Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-04-2011, 10:50 AM   #161
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Southern California
Posts: 916
Quote:
Originally Posted by cho oyu View Post
I think this thread is an excellent eye-opener into how people's lifestyles and situations vary. I don't see that any of the numbers are unreasonable on either the low or high end as long as they are effective relative to income and/or SWR. snip
Totally agree, my spend in 2010 was fairly high for me at about 55-60k, young family of 4 without a mortgage, but we enjoyed 7 weeks of vacation away from home. Life is what you make of it, you live with your choice, good and bad. I'm happy and can save more, but I want a balance to meet my needs.

I'm new to the forum and find the various spend to be interesting but understand a variety of factors play a role. While my target ER is 55, I can probably shave 5 years off and ER at 50 if I altered some of my choices.

41 now, but going to work at 50 will be a different mindset as I hope, I'll have a choice. Make the best for you and your family.
__________________

__________________
Aiming_4_55 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 01-04-2011, 11:33 AM   #162
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,387
I had used a custom (orphan) D-E general ledger from years ago for many years, then it was no longer usable on modern versions of Windows so I switched to MS Money for another 10 years or so. Last year my files got corrupted and I couldn't do anything about it, and since MS had cut Money I did nothing.

I didn't like that at all, but my finances are arranged in such a way that while I may miss categories, and I may be shifted a month on some bills, everything goes through one account. So my brokerage statements and history tell a complete tale, that was easy to summarize in Excel. I do have 2 other check writing/ debit card accounts that I use for writing checks where I don't want the recipient to have my mother account data. But I keep a monthly balanced and reconciled Excel check ledger for both these. All my bills including credit card bills are either paid through a check on the mother account, or much more likely through its billpay feature.

All this catch-up took only about 4-5 hours.

This year I am keeping a general journal in Excel, and I hope to learn enough Excel to make a simple general ledger from this, using pivot tables and such. It is simple- I always have a small pack with me, and in it is a little pouch into which I stuff all receipts. I also have 3x5 cards card cut vertically into thirds, and every cash transaction gets noted on one of these, which I keep in a credit card pocket of my wallet. Next morning before I go out I record all receipts and the cash transactions, transfer the receipts into another pouch to keep for a while.

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 01-04-2011, 11:43 AM   #163
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Houston
Posts: 1,435
Quote:
Originally Posted by landover View Post
We spent approximately 16500, here are the details

1133 Car
2667 Grocery
333 Phone
267 Elec
4200 Rent
3733 School
178 Medical
222 Clothes
3044 TV+Furniture
267 Misc
222 Books+dress
============
16267 TOTAL

There are invisible expenses, like car, appliance, etc. depreciation, company paid health insurance, internet. I was aiming for 24000 but somehow was not able to reach that.
This is the budget that I just don't get, I think we are missing part of the story here.

I would like to know how two people can live comfortably on $222/month in groceries, I believe it is possible but it must require massive coupon searching in addition to eating a lot of repetive dishes cooked in bulk. Plus if you include other non-food things that I typically buy at the grocery store (shampoo, soap, toothpaste, paper products, etc.) I think it would be even more of a hardship.

Also, there is no item in this budget for eating out, did they not eat at a single restaurant the entire year?

What kind of living space and how many sq ft does $350/month in rent get you?

$23/month in electricity? They must never run the A/C or the heat? No bills for other utilities like water, gas, etc?

$111/person per year in clothing? Don't see how this is possible unless you exclusively shop at thrift stores (even so, that is still not much of a wardrobe, or to allow for normal replacement of socks and underwear).
__________________
soupcxan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2011, 11:54 AM   #164
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,387
Quote:
Originally Posted by soupcxan View Post
This is the budget that I just don't get, I think we are missing part of the story here.
Naughty, naughty Soupy!

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 01-04-2011, 11:56 AM   #165
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 189
I should be clear, this is for living in a developing country, eating out is cheap here still we mostly eat at home. Weather is good enough all year, no need for AC/Heating. Gas(Propane) only for cooking, subsidized. People here believe that property price will go up and up so rent is cheaper compared to property price, I think my apartment is around 1250 sq feet. Gas-petrol is expensive but distances are less and car insurance is $200/year.

I also lived in Dallas, I think I was spending around 40k there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by soupcxan View Post
This is the budget that I just don't get, I think we are missing part of the story here.

I would like to know how two people can live comfortably on $222/month in groceries, I believe it is possible but it must require massive coupon searching in addition to eating a lot of repetive dishes cooked in bulk. Plus if you include other non-food things that I typically buy at the grocery store (shampoo, soap, toothpaste, paper products, etc.) I think it would be even more of a hardship.

Also, there is no item in this budget for eating out, did they not eat at a single restaurant the entire year?

What kind of living space and how many sq ft does $350/month in rent get you?

$23/month in electricity? They must never run the A/C or the heat? No bills for other utilities like water, gas, etc?

$111/person per year in clothing? Don't see how this is possible unless you exclusively shop at thrift stores (even so, that is still not much of a wardrobe, or to allow for normal replacement of socks and underwear).
__________________
landover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2011, 12:18 PM   #166
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,949
Quote:
Originally Posted by landover View Post
I should be clear, this is for living in a developing country, eating out is cheap here still we mostly eat at home. Weather is good enough all year, no need for AC/Heating. Gas(Propane) only for cooking, subsidized. People here believe that property price will go up and up so rent is cheaper compared to property price, I think my apartment is around 1250 sq feet. Gas-petrol is expensive but distances are less and car insurance is $200/year.

I also lived in Dallas, I think I was spending around 40k there.
That explains it nicely. Thanks!
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2011, 12:54 PM   #167
Full time employment: Posting here.
sailor's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Atlanta suburbs
Posts: 881
Quote:
Originally Posted by soupcxan View Post
This is the budget that I just don't get, I think we are missing part of the story here.
I would like to know how two people can live comfortably on $222/month in groceries, I believe it is possible but it must require massive coupon searching in addition to eating a lot of repetive dishes cooked in bulk.
He, he - you should look at some frugal people and not ER board, where everybody is filthy rich
I think Nomad Chick from simplelivings forums was able for feed her family of four (granted - two small kids) relatively healthy for roughly $100 per month.
Quote:
Also, there is no item in this budget for eating out, did they not eat at a single restaurant the entire year?
There are cultures where going to the restaurants is considered extravagant.
I tried to remember how many times I was at the restaurant growing up and I came with only one time before I turned 18.
Quote:
What kind of living space and how many sq ft does $350/month in rent get you?
Craigslist shows up to 3 bedrooms in greater Atlanta area: atlanta apts/housing for rent classifieds - craigslist

Quote:
$23/month in electricity? They must never run the A/C or the heat? No bills for other utilities like water, gas, etc?
When I lived in single bedroom apartment in Atlanta suburbs I paid roughly $30 total for both gas and electric, the rest of the utilities were included in the rent ($400 per month at the time). I never run A/C, I did run heat in the winter.

Quote:
$111/person per year in clothing? Don't see how this is possible unless you exclusively shop at thrift stores (even so, that is still not much of a wardrobe, or to allow for normal replacement of socks and underwear).
That's actually a pretty generous amount. Last year for myself I think I spent $69 for Keens sandals (I hope they last at least 7 years as the last pair did) and Santa brought me few pairs of socks (~$10 maybe). I'm curious how often you replace socks and underwear? Also how expensive do they need to be? Target has 6 packs of socks for 9.99 and 6 pack of underwear for 12.99
__________________
sailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2011, 01:15 PM   #168
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Houston
Posts: 1,435
Quote:
Originally Posted by landover View Post
I should be clear, this is for living in a developing country
Ok, that's the missing part of the story. Thanks.
__________________
soupcxan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2011, 01:18 PM   #169
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Alberta/Ontario/ Arizona
Posts: 3,158
Ha- I am impressed with your dedication to catching all your cash expenses. We lump all our cash expenses into just one category called not surprisingly "cash" Includes groceries, liquor, taxies, cleaning ladies, etc. Very consistant year over year at about 5% of total spend. I must say I am truly amazed at how little some of you live on. Well done but cetainly not our style.
__________________
Danmar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2011, 01:29 PM   #170
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,975
Quote:
Originally Posted by cho oyu View Post
I track every single expense down to the penny (actually, I round up every purchase to the nearest dollar, so my numbers are slightly high). .
Same here. Everything I spend is counted. A couple times a year the food I bring to work just isn't enough. The 80 cent candy bar I get from the machine is $1 added to my spending. Everything is included in the $11,974 I spent in 2010.

I'm single, no kids, paid off condo(no debt), low cost area. I'm also young, 31. I've only spent about $100 out of pocket for healthcare in my entire adult life, nothing in 2010.
__________________
aaronc879 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2011, 02:37 PM   #171
Recycles dryer sheets
beowulf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 466
First a note to Khan - unless you are planning on taking equal monthly payments for a year at a time from your TSP (you can change the amount annually), the best thing to do is just roll it to an IRA. You can only take one lump sum distribution and with the next one must empty the account. Not a lot of flexibility. When the time comes that we need those dollars, I'll just roll mine to an IRA.

On the expenses - we sort of track expenses, but not to the dollar. We don't really budget, but we should. The only way I can judge gross expenses is to figure what we earned (wife is retired), subtract what went to the 401K and other savings, and the remainder is what we spent on everything, to include roughly $70K in taxes. It has to be close, as we didn't withdraw anything from savings or retirement accounts, so unless it came from income, it didn't get spent. Total for 2010 was about $170K in expenses (includes 401K) other than taxes (federal, state, SS and RE). It was higher than it would normally be as we had to put a fair amount into our houe for renovations and new windows. We also spent 4 months in AZ during last Winter (double housing expense) and took a few other trips to include one out of the country.

Retirement will certainly be a shock to our system, but our plan remains to stay below 4% SWR and mostly live off CSRS, a military pension and whatever minimal amount of SS we get. Rough calculations show that taxes will drop by a large amount, won't be putting anything into 401K and work related expenses will drop. I won't know until it happens, but I don't think our actual, after tax disposal income will be much different from what it is now.

I admire all those who can live on less that $20 or $30K a year - we did it also, with 2 kids to boot, but that was back in the early 1970s . I know we could not get by on anywhere near that today.
__________________
Mission accomplished - not necessarily ER, but certainly R.
beowulf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2011, 03:06 PM   #172
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Houston
Posts: 1,435
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronc879 View Post
Everything is included in the $11,974 I spent in 2010.
I would be interested to see how this breaks down, even if your condo is paid off I do not believe it is possible to live on this amount in the US unless your standard of living is below the poverty line.
__________________
soupcxan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2011, 03:15 PM   #173
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Cleveland
Posts: 343
Divorced, 43 with one child. Hard for me to know details because I used cash for just about anything I can, but:

Mortgage & Property Taxes: $19,564
Autos: $7,763
Child Support/Education Tuition: $14,087
Vehicle Gasoline & Maintenance: $1,580
Cable/Onstar/Cell: $1,922
Credit Card/Misc: $3,703
Cash (all non-fixed expenses): $17,899
Local Income Tax: $2,087
Auto/Condo Insurance: $1,310
Water/Sewer: $90
Natural Gas: $296
Electricity: $893
-----------------------
Total Spending (excluding federal and state income tax):
$72,998.

This is the most I have spent in any one year. Daughter starting private high school really spiked it up.

I bought I condo 3 years ago and my expense have averaged ~ $68K in those years. The prior 3 years as a renter they were ~$48K! Yes, I regret buying!
__________________
skyvue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2011, 03:16 PM   #174
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,975
Quote:
Originally Posted by soupcxan View Post
I would be interested to see how this breaks down, even if your condo is paid off I do not believe it is possible to live on this amount in the US unless your standard of living is below the poverty line.
Millions of people live on less than me in the US.
__________________
aaronc879 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2011, 03:19 PM   #175
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Cleveland
Posts: 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronc879 View Post
Millions of people live on less than me in the US.
That is a bit shocking and sort of brings me back to reality. My daughter's high school tuition, books and activites are that much per year!
__________________
skyvue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2011, 03:30 PM   #176
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,975
Quote:
Originally Posted by skyvue View Post
That is a bit shocking and sort of brings me back to reality. My daughter's high school tuition, books and activites are that much per year!
For a very large majority of people, there is no high school tuition. Highschool is paid by the state/federal government. If your paying tuition for highschool your likely far above average in income/net worth. I don't know a single person that went to a private school.
__________________
aaronc879 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2011, 03:37 PM   #177
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,975
Quote:
Originally Posted by soupcxan View Post
I would be interested to see how this breaks down, even if your condo is paid off I do not believe it is possible to live on this amount in the US unless your standard of living is below the poverty line.
-Mortgage/property taxes: $1947
-Electric: $1274
-Condo Fees/ins/maint.:$1522
-Cable/internet/cell phone: $1848
-Car-gas/ins./maint.: $1591
-Groceries: $2364
-Entertainment/misc.: $1428

Total: $11,974

For 2011, the first line should go down to <$850. But I will have a special assessment for my condo that will take the place of that. I will also be going on a Florida vacation for 2 1/2 weeks that'll cost ~$1500 so my spending in 2011 should be about $13,500 but it could be a little less. In 2012 I expect my spending to be less than 2010 by at least $1000.
__________________
aaronc879 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2011, 04:51 PM   #178
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,873
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronc879 View Post
-Mortgage/property taxes: $1947
-Electric: $1274
-Condo Fees/ins/maint.:$1522
-Cable/internet/cell phone: $1848
-Car-gas/ins./maint.: $1591
-Groceries: $2364
-Entertainment/misc.: $1428

Total: $11,974

For 2011, the first line should go down to <$850. But I will have a special assessment for my condo that will take the place of that. I will also be going on a Florida vacation for 2 1/2 weeks that'll cost ~$1500 so my spending in 2011 should be about $13,500 but it could be a little less. In 2012 I expect my spending to be less than 2010 by at least $1000.
No health insurance?

My expenses are similar to yours in the aggregate with some variation across some categories. But I have HI and some dental bills which cost me just over $7,000 a year.
__________________
Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

"I want my money working for me instead of me working for my money!"
scrabbler1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2011, 08:46 PM   #179
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
walkinwood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Denver
Posts: 2,677
Great reading! Thanks all for your posts.

I don't feel comfortable sharing actual $s.

- We came in at 82% of our budget for the year. Spending was 3.24% of our portfolio on 1/1/2010. Very happy with that. Our budget was almost 4% of our 1/1/2010 portfolio.

- We both worked part time (DW a lot more than me) & made a little more than we spent this year. The flip side of this is that we vacationed very little.

- Our home expenses (taxes, utilities, repair & maint, gardening & cable/internet) are 36% of our total expenses. I think that's too high. We are thinking of moving.

- Health insurance & Medical costs are about 19% of our total expenses. NJ has high health insurance premiums. I also included costs of vitamins & other Over-the-counter drugs (aspirin etc.) in this number. I think moving will help this number too.

- We can afford to continue to live (ER) in our home in NJ, but it bugs me to be paying these astronomical taxes & premiums, when I'd rather be traveling more with that money.

- I did not include mortgage payments (paid off mortgage early in the year) & federal & state income taxes.

- We have ER'd again. Not expecting any income in 2011.
__________________
walkinwood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2011, 11:15 PM   #180
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 398
Quote:
Originally Posted by soupcxan View Post
A couple of these posts are unrealistically low unless people are sitting around in the dark eating rice and beans three meals a day (granted, that's possible). I suspect people have put what they think they are spending without actually adding up receipts; if they actually tracked every expense on a credit card in Quicken they would see that their expenses are higher than their guesstimate.
I track all my expenses to the penny. Not counting mortgage and charity, which are wild cards, and excluding income/payroll taxes, my annual living expenses are usually around $10K-12K. That's for one person and one cat. The typical breakdown is (to the nearest $0.5K):

$3.0K property taxes
$1.0K combined home and auto insurance
$1.0K home and auto repair
$0.5K gas for car
$2.0K utilities (cable TV is my highest utility expense)
$1.5K food
$0.5K cat and vet
$1.5K misc

And I live in one of the most expensive places in the country. Admittedly, I have medical insurance through my employer.

It's not difficult to live inexpensively. I spent $883.35 on food in 2009 ($2.42/day), although that was just a one year experiment to see if I could spend under $1000. I usually spend twice that. My electric bill is typically between $10-15/month (at 0.11 KW-hr). I turn it off when it's not in use. It really is that simple (and I don't have air conditioning). Clothes are from Target and Walmart. A $10.50 pair of jeans lasts 6-9 months. I did purchase a new car in 2010, but the last time I bought a car was in 1985.

I don't deprive myself. I live like a king, or so I feel. And I certainly live better than most people in the world.
__________________

__________________
Shawn 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 03:31 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.