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Old 01-02-2016, 11:56 PM   #81
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I spent $56K which included an auto costing $32K.
I cannot tell you how much DW spent as she doesn't track it, but she is very frugal and I see nearly all her spending, so I'd guess she spent $30K.

I don't bother to separate out capital expenses, in fact I don't really track expenses at all, I just download from our bank all my withdrawals at the end of the year to see how I did.

So together it was approx $86K.
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Old 01-03-2016, 12:39 AM   #82
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I'm not even going to say how much we spent last year as it was well above most of the numbers I've seen here. But, we did have 2 kids in college during the year. We exceeded our budget by almost 11% for the year.

Most of the exceeding of the budget was because of some unusually high medical costs. Some of the exceeding was voluntary decisions to simply spend more on certain items.
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Old 01-03-2016, 07:35 AM   #83
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I'm not even going to say how much we spent last year as it was well above most of the numbers I've seen here. But, we did have 2 kids in college during the year. We exceeded our budget by almost 11% for the year. Most of the exceeding of the budget was because of some unusually high medical costs. Some of the exceeding was voluntary decisions to simply spend more on certain items.
I too would be embarrassed to say how much we spent. The good news however is that our income (which includes multiple cola'd pensions and social security) exclusive of interest dividends cap gains or withdrawals exceeded our expenses by a few thousand dollars and as we are no longer in the asset accumulation phase of our lives for the first year, this was good. Our expenses do include quite a lot for gifting/transfer of wealth, charitable and travel. So the nest egg wasn't touched. Lack of appreciation in the nest egg however was very dissapointing.
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Old 01-03-2016, 08:05 AM   #84
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I too would be embarrassed to say how much we spent.

Our expenses do include quite a lot for gifting/transfer of wealth, charitable and travel. So the nest egg wasn't touched. Lack of appreciation in the nest egg however was very dissapointing.
Similar for us. However, our portfolio declined about 7% last year as we gifted large amounts and returns were negative. I was not concerned about the decline and merrily spent/gifted away. Total $spend disclosure might elicit some resentment and wouldn't accomplish anything useful.
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Old 01-03-2016, 12:10 PM   #85
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I can't believe how many of you have spending below $30k. Really impressive. My DH and I have been spending $60k (combined) each of the last 3 years.
Much of it depends on your personal situation and location.

1. I am single
2. I live in a low(er) COL area
3. I bought a small house
4. I have a fairly low mortgage payment (see #3)
5. My RE taxes and insurance total $150/month

If I lived elsewhere I'd probably be spending a lot more than $30,500 just on the essentials.
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Old 01-03-2016, 02:07 PM   #86
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No budget, my gross 2015 spending excluding income taxes was about 0.5% of portfolio net, the largest chunk of which by far was rent. I'm still working full time so net withdrawal including income taxes was negative, but Mr Market marked down my inventory, so portfolio net is down a few points on the year. Plus I just logged in to find some cash mergers that I had hoped would pay out in 2016 actually ended up settling over the past two weeks so had to bump up the estimated tax check.

Outlook for 2016 non-tax expenses is about the same, my annual rent increase was small. Employer is digesting last year's M&A, and I don't yet know whether I'll be asked to stay on or be made redundant-- the latter would probably involve a severance package plus having to close out options at who knows where, so Rothifications probably can't begin until 2017 at the earliest.

I remember when I was young how I thought dealing with taxes as the primary focus of managing expenses would be 'a nice problem to have', but I didn't anticipate the complexity or the unpredictability of income this late in the game. In hindsight forgoing luxuries along the way was much easier, although perhaps my younger self would dispute this.
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Old 01-03-2016, 02:49 PM   #87
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Similar for us. However, our portfolio declined about 7% last year as we gifted large amounts and returns were negative. I was not concerned about the decline and merrily spent/gifted away. Total $spend disclosure might elicit some resentment and wouldn't accomplish anything useful.
I wish we had spent more, but we couldn't take trips I wanted to take due to a surprise commitment.

Having some higher numbers here would make it easier for me to convince DW to loosen the purse strings a bit.

So don't be shy folks..
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Old 01-03-2016, 03:57 PM   #88
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Similar for us. However, our portfolio declined about 7% last year as we gifted large amounts and returns were negative. I was not concerned about the decline and merrily spent/gifted away. Total $spend disclosure might elicit some resentment and wouldn't accomplish anything useful.
Our portfolio went down about 16% during 2015 (our net worth also went down a little but not by as much). In a sense that is hard to look at. On the other hand, I remind myself that this was planned from the beginning. That is, DH chose to retire and I semi-retired (I currently work only a few hours a week) knowing that we didn't have our kids out of the house yet. I knew that while we had kids in college our expenses were going to be much greater than in the future. So I planned for our net worth between 2014 and the end of 2016 to go down by about 1/3. Right now our net worth is down about 20% over the first two years of that period so we are on track with what I had planned.
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Old 01-03-2016, 04:40 PM   #89
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On budget.

Increased it by 8 percent this year. First raise in 4 years. Inflation is less than we anticipated.
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Old 01-03-2016, 05:01 PM   #90
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I spent 3-4k over my budget but I can explain that away
First Mint is wrong by overstating my real estate taxes.The PITI mortgage payment gets applied every month but when the RE taxes were taken out of escrow account it double counted it.
Then I paid estimated taxes each quarter and also had 10% withheld on my IRA withdrawals so I expect a refund this year.
I got a new furnace, new insulation& roof and new kitchen appliances without increasing my debt so I feel like it was money well spent.
I'd like to say I've learned the error of my ways but I'm redoing my kitchen in 2016.
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Old 01-03-2016, 05:18 PM   #91
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Our portfolio went down about 16% during 2015 (our net worth also went down a little but not by as much). In a sense that is hard to look at. On the other hand, I remind myself that this was planned from the beginning. That is, DH chose to retire and I semi-retired (I currently work only a few hours a week) knowing that we didn't have our kids out of the house yet. I knew that while we had kids in college our expenses were going to be much greater than in the future. So I planned for our net worth between 2014 and the end of 2016 to go down by about 1/3. Right now our net worth is down about 20% over the first two years of that period so we are on track with what I had planned.
OUCH!! That has to hurt. But when those kids get their degrees, it will be so worth it.
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Old 01-03-2016, 05:47 PM   #92
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OUCH!! That has to hurt. But when those kids get their degrees, it will be so worth it.
Well, it was planned for and so I remind myself of that. And, we are ahead of pace (have more now than my conservative projections would have expected for this point). So, all is OK...but I still just hate seeing numbers go down.
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Old 01-03-2016, 06:35 PM   #93
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I wish we had spent more, but we couldn't take trips I wanted to take due to a surprise commitment.

Having some higher numbers here would make it easier for me to convince DW to loosen the purse strings a bit.

So don't be shy folks..

+1.....I dont have a huge stash and am content with that....But, that doesn't mean I cant enjoy reading about somebody else having a big budget to spend. I can live vicariously through other people!


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Old 01-03-2016, 06:35 PM   #94
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This is the first year that I carefully tracked spending - I didn't budget I just tracked what I actually spent - and the results were surprising and very informative. My spending is higher than a lot of what I've seen here, but having the detail will help me make informed choices. A lot of the spending was work related - clothes, items needed for my job or convenience items because I had to trade $$ for time, so I can adjust those as necessary for ER planning. This year I'll probably try to do more budgeting, and "test driving" budgeted amounts, although I'll probably still have some more convenience items as long as my planned saving is on track.

But tracking expenses was one of the main pieces of advice I got on this forum, and it's been a worthwhile exercise.
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Old 01-03-2016, 06:40 PM   #95
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Ended 2015 right were I expected. We now have a full three years of expenses tracked in detail. We are running $80k consistently.....not retired yet. Fidelity RIP tool says I can spend $150K for 40 years with a 55-45 portfolio. I think I will be pulling the plug soon.
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Old 01-04-2016, 07:39 AM   #96
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Having some higher numbers here would make it easier for me to convince DW to loosen the purse strings a bit.

So don't be shy folks..
Nope. There are many more here who would be offended and resentful. I have experience on this. The majority ethos here is- frugality is morally superior and nobody needs to spend more than $xx,xxx.
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Old 01-04-2016, 07:44 AM   #97
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I'm not admitting our budget spending here. Many folks would think it outrageous.

Besides, I avoid giving absolute numbers.
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Old 01-04-2016, 07:48 AM   #98
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Nope. There are many more here who would be offended and resentful. I have experience on this. The majority ethos here is- frugality is morally superior and nobody needs to spend more than $xx,xxx.
There may be many here that advocate thrift but the offense and resentment are, like beauty, in the eyes of the beholder.
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Old 01-04-2016, 07:51 AM   #99
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Our portfolio went down about 16% during 2015 (our net worth also went down a little but not by as much). In a sense that is hard to look at. On the other hand, I remind myself that this was planned from the beginning.
Interesting. In the retirement phase most people plan to see reductions in their portfolio. But I agree it's sometimes a little worrisome.

In our case this is the first decline and our portfolio is still up about 42% over the last 5 years, so I am not overly concerned. But I still hope it recovers the 7% in 2016.
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Old 01-04-2016, 07:57 AM   #100
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I'm not admitting our budget spending here. Many folks would think it outrageous.

Besides, I avoid giving absolute numbers.
+1.
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