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Old 01-01-2011, 05:07 PM   #61
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Old 01-01-2011, 05:30 PM   #62
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We do not have a budget. Our spending is about the same as last year.
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Old 01-01-2011, 08:19 PM   #63
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I could buy a Steinway grand, but then we'd have to keep the house heated day and night...
It's enough to donate the Steinway to the senior center and have a piano tuner on a full-time retainer!

Maybe you could buy a share of that restaurant and hire an excellent jazz band...
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Old 01-01-2011, 08:35 PM   #64
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Well, we were way over budget in my first year of retirement (to the tune of 30% or so). But that was only because of one major unanticipated expense - we loaned a chunk of $$ to stepdaughter and her husband for a down payment on a small house. I might regret this before it's over (probably will), but they needed a house badly (spending way too much on apartment rent, just had a baby), they had no $$ for the down payment, and we (they) got the house for a great price (a foreclosure). So now we will find out if we are going to get paid back on schedule for the loan or not. These are not people that are noted for saving money and being fiscally responsible, so I'll be pleasantly surprised if we do get paid back in full. If not, we'll still be okay, but we might have to cut back on a few things.
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Old 01-01-2011, 08:45 PM   #65
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I have a " capital" section in our budget that tracks things like transfers to our portfolio, etc. I don't think of these items as ongoing expenses and don't think of them as variances if not budgetted for. Works for us but to each their own.
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Old 01-01-2011, 09:16 PM   #66
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I came out under budget for the year (don't have my spreadsheet here so I can't give an exact number yet), but the amazing thing to me is that $1K of my savings was in December!

I just noticed that this morning that I spent $1K less in December than I had expected to spend. I am still mystified as to how that came to be, but my bank balance is what it is.

I'll have to sit down and analyze what on earth happened between November 30th and December 31st, to lower my spending so much.
I have my spreadsheet now. I came out 17% under budget for 2010, assuming that by "budget" we mean our planned withdrawals plus any regular income sources such as pension. What is a budget? There are so many definitions. One can have a certain monthly "allowance" by dividing the planned yearly withdrawals by 12, but can also have a smaller number in the back of one's mind that seems more prudent.

The mysterious $1K of savings in December ($1K less than spent for the other 11 months of 2010) was due to a combination of things, mostly discretionary, but also including other categories such as very low electricity usage and some regular bills for December falling just barely into November or January.
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:03 PM   #67
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About 15% under budget. Budgeted for $64,000 which included two foreign trips that never materialized. Hopefully one of them will occur in Feb/Mar so it should eat up the budget under-run for 2010.
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:18 PM   #68
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It's enough to donate the Steinway to the senior center and have a piano tuner on a full-time retainer!
Actually, on Monday I am going to call the tuner and ask him how much it would cost to really fix up that piano.
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Old 01-01-2011, 11:18 PM   #69
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Actually, on Monday I am going to call the tuner and ask him how much it would cost to really fix up that piano.
That's gotta be worth more than just the good karma-- like maybe a charitable deduction.
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Old 01-02-2011, 08:21 AM   #70
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Since Al is going to spend I am also . I'm planning a spur of the moment trip to Savannah and wherever else I feel like exploring this month .
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Old 01-02-2011, 09:08 AM   #71
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Budget

Spent $16,411 less than the spread sheet budget amount
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Old 01-02-2011, 10:07 AM   #72
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Since Al is going to spend I am also . I'm planning a spur of the moment trip to Savannah and wherever else I feel like exploring this month .
I'll meet you there -- we'll bring our credit cards.
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Old 01-02-2011, 12:55 PM   #73
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Yeah, good market returns give birth to more spending economic activities, which bring down unemployment, which ...

And they say economic cycles can be controlled ...
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Old 01-02-2011, 01:08 PM   #74
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Well, we were way over budget in my first year of retirement (to the tune of 30% or so). But that was only because of one major unanticipated expense - we loaned a chunk of $$ to stepdaughter and her husband for a down payment on a small house. I might regret this before it's over (probably will), but they needed a house badly (spending way too much on apartment rent, just had a baby), they had no $$ for the down payment, and we (they) got the house for a great price (a foreclosure). So now we will find out if we are going to get paid back on schedule for the loan or not. These are not people that are noted for saving money and being fiscally responsible, so I'll be pleasantly surprised if we do get paid back in full. If not, we'll still be okay, but we might have to cut back on a few things.
At least you didn't co-sign for them. That could really through a wrench in your financial security.
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Old 01-02-2011, 01:25 PM   #75
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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?
Everybody is different of course. Here's how I do it.

For long term anticipated expenses (using a car purchase, as an example), I have a $500/month payment in my budget, regardless if I'm making payments or not.

When I retired, that $500 was taken from my tax deferred (e.g. roll-over IRA) and the net proceeds (e.g. after tax) moved to my taxable savings.

If I needed to replace my car and needed money for a down payment, monthly payment, or cash buy I would have just taken it out of taxable.

With a few $K in "car savings", I needed to buy another car (for my retirement volunteer work - Meals On Wheels; my current car was not big enough to handle the coolers/hotboxes, nor was it good in snow. Something I needed to count on during bad weather).

In that case, I took the money I already saved up and added to it a withdrawl (including anticipated taxes) for the remainder due, from my TIRA.

What I did not count on (as a new retiree) was that my income was "increased" $30k that year, and bumped me into the next tax bracket. I would have been better off overall if I would have remainded with my $500/month withdrawls and financed the car.

Things you don't really learn till you're retired ...

Like the old saying says "we grow too soon old, and too late smart"...
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Old 01-02-2011, 02:09 PM   #76
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My hindsight is regretting missed opportunities to put more money into the taxed portion of my 401K while maxing the deferred 401K contribution. I'm very concerned about the tax rates needed to support all these stimulus programs.

We are heavily into disaster preparedness so we also have a budget and plan for events such as acts of nature, breaks in the food supply chain - things like that. We're fortunate we live far out in the country so we can be self-sufficient for an extended period of time. Not planning can be an expensive event.
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:58 AM   #77
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We blew ours out of the water this year. We did OK on regular expenses, but we decided to buy a log cabin in the mountains, which tacked on another mortgage payment and took a big chunk of savings for the down payment. And then of course we had to furnish/stock it (I love Craigslist!). But, it is pretty much set up now, so 2011 should be a decent savings year.
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