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Old 04-01-2016, 01:59 PM   #21
Recycles dryer sheets
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When we did all of the "projections" and "modeling" for the financial aspect of ER, we included a monthly stipend for discretionary spending for toys. In reality, we've always alloted "play" money for things that would pop up.

If something is rather pricey we'll discuss it, but generally we have always LBYM so it really isn't a great impact from time to time.

_B
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Old 04-01-2016, 02:04 PM   #22
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It is hard to splurge after a lifetime of scrimping and saving. It goes against all you have known. My wife retired at 55 and she died of Pancreatic cancer at 60. She never really got to enjoy the fruits of our labors. We didn't even know she was sick until it was too late.

This experience taught me to splurge a little. Your death might catch up with you sooner than you would like.

So that is how I got my "funny money" by scrimping and saving all my life. I'm planning to do a lot of spending and splurging before I die.
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Old 04-01-2016, 02:16 PM   #23
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Just buy it, there is enough fudge built into the budget to allow for a minor expense here and there. Minor expense may be debatable but anything less than $10K IMHO is pretty insignificant in the overall scheme of things.
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Old 04-01-2016, 02:45 PM   #24
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Our retirement budget covers our lifestyle. I have some 1099 hobby income I don't include in the plan and also try to play "beat the budget" every month with freebies, rebates, discounts, contest winnings, the Reddit beer money forum, credit card bonuses and other things long those lines I can do from home without having a real job with set hours and due dates. It really adds up. Any extra cash I just save. Non-cash items like tickets, gift cards and air miles just help to lower the withdrawal rate in the retirement plan.
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Flying
Old 04-01-2016, 03:03 PM   #25
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Flying

I use it to pay for my flying. I fly patients for Angel Flight West, and rescue animals occasionally for Pilots & Paws.
I fly about 50 hours a year, and it costs about $6500.
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Old 04-01-2016, 03:14 PM   #26
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WE consult p.t. for our fun $. We are doing a lot of traveling and going out because as some one stated above you never know when time is short.
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What do you do for "funny money"?
Old 04-01-2016, 03:34 PM   #27
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What do you do for "funny money"?

Allowing for my 14.5% deduction from my paycheck that does not come out of my pension, my after tax monthly check from pension was the same as when I worked. Its actually higher now thanks to annual COLA's. So life is pretty much the same since I only need 60% of it to cover expenses and modest entertainment. So the other 40% could be considered funny money. Lately I have been on an investing kick, so most of my funny money is going into preferred stocks.


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Old 04-01-2016, 04:47 PM   #28
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Before I FIRED, i tracked my spending for three years and found it was relatively constant. That number is about 40k below my firecalc 95% number over 40 yrs ( I am single and 55 ). As long as I don't go over my firecalc- ulated Number I don't agonize over it too much. I do however lump in the new roof / new car money into the same mental bucket with fun money so my fun money bucket is more a "expenses that don't crop up in a three year window of living" bucket

If I bumped up against that firecalc number a couple years in a row I suspect I would scrutinize my spending more






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Old 04-01-2016, 09:34 PM   #29
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Still working but have a sizable "Miscellaneous" line item in the budget that covers non-recurring discretionary spending. Planning to continue that into retirement.
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Old 04-01-2016, 10:38 PM   #30
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We don't really budget for off-the-wall stuff, if we both think spending is worth it, we'll do so. SS is starting later this month so we'll have some more spending opportunities than before but I don't foresee any major changes in lifestyle.
This.

That said - when we started racking up medical bills last year I started choosing not to splurge as much on little stuff.... It was just the instinctive adjustment to spending. But we still went forward with our 9 week family vacation in Europe.

The idea of working extra years just so I can buy more stuff.... Nope, no no no no, never. I'd rather not have the "funny money" - but have the time for fun, instead. Same with working part time. I set an annual spending rate that is fairly frugal, but has enough give to cover the basics AND some splurges.
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Old 04-02-2016, 10:19 AM   #31
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My monthly draw covers all basic expenses, plus a little extra to cover what one might conveniently call "sundry and miscellaneous spending", which includes fun money. Some months, I might choose to spend the extra on cheap eats out, visits to coffee shops etc, or I can choose to go easy on the spending for a month or two in order to "save up" for something a bit more pricey. It's a lot like living as a teenager with an allowance (Boy, I can't wait for SS to come on board )

For a few years, most of my fun money was getting spent on radio parts for my (then) hobby of building ham radio/SWL gear. Then, when the ham mojo disappeared, I recently bought my first new camera in 10 years, and have been having fun walking around town taking extremely boring pictures of everything I see - people, cats, dogs, leaves, sidewalks etc. It's funny how, when you have a new camera, everything suddenly becomes fascinating and well worth looking at :-)

Going forward, some of the extra money will be used to renew my 2 passports. That's not exactly a fun expenditure, but it falls into the "everything above and beyond basic expenses" category for me. I'm hoping to ease up on buying "stuff" so I can spend the extra on more cheap eats, visits to coffee shops, and perhaps even a trip or two.

Budgeting is easy for me, as my basic lifestyle is so simple, and quite inexpensive. I'm a renter with cheap rent, who doesn't own a car. If something extremely fun, and relatively expensive came up, that I just had to do, I'd simply take the money our of the portfolio and not worry about it. At an approximately 2% WR, with SS coming online in the future, there's a little leeway.
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Old 04-02-2016, 10:33 AM   #32
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I set up a recurring transfer of $300 a month into a savings account which is specifically dedicated to splurges and other non-essential things, and I draw from there to pay for them. That's sort of my version of an "envelope" system for relatively frivolous things. We can afford that easily, but I don't want to go crazy much beyond that.
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Old 04-02-2016, 09:35 PM   #33
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I've tracked our spending for years. While we were working we bought pretty much anything we wanted. Luckily we have simple tastes and don't really want much. We just love living. Having said that, there are four budget lines in the annual plan to cover incidental discretionary spending: His "pocket money", Her "pocket money", Big Ticket Items, Small purchases. Each of gets the same "pocket money" each month. We can spend it how we want - no questions asked. If an item will be used by only one person, or if only one of us goes to an event, the funds come from pocket money. Big tickets items are set up like an accrual and include car, technology, furniture, mattress and a miscellaneous component for the stuff I forgot to list. Small purchases are for the inevitable whatevers that we buy (small appliances, new dishes, etc). Overall the budgets are based on what we actually spent when working, so I know they are reasonable.

ETA: replacement of major appliances are included in the "home maintenance" budget which also includes new roof, interior and exterior painting and general "stuff that breaks and needs fixing" which is budgeted on an accrual basis
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Old 04-02-2016, 10:50 PM   #34
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I can't waste money. I have enough but wasting isn't in my character. So I give money to people who will sometimes or order gifts online. I don't earn money on the side at all, don't want to so just take from investment accounts as I feel the desire. This month property taxes and car insurance and maybe income tax so will take that and some spare then feel rich for a while. Spending on others makes me feel rich.
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Old 04-03-2016, 07:48 AM   #35
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I can't waste money. I have enough but wasting isn't in my character. So I give money to people who will sometimes or order gifts online. I don't earn money on the side at all, don't want to so just take from investment accounts as I feel the desire. This month property taxes and car insurance and maybe income tax so will take that and some spare then feel rich for a while. Spending on others makes me feel rich.
Whatever works. If spending on others is what you like, good for you. I don't consider splurging on myself once in awhile as "wasting" money. It's a reward for hard work and I feel just fine spending extra money on a few things I really enjoy.
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Old 04-03-2016, 07:58 AM   #36
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In a spreadsheet, I have the total spending for each of my seven major categories for the last ten years. Near the start of each year, I look at the average for each category and ask myself if the coming year will likely be average or will have a different result (over or under). I use that to build my budget for the coming year, noting what WR percentage that will give me.

I've been using this method for several years, and it seems to work well for me.

For example, I know that every five or six years either DW or I will want a new car, so that can be incorporated into the "Auto" category.

Next year, we have some expensive travel planned, so the "Hobby/Vacation" category will have a bump up.

Figuring the whole annual budget in total, we have only once gone over 4% WR, and that time wasn't by too much. So I'm comfortable.
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Old 04-03-2016, 11:01 PM   #37
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We don't really budget for off-the-wall stuff, if we both think spending is worth it, we'll do so. ....
We are basically underspending, so plenty for extras.
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Old 04-04-2016, 09:59 AM   #38
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Just part of the budget for "irregular, new roof" type of spending.
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Old 04-04-2016, 02:30 PM   #39
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DW uses lots of coupons, and the grocery store summarizes the savings on the receipt. So I tell her that's my fun money!

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