Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-05-2011, 02:19 PM   #201
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Alberta/Ontario/ Arizona
Posts: 3,152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Major Tom View Post
Agreed.

I don't understand folk who bemoan the fact that because they made more money in a particular year, they had to pay more in taxes. I know that tax rates in developed countries other than the US can be somewhat punitive to higher earners but here, you do get to keep most of your money - even at the higher rates.

You earn more, you have more in your pocket at the end of the day. Sounds good to me.
There was a long recent thread on this. I don't think anyone here would exclude property taxes or sales taxes from their expenses. Many people view income taxes as an offset to income rather than an expense though. My DW and I must be king/queen of budgetting and that is how we do it.
__________________

__________________
Danmar is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 01-05-2011, 06:25 PM   #202
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,431
Like many here, I do not count income taxes as a real expense. RE tax is different because it directly reflects one's lifestyle. When I fully retire, for the first few years, I will be living off my after-tax savings and expect my income taxes to be very low, unless I do some Roth conversion. Separating out income taxes and contributions to IRA or 401k etc... from true living expenses will allow one to see that the budget for a worker and a retiree can be quite different.

Many of us have chosen a certain lifestyle and I am sure we are all reasonably comfortable with our choices. Think about it. A person aspiring to ER is already different than the average Joe/Jane in today's consumeristic world. Still, seeing how someone else can live with less and still be happy can help a forum reader make some compromise, or at least feel comfortable that we are not as lonely as we thought.

Seeing how other people keeping a tight grip on their spending is good for me, because I tend to be sloppy in record keeping and may simply be not as frugal as I think. That was one of the striking personal discoveries that I made when I first came here. We have always LBYM, hence never needed a budget, and I keep forgetting that when I fully retire I no longer have the same means as when both of us were working.
__________________

__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2011, 07:28 PM   #203
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 339
$17,293 -- That includes 2 vacations; a new bicycle; a new laptop; a new camera; and removal of 3 trees.

It also include $3,200 in property, county, and school district taxes; $320 in sewer (my most despised expense!); $79 in street light assessment. Gifts, donations, insurance, car expenses, hobbies etc. Everything but income taxes.

I am single; no mortgage.

Still have to w*rk for another 28 months (yes I am counting down!) to ER at age of 55. At that point I anticipate having an annual income stream of $25,000 after health insurance is paid for. I expect the extra dollars will go towards additional vacation travel, gasoline, and higher heating expenses since I won't be turning down the thermostat while gone from the house 9 hours of each day at w*rk.

In addition to the annual $25,000, I will have a separate fund of $70,000 that is off-limits in retirement except to replace my car, roof, appliances, and cover unexpected emergencies/catastrophes. Basically it's my 'mental health' fund so I won't worry too much about whether I'm retiring with enough to live comfortably on.
__________________
LauAnn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2011, 07:40 PM   #204
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
obgyn65's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: midwestern city
Posts: 4,061
+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by walkinwood View Post
This isn't a competition. People can and do live very inexpensively, even in expensive parts of the country, and don't feel like they're depriving themselves. Live & let live. Celebrate their achievements & yours.
__________________
Very conservative with investments. Not ER'd yet, 48 years old. Please do not take anything I write or imply as legal, financial or medical advice directed to you. Contact your own financial advisor, healthcare provider, or attorney for financial, medical and legal advice.
obgyn65 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2011, 08:12 PM   #205
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Houston
Posts: 1,435
Quote:
Originally Posted by trirod View Post
Biggest expense category was groceries at $9,600 (for two people) which seems way higher than anybody else here.
You just made me feel better about my grocery spending of $8,600 for two.
__________________
soupcxan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2011, 09:21 PM   #206
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
SecondCor521's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Boise
Posts: 2,405
Quote:
Originally Posted by soupcxan View Post
There's still a lot of things that I don't see in some of the very low budgets that people are posting, some may have ways to get these things for cheap/free but even a moderate cost across these categories adds up fast. Maybe they're all in the "misc" category. I think it's easier to get away with a barebones budget if you are a single male.

- Doctors visits and prescriptions (the co-pay)
- Hobbies
- Entertainment (books/movies)
- Household furnishings
- Road tolls
- Haircuts
- Clothes
- Dry cleaning
- Gifts for family/friends
- Travel/vacation
- Charitable giving/donations

There is still fat in my budget that I would like to cut, but personally, would not want to live at the poverty line in order to get to ER sooner. That is a hard road to hoe.
I'm mildly annoyed at the implication in your post that some are not including all of their expenses or that it is impossible to live on such low expenses.

I am 41, single, live in Boise, Idaho, have a full-time professional day job, a 4br/2ba home in a suburban subdivision, a 1995 Toyota, 3 kids that are with me ~1/3 of the time. I have two cell phones (pay-as-you-go with TMobile) and a computer (4 year old Dell laptop). I do not have any expensive toys (no 42" LCD TV, smartphones, cable, boats, fancy cars, second car, motorcycle, plane, etc.).

Here's my report directly out of Quicken for last year. I do track all of my spending. A very small amount that shows up below under Cash represents miscellaneous periodic reconciliations of cash-on-hand with what Quicken has, so I don't know what I spent that on, but I know that I did spend it (or lost it perhaps).

1/1/2010 through 12/31/2010

Category Description 1/1/2010- 12/31/2010

EXPENSES
Uncategorized 0.00
Auto 1,647.80
Bank Charge 5.50
Cash 29.79
Charity 150.00
Christmas 674.97
Clothing 114.47
Food 3,550.61
House 1,807.90
Insurance 2,452.65
Interest Exp 7,659.12
Kids 15,925.24
Medical 1,792.13
Misc 42.00
Recreation 3,090.27
Tax 21,958.73
Utilities 2,462.21
Work Expense 21.01
TOTAL EXPENSES 63,384.40

And a line-by-line explanation of where your categories come into my budget:

- Doctors visits and prescriptions (the co-pay)
-> Both are included under Medical above, although about $969 of the Medical above is for my out-of-pocket for my son's braces. I visited the doctor about three times last year and am on one prescription medication, but I take the generic, which is like $30 per 90 day supply. I'm 41 and fortunately relatively healthy.

- Hobbies
-> Watching TV - Free except heat and electricity which are included under Utilities.
-> Reading books - Free except gas money to drive 1 mile to the library, which is included under Auto.
-> Watching movies - Free except for movie rentals from Hastings and the occasional movie ticket which are included under Recreation
-> Donating platelets - Free except for gas money to drive to the Red Cross, which is included under Auto.
-> Working out - Free at the health center at my office
-> Web surfing - Free except for $30 / month internet, included under Utilities
-> Spending time with kids - Included either under Kids:Recreation or Recreation:<something> or Food:Eating Out as appropriate.
-> Hiking and mountain climbing - Pretty much free, although I think I spent about $10 at Walmart for my lean-to supplies when climbing Borah Peak last year. Gas from Boise to the trailhead is under Auto:Gas or perhaps Recreation.

- Entertainment (books/movies)
-> See above

- Household furnishings
-> Already own everything I need; spent $0 in 2010.

- Road tolls
-> No toll roads in Idaho that I'm aware of. Certainly none that I use.

- Haircuts
-> Cut my own with a $20 shaver from Walmart that I bought four years ago. Electricity again included under Utilities.

- Clothes
-> Included under Clothing above. Don't really buy new clothes all that much except for replacements from Walmart.
-> I do get free T-shirts from the Red Cross fairly regularly as a platelet donor.

- Dry cleaning
-> Only own one dry cleaning item, which is my interview/funeral/wedding suit, and I only wear that rarely, and thus only need to dry clean about once every two years. I attended zero interviews and zero funerals this past year. I did attend one wedding and wore that suit, but it didn't need dry cleaning.

- Gifts for family/friends
-> Give homemade cookies occasionally, costs are included under Groceries (for the raw materials) and Household (for the packing and postage if needed) or Auto:Gas (if delivered personally).
-> Write emails and PMs to my friends. Costs are included under Utilities:Internet.
-> Christmas gifts are included under Christmas. I give to my three kids and we rotate giving to nieces/nephews.

- Travel/vacation
-> Took a couple of road trips this year, and one one week vacation to San Diego with the kids. Costs are all included under Recreation:Vacation. I did receive the plane tickets as a gift from my parents, so you could argue about that.

- Charitable giving/donations
-> Categorized under Charity. (For those with a pharasaical bent, I stopped tithing several years ago. Sue me.)

Using the last six months expenses (essentially half of the budget above) and then adjusting for interest expense (assumes sinking fund for paid off house), child support (assumes sinking fund for paid off child support), taxes (assumes minimal earned income in retirement), and work expense (assumes I won't have any work-related expenses if I don't work), and backing out the trip to San Diego (I consider it an expense I would not incur if I retired), I calculate a monthly expense of $1,395.57, which works out to ~$16,747 per year.

This also assumes I don't downsize my 1800sf house after my oldest graduates in a few years, and includes food and utilities for my kids, all of which will likely go down.

So aaronc879 still has me beat, but it certainly seems quite feasible to do my lifestyle on ~$17K per year. Whether it's a lifestyle anyone else would like, well, that's obviously their decision. For me, the increased likelihood that I can pay my bills and the possibility of being FI at age 45 or so are worth it to me. In fact, I don't feel particularly deprived and am quite content with my low-cost life.

2Cor521
__________________
"At times the world can seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe us when we say there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough, and what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events, may in fact be the first steps of a journey." Violet Baudelaire.
SecondCor521 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2011, 09:50 PM   #207
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,972
Quote:
Originally Posted by soupcxan View Post
There's still a lot of things that I don't see in some of the very low budgets that people are posting, some may have ways to get these things for cheap/free but even a moderate cost across these categories adds up fast. Maybe they're all in the "misc" category. I think it's easier to get away with a barebones budget if you are a single male.

- Doctors visits and prescriptions (the co-pay)
- Hobbies
- Entertainment (books/movies)
- Household furnishings
- Road tolls
- Haircuts
- Clothes
- Dry cleaning
- Gifts for family/friends
- Travel/vacation
- Charitable giving/donations

There is still fat in my budget that I would like to cut, but personally, would not want to live at the poverty line in order to get to ER sooner. That is a hard road to hoe.
-Doctors etc.: I've only been to doctor, where I had to foor the bill, twice in my adult life for a total cost of ~$90. The other 3 times were paid for by employer.
-Hobbies: I don't have any and not sure that I would even if I didn't work 40+ hours per week.
-Entertainment: I had an entertainment category. It was around $1500 which is pretty high for me.
-Household furnishing: I bought a fan for $15 in 2010. I think that was the only expense for the household and it went under misc. I have the same futon, chair, bed, dresser, stereo, ect that I bought 10 years ago and have no reason to buy new ones for many more years.
-Road tolls: The only tolls anywhere near me are 200 miles away near Chicago. I haven't been there in over 5 years.
-Haircuts: $12/mo including tip and included in misc.
-Clothes: I bought a hoodie and sweat pants for a total of $20. That's all I spent on clothes for 2010. I will need a couple par of boxers this year and that'll probably be it. That'll go in the misc category.
-Dry cleaning: I work a blue collar job and don't even own anything i'd consider dry cleaning. I don't think anyone in my family has ever dry cleaned a single item ever.
-Gifts: My family has mutually agreed to limit or eliminate gifts therefore my spending is well under $100/yr and it's included in misc. I don't have kids or nieces/nephews.
-Travel/vac.:I didn't go anywhere more than 50 miles away in 2010 which is the norm for me but am planning a 3000 mile(round trip) vacation to Florida in 2011 the cost of which will go in enter,/misc.
-Charity: I don't give to charity. If I feel I have money to spare it'll stay in the family.
__________________
aaronc879 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2011, 10:23 PM   #208
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,972
Quote:
Originally Posted by soupcxan View Post
I think it's easier to get away with a barebones budget if you are a single male.
Why does it help to be male?
__________________
aaronc879 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2011, 10:35 PM   #209
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,386
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronc879 View Post
Why does it help to be male?
Agree, I would think the opposite, unless one has no interest in dating or is so appealing that he has lots of FWBs. To really live cheaply it helps tremendously to be a hermit ascetic.

Ha
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2011, 10:50 PM   #210
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
bbbamI's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Dallas 'burb
Posts: 9,039
If I were single, I'd definitely need more than bare bones. Budget...that is. I think I'd need more than a man.
__________________
There's no need to complicate, our time is short..
bbbamI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2011, 11:01 PM   #211
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Major Tom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: SF East Bay
Posts: 3,129
Quote:
Originally Posted by haha View Post
To really live cheaply it helps tremendously to be a hermit ascetic.

Ha
I'd always thought that there are more guys who fit this description than gals, though I know that stereotyping "male" and "female" behavior is a risky business.
__________________
Major Tom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2011, 08:58 AM   #212
Full time employment: Posting here.
sailor's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Atlanta suburbs
Posts: 881
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronc879 View Post
-Travel/vac.:I didn't go anywhere more than 50 miles away in 2010 which is the norm for me but am planning a 3000 mile(round trip) vacation to Florida in 2011 the cost of which will go in enter,/misc.
Aaron - if you want to break the drive to FL, and planning to drive on I-75S or I-85S, you can overnight at our house (Atlanta suburbs) if you don't mind 3 little sailors pestering you with questions
__________________
sailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2011, 09:00 AM   #213
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
FinanceDude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 12,484
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronc879 View Post
Notice he says nothing about the wife
Good thing she doesn't read this forum............
__________________
Consult with your own advisor or representative. My thoughts should not be construed as investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results (love that one).......:)


This Thread is USELESS without pics.........:)
FinanceDude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2011, 11:30 AM   #214
Recycles dryer sheets
beowulf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 466
It might be cheapest if you are a hermaphrodite as you can have it both ways
__________________
Mission accomplished - not necessarily ER, but certainly R.
beowulf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2011, 12:00 PM   #215
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
FinanceDude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 12,484
Quote:
Originally Posted by beowulf View Post
It might be cheapest if you are a hermaphrodite as you can have it both ways
Now THAT was funny.............. Something about having your cake and ____________________
__________________
Consult with your own advisor or representative. My thoughts should not be construed as investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results (love that one).......:)


This Thread is USELESS without pics.........:)
FinanceDude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2011, 01:27 PM   #216
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,972
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor View Post
Aaron - if you want to break the drive to FL, and planning to drive on I-75S or I-85S, you can overnight at our house (Atlanta suburbs) if you don't mind 3 little sailors pestering you with questions
Thanks for the offer but I won't know where i'm going to stop for the night until just a couple hours ahead of time due to weather. I won't drive in heavy snow or ice.
__________________
aaronc879 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2011, 01:34 PM   #217
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: North of Montana
Posts: 2,753
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronc879 View Post
Thanks for the offer but I won't know where i'm going to stop for the night until just a couple hours ahead of time due to weather. I won't drive in heavy snow or ice.
If I was headed for Fl, the last thing I'd worry about is ice & snow near Atlanta?
__________________
There are two kinds of people in the world: those who can extrapolate conclusions from insufficient data and ..
kumquat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2011, 01:50 PM   #218
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,972
Quote:
Originally Posted by kumquat View Post
If I was headed for Fl, the last thing I'd worry about is ice & snow near Atlanta?
I was talking about ice or snow anywhere between Wisconsin and Atlanta that could slow down my travel. I've been watching the weather on a regular basis and have seen snow and ice all the way down to southern Tennessee several times over the last month. Early february could be just as bad as december.
__________________
aaronc879 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2011, 02:05 PM   #219
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
walkinwood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Denver
Posts: 2,676
Aaron & SecondCor - thanks for taking the time to go into the details of your expenses.

As I have said before, I don't think of this as a competition, and it is obvious neither do you.

Having said that, I am amazed each year how easy it is to live well with very little money. If we can reduce our housing & medical (insurance) costs, our expenses would drop drastically - even with the few luxuries that we want.
__________________
walkinwood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2011, 02:19 PM   #220
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 530
I think some of our personality traits contribute to how much we need to live a satisfying lifestyle. When I calculate what I believe is a SWR and add it to some pt income I still make, I know I could spend considerably more than I do. It's just that there really isn't much else I want. For me, some of the things that contribute to living on a smallish amount are:

- I don't enjoy travel. I do like daytrips or occasionally a few days at the beach, but that's about it. I've done plenty of travel (both business and pleasure) and actually one of the things that thrills me about ER is that nobody can send me travelling against my will any more!

- I'm a minimalist by nature. Costs aside, I just don't like having a lot of "stuff" around me and feel more comfortable with less stuff to deal with. I also hate shopping.

- My hobbies aren't very expensive. I enjoy gardening, knitting, reading, baking. I love going out to lunch with my friends, but really this doesn't add up to all that much.

For some, a happy lifestyle includes more exotic travel, expensive toys, and/or expensive hobbies. If this is what makes someone happy, then it might just require more income to ER. The important thing is to identify what makes you happy and what lifestyle you want to lead before you make the decision to retire.
__________________

__________________
ksr is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How much do you spend on clothes? accountingsucks Young Dreamers 82 09-04-2009 03:48 PM
I want to go spend some money !! goodguy1_64 Life after FIRE 14 06-02-2008 08:16 AM
has anyone tried to get you to spend more? lazygood4nothinbum Life after FIRE 24 11-21-2007 10:47 AM
Still can't spend even though FI 52andout FIRE and Money 33 10-30-2007 05:28 PM
How much did you spend on..... Donzo Other topics 54 02-27-2007 02:02 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:32 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.