invest in the markets at the same DCA. I am also gradually adding some managed rental real estate to my portfolio.
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Old 06-21-2008, 02:21 PM   #5
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my spring loaded wallet has shut tight and my debit card has a reverse toilet float ball mechanism whereby when the level gets too low it shuts down so that i can't flush any more than i already have in the tank.
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Old 06-21-2008, 02:29 PM   #6
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I've been trying to spend more money this year, but watching the stock market is making it harder to do.

On a related note...

I'm freecycling a hammock, and someone was planning to pick it up, then I got this email:
We don't have the gas to get out to your place!! i thought there was enough to get out to your house! My husband doesn't get paid intill the 27th. If there is any one else interested in it? You can pass it on if there is. Sorry, about this. Mary
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Old 06-21-2008, 02:31 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
On a related note...

I'm freecycling a hammock, and someone was planning to pick it up, then I got this email:
We don't have the gas to get out to your place!! i thought there was enough to get out to your house! My husband doesn't get paid intill the 27th. If there is any one else interested in it? You can pass it on if there is. Sorry, about this. Mary
Wow !
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Old 06-21-2008, 02:35 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
I'm freecycling a hammock, and someone was planning to pick it up, then I got this email:
We don't have the gas to get out to your place!! i thought there was enough to get out to your house! My husband doesn't get paid intill the 27th. If there is any one else interested in it? You can pass it on if there is. Sorry, about this. Mary
If there are any journalists lurking, it's sure to be fodder for the "see how badly everything sucks" approach to economic reporting these days.
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Old 06-21-2008, 04:33 PM   #9
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To be honest, the only thing I'm doing differently is saying 'wow, this trip to the fabric store in St Paul will cost me $8'. To be fair, we still go, and six months ago it wouldn't have been much less, but something about gas near that magical $4 mark ($3.92 when I filled up) gets me to do some math now and then.

Then again, we're nowhere near retirement.
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Old 06-21-2008, 04:36 PM   #10
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Heard this news story: In some state (California?) if you run out of gas on the freeway you get a free gallon of gas to get you going.

These incidents have doubled lately. They said that some people were not out of gas, just going after a free gallon ("Hey the fuel gauge is broken, that's why it doesn't point to 'Empty'"), but many were just filling up because gas was expensive.
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Old 06-21-2008, 05:33 PM   #11
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my spring loaded wallet has shut tight and my debit card has a reverse toilet float ball mechanism whereby when the level gets too low it shuts down so that i can't flush any more than i already have in the tank.


Lazy , you always come up with the best ideas !
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Old 06-21-2008, 05:58 PM   #12
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Not Stopping Me

As REWahoo said, there is a sufficient reserve in emergency funds to hold me for quite a while.

I am planning a driving trip in a couple of weeks. I've saved for it, and I intend to take the vacation. Certainly, if the markets were to drop significantly more (10% or more), I'd reconsider -- but I don't think that will happen.

Did notice today while I was out running errands that gasoline dropped $.02 a gallon from last Thursday.

--Rita
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Old 06-21-2008, 06:05 PM   #13
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answer to OP: yes. And the more you have a LYBM habit the worse it is. If I were expecting to retire with $80k, fewer problems ratcheting down to $60k than from $40k to $30k. I used to think if it got too expensive here we could always move back to the US, but having to pay for health care and prop. tax (here it's now zero!) would seriously undermine us.
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Old 06-21-2008, 06:16 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
I've been trying to spend more money this year, but watching the stock market is making it harder to do.
I'm still planning on spending more this year, but the craziness has made me put the capital markets on my ignore list. Only way I can keep my sanity is by not watching what's going on.

Quote:
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To be honest, the only thing I'm doing differently is saying 'wow, this trip to the fabric store in St Paul will cost me $8'. To be fair, we still go, and six months ago it wouldn't have been much less, but something about gas near that magical $4 mark ($3.92 when I filled up) gets me to do some math now and then.
It's hard to ignore the price of gasoline when it costs $80 to fill up my truck. Good thing I only fill it up once a month or so, but I do find myself calculating how much it costs to drive someplace.
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Old 06-21-2008, 07:02 PM   #15
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I'm trying to cut back but DW isn't playing along. I think she thinks I'm working nights.
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Old 06-21-2008, 07:09 PM   #16
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I'm trying to cut back but DW isn't playing along. I think she thinks I'm working nights.
Aren't you? I'd swear you said you were selling cars to ladies in the evening. Maybe I just imagined the selling cars part...
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Old 06-21-2008, 08:25 PM   #17
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The stock market isn't causing me to cut back on my spending. I am still working so my losses are lessened with each paycheck. Additionally, I have a considerable amount in fixed income, so my losses are bearable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
I've been trying to spend more money this year, but watching the stock market is making it harder to do.

Like you, I've been trying to spend more money this year. Some of the things that are stopping me are:
  • Old (spending) habits die hard.
  • After I get home from a long day at work, the last thing I would want to do is shop.
  • I don't want to add to my stuff until after I move north (less to move, less hassle).
  • I don't want to get a brand new car all dented and scratched in the parking lot at work, so no new car this year.
  • Nintendo just isn't making enough Wii's and Wii Fit's.
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Old 06-21-2008, 08:32 PM   #18
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Not cutting back at all, but still do not like the gas prices and just envision all that money going to the middle east (I know it all does not go there). In fact I purchased a couple of near the top of the line computers with all the attachments this year and a new HD TV. We are planning a 2-3 week trip to Virginia (from Central OH) and may extend it to north Florida for a week or so before heading home (about a 2,100 mile trip in a SUV).
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Old 06-21-2008, 09:24 PM   #19
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No cutting back here. 18 day vacation in May, planning some more.

I am a little over 4% this year because of some irregular expenses, but the dividends that I live on
keep getting raised (PG in April, JNJ in May, ITW probably in September, KIM probably in October)
faster than inflation, so no concerns here. Stock market valuations mean little to me any more. Now if
profits for the companies I hold rise more slowly than inflation, then I would start to get concerned.
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Old 06-21-2008, 09:32 PM   #20
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Heard this news story: In some state (California?) if you run out of gas on the freeway you get a free gallon of gas to get you going.

These incidents have doubled lately. They said that some people were not out of gas, just going after a free gallon ("Hey the fuel gauge is broken, that's why it doesn't point to 'Empty'"), but many were just filling up because gas was expensive.
The only people in California who get anything free are the illegals. Where I live, regular gas is $4.99 a gallon and if I run out, I'm on my own.
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