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Old 11-30-2015, 02:14 PM   #21
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This is what i am talking about - I assumed that the savings expected in work related expenses would offset some of the items I mention.
I didn't assume the same. If anything, I budgeted more b/c I expect I have more time to do things (yard work, e.g) which need $$$. What I have done is to cut my home expense down - refinance to lower mortgage, replace Dishnetwork with Netflix, redo DW's smartphone contract to lower cost, etc..

Things I expect to spend more money on are traveling (gas), yard work - abandoned during work years, and spur of the moment spending.
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Old 11-30-2015, 02:18 PM   #22
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I don't think DH and I changed our spending much after I retired (he was already retired). We'd always traveled, rarely went out to dinner (unless traveling) and have never attended a movie together. We discovered RedBox just last month. We LOVE RedBox! Our only grandchild was born just before I retired (April, 2014) and, other than putting money in the 529 account and bringing up a case of diapers from Costco when we come to visit, we don't spend much on her.

The big shock for us was downsizing. We spent more than expected fixing up the old place for sale (and still had prospective buyers whine that the wall colors and light fixtures were "dated"). The smaller houses cost more than expected compared to the one we sold. Costs of fixes to our new home that we knew we wanted to do from the start (replacing some windows with failed seals and enclosing the back porch) cost far more than we expected based on costs we'd seen a few years ago plus some inflation. To add insult to injury, within a month of moving in our backflow valve failed the required city inspection and cost $2K to replace and when we had the furnace checked out before the heating season started it turned out to be emitting unacceptable levels of ozone. It was 20 years old, which we knew, but we'd hoped that we'd have a year or two. No- we replaced that, too.

I can't complain too much. We love the house and we had the cushion to absorb the unexpected shocks- but 2015 turned out to be an expensive year!
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Old 11-30-2015, 02:33 PM   #23
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I don't think DH and I changed our spending much after I retired (he was already retired). We'd always traveled, rarely went out to dinner (unless traveling) and have never attended a movie together. We discovered RedBox just last month. We LOVE RedBox! Our only grandchild was born just before I retired (April, 2014) and, other than putting money in the 529 account and bringing up a case of diapers from Costco when we come to visit, we don't spend much on her.

The big shock for us was downsizing. We spent more than expected fixing up the old place for sale (and still had prospective buyers whine that the wall colors and light fixtures were "dated"). The smaller houses cost more than expected compared to the one we sold. Costs of fixes to our new home that we knew we wanted to do from the start (replacing some windows with failed seals and enclosing the back porch) cost far more than we expected based on costs we'd seen a few years ago plus some inflation. To add insult to injury, within a month of moving in our backflow valve failed the required city inspection and cost $2K to replace and when we had the furnace checked out before the heating season started it turned out to be emitting unacceptable levels of ozone. It was 20 years old, which we knew, but we'd hoped that we'd have a year or two. No- we replaced that, too.

I can't complain too much. We love the house and we had the cushion to absorb the unexpected shocks- but 2015 turned out to be an expensive year!
You just discovered RedBox? Wow!
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Old 11-30-2015, 03:18 PM   #24
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You just discovered RedBox? Wow!

Yeah, I know. We're creatures of habit. So few of the movies coming out interest us that I didn't think we'd find anything we'd like, but there are a lot of good ones, and $1.50 plus tax isn't a bad price if it's a dud.
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Old 11-30-2015, 04:26 PM   #25
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Here I am a month and a half into this and I am slightly amazed at how much money I am spending.
Can you cut back somewhere else, maybe? Like say, cut the cable, or drop your landline phone? I am saving almost $150/month by cutting my cable TV and landline phone, and that funds some of my favorite recreational expenses, like video gaming.
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Old 11-30-2015, 10:19 PM   #26
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The good thing Dirt is most of this was just discretionary spending that can have the tap turned off if needed. I slipped badly today blowing $400 for no good reason. I have lived my life for over 50 years successfully without an office desk, but ordered one for my bills and electronics to lay on. Vacuumed my dads house the other day and was amazed at how light his Oreck vacuum sweeper was. I weighed mine today and at 18 pounds it was over twice as heavy and a pain to vacuum the stairs with. I fell victim to Cyber Monday.


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Old 11-30-2015, 11:11 PM   #27
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Have you ever thought of reloading your own ammo and shooting more for less money. (And with better loads) YMMV
I reloaded a bit in my college days (Lee Loader 45 ACP and 20 guage). But today, if I had to set up a nice reloading area down in the shop and equip it with quality equipment, then get involved in reloading as a hobby and become very knowledgeable and proficient, it would only be worth it if I loved reloading. Otherwise, saving a kilobuck or two per year in trade for all that time just wouldn't be worth it. Time is much more precious than money.

If reloading (including learning all about it and setting up) was how you wanted to spend time, go for it. If not, better to spend the money, even for inferior factory shells. I feel this way about a lot of things that I used to do to save a buck but which now, at 68 yo, just seem too time consuming unless spending time doing them is my heart's desire.

But, maybe OP is looking for a hobby to fill his free time?
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Old 11-30-2015, 11:25 PM   #28
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I budget and track the variable monthly stuff (groceries, entertainment, household, restaurants) otherwise it is easy for us to piddle away $500 a year on something stupid like frozen yogurt. I'd rather spend the $500 on something more substantial, like replacing an old appliance or taking a weekend trip. The bigger items like insurance and utility bills are pretty consistent month to month or year to year so there is not a lot of point for us in tracking those.

For movies I think the local matinee is $7.50. Costco tickets are $8.50. We live near a library so we can borrow a lot of DVDs for free. Last month I bought a stack of DVDs for $1 each at a used library book sale. I will re-donate them back when we are done, so it is cheap entertainment for us and the library gets the money.
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Old 12-01-2015, 12:19 AM   #29
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Our ER expense: in January 2015, first month of ER, our hot tub sprung a major leak in January and turned the patio into an ice rink. It was the third time it leaked in a year. So we shut it down. Decided in March to get a new one-a swim spa, and of course a new deck. Spent $40K. It took all summer to get it all installed. But in 3 months of regular swimming I feel better than I have in 3 years and my weight is dropping.

This month we spent $1500 sending DS to two conventions. He just finished his college course work so it was both fun and productive for him. He's between course work and graduation. It's nice to have him home for a couple of months when I'm not working. We might do some day trips, maybe to NYC to see it all dressed up for the holidays.




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Old 12-01-2015, 01:03 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by dirt_dobber View Post
Here I am a month and a half into this and I am slightly amazed at how much money I am spending.
A lot of this is due to having time now and the home projects I put off for a few years.
I have had the following expenses pop up...
Carpet professionally cleaned $160
Ammo buys off $175 - more time at the shooting range now ;-)
Movies $125 – never had the time before
Dime store purchases for grandkids $150 (candy, milk shakes, small toys etc.)
A few small weekend getaway trips $400
Various hardware store trips for paint etc. $300
Eating lunch out at fancy places $120 (after decades of brown bagging it)
New 32 inch computer monitor $400 (got spoiled at the ones I used at work)
And a host of new additional purchases.

I am sure this type of extra spending is going to slow down a lot soon but I did not expect this initial spurt of cash going out.
I was just wondering what others found in the first year of ER.
I'm still working the grind so I have no idea, but to me some of these expenses are a once in a blue moon type and maybe a little excitement of being retired and having time for you to do what you want to do

Carpet cleaning isn't monthly (at least at my house). Shooting might be high in the beginning but taper off after you get your fill, you'll probably peak out on the movies and move to redbox or get some of the weekday deals (our local nice theater has $5 Tuesdays and 1/2 price Monday nights).
Weekend trips will probably drop to once a month from every weekend (if that is what you were doing).
Won't be repainting monthly (at least at my house).
Eating out at fancy places might be replaced with home cooking (I have a ton of recipes I want to try when I have more time) or less expensive places after you get that out of your system.
Probably won't be buying monitors monthly...

Or I could just be blowing smoke, but personally I could see a little splurging during my first few months of ER!
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Old 12-01-2015, 03:32 AM   #31
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The good thing Dirt is most of this was just discretionary spending that can have the tap turned off if needed. I slipped badly today blowing $400 for no good reason. I have lived my life for over 50 years successfully without an office desk, but ordered one for my bills and electronics to lay on. Vacuumed my dads house the other day and was amazed at how light his Oreck vacuum sweeper was. I weighed mine today and at 18 pounds it was over twice as heavy and a pain to vacuum the stairs with. I fell victim to Cyber Monday.


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Thanks! Nice of you to vacuum your Dads' house - My dad passed over 10 years ago and it is amazing how often I think of him.
We have been using Oreck products for over 25 years and I agree - they are lightweight and perform very well and I have never had one break.
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Old 12-01-2015, 08:41 AM   #32
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I'm still working the grind so I have no idea, but to me some of these expenses are a once in a blue moon type and maybe a little excitement of being retired and having time for you to do what you want to do

<snip>
Or I could just be blowing smoke, but personally I could see a little splurging during my first few months of ER!
I agree- I think that monitoring expenses by category is the key. Our first 12 months after my retirement we spent modestly although we did take a cruise to Alaska, but had already saved up for most of it. Next 6 months, due to the move and a trip to Iceland, were a LOT more expensive. I'm a financial control freak and find it reassuring that I can see what all the "once in a blue moon" expenses are. Some are definitely non-recurring and some are purely discretionary and can be cut back if the investments start to tank.

I've also noticed, as have others here, that with more time on your hands it's easier to go after money that you might not have bothered with pre-retirement. I questioned a health insurance claim and got $170 knocked off of my share. DH ordered the wrong type of thermostat for a new heater and just stashed it in the garage. Fortunately, he kept the paperwork and that will be $25 back. We have the time to get competitive bids on major work. I just switched my cell phone over to Ting yesterday. It adds up.
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Old 12-01-2015, 09:34 AM   #33
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I expected and indeed it is true that we spend more than we did while employed. When we worked we had our heads down and did not do much other than work, grab meals and sleep, especially once the children were gone. So our budget was small and the excess was invested. Now we have time, energy and interest to explore stuff. I planned accordingly and we are well within our budget.
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Old 12-01-2015, 09:49 AM   #34
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We actually planned for this. Along with making sure our retirement portfolio was big enough for our early retire, we created a "slush fund" for our first year or two of retirement and set aside some extra funds for travel or whatever we might want to splurge on as soon as we retired.
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Old 12-01-2015, 09:52 AM   #35
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Thanks! Nice of you to vacuum your Dads' house - My dad passed over 10 years ago and it is amazing how often I think of him.
We have been using Oreck products for over 25 years and I agree - they are lightweight and perform very well and I have never had one break.

I never knew about them until I used it last week. I had to have one, and the discounts plus 10% using chase card got the cost down to $160, so I splurged.
I told my Dad I would stay over and help clean up the Thanksgiving dinner which had about 25 people in his house. He said don't worry his wife had it covered as she was going to have some of the women help. I knew it wouldn't happen as my dads wife is just the sweetest person in the world and wouldn't ask, so everyone was gone and nothing was cleaned. That is too much work for an 80 year old couple!


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Old 12-01-2015, 09:52 AM   #36
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I budgeted for $20,000 of additional annual spending, mostly travel, during the first 10 years of retirement.

So something like an extra $1,000 on hobbies or entertainment would just come out of that.
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Old 12-01-2015, 10:13 AM   #37
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We actually planned for this. Along with making sure our retirement portfolio was big enough for our early retire, we created a "slush fund" for our first year or two of retirement and set aside some extra funds for travel or whatever we might want to splurge on as soon as we retired.
That's precisely what we're doing.

Although we ER'd a couple of years ago, I feel our ER officially began when we moved this summer. Our new home is great, but we knew from the outset there were a few high-dollar items we needed to deal with sooner rather than later. Luckily for us, the sale of our previous home in the Bay Area went very well for us, and I was able to set aside a fairly large amt of cash outside of our retirement portfolio and earmark it for the new house, and for some splurges outside of our budget.

So far, we replaced the two dual heater/AC units in our house and installed a hot water recirculating system, we're about to re-do the landscaping in our front yard, and we're starting to think about how we'll want to re-landscape the back yard. Oh, and I got a new car, a Subaru Crosstrek.
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Old 12-01-2015, 12:24 PM   #38
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These all seem like pretty typical, easily forecasted expenses. We cover most of those line items in our own retirement budget (well, except the ammo and grandkid expenses!).

So far we went very slightly over budget in 2014 due to a major house exterior renovation (siding, roof, new windows), but we are way under budget so far in 2015 (like 30% under budget and only 1 month left). I am curious though once our kids are out of the house in another 15 years if our entertainment/fun/travel expenses will increase. Right now we're busy enough with kids and their school calendar constrains our ability to jet off somewhere nice on a whim.
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Old 12-01-2015, 03:05 PM   #39
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I would say my spending is up this year than what I had planned do to deferred auto and home maintenance. It seemed that for 4 months it was always something. Maybe I have now worked thru it. My capital improvement fund was not keeping track with what was needed. I did also set up accounts for specific future outlays and when they occur I will just pull the trigger and take care of them.

For an experiment we went to cash spending about 9 months ago. Amazing the difference in day to day stuff. Last month was a very low spending month for some reason and we didn't miss doing anything. Kids seem happy wife seems happy things seem to be settling in. Appears to be more inflow than outflow.

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Old 12-01-2015, 03:17 PM   #40
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I would say my spending is up this year than what I had planned do to deferred auto and home maintenance. It seemed that for 4 months it was always something. Maybe I have now worked thru it. My capital improvement fund was not keeping track with what was needed. I did also set up accounts for specific future outlays and when they occur I will just pull the trigger and take care of them.
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I do think this is what I am experiencing.
The spending does appear to be slowing now that I pause a bit and think about what I am going to spend money on.
Although there is a - buy 1 get 1 - pizza special that is calling my name tonight...
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