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Old 12-31-2010, 07:29 PM   #41
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I bugeted $12,000 and spent $11,974

I spent extra over the last week on stuff I needed anyway since I had a little cushion. I'll need since I budgeted the same as 2010 but am planning a vacation that will likely cost around $1500. I also have a condo assessment I wasn't expecting for another $1000. It'll be difficult to make up for those but i'll give it a shot. It's possible i'll up the budget to $15,000 but i'm hoping not as that'll add years onto my working life if I keep it that high
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Old 12-31-2010, 08:52 PM   #42
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Budgie? Spend less than we have?
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Old 12-31-2010, 08:53 PM   #43
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We were OK on our budgeted monthly expenses. We had around $40,000 in unplanned expenses for this year; however, we have a very robust emergency fund. We bought some acreage next to our ranch that suddenly became available. Not that we needed more land - we bought it to keep anyone else from getting it and possibly putting in a bunch of house trailers, meth lab, whatever. We simply don't want anyone living that close to us. It was worth the expense. We also had to repair the dam on our pond.

Things we've done this year that's saved us money are using a wood stove to heat the house (we seem to have an endless supply of fallen trees) instead of the heat pump and we started canning this year. We have a good supply of "fresh" veggies in the storeroom and, except for the start-up expense of buying canning jars and a pressure canner, we've come out ahead on food expenses.
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Old 12-31-2010, 10:09 PM   #44
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i have never had a budget. i buy what i must and seldom buy anything else. since i retired my wr has been 1.3% pa. i decided to pay off the mortgage in oct 2009 so in december 2009 i used a lot of money. thru june 2010 i finished off the mortgage again spending a lot of money. both 2009 and 2010 my wr would have been 1.3% if i didn't count the mortgage pay off which pushed it to about 10%. 2012 will be a very interesting year, 1st ever w/o a mortgage, wr may be 0%. i always have lbmn so i'm not very budget oriented.
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Old 12-31-2010, 10:13 PM   #45
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Haven't finalized the 2010 numbers yet, but I am roughly 7% over what I thought I would spend, for two key reasons. First, my income tax amounts withheld are higher than what I expected due to higher than expected income (two raises and a bonus). Second, I decided to take the kids to San Diego for a week and so that was a more expensive vacation than I had planned. Still saved a hunk of money this year, so no problem with the overage on either count.

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Old 12-31-2010, 11:43 PM   #46
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2010 was my fourth full year of retirement........ And my fourth year of being on budget, exactly, to the penny.
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Old 01-01-2011, 07:53 AM   #47
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We spent more than we usually do, mostly from the "extra" income from my job. Largish expenses were a new computer and the attendant software upgrades, a nice big corner desk, color laser printer and photo printer, two digital cameras, four new tires for the truck, a set of tires for the motorcycle, and a few trips for a wedding, a funeral, and a family reunion. We also spent more than we normally would on gifts for DW's nieces, which she loves to do and it is appreciated.

Without the job we would not have a motorcycle and would have spent a lot less on the computer and desk, forgone the laser printer, have one, less expensive, digital camera, and spent less on gifts and some other discretionary spending.

But savings are also up by $31k from this time last year so we're clearly spending less than our income.
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Old 01-01-2011, 09:12 AM   #48
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We were supposed to spend $53,000 and we spent $36,000. I'll try harder next year.
Just wondering; your forecast of expenses was off a bit over a third of actual expenses.

Something does not compute ...
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Old 01-01-2011, 09:38 AM   #49
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Well, our "budget" wasn't a forecast of expenses, it was the total we were allowed to spend based on the 4% SWR strategy. So, rather than showing that I'm bad at forecasting, it shows that I'm bad at spending.

I'm going to make a concerted effort to convince myself that we really can spend a lot more money, then I'm going to find some stuff to spend it on.
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:03 AM   #50
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Well, that's a lot to admit for a former big six Canadian banking exec!
I guess we know what your New Years' resolution is going to be!

I don't have a strict budget, but I have been extremely frugal this year and socked away a ton of money.
Except for the condo I bought, of course.
Yes. I'm a little embarassed. In 2009 also over by about 7%. Up until then we tracked expenses but did't try to keep within a budget. With the crash of 2008/09 we thought a little discipline was in order. We bought a lot of art in 2010 and DW surprised me with a wonderful trip to celebrate my 60th birthday. I splurged on her birthday too. DW had to get her ACL repaired because of a ski accident. Rather than wait 2 years in Canada got it done in Cleveland immediately. Cost about $10k. Hope to do better in 2011 but have increased the budget from the 2010 one by about 10% so really splitting the difference. Total expenses still under long term pension plus dividends.
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:13 AM   #51
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I'm going to make a concerted effort to convince myself that we really can spend a lot more money, then I'm going to find some stuff to spend it on.

I bet you fail miserably at that .There is something built inside us that is inherently thrifty . I debated getting an ereader for two years and would not pull the plug until the price dropped under $150.
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:14 AM   #52
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About 3% under, and that was after deciding to replace our old countertops with granite ones, having our inground pool filled in, and repaving our driveway. I had reduced our 2010 budget in a lot of places, as this was the first full year DD was no longer living at home and I knew it would be cheaper. Guess I didn't reduce it enough.....

Expenses that were less include: groceries, clothing, dining out, car maintenence, miscellaneous credit card, heating oil, water, electric, and medical expenses (DD is diabetic, so that was a big reduction when she went off on her own).

Expenses that were more include: cable (just went up again), house maintenence, and vacation (3 trips to visit DD and flew her and bf up to visit).

I take my monthly expenses and divide by 4 to get my weekly budget. Always gives me that extra cushion. I showed DD how to do that when she created her 2010 budget. I sat with her last week and helped her balance her 2010 budget out and reset it for 2011. She promptly took her excess and maxed out her ROTH. It's nice to have one kid who gets it. DS on the other hand..... *sigh*
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:30 AM   #53
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Well, our "budget" wasn't a forecast of expenses, it was the total we were allowed to spend based on the 4% SWR strategy.
OK, I understand. Our measurement is based upon different "standards" if you will.

During my days as a minor manager in a major corporation I was criticized if my budget was exceeded. It was also criticized if it was under budget vs. forecast and interium adjustments of expensed due to new projects (up) or supplier discounts (down).

I guess I retired, but still keep those old practices in place, in my annual retirement tracking for budgets vs. actual expenses.

For instance, my budget measurement of 1/1/2010 - 12/31/2010 was at a 2.2% variance. That included personal ROI, personal rate of inflation (not the governments), and included not only those standard increase items (such as taxes, insurance, etc.) but also some minor "add-on's" (such as a Carbonite subscription for three years).

Also, for DW/me, our measurement against a 4% withdrawl rate would not make sense at this time. We're above 4% (not actually, since DW is still wor*ing, but expected to retire in 2011), but we don't have a lot of our "elder life income sources" yet on-line. Those include three SS sources (me, claiming aginst my DW at age 66), my DW's SS at her FRA, my SS at age 70, and two small pensions for DW at age 65 (2.5 years away). At age 66 (we're the same age) our WD rate against our joint portfolio is forecast at just over 2%. If we were to use that as a "budget", we certainly would be under (as you are, today).

It just seem from my way of accounting that you had a problem with forecast vs. reality. However, seeing what you have done explains the varience....
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:39 AM   #54
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So, rather than showing that I'm bad at forecasting, it shows that I'm bad at spending.
I'm going to make a concerted effort to convince myself that we really can spend a lot more money, then I'm going to find some stuff to spend it on.
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I bet you fail miserably at that .There is something built inside us that is inherently thrifty . I debated getting an ereader for two years and would not pull the plug until the price dropped under $150.
Good luck with that, Al. I haven't been able to really turn on the spending faucet either. It's not the money, it's the value-- or the thrill of the hunt.

Spouse says "What do you do if you can afford anything you want... and you don't want anything?" "If" hasn't turned to "when", but we're beginning to understand why.
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:50 AM   #55
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Spouse says "What do you do if you can afford anything you want...
Maybe get a "surfer girl" (no, not your DW)



Just don't let your DW know or she may cut down your "longboard" ...
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Old 01-01-2011, 12:06 PM   #56
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Retirement budgeting question. Obviously, some expenses are real and will occur but not annually. I am having trouble figuring out how to best budget for them. For example, roof replacement, car replacement. For those of you who budget, do you budget $X per year for those things and let them accumulate in the budget? If so, do you actually withdraw those amounts from your retirement accounts and have them pile up in your regular accounts?

Or do you figure I can spend $Y not accounting for those future things but since I know that they will exist later I'm not going to budget for them now and will leave that money in retirement accounts. But, because they will exist I will budget $Y-$Z instead leaving a future cushion?
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Old 01-01-2011, 12:36 PM   #57
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I spent about $5,000 less than I took in, but, I really think I kinda over spent this year. A cruise, a trip with DD, in which I partially funded her portion, a reformer, for Pilates, plus some private lessons. I had an generous tax refund and I think I went a little heywire with it.

Gotta save more in 2011...even with a wedding.
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Old 01-01-2011, 02:18 PM   #58
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Maybe get a "surfer girl" (no, not your DW)
Just don't let your DW know or she may cut down your "longboard" ...
I was going to add a metaphorical comment about only being able to surf one longboard at a time but... never mind...
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Old 01-01-2011, 03:44 PM   #59
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I don't keep a strict line item budget per se but I make darn sure I transfer enough money to cover my periodic bills into the automatic bill paying account BEFORE I do any other type of spending.
I get paid twice a month - survivor pension on the 1st and annuity on the 17th.
I know exactly how much I need to transfer every 2 weeks to stay "within budget".
I ended up with a nice little cash excess at year end 2010, so I know I cut corners somewhere.
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Old 01-01-2011, 05:00 PM   #60
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I bet you fail miserably at that .There is something built inside us that is inherently thrifty . I debated getting an ereader for two years and would not pull the plug until the price dropped under $150.
Yes, you're right. I have a spreadsheet that keeps a cumulative total of each year's spending "shortfall." It's now up to $96,000.

I could buy a Steinway grand, but then we'd have to keep the house heated day and night...

But seriously, I am going to think of something we can spend more money on. Something that gives me more pleasure than noting how little we spend each year.
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