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Old 01-27-2010, 07:52 PM   #21
Confused about dryer sheets
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 6
33k out of pocket expenses for 2 just outside of NYC:

9k health insurance - 7k for my Cobra + copays, 2k for DW's HDHP
6k condo maintenance, insurance (paid off mortgage)
2k real estate tax
5k travel
3k food - grocery and fresh produce
2k car maintenance gas insurance
1.5k electric internet phones
4.5k other expenses

Separately though fed income and payroll taxes + 7k state income tax add up to another 34k - blah!

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Old 01-27-2010, 07:56 PM   #22
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Pasadena CA
Posts: 2,674
Probably @$80K, just a quick figure for gross income minus income taxes. One son in college, a couple not so big trips and lots of little ones. Our first year we are both fully retired, expect to spend this way indefinitely. More to play with when younger son gets out of college in 1 1/2 yrs.

T.S. Eliot:
Old men ought to be explorers
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:50 PM   #23
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Location: Hooverville
Posts: 21,829
$40,600, single, in Seattle. This is cash expenses, no set-asides for car replacement, etc. No income tax included in this figure. No unusual expenses.

I feel this is pretty cheap, but not quite by the standards of many in this group. It would easily increase 50-100%, if I relaxed my vigilance.

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Old 01-27-2010, 10:53 PM   #24
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Location: Valencia
Posts: 120
I'm always amazed at how low some budgets are. Congrats, I wish my wife could see how other people spend their money.

We spent $60K (not incl income taxes) last year which included no car payments and no house mortgage payments.

Our property taxes, health insurance, car/house insurance, utilities, and food/gasoline was $27K. We also took $8K in traveling. and we allocate an allowance of $600 each month for each of us. That's over $14K per year just for that.
using an 8.5% withdrawal rate until SS kicks in
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Old 01-28-2010, 12:32 AM   #25
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Vancouver/Gulf Islands/Baja
Posts: 479
About $38000 for DW and I, and that includes our mortgage, a two week Mexican trip in November, and quite a few nights out for dinner etc.

And we pulled this off in the least affordable city in North America.
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:09 AM   #26
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Posts: 623
$14,768 in 2009 -- single, no mortgage, very cheap health insurance ($80/mo) and property tax ($961 on assessed value of $450k), includes a couple of 2 to 3 week trips but family/friends provided much of the lodging (FL and OR/WA). Plan to spend quite a bit more in 2010 and beyond - working on that now since I am currently in FL on a 3 week adventure.
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:37 AM   #27
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Harrogate, UK
Posts: 836
After reading more of these, I also am starting to feel a bit better about being able to retire at 54 the summer of 2011. With the house paid for it would seem living on $30k a year (providing no big bills) will not be that hard. We are doing it now and I am planning on being able to go $45-50K if needed. We will need to come back to the UK at least once a year, but offseason that isn't too bad. It will be the first time in my life I will be able to travel without the highest air fares/hotels etc.
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:01 PM   #28
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 398
Single, living alone (one cat), San Francisco Bay Area, 50, not yet retired ...

$9,185.65 Mortgage
$4,609.85 Charity
$3,108.64 Property Taxes
$2,171.84 Utilities (Gas/Elec, Water, Phone, Trash, TV, Internet)
$1,008.97 Home and Auto Repair
$0,883.35 Food
$0,798.00 Homeowners Insurance
$0,435.32 Gas (for car)
$0,413.00 Auto Insurance
$0,402.96 Cat (food, supplies, vet bills)
$0,860.55 Misc

Total ($23,878.13) (plus $60,987 in estimated income taxes)

Previous Years:
1999 (30,915)
2000 (33,454)
2001 (27,325)
2002 (31,751)
2003 (29,757)
2004 (25,510) [plus 18K in veterinary bills]
2005 (29,424) [plus 5K in veterinary bills]
2006 (30,735)
2007 (29,703)
2008 (31,846)
2009 (23,878)

I tracked all my expenses to the penny in 2009. The last time I did this was in 2001. Being very competitive with myself, this helped me keep costs well under previous years. I also had a ~$3 reduction from normal due to a mortgage refinance. As mentioned in previous posts, a goal was to spend less than $1000 on food in 2009. I came in at $883.35, or $2.42/day. I'll spend more in 2010.
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:13 PM   #29
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Posts: 1,459
Actual cash spent for the two of us in 2009, $34,696 for the year. This figure includes property taxes, but does not include the reserves for replacement items (cars, home maintenance (water heaters (we have two), air and heat (we have two), painting, kitchen appliances, remodeling, etc)). We have no mortgage or car payments.

We do budget and have funds for those replacement items, but just did not spend on any of them in '09.

Edit to add: Property taxes on the 3/4+ acre lot and 2650 sf house are a little over $5,000/year, so we could downsize and save a little. Not planning to downsize anytime soon, though -- maybe when we are tired of doing the yardwork.

Yardwork: The main oil seal on the Sears Craftsman (little) lawn tractor is leaking and needs to be replaced. Ah, a project.
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:33 PM   #30
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Location: New Orleans
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Originally Posted by WM View Post
We must be big spenders too - around 60K for two people, not including about 20K lost on selling a house.

Those that are spending in the 30's - does that include mortgage/rent? Even when ours is paid off, I will be surprised if our spending gets down that low.
$20,792 in 2009, including all taxes except income taxes. My house is paid off, but if I was still paying the mortgage that would be $29,722. But then, there is only one of me and I live in the South. Both of these make a huge difference. I paid for several trips across country including the trip to Oregon for my daughter's wedding.

My spending decreased from 2008, when I spent $5K more than in 2009 plus another $10K that I had put aside and then gave to my daughter in 2008 for her wedding.

I have dutifully made my best attempt to correct this downward trend and spend more in 2010, by getting my new baby this week (photo below, I just can't help showing my baby picture). OK, so I've already spent almost 150% of my 2009 expenses in 2010 and it's not even February.
"You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore." - - - C. Columbus
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:33 PM   #31
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Posts: 1,502
$34k for a single guy. I'd say $3k of that was frivolous spending on way over priced dance lessons which I will never repeat again. The other big ticket items were $5k for a car down payment and $5k for my part of grandma's funeral. Without being too flippant, I would have to safely assume that last item was a one-time only expense. As for the car, it will have to last the next ten years, so without all the craziness, I'm looking at getting back to my normal spending of about $20k to $24k a year.
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:48 PM   #32
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Posts: 6,464
Single guy, around 35K.
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Old 01-29-2010, 02:47 AM   #33
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 341
Our totals for a family of four (2 adults, one 8YO boy, one 4 YO girl) were:

Food In -3546.82
Food Out -1520.44
School Meals -935.57
Transportation -2818.97
Medical -4631.55
Clothing -747.73
Entertainment -1235.20
Household -1850.60
Communications -229.99
Computer -1443.87
Vacation -5948.04
Childcare -10513.24
Housing -17120.37
House purchase -9043.91
Utilities -24.29
Furniture -2505.40
Education -3367.65
Health Club -1538.47
Gifts -1617.88
Misc -85.26

Total all categories (after taxes, retirement and college) -70725.24

House purchase includes miscellaneous fees and charges we had to pay that we won't get back -- like agent fee, etc. We won't have those expenses again soon. Aiming for around 60k for 2010. 2009 overall expenses were up about 33% over 2008 levels, largely because we more than doubled our housing costs when we took on a mortgage. Childcare costs also went up considerably when we switched DD to a new school closer to new home.

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Old 01-29-2010, 05:42 AM   #34
gone traveling
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Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 3,855
Just a bit more than $75k (includes taxes) for the two of us. Married - in our early 60's. I'm retired - DW still wor*ing (same age as me; her desire to still have a j*b). Completely debt free...
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Old 01-29-2010, 06:47 AM   #35
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Posts: 3,126
I spent about $21.5k in 2009. Single person, 46, living on Long Island (NYC suburb), no kids, no debts, own my own co-op apartment. Includes health insurance.
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Old 01-29-2010, 07:59 AM   #36
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Location: Philly 'burbs
Posts: 547
I'm impressed by how little some of you spend.

Health Care117005700 deductible, insurance premiums, 2008 costs carried into 2009
House11400Taxes, home improvement, insurance, lawn mowing
Food8300We're not frugal with food
Discretionary7500includes a 42" plasma and a french horn, cash
Car5400insurance, gas, car service
Utilities3900gas, electric, phone, water, sewer, trash
Other3600cats and misc
Entertainment2800TV, travel, internet
Exercise2400TKD seminars and testing fees, BJJ membership, exercise equipment

Total of $57,000. Hopefully health care will be much smaller this year (and hopefully DW gets a job that covers the insurance part).

So over $40,000 was just basic living expenses (food, shelter, transportation, health), and around $17,000 was us actually spending money.
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:40 AM   #37
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Location: Punta Gorda, FL
Posts: 638
About 72k for two, after tax. That includes 12k for health insurance and 14k to adult kids. House and cars are paid for.

Our target is $65,000, so except for the kids we did fine. And we don't expect to continue sending the kids that much in the future.

We could get by on around $40,000 and still live in the same house ect., but I would have to give up my golf membership, and the wife would have to cut back on shopping.

If times really got tough I figure we could get by on $36,000, but we would have to move. But that still includes $12,000 for health insurance.
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:52 AM   #38
Dryer sheet aficionado
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Originally Posted by lhamo View Post

Food In -3546.82
Food Out -1520.44
I was trying to make sense of a charge for food on the way out...
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:36 PM   #39
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: East Nowhere, 43N Latitude, NY
Posts: 9,019
OUR money budget: $33,120.
Year end balance in joint account: $1300
We done good!
My rule of thumb is to estimate what we need annually with some extra play built in. I have a strong aversion to collecting data and/or doing expense tracking spreadsheets from too many years of w*rk related requirements.
I did the full blown expenses budget exercise in gruesome detail before I FIREd and it left an indelible mark on my brain.
Too lazy to calculate HIS and HER specific expenses...maybe next year.
We both had more money in our separate savings accounts at year end than at the beginning of year, so I'll claim a success.
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:51 PM   #40
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Posts: 57
50k for a couple in Philadelphia, excluding taxes, except real estate, and over 40k in savings. This has been consistent for us for last 3 years or more. Good to know since that's what we're planning our retirement costs to be.

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