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How much did you spend in 2007?
Old 01-01-2008, 03:31 AM   #1
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How much did you spend in 2007?

It's 10 PM and I'm waiting for our kid to detonate enough ordnance to scare away the impending Rat Year's evil spirits, so as lightning & thunder fill the sky (and the smoke clogs the streets) I thought I'd reprise the "How much did you spend?" threads.

2006: http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...6-a-24833.html
2005: How much did you SPEND in 2005?

Here's the Nords family numbers for 2007:

956 Kid's allowance (includes her clothing & toiletries)
2055 Kid's school (Kumon, bus passes, school supplies)
1338 Kid's sports (tae kwon do)
11 Toys (Hey, she has a job now and can buy her own darn toys.)
514 Adult clothing (I blew $155 on myself, the rest was spouse.)
90 Kid's clothing (Spouse bought her a few freebies.)
2570 Computer (DSL, 2x laptops, UPS, laser printer.)
2113 Dining (Over a quarter of it on Costco pizza)
1300 Entertain (Including "Lion King", "Jersey Boys", and a Maui tae kwon do tournament.)
87 Surfing (Rash guards, roof racks, & wax)
1445 Dad's tae kwon do
1109 Gifts given (Including a college graduation and a long-time shipmate's wedding gift)
6016 Groceries
2073 Furniture (Spouse went nuts on Craigslist)
842 Kitchen (Vermiposting container, Fridgezilla)
315 Pets (Bunny care & boarding)
121 Tchotchkes
3236 Home improvement (Gutters, EnergyStar appliances, a few more solar panels.)
744 Car insurance
354 Home insurance
706 Personal property & liability insurance (Dropped personal property insurance this year.)
211 Investment expense (Books & magazines.)
2605 Spouse's IRA
1020 Medical & dental (TRICARE premiums, kid's dental visits)
18052 Mortgage interest
5130 Mortgage principal
1063 Federal taxes (Lotsa energy-efficiency credits this year!)
4598 Property taxes
1262 Gas
2826 Car repairs & service
304 Electricity
360 HOA dues
507 Phone
565 TV
944 Water & Sewer
13813 Vacation

$81,255 TOTAL

Right back up to the 2005 numbers.

We can discount the traditional $23K for mortgage arbitrage and a $2600 IRA contribution, but there's a definite wealth effect in home improvement, furniture, computer equipment, gifts given, and vacations. (We should probably charge half of the vacations to the college fund.) It's also getting to be time to replace both clunkers, so we're going to buy a Prius this summer and ditch the other two cars when they quit. No more $1500 repair bills.

My $36K military pension is carrying the majority of the load. Spouse put her Reserve income in her TSP this year so we spent money from taxable accounts to make up the difference. We're a bit over 4% in 2007 and the Prius will probably put us over 4% in 2008, but if we back out the TSP & IRA contributions then we're back under 4%. We're looking at a cap-gains tax bill for converting a mutual fund to an ETF, too, so next year's spending seems to be heading even higher. But if the economy went to hell in a handbasket and took the market with it, we have room to delay or cut spending.

We've tracked these posted items on the board for three years now, and most of them have bounced around more from our own variability than from inflation. Going back over the last decade in our Quicken records, family & lifestyle changes have obliterated any potential inflation trends. Property taxes & water/sewer are clearly rising, but not enough to scare us into adjusting the budget. (Property taxes will probably drop in 2008.) A couple more years of data could show a trend, but in 2010 we're launching the kid from the nest and a bunch of spending will drop off the budget. So far this data is useless for determining a personal inflation rate and I suspect that most families with kids are in the same situation.

If I was planning an ER budget all over again then I would've added more for home improvement, furniture, and vacation. Sure, I accounted for them, but I underestimated the psychological effects of a rising stock market and incredible deals on Craigslist. Of course those would also be the first categories to be cut for belt-tightening, and there would be further budget-cutting margin if necessary.

It was a very good year!
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Old 01-01-2008, 05:35 AM   #2
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We don't track near as many categories but not including Fed, State and FICA taxes (we still w*rk), our grand total was $57090. That's a 2.2% increase from 2006.

Food, eating out and alcohol went up almost 25%! Started drinking more wine this year (much less liquor), eating out cost up 10%. Other really big increase was electricity (up 15%).

Biggest drop was vacations, we took one less big trip this year, down 32% from 2006.

Nords, you spent $13.8K to leave Hawaii ?? Now that's funny

Happy New Year!!
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Old 01-01-2008, 06:03 AM   #3
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Mostly the same as it has been, more or less, the past 10 years or so. $24,096 in expenses for 2007. Major ones were Taxes ($5,571), Home Costs (Gas, Electric, Condo Fee, Contents Insurance, Cable TV (HS Internet), Telephone, etc.,) $5,517 and Health Care ($2,536). Retired Pay (Army), SS (we are older than dirt) more than covers it all with about $25K to spare. Good tax news for us for 2008 - Retired Pay will no longer be subject to State Taxes (Ohio) which will save about $1K in expenses annually going forward.
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Old 01-01-2008, 06:24 AM   #4
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Didn't I ask about charitable contributions last year? What happened?
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Old 01-01-2008, 06:57 AM   #5
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$15,406 Alimony
$28,737 House (mortgage, extra principal, utilities, and yard)
$12,554 Food (groceries, dining out, alcohol and DH cigarettes)
$10,226 Kids (summer camp, last year of after school care, and activities)
$5,609 Transportation (gas, repairs, maintenance, insurance for 3 cars)
$3,244 Medical (co-payments, prescriptions, and OTC)
$7,800 Household (clothing, personal hygiene, cable, phone, paper goods, gifts, and everything else)
$2,049 Pets: (food, vets, boarding, and purchase -initial set up of bearded dragon was pricey)
$10,920 Entertainment and Travel (movies, camping, and our annual trip -unusually high this year with special trip to the Galapagos)
$96,541 Total
Also savings of about $30,000, and federal taxes at about $7800

This is the first full year I have tracked spending. Next year we should be rid of alimony, but income will also decrease and we won't be taking such an expensive but awesome trip.
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Old 01-01-2008, 07:30 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Sandy View Post
$15,406 Alimony
$28,737 House (mortgage, extra principal, utilities, and yard)
$12,554 Food (groceries, dining out, alcohol and DH cigarettes)
$10,226 Kids (summer camp, last year of after school care, and activities)
$5,609 Transportation (gas, repairs, maintenance, insurance for 3 cars)
$3,244 Medical (co-payments, prescriptions, and OTC)
$7,800 Household (clothing, personal hygiene, cable, phone, paper goods, gifts, and everything else)
$2,049 Pets: (food, vets, boarding, and purchase -initial set up of bearded dragon was pricey)
$10,920 Entertainment and Travel (movies, camping, and our annual trip -unusually high this year with special trip to the Galapagos)
$96,541 Total
Also savings of about $30,000, and federal taxes at about $7800

This is the first full year I have tracked spending. Next year we should be rid of alimony, but income will also decrease and we won't be taking such an expensive but awesome trip.

DH Cigarettes.... Gotta find him a way to quit. Please we want him here for the long haul..Right?
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spending in 07
Old 01-01-2008, 07:43 AM   #7
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spending in 07

Although I also use Quicken, I have not categorized as closely as the rest of you but do have a total of $114, 700. Large numbers include the following:

23K - mortgage
21K-- credit card-- We use one for all expenses for milage. Don't worry, we pay it off every month
Cable-1,700
Golf-- 5K
Home Ins--3K
Heat 2K
Electric-1,300

As I review some other postings on this board this concerns me as I approach ER. My wife is a retired math teacher with a 50K pension. I will probably work another two years and should have a 70K pension at that time. We are looking to move soon which should save us 1000 -1500 per month. That total still has me concerned. Should I be?
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Old 01-01-2008, 07:46 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by msully76 View Post
Although I also use Quicken, I have not categorized as closely as the rest of you but do have a total of $114, 700. Large numbers include the following:

23K - mortgage
21K-- credit card-- We use one for all expenses for milage. Don't worry, we pay it off every month
Cable-1,700
Golf-- 5K
Home Ins--3K
Heat 2K
Electric-1,300

As I review some other postings on this board this concerns me as I approach ER. My wife is a retired math teacher with a 50K pension. I will probably work another two years and should have a 70K pension at that time. We are looking to move soon which should save us 1000 -1500 per month. That total still has me concerned. Should I be?
120 in pensions.

Well unless you guys live way high on the hog you will be well, wealthy.
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Old 01-01-2008, 07:47 AM   #9
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Our annual spending came in considerably higher this year due to relocation to a more expensive city. Total exclusive of taxes is roughly 31k. Top ten spending categories are:

Housing $4596/16% (out-of-pocket rent only, exclusive of partial employer rent/utility allowance)

Childcare $4346/13.96% (preschool and nanny costs)

Vacation $3813/12.25% (several short trips for family of four)

Medical $3450/11.08% (includes our portion of health insurance premiums)

Food In $3406/10.94% (food for three adults and two small children)

Transportation $2692/8.65% (lots of taxis, no car in Beijing so far)

Food Out $2379/7.64%

Household stuff $1606/5.16%

Everything else is under 5% of overall spending so I won't bother to list it all out. For the most part I think the cash outlays we made were reasonable and worthwhile. I do a spot-check of spending against values every month, ala YMOYL, so if things are getting off track we usually make adjustments over the short-term rather than waiting for the year-end figures.


In 2008 our costs will likely be higher still. I go back to full-time work next week, with a return to higher income levels, so that will offset things somewhat. Big changes I anticipate include the following:

1) We may buy a car -- if we don't I will likely still have very high commuting costs because I don't think I can stomach a 3-4 hour daily public transit commute on Beijing's crowded subways and buses.

2) Kids childcare/schooling costs will go up. DD's preschool costs will be higher as she will be enrolled year-round, with no employer offset (DS's kindergarten fees were covered last year). We are considering putting DS into an international school. DH's employer will only pay part of the fees, so unless we can get a scholarship we will have to pay a substantial amount out of pocket. Need to keep a nanny at least part-time to cover afterschool care for DS and helping with the daily household upkeep.

3) Medical should go down, as new employer covers more of the base cost for almost identical insurance plan to what we have had so far.

4) I expect food costs will be higher for in-house eating -- probably about the same for eating out.

5) Housing is a big question. We want to buy a flat, but not sure if we will be able to in 2008.

6) RMB will likely continue to strengthen against the dollar, which means a loss in purchase power for us (salaries denominated in US$). I may transfer enough to cover our basic estimated living expenses for the year in January and convert to RMB immediately, in spite of lower interest rates here.

lhamo
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Old 01-01-2008, 09:08 AM   #10
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Just finished this up. I'm married so this is for two.

Housing $14,500
Cars $ 12,350
Food $ 6,900
Health ins $ 11,600
Golf $7,500
Clothes and Merchandise $ 5,500
Gifts $1,500
Kids $4,500
Vacation $ 3,000
Misc. $ 1,700

Total = $ 69,050 After tax.

I have no mortgage or car payment. The obove covers taxes, insurance, maint. gas , ect. The transmission went out on my 2005 truck and I have a couple of Porsches so maint. is high but I expect that to be lower this year. This was also the first year I tried to keep track of how much I gave my kids, there mid 20's so not really kids.

My goal for this year is $65,000. I worked part time at the beginning of the year and didn't fully retire till Sept.
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Old 01-01-2008, 09:26 AM   #11
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This was my first year of retirement and we spent 65K without taxes. It will be interesting to see my CPA this spring and find out where we ended up with taxes included.
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Old 01-01-2008, 09:53 AM   #12
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$48,120.00 This includes taxes . I also took my daughter and son in law on a cruise for their birthdays and I furnished the nursery for my soon to be new grandson and I also paid $300 a month in care for my mother . So all in all I think I did great ! I ended up below the 4% withdrawal . I'm going to spend some of the excess on home improvements .
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Old 01-01-2008, 10:01 AM   #13
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Second full calendar year of retirement - $79,600 not including federal taxes and motor home purchase. That's up from first year spending of $61,100. Guess I need to dial it back a little...
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Old 01-01-2008, 10:13 AM   #14
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$57,159 But it should be less in 2008, since Daughter is out of college and earning her own money, also I paid 2 years of property tax in 2007 so I would have enough deductions to itemize my income tax.

Also does not include Federal and state income tax

Cash Flow - Last Yr
1/1/2007 Through 12/31/2007
Category Description 1/1/2007- 12/31/2007


OUTFLOWS
CONDO 9,750.46 Property taxes & dues (2 years prop tax)
Spouse 4,122.30 clothes, personal spending etc.
Spouse MEDICAL 3,462.91 Dr Co-pays, dentist, prescriptions
FOOD 6,571.05
RESTAURANT 2,212.99
TOTAL FOOD 8,784.04
GASOLINE 3,257.24
HONDA 132.60 Tags, oil change, maintenance
INSURANCE
CAR INSURANCE 1,113.00
UMBRELLA POLICY 377.50
TOTAL INSURANCE 1,490.50
My spending 3,821 clothes, golf, booze, spending money
Self MEDICAL 608.04 Dr Co-pay, deductibles, prescriptions
Daughter 5,696.81 Last year for her she graduated college in May
MISC 4,644.63 Everything I don't have a catagory for
RODEO 471.32 oil change, license, repairs

UTILITIES
CABLE 1,279.87
ELECTRIC 1,388.11
GAS 908.18
PHONE 263.40
WATER 549.18
TOTAL UTILITIES 4,388.74
VACATION 6,528.37
TOTAL OUTFLOWS $57,159.83
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Old 01-01-2008, 10:17 AM   #15
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Our total is about $54,000.
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Old 01-01-2008, 10:23 AM   #16
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Well, we don't get all our credit card charges downloaded until Jan 10, so I don't know the totals yet.

Living expenses - around $67K

Add on cash gifts to family, things bought for family, family medical expenses paid and misc. other charitable contributions:

Total - around $101K

Audrey
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Old 01-01-2008, 10:51 AM   #17
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Lake Livingston, Tx
Posts: 3,624
First full year of retirement:
Expenses
Total Automobile $ 23,977.06
BillsCable/Satellite Television $ 55.00
Cell Phone $ 968.00 Newspaper $ 177.00
Telephone $ 176.00
Total Bills $ 1,376.00
Cash Withdrawal $ 362.50
Charitable Donations $ 1,200.00
Clothing $ 347.49
Credit Card Payments/Transfers $ 6,010.35
Dining Out $ 180.00
EntertainmentClub Dues $ 351.00
Internet $ 385.00 Sat. TV $ 836.00
Total Entertainment $ 1,572.00
Gifts $ 1,182.01
Groceries $ 7,256.69
Total Health-care $ 738.56
Total Hobbies $ 550.45
Total Home Related $ 7,981.48
Total Household $ 1,963.24
InsuranceHomeowner's/Renter's $ 1,062.69
MiscellaneousMail Box $ 30.00
Mortgage/Rent $ 8,471.96
Personal Care $ 252.00
Total Pet Care $ 423.24
Total Travel/Vacation $ 1,121.62
Expense - Unassigned $ 1,653.78
Total Expenses $ 69,247.36

We forecast $48,000! Didn't keep it under that. Actually the new car, $5,000 in furniture, and make up the major difference, and we had planned on this expense. Currently 4% is required to maintain budget (minus two big purchases). However, no concern here, as we have delayed SS, and have another retirement check coming in 4 years that together will double income. Unassigned is mostly travel, and I have a few other categories to work out.
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Old 01-01-2008, 11:00 AM   #18
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DH Cigarettes.... Gotta find him a way to quit. Please we want him here for the long haul..Right?

Yea. He has quit before for several years at a time. He says it's on his agenda once again, but hasn't taken the first steps. Got my fingers crossed.
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Old 01-01-2008, 11:10 AM   #19
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This is mine. The total does not include Federal, state taxes, or my medical insurance cost. The totals are for myself and my daughter who is still living with me. I did buy some new furniture last year and also had some extra work done in my yard. This year, I will have an extra expense of having my basement floor replaced with tile due to a leaking toilet. My largest expense is always my Federal/state taxes and I just can't get my head around those figures...ouch. My pension check keeps getting smaller since I have a good portion taken from my pension check.

Auto 2 cars (insurance, fuel, taxes) 2922
Cash 620
Clothing 2760
Dining 1471
Entertainment 968
Gifts Given 505
Groceries 5684
Home Repair 509
Household (furniture, blinds, misc.) 4017
Insurance 1079
Kid Allowance 1000
Lawn Care 3898
Life Insurance (debating this for 08 Kid's & mine) 547
Medical copay only 1744
Newspaper 194
Personal Care 479
Pets 1261
Property tax 3756
Snow removal 180
Utilities 6140
Travel 4000
Total 43734
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Old 01-01-2008, 11:11 AM   #20
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$104,088. Family of 4.
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