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Old 03-23-2010, 08:44 PM   #61
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I really try to do my best but I also spend way less than Firecalc says and I usually have a surplus of $10,000 in my budget at the end of the year . Any suggestions on how I should spend it ?
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I'm trying!! Too busy enjoying a wonderful, idyllic retirement to get enough shopping in, I guess.
To "lighten up the load", I would think buying experiences like travel is better than purchasing "stuff". No storage needed. It simply stays in one's head, or at most a corner of the hard drive for digital photos.

Last night, I was pondering whether we should drive the Alaska Highway only one way, and take the ferry the other way. I priced out the cost for this 3-day ferry trip. It would take a few $K for 2 persons+RV to go from Bellingham to Haines! Driving is not cheap either; Canadian gas price is already at US$4/gal, the RV gas mileage is in the single digit, and the trip is more than 8000 mi total. Man, oh man! Perhaps it's cheaper to take a cruise!

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Good grief.

The first year of retirement is typically a period where a new retiree is very cautious with expenses. In a year or so you'll get comfortable and loosen up your spending. Bet you'll up your average monthly spend to maybe $2,000, blowing money on all sorts of frivolous expenditures.
Frivolous? You like to keep some to take with you?
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Old 03-23-2010, 08:50 PM   #62
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I'm starting to have a hard time seeing you moving to Missouri. You living someplace other than NOLA, where you can just pop in for something blackened, or etoufee'ed or whatnot, doesn't seem quite right. My secretary when I was with the big G got married to another fed employee who was from Missouri and they moved there for a few years. I would talk to her every few weeks and every phone call included, "Oh Dave, I miss the food. They just can't cook up here!"
They really can't! We went to the only Sicilian restaurant up there and it was awful. We even went again to give it a chance and it was so bad. There will be some adjustment, that's for sure.

Also some adjustment to not seeing gutted, boarded up, moldy houses everywhere with four feet of weeds around them. Though that situation does seem to be improving, finally.
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Old 03-23-2010, 08:59 PM   #63
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Good grief.

The first year of retirement is typically a period where a new retiree is very cautious with expenses. In a year or so you'll get comfortable and loosen up your spending. Bet you'll up your average monthly spend to maybe $2,000, blowing money on all sorts of frivolous expenditures.
Maybe so. I am so happy right now that it is beyond me what I could/should want that could make me any happier than I already am.
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To "lighten up the load", I would think buying experiences like travel is better than purchasing "stuff". No storage needed. It simply stays in one's head, or at most a corner of the hard drive for digital photos.
I really don't want to travel further outside the continental U.S. Been there, done that for years and years and it doesn't appeal to me these days. I do like the vacations that Frank and I take. We drive to some other state and then don't really decide on an itinerary but go where we want to go and do what we want to do, spontaneously. Then when we miss being at home we come home.
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:04 PM   #64
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Maybe so. I am so happy right now that it is beyond me what I could/should want that could make me any happier than I already am.
You still have family in Hawaii, right? Take a several week trip with top-notch accomodations. Ask your daughter where she would like to go on vacation. Go with her and pick up the tab. Just a couple thoughts.
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:07 PM   #65
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... I do like the vacations that Frank and I take. We drive to some other state and then don't really decide on an itinerary but go where we want to go and do what we want to do, spontaneously...
Well, how about driving further, like to Alaska or Newfoundland.

Then, how about boondocking along the way? Hint, hint...
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:14 PM   #66
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Well, how about driving further, like to Alaska or Newfoundland.
Maybe someday.

We haven't yet decided where to go on this next trip. We thought of Texas, Missouri, or maybe even Pennsylvania and Connecticut since I have never been up there. The nice thing about a spontaneous vacation by car is that we don't really have to decide until we find ourselves there.

I would love to go to the Smithsonian someday, too. Now THAT would be worth spending money on. I have wanted to go there ever since I was a little girl.
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:24 PM   #67
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Smithsonian in DC? I remember us wandering through several of them, and at the end of the day had museums out of our ears. Too much of a good thing in too short a time.
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:27 PM   #68
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I am probably a little (a lot?) odd, but every month when I receive my bank statement I am really excited. Why? Because I am just dying to type in the stuff and see how much I spent in the previous month.

For some reason I get a huge charge out of this. Perhaps my Scottish heritage?
Yep, you're weird

Now that you've mentioned Scottish, and since next year is census year in the UK, have you heard how they save money doing the census in Scotland?

They simply roll a coin down the middle of each street in the towns, and count the residents as they come out to investigate.
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:31 PM   #69
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Alan, I think that would work!
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:34 PM   #70
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[QUOTE=NW-Bound;917728]To "lighten up the load", I would think buying experiences like travel is better than purchasing "stuff". No storage needed. It simply stays in one's head, or at most a corner of the hard drive for digital photos.

/QUOTE]


I totally agree with you and travel several times a year . In April I am going to visit my daughter ,SIL and grandson . We are going to the museum of fun in Raleigh ,NY and the zoo in Erie ,Pa.. Two weeks later my SO & I are cruising to Mexico ,Costa Rico & Panama and in November we usually meet up with my daughter & family in DC for Thanksgiving and of course a quick visit to Savannah ,Ga. in the early fall .
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:46 PM   #71
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Alan, I think that would work!
You think I'm joking? We plan on living in the UK next year, and can arrange to be with DW's family in Scotland on census day, so we will be rushing out with the rest them when that coin rolls - it's a bit like Mardi Gras in New Orleans

[QUOTE=Moemg;917744]
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To "lighten up the load", I would think buying experiences like travel is better than purchasing "stuff". No storage needed. It simply stays in one's head, or at most a corner of the hard drive for digital photos.

/QUOTE]


I totally agree with you and travel several times a year . In April I am going to visit my daughter ,SIL and grandson . We are going to the museum of fun in Raleigh ,NY and the zoo in Erie ,Pa.. Two weeks later my SO & I are cruising to Mexico ,Costa Rico & Panama and in November we usually meet up with my daughter & family in DC for Thanksgiving and of course a quick visit to Savannah ,Ga. in the early fall .
Travel is a big expense in our budget also. In a few weeks we will be driving to Colorado to spend a month there.

July is England for 6 weeks and then in September we're off to Canada to meet up with a load of relatives. We'll be driving there and back and have a 3 location stay planned. Should take 5 or 6 weeks in total.

Next year, live in England for 6 months, and take advantage of cheap flights to European destinations for a few short trips.

While I track what we spend, I no longer spend a load of time categorizing everything. Now that we are ER'ed I just don't have the time.
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:47 PM   #72
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Now, after hearing Alan's joke, I have to tell this joke that I read a few years ago. No offense intended, though!


An American, a Scot, and a Canadian were traveling together in a car when they were involved in a fatal accident.

They went up to the pearly gate. St. Peter looked up his roster, then frowned. He said, "There must have been a mistake. None of you are due at this time. If each of you pay for the expense to undo this, you will be reinstated in life like nothing ever happened."

The American said "Deal!"

As he came to, he saw that the medics were still working on reviving the Scot and the Canadian. A medic asked him: "What happened?"

The American answered, "Well, last I know, the Scot was still haggling with St. Peter about the price, and the Canadian was arguing that his government should pay."
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:50 PM   #73
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The American answered, "Well, last I know, the Scot was still haggling with St. Peter about the price, and the Canadian was arguing that his government should pay."[/INDENT]


SIL married a Campbell and they live in Scotland - I can relate loads of REAL stories that are similar !!
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Old 03-23-2010, 10:45 PM   #74
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You have a category for "financial support"? Like sending money home to family overseas? I'm thinking about putting this type of expense under "gift" or "charity".
We have categories
Gift
Gift:cash

And the latter (sub-category) is where financial support and/or cash gifts to family go. Non-cash gifts go in the former!

For a couple of years we were paying some of my MILs bills. I created a separate medical category for this as there were potential tax itemizations from it.

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Old 03-23-2010, 10:53 PM   #75
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I really try to do my best but I also spend way less than Firecalc says and I usually have a surplus of $10,000 in my budget at the end of the year . Any suggestions on how I should spend it ?
Send it to MEEEEEE?

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Old 03-23-2010, 10:55 PM   #76
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To "lighten up the load", I would think buying experiences like travel is better than purchasing "stuff". No storage needed. It simply stays in one's head, or at most a corner of the hard drive for digital photos.
I totally concur. Experiences rank top on best things to spend money on.

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Old 03-24-2010, 07:28 AM   #77
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I guess this is slightly off topic, but what the heck. Since December, I've been using a budgeting software called YNAB (You Need a Budget) to budget and track expenses. I now have sinking funds set up for all the oddball expenses that come up once or twice a year, in addition to my regular categories. All the money for these is in my checking, but the software knows how much is allocated to what expense. Anyway, I love this software, so anyone who is looking for budgeting software might want to take a look.

By the way, I paid for the software and have no affiliation with the company...just a satisfied customer!
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Old 03-24-2010, 07:51 AM   #78
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Smithsonian in DC? I remember us wandering through several of them, and at the end of the day had museums out of our ears. Too much of a good thing in too short a time.

I love the Smithsonian especially the new American History building . DC is such a great place for a short vacation . Every time we go we see something we missed . We usually met my daughter ,SIL & grandson there over Thanksgiving and we always have a great time .
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Old 03-24-2010, 09:38 AM   #79
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I
Cash - Only able to track cash withdrawn. I've no idea what it is all spent on. So I can tell you how much cash we took out during the year. What it was used for is always a mystery.

Walmart/Costco/Target - We put almost everything on our credit card which I pay off every month. I use the monthly credit card bill to itemize the expenses to specific budget categories in Quicken. For the most part this works great. But charges to Walmart, Costco, or Target could be for many different things.....
For the cash - ATM withdrawals mainly - I created a cash account for me and DW. So the ATM cash goes in there, and then we enter what we spend it for. It took us about a year to get good at this. We still have holes in our tracking, but it is good enough. We minimize our use of cash, so this doesn't add too much work.

For stores like Walmart, you'll just have to "split" the transaction by looking at your receipt. I take on that task and after a while, it just becomes one of those things you do regularly.
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Old 03-24-2010, 09:44 AM   #80
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I really try to do my best but I also spend way less than Firecalc says and I usually have a surplus of $10,000 in my budget at the end of the year . Any suggestions on how I should spend it ?
I started a new thread on this here.
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