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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?
Old 03-28-2006, 11:26 AM   #41
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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?

Right now, for a bare-bones minimum, I figure I'd need...

$700: HELOC (minimum is in the $600 range but I like to round up to the next $100. Lately though I've been paying $1000)
$110: Electricity (monthly average)
$75: Directv (okay, not a "bare bones" item, but I like having it)
$60: Home phone
$110: Cell phone (average. Also I have two people on my account who reimburse me. Could reduce this if I wanted to)
$80: Home heating oil (averaged out over the year)
$220: Property Taxes
$75: Homeowner's insurance

So for the house I'm at around $1435 per month.

Now, on to the cars...

$190: Insurance (actually it just went down ALOT and is now around $131/mo, but I figured I'd keep it high, just as a buffer)
$100: repair/maintenance/registration (might be low, but I figure the lowball for the insurance can offset it)
$200: gasoline (high estimate)

So, about $490 per month for the cars. That's seven cars, though, so IMO is actually pretty low. And a luxury that I could cut back on, if I REALLY needed to.

$150: Food (My roommates actually buy most of the food, but I figure I could live on $150/mo if I really needed to)
$100: Misc ("Mad Money"?)
$250: Health insurance (just a wild guess, if I had to cover health insurance on my own)

So, for a bare-bones total, I figure around $2425 per month. Of course, if something catastrophic breaks on one of the cars or the house needs a major repair, or I want some other big-ticket item, that's not gonna cut it. But, once the HELOC is paid off (a primary goal of mine, especially the way interest rates are going), that would also free up around $700 per month. And, I could always cut back on the Directv, reduce the home and/or cell phone service, sell off (or junk) some of the spare cars, etc
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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?
Old 03-28-2006, 12:23 PM   #42
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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?

I'm just starting to live on $3500/mo. That includes my housing payment; without the housing payment it's more like $2000/mo.

For a lot of the numbers that have been posted I can't figure out if they are leaving out the housing payment or not.

I suggest anyone who posts their numbers include the housing payment and say so. Or if you don't include your housing payment tell us what the rent would be on a place like you live in.

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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?
Old 03-28-2006, 12:39 PM   #43
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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?

Wait - Andre - you have SEVEN cars?
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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?
Old 03-28-2006, 01:31 PM   #44
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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?

Wait - Andre - you have SEVEN cars?

Yeah, that's a by-product of being a pack rat and never being able to throw anything away! Plus, my taste in cars tends to be cheap enough that I'm easily satisfied. Here they are, in the order that I bought them...1957 DeSoto Firedome, 1968 Dodge Dart, 1967 Pontiac Catalina, 2000 Dodge Intrepid, 1979 Chrysler New Yorker 5th Avenue, 1985 Chevy Silverado, 1976 Pontiac LeMans.

Insurance for the whole lot of them was around $2200 last year, but this year went down to around $1575. I think it went down because this year I'm in the 35-39 age bracket, instead of 30-34. The pisser is that my policy renews on March 21, and my birthday is on April 2. So while I turned 35 last year, I guess I didn't enter their 35-39 bracket until renewal time.
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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?
Old 03-28-2006, 01:34 PM   #45
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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?

Well for me liability insuarance only coverage on my low mileage third car is less than $200 a year.

I'm like you. If I had somewhere to keep em' all I'd have seven cars too.
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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?
Old 03-28-2006, 01:50 PM   #46
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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?

Dh and I aren't far behind you, we have 5 vehicles and a trailer. A car, two trucks (one vintage), two Harleys and a trailer for them. We're in MASS... you don't want to know my insurance bill, infact I think there are a few here that live comfortably on what we pay for car insurance.
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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?
Old 03-28-2006, 01:55 PM   #47
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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?

Cool! Well I'm glad to see I'm not the only one here who's got this particular "affliction".

Within the year I'm probably going to drop the insurance on my '68 Dart. It doesn't run anymore, and really needs too much work to restore. Plus, it has around 338,000 miles on it. Then I'm probably going to transfer my '76 LeMans to my antique policy, so I should be able to knock down my bill by close to $300 per year.
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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?
Old 03-28-2006, 03:54 PM   #48
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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?

Two cars.
One pickup truck.
Two ATVs.
Two snowmobile
Trailer for hauling above toys.

No more room in the garages.

Insurance is not too bad since they are all a few years old now. The rates drop each year and we shop around every couple of years for lower rates. We also have high deductibles (not as high as Sr. CFB) to keep the costs down.
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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?
Old 03-28-2006, 05:14 PM   #49
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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?

Sort of my car/house version of the HSA/high deductible medical insurance. I've never been in a significant car accident (I've been driven into at low speed in a parking lot twice, both 25+ years ago), wifes only been in one and it was a slip-slider on ice that caused very limited damage.

Carrying 2500 on the cars and 5000 on the house drops my total payments by about half vs carrying $500 deductibles. In about 2-3 years i've recouped enough to cover a deductible. And lets face it, you're probably not going to file a car claim under a grand with a $500 deductible and not going to file a home claim unless its a big deal. Unless you like your rates going up to make up for your claim.
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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?
Old 03-28-2006, 06:01 PM   #50
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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?

One vehicle...

Monthly expenses around $2000 for mort/PT/HOI, elec, gas, water, sewer, garbage, cable/broadband, motor fuel, auto ins, etc. Does not include medical/dental, which I get thru werk; does not include taxes, investments, etc. Just basic living expenses.

Overall, I probably spent about 50% of gross last year; about 25% expenses, 25% taxes/SS, 20% savings/investments, blew the rest... :P
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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?
Old 03-28-2006, 06:48 PM   #51
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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by free4now

I suggest anyone who posts their numbers include the housing payment and say so.* Or if you don't include your housing payment tell us what the rent would be on a place like you live in.
The numbers I posted back in reply #6 did not include house payment because it will be paid off before I ER. And I was trying to give comparable numbers to the OP who said he would have a paid off house.

My payment right now is $428 FYI.
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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?
Old 03-28-2006, 07:58 PM   #52
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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?

I'm very surprised at some of the numbers being thrown around (2500 - 4000 a month).

I have carefully tracked my expenses for 6 months and excluding my mortgage - which is only 310 anyways - I am spending $1400 a month. Now I have no car payment and this does not include any vacation, however I am the kind of person who would not spend more than 20K on a car and a $2000 vacation would be extravagant, so it would easily be under $2000 a month if I factor those in.

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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?
Old 03-28-2006, 08:04 PM   #53
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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by accountingsucks
I have carefully tracked my expenses for 6 months and excluding my mortgage - which is only 310 anyways - I am spending $1400 a month.
Not married, are you?

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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?
Old 03-28-2006, 08:15 PM   #54
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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by accountingsucks
I'm very surprised at some of the numbers being thrown around (2500 - 4000 a month).

I have carefully tracked my expenses for 6 months and excluding my mortgage - which is only 310 anyways - I am spending $1400 a month.* Now I have no car payment and this does not include any vacation...
This baffles me. I have been posting here for about 3 years. In that time I have only managed to be below $2000 a month a few times, and I am frequently over that. My car is paid, my house is paid for, my health and other insurance is moderate, I haven't taken any trips other than very short local ones. No cable, no cell phone. One person only.

I do eat, and occasionally crawl out of bed and go somewhere or do something.

It's not that I am indifferent to what I spend either- I shop with an eye for value, and I don't buy much stuff or clothes. I do refuse to drive around all day looking for some slight price advantage on a purchase. I would rather work at a real job than do that.

Ha
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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?
Old 03-28-2006, 08:22 PM   #55
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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
This baffles me. I have been posting here for about 3 years. In that time I have only managed to be below $2000 a month a few times....
Man, me too. We have expensive housing costs, but even when I take these out or cut them down it is really tough to get things anywhere close to the numbers being tossed around here. Add back almost a grand or so per month for couple's health insurance and it looks like a real change in lifestyle will be needed if we plan for FIRE.

I guess it is the price we pay (literally!) for having lived a bit large before now. Never thought of ourselves as exorbitant but... Oh well, we certainly have had fun in the process.
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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?
Old 03-28-2006, 08:48 PM   #56
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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Man, me too. We have expensive housing costs, but even when I take these out or cut them down it is really tough to get things anywhere close to the numbers being tossed around here. Add back almost a grand or so per month for couple's health insurance and it looks like a real change in lifestyle will be needed if we plan for FIRE.

I guess it is the price we pay (literally!) for having lived a bit large before now. Never thought of ourselves as exorbitant but... Oh well, we certainly have had fun in the process.
Since a couple of you have asked - I am single and for sure being married would add to these costs.....that is something that keeps me up at night actually in that I want to be FIRE at 45 and getting married could make that impossible...oh well,. don't you worry about me...LOL

Anyways here is my breakdown

Property taxes 170
Eating out/Groceries 400
Entertainment 100
Cat 15
Gym 30
Phone 45
Cable/net 100
Car and House Insur 120
Utilities 220
Gas/Car mtce 125
Toiletries 25
Presents/clothes 60

Total 1410

I live in Canada so maybe that is why the costs are lower? I do not pay any health insurance as it is the land of free health care here...hehe....also like I said, no vacation is factored into these numbers but I normally only take one every 2 years at about $2000 a trip.

I don't feel like I scrape or scrimp at all with these figures and I still see room to cut in my budget. I believe I could get it down to 1200 by packing more lunches and eating out less.
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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?
Old 03-28-2006, 08:52 PM   #57
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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?

One vacation every two years??
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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?
Old 03-28-2006, 08:56 PM   #58
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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
One vacation every two years??
Yes and that is just hypothetical as the last one I had was 5 years ago. Unfortunately or fortunately I have changed jobs every 1 - 1.5 years or so, and many employers want you to be in a spot for a year before taking any time off. Because of that I have not been able to get anywhere in that amount of time. I guess the good news in that is that every job change has been a nice increase in pay.

I don't see a problem in staying home on my patio and pounding back beers during my vacation time. I live in Edmonton and I can drive out to Jasper/Banff for the day and MTN bike or ski and all it costs is a tank of gas.
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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?
Old 03-28-2006, 09:03 PM   #59
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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
This baffles me. I have been posting here for about 3 years. In that time I have only managed to be below $2000 a month a few times, and I am frequently over that. My car is paid, my house is paid for, my health and other insurance is moderate, I haven't taken any trips other than very short local ones. No cable, no cell phone. One person only.

I do eat, and occasionally crawl out of bed and go somewhere or do something.

It's not that I am indifferent to what I spend either- I shop with an eye for value, and I don't buy much stuff or clothes. I do refuse to drive around all day looking for some slight price advantage on a purchase. I would rather work at a real job than do that.

Ha
I am curious as well as to how you are spending at least 600 more a month than me when we seem to be in similar situations (single, no car payment, etc). Do you have a breakdown of your monthly expenses? I'd be interested in comparing to my list.

Where do you live?
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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?
Old 03-28-2006, 09:38 PM   #60
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Re: How much do you need a month to life and enjoy?

NewGuy,
The fact that you're counting the days now to end-of-school in June says to me you should try pretty hard to avoid having to go back in Sept. Plus, don't they make you sign a contract to finish off the school year? Did you figure out if your accumulated sick/vacation leave (200 days!?) would help out? Do you need to go until 12/31 to get the early retirement pension amount you described?

Anyway, good luck and stay sane until the day comes, but looks like your time has come to pull the plug.
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