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2009 actuals v/s budget
Old 01-04-2010, 03:43 PM   #1
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2009 actuals v/s budget

It will be great to hear how your budget (SWR v/s actuals) fared in 2009.

In response to 2008, we had reduced our 2009 budget by 13%. We came in at 83% of that reduced budget. But what makes me ecstatic is that our expenses were just under 4% of our portfolio value on Jan 1, 2009.

I can't tell you what a great confidence boost that is! I feel we can pull off this ER thing. However, we'd rather spend a little more and we're both going to work a bit in 2010 & maybe even after that.

We didn't travel much after we put on the brakes in Feb though we still got in a couple of nice vacations. We watched what we bought for ourselves, but we ate & drank well, entertained freely and had a great time close to home.

We spent some time during the latter half of the year looking for work. I've managed to land a job that has the potential to be ideal for my current situation, and DW has a few promising leads.

All in all, 20 months after leaving our full-time jobs, I feel great about our finances.

Please share your financial experiences in 2009.

Happy New Year!
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:49 PM   #2
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Thanks for reminding me to check. I was tighter than usual last year, so we spent about $12,000 under budget despite spending nearly $5,000 on a new roof.

2009 was a scary and insecure year for us financially, but in retrospect it was probably the best year we've ever had financially considering income, cash flow and investment performance. Odd how that works. Then again, that has to come with a cost: a j*b.
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:53 PM   #3
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Since we got hit hard at the end of 2008 we planned on using the 95% rule. DW and I needed a bunch of Dental work (14K) so our plan didn't work out so well. After retiring in 2006 I took a part time job last May to help out a bit during the down turn. This worked out pretty well and I'm about to re=retire at this point. We ended up spending about 5K more in total than 2008 but with the PT job I made enough to cover most of our expenses.

60K in 2008 and 65K in 2009. That was with using $400 a month for taxes as part of the calc's.
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:56 PM   #4
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Oh gawd...I knew someone would create a thread on this topic.

j/k....

I'll git back wif ya in a few days when my cc statements come in.
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:58 PM   #5
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I spent about $1800 under budget for 2009.
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Old 01-04-2010, 04:05 PM   #6
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I do the 4% of portfolio for my SWR so of course my amount was reduced last year . Amazingly I came in $11,000 under budget even with a few large purchases (appliances &furniture ),travel , car repairs and a few large gifts and lots of little gifts . Since I retired in 2008 I felt better using the 4% than my orginal amount plus inflation .
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Old 01-04-2010, 04:08 PM   #7
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It was much harder to keep a lid on expenses in 2009 than it was in 2008. Call it the wealth effect. With the strong market rebound in the second half of 2009 and a big pay raise in the spring, it became harder to justify our austere spending plan. We clearly let loose in the second half of the year and ended the year 25% over budget.

The culprits can readily be identified: new sofas, too many far flung vacations, too much helping others financially and especially "too much" charitable giving. Oh well... Everything else was pretty much on target and our 2009 spending remains below the average for the previous 5 years, so what the heck.
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Old 01-04-2010, 04:38 PM   #8
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Somehow I always feel like my posts to this type of thread seem like bragging. They aren't intended to be! But OK, here goes.

My 2009 spending was 1.94% of today's nestegg (Vanguard+TSP). However, I just got my first tiny federal annuity (=pension) check this weekend.

So, my 2009 spending was 1.43% of my net worth if I subtract that pension "take home" from my spending.

My planned 2010 SWR in retirement is 3.45%. Guess I'd better stop goofing off and having such a good time, and instead put my nose to the grindstone and get busy stimulating the economy.
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Old 01-04-2010, 04:58 PM   #9
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W2R, I hear that going on Ebay while having a glass or two of wine can do that!

ta,
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Old 01-04-2010, 05:03 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by 73ss454 View Post
Since we got hit hard at the end of 2008 we planned on using the 95% rule. DW and I needed a bunch of Dental work (14K) so our plan didn't work out so well. After retiring in 2006 I took a part time job last May to help out a bit during the down turn. This worked out pretty well and I'm about to re=retire at this point. We ended up spending about 5K more in total than 2008 but with the PT job I made enough to cover most of our expenses.

60K in 2008 and 65K in 2009. That was with using $400 a month for taxes as part of the calc's.
I also follow the 4%/95% rule for SWRs. Bob Clyatt, in a post here, advised against my taking the 95% option in my 2nd year of ER given that I was 48 at the time.

I think the part-time job is the way to go. Since our SWR can handle the bulk of expenses, it doesn't take much to fill in the 'gap'.

We have an emergency fund with about a year's expenses and had planned to use some of it to augment the 4% withdrawal. I don't count the emergency fund or the funds I have set aside for our mortgage (principal + Int) payments while determining our 4% SWR.
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Old 01-04-2010, 05:07 PM   #11
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My 2009 actual was about 10% lower than the budgeted, but that was due to not taking a major vacation. Otherwise, it would have been about 3% lower than the budgeted.
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Old 01-04-2010, 05:14 PM   #12
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My 2009 budgeted included moving once....not TWICE. So my actual vs budgeted was way off. I'm tightening things up for 2010 and expect to remain within budget.
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Old 01-04-2010, 05:18 PM   #13
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W2R, I hear that going on Ebay while having a glass or two of wine can do that!

ta,
mew
I am probably the last person on earth who has never bought or sold anything on e-Bay! I'll have to look into the possibilities....
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Old 01-04-2010, 05:29 PM   #14
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My planned 2010 SWR in retirement is 3.45%. Guess I'd better stop goofing off and having such a good time, and instead put my nose to the grindstone and get busy stimulating the economy.

Don't worry taxes and healthcare costs will help you meet your goal !
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Old 01-04-2010, 05:36 PM   #15
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Don't worry taxes and healthcare costs will help you meet your goal !
They might! The healthcare costs were included (deducted from my pension before I ever saw it), though the taxman might get me. Including taxes and health, it comes to almost, but not quite, 2%. So that still leaves me with some spending to do if I am going to get up to 3.45%.
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Old 01-04-2010, 05:40 PM   #16
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I am probably the last person on earth who has never bought or sold anything on e-Bay! I'll have to look into the possibilities....
You're not alone. As far as I know no one in my family has ever used e-bay. I wouldn't even know how if I wanted to. I've browsed but never considered actually buying anything and I don't buy "stuff" therefore have nothing to sell.

I've never kept track of my expenses or made an official budget before but I figure last year I averaged <$1200/mo so i'll budget myself $1250/mo for 2010 and keep track of everything I spend.
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Old 01-04-2010, 05:54 PM   #17
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You're not alone. As far as I know no one in my family has ever used e-bay. I wouldn't even know how if I wanted to. I've browsed but never considered actually buying anything and I don't buy "stuff" therefore have nothing to sell.

I've never kept track of my expenses or made an official budget before but I figure last year I averaged <$1200/mo so i'll budget myself $1250/mo for 2010 and keep track of everything I spend.
Sounds good! I kept track of every penny I spent last month, just out of curiousity, and I was really surprised at some things. I'm not sure I would know how to buy or sell anything on e-bay, either.
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Old 01-04-2010, 06:14 PM   #18
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Hoo Wee...there are some thrifty folks here. I was going to give my numbers later showing essential and discretionary expenses, but y'all will think I'm a party animal.

I think I'll just lump all of it in one total...wouldn't want to give the wrong impression...
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Old 01-04-2010, 06:55 PM   #19
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Hoo Wee...there are some thrifty folks here.
Based on things I read in another thread, I decided to buy some vitamin D3 today when I went grocery shopping. I couldn't believe that 1 bottle costs $9. It's a 200 day supply but it was very hard for me to spend that $9. I've been thinking about it all afternoon. "Was that $9 that I needed to spend?" is what I keep asking myself.

Then there are the people on yet another thread who talk about putting $3000+ per month onto their credit cards. I barely even take home half that much per month to cover all my expenses. I can't imagine how people can spend so much when they are trying to retire early.

There are extremes on both ends but they work for those invloved. Everyone has a different way to get to their goals. Don't feel bad if yours are different than someone elses.
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Old 01-04-2010, 07:04 PM   #20
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Hoo Wee...there are some thrifty folks here. I was going to give my numbers later showing essential and discretionary expenses, but y'all will think I'm a party animal.

I think I'll just lump all of it in one total...wouldn't want to give the wrong impression...
Aaron is the King of LBYM, I think!! Pretty impressive. I am sure I will make up for my spending inadequacies later on. I have that car to buy. No way am I as thrifty as folks like Aaron - - I spent a lot more than he did and some of it was on discretionary stuff too. In a few years he is going to be so glad that he watched his pennies.
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