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King of frugality=me??
Old 04-30-2008, 08:31 PM   #1
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King of frugality=me??

I typically track all my monthly expenses in Excel at the end of the month by downloading my VISA and bank statements. I wanted to see how low I could get my monthly expenses - mainly just for curiousity. My mortgage is paid off and I'm in Canada so health insurance is not a concern. I'm single with no kids, so obviously that is a huge factor here. Also, I am not including incometaxes as an expense (although property tax on my house of $172 is in there).

Total for April was $1176. Can anyone beat that? I don't feel I sacrificed at all besides packing a lunch for everyday at work. I also only filled up once with gas during the month as my work is not that far of a drive. Normally my monthly expenses are in the $1350 range. It's certainly nothing to brag about, but I'm wondering if anyone could live on even less. If so, my hats off to you.
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Old 04-30-2008, 08:34 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by accountingsucks View Post
I typically track all my monthly expenses in Excel at the end of the month by downloading my VISA and bank statements. I wanted to see how low I could get my monthly expenses - mainly just for curiousity. My mortgage is paid off and I'm in Canada so health insurance is not a concern. I'm single with no kids, so obviously that is a huge factor here. Also, I am not including taxes as an expense.

Total for April was $1176. Can anyone beat that? I don't feel I sacrificed at all besides packing a lunch for everyday at work. I also only filled up once with gas during the month as my work is not that far of a drive. Normally my monthly expenses are in the $1350 range. It's certainly nothing to brag about, but I'm wondering if anyone could live on even less. If so, my hats off to you.
Once in a while, I have a $1000 month; usually it's around $2000 (includes health ins).
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Old 04-30-2008, 08:48 PM   #3
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Khan rules.

I pay that much for health insurance.
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Old 04-30-2008, 08:52 PM   #4
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Total for April was $1176. Can anyone beat that?
You could double it and I still couldn't beat it.

Congratulations.

Ha
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Old 04-30-2008, 08:58 PM   #5
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I could live on less. However that would not be too fun for me You win! Congratulations.
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Old 04-30-2008, 09:21 PM   #6
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My yearly expenses since 1999 have ranged from $25,510 to $33,454. Last year they were $29,703. However, that includes my mortgage ($12,397), which I could easily pay off, and charitable contributions ($5,040). It includes property taxes ($2970) and medical ($713), but not income taxes ($65,287).

Hence, not counting my mortgage and charitable contributions, my average monthly expense last year was $1022. I feel like I live like a king.
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Old 04-30-2008, 09:29 PM   #7
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My yearly expenses since 1999 have ranged from $25,510 to $33,454. Last year they were $29,703. However, that includes my mortgage ($12,397), which I could easily pay off, and charitable contributions ($5,040). It includes property taxes ($2970) and medical ($713), but not income taxes ($65,287).

Hence, not counting my mortgage and charitable contributions, my average monthly expense last year was $1022. I feel like I live like a king.
I can't remember-did you say that you live in Southern California?

Also, you must have incredible willpower if you earn so much that you pay $65,000 in income tax but only spend $30,000 on living.

Ha
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Old 04-30-2008, 09:45 PM   #8
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I can't remember-did you say that you live in Southern California?

Also, you must have incredible willpower if you earn so much that you pay $65,000 in income tax but only spend $30,000 on living.

Ha
I live in northern California - San Francisco Bay Area - arguably the most expensive place in the country (although I live in one of the less expensive cities in the Bay Area).

Last year was a little higher than normal for income tax. Normally it's about 50K/yr. However, it's still somewhat ironic that I get taxed about twice what I spend. I think the government needs the will power.
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Old 04-30-2008, 10:21 PM   #9
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I typically track all my monthly expenses in Excel at the end of the month by downloading my VISA and bank statements. I wanted to see how low I could get my monthly expenses - mainly just for curiousity. My mortgage is paid off and I'm in Canada so health insurance is not a concern. I'm single with no kids, so obviously that is a huge factor here. Also, I am not including incometaxes as an expense (although property tax on my house of $172 is in there).

Total for April was $1176. Can anyone beat that? I don't feel I sacrificed at all besides packing a lunch for everyday at work. I also only filled up once with gas during the month as my work is not that far of a drive. Normally my monthly expenses are in the $1350 range. It's certainly nothing to brag about, but I'm wondering if anyone could live on even less. If so, my hats off to you.
Since your income tax would presumably include your health insurance (i.e., in US I pay the premium, your "premium" is part of the taxes you pay in Canada), what would that bring your expenses up to?

Hats off right back to you anyway! And you probably still have some areas you could go even lower in?
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Old 04-30-2008, 10:37 PM   #10
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Since your income tax would presumably include your health insurance (i.e., in US I pay the premium, your "premium" is part of the taxes you pay in Canada), what would that bring your expenses up to?

Hats off right back to you anyway! And you probably still have some areas you could go even lower in?
Taxes for me are around 1800 per month. Kinda depressing when I compare it to all my other expenses.

Only places to possibly reduce are: my car insurance by dropping collision and comprehensive, not getting take out once per weekend, not drinking as much beer in the summer, that's about it I think.
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Old 04-30-2008, 10:57 PM   #11
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We can hit $1200 a month in the Midwest, not bad for two people. This does not include income taxes but does include home taxes.
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Old 04-30-2008, 11:15 PM   #12
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When I lived on base my monthly expense was ~$112 for motorcycle insurance and my cell phone. I don't think that's fair though, so when I was living out in town it was usually right around $1,100-1,300. But even at the cheapest, adjusted to Canadian dollars, you would still have beaten me I think.
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Old 04-30-2008, 11:16 PM   #13
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Last year was a little higher than normal for income tax. Normally it's about 50K/yr. However, it's still somewhat ironic that I get taxed about twice what I spend. I think the government needs the will power.
They have the will and the power to take your $50,000 and buy as many votes as they can with it. And that is what they are doing.

Retired and single, I paid $15,000 last year, a bit less than 1/2 of my other-than-tax expenses of $30,000+.

That annoys me immensely. But I seek zen enlightenment, since the taxes are not going away- in fact, the opposite is much more likely.

Ha
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Old 04-30-2008, 11:38 PM   #14
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I wanted to see how low I could get my monthly expenses - mainly just for curiousity.
I've been doing this for the past couple months--it's an interesting challenge!

I spent $1197 in April. That includes a tax payment of $186.54--if that wasn't counted, it would be $1010.46. I live with my boyfriend, but we count expenses separately, so that includes all my individual expenses plus half of all joint expenses.

My cheapest month so far was August 2007, when I spent $1014. I know I was spending less in my early 20s because I *earned* less than that, but I only spent $400 on rent back then and $10 on my bus pass.
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Old 04-30-2008, 11:50 PM   #15
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My monthly expenses are about $1200 and that includes my mortgage. My take home pay is only about $1500 so I don't have the option of going much higher without reducing my 401k contributions.
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Old 05-01-2008, 01:55 AM   #16
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Eh, I'm a self-supporting graduate student (engineer undergrad), so I guess I count. If I don't count tuition, which would probably be about 2.5k a month and just my living expenses, it would go like this:

Rent+Utilities: 505 (2-bedroom with a roommate)
Simple Cell: 10 (on my families plan)
Only no-fault Insurance: 50
Health care: Free, all benefits paid for through work
Groceries: 100
Gas: 150
Misc: 20 (Gifts/Going out to lunch once a month)
Books: 0 (I buy them used and resell them for the same amount, if not more)

Total Expenses: 835/month

Monthly Income: 2000/month (rounded, its sometimes a bit more/less) after taxes

I am looking forward to living it up on 1000-1200 a month.
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Old 05-01-2008, 05:17 AM   #17
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Egads! - $835 per month - $100 per month on food. Is that 100 bucks worth all you eat? What do you eat?
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Old 05-01-2008, 07:33 AM   #18
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I hadn't answered because lately I can afford to spend more, and I have been doing just that. In particular, have been doing some decorating and buying whatever things I like. But just now I thought I should "face the music", figure out what I spent in April, and 'fess up. I don't want to end up like one of those sports figures who spends every cent on frivolity and winds up broke!

So here it is - - I spent a whole lot more than most others on this thread, but I am proud of myself for not going utterly nuts after this windfall. I am single, I didn't have to pay house or car insurance or property taxes this month, my mortgage is paid off, and my health insurance, taxes, etc are not reflected here either:



APRIL, 2008:
  • groceries: $204.69
  • electricity, gas, water, cable, phones: $211.63
  • gasoline: $55.67
  • decorating (Lowe's, Home Depot, BB&B): $251.16
  • ATM (lunches every day at work, $35/week for lawn care, treated my brother, his wife, and Frank to lunch at a nice restaurant on Sunday, the rest was art and discretionary spending): $400
  • new computer mouse and some other software: $76.10
TOTAL: $1199.25

I am amazed that it isn't more, since I have been doing a lot of recreational shopping.

Normally I used to spend $800 when tallied this way (but my yearly total divided by 12 was around $1450 due to irregular expenses like insurance, root canals, a new plasma TV, and that sort of thing). So, to go from LBYM to spending like there is no tomorrow is costing me $400/mo.
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Old 05-01-2008, 07:37 AM   #19
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Egads! - $835 per month - $100 per month on food. Is that 100 bucks worth all you eat? What do you eat?
That's $3.33 per day. Must eat a lot of peanut butter.
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Old 05-01-2008, 07:44 AM   #20
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I hadn't answered because lately I can afford to spend more, and I have been doing just that. In particular, have been doing some decorating and buying whatever things I like. But just now I thought I should "face the music", figure out what I spent in April, and 'fess up. I don't want to end up like one of those sports figures who spends every cent on frivolity and winds up broke!

So here it is - - I spent a whole lot more than most others on this thread, but I am proud of myself for not going utterly nuts after this windfall. I am single, my mortgage is paid off, and my health insurance, taxes, etc are not reflected here either:

APRIL, 2008:
groceries: $204.69
electricity, gas, water, cable, phones: $211.63
gasoline: $55.67
decorating (Lowe's, Home Depot, BB&B): $251.16
ATM (discretionary money mostly, lunches every day at work, art, $35/week for lawn care): $400
new computer mouse and some other software: $76.10
TOTAL: $1199.25

I am amazed that it isn't more, since I have been doing a lot of recreational shopping.

Normally I used to spend $800 when tallied this way (but my yearly total divided by 12 was around $1450 due to irregular expenses like insurance, root canals, a new plasma TV, and that sort of thing). So, to go from LBYM to spending like there is no tomorrow is costing me $400/mo.
Gas $55.67? You must live close to work. I spend more than that just driving to the golf course. Oh yes, how often does Frank take you out to dinner? That's a nice food cost cutting benefit. I guess it's not entirely free.
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