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Old 08-21-2011, 01:08 PM   #41
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We really don't budget anything. Budgets are like goals, "often set-seldom achieved". Just doing a rough calculation, we spend $2700/yr for cable TV, internet and phone. Never go to movies. DW has Blue Ray streaming (included in cable, etc). Eating out, roughly $3200 per year. Never any place expensive, just frequently, maybe three times a week. We go out to breakfast a lot and drop maybe $15 per. I've cut way down on golf. From about $5500/yr to $2000. Only play once a week anymore.

Speaking of eating out, I've got to tell you something. If we could, we would eat out every meal. DW does all the cooking and I do all the cleaning up. I'm getting sick of it and she is sick of cooking. She watches all these cooking shows on TV, watches a lot of home shopping about pots and pans, buys things frequently and then bitches about cooking. Is this typical of women? I told her to have a garage sale, sell all the pots and pans and dishes and we could eat out every night for a year. After that she would be sick of eating out and we could start all over again with the pots and pans. Anybody agree with this thinking?
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Old 08-21-2011, 01:31 PM   #42
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DW does all the cooking and I do all the cleaning up. I'm getting sick of it and she is sick of cooking. She watches all these cooking shows on TV, watches a lot of home shopping about pots and pans, buys things frequently and then bitches about cooking. Is this typical of women?
I'm a lot like that. Don't like eating out, don't like cooking or cleaning up, but love cooking shows and buying kitchen stuff. My wife and I have worked things out, over the years. We don't go out, but neither of us ever has to cook except for fun. We have a supply of fresh vegetables, cheese, frozen stuff, and if no one happens to have cooked anything, that's what we eat. It's each person for himself. I fix salads nearly every day, but there's not much clean up for that. We have a convection toaster oven for heating up take-and-bake pizzas or various frozen things -- it has non-stick surfaces and needs just a few seconds to clean after use. I've learned to enjoy the cooking shows without actually cooking the stuff myself.
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Old 08-21-2011, 01:53 PM   #43
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I'm a lot like that. Don't like eating out, don't like cooking or cleaning up, but love cooking shows and buying kitchen stuff. My wife and I have worked things out, over the years. We don't go out, but neither of us ever has to cook except for fun. We have a supply of fresh vegetables, cheese, frozen stuff, and if no one happens to have cooked anything, that's what we eat. It's each person for himself. I fix salads nearly every day, but there's not much clean up for that. We have a convection toaster oven for heating up take-and-bake pizzas or various frozen things -- it has non-stick surfaces and needs just a few seconds to clean after use. I've learned to enjoy the cooking shows without actually cooking the stuff myself.
I agree with the cooking shows. I love to watch them make everything seem so simple. Like Rachael Ray. "I think I'll just whip out a batch of chicken parmasean and some ziti. It'll only take a minute. A little EVOO, etc, etc".

I've got to think about that "fend for yourself" system. DW wants to eat earlier and earlier every day. She feeds the dogs and then me. I'm having dinner about 3 PM these days. Isn't that lunch time?
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Old 08-21-2011, 02:10 PM   #44
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Speaking of eating out, I've got to tell you something. If we could, we would eat out every meal. DW does all the cooking and I do all the cleaning up. I'm getting sick of it and she is sick of cooking. She watches all these cooking shows on TV, watches a lot of home shopping about pots and pans, buys things frequently and then bitches about cooking. Is this typical of women? I told her to have a garage sale, sell all the pots and pans and dishes and we could eat out every night for a year. After that she would be sick of eating out and we could start all over again with the pots and pans. Anybody agree with this thinking?
This made me laugh out loud!

Ahhhh...I know about being sick of cooking as I do most of it. Since DH is retired, he cooks maybe once a week. I buy quite a few Marie Callender's frozen dinners. I think they are very tasty....just add some bread and/or salad, and there ya go.

I couldn't stand to eat out every day. Once or twice a week is enough for me.
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Old 08-21-2011, 02:43 PM   #45
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I've got to think about that "fend for yourself" system. DW wants to eat earlier and earlier every day. She feeds the dogs and then me. I'm having dinner about 3 PM these days. Isn't that lunch time?
Life is so much more pleasant with fewer rules and fewer duties. My wife and I eat together only when we're hungry at the same time and when food has somehow become available for both of us simultaneously. Is 3pm dinner time? I don't care. I can eat dinner any time I want.
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Old 08-21-2011, 04:04 PM   #46
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Entertainment Budget?

I tell my wife a couple jokes once in a while......for free.
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Old 08-21-2011, 04:10 PM   #47
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Life is so much more pleasant with fewer rules and fewer duties. My wife and I eat together only when we're hungry at the same time and when food has somehow become available for both of us simultaneously. Is 3pm dinner time? I don't care. I can eat dinner any time I want.
Tell me how to make food appear for both of us. Simultaneously!

I'm editing! How did this thread go from an entertainment question/poll, to an eating thread? Maybe I started something with the pots and pans thing. Sorry.
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Old 08-21-2011, 06:12 PM   #48
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What does everyone have for an entertainment budget ?

... I just want to make sure that I am not being too thrifty or too extravagant .
I'm confused. What difference does it make what others spend? Shouldn't you spend what fits your desires and is within your budget? If the average number here came out less than yours, does that mean you should cut back? Or spend more if the average was higher? I fail to see the relationship.

Entertainment may be far more important to some than others. What do you want? To me, this seems like taking a poll to find out if people prefer chocolate over vanilla ice cream before you order dessert. So what - choose whatever flavor you prefer.

It might make an interesting data point just for curiosities sake, but to make a change based on it? I don't get it.

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Old 08-21-2011, 07:09 PM   #49
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It might make an interesting data point just for curiosities sake, but to make a change based on it? I don't get it.

-ERD50

No sure I would make a change maybe rein it in a little if my number was much higher than everybody else's.You are right I should have added a poll .
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Old 08-22-2011, 11:09 AM   #50
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I budgeted more this year for entertainment, but, haven't spent very much so far. I have a hard time finding entertainment that I enjoy. So far, I've just spent a few dollars on books for my Kindle and some coffee while out and about. I really am interested in all your responses since I'm trying to figure out exactly what I want in entertainment. Seems like most of the outings that I find here involve listening, like classes and lectures...that just doesn't work very well when you can't hear well.
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Old 08-22-2011, 12:53 PM   #51
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I'd say between 3-5% for meals out and entertainment. I would consider most of $ spent on meals out to be entertainment, because the bulk of the $ are spent out with friends - either happy hours or dinners. We usually cook during the week; but if we get take-out, that's much cheaper than our weekend spending.
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Old 08-22-2011, 01:19 PM   #52
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It doesn't appear many people spend that much of their budget on entertainment, except for eating out. I imagine people spend more on trips and vacations than they do on entertainment. Of course it might be just how it's budgeted. For example, I budget $400 a month, but it is mostly for hockey, baseball games,and dining, and I count the $20 in gas to get there and back as part of the entertainment budget, not the gas budget. People who golf or have season long membership to theatre, etc. may just cut the check, but not consider it a monthly budget item. I amortize my ticket costs over a year long budget.
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Old 08-22-2011, 03:41 PM   #53
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It doesn't appear many people spend that much of their budget on entertainment, except for eating out. I imagine people spend more on trips and vacations than they do on entertainment.
I think that may be true for many of us. I know that travel always seems to cost more than I expect. We have been thinking of going on another "road trip" (our favorite version of travel) but haven't quite fleshed out a plan. We haven't been on one for about a year and a half and we are still grappling with the concept of a vacation within the eternal vacation of retirement.

As I understand it, entertainment was defined for this thread as movies, shows, and dining out, not regular bills like internet, digital TV, and iPhone.

I "give myself permission" to spend as much as I want on movies and shows (whoopee! ), and so far this year that has added up to $0.00 . Guess they just don't float my boat. I get bored and restless.

Since we eat at restaurants every day, we can't eat as much or spend as much as someone who is eating as a special occasion (as travel sometimes can be). We usually split the healthiest, most low calorie dish on the menu between us at one of New Orleans' many inexpensive hole-in-the-wall neighborhood restaurants. It isn't much more than groceries. Today? Our meal came to $15.58 for two, so with tip that came to $9 each. It will be my main meal, and I will eat one other smaller meal today.
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:30 PM   #54
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Hmmm handgrenade wise I kinda SWAGE'd things like cable, internet, the room remodel for nothing but entertaining guests - food and or TV and DVD. Also grey areas - like how much is my vehicle choice part entertainment? Speaking adult toy wise.

When I was in my 'cheap SOB' period nearing and in the early stages of ER my spending patterns were quite different. Entertainment was often a Seafood boil and everyone brought a side dish. Followed by a game of cards or swimming at the camp depending on the time of year.

So I'm thinking things like food, vehicles, and to some extent utilities can serve dual roles - necessities and entertainment.

heh heh heh - hence my very squishy number.
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:05 PM   #55
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W2R brought up the point as to what you include in "entertainment". I added cable, internet, etc. because it is what we do for entertainment. DW does the BlueRay thing. I think the last movie we saw was Titantic.

I do like your idea of eating out every day for about $20 total. Someone else posted that they always have salad on hand. For the most part, we do bagels about five days a week at home with our orange juice. I'm going to talk to DW about eating our main meal around 4PM because she has to eat early. Then have the salad thing available for later if you get hungry (I always do). I do think you can spend as much on purchasing groceries as you can eating out. Got to mull this over.
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:22 PM   #56
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Also grey areas - like how much is my vehicle choice part entertainment? Speaking adult toy wise.
That's a good point! Most days we go for a long pleasure drive through New Orleans. We find it very entertaining, and gas isn't cheap these days.
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:37 PM   #57
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. I imagine people spend more on trips and vacations than they do on entertainment..
Absolutely I spend twice as much on travel as I do on eating out . I was surprised this year that our Alaska trip can in under budget and we skimped on nothing .
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:51 PM   #58
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If that's what I have to do to be frugal, sign me up!

I have no idea what we spend. We are currently trying to get a handle on that and develop a budget. I would guess maybe $300-$500 a month, which includes extra fuel for my fishing trips. We live in the middle of nowhere so eating out going to the movies is a big deal and usually includes running errands or picking up some groceries.
I'll leave some room on the frugal bench for you.

We live 10 miles from a small size town with very few cultural events, 25 miles from next biggest with some limited culture, and over 50 miles from Syracuse, which has "normal" cultural events for a city of its size.
Gas prices and laziness are the main reasons we keep to very simple things (Legions, VFWs, ethnic clubs) for socializing and food/beverage consumption. These groups are very friendly, with some internal politics of course, but we are actively meeting people from all walks of life. A lot of the food is homemade or cooked on premises that day, so the quality is very good.
We are volunteering for most of the events, so we are both getting exercise on a moderate level, and a heck of a lot of "feel good" satisfaction as volunteers. Neither of us has any family in the area, so we are being included in an extended "family" by default.
All good stuff.
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Old 08-22-2011, 11:34 PM   #59
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I don't consider eating out to be entertainment, unless there's a show, or at least a Japanese restaurant where they throw your food up in the air while cooking it. Why is it entertainment simply because someone else cooks and serves your food?

Would it count as entertainment if you went to a friend's house and they served you dinner?

OTOH - unkind onlookers might find entertainment in the occasional spills and disasters in my kitchen....skillet caught on fire once...

Amethyst
How would you account for a potluck supper? You are invited for entertainment, but you have to bring something you've made, and that means spending on groceries!

Too much accounting for my taste!
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Old 08-23-2011, 12:10 AM   #60
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$4715 over the past six months on "Recreation", which includes vacations, movies, golf, swimming, etc., but not eating out, which goes in a separate category under "Food" ("Food:Groceries" and "Food:Eating Out").

About $4k of that was for a single week long vacation with my son to Olympia National Forest a week or two ago, but that (and the two next year for his siblings" are specifically described as one-time events.

So with the exception of "special trips", about $1500 per year maybe out of about $60k in annual spending.

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