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Old 01-01-2014, 12:04 PM   #201
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I don't think Mulligan was describing a "savings fetish", just choosing to spend based on the value of products to him. That certainly resonates with me. If some savings result, that's great. Otherwise, provided that spending stays within the budget, no big worries. One example of value spending has been cutting cable. I did it after I realized that I had not turned on my TV for over 6 months, and I do not miss it at all. Instead, I spent that money on travel. If I can save a little in ER, I intend to sock it away in my TFSA, where I can access it for discretionary use without paying further taxes. It's reassuring for those of us who are not in your financial league to have a little cushion like that. dde04
Yes Mead, you summed it up pretty well. And my situation is a little different. Even though I am retired, I am heavily dependent on a one source pension income. Knowing that if I have some available cash on my own if my pension ever got cut is also reassuring to me.
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Old 01-01-2014, 12:17 PM   #202
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I wish I had Meadbh's self-control. I'll just leave it on all day!
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Old 01-01-2014, 12:23 PM   #203
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Originally Posted by rescueme View Post
Or simply have a larger portfolio to begin with ...
... which also requires working a few more years.
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Old 01-01-2014, 02:39 PM   #204
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This doesn't include income tax and doesn't include expenditures for the two kids in college (the kids category is stuff DW buys for them, mostly cloths...my girls buy a LOT of cloths). The medical is my part of paycheck insurance premiums. DW and DH are a catch-all by person (clothes, dining out, cell phone, donations, etc). The travel is really low since we did inexpensive travel this year (have a lot of family in Florida). Housing includes mortgage, utilities and taxes.

This exercise, which also included 4 previous years, was to get a feel for how our burn rate varied (not much except for when we did overseas travel). This gives me a good base to project forward, knowing there will be some categories that just need to be recalculated without the benefit of historical data.
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Old 01-01-2014, 05:05 PM   #205
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Shawn and Major Tom both do great for the Bay area. I am not from there but I know it is crazy expensive. My hat is off to both of you guys.
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Old 01-01-2014, 06:12 PM   #206
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Mortgages 26.48 % $10,466.80
Groceries 17.47 % $6,904.96 never seen this so high - only explanation is that we had a Costco membership this year & I'm not splitting transactions accurately (also am no longer in frugal mode and do a food bank donation on almost every shopping trip)
Hobbies 12.97 % $5,129.10 didn't want to travel far this year so spent the $ at home
Utilities 9.46 % $3,740.13
Automotive Exp... 5.73 % $2,263.64
Insurance 3.70 % $1,461.50
Cable/Satellit... 3.08 % $1,218.44 - dropped (unwatched) cable mid year
Entertainment 2.78 % $1,097.61
General Mercha... 2.74 % $1,083.71
Telephone Serv... 2.10 % $830.94
Child/Dependen... 2.05 % $808.71
Other Categories 11.45 % $4,525.74
Total 100.00 % $39,531.28 Goal was spend of ~ $40k

Total income tax paid was just under $38,000 for ~ 1/2 year of contract work.
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Old 01-01-2014, 07:58 PM   #207
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Here is a quick breakdown of my 2013 expenses:

Co-op Maintenance Charges (mostly property taxes, also co-op mortgage interest, parking, heating oil, gas for cooking, and everything else which is part of the general upkeep of our large co-op): $6,146

Income Taxes (some for 2012, some 2013 Estimated): $3,120

Medical and Health expenses including dental: $2,399

Utilities (Cable, phone, Internet, electric): $2,233

Auto and Home Insurance: $1,567

Other Car Expenses: $613

In July, I began using a new, cashback credit card for most of my food purchases (along with other purchases) instead of using cash.

Remaining expenses (cash, credit card, check, mostly for food): $3,591

Total: $19,669
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Old 01-01-2014, 08:58 PM   #208
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Hi Shawn, Just curious - is this years veterinary bills for the same cat that you posted about last year ?
Yes. The veterinary bills in 2012 ($15K) and in 2013 ($20K) were for the same cat (the $23K bills listed for 2004/2005 were for a different cat). The costs may seem high, but it is interesting to note that the diagnostic and treatment options for pets can be very similar to those for people. In addition, there are a wide variety of veterinary specialists that can provide treatment, as appropriate.

The costs this past year can be approximately broken down as $9K at the veterinary clinic itself, $2K prescribed medications administered at home, $6K for daily visits by the pet nanny (look in on cat while I was at work, encourage her to eat, administer medications and subcutaneous fluids, etc), and $3K miscellaneous.

Unfortunately, my cat passed away in early November at age 17 1/2. She was quite active up until early October (e.g., climbing 6 foot fence) and mostly active up until late October (e.g., going outside on her own). So while I miss her a lot, I have no regrets or second thoughts about the costs or treatment.
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2013 expenses
Old 01-01-2014, 09:10 PM   #209
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2013 expenses

We have not yet FIREd. Our 2013 expenses for two people came out to just under $120K. This includes mortgage and rent (~$30K), travel (~$30K), eating out (~$15K) and gifts/charity ($8K), but does not include income taxes.

Income-wise, this was a great year for us, but there was definitely lifestyle inflation. Last year, we spent $113K, which included $16K of loan payoffs.
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Old 01-01-2014, 09:14 PM   #210
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Yep, and we buy NO junk food, very little processed and hardly any soda. Lots of fruit and veg, salmon. Hubby can still run a 20 minute 5k at 60, me not so much. He has been doing all the shopping as I was still working, and he buys whatever..and never looks at sales or prices. Wine is our big expense, hate to admit it, but the two of us go thru 5-7 bottles a week, so that's around $100 a week, yikes, but it keeps us happy!
"20 minute 5K at 60" Wow! Hubby must also bring home lots of medals for winning his age group.
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Old 01-01-2014, 10:02 PM   #211
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Unfortunately, my cat passed away in early November at age 17 1/2. She was quite active up until early October (e.g., climbing 6 foot fence) and mostly active up until late October (e.g., going outside on her own). So while I miss her a lot, I have no regrets or second thoughts about the costs or treatment.
Shawn, I am so sorry to hear about your cat. Losing a pet can be so hard. She lived to a very old age, and you were good to her and made sure she had good care to minimize any suffering if she even suffered at all. She was lucky to be your cat.
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Old 01-01-2014, 11:18 PM   #212
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Originally Posted by Shawn View Post

Yes. The veterinary bills in 2012 ($15K) and in 2013 ($20K) were for the same cat (the $23K bills listed for 2004/2005 were for a different cat). The costs may seem high, but it is interesting to note that the diagnostic and treatment options for pets can be very similar to those for people. In addition, there are a wide variety of veterinary specialists that can provide treatment, as appropriate.

The costs this past year can be approximately broken down as $9K at the veterinary clinic itself, $2K prescribed medications administered at home, $6K for daily visits by the pet nanny (look in on cat while I was at work, encourage her to eat, administer medications and subcutaneous fluids, etc), and $3K miscellaneous.

Unfortunately, my cat passed away in early November at age 17 1/2. She was quite active up until early October (e.g., climbing 6 foot fence) and mostly active up until late October (e.g., going outside on her own). So while I miss her a lot, I have no regrets or second thoughts about the costs or treatment.
Shawn, I am sorry to hear about your cat. She could not have had a better, more devoted human companion than you. What a wonderful life you gave her.
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Old 01-01-2014, 11:56 PM   #213
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Originally Posted by Shawn View Post
Unfortunately, my cat passed away in early November at age 17 1/2. She was quite active up until early October (e.g., climbing 6 foot fence) and mostly active up until late October (e.g., going outside on her own). So while I miss her a lot, I have no regrets or second thoughts about the costs or treatment.
So sorry to hear about your cat. Our pets have always been family members and we pay for the best care for them, too.
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Old 01-01-2014, 11:59 PM   #214
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Originally Posted by Shawn View Post
Unfortunately, my cat passed away in early November at age 17 1/2. She was quite active up until early October (e.g., climbing 6 foot fence) and mostly active up until late October (e.g., going outside on her own). So while I miss her a lot, I have no regrets or second thoughts about the costs or treatment.
You were a great pet owner and I'm sorry to hear about your cat. 17 1/2 is a very long life and she was lucky to have you.
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Old 01-02-2014, 01:06 AM   #215
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Expenses were 35% higher than last year. Travel was way up this year because the EU and Japan were more expensive that SE Asia destinations from past years. Electronics was up because I replaced a camera and smartphone.


Travel 8,918
Rent 3,582
Medical 2,969
Restaurants 2,376
Electronics 1,766
Motorbike 1,435
Misc. 1,416
Grocery & street food 1,202
Entertainment 639
Mail forwarding 397
Transport In Country 368
Electricity 327
Laundry 209
Cell phone 157
Visa 109
Household 69
Transport - In Town 68

SUM 26,008
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Old 01-02-2014, 07:00 AM   #216
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Starting to think those people who spend $20K or less have NO bad habits. Where's the drinking? Junk food? Where are the "wary of going to Hell" lifestyles
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Old 01-02-2014, 09:19 AM   #217
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Starting to think those people who spend $20K or less have NO bad habits. Where's the drinking? Junk food? Where are the "wary of going to Hell" lifestyles
OK I'll own up to something-- not drinking or junk food, but I'm addicted to speculating on pink sheet penny stocks. That's a fancy term for gambling according to relatives who know my secret. I may not be able to keep up with you indexers but as long as my return is positive I'm not counting this as an expense. Plus I hear that mental exercise can reduce risk for dementia-related problems so the opportunity cost is paid back in health benefits.
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:14 AM   #218
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Originally Posted by Shawn View Post
Unfortunately, my cat passed away in early November at age 17 1/2. She was quite active up until early October (e.g., climbing 6 foot fence) and mostly active up until late October (e.g., going outside on her own). So while I miss her a lot, I have no regrets or second thoughts about the costs or treatment.
I am so sorry for your loss. You gave her two years that many other people would not have, filled with care and love.
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:18 AM   #219
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Our expenses came out to $64,678. This included RE taxes of $9,600 and healthcare premiums of $11,400. Still trying to convince my DW that we should move out of Chicago burbs to lower our RE taxes and still trying to lower healthcare expenses by getting on the ACA exchanges.

Above is for our family of three.
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:42 AM   #220
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Shawn, I am also so very sorry for your loss. I agree with the others that she was a very lucky cat to have such a devoted owner.
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