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Old 03-02-2013, 07:39 AM   #81
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What is so great about SF than anywhere in the US?
In this case, I believe it is a spouse with a well-paying job...
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:40 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by dunkelblau View Post
Here's my annual spend for comparison (single 50YO near Good Sam hospital, San Jose):

rent-- 11000
car-- 2000
food-- 700
util-- 600
HI-- 6000
pets-- n/a
care-- 700
fun-- 1000

I'm about 50 miles south of SF. My apartment is much smaller than 1000sf, American car, avoid Whole Foods, and my idea of fun is reading at the library. So depending on your tastes, it doesn't have to cost a lot to live in northern CA. Wages here are high enough that FI is quick & easy if you live small.
$700 a year for food? At less than $2 per day, what's on the menu, or are you a workaholic at google (or similar) and getting 3 squares for free most days of the week? At less than $2 bucks a day, you would be consuming little more than beans and rice.

Just curious, because for the two of us, we are shelling out around 450-500 per month at the moment, incl pizza with friends several Fridays per month.

R
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:51 AM   #83
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My food budget is very low too. I often eat at the clinic when the drugs reps bring us food. I am happy with a quick salad when at home. Sometimes, patients at one free clinic bring us some food too. My food budget may be less than $5 per day.
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$700 a year for food? At less than $2 per day, what's on the menu, or are you a workaholic at google (or similar) and getting 3 squares for free most days of the week? At less than $2 bucks a day, you would be consuming little more than beans and rice.

Just curious, because for the two of us, we are shelling out around 450-500 per month at the moment, incl pizza with friends several Fridays per month.

R
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:08 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by Rambler

$700 a year for food? At less than $2 per day, what's on the menu, or are you a workaholic at google (or similar) and getting 3 squares for free most days of the week? At less than $2 bucks a day, you would be consuming little more than beans and rice.

Just curious, because for the two of us, we are shelling out around 450-500 per month at the moment, incl pizza with friends several Fridays per month.

R
I eat a bowl of oatmeal with an apple cut up in it, and some walnuts stirred in. Pretty basic, and yet that costs about $2 a day in itself.
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:13 AM   #85
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What is so great about SF than anywhere in the US? Where I live I can have the most wonderful life for a fraction of the cost. I've found that people who live in places like NYC and SF have a skewed understanding of the US and sometimes not realizing they can get as much joy elsewhere and enjoy the same things for less.
Funny how so many of those people who live elsewhere just love to visit SF & NY!
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:23 AM   #86
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It's got to be a mistake, I think? Even if dunkelblau eats out most of the time, and counts that as "fun", that would still only add up to $1700/year or $142/month.

I might have the record on the upper end for food expenses, since last year I spent $2522.47 on groceries ($210/month) and $3200.24 on eating out at restaurants ($267/month, usually lunch out every day). So my total was $5722.71/year or $477/month on food, for just one person. However, in the interests of good health and pleasure/entertainment I think this is a great way for a single New Orleanian retiree like me to spend money.
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:28 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by dunkelblau View Post
Here's my annual spend for comparison (single 50YO near Good Sam hospital, San Jose):


food-- 700
As they say, can you give us a little more color on this?

Ha
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:33 AM   #88
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What is so great about SF than anywhere in the US? Where I live I can have the most wonderful life for a fraction of the cost. I've found that people who live in places like NYC and SF have a skewed understanding of the US and sometimes not realizing they can get as much joy elsewhere and enjoy the same things for less.
That's just funny. I happily lived in a small Southern town for 15 years and in SF for only the last 9 months and my understanding of your "wonderful life" is skewed? Gimme a break.
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Old 03-02-2013, 11:13 AM   #89
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That's just funny. I happily lived in a small Southern town for 15 years and in SF for only the last 9 months and my understanding of your "wonderful life" is skewed? Gimme a break.
Ok, so that may not be true for you but I am a NYC transplant and have lots of friends and relatives still there. You need to hear them talk to understand. In fairness, I imagine the same skewed perspective about big cities exists in small southern towns so it probably works both ways.
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Old 03-02-2013, 11:21 AM   #90
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This is what our expenses look like right now (couple, no kids, 2 cats living in San Francisco):

$61K - rent and renter's insurance
$9K - cars (replacement, repair & maintenance, gas, insurance, registration)
$10K - groceries
$7K - utilities (TV, internet, electric, water, phone)
$4K - health (insurance, co-pays)
$1K - pets
$1K - personal care
$15K - fun money (clothing, dining, entertainment, furnishings, vacations)
I was assigned to NY three times - '84, '90 and '97. Adjusting for inflation, we paid more than that for rent. Other expenses were much higher. The first time we made the mistake of thinking we could get by more cheaply, badly underestimating how difficult and costly it is to go live in a distant large urban area for just a couple of years without sacrificing standard of living.

We were most fortunate to have an employer that understood that and gave generous $$ assistance to offset.
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Old 03-02-2013, 11:25 AM   #91
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FWIW, I thought FIREd's post was fascinating. Some parts of his budget seemed remarkably low to me. $1K for personal care for two is just amazingly low, especially when his DW is working at a high dollar job, where she is probably expected to look her best. Just a monthly haircut and color at a good salon in New Orleans would be twice that amount. There is nothing anyone can really do about utilities such as the required $100/month for water in that condo, no matter how much water conservation they practice.

And yes, rents are high, but look what they got for it! I would love to live in a location where I could walk to so many wonderful and/or useful places, as he does, in bearable weather and probably without even having to cross a freeway or big bridge with no sidewalk for walkers. My doctor would love it if I did that, too, and my Fitbit would be logging more steps there than it does here.

Living in areas like SF and NYC is not inherently "bad" or "good". I have lived in SF, and compared with living in the MIdwest or South it is not bad, not good, but different. In FIREd's case, he can easily afford this interesting and stimulating experience of moving from the South directly to SF, so why not? Let's face it, life is not a competition to see who can live on the least amount of money each year, especially for those who are comfortably FI.

People talk here about how great it is to spend their discretionary money on experiences, not things. As opposed to travel, I think that actually living in a new and stimulating place like SF is quite an interesting experience.
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Old 03-02-2013, 11:40 AM   #92
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When I saw FIREd's rent I initially thought "wow, way too much for the advantages of SF." But when I consider the capital tied up in my DC house, plus property tax, insurance, and maintenance I am effectively hitting close to that, albeit for double the space. If I ever left Capitol Hill I would want something like SF, or downtown Seattle or Portland so cost savings would not be relevant.
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Old 03-02-2013, 11:44 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by dunkelblau View Post
Here's my annual spend for comparison (single 50YO near Good Sam hospital, San Jose):

rent-- 11000
car-- 2000
food-- 700
util-- 600
HI-- 6000
pets-- n/a
care-- 700
fun-- 1000

I'm about 50 miles south of SF. My apartment is much smaller than 1000sf, American car, avoid Whole Foods, and my idea of fun is reading at the library. So depending on your tastes, it doesn't have to cost a lot to live in northern CA. Wages here are high enough that FI is quick & easy if you live small.
That is awesome. I thought we were doing well in San Jose (willow glen) to get expenses down to about 24k excluding housing/healthcare.
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:01 PM   #94
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$700 annual food budget That's $14/week.

If this is not a typo what's your secret?
I was wondering the same thing about that post!

I spent more than his $14/wk total food budget by just stopping at the pub for a few pints and some conversation with friends while out and about yesterday afternoon.......
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Old 03-02-2013, 02:31 PM   #95
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I lived in SF for several years, in a'63 split-window VW bus on the beach for free.
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Old 03-02-2013, 03:57 PM   #96
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I lived in SF for several years, in a'63 split-window VW bus on the beach for free.
That was you? Remember me? I was the girl with the long dark hair, and perpetual smile.... you said I had crystal blue eyes?

just kidding
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