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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?
Old 01-02-2007, 07:34 AM   #61
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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?

Quote:
Originally Posted by saluki9
I don't have the free time patience of Nords to type out all of the line items from this year.

Total spending was up 9% to 96,511.08. Some interesting (to me at least) side notes

Taxes made up almost 45% of my spending.
Saluki:

I am surprised to see 45% tax on $96.5K gross. My tax situation now is distorted by DW's complicated income. My test runs in turbo tax for anticipated taxes after she retires keep me lower than that with more income. Can you break those taxes down for me -- I'm worried I am not thinking of something
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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?
Old 01-02-2007, 07:43 AM   #62
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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?

Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff
Saluki:

I am surprised to see 45% tax on $96.5K gross. My tax situation now is distorted by DW's complicated income. My test runs in turbo tax for anticipated taxes after she retires keep me lower than that with more income. Can you break those taxes down for me -- I'm worried I am not thinking of something
I believe Saluki was talking about spending, not income. His income is likely considerably higher than $96,500. If that was total income, taxes most certainly would be lower.
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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?
Old 01-02-2007, 07:59 AM   #63
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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?

I didn't include my income tax, only my real estate and PP taxes. It is nice to see what others are spending to get an idea how you compare. I know I spent alot last year but there were several one time expenses.

My goal is to get our expenses down to around $50,000 to $60,000 a year after tax. My plan is to retire around july and the wife will retire in 2008. With the kids finally out of college and out of the house hopefully our costs will go down.

I also set up a spreadsheet to keep better track of where the money goes for this year.
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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?
Old 01-02-2007, 08:09 AM   #64
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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?

I'm embarrassed to post mine but not including income taxes, around $24,000. I'm still working so that is why I didn't include income taxes. It would be much much more if I included that.

2007 will include a new car, golf cart and more travel so I won't get a good handle on my normal retirement budget/spending until 2008.
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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?
Old 01-02-2007, 08:40 AM   #65
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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?

I am motivated to track our spending in 2007 also. I never seem to do it for very long though. Just out of curiousity, when one goes to a Super Wal-Mart or someplace similar and you buy lots of different things, such as groceries, toiletries, clothing, pet supplies, misc, do you go home and sort out the different categories? It just seems like such a hassle or am I being too anal about it and that is why I don't keep up with it.

My DH does not like to tell me where he spends his money. He normally spends alot more than I do, unless I am on one of my trips. In the back of my mind, I am asking myself if I really want to start keeping track right now, because I am leaving for Hawaii at 4:00 AM tomorrow. Do I really want to write down everytime I buy a snack and do I really want to know how much I spent?

How does everyone stay motivated to keep track of it all?
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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?
Old 01-02-2007, 08:49 AM   #66
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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?

One of the big advantages of using S/W like Quicken is that it will categorize spending relatively automatically into buckets. When you fill up at Chevron, it will know that is fuel. When you purchase from Auto Zone, that goes to Auto maint, groceries, etc. It is not perfect, of course, but it does a pretty good job. You can help your own accuracy by not getting a weekly gob of cash at the ATM and then buying things that way, but by instead using your debit card so that all of those charges show up electronically as they occur.
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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?
Old 01-02-2007, 09:19 AM   #67
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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamer
I am motivated to track our spending in 2007 also. I never seem to do it for very long though. Just out of curiousity, when one goes to a Super Wal-Mart or someplace similar and you buy lots of different things, such as groceries, toiletries, clothing, pet supplies, misc, do you go home and sort out the different categories? It just seems like such a hassle or am I being too anal about it and that is why I don't keep up with it.

My DH does not like to tell me where he spends his money. He normally spends alot more than I do, unless I am on one of my trips. In the back of my mind, I am asking myself if I really want to start keeping track right now, because I am leaving for Hawaii at 4:00 AM tomorrow. Do I really want to write down everytime I buy a snack and do I really want to know how much I spent?

How does everyone stay motivated to keep track of it all?
Everyone has to find their own path to enlightenment tracking spending, and there are many ways to do it short of tracking every nickel spent by category. I'm not too hot on keeping track of everything in detail, and no way DW would even consider it. So, here's how we ended up doing it (for reference, we're both retired):

We each take responsibility for certain areas of spending and only track the total amount by category - she buys all the groceries and household supplies and I pay for everything else. We agreed on a certain amount of cash to be deposited in her checking account each month and she spends that on groceries, hair and nail jobs or whatever...we don't track any details. If she buys something that falls in my area of responsibility, she uses a credit card to pay for it so I will have a record and can track the amount.

I also have a monthly amount for misc. expenses (eating out mostly) which isn't tracked other than the gross amount. But I do track all major categories: utilites, insurance, taxes, gasoline, phone...all items that I get an invoice or CC bill for.

This isn't going to work for everyone, but it does the trick for us.

My advice is to start somewhere, and you will find what will work for you.



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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?
Old 01-02-2007, 09:23 AM   #68
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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamer


How does everyone stay motivated to keep track of it all?
Once you’re retired keeping track of expenses to me is mandatory especially if your FireCalc runs are below 95% SWR. I setup a budget on a spreadsheet for each year based upon my SWR. I do it on a month to month tracking basis. Line items per month for example are cash, charge cards, insurance, taxes, medical, gifts, travel, heating oil and utilities. $$ not spent in one month can be transferred to another month.

I don't break it down any finer than that and it works great for me.
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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?
Old 01-02-2007, 09:28 AM   #69
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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?

Thanks for the inputs. I usually put most everything on a credit card and pay it off at the end of the month. I can see on the cc statements, where the money goes, but I would have a hard time figuring what category Wal-Mart would be since I buy so many different things there and seem to go there quite frequently-at least a couple of times per month.
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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?
Old 01-02-2007, 09:46 AM   #70
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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamer
I am motivated to track our spending in 2007 also. I never seem to do it for very long though. Just out of curiousity, when one goes to a Super Wal-Mart or someplace similar and you buy lots of different things, such as groceries, toiletries, clothing, pet supplies, misc, do you go home and sort out the different categories? It just seems like such a hassle or am I being too anal about it and that is why I don't keep up with it.



How does everyone stay motivated to keep track of it all?
Maybe it's because I've been doing it so long, it doesn't seem like that much of a problem to do it. My Quicken files go back to when I was 16 (I'm 29 now) so it's just part of my life. And, yes when I go to Target or Walmart I do just sit there and use the built in calculator on Quicken to sort out the different categories. I do it every day when I wake up, takes maybe 2 minutes max a day.

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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?
Old 01-02-2007, 09:55 AM   #71
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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamer
I am motivated to track our spending in 2007 also. I never seem to do it for very long though. Just out of curiousity, when one goes to a Super Wal-Mart or someplace similar and you buy lots of
...
How does everyone stay motivated to keep track of it all?
Years ago, a sweepstakes place wanted to count who ordered magazines and who didn't. With all the responses going to the same PO Box, it was a chore to sort things. So they had the PostOffice do the sorting for them by using 2 different addresses.

We do something similar with credit cards. I've never downloaded a credit card statement and worked through the sorting. I use one credit card for gas, one for groceries. They both maximize cash back for gas and groceries. I use another card for eating out, travel and everything else which maximizes cash back for those things. I guess I could get use yet other cards, but that's all the detail that I need. After "income taxes" our biggest category is "CreditCard". We don't follow a budget, so this is all we need.

Here's another idea to help you sort things out. We use a single checkbook register for all checks written to charities. That way, we don't have to go sort through old registers when doing our taxes. (Yes, these are also downloading into MSMoney, but they are all together by check order; yes, I could have it pull up "charitable donations", but ....)
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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?
Old 01-02-2007, 10:00 AM   #72
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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?

Quote:
Originally Posted by saluki9
Maybe it's because I've been doing it so long, it doesn't seem like that much of a problem to do it. And, yes when I go to Target or Walmart I do just sit there and use the built in calculator on Quicken to sort out the different categories. I do it every day when I wake up, takes maybe 2 minutes max a day.
Exactly! The hardest part is to set up the category on Quicken the first time. From then on, it's almost automatic.

For ease, I used the worksheets provided by the Fidelity Incommer Planner tool and match it by category on Quicken. It is then easy to see where I'm "out of sync" vs. my budget, and also allows me to reforcast based upon current (e.g. last year's) actual budget information to track my "level of success" on the Fidelity tool.

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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?
Old 01-02-2007, 10:09 AM   #73
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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?

interesting for me to see my budget from drip guy's percentage perspective. when i first look at how much i spend on automobile (20% of my $47k# including insurance) my ol'man comes to mind and he's calling me trailer trash. for him a car was just to get from point a to point b but i totally love cars, love horse power. luckily i didn't have money when i was younger or i'd be dead today.

if i were to pay off my mortgage which i can in 2007, my housing costs (including insurance, taxes & utilities) would total $10,669/yr, or 28% of the 37k budget. that's only $889/month to live in a $4-500k house. not too shabby. the ol'man would be pleased.

my protection insurance percentage makes me think: my life, brought to you by the mob. 26% of my $49k budget or, yikes, 33% of my $37k budget. granted my number is somewhat padded. i'm projecting 100% increased wind insurance even though we might not get hit that bad (this year) and i've included spending my entire medical deductible, unlikely but ya never know.

this really does help me think about how i spend money and how different lifestyles would effect these percentage allocations, maybe bringing my retirement satisfaction up a notch or ten. even if i just take that automobile and house percentages, wow, that would add up to some nice non-stop travel money. of course, first i'll have to see if i really like travel. hmmm, i think i'm going to like this retirement thing.
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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?
Old 01-02-2007, 10:19 AM   #74
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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?

Thanks again for the interesting replies.

I find it very interesting to see what amounts of money people spend in the different categories.

LG4N: My DH loves his horsepower also. I hate to think what we spend on cars including gas and ins and this "just one thing more that I want to do to the vette". Of course, this category would also have to include entertainment for my DH because it is what he loves to do!
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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?
Old 01-02-2007, 10:36 AM   #75
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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?

We throw all receipts in a shoebox. Once a year we go through and sum up by category. Takes about 3 hours for 2 of us. Keeps us informed of spending trends. Only started after retirement.

We may stop since our spending is below our SWR for the 4th year. We keep a running total each month using our bank download and gross up, e.g. 12/5 x our May ytd.

Might use the CC reports in lieue.
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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?
Old 01-02-2007, 11:27 AM   #76
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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamer
I am motivated to track our spending in 2007 also. I never seem to do it for very long though. Just out of curiousity, when one goes to a Super Wal-Mart or someplace similar and you buy lots of different things, such as groceries, toiletries, clothing, pet supplies, misc, do you go home and sort out the different categories? It just seems like such a hassle or am I being too anal about it and that is why I don't keep up with it.

In the back of my mind, I am asking myself if I really want to start keeping track right now, because I am leaving for Hawaii at 4:00 AM tomorrow. Do I really want to write down everytime I buy a snack and do I really want to know how much I spent?

How does everyone stay motivated to keep track of it all?
You have to be anal motivated. And yes, we use Quicken's "split" feature to track transactions with multiple categories. I even split the credit-card rebates among the various categories according to their weighted percentages.

I think the motivation comes from seeing the progress toward your goals and from being able to answer questions like "How's our entertainment spending doing?" or "When's the last time we had to fix this $%&^ car?!?"

I wouldn't try to start the New Year's resolution in Hawaii, especially since you're paying visitor prices and will rapidly be discouraged by the apparent trend!

Quote:
Originally Posted by saluki9
Maybe it's because I've been doing it so long, it doesn't seem like that much of a problem to do it. My Quicken files go back to when I was 16 (I'm 29 now) so it's just part of my life. And, yes when I go to Target or Walmart I do just sit there and use the built in calculator on Quicken to sort out the different categories. I do it every day when I wake up, takes maybe 2 minutes max a day.
Same here... we've been tracking everything since 1992 and have over 100K transactions. Habit eventually takes over if the motivation doesn't.

You shouldn't make yourself miserable. For example, spouse will mark up her receipts to show me the splits, but she lets me do all the data entry. If tracking everything seems to be too much work, then start on something that you'd like to track-- one or two categories like entertainment or groceries. Then add more if you're motivated!

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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?
Old 01-02-2007, 11:54 AM   #77
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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?

auto 2,051
bank charges 53
books 160
charity 648
clothing 779
computer 67
DW's Spending money 1,735
dining 3,351
entertainment 4,069
finance charges 127
gasoline 1,769
gifts 2,137
groceries 2,594
household maintenance 8,969
insurance 1,701
magazines 96
medical 3,261
mortgage 8,244
moving costs 7,411
newspaper 260
personal care 585
pet care 1,304
photos 83
property taxes 2,448
spell checker 29
taxes (income) 6,434
utilities 5,954
vacation 3,175
work related expenses 750

We spent a grand total of $70,244 in 2006. I've been keeping track of all of our expenses carefully using arithmatic arithmetic after reading Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez about a year and a half ago. If you plan to FIRE and haven't already read this book, I highly recommend it. I expect our expenses to be about $50,000 in 2007. They will be much less because: 1) We no longer have a house payment. 2) We spent tons of money on getting our house ready to sell last year. 3) We moved to a different state. 4) We both FIRE'd and no longer will pay as much in income tax, commuting expenses, clothing, office gifts, etc. 5) We won't be spending nearly as much on utilities after escaping the hot summers of East San Diego County and leaving our pool & spa behind. 5) The state we live in does not have a sales tax. 6) We've learned a heck of a lot from "Early Retirement Forum."





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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?
Old 01-02-2007, 11:59 AM   #78
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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?

About $600K for taxes.
$100K remodeling home

$200K living expenses (cars, house, etc).
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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?
Old 01-02-2007, 01:20 PM   #79
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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?

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About $600K for taxes.
$100K remodeling home

$200K living expenses (cars, house, etc).


Buddy, can you spare a dime? 8)
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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?
Old 01-02-2007, 03:06 PM   #80
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Re: How much did you spend in 2006?

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Buddy, can you spare a dime? 8)
He must be the $10M guy.
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