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Old 05-28-2009, 01:41 PM   #41
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To revive the thread, anyone spending more now? Things are starting to look positive for the economy. Has anyone that had increased their savings over the last year decided that their emergency fund was large enough and now is the time to splurge and take advantage of some cheap prices on things?
Yes -- we've started doing this in the last week (or at least planning some upcoming spending). But it's not so much because of the market or macroeconomic factors as it is that my wife has secured a job and my paycheck and health benefits aren't a single point of catastrophic financial failure any more.

I'm comfortable with taking the 1.5+ years of expenses we had down to about 9-12 months now. We've been deferring several household projects we had the cash to cover, but until now I've been paranoid cautious enough to want to keep it liquid in case I got laid off. Now we plan to get rolling on some of them -- and it's a good time to do it because a lot of contractors are desperate for work.
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Old 05-28-2009, 01:43 PM   #42
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In a fit of frivolity, I'm spending 2/3 of my economic stimulus payout on inexpensive new retiree costumes: Tee and polo shirts, jeans and the all important PJs. Otherwise, my expenses in retirement are less than anticipated.
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Old 05-28-2009, 01:53 PM   #43
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In a fit of frivolity, I'm spending 2/3 of my economic stimulus payout on inexpensive new retiree costumes: Tee and polo shirts, jeans and the all important PJs. Otherwise, my expenses in retirement are less than anticipated.
You just bought my work clothes wardrobe for the last 30 years. I am going to the thrift shop in retirement. My spouse volunteers at one, so I hope I will be able to get the good stuff.
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Old 05-28-2009, 01:58 PM   #44
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You just bought my work clothes wardrobe for the last 30 years. I am going to the thrift shop in retirement. My spouse volunteers at one, so I hope I will be able to get the good stuff.
LOL! It'll be some time before I learn enough to get a promotion from Rookie to Amateur Retiree. Okay, here's the plan: I know where the thrift stores are, I'll hang out in nearby coffee shops....
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:10 PM   #45
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To revive the thread, anyone spending more now? Things are starting to look positive for the economy. Has anyone that had increased their savings over the last year decided that their emergency fund was large enough and now is the time to splurge and take advantage of some cheap prices on things?
In general I have not been spending any less since I retired. But this past 12 months or so I've held off on a few big purchases.

It's time to get rid of the wife's gas guzzling SUV mom-taxi and buy something easier on fuel. And while I will keep my old big truck, I want to buy something small and super fuel efficient for my use in around town driving. It's the right thing to do in our situation, but I'm just not overcome with blatant consumerism for cars nowadays. If the kids were out of school (and off my insurance) I could find myself in a new, or gently used Mustang/Camaro/Hemi-Challenger or a Boxster or Cayman. I think I could trust the 20-year-old, but his younger brother thinks and acts way too much like I did when I was that age and no way in hell is he getting behind the wheel of anything more powerful than a four-cylinder.

The local economy finally seems to be slowing down, so I think if I can get one more cooling season out of my two central AC units that this fall might be a good time to spend the dough to replace them and get a good price. Looked into it last year but my AC guy said the commodities prices had really driven up the prices on new units so I held off.

I boosted cash last year by selling some stocks that were timed to take profits and stuck away enough cash for several years of regular expenses, plus 7 years of tuition bills, and some extra that I had left over after buying bargains in the market. That boosted my comfort levels and I was confident enough that we really didn't need to cut spending too much. We skipped a spring break vacation because I just couldn't face spending a lot of money when the market was dropping like a drunk falling down some stairs. So the next 12-15 months will see more traveling/vacations than usual (a winter and spring ski trip instead of just one, etc.). Maybe Europe this year or next spring, but with the dollar getting its teeth kicked in recently I may hold off and wait to see if that situation improves before we venture off shore.

Edit to add: I did some retiree wardrobe shopping as well. T-shirts and shorts were on sale at Academy, and my local Wally World finally got some of these in (much to my wife's distress):

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Old 05-28-2009, 02:11 PM   #46
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We went to new York for a wedding and a vacation . New York hotels are a real bargain now and a lot of the restaurants are offering specials so what is usually an expensive trip was reasonable . We also got Blue Man Group tickets in orlando for half price that combined with a $31.00 rate at a Hyatt in Orlando made for another thrifty getaway . So we are planning a few more of those while the prices are rock bottom . I've also started to car shop . Beware they are so desperate they attack you as you near the parking lot .
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:19 PM   #47
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...decided that their emergency fund was large enough and now is the time to splurge and take advantage of some cheap prices on things?
I'm shopping for a smoker.
Actually, my purse strings have loosened up. "Our" bill paying account is finally in the black after last summer's $4/gal gas drain.
dh2b treated himself to some specialty tools to fix the cars. I got new shiny metal license plate holders for my 'Stang.
I've done some "girlie girl" clothing shopping for upcoming vacation. I keep catching some good deals at online retailers. Free shipping, costs slashed for real not the usual sale hype, etc. I figure out what I want ahead of time, check back every few weeks, then POUNCE.
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:22 PM   #48
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We are on schedule to spend less this year. Excluding the one time major expense categories. I would have to say I am really tempted to buy another house just for shits and giggles.
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:22 PM   #49
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Are things really cheaper now? I'm always skeptical of, for example, "50% off" advertising.
Good question. Here in Chicagoland, housing, cars and travel seem to be available at good prices. My food, medical, utility and tax bills are steady to increasing.
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Old 05-28-2009, 03:00 PM   #50
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We're still spending more. This past weekend we replaced our 31-year old clothes dryer and 24-year old refrigerator. Test driving cars now to replace my 23-year old vehicle. Sales are plentiful and prices are nice and low.
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Old 05-28-2009, 03:23 PM   #51
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Back in January, I wrote:

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I just looked at my most recent bank statement, and I am spending a little more than in previous years.

Actually I intended to spend more, due to changing circumstances, but last month I used less than half of my planned spending increase.
Now, I am happy to say that my spending from mid-January through mid-May has been only 51% of last year's average monthly spending, and between 1/4 and 1/3 of my take-home paychecks.

This does not include payments for back taxes that I didn't know that I owed, both to the IRS and the State of Louisiana. I don't want to go into the details of my tax mess on a public message board. These tax payments during the first four months of 2009 have come to over 12 times my expenses but at least I have that worry off my shoulders. And thanks to the market rebound, it wasn't as bad a hit to my net worth as it sounds.

One reason that my lower spending makes me happy is that I am really buying whatever I want. I just have everything I need right now. When we move north, I will need more so I will be spending more.
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Old 05-28-2009, 05:33 PM   #52
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Nope. My cash buffer is not so big that I want to spend it down. We're trying to delay spending for big stuff, but otherwise it's about the same. As a 100% equities proponent in a 40% down market, prices look about 67% higher than marked right now if I have to sell equities to buy something. So if I can get better than 40% off, I might consider a big purchase.
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Old 05-28-2009, 06:24 PM   #53
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I'm not deliberately spending more, just getting better prices on some travel that I'd be doing anyways. In addition to cheaper flights and hotels, the dollar rallied against many currencies creating as much as "50% off sales" on several destinations (and that's in addition to price reductions applied in the local currency). It's a great time to be a traveler (especially compared with last year).

Besides that, I may take advantage of the 30% energy efficiency investment tax credit to buy some new sliding glass doors. I've also been picking up some stocks at discounted prices too.
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Old 05-28-2009, 06:57 PM   #54
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No, I'm saving like mad and spending less. The crash reminded me that I needed a bigger emergency fund.
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Old 05-28-2009, 07:15 PM   #55
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It feels like we are spending more: new couches, new luxury watch, trips to Europe and San Francisco, wedding gifts, new wardrobe for me, helping my mom buy a new car etc... Yet Quicken says we are on track to spend no more than last year, and that was about 12% less than the average for 2004-2007. I feel like the step down is probably going to be a permanent one.
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Old 05-28-2009, 07:22 PM   #56
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To revive the thread, anyone spending more now? Things are starting to look positive for the economy. Has anyone that had increased their savings over the last year decided that their emergency fund was large enough and now is the time to splurge and take advantage of some cheap prices on things?
nope
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