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Old 12-27-2013, 09:40 PM   #41
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I felt bad that I spent 3.5% WR this year, while not traveling as much as the year before (which was nowhere as much as LOL). Something is wrong. Must be the generous donation this year.

PS. I also left a stone in Vancouver. Tough to make that as romantic as the song "I left my heart in San Francisco".
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Old 12-27-2013, 10:01 PM   #42
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We spent about $40k on essentials and about the same again on discretionary spending, including lots of travel in Europe including 3 cruises.

Just got off the phone with by brother in Oz. I expect we'll be spending a similar sum next year during 6 months in Oz, Tasmania, NZ and a Pacific island or 2.

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Old 12-27-2013, 10:13 PM   #43
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I spent about $40k this year as I still keep the restricter plates on my spending. My retirement path was unconventional though. I borrowed my way to early retirement (buying service years) and did not get serious about saving money for retirement until after I was retired. Having a nice cola pension that allows me to do this was the key. I will continue to save about 2k a month under my monthly after tax income for 5-7 more years, then I will eagerly spend every penny every month.
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Old 12-27-2013, 10:55 PM   #44
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I don't feel bad at all about spending money.
I probably used a poor choice of words. I don't feel bad about what we spent. I am actually glad that we stayed within our budget. Some individual items were more than anticipated and others were less so it balanced out.

I think it is more than I am a little envious of the lower expenses once kids are out of the house and off the college dime. But, we'll be there in a few years...
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Old 12-27-2013, 11:27 PM   #45
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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 12-28-2013, 12:22 AM   #46
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I probably used a poor choice of words. I don't feel bad about what we spent. I am actually glad that we stayed within our budget. Some individual items were more than anticipated and others were less so it balanced out.

I think it is more than I am a little envious of the lower expenses once kids are out of the house and off the college dime. But, we'll be there in a few years...
We are in the same boat. Still paying high car insurance rates, some college costs and everything else.

Though after adding up pension income, reduced taxes, ACA subsidies, tax credits and maybe financial aid for college, no more job or commute costs and the money we save by having DH home to help with housework and control expenses better, we actually broke even financially with his salary from when he was working full time.
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wow, maybe cuz I live in California ??
Old 12-28-2013, 01:45 AM   #47
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wow, maybe cuz I live in California ??

Since we live on credit cards, our 2013 expenses are finalized. For 2 people living in So Cal. no debt on house and cars.

food...................6000
gasoline..............3360
my allowance.............7200 (pays for entertainment and dinners out)
my wife's allowance....7200 (pays for stupid girly things)
utilities................6600
household............6600 (this includes all trips to Walmart, Target...)
property taxes......5500
health insurance...5000
car insur & repair..2640
house insur incl EQ..2000
house repairs.........500
extra medical costs..600
income taxes..........6300
drugs......................900
Christmas................600
Travel...................8000

total s/b about $69000 (don't forget, no house payments no car payments)

next year $74,000
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Old 12-28-2013, 02:35 AM   #48
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I'll win this one! Or lose it, depending on your point of view.

My expenses were right around $1MM for 2013 - but that includes buying a house. 2012 was more like 1/10th of that. Next year should be more reasonable, though a new roof and bathroom remodel will prevent us from getting back to normal just yet.
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Old 12-28-2013, 04:54 AM   #49
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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
Now you've got me curious. What are your bad habits then?

I haven't totaled my 2013 spending yet - will do so when the month is over, but it will probably be in the region of around $17K - I'm thinking a bit more this year.

What to me feels like a bad habit would probably sound benign to others. Every now and again, I buy a 3-pack of 1.65 oz chocolate bars from Trader Joe's for around $1.80. I seem to remember Alan saying that he has a square of dark chocolate a day, but I will polish off the whole bar in one sitting. I probably eat about 2 of those bars a week on average. They're small bars though. My cholesterol, triglycerides, pulse rate etc are all good so I think I'm doing OK. A glass of red wine and a small bar of dark chocolate = heaven.

I do drink about 1/2 - 3/4 bottle wine a week, or 3 bottles of beer, depending on the particular week. I think that's within acceptable limits.

I mean - what's the point of doing anything to excess? It's not enjoyable if you do it too regularly or too heavily. Best to do it once in a while. It's soooo much more fun then . As a kid, I had a great uncle whose motto was "Everything in moderation." I think his focus was on the moderation part, but my interest was in the "everything" piece of the equation.
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Old 12-28-2013, 06:07 AM   #50
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This is a very helpful thread for me. I just completed my first year of tracking all expenses. Even though I'm some years away from retirement, it was a useful exercise. I found it rather eye-opening. I'm on a fast-track to paying off my mortgage (11 more months!) so have tried to be frugal without penny-pinching. My spending came to $30,120, not including income taxes and $22,200. on mortgage. Had some large medical bills this last year that shouldn't be repeated in 2014 (knock on wood). Biggest category that I can control is eating out, but that's hard to do--it is an important form of socializing for me.
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Old 12-28-2013, 07:38 AM   #51
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I'll find out what they were around 10 Jan when all my credit card statements finally come in.

I don't break down by percent in category though.
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Old 12-28-2013, 07:58 AM   #52
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Now you've got me curious. What are your bad habits then?
I'm afraid my bad habits are with consumption. I drink WAY too much beer and diet Cokes (cheapie Walmart brand). I'm talking a case of beer every week or a bit longer. Probably 2-3 cases of Coke a week. Been drinking a LOT of soda since about 1987. So $40 a week on these two habits. I've also always been a junk food eater. Even at 56 I probably go through a couple packs of licorice a week and a quart of ice cream.....at least. I was fairly good when I was still running competitively since it was the only way I could get my weight down. I still exercise 1-2 times a day which is why I don't weigh as much as one of my brothers (400lbs). Just over 170lbs and that should slide right back into the 160's once I have gotten over this toe operation.

I don't keep track of individual categories (although I think we will give it a try this year again), just our total expenditures. Our retirement goal (actually a requirement) was to stay under $48k a year.....preferably under $40K.

Bad habits...
- Beer- estimate of $1500+ a year.
- Diet Coke (or some substitute) $800 a year. $5 a case at Walmart.
- Candy/ice cream/chocolate almond cluster (Winco) at LEAST $800-1000 a year (just for me)....not including my wife. She hates American chocolate so she doesn't indulge as often as she would like.

I think these 3 categories are actually more expensive than this.....I think I am likely being nice to myself. But.....getting down to $20K like some people I would have to give up just about ALL bad habits......or.....my legs would let me run again in which case I would give these up to get my weight back down again......but that ain't likely gonna happen.

We were discussing last night which way we would keep track of our category expenses for this next year.....at least for the first few months until it really gets to be a pain. We figured we would lump things into 5-7 categories. The only real question is how much do we REALLY (well, how much do I spend) on crap food.
1. Food-real food, not crap
2. Crap food- beer, soda, candy, ice cream, etc
3. Car
4. Household- property taxes, utilities, insurance etc. Will be the biggest area since it will cover so many things.
5. Medical
6. Golf
7. Clothes- not sure of this one....might get lumped under household. Neither of us spends a ton on this.
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Old 12-28-2013, 08:04 AM   #53
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How you manage to stay at 170 lbs with your food consumption is beyond me. But if you are in good health, then what the heck? You can't take it with you, right? We are all allowed to spend money on what we like.

People in my family and my wife's side love to travel like we do. Some people do not think travel is worthwhile, and they should not do what brings them no pleasure. It's a free country.
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Old 12-28-2013, 08:25 AM   #54
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How you manage to stay at 170 lbs with your food consumption is beyond me. But if you are in good health, then what the heck? You can't take it with you, right? We are all allowed to spend money on what we like.

People in my family and my wife's side love to travel like we do. Some people do not think travel is worthwhile, and they should not do what brings them no pleasure. It's a free country.
My good running weight was about 137lbs. I'm about 5' 8 1/2" To get to 137 I didn't eat very much.

My wife and I are both homebodies.....spending lots of money on travel isn't going to happen. I got my traveling in before I got married finally (at 49). Lived in UK for 14 years, Germany for 10 and Okinawa for 5. I am NOT a very good tourist. Museums, etc kind of bore me to death. Think it only took me an hour or so to go through the Louvre in Paris. I'm an outdoor person. I wouldn't mind going back to Australia though if we could afford it. My wife hasn't been to Yellowstone.....think we might try that this next Fall since it is only about an 8 hr drive.
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Old 12-28-2013, 08:47 AM   #55
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Darn! I am impressed that somebody can be skinnier than I am.

I love domestic travel for the outdoors. That's RV'ing is for. I love foreign travel for the different cultures, the food, and the museums. It's nice to see some paintings in person which I had seen only in books and magazines, and I do not mean the well-worn Mona Lisa.

We never discuss what each other spends in my family, but I think my sister must have spent around $30-40K this year on domestic and foreign travel, just as an estimate from the trips that they took. Yep, they do not plan to take it with them either, and they are also planning to leave plenty for their kids. Big fat 401K + husband pension + wife's part-time university teaching job + no debts allow them to do that, and I am happy for them. They are not interested in German luxury cars either. However, they have 3 homes, two in nearly abandoned state, yet they do not want to sell.
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Old 12-28-2013, 08:55 AM   #56
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Darn! I am impressed that somebody can be skinnier than I am.
WAS skinny. Although all I have to do is give up junk food/beer and I can drop 20 pounds in 3 months or so. At 170+.......as my wife says "The triplets are back".....her version of saying the gut is back.
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Old 12-28-2013, 08:55 AM   #57
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My good running weight was about 137lbs. I'm about 5' 8 1/2" To get to 137 I didn't eat very much.

My wife and I are both homebodies.....spending lots of money on travel isn't going to happen. I got my traveling in before I got married finally (at 49). Lived in UK for 14 years, Germany for 10 and Okinawa for 5. I am NOT a very good tourist. Museums, etc kind of bore me to death. Think it only took me an hour or so to go through the Louvre in Paris. I'm an outdoor person. I wouldn't mind going back to Australia though if we could afford it. My wife hasn't been to Yellowstone.....think we might try that this next Fall since it is only about an 8 hr drive.
I wouldn't go to Yellowstone in the fall. They start getting snow in August or September.
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Old 12-28-2013, 09:03 AM   #58
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High spending year for us. About 2% over plan. New car, new roof and generator for lake house. Eating out, gifts, well over plan. I won't give actual figures as it would open me up to significant ridicule even though we can well afford it. I am quite impressed with the discipline displayed by people on this site.
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Old 12-28-2013, 09:04 AM   #59
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We are at about $40k all in. I do not track to such a granular level as others. But here are a few items split out.

Insurance ALL: $2500
Property Tax: $7,000
Utilities, HOA, TV, Phone etc.: $8500
Car Lease(s): $10k
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Old 12-28-2013, 09:14 AM   #60
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I wouldn't go to Yellowstone in the fall. They start getting snow in August or September.
Not too worried.....probably after the first week in Sept when the kids go back to school. Snow is fine with me anyway.....makes the place look really nice. Spent a couple of days cross country skiing there on Spring break in college. Others go to the sun......I went with a buddy in college (he was a Minnesotan going to my college here in Wash) for a week of CC skiing in Colorado and then Yellowstone on the way back.
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