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Old 02-11-2011, 08:17 AM   #21
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1. Clothes - serious fashion shopping, not $25 jeans
2. Eating out, drinking out, etc
3. Home stuff ("the one who dies with the most stuff wins")
4. Cars - replace every 2 years, 3 cars in the garage
5. Travel
Anyone else have a model like this? Or a category to add?
I like your list and I agree, different folks have different priorities for how they burn through money. As others have noted gifts/charity would be a good #6.

I'd say for us 2 and 5 are the most important. We like throwing parties, visiting with friends, and generally value experiences over things.

I'll work like crazy to save $40 on some purchase, but then will drop that much easily on drinks tonight during happy hour.
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:30 AM   #22
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One slightly naughty feature of this list approach is that it provides a quick way to see how your friends are probably doing. If they are buying furniture every odd-numbered weekend in their new car, and away somewhere every even-numbered weekend eating at fancy restaurants in their new clothes, they probably don't spend much time looking at annuity rates.
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:46 AM   #23
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What happened to sex, drugs, and rock and roll?
This question seems to be asked a lot once you reach your 50's. Once you make it to your 60's the drugs question usually gets answered...
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:58 AM   #24
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I'll work like crazy to save $40 on some purchase, but then will drop that much easily on drinks tonight during happy hour.
Next time I am in Charleston, you're buying..............
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:03 AM   #25
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B

I enjoy giving stuff and money to people/orgs/causes

Thanks Khan... My own thinking of giving has changed since I ER'd. I use to think that simply paying my taxes was giving enough...Our percentage of giving has gone up in terms of time & dollars. Still have a way to go though...
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:16 AM   #26
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I'm not sure about "alcohol/tobacco/gambling". Alcohol is cheap if you drink it at home (unless you do it to the point where it affects your ability to work ) and if you drink it outside, that's covered. Tobacco is such an alien thing to me that I didn't think about it, but I know that for people who make below median incomes, 30 a day can be a big chunk of change (especially in Europe where $8 per pack of 20 is not uncommon). I'd probably include gambling under "hobbies".
You guys have it good in France! Alcohol is not so cheap here. If you drink two decent bottles of wine a week ($10-$20 per bottle with taxes!), which is certainly not excessive for 2 people, you could end up spending $1,000 to $2,000 a year on wine alone. That represents a sizable expense even for my above average $60K budget.
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:28 AM   #27
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When we first got married, my older brother, said, 'Go easy on the entertaining, it can eat up your income in a hurry'. You could put that in hobbies, or with eating out. We only have folks over once a month or so, but it can add up. It too, like most of the list can be cut back.
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:43 AM   #28
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not too big on #2, #4, #5 (when I would roll into the parking lot at the office in Palo Alto in my 8 year old honda folks would be saying WTH!!!!) but DW's #1 hobby in retirement (hers not mine... ) is still shopping, "it's not for me DH, it's for our home", but my dirty little secret is hobbies - I've got enough carbon/ti bikes in the garage to outfit an entire pro tour cycling team...yikes!
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:44 AM   #29
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Next time I am in Charleston, you're buying..............
I'll even spring for the diesel so we can drink aboard the boat lounging around in Charleston harbor!

Considering we took the boat out exactly ONCE in December, for the boat parade (glad you enjoyed that evening vicariously Harley), I'm ready for some warm boating/drinking weather ASAP!
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:44 AM   #30
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I have a simplified theory of where people spend their money. I reckon that, once you've put a roof over your head and paid for utilities, health insurance/deductibles if you're American, and orange juice to put in the fridge, there are five major categories of ways to burn the rest:

1. Clothes - serious fashion shopping, not $25 jeans
2. Eating out, drinking out, etc
3. Home stuff ("the one who dies with the most stuff wins")
4. Cars - replace every 2 years, 3 cars in the garage
5. Travel
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah in SC
I'd say for us 2 and 5 are the most important. We like throwing parties, visiting with friends, and generally value experiences over things.
For me, #2 is most important. Living in New Orleans, we do enjoy eating out frequently. I spend zero on alcohol and cigarettes.

Home stuff (#3) and average car expense over the life of the car (#4) are about equal and each is about half of what I spend eating out.

Travel (#5) and clothes (#1) are by far the smallest categories for me.
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:05 PM   #31
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Entertainment/hobbies and pets.


It is interesting that this probably reflects your own sense of priorities by carving out as separate categories two specific forms of entertainment -- dining out and travel -- while leaving in the dust all other forms of entertainment.

Item 5 really should be not travel (simply one form of entertainment) but something more like Entertainment/hobbies of which travel is simply one example. Or it should be 6 categories with one for entertainment/hobbies if one wants to, in effect, privilege travel as a separate category.

For example, for us technology would be our entertainment/hobby. This manifests in a lot of ways. For some people the occasional new computer (which costs a few hundred dollars) is part of the home category and technology related things is a small part of the budget.

DH and I like high end computers, enjoy playing World of Warcraft on the computer, and pay for a variety of things that is technology related.
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Old 02-11-2011, 02:48 PM   #32
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A lot of people spend money on high monthly expenses. That is, Cable TV with all the extras, NetFlix, Fancy cell phone service, (wasted) electricity, heating/cooling the house day and night, frequent housecleaner, etc.

Not saying those are all bad, but they can eat up a lot of dough.
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Old 02-11-2011, 02:59 PM   #33
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7. Personal development. Would include everything from yoga to ayurvedic medicine, taking interesting courses, seminars and classes, e.g. golf lessons!

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Old 02-12-2011, 10:49 AM   #34
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None of the above.

We spend a lot on original art and computer equipment (iPads, cameras). We also have hobbies (that we hope will be "work" when we RE) so we buy a lot of art supplies (including a printing press), and jewelry-making supplies.
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Old 02-12-2011, 11:07 AM   #35
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BigNick, I think that is a great list. I would add 6. Technology and 7. Hobbies/activities
Personally I spend little to nothing on 1 and 4, a little on 2, 3 & my #6 above, but then a ton on 5 & my #7 above
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Old 02-12-2011, 11:10 AM   #36
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For us, only #5 applies as our biggest expense,
but would add # 8: WINE.....!

Being we live in an area known for its reds, we go through quite a stock pile of it and more in the $25-$60 bottle price range....
Our wine budget is sort of scary in fact....
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Old 02-12-2011, 12:10 PM   #37
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Quote:
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1. Clothes - serious fashion shopping, not $25 jeans
2. Eating out, drinking out, etc
3. Home stuff ("the one who dies with the most stuff wins")
4. Cars - replace every 2 years, 3 cars in the garage
5. Travel
1. Clothes - always on sale, off season, very few expenditures
2. Eating out, drinking out, etc - special occasion only for eating out or using BOGO coupons or accumulating stamps for the nth free. Beverages at the Legion discount prices only.
3. Home stuff ("the one who dies with the most stuff wins") - none at all except for replacements.
4. Cars - I own 3 cars - 1 midlife crisis convertible (2005), 1 winter rat (1992), 1 Jeep (2002) for boat pulling and winter weather. I was going to sell the winter rat, but Mr B is keeping his older car's mileage at a standstill by using it.
5. Travel - as much as possible within reasonable cost.
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Old 02-13-2011, 07:17 AM   #38
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I think that hobbies will be the biggest expenses in retirement. My DH is a drag racer and we can spend a small fortune on that alone... pls the travel to races, eating out during that time, etc. But, he's pretty good at it and sometimes it pays for itself. Another category for me is pets.... yikes, do you know how much it costs to get a dogs teeth cleaned these days! Ouch!
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Old 02-13-2011, 08:01 AM   #39
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A lot of people spend money on high monthly expenses.
We spend $100/month for satellite TV and $72/month on land line telephone+internet. Seems high to me.
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Old 02-13-2011, 08:09 AM   #40
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I'm not yet retired but my major discretionary expenditure is definitely entertainment. I buy a pair of tickets annually to both the symphony and a theater group (single seat for the opera). I will invite various friends to accompany me when I have two tickets as my guest. I figured the arts can use the money and as my LH and I had two good seats every year, I did not want to give them up. I keep a membership to a couple of museums, the conservatory, the church where I grew up (but rarely attend), and a historical preservation society. I attend a lot of fundraisers for things like the YWCA, the Humane Society, a cultural trust, the Red Cross, the cancer society, which involve purchasing an expensive ticket (will sometimes buy two and take a guest).
Oh, and I am not immune to clothes shopping (particularly shoes!) but try to hit the sales. My friends joke that my two extra bedrooms are nothing more than giant walk-in closets for the spillover from my bedroom. I am trying to temper this.
I am saving money in one area. I like the occasional glass of dry red wine and have discovered some pretty good box wines. I previously turned up my nose at this but sampled some at a friend's holiday party and have since purchased two boxes.
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