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Old 06-05-2007, 12:54 PM   #21
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What is the Envelope System?

Dave Ramsey's Envelope Budgeting System
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Old 06-05-2007, 02:03 PM   #22
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My mother did that since 1945
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Old 06-05-2007, 02:03 PM   #23
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Here's my rundown (Thanks, Justin, for re-orienting that list!)

Taxes $
265 - assume you mean property tax. ~$250/mo for me.
Home Ins $
50 - $66 (last time I renewed it was $795/yr)
HOA $150 - $0 (no HOA)
Med Ins (Medigap & son's insur $300) - I have no idea...still working. When doing fantasy retirement budgets I always allowed for $200/mo
Electric $200 - $200 (I have oil heat, so I'm including that here)
Sewer & Garbage $70 - ~$30/mo (garbage is included in property taxes)
Water $60 - $0 (included with water)
Tel (reg line & Internet line) $60 - $200 per month (land line plus cell phones...however, I have 4 cell phones on my plan...one uncle, two roommates, who reimburse me)
TV $75 - $85 (Directv, pay channels, 2 Tivos)
DSL $45 - $50 for high-speed DSL
Landscaper $100 - $0
Maid (twice a mo) $160 - $0
Eating Out (two people) $
240 - $100. And this is probably a high estimate. I don't eat out much, but one of my roommates does on a regular basis. I hate to think what his bill is.
Eating In $
600 - probably averages out to about $500/mo, for three people. Also included in this is incidentals like paper towels, cat food, cat litter, dog food, bathroom incidentals, etc
Misc (all other stuff) $
900 - probably WAY less than $900 here, too.
Car Insur
$200 (two vehicles) - ~$160/mo, but that's for 7 vehicles (if anything keeps me from ER, it's probably my car fetish)
Gas
$ 160.00 - ~$150

So in my case, I figure that I'd be around $2691 per month, INCLUDING that $900 for incidentals. And some of that stuff is padded, anyway. For instance, my $500 food bill is for two roommates and me. They reimburse me, so I'm really paying about 1/3 of that. And ditto the cell phone bill.
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Old 06-05-2007, 07:11 PM   #24
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Doesn't anyone take a vacation here or budget for it?

I know when I retire I would like to have a minimum of 10,000 per yr budgeted for vacations. After all, that's a big reason for ER, for me.
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Old 06-05-2007, 07:53 PM   #25
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Doesn't anyone take a vacation here or budget for it?

I know when I retire I would like to have a minimum of 10,000 per yr budgeted for vacations. After all, that's a big reason for ER, for me.
I don't want to go anywhere.
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Old 06-05-2007, 07:57 PM   #26
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Me either.
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Old 06-05-2007, 08:05 PM   #27
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So far, I am so thrilled about not going to work that every day seems as if I am on a vacation.
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Old 03-14-2008, 05:52 AM   #28
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Thanks - I wondered what that was all about.
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Old 03-14-2008, 06:51 AM   #29
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For anyone thinking about retiring in the UK this is our budget per month (converted to $ at 2 to the UK pound). House paid off, no rent.

Housing tax $230
Heating $260
Groceries $400
Fuel $300 (gas here is now $10 a gallon)
Car insurance (2 cars) $400
Car repairs, servicing, tax etc $200
House Insurance $600

...so, about $2,390 on the basics.
Then...

Eating out, going to the pub $200
Clothes, cosmetics $100
Gifts $200
House maintenance/improvements $500
Gym subscription $80
Football season tickets $120
Theater, cinema $90
Cds, books, newspapers $100

...so, about $1,390 on fun stuff, which we cut down on when the market tanks.
Then...

Travel, vacations etc $200 to $1,000 depending on how "lucky" we feel at the end of an investment year.
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Old 03-14-2008, 07:48 AM   #30
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JohnDoe - I'm with you! I also budget $10K a year for travel.

I probably spend about $3-5K on travel a year now.
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Old 03-14-2008, 07:57 AM   #31
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Doesn't anyone take a vacation here or budget for it?

I know when I retire I would like to have a minimum of 10,000 per yr budgeted for vacations. After all, that's a big reason for ER, for me.
Yes, our retirement budget has a good deal towards traveling. Currently we don't spend near that though due to lack of time.
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Old 03-14-2008, 08:55 AM   #32
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For anyone thinking about retiring in the UK this is our budget per month (converted to $ at 2 to the UK pound). House paid off, no rent.

Housing tax $230
Heating $260
Groceries $400
Fuel $300 (gas here is now $10 a gallon)
Car insurance (2 cars) $400
Car repairs, servicing, tax etc $200
House Insurance $600

...so, about $2,390 on the basics.
Then...

Eating out, going to the pub $200
Clothes, cosmetics $100
Gifts $200
House maintenance/improvements $500
Gym subscription $80
Football season tickets $120
Theater, cinema $90
Cds, books, newspapers $100

...so, about $1,390 on fun stuff, which we cut down on when the market tanks.
Then...

Travel, vacations etc $200 to $1,000 depending on how "lucky" we feel at the end of an investment year.
Although I am not planning to retire in the U.K., it is interesting to get an international perspective on this. I am surprised at how high your house insurance is - - $7200/year! Even here in New Orleans, where insurance is understandably high, I only pay $1600/year for homeowners' and flood insurance on my home.

Also house maintenance/improvements of $6000/year seems pretty steep. I probably pay about $1000-$2000 on most years depending on what breaks, though this year I've already paid $800 for a new water heater and $480 for installation of two new doors. I don't know that I'd include house maintenance/improvements in the "fun stuff" category! But then, I'd like to replace the carpet in my living room and have been waiting to do that, so perhaps that sort of improvement would be fun stuff and replacing the hot water heater would be a necessity, for me.

On the other hand, your housing tax seems quite low, compared with many locations in the US.
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:10 AM   #33
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JohnDoe - I'm with you! I also budget $10K a year for travel.

I probably spend about $3-5K on travel a year now.
I'm so glad that some ER's are spending this kind of money on travel!! You can buoy up various travel industries and contribute to higher employment worldwide.

As for me, you would have to approach me with a cattle prod to get me to travel at all, other than for work or else traveling by car to visit potential ER locations and such.

I think it's so cool/amazing that people are as different, and yet as nice and intelligent as people are on this board.
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Old 03-14-2008, 10:44 AM   #34
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My current budgeted costs are $5200 a month, but I am not FIRED yet, so I expect that to drop a lot in the next couple years..............

If I had no mortgage or car payments, I could EASILY live on $3000 a month, even though I am in a high property tax state..........
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Old 03-14-2008, 10:50 AM   #35
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My current budgeted costs are $5200 a month, but I am not FIRED yet, so I expect that to drop a lot in the next couple years..............

If I had no mortgage or car payments, I could EASILY live on $3000 a month, even though I am in a high property tax state..........
Ditto. Anyone know how I could get rid of my mortgage so I'd have an extra $1510/month for travel? Can't pay it off because there's still 27 years to go. Can't buy a cheaper place for cash unless I move to Springfield MO like Want2Retire, or some place similarly cheap. Although I could buy a manufactured home and live in a mobile home park here.
It's always a trade off.
Seriously, I don't think living on $3000/month is possible for me. And the budgets that I've seen here don't account very much for emergencies and depreciation of assets. In my budget I put away money every month for car repairs and buying a new car in the future,home repairs and replacement of appliances. It adds up!
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Old 03-14-2008, 11:23 AM   #36
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Ditto. Anyone know how I could get rid of my mortgage so I'd have an extra $1510/month for travel? Can't pay it off because there's still 27 years to go. Can't buy a cheaper place for cash unless I move to Springfield MO like Want2Retire, or some place similarly cheap. Although I could buy a manufactured home and live in a mobile home park here.
It's always a trade off.
Seriously, I don't think living on $3000/month is possible for me. And the budgets that I've seen here don't account very much for emergencies and depreciation of assets. In my budget I put away money every month for car repairs and buying a new car in the future,home repairs and replacement of appliances. It adds up!
So much of this is regional - - I agree!! And you are so wise to put away money for new car, car repairs, home repairs, appliance replacement, and emergencies. For me, anyway, that sort of thing adds up to a significant amount, and they come up so irregularly that it's difficult to get a handle on them. I did a rigous budget analysis over 5 years, and found that they came to 45% of my expenses during those particular years (and that didn't even include a new car).

Just for fun, I did an analysis of my spending in February 2008, other than those expenses. I inherited several times my net worth during February, and I did go on a spending spree in February though I am trying not to throw caution to the winds and spend it all. I spent:

$38.50 electricity
$90.87 natural gas
$15.21 water/sewer/trash
$22.40 phone
$34.24 cell phone
$58.47 cable TV and internet
$237.25 food
$400.00 money from ATM, mostly for restaurants but any other miscellaneous expenses such as TurboTax and paint
$8.00 books
$171.78 clothes
$31.00 gym
$17.97 e-filing taxes
$190.09 miscellaneous fun purchases
$8.00 insurance
$1323.78 TOTAL

Plus, $800 on my new water heater which is in the emergency category. The above included a spending spree which accounts for all of the miscellaneous fun purchases and clothes, and some of the restaurant money. So overall, I guess I am still spending in a reasonable way (thank goodness - - I need to be me, still!) It doesn't include most insurance or other things that are paid yearly - - this is not a budget, but is just what I happened to spend last month. Prior to now, my expenses of this sort were $800 month average over several years, plus $650/month for types of extra emergency/replacement expenses OldBabe mentioned (other than another car since I haven't bought one in a long time), including insurance.

I live alone in a 1558 square foot, 3 br 2 bath house in metro New Orleans, and last month I was turning the heat up on cold days and spending a lot more than I usually do on most everything.
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Old 03-14-2008, 12:43 PM   #37
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Doesn't anyone take a vacation here or budget for it?

I know when I retire I would like to have a minimum of 10,000 per yr budgeted for vacations. After all, that's a big reason for ER, for me.
Our retirement travel budget remains the same as when we both worked (I'm retired - my DW next year) at 20% of our total budget.

"Those who have not traveled have only turned the first page of life"...

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Old 03-14-2008, 02:56 PM   #38
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That Arizona budget strikes me as a little high in both the property taxes and electric for a small 2 BR house.

We've got a 2BR and the annual property taxes run a little over a grand, electricity on level payment plan at $125/month.
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Old 03-14-2008, 03:11 PM   #39
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That Arizona budget strikes me as a little high in both the property taxes and electric for a small 2 BR house.

We've got a 2BR and the annual property taxes run a little over a grand, electricity on level payment plan at $125/month.
I think that was the town of Arizona, Missouri (wherever that is), maybe? He said Arizona MO, and that he was in the midwest. Confusing..
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Old 03-14-2008, 03:18 PM   #40
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About a month ago I built a "layoff budget" which would reflect what I think would be approximate expenses if I lost my job. (These ignore all taxes except property tax which doesn't change with job loss and loss of an income stream.)

I was able to pare down our current operational $4400 "budget" to $2500 a month by slashing discretionary spending by anywhere from 30% to 100% -- but then I had to add $700 back in for health insurance through COBRA since I wouldn't have it from Megacorp any more. So that would be $3200 a month. (We have no house payment and about $35K in liquid emergency fund cash.) We could probably live on less than that, but we wouldn't have to like it.
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