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Half Way Point - Have you checked your budget?
Old 06-29-2012, 08:18 PM   #1
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Half Way Point - Have you checked your budget?

I can't believe that 2012 is about 1/2 over already.

So, out of curiosity I took a peek at my budget to see how my actual vs budgeted spending has done. Didn't look at every category, but the total spent is pretty much half of what I budgeted for the year..so I'm pretty much on track.
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Old 06-29-2012, 08:31 PM   #2
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I've been very sloppy about that. I've probably kept better track of my Dad's finances than our own. My pension's being paid, our tenants have been paying the rent, the checking account balance has been (mostly) rising...

Our expenses are a little higher than my Dad's, but they don't vary much and we probably wouldn't change any spending.
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Old 06-29-2012, 08:37 PM   #3
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We're actually significantly ahead which is good since it is our first year of ER. Medical is better because I was probably too conservative in my estimates of health insurance and deductible costs. Vacation is better because we decided not to take a planned vacation. All other expenses are 5% lower than budget in aggregate.
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Old 06-29-2012, 08:42 PM   #4
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We're 5% under budget YTD. So far, so good...
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Old 06-29-2012, 08:52 PM   #5
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I need to spend a little more, it looks like. So far, I am spending less than I did during either of my two prior years of retirement.

The difference between 2012 and 2011 isn't much, though. I have been thinking about getting a new side door for my house. That should take care of it.
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Old 06-29-2012, 08:55 PM   #6
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Just want to say what a lousy POS I think Mint is. It combines info from my mortgage with checking so it double books things. and adds in my reinvested dividends as negative expenses. I'm ready to give it up and set up my own ss, now that I've got access to google docs.

I've been pretty close to my monthly expenses. Actually under for medical, groceries and utilities.
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Old 06-29-2012, 09:02 PM   #7
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No real budgeting or any hard spending cut, but I have been watching expenses with Quicken to see if I can stay at 3.5% of would-be WR, if I stop work altogether. Looks like I will make it.
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Old 06-29-2012, 09:09 PM   #8
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I moved and changed jobs in 2011, which was an atypical (and expensive) year. 2012 is the first year of the "rest of my life" and I am looking at it as a test case for ER. So far, I've spent approximately 30K (including $5K saved in my TFSA, $5K principal on a mortgage, and taxes), but there are a number of big bills coming up, like property taxes and car repairs. I expect to keep total annual expenses under $70K. Once I've got a full year under my belt I will use the results to develop a budget. However I don't plan to slice and dice it into too many categories.
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Old 06-29-2012, 09:13 PM   #9
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Budget?
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Old 06-29-2012, 09:13 PM   #10
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After moving from a low COL area to a very high one, we are in complete unchartered territory budget-wise. All I know is that it is going to be a very expensive year.
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:24 PM   #11
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Looking at monthly income vs outgo we are doing splendidly. Monthly, we currently spend 91% of the pension payment so there's still a small cushion and then my itty bitty part-time income all goes to savings. The monthly budget includes setting aside savings for medical expenses and other non-monthly expenses. The utilities are all within estimates (next months electric bill for all this A/C will be HIGH!) and I've changed how we get our prescriptions and saved a lot since January.

Overall for Jan-June we would be ahead by a nice amount but June is the month when we replaced the 29 year old roof and gutters. This was the last of 3 major home expenses (the others were windows and furnace + A/C) that we knew we needed to do when DH retired in 2010. And before we had the roof done we needed to have a major limb removed from a tree. So June was expensive but we had the money in savings and had this planned.

Knew it needed to be done, glad it's over and paid for.

Coming up in July is a trip to see DH's family in Colorado. We have a vacation fund set aside and the plane tickets are bought. We're staying with MIL so we should be able to stay within budget and have something left when we come home.
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:54 PM   #12
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This is a huge transitional year for us. We bought a house and moved to another county so we have lots of one-time expenses and then on other expenses we are still transitioning to see how the expenses will come out, particularly on house related expenses. Our electric usage for example is down (house is more energy efficient) but our electric bill is up (electricity is provided through a coop and the rates are twice what we were paying before). I am still seeing how expenses shake out and each month am modifying the budget to reflect the current expenses. After this year, everything should be much more settled down.
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Old 06-29-2012, 11:29 PM   #13
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By the way, the boost my portfolio got from the market surge just today is more than my living expenses YTD. Of course, the huge drop a week ago was also of the same magnitude, but of the "wrong" direction.

I am sure many here have the same experience. Crazy!
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Old 06-30-2012, 12:09 AM   #14
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Don't have the cc bills in for June expenses, but I expect we'll be right on track.
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Old 06-30-2012, 12:09 AM   #15
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I am about on target compared to my budgeted amounts. My co-op maintenance went down in 2012 (hard to believe, huh?) but I bought a new PC in January. Cable, phone, internet, and electric are up slightly from 2011 but they are doing what I anticipated. Cash expenses (mainly food and gasoline) are up slightly. Health insurance is down from 2011 because I switched policies in the middle of 2011. Dental is up slightly, auto+home insurance is up slightly.

On the income side, my bond fund dividends are down on a per-share basis but I have more shares compared to last year so that is pretty much a wash. Stock fund dividends are up.

Income taxes are tough to compare because I will begin bunching my deductions in 2013 so I have to use a two-year comparison )2012+2013) to see the benefits.
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Old 06-30-2012, 01:52 AM   #16
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Two one time items were a new kitchen at the Lake house and a new house in Arizona. Boh items were budgetted for. Kitchen 10% under plan but the Arizona house is over plan due to spending a lot more on furnishing it. Over all we are within 2% of our normal ongoing spend although the actual spend this year will be about 3-4 times the normal. Next year will be new cars. Always seems to be something?
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Old 06-30-2012, 05:52 AM   #17
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I pull 3.5% and reinvest what I don't use in a "mad money" account. I have consistently saved about 25% of the withdrawal that way and am on target to do that this year. Another way to look at it is that I really have a roughly 3% withdrawal and am within budget. But I like the fiction of a chunk of change I can spend with impunity if things get tight.
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Old 06-30-2012, 06:19 AM   #18
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We update and look at variances monthly so we're in good shape. We'll have a huge loss in accrued expenses since I bought a new car this year (whereas we've had gains in accrued expenses in prior years), but all the normal fixed and variable expense categories are showing minor gains and losses...
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Old 06-30-2012, 08:10 AM   #19
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Looks like we're on track. No major purchases or expenses. My DW's car needed some major maintenance, timing belt etc, but it came in at about 1/2the budgeted amount. However I had to have the carbs rebuilt on the boat which ate up the savings. I guess it all evens out
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:08 AM   #20
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Food, utilities and gas are a little below budget. All others on track except for Medical/Dental. Just had a root canal and crown, kind of budget buster.
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