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Old 01-01-2011, 06:26 PM   #61
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Of course not now! One has to wait until the Cherry Blossom on the National Mall.

But it may be time to watch for airfares. Best wishes.
Cherry Blossom in DC in incredible.
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Old 01-01-2011, 06:35 PM   #62
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I think there is a lot of creative figuring going on . I only spent this amount but it doesn't include this or that . That is fudging the facts . You total up all your expenditures and the number you get is reality . Anything else is a fantasy !
Seems to me that if one is attempting to glean any useful information from these reports, it would be helpful to know all the different permutations in people's accounting. For example, I would be interested in knowing where the young wife and I stand on the spendthrift scale for day to day living in retirement, when I expect to have a paid off house and not need to save anymore, as well as substantially lower taxes. Thus, I would like to know if the reported spending numbers are with or without mortgage payments, with or without taxes, and with or without savings, since all these things are very large numbers for us. A simple "cash out the door" number is not that helpful.
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Old 01-01-2011, 06:43 PM   #63
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But Gumby, should you not estimate from your existing expenses? I read about other people's expenses as a financial porn to satisfy my curiosity to see how other people live, but that's all. For example, I remember that you have to pay a very high RE tax (more than both of my 2 homes combined), yet you do not want to move. And you like nice wine bottles (one a day too!). :-)

So, each of our situation is unique, and I personally do not really expect to get much info by comparing with other people.
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Old 01-01-2011, 06:44 PM   #64
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Fantasy can be wonderful...

Absolutely ! My fantasy number is $21,200 but unfortunately reality is closer to $60,000.
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Old 01-01-2011, 06:50 PM   #65
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But Gumby, should you not estimate from your existing expenses? I read about other people's expenses as a financial porn to satisfy my curiosity to see how other people live, but that's all. For example, I remember that you have to pay a very high RE tax (more than both of my 2 homes combined), yet you do not want to move. And you like nice wine bottles (one a day too!). :-)

So, each of our situation is unique, and I personally do not really expect to get much info by comparing with other people.
I track our spending very carefully on a spreadsheet of my own construction and I think I know fairly well what will change, and by how much, once we retire. But that assumes we continue to do things the way we have always done them. Quite a number of our daily living expenses are discretionary and I am interested in some comparison data primarily to know whether we should think about changing the way we operate.
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Old 01-01-2011, 06:55 PM   #66
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But will that make you unhappy to scale down? I myself have been fairly frugal (hah!) so I should be catching up on spending I think. But scaling down is tougher. Will you be happy with 2-buck chuck? OK, OK, I indulge with wine a bit better, but not much. I was not at all kidding when saying I could go live in the NM mountain with a 25' RV. Of course, to get the missus to join me is something else.

PS. I remember that you like to eat out (darn, my memory is good). We don't. So, we are all different.
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Old 01-01-2011, 06:56 PM   #67
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Nords if it makes you feel any better we are paying ~$3.21/g for 89 Oct here in WA.

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For example we buy gasoline at about $3.25/gallon
We haven't run the numbers yet. Hopefully will do it this weekend and see where we come out compared to our budget.

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Old 01-01-2011, 07:20 PM   #68
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Just got my spreadsheets built for tracking 2011 expenditures, so when this comes around next time, I'll be ready!
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Old 01-01-2011, 07:27 PM   #69
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Heck, I have not done Nov yet...

But, knowing where I was then and knowing a bit of what we spent... I would say close to $100K... that includes all taxes, medical insurance and out of pocket (which is over $10K).. etc. etc... so it is everything...

Man, a wife and two kids extra costs a LOT of money....


PS... this does not include $6K that my wife threw in for more vacations To me, money spent is money spent even if it is hers...
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Old 01-01-2011, 07:47 PM   #70
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Without a spreadsheet for 2010, knowing what our net pay is, and what was left over (nothing)...I feel pretty confident in reporting that we spent somewhere close to $42,300 after taxes & retirement savings.
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Old 01-01-2011, 07:49 PM   #71
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In the two years since DH retired to join my RE status, we have spent around $40K over budgeted expenses on things like a new car, "elective" home improvement (not required maintenance things), and over-the-top once-in-a-lifetime-travel opportunities; yet we've been living off the nest-egg which remains at the same level.

Just like W2R describes, I back these expenses out. For DH and me, this is the same kind of lala-land accounting that I use to not include our home in our net worth--yeah, I know it's not kosher but I really don't care, as I know what it means. And we spend less than the rest of the budget anyway.
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Old 01-01-2011, 07:59 PM   #72
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I'd give anything if I could go to lala-land...just 24 hours worth would help me a lot.
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Old 01-01-2011, 08:04 PM   #73
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Haven't worked all the numbers.
Spent ~$22k
Gave away: ~$10K
Portfolio: larger than a year ago
Need to figure out how to tap TSP
To tap the TSP, chances are you will want the TSP-70 form or the military equivalent TSP-U-70 form) here .
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Old 01-01-2011, 08:09 PM   #74
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When it comes to spending, I subscribe to the don't ask, don't tell philosophy...
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Old 01-01-2011, 08:19 PM   #75
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Reading all the porn here got me excited to try (again) to track expenses for the coming year. Just a quick gander through the check book makes me think we "spent" something upwards of 100K this year, but that's misleading. So many "expenses" are tax related in one way or another. These are non-recurring or discretionary. They really aren't related to daily living.

How, for instance, does one account for the non-recurring "expenses" such as realtor fees for the sale of a property? That didn't even come out of the check book. How, too, do folks account for their tax payments? Do you count 2010 taxes in 2010 or when they are actually paid (some in 2009 - carry overs, some in 2010, estimated payments, some in 2011 catch-up for e.g., extra Roth conversion in the final quarter of 2010)?

How do you account for taxes paid on e.g., Roth conversions, in general. Realistically, you could look at the taxes as "owed" because you own a TIRA. If you pay the taxes, aren't you really just exchanging one asset for another? A $100k TIRA is the same as a $70k Roth (100 minus 23k Fed taxes and 7k state taxes roughly)?

Basically, I've given up in the past. I think we'll try it again and see how 2011 works out. I've been depending upon looking at the difference in the "stash" and if it doesn't go down (or doesn't go down much) I've felt pretty good about our situation, knowing that many of our expenses are discretionary.

Hoping this time 2012, I'll be able to "show you mine" when you "show me yours".
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Old 01-01-2011, 08:35 PM   #76
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I do not track income taxes separately but instead treat them as a reduction in income. All expenses must be paid with after tax dollars (except alimony). I will not mention the dollar amount of expenses but they are very large. No porn from me.
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Old 01-01-2011, 09:24 PM   #77
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Our average spending in 2007, 2008, and 2009 came out to be around $72,000 not including taxes. No debt.

This year we spent $92,000 , not including taxes and $30,000 we spent on a new car. The budget busters were $15,000 to one of the kids, $5,000 for a new motor in the truck, and $3,500 on travel trailer repairs. Hopefully we will do better in 2011.
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Old 01-01-2011, 09:59 PM   #78
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Reading all the porn here got me excited to try (again) to track expenses for the coming year. Just a quick gander through the check book makes me think we "spent" something upwards of 100K this year, but that's misleading. So many "expenses" are tax related in one way or another. These are non-recurring or discretionary. They really aren't related to daily living.
How, for instance, does one account for the non-recurring "expenses" such as realtor fees for the sale of a property? That didn't even come out of the check book. How, too, do folks account for their tax payments? Do you count 2010 taxes in 2010 or when they are actually paid (some in 2009 - carry overs, some in 2010, estimated payments, some in 2011 catch-up for e.g., extra Roth conversion in the final quarter of 2010)?
How do you account for taxes paid on e.g., Roth conversions, in general. Realistically, you could look at the taxes as "owed" because you own a TIRA. If you pay the taxes, aren't you really just exchanging one asset for another? A $100k TIRA is the same as a $70k Roth (100 minus 23k Fed taxes and 7k state taxes roughly)?
The only answer that we've agreed works for everyone is "Whatever works best for you".

GAAP doesn't apply here, unless you want it to. The advantage of this kind of thread is that you see the different ways people look at things and you can pick off the techniques which work for you.

Personally I count the taxes in the year they're paid, although of course some are for the previous year. I don't show every single one-time event because I'm more interested in tracking expenses in the same category from one year to the next. When a poster expostulates about the high rate of inflation we'll be able to say "Depends on what kind of spending you're talking about", and point to the data.

2011 will be our first full year as empty-nesters. I'll finally be able to make some meaning comparisons to parenting expenses.

When we (someday) decide to sell our rental property, I'll look at its current cash-on-cash return vs what we'll get when the after-fees after-taxes amount is invested in a CD. Right now 3-4% cash-on-cash is lookin' pretty studly, but we'll see how I feel about that if three-year CDs get back up to 6.25% while I'm fixing plumbing leaks.
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:06 PM   #79
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I think there is a lot of creative figuring going on . I only spent this amount but it doesn't include this or that . That is fudging the facts . You total up all your expenditures and the number you get is reality . Anything else is a fantasy !
I spent -$4500, hedonically adjusted.

Ha
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:20 PM   #80
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Reading all the porn here got me excited to try (again) to track expenses for the coming year. Just a quick gander through the check book makes me think we "spent" something upwards of 100K this year, but that's misleading. So many "expenses" are tax related in one way or another. These are non-recurring or discretionary. They really aren't related to daily living.

How, for instance, does one account for the non-recurring "expenses" such as realtor fees for the sale of a property? That didn't even come out of the check book.
Yes, and how about profits from the sale of that property? If you subtract the realtor fees from the profit, buy a new downsized home, and still have money left over from the sale of your previous home, did you spend negative money? To me that is difficult to handle so I would just mention that realtor fees and profit were ignored. But others might choose differently.

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How, too, do folks account for their tax payments? Do you count 2010 taxes in 2010 or when they are actually paid (some in 2009 - carry overs, some in 2010, estimated payments, some in 2011 catch-up for e.g., extra Roth conversion in the final quarter of 2010)?

How do you account for taxes paid on e.g., Roth conversions, in general. Realistically, you could look at the taxes as "owed" because you own a TIRA. If you pay the taxes, aren't you really just exchanging one asset for another? A $100k TIRA is the same as a $70k Roth (100 minus 23k Fed taxes and 7k state taxes roughly)?
Other than doing one's tax planning very thoroughly, there isn't much we can do about taxes, it seems to me. For example, a wealthy person may spend more on taxes on his investments than a less wealthy retiree might spend on everything combined. The wealthy person could live on Ramen noodles and shop at Goodwill, and he would always spend more than the other guy (and get nothing for it other than staying out of trouble with the IRS). So, I don't see the value of including taxes. Others differ.

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Basically, I've given up in the past. I think we'll try it again and see how 2011 works out. I've been depending upon looking at the difference in the "stash" and if it doesn't go down (or doesn't go down much) I've felt pretty good about our situation, knowing that many of our expenses are discretionary.

Hoping this time 2012, I'll be able to "show you mine" when you "show me yours".
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The only answer that we've agreed works for everyone is "Whatever works best for you".
Exactly. It is helpful to many of us if you are clear about your methodology, but thankfully we don't all do these computations in lock-step.
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