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Old 01-10-2019, 03:38 PM   #181
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I am not sure what you are saying. I am happy for the extra data point and thanked hausfrau. I didn't mean to imply anything else. More data points would be good
I was just pointing out that no one said you spent too much or should back. You don't need to justify the way you spend your money. But it's good to know the basic need number compared to your spending number if cutbacks become necessary. So it does matter..
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:55 PM   #182
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Originally Posted by Morricol61 View Post
Hi Karen 1972, very extensive list you have there. Can you tell me what the total spend was and where are you located, in the city or the country? Is that for a family or just a couple of adults?


A lot of your totals are similar to mine, 2 adults 1 dog living in the country.
Based on her categories , it looks like $58,538.80. I may not have it exact, but its in the ballpark.
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:10 PM   #183
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I am not sure what you are saying. I am happy for the extra data point and thanked hausfrau. I didn't mean to imply anything else. More data points would be good
Yes, I agree that itís really interesting and helpful to see other budgets, especially for things like food. I know we overspend, but I hadnít appreciated how much room there is to cut until I see others budgets.

Itís interesting that many of the budgets donít include taxes, or just include property taxes.
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:06 PM   #184
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Household of two here. Have not previously tracked my spending by category but inspired to do so by this thread. Since I am in the last years of my career, this has been a very helpful exercise in getting a handle on my expenses.

They are higher than most posted here, largely due to travel, housekeeping, and automobile expenses. There is also a sizable "other" category which is basically the difference between my total spending and what I was able to categorize using Mint. It is mainly funds spent on shopping, gifts, restaurants where I did not use a credit card, and home expenses not captured in Mint.

Total does not include federal income, state income or payroll taxes.

Insurance (Homeowner's, disability, umbrella) $5715
Car-fuel $1800
Car-insurance and payments $18200
Housekeeper $14500
Internet/phone/cable $4830
Other utilities (gas, water, electricity) $5420
Home improvement $3325
Home (property tax, HOA, home services) $14574
Restaurants $16000
Groceries $4500
Medical (insurance + expenses) $12400
Travel (air, hotel, other expenses) $33824
Gifts/charity $4800
Other $38584


Total $178472
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:39 PM   #185
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We have an annual budget. DH pays the recurring bills and keeps general track of how we are doing on the budget to date. I do most of the shopping and entertainment spending. I track my spending daily because I like analyzing data and enjoy getting good value for my money.

Last night I saved $108 off supermarket prices by using coupons and going to outlet stores. Today I scored some discount, unsold concert tickets I have had my eye on that cost me $14 but would have been $131 regular price. We spent the afternoon visiting with friends and one of our kids stopped by in the evening after dinner. I don't find tracking and optimizing expenses takes away from our social time or hobbies, and the $225 I saved with a little bargain hunting effort over the last 24 hours will buy a lot more future nights out at discount ticket prices.
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:53 PM   #186
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Originally Posted by Scratchy View Post
Household of two here. Have not previously tracked my spending by category but inspired to do so by this thread. Since I am in the last years of my career, this has been a very helpful exercise in getting a handle on my expenses.

They are higher than most posted here, largely due to travel, housekeeping, and automobile expenses. There is also a sizable "other" category which is basically the difference between my total spending and what I was able to categorize using Mint. It is mainly funds spent on shopping, gifts, restaurants where I did not use a credit card, and home expenses not captured in Mint.

Total does not include federal income, state income or payroll taxes.

Insurance (Homeowner's, disability, umbrella) $5715
Car-fuel $1800
Car-insurance and payments $18200
Housekeeper $14500
Internet/phone/cable $4830
Other utilities (gas, water, electricity) $5420
Home improvement $3325
Home (property tax, HOA, home services) $14574
Restaurants $16000
Groceries $4500
Medical (insurance + expenses) $12400
Travel (air, hotel, other expenses) $33824
Gifts/charity $4800
Other $38584


Total $178472

So, this is how the other half lives, eh?
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Old 01-11-2019, 12:11 AM   #187
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So, this is how the other half lives, eh?
This is a funny quote but brings up an interesting point. I consider myself not frugal but someone who spends with discretion. I do most of my shopping at Costco. Do extensive research before any major outlays. Also, without children, i know I save a lot of money compared with many families. I did not read every reply in this thread but I'm aware my spending is significantly above the average reported. However, I am certain that it is less than many people I know. So I'm a little surprised at what I see at a quick glance in this thread. I think a lot of people who are spending around my level just value discretion more than I do (maybe wisely) or are embarrassed to post their numbers. I'm hoping some will come out of the closet and share!
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Old 01-11-2019, 01:50 AM   #188
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Originally Posted by Scratchy View Post
This is a funny quote but brings up an interesting point. I consider myself not frugal but someone who spends with discretion. I do most of my shopping at Costco. Do extensive research before any major outlays. Also, without children, i know I save a lot of money compared with many families. I did not read every reply in this thread but I'm aware my spending is significantly above the average reported. However, I am certain that it is less than many people I know. So I'm a little surprised at what I see at a quick glance in this thread. I think a lot of people who are spending around my level just value discretion more than I do (maybe wisely) or are embarrassed to post their numbers. I'm hoping some will come out of the closet and share!
IIRC, in some prior poll, perhaps 20% of respondents spent over 120k. Not sure at your level, but was surprised to the higher % spending.
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Old 01-11-2019, 03:47 AM   #189
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Originally Posted by Scratchy View Post
This is a funny quote but brings up an interesting point. I consider myself not frugal but someone who spends with discretion. I do most of my shopping at Costco. Do extensive research before any major outlays. Also, without children, i know I save a lot of money compared with many families. I did not read every reply in this thread but I'm aware my spending is significantly above the average reported. However, I am certain that it is less than many people I know. So I'm a little surprised at what I see at a quick glance in this thread. I think a lot of people who are spending around my level just value discretion more than I do (maybe wisely) or are embarrassed to post their numbers. I'm hoping some will come out of the closet and share!
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IIRC, in some prior poll, perhaps 20% of respondents spent over 120k. Not sure at your level, but was surprised to the higher % spending.
Yes - many of us >$100K spenders prefer not to share the details here.

Seems comments on "the other half" etc. are irresistible. Or helpful comments about how we could easily spend less or perhaps reminders that money does not buy happiness. Just prefer not to be the recipient/invite such comments.
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Old 01-11-2019, 07:06 AM   #190
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Yes - many of us >$100K spenders prefer not to share the details here.

Seems comments on "the other half" etc. are irresistible. Or helpful comments about how we could easily spend less or perhaps reminders that money does not buy happiness. Just prefer not to be the recipient/invite such comments.
I too wish more in that bracket would post spend, but I understand the reasons for not doing so. I havenít had a chance to go through 2018 spend yet, but itís very high compared to what many here post. I read through this and am embarrassed to post! As weíre looking to pull the trigger soon (and may have it pulled for us), itís so informative to see that our grocery bill is way out of whack, etc. The consumer spend surveys that are regularly posted here are helpful too.
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Old 01-11-2019, 07:24 AM   #191
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Thank you for the data point. I suspect I live in a HCOL area which is reflected in more expensive groceries. Would you say you live in the HCOL area?

We live in a MCOL (Midwest). I think it's OK. I think I can do better though, only because there are other things we'd rather spend money on. Plus, I feel like it's the one thing I can control and I have the time.
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Old 01-11-2019, 07:27 AM   #192
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I watch my spending but not nearly as closely as some here do so I have been inspired to track more closely . I am now using Mint mostly to keep a track on my spontaneous spending not that I want to spend less I just want it used wisely .
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Old 01-11-2019, 07:42 AM   #193
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Hit yet again with more medical. For those of you with HD policies I want to point out this hasn't worked too well for the Rodi family. It can quickly take a big hunk out of your budget. Hopefully 2019 will be better for your family in the OOP area. Not saying you shouldn't a HD policy Rodi just saying you haven't had good luck in that area.
Yep. We had very little in but medical issues prior to retirement and going on a HDHP. We've had at least one child hit the deductible each year. This year we had older son hit Max OOP. I did the analysis that we are still slightly ahead vs a straight hmo/copay model.

Changing topics, interesting to read about fast food budgets. We stopped doing fast food regularly several years before I retired. The boys do fast food on the afternoon they have robotics team.... But younger son has figured it what the deals are at the fast food places near school .. he can tell you that Burger King you can get 10 chicken nuggets for a dollar. He knows what is on the McDonald's dollar menu, and he has apps to get coupons.
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:16 AM   #194
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2018 Spending Summary and Analysis

This thread is getting pretty long (thatís good, shows interest/relevance) so I havenít combed through all of the replies and donít know if this has been brought up.

Iím curious: in reviewing your spend, are you motivated to change it, budgeting differently and so on, going forward in 2019?

For me, Iíve noticed my ďcatch-allĒ category of miscellaneous expenses was pretty large in 2018. It wouldnít hurt to be more careful about tracking those where it makes sense.

Also, I budgeted a monthly ďcashĒ line item, intended to cover ATM withdrawals. But I rarely use cash any more and donít use a debit card, only credit.
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:25 AM   #195
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I think it’s great that some people can afford to spend over 100k/year. No reason not to enjoy yourself while you can.
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:27 AM   #196
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Yes - many of us >$100K spenders prefer not to share the details here.

Seems comments on "the other half" etc. are irresistible. Or helpful comments about how we could easily spend less or perhaps reminders that money does not buy happiness. Just prefer not to be the recipient/invite such comments.
My comment about spending less was in response to another poster saying he thought his numbers were kind of high wondering how they compared to others.. It in no way implied anyone should spend less or was wasting money.

The numbers people post are just data points and to me the interesting factor is, did they predict their spend accurately? If not did something major of a one off type happen? For example we were well under budget because of being pretty much doctor enforced housebound for around 6 months. I came to realize how little we spend on pure basics. I also realized that since it was during the Spring and Summer, we actually enjoyed the extra time at home. Granted my DH was recovering from a major medical problem so we both needed chill time.


In Oct our well went out which used up quite a bit of the under budget money. Now a new well isn't really something you think about as a household replacement item. It was just our bad luck that the casing on our 70 year old well wore out causing us to need 7K for a new one.


I think the comments about spend are present on the very lower end of budgets too, such as how do you live on so little and do you ever do anything fun and of the course the classic "you can't take it with you"..
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:45 AM   #197
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Just wanted to add that I find the medical and dental spend helpful as well (though I’d love to know if people are pre/post Medicare). It’s good to see spend on some of the items that we haven’t gotten 100% of a handle on yet. Taxes would be another but that doesn’t seem to be included in most budgets.
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Old 01-11-2019, 09:10 AM   #198
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I read through this and am embarrassed to post! As we’re looking to pull the trigger soon (and may have it pulled for us), it’s so informative to see that our grocery bill is way out of whack, etc. The consumer spend surveys that are regularly posted here are helpful too.
But that’s the thing - your grocery bill may not be out of whack at all! It completely depends on your priorities and income.

I don’t think we can judge ourselves by what other people spend. I’m not interested in feeling ashamed into spending less than I can afford. That doesn’t seem useful and may lead to a reduced quality of life for me.
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Old 01-11-2019, 09:17 AM   #199
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I donít think we can judge ourselves by what other people spend. Iím not interested in feeling ashamed into spending less than I can afford. That doesnít seem useful and may lead to a reduced quality of life for me.

I agree. But thatís the tendency in forums like this, to view othersí postings as comparative or competitive rather than just informational. Even more so when the topic is investing.
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Old 01-11-2019, 09:26 AM   #200
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My comment about spending less was in response to another poster saying he thought his numbers were kind of high wondering how they compared to others.. It in no way implied anyone should spend less or was wasting money.

I think the comments about spend are present on the very lower end of budgets too, such as how do you live on so little and do you ever do anything fun and of the course the classic "you can't take it with you"..
I wasn’t responding to your comment, but rather numerous comments made over the years on this forum. I get it - sometimes people are a bit shocked by other people spending more, just as working folks or regular retirees are often flabbergasted by someone they know retiring early.
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