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Old 12-28-2013, 09:18 AM   #61
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Wow.. I'm amazed at both the people who can live on <$20K and impressed by those who were able to accumulate enough $ to retire with >$80 expenses. I fall right in the middle. This year came in at $40,534.15. Yes I track every penny ... I would say $25K is for essential and $15K is discretionary. This year was <3% SWR. Given the nice bump in the markets my SWR could be less for 2014. I'll still give myself a 2.5% raise for inflation, but I'll try hard not to spend it ....

Big ticket items or 2013 were: New tires on 2 vehicles, replaced 3 tube TV with flat screens and a car lift. The only big ticket item for next year will be to paint the house (~$3500), but I'm sure their will be others unexpected expenses.
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Old 12-28-2013, 09:19 AM   #62
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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.
Not much discipline required for me. Can't spend a lot of money if you don't have a lot of money. On the other hand, if someone has a lot of money then there's no reason to ridicule them for spending a lot of money.
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Old 12-28-2013, 09:44 AM   #63
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Not much discipline required for me. Can't spend a lot of money if you don't have a lot of money. On the other hand, if someone has a lot of money then there's no reason to ridicule them for spending a lot of money.
You might be surprised about how many people spend more than they have. Anyway, sounds like you have a good handle on your spending.

Where an individual spends their money is so personal that it is challenging to compare both overall levels and their components. In the end knowing where you spend it and not spending more than you can afford are probably the most important things.
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Old 12-28-2013, 09:52 AM   #64
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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.
If you're sleeping in a cabin then Sept. may be fine but I wouldn't tent camp at that time.
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:08 AM   #65
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If you're sleeping in a cabin then Sept. may be fine but I wouldn't tent camp at that time.
My wife's first husband was an avid hiker in the UK. Drug her around on a lot of early marriage time hikes up a lot of the peaks in N England. She eventually started wishing he would just take a small step off a big cliff (she says she actually mentioned it to him once). She hated it then......and would might shoot me if I even mentioned it now. Best part she says was the pub afterwards. We would be in it more for the wildlife as much as anything. Probably stay in a motel somewhere if possible.....although last time I checked online, the prices in that area were more than I like to spend. My wife doesn't mind snow as long as she is dressed right. She takes the dogs for an hour walk every morning and a couple of weeks ago it was right around 0 degrees and it didn't bother her much (except she said her snot started to freeze).
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:26 AM   #66
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The best thing in this thread to me were to see that spending category split names and definitions. Some were by store type (easy to do, but what about super walmart?) But that wasn't the point...

Best separate category: Video Games.
Second best category: Girly stuff.
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:34 AM   #67
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I..and I cut down on the golfing this last year and only went 20-30 times.

20-30 times…that would break my budget for sure. I only golfed once this year and shot a legitimate 78. I like to stop while I'm ahead, so that may have been my last round of golf…ever!
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:51 AM   #68
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20-30 times…that would break my budget for sure. I only golfed once this year and shot a legitimate 78. I like to stop while I'm ahead, so that may have been my last round of golf…ever!
Ya got me then.....I usually sit around a 10 handicap unless I play more than twice a week......or heavens forbid.....practice.
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:59 AM   #69
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Does anyone include reserve funds in their annual expenses for eventual replacement of big ticket items? For example, if you drive a car approximately 10 years before replacing it, and your car typically costs around $30K, do you include $3K in reserves each year? Or do you just have an extraordinarily high year of expenses in the year you buy the car?

I would think without these types of reserves we might underestimate our true long term expenses?
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Old 12-28-2013, 12:00 PM   #70
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Poor Mrs. Mandolin! I wouldn't eat American chocolate, either, if I'd grown up on the Euro stuff. I assume you are both familiar with this site for British goodies:

www.britishdelights.com

Exchange rates and shipping costs make these items pricey, but the site often holds sales on food items which are getting close to their sell-by date.

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my wife. She hates American chocolate so she doesn't indulge as often as she would like.

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Old 12-28-2013, 12:02 PM   #71
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Sorry for another sidetrack, but there was some snow on the ground in Yellowstone in July during our visit. Some roads are usually closed until late May, or June. Campgrounds for RVs or tent camping are usually booked way in advance. Same with the lodges.
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Old 12-28-2013, 12:08 PM   #72
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Does anyone include reserve funds in their annual expenses for eventual replacement of big ticket items? For example, if you drive a car approximately 10 years before replacing it, and your car typically costs around $30K, do you include $3K in reserves each year? Or do you just have an extraordinarily high year of expenses in the year you buy the car?

I would think without these types of reserves we might underestimate our true long term expenses?
I myself don't, but then I am less than 2 years into true retirement, so I do not know if my opinion is worthwhile.

I will just take a bump on WR that year. I figure that if my average WR is only 3.5% and I still have SS coming, I should be OK. I do not think I will live till my 90s either.
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Old 12-28-2013, 12:10 PM   #73
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High spending year for us. About 2% over plan. New car, new roof and generator for lake house.

Even with an economy car, you're still looking at over 20k for those three items. And that only put you 2% over plan Either you did a good job cutting elsewhere or you have wickedly expensive plan!
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Old 12-28-2013, 12:13 PM   #74
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Not for a decamillionaire...
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Old 12-28-2013, 12:15 PM   #75
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Poor Mrs. Mandolin! I wouldn't eat American chocolate, either, if I'd grown up on the Euro stuff. I assume you are both familiar with this site for British goodies:

www.britishdelights.com

Exchange rates and shipping costs make these items pricey, but the site often holds sales on food items which are getting close to their sell-by date.

Amethyst
There is a store here in Spokane called World Market. You can pick up some things there....but like you pointed out....pricey. I really like plain McVities digestives......but NO way am I paying $$ for it. We go in so my wife can buy cans of baked beans. You CAN'T seem to find a plain can of baked beans with nothing else put in with them here. Baked beans are an important food in the UK.
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Old 12-28-2013, 12:17 PM   #76
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I have been eating chili without beans. Then, recently I learned about Beano, so I may try beans again.

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... We go in so my wife can buy cans of baked beans. You CAN'T seem to find a plain can of baked beans with nothing else put in with them here. Baked beans are an important food in the UK.
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Old 12-28-2013, 12:23 PM   #77
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I have been eating chili without beans. Then, recently I learned about Beano, so I may try beans again.
To a chili purist, that's like saying you've been a real man but since learning about estrogen pills you're thinking about batting for the other team...
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Old 12-28-2013, 12:24 PM   #78
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We came in under budget this year. To celebrate DW's going to get a new computer. I'm looking for it now, hope to buy today or tomorrow.
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Old 12-28-2013, 12:25 PM   #79
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I don't get this.. Doesn't anyone on this site give to Charity or gift to family at all??
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Old 12-28-2013, 12:29 PM   #80
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I don't get this.. Doesn't anyone on this site give to Charity or gift to family at all??
What makes you think we don't? I specifically stated in my list here on page 1 that gifts are included in my "miscellaneous" category.

I don't have a separate category for books any more either, but that doesn't mean I am completely illiterate.
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