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2015 Expenses
Old 01-01-2016, 12:06 PM   #1
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2015 Expenses

How did you do last year? Stuck to the budget? Any surprises?

I will have to dive into it in detail now that 2015 is over, but at the first glance using Mint, it looks like I was within budget. I moved to Canada and that was the biggest item.

One thing I wasn't counting on is that the USD got stronger, and the spending in Canada once I moved has been below the planned spending by 25%+. And it helps since my portfolio didn't quite perform...
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Old 01-01-2016, 12:19 PM   #2
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I spent $16,730 in 2015. $11,453 if I don't include FICA, Fed and State Income taxes. FICA really hurts as a low income self-employed person. I expect to spend less in 2016 since I won't be going down to Florida this winter and my taxes will be lower as well.
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Old 01-01-2016, 12:38 PM   #3
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My lifestyle spending was more than 16% below budget. It has actually been pretty consistent since ER.

I had a tax refund in 2015, and my car loan was paid off during the summer, so my total spending, including debt repayment and taxes, was 2.82% of my investable assets at the time of ER, and 2.39% of investable assets on January 1, 2015. That's the lowest it's been.

However, I will be paying more tax this year because I have begun withdrawing from tax sheltered accounts early, to avoid massive RMDs and other bad things later.
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Old 01-01-2016, 12:39 PM   #4
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We are coming in around 18k this year. Almost no taxes because of low income.
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Old 01-01-2016, 12:43 PM   #5
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I don't have a budget, but spent more than I thought I would when I started full retirement in 2012. It's still only 80% of what FIRECalc says I can, so no worry yet. Next year, I should be spending less. Maybe.
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Old 01-01-2016, 01:05 PM   #6
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How did you do last year? Stuck to the budget? Any surprises?
BIG surprises. Other than buying my dream house in cash in 2015, I stuck to my plans! (Edited to add: To clarify, I found my dream house without actively looking for it, as it more or less "fell in my lap", so to speak. Originally I had no idea I would be buying a house in 2015.) My portfolio is obviously way down, because I spent so much, but I had some excess so I am still within a reasonable WR.

Luckily SS began for me in 2013 so that helped. Lately I had been thinking about how I can't take it with me, and ramping up my spending in ways that make me happy. This is why I bought my dream house and it does make me very, very happy.

My spending, other than expenses related to moving, buying a house, and selling a house, was $740 more than 2014.

Expenses of moving, buying a house and selling a house were where most of the increased spending went. This morning I withdrew my spending money for 2016, which is more than I withdrew in previous years. It is still a reasonable WR, even though my portfolio is down.
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Old 01-01-2016, 01:19 PM   #7
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No big surprises, expenses will be a little over $16K. Not really a budget to stick to but just track spending to know where it went.
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Old 01-01-2016, 01:30 PM   #8
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I had some health issues in 2015 which included a hospital stay. I'm fine now but I finally paid the hospital bill the other day (so I could deduct it on my 2015 income tax return). I had a 15% spike in my overall expenses which I do not expect to repeat in 2016 so my expenses should return to normal in 2016.
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Old 01-01-2016, 02:21 PM   #9
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I spent $30,500 in 2015 - right on the target I set.

Only 18-24 months to go before the mortgage is paid off, and then I'll be rolling in dough! Whatever will I do with those bazillions of dollars in the budget?
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Old 01-01-2016, 02:24 PM   #10
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Have to wait for all my credit card statements to come in. But through Nov was projected to be slightly under budget. I think this year may be the closest we'll have come to spending the budget. We'll see.
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Old 01-01-2016, 02:35 PM   #11
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Will come in under our planned budget.

But then I purposely built in margin.
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Old 01-01-2016, 02:51 PM   #12
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The year we retired, 2010, I took 3% of the 1/1/2010 savings figure and added it to my pension, making that total our target spend. Each year since I have increased the target spend by the inflation rate as measured by the CPI. Not a very scientific way of doing things I know, but it is just a target. I retired right on my 55th birthday, DW is 9 months younger.

The first 4 years of retirement we were 20% or more below our spending target so this last 2 years we loosened the strings somewhat with a very extensive 5 months traveling trip last year in Australia, Vanuatu and New Zealand, and this year we had the purchase of a new car plus 5 months traveling in the US and Canada.

Last year we were over the spending target by 1%, and this year we were under the target by 1%. (pure luck in both cases).
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Old 01-01-2016, 02:59 PM   #13
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2015 was my last year of working and I was concentrating on saving rather than spending, so my expenses were a bit under 1.6% of my NW - less than half of what I saved. I expect that with additional travel costs expenses will rise significantly in 2016, my first year of ER, probably to 2.5% of NW. As both Firecalc and Fidelity RIP say I'm OK for 40+ years at over twice this level I'm not too worried.

(Famous last words: Here comes 2008 all over again - you can blame me.)

PS. I know the clever folks here are going, "Over twice 2.5% WR rate is safe? What gives?". The missing factor is a pension that will start next year putting out about 2% of my NW annually - so my spend rate will significantly exceed my WR.
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Old 01-01-2016, 03:06 PM   #14
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No budget here, but I just checked Quicken and I did spend less than my pension. Yeah !
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Old 01-01-2016, 03:26 PM   #15
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Spent 7% less than budgeted for 2015.

For 2014, spending was 10% less than budgeted, so I have a pretty good record going.

For 2016, I expect to be much closer to the budget amount, due to some fairly expensive travel plans.
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Old 01-01-2016, 03:46 PM   #16
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Quicken says we spent $6271.05 under budget. I have a $2000 computer build in my Newegg cart but can't seem to click the "Place Order" button. Maybe I am too frugal
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Old 01-01-2016, 03:52 PM   #17
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Quicken says we spent $6271.05 under budget. I have a $2000 computer build in my Newegg cart but can't seem to click the "Place Order" button. Maybe I am too frugal
If it was me, I'd push the button! Life is short.

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Old 01-01-2016, 03:55 PM   #18
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Quicken says we spent $6271.05 under budget. I have a $2000 computer build in my Newegg cart but can't seem to click the "Place Order" button. Maybe I am too frugal
LOL! I have a few hundred dollars worth of items in my Amazon cart, and I must admit I purposely held off pressing the button till 2016. Just wanted to see "how low can I go in 2015?", I guess.
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Old 01-01-2016, 04:02 PM   #19
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Not a great year for spending. We spent more than anticipated getting our previous house ready to sell, including a surprise $3K repair, the bank was willing to loan us $50k less than we wanted for the new house so $50k came out of the investments, the new house turned out to need a new furnace. (It was 20 years old so we knew it was due.). Withdrawal for 2015 was about 4.5% of assets. It was running under 3% before all the buying and selling craziness started. Even that will improve as Medicare and a $12k pension kick in 2 years from now and SS starts when I hit 70.

2016 should be better. Already I'm seeing the good effects of the downsizing: reduced mortgage, utilities, property taxes, insurance.

I think we can even afford a return to Iceland!
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Old 01-01-2016, 04:06 PM   #20
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Quicken says we spent $6271.05 under budget. I have a $2000 computer build in my Newegg cart but can't seem to click the "Place Order" button. Maybe I am too frugal
Gotta ask what's in your $2K build. I put one together from Black Friday sales last year for around $1K with pretty decent specs and I'm wondering what goodies the extra $1K buys now - Skylake CPU with a whole bunch of DDR4? Large capacity PCI SSD(s)? High end video card?

Mine has none of those things (4690K build so only DDR3, but running at 4.8GHz and using 500G SSDs for storage, it doesn't give up a whole lot to the newer builds).

Sorry to be nosy - PC building's just a hobby.
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