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Old 12-20-2012, 10:23 PM   #101
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There are some us who don't aspire to live as frugally as we can, especially now that we are retired. I've checked the Community Rules and that isn't a requirement for membership on the site

This year, excluding income taxes, we've spent ~$74k.
About the same here, including our mortgage and income taxes.
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:19 PM   #102
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The Wheaton Scale rears its ugly head.

Frugality v. Quality or Principles « Early Retirement Extreme Forums

"Also see the Wheaton Eco Scale. Those 1-2 levels above your present level is something you aspire to or is inspired by, those more levels ahead are considered crazy. Those 1-2 levels behind you are somehow perceived lacking in skills or ambition and those which are further behind are downright evil.

Something like this operates in every area: frugality, vegetarianism, sports, etc."


I'm stunned by what people pay for HI. I knew Florida rates were high but yowza.
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:26 PM   #103
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I will come in around $22,000 this year. Single, 37yo, paid off home. Last year I was 10K higher but entirely attributable to house repairs. I am baffled at some of the exorbitant amounts I see
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:41 PM   #104
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I am baffled at some of the exorbitant amounts I see
Because they are more than 1-2 levels above you on the Wheaton Eco Scale I'm guessing
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Old 12-21-2012, 01:56 AM   #105
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Great thread. As the OP, I want to thank everyone who has participated so far.
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Old 12-21-2012, 04:15 AM   #106
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I spent right about $35,000 last year. I am single and living in the Philippines. I set up an apartment and bought a scooter on this budget. I can live large here on that amount and also visit the USA each year. I could easily spend much less.
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:04 AM   #107
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From the other side, I am amazed at how much some can spend.
Let me introduce you to my DW ...
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:46 AM   #108
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Me and the DW are spending about $70k a year. We don't have a mortgage but I would venture to say that close to half of the 70 is dining and taking the "kids" out for dinner also I eat out for lunch everyday. I fish and hunt pretty regular but my boats are paid off so it's mainly gas and a few bucks for bait. DW is frugal and we don't really take any vacations. We are homebodys. I could be wrong but since a significant chunk of spending is due to our current working lifestyle, it should drop when we retire in a year or so. That is TBD!
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:52 AM   #109
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You beat me to it by about 30 minutes! I am single with no kids and no debts so my annual expenses are quite low, around $20k. Two requirements for me to ER were: (1) live off monthly dividends and don't touch principal, at least for several years until I get close to my "reinforcements" arrive as I near 60 years old (I ERed at 45 and am 49 now), and (2) No changes to my everyday lifestyle. I still go out to eat when I want to (with my ladyfriend) and maintain my hobbies and volunteer work, never using the excuse, "I can't afford to do that because I am not working." I don't have expensive hobbies. Being an atheist is helpful, too, because my holiday spendng this time of year is zero.
Now scrabbler, don't be using atheism as an excuse not to buy your ladyfriend a nice "holiday" gift. Moving from 20k to 20.5 k won't kill you!
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Old 12-21-2012, 11:26 AM   #110
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Been running at about 43K per year since retirement (Jan 2008) for a single. Don't quite understand the posters who do not include taxes in their totals. Federal, state and property taxes account for ~25% of my expenses !!
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Old 12-21-2012, 11:50 AM   #111
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Been running at about 43K per year since retirement (Jan 2008) for a single. Don't quite understand the posters who do not include taxes in their totals. Federal, state and property taxes account for ~25% of my expenses !!
Forgot to list Taxes
Federal and State Taxes $0 because of low income
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Old 12-21-2012, 11:51 AM   #112
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Forgot to list Taxes
Federal and State Taxes $0 because of low income
Me too. Dividends and interest in my taxable account are below the threshold at which I'd owe taxes on them, and I'm a few years from dipping into my IRA's and claiming SS.
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Old 12-21-2012, 11:58 AM   #113
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Some of you are really amazing. I've got 3 months left before my April 1 departure from the work place. There is no way we can live on what you guys are living on.
1. Health Insurance. Premiums will be right at $9,000 a year, with a pretty big deductibe. We don't see doctors often, but we're budgeting $12,000.
2. Property taxes on 2 homes. Almost $11,000 a year. No mortgages.
3. Homeowner insurance. $5,000 a year.
4. Car insurance. $1500 a year for 3 cars. But, no car loans.
5. HOA dues are about $3,000 a year.
6. Electricity on 1 house is about $400 a year, but over $3,000 on the Florida house. We plan on reducing that $3,000 signficantly by leaving Florida during the hot months and setting the thermostat up much higher than is comfortable when we're here in the summer. But still, it's going to be $2500 or so a year.
7. That puts us at about $35,000 without spending any money for food, clothing, entertainment, auto expense, etc.
8. For budgeting purposes, we have budgeted $10,000 a month spending but really think we will spend a good bit less once we get settled into retirement life. But it isn't going to be $30,000 or $50,000, so I am very impressed by you guys who get by on so little. I guess we could do that if we consolidated to the smaller, cheaper to run house and got rid of a couple of cars. It costs less than $5,000 a year to run that house, including taxes, electricity, gas, etc.

It's really inspiring to hear your stories.
+1 this sounds more like my situation, although I can't say I am inspired by how frugal some of you are, its more like disbelief that its even possible.
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:06 PM   #114
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$87k projected annual spend for 2
(3) savings for one time expenses (replacement of car, roof, etc)
(6) income tax (assumes that most spend is from pre tax dollars)
(18) HI at Obamacare rates
(4) Drs appointments, test
(5) Assumes 30% of one 50k major procedure every 3 years
51k Everything else

My budget is not worst case, but its pretty bad case.
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:09 PM   #115
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I don't track my expenditure to the dollar. Give or take a couple of hundred dollars, as of today, my total expenditure for the year so far is about $16,200 which means I'll come in at under $17,000 for the year.

These expenses are for a family of 3 - me and 2 kitties who I adopted this year I spent about an extra $500-600 on initial vet fees/equipment costs, which is included in the total.

I paid myself $15,600 from savings and investments and the rest came from a very minor cash-in-hand job and selling a few things here and there.
Wow, impressively low for someone who lives in CA. I am humbled. Do you grow your own vegetables? Do you cook most of your meals?

Congratulations on the kitties. We adopted a kitty this year too, she is a wonderful addition to the 2 existing doggies. Everyone getting along and are spoiled
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:12 PM   #116
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Me too. Dividends and interest in my taxable account are below the threshold at which I'd owe taxes on them, and I'm a few years from dipping into my IRA's and claiming SS.
I pay $6k/year in property taxes so I obviously include those. For state and federal taxes I use the same percentages as I pay now, even though my income will be considerably less and about 50% of my spending will be from taxable savings. I like to be conservative in my planning.
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:39 PM   #117
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Been running at about 43K per year since retirement (Jan 2008) for a single. Don't quite understand the posters who do not include taxes in their totals. Federal, state and property taxes account for ~25% of my expenses !!
I figure my money is the money I get after State and Federal taxes are taken out. The taxes taken out was never my money therefore not an expense. It's works either way. There's no 'right way' to do it. Do what works for you. As for property taxes, they are included in my $12,000 budget for 2013. They are $827.
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:40 PM   #118
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Originally Posted by arky
Been running at about 43K per year since retirement (Jan 2008) for a single. Don't quite understand the posters who do not include taxes in their totals. Federal, state and property taxes account for ~25% of my expenses !!
For me, it's all about what you spend from what you actually get. I count property tax as part of my monthly 3k expenses, because it comes out of my monthly escrow and house payment. The state and fed already come out of my pension before I get my monthly check, so I don't even consider it. In fact, I am one of those oddballs who overpay into taxes, so I get a big refund in February. Feels like a yearly retirement bonus check. Yes, I know, it's a gift from myself, to myself and a free loan to the government.
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:49 PM   #119
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The taxes taken out was never my money therefore not an expense.
Heck, then why pay them?

There is gross income; there is net income. There as a difference.

If you want to retire on net income, you had better plan/save for gross income ...

BTW, DW/me (both retired) are currently in the 25% FIT bracket (no state/local income tax in our state, in retirement).

We certainly had to plan for that situation...

Next year? It will be higher. Not to be political, but we've already planned and budgeted for that possible situation.

Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.
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Old 12-21-2012, 01:01 PM   #120
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BTW, DW/me (both retired) are currently in the 25% FIT bracket (no state/local income tax in our state, in retirement).

We certainly had to plan for that situation...
I will not be in that bracket next few years, because I will be spending after-tax money first. Yes, I plan for it too.
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