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Old 12-27-2013, 04:03 PM   #21
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$5 at a sit-down restaurant? Wisconsin has low cost of living but that deal is nowhere to be seen outside of an occasional breakfast special. Maybe I should move to New Orleans
Sorry! I was in a huge rush because we were headed off to the gym and lunch. So, I made a mistake (and corrected my post as follows):
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$12 for the two of us, +$2 tip. Sometimes less but never a lower tip than that.

Aaron, a lot of this low price is because we are older, and older people don't eat as much. Also I am trying not to eat much for weight loss reasons. You would probably need to pay a lot more for lunch than we do.
Often we split a small $7.99 wrap between the two of us, and I only drink water at lunch which means my share is $4. But then we have tax, and tip, so my contribution is $6. Other times, like today, I ordered my own Caesar salad which was $7.99 all by itself. So, with tax, and tip, my contribution was $10. It all averages out.

But you are right - - - restaurant competition here is absolutely brutal and because of that, we do pretty well in the local mom'n'pop restaurants.
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Old 12-27-2013, 04:05 PM   #22
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My food/alcohol, not dining out was almost $15k. Time to cut back...
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Old 12-27-2013, 04:08 PM   #23
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Aaron, a lot of this low price is because we are older, and older people don't eat as much.
Tell that to my dad. He's only 1 year younger than you and eats for 3.
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Old 12-27-2013, 04:10 PM   #24
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I thought we did pretty good this last year. I only keep track of the money we SPEND.....I don't include Health insurance since that comes off my pension before I ever see it. We will be just under $36,000 for the year. I do NOT know how some of you are coming in well under $20k. I might have to itemize this year to see where it is going. Beer+Walmart Diet Coke is costing me about $1600 a year. Couple thousand on fixing the septic and having some trees cut down (although I get a fair amount of that back with reduced heating bills from wood)....and I cut down on the golfing this last year and only went 20-30 times. But......for less than $20k I would be living off pine cones and rice.......
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Old 12-27-2013, 04:12 PM   #25
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Tell that to my dad. He's only 1 year younger than you and eats for 3.
Well see? With heredity like that, it would probably cost you a lot more. But at least you wouldn't have to pay for Weight Watchers!
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Old 12-27-2013, 04:16 PM   #26
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Well see? With heredity like that, it would probably cost you a lot more. But at least you wouldn't have to pay for Weight Watchers!
My metabolism is starting to slow down. My dad gained 100 pounds from age 30 to 64. I don't want to match that.
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Old 12-27-2013, 04:26 PM   #27
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This is according to Mint.

Household Expenses (Food, Clothing, Entertainment, etc) - 36,070
Mortgage - 12,256
Property Tax 3913
Electricity - 1820
Home Auto Insurance - 1072
Water/Sewer - 1068
Phone - 1180
Cable/Internet - 862
Life Insurance - 747

If it doesn't fit in to one of the categories above, I just treat it as a "household expense" and budget for $4000 per month. Looks like we were well under budget for the year.
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Old 12-27-2013, 04:31 PM   #28
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My food/alcohol, not dining out was almost $15k. Time to cut back...
Wow. Hope you work out a lot.
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Old 12-27-2013, 04:45 PM   #29
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My 2013 expenses will be about $18,700. I can't determine amounts for every category yet until I get the 1098 form from my co-op at the end of January (to determine property taxes and home mortgage interest), and until I get our annual report from the co-op (to determine some other categories I keep track of when allocating annual expenses). We always have a thread (perhaps this one) around as we begin a new year so I will post an entry/update another time.
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Old 12-27-2013, 05:17 PM   #30
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Knock on wood, i've been fortunate to have nearly zero medical expenses in my adult life thus far. I realize a lot changes from age 34 to 50+. The job i'm doing now requires that I stay in good shape and I get a full(free) lab work-up plus vital signs and ECG several times a year.
Hey now Aaron don't feel so pessimistic about future medical expenses. I'm almost 50 and I don't spend any money on medical care except for premiums. None of my friends do either. I have already decided I am waiting until I am on Medicare for I have any expenses and let the government pay for it! Just keep staying in shape and eat decent and more than likely you will be fine. Oh, and brush and floss those teeth often too and you will save a fortune down the road.
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Old 12-27-2013, 05:27 PM   #31
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Hey now Aaron don't feel so pessimistic about future medical expenses. I'm almost 50 and I don't spend any money on medical care except for premiums...
I was saying that up till I was 56.

BMI of 24-25 (23 now), BP 85/128, heart rate of 65, fasting blood glucose of 88, etc... Doctor said bloodwork was the best he had seen for a while. Maybe his patients were all geezers, but those were his exact words. Other than painful kidney stones that I managed to pass on my own (without even pain killers which are for sissies), I had no health issues. Still take nothing but a baby aspirin.

Never been hospitalized, operated on or poked in any place, until it just happened.

Anyway, there's ACA now so Aaron has nothing to fear, nor does anybody else.

PS. Still have all of my natural teeth except two. Had to have several crowns because of teeth grinding due to job-related stress.
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Old 12-27-2013, 05:48 PM   #32
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I've kept track of spending for the last seven years, using my own category system.

For 2013, taxes were high (due to a big Roth conversion) and vacation was high (due to treating ourselves to a memorable trip), but all the other categories were very close to the seven year average.
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Old 12-27-2013, 05:51 PM   #33
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PS. Still have all of my natural teeth except two. Had to have several crowns because of teeth grinding due to job-related stress.
two = several?

Or maybe you're counting crowns as natural teeth?
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Old 12-27-2013, 06:00 PM   #34
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I will not do the math until January 1, but based on my monthly expense accounting, my 2013 expenses will certainly exceed everyone's so far. Travel is a significant category for me. Stuff costs more in Canada. But I will have spent <3% of my portfolio and less than my financial plan projected, so that's all good.
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Old 12-27-2013, 06:05 PM   #35
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I was saying that up till I was 56. BMI of 24-25 (23 now), BP 85/128, heart rate of 65, fasting blood glucose of 88, etc... Doctor said bloodwork was the best he had seen for a while. Maybe his patients were all geezers, but those were his exact words. Other than painful kidney stones that I managed to pass on my own (without even pain killers which are for sissies), I had no health issues. Still take nothing but a baby aspirin. Never been hospitalized, operated on or poked in any place, until it just happened. Anyway, there's ACA now so Aaron has nothing to fear, nor does anybody else. PS. Still have all of my natural teeth except two. Had to have several crowns because of teeth grinding due to job-related stress.
Hopefully you have bounced back all the way now, NW! I never have had kidney stones but from what I have heard, you are a way tougher guy than I would be.
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Old 12-27-2013, 07:03 PM   #36
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I think this thread was designed to make me feel bad. I was hoping to keep my expenses down to about 55k. After 6 months of retirement, its looking more like 70k if I work at keeping it down. I sure hope expenses drop when I am no longer living with one foot in Virginia and the other in Colorado. I've got to do something about the 10k a year car costs.
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Old 12-27-2013, 07:23 PM   #37
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two = several?

Or maybe you're counting crowns as natural teeth?
I have 4 molar crowns for the teeth that were worn out due to grinding, called bruxism. I consider them still natural because they had no cavities, did not need tooth canal treatment, and are still "live".

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Hopefully you have bounced back all the way now, NW! I never have had kidney stones but from what I have heard, you are a way tougher guy than I would be.
I had several bouts of kidney stones in life, and initially thought it was lower back pain. When I was 35, went to the ER when I was passing blood and thought it could be kidney disease. After diagnosis, they sent me home to try to pass it naturally. Since then, I try to remember to drink a lot of water daily, and that really helps.

And then in 2009, I passed an even larger stone, after inadvertently eating a huge spinach salad, followed by a large wedge of cheese. The combination of the above two created an oxalate stone as documented in a post here: http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...tml#post848278. Click on the photo for a close up of this gemstone.

This time, I "knew" it was a kidney stone, so did not bother to go to the doctor, and suffered for about 2 weeks. This was actually dumb, as it could have been something else that might cost me my life.
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Old 12-27-2013, 08:10 PM   #38
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I will not do the math until January 1, but based on my monthly expense accounting, my 2013 expenses will certainly exceed everyone's so far...
You spent more than my $831?
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Old 12-27-2013, 09:20 PM   #39
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This is one of those threads where I suspect that most people posting will be those with low (how low can you go?) spending.

I always sort of feel bad when I see this kind of thing as our spending this year was well above what I am seeing here.

On the other hand, we have 4 people at home including 2 kids, one of whom was full-time in college and the other was finishing high school and taking dual credit college. So college/kid expenses were a big chunk of the spending. The other one was insurance. DH is on Medicare but due to high income 2 years ago he had to pay extra medicare premiums so health insurance (Medicare + retiree coverage for me and the kids )was over $11k. Annual auto insurance premium was about $4700 (the perils of having a young adult male on your policy). Next year, medical insurance will be over $16k and my daughter will get her license so the auto insurance will go up even more.

All of that said - our spending this year was only about 40% of our full-time income right before DH retired and I semi-retired. Even better, our projected spending after the kids is gone will be slightly more than half of our current spending.
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Old 12-27-2013, 09:38 PM   #40
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This is one of those threads where I suspect that most people posting will be those with low (how low can you go?) spending.

I always sort of feel bad when I see this kind of thing as our spending this year was well above what I am seeing here.
I don't feel bad at all about spending money.

This year I vacationed in New Zealand, Australia (twice!), the Colorado Rockies, New York City (twice!), North Carolina, Seattle, and Hawaii. I have no clue how much I spent although a year of college for oldest had to be more than $50,000. Fortunately, taxes and health insurance were very low, not to mention that the stock market did rather well.

PS: And just passed another kidney stone last week (while on vacation), but I was a wuss and had some pain pills in the suitcase just in case.
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