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A $3,000 monthly budget
Old 06-04-2007, 01:54 PM   #1
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A $3,000 monthly budget

After reading the earlier post on retiring on $3,000 a month, I looked again at my Arizona house (small 2 BR) house budget that I made up for myself and my son when I retire. I am currently in Fl. with a big house and big expences (but trying to sell)

My numbers in Arizona come to $3,635 a month, and that is not including my federal taxes, which I assume will be in the $15,000 catagory. So just curious for those of you who say they are living on less, where you see the differences with your budget compared to mine.

ArizonaAZ Mo Cost Taxes $265 Home Ins $50 HOA $150 Med Ins (Medigap & son's insur $300 Electric $200 Sewer & Garbage $70 Water $60 Tel (reg line & Internet line) $60 TV $75 DSL $45 Landscaper $100 Maid (twice a mo) $160 Eating Out (two people) $240 Eating In $600 Misc (all other stuff) $900 Car Insur $200 (two vehicles) Gas $ 160.00 Total $ 3,635.00 **Plus income taxes
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Old 06-04-2007, 02:10 PM   #2
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Wat is in the Misc at 900/mo - that could be part of the answer.
It would be easier to read if the costs were listed down rather than across.
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Old 06-04-2007, 02:10 PM   #3
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Possible differences: Remove Med Ins, Lanscaping, Maid. Cut down on eating out, on Misc.. Get rid of one car.

By the way, your budget did not include housing cost which is always there whether your house is paid for or not.
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Old 06-04-2007, 02:55 PM   #4
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The $900 a month includes house repair costs, replacement costs, prescriptions, Xmas, clothing, gifts, magazine subscriptions, books. maintenance on cars, dogs, lic fees, etc etc. I know the maid and landscaper are despensible. That is a choice. I had it in a column form, but when I pasted it from my excel sheet, that is what happened.

Just wondering if other parts of the country have cheaper costs than those I listed there in Arizona.
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Old 06-04-2007, 03:31 PM   #5
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Taxes $265 - assume you mean property tax. Ours is ~$116/mo
Home Ins $
50 - yep
HOA $150 - $5/yr suggested donation.
Med Ins (Medigap & son's insur $300) - ours will be at least this much when we pay it all ourselves
Electric $200 - nat gas plus elec for us is ~$150/mon average
Sewer & Garbage $70 - sewer, water, garbage = $38/month
Water $60 - incl. above - $0
Tel (reg line & Internet line) $60 - $20/month via vonage; no cell phones
TV $75 - $11 - basic 25 channel cable
DSL $45 - $30 cable internet
Landscaper $100 - that's my job but I don't get paid nearly this much.
Maid (twice a mo) $160 - see previous comment
Eating Out (two people) $
240 - we spend $160/month on this. Avg of 19 "eat-outs"/month
Eating In $
600 - probably more like $400 for us.
Misc (all other stuff) $
900 - dunno, but probably less than $900
Car Insur
$200 (two vehicles) - DW just got in a wreck but just renewed at $75/mo with comp/collision for the most part
Gas
$ 160.00 - yep

There's what we spend in Raleigh, NC living inside the city limits in a 1800 sf split level house built in 1972. Maybe it can give you a starting point for cutting costs "if it's worth it". Forgot to add, all costs for a family of 4 incl. two toddler/infants.
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Old 06-04-2007, 03:35 PM   #6
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I'm single and don't have any debt.
My budget is broken down into three parts - annual $
$20K Basic Living - staying at home
$20K Enjoying Life - travel, learning etc.
$ 5K Amortization cost - car etc

I think we have similar line items.
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Old 06-04-2007, 04:45 PM   #7
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With a paid for house and no debt living outside St. Louis I still dont see getting by on less that $3500 per month. I'm budgeting for $5000. Thats with $800 for health care and $500 a month on golf dues. I don't have to have the insurance or golf but I like to have both.

These are after tax figures. I'm sure if all I had was $3000 a month I could downsize and watch my money a little closer but I'd rather not. I'm currently still working part time, I still have 470 hours to go so I really don't know what I'll be spending when I'm fully retired.
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Old 06-04-2007, 05:14 PM   #8
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Modhatter, the line items that stand out to me are $240 eating out, $330 utilities and $160 for gasoline. I'd be at half easy on those three, but that could be simply differences in cost of living and lifestyle choices.

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Old 06-04-2007, 06:07 PM   #9
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I'm at about $24,000 annual, no debt of any kind, and includes travel, next auto, and house maintenance. If I take up downhill skiing as my friends are encouraging, I'll tinker a bit, some from travel, some from next auto (car or camper van).
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Old 06-04-2007, 06:36 PM   #10
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I'm at about $12K per year if you exclude kids (they'll be grown when I retire), the mortage (it'll be paid off when I retire), and taxes (they should be negligible if not zero on a $12K draw in retirement).

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Old 06-04-2007, 07:16 PM   #11
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Coach,

What part of the country are you in?
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Old 06-04-2007, 07:27 PM   #12
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When I retired, I figured that we needed somewhat less than $3,000 per month to continue our current lifestyle. Here's our expenses for two.
Note 1,200 sq ft single family home in midwest.

It looks like we're remarkably close in a number of categories. However, I'm cheaper in: Taxes, HOA, lanscaper/maid, TV, and some combination of your "Eating out + Other" and my "Entertainment, Travel, and Other".

ArizonaAZ Mo Cost Taxes $265 - $155
Home Ins $50 - $40
HOA $150 - $0
Med Ins (Medigap & son's insur $300 - All Medical $270
Electric $200 - Elec + Sewer + Water + Gas $325
Sewer & Garbage $70
Water $60
Tel (reg line & Internet line) $60 - $60
TV $75 - $0
DSL $45 - $40
Landscaper $100 - $0
Maid (twice a mo) $160 - $0
Eating Out (two people) $240 - All entertainment & Travel $500
Eating In $600 - $500 (two people)
Misc (all other stuff) $900 - $500
Car Insur $200 (two vehicles) - $200
Gas $ 160.00 - Gasoline $120
Total $ 3,635.00 - $2,710 **Plus income taxes - and contributions
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Old 06-04-2007, 10:19 PM   #13
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Housing, principal, interest, insurance, taxes $800
Car insurance, 2 cars $25.00
Grub $200
Gas $35
Utilities except phone $200
Phone/DSL $50

Single guy, living alone. I'll spend more if I get ambitious and go out, but this is pretty close to what a month runs me. This is what I had been spending for the year prior to pulling the plug. Luckily I only have another 4-5 years at this high rate until the house is paid off and and can cut out about another $500 per month.
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Old 06-05-2007, 09:06 AM   #14
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Car insurance $25 - Wow. I have a 95 Ford Ranger truck and the collision part is only $21 a month, but the total is close to $100 a month. What state are you in? Or maybe, who is your insurance company?
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Old 06-05-2007, 09:08 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modhatter View Post
Coach,

What part of the country are you in?
Mod, I'm in Colorado Springs, CO.

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Old 06-05-2007, 09:15 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by modhatter View Post
Car insurance $25 - Wow. I have a 95 Ford Ranger truck and the collision part is only $21 a month, but the total is close to $100 a month. What state are you in? Or maybe, who is your insurance company?
It's a small thing, but I wouldn't bother with collision coverage on a 1995 truck.
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Old 06-05-2007, 10:12 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modhatter View Post
ArizonaAZ Mo Cost Taxes $265 Home Ins $50 HOA $150 Med Ins (Medigap & son's insur $300 Electric $200 Sewer & Garbage $70 Water $60 Tel (reg line & Internet line) $60 TV $75 DSL $45 Landscaper $100 Maid (twice a mo) $160 Eating Out (two people) $240 Eating In $600 Misc (all other stuff) $900 Car Insur $200 (two vehicles) Gas $ 160.00 Total $ 3,635.00 **Plus income taxes
I live on $2700 per month. I don't really feel like taking the time to digg up all the numbers, but I can tell you what I would cut ASAP, and what I don't have to pay.

- I get Med ins. from job. (-$300)
- My Electric is $75 (-$125)
- no sewer (I have spetic) (-$70)
- I refuse to pay for Garbage (goto the dump once or twice a year $14/yr)
- Landscaper ... are you joking! LBYM (-$100)
- Maid ... see above (-$160)
- eating in ... I spend $300/mo (-$300)
- Misc is more like $200. (before I used the envolope system mine was $900) (-$700)

Some of my savings are out of your control; like Med ins. Still I could cut a lot of fat out. Just living like my family of three you could cut out $1755/mo. Even after adding in insurance and differences in housing I cut out $1200.

You have just gotten a little sloppy with your budget. Keep every receipt, and use envelopes. And don't forget to review your spending with you SO often.

RW
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Two Vehicles
Old 06-05-2007, 10:34 AM   #18
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Two Vehicles

Actually, I have two vehicle and the total for both is about $150 every six months. They are both old and I have liability coverage only. One is a 1979 Ford pickup with 95K on it that I bought new. The other is a 1994 Wrangler that I have had for 8 years.

Last year I only drove 5K miles total for both vehicles. I do all my own maintenance and repair work on them. The pickup is still in very good shape and I use it mostly for pulling my small 5th wheel. I'd rather ride my bike around town than drive.

I have been with State Farm for over 30 years and have not had a ticket in that time. I was in one accident many years ago, but it was the other parties fault. I live in Idaho.

What is the Envelope System?
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Old 06-05-2007, 10:50 AM   #19
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We (DW and I) LIVE on the current budget of about $2,250 a month or $26,975 a year.

Taxes 13,044
Home Exp (Condo Fee incl) 5,322
Food 1,800 (lots of rice)
Gifts to G/Kids 1,400
Medical (Medicare) 2,244
Auto 1,121 (includes Insurance)
Other Insurance 544
Total 26,975

Major expense I would like to cut is the D*** RE taxes of OVER $7K a year. Either the Govt is going to change the homestead for "old" folks or we are going to go the full RV route in the next couple of years.
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Not a Mansion
Old 06-05-2007, 11:15 AM   #20
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Not a Mansion

I do not live in a mansion, rather it is a rancher built in 1967. It is about 1700 square feet and actually rather nice. Taxes are just a little over $100 per month. They knick me for extra taxes by billing me for street lights, EMS, and 911 on my water bill that is about another $5.00 per month. All in all it could be worse.
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