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Old 12-19-2012, 11:14 AM   #21
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Looks like I should come in a couple hundred under my $15,000 budget. Single, no kids, no debt, low cost area.
I fear that I may have spent that much on beer.

But there are two of us!

Seriously, though, we save our targets and whatever is left, we spend: on travel, entertaining (beer), parties, boat rides, and other sorts of fun. These are truly the best years of our lives...so far.
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:17 AM   #22
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Didn't quite make it this year but I'm hopeful we can spend under $12K in 2013.

We are talking health care and medical insurance, right?
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:18 AM   #23
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a tad over $105k all in
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:22 AM   #24
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I don't know. Living on so little and making so much are you working long hours and living very small outside of work"
I'm saving 65% of my gross income and I'd don't feel that I live small outside of work. I don't have many of the usual outgoings; no children, mortgage or debt. My hobbies include going to the theatre...$50 a ticket, cycling.....inexpensive if I don't want a new bike....I dropped $2.5k on a Cervelo recently, reading and blogging, also inexpensive and drinking with my friends at the weekend.....that can get expensive [%]D
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:24 AM   #25
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Didn't quite make it this year but I'm hopeful we can spend under $12K in 2013.

We are talking health care and medical insurance, right?
My budget in 2013 is $12K. The reason it was so high($15K) in 2012 was because of significant dental bills. If I can convince myself not to go 1500 miles south for the winter then $12K shouldn't be a problem at all for 2013.
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:31 AM   #26
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My budget in 2013 is $12K. The reason it was so high($15K) in 2012 was because of significant dental bills. If I can convince myself not to go 1500 miles south for the winter then $12K shouldn't be a problem at all for 2013.
That's pretty low

My ER monthly budget is $550 for house insurance and real estate taxes, $450 for health premiums (if I stay at work long enough to leave with employer insurance that will be $100), everything else $2000. So $3k/month - $36k a year. I don't have a mortgage, but this is in New England so not an inexpensive area.
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:36 AM   #27
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Edited to change my numbers to the final numbers, computed after the end of December:

Here are my final spending totals for 2012. Income taxes are not included but everything else is.

Groceries$2,522.47Includes toiletries, detergent, etc.
Restaurants$3,200.24lunch every day plus some dinners
Gasoline$972.96I live in an inner suburb, and everything is close by.
Car$1,499.96insurance, maintenance (safety inspection is in "misc")
House$5,881.48insurance (homeowners' and flood), property tax, maintenance (no upgrades in 2012)
Utilities$4,512.66Cable TV,internet, nat. gas, electricity, water, trash, sewage, cell, landline
Fitness$581.60gym fees, heart rate monitor
Clothes$154.74sweatpants, t-shirts, "retiree wear"
Miscellaneous$2,817.82Gifts, Hurricane Isaac evacuation, haircuts, iPad, stamps, etc.
Books$40.94e-books, mostly free or cheap
Video Games, apps$749.57also includes two video game consoles
Medical$1,694.75dentist, bone graft, deductibles, co-pays, prescriptions
Health insurance$2,226.80federal retiree health insurance
Total$26,855.99 plus income tax

This year, for the first year of my life I kept records not to the dollar, but to the penny. Also I doublechecked by computing my spending from income/withdrawals only and it matches. Maybe that was a little OCD but it was fun to try doing it.

I am not trying to be frugal any more since I can't take it with me (as the saying goes). I am a single person living in the South with a paid off median value house who doesn't like travel. I am impressed by the efforts made by those of you living in higher cost areas who manage to live on as little as you do.
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:45 AM   #28
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That's pretty low
Yes $12K/yr in total spending isn't much but I have barely a 6-figure portfolio at age 33 and am unemployed with no job prospects so it's necessary to keep the spending at that level. There are people here who spend nearly 10X what I spend but they have 10X the money so they can afford it.
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:58 AM   #29
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$23,401.80, as of today. That doesn't include my $185.42/month medical insurance or income tax, so if you include those and want to compare just add those in. Everything else is included.

I am not trying to be frugal any more since I can't take it with me (as the saying goes). At this spending level I am spending a lot on eating out and discretionary items/experiences. I just might be Amazon's best customer, but also I am a single person living in the South with a paid off median value house who doesn't like travel, KWIM? I am impressed by the efforts made by those of you living in higher cost areas in order to manage on as little as you do.
New Orleans isn't a low cost area. It's not super high cost but not low cost either. New Orleans, LA Environment, Health and Safety Info
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:06 PM   #30
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New Orleans isn't a low cost area. It's not super high cost but not low cost either. New Orleans, LA Environment, Health and Safety Info
Well, not compared with some places, I suppose. But I live in a close-in suburb of New Orleans, so my property taxes are really low as compared with New Orleans proper. Also energy costs here are pretty low, and my house is paid off, and so on. Everything I need or want is close by, so I don't need to spend much on gas. And, at this stage in life I pretty much have all I need.

Some might be of the opinion that I am missing out on a lot, I suppose, but I am happy at this level of spending and I am just not used to living any differently. When I said, "I am spending a lot on eating out and discretionary items/experiences", that was really misleading so I am going to strike-through that line in my previous post. I meant a lot compared with someone living on a bare bones budget like you. It seems like a lot to me, but maybe in the overall scheme of things it really isn't a lot.
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:16 PM   #31
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Some of the super low numbers don't make sense to me. Taxes, health insurance, utilites, and food add up to more than some of these numbers.

I'm still pre-retirement - so my savings rate is high (maxed 401k, kids 529's, etc). We're pounding large extra principal money into the mortgage so we'll be mortgage free in 2 years. So if you include that saving - we're spending 100% of our income.

When you look at what we're spending. less this pre-retirement preparatory savings/mortgage elimination... we're spending just over $50k for a family of four..

I got that back of the envelope number by taking our gross income (salaries, dividends that weren't reinvested, etc.) and backing out the savings and mortgage payments. We don't escrow prop taxes or insurance - so they were already included in our expenses.

Yes- I realize I'm counting the mortgage payments as "savings" - but since our plan is to retire mortgage free - that's the number I need for *my* budget. And at this point the bulk of the payment is extra principal - so it really is like saving.
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:35 PM   #32
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Some of the super low numbers don't make sense to me. Taxes, health insurance, utilites, and food add up to more than some of these numbers.
That's right! Health insurance can be anywhere from almost nothing (for those on Tricare, I guess?) to thousands per month. Comparing those costs is ridiculous and frustrating for those who have to pay thousands, because what can they do about it? Nothing. Also, income taxes can reflect one's taxable portfolio size or pre-RMD drawdown of tax advantaged accounts, not one's spending level, and must be paid so there is not much sense in comparing income taxes IMO.

Utilities and food, on the other hand, and many other categories to me seem like legitimate spending items because they can be controlled to some extent.

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Yes- I realize I'm counting the mortgage payments as "savings" - but since our plan is to retire mortgage free - that's the number I need for *my* budget. And at this point the bulk of the payment is extra principal - so it really is like saving.
That sounds fair to me.
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:47 PM   #33
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Some of the super low numbers don't make sense to me. Taxes, health insurance, utilites, and food add up to more than some of these numbers.

I'm still pre-retirement - so my savings rate is high (maxed 401k, kids 529's, etc). We're pounding large extra principal money into the mortgage so we'll be mortgage free in 2 years. So if you include that saving - we're spending 100% of our income.

When you look at what we're spending. less this pre-retirement preparatory savings/mortgage elimination... we're spending just over $50k for a family of four..

I got that back of the envelope number by taking our gross income (salaries, dividends that weren't reinvested, etc.) and backing out the savings and mortgage payments. We don't escrow prop taxes or insurance - so they were already included in our expenses.

Yes- I realize I'm counting the mortgage payments as "savings" - but since our plan is to retire mortgage free - that's the number I need for *my* budget. And at this point the bulk of the payment is extra principal - so it really is like saving.
I'm sure everyone is being truthful in how they are reporting, it's just how the numbers are being interpreted and believe me , where you live definitely has an impact. I spend a little over $3k a month, but in 2 years that will be under $2500 with DD off the books. I spend no money on health insurance because my HSA tax break more than covers my individual premium. I don't figure in taxes, because they come right off the top of my monthly pension check and I add a little over $1500 a month to my savings( not counting my PT job). I am also single, but I carry a mortgage into retirement. My accounting may seem creative, but to me drawing a pension, it's all about what I spend relative to what gets sent to me each month since the taxes are already out. Others probably pay way less in taxes based on how they are drawing down their assets. BTW- Based on what you are doing, Rodi, it looks like you are doing an outstanding job yourself reigning costs in on a family of four. I wish my house would be paid off in two years!
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:49 PM   #34
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Some of the super low numbers don't make sense to me. Taxes, health insurance, utilites, and food add up to more than some of these numbers.
I don't count payroll taxes as expenses which is splity fairly evenly amoung the board. Here are my other numbers:

2012

electric:85/mo
-condo fee/maint./
tax/insurance
(Housing):260/mo
-Internet/cell: 112/mo
-car-gas/maint./ins:190/mo
-food:277/mo
-enter./misc.:150/mo
-medical/dental:176/mo

Total: 1250/mo

2013(projected)

-electric:95/mo
-condo:240/mo
-internet/cell:65/mo
-car:150/mo
-food:300/mo
-enter./misc.:150/mo

total:$1000/mo

There's room in that 2013 budget to cut costs if there's an unexpected expense.
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:51 PM   #35
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We spend 16k in a low cost area. But at that level we don't throw money around foolishly. We try to be wise with money.
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:56 PM   #36
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We spend 16k in a low cost area. But at that level we don't throw money around foolishly. We try to be wise with money.
"we"? Is that $16K for a couple? I'd be interested in details.
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:02 PM   #37
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Some of the super low numbers don't make sense to me. Taxes, health insurance, utilites, and food add up to more than some of these numbers.

When you look at what we're spending. less this pre-retirement preparatory savings/mortgage elimination... we're spending just over $50k for a family of four..
There's a large part of the difference. Most of us on the low end are single, no dependents. You're spending 12.5k/person

Property tax/insurance are my biggest line item at ~15% of total. I don't include income tax as an expense.
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:03 PM   #38
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"we"? Is that $16K for a couple? I'd be interested in details.

Here you go
$275 Taxes and insurance house and car
$110 Medical insurance
$250 Utilities
$500 Food
$100 Car gas
$100 odds and ends

Total $1335
About 16k
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:13 PM   #39
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Those who mention percentage of portfolio numbers may have different values because some may be getting Social Security or have pensions. We just started SS last year and that helped a lot with % of portfolio spending.
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:23 PM   #40
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I am right around $20k for the year 2012.
Do you live in NYC?
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