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Old 09-25-2013, 03:32 PM   #1
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How do you handle discretionary spending in retirement? Right now, we're still w*rking, and both have separate accounts. We don't answer to one another for our Amazon Prime habits, or gun purchases, or just one more pair of shoes, or another purse, or a box of expensive cigars, more chrome for the motorcycle, tickets to concerts with the girls, etc....

Is there a line item in your budget for money to each of you to spend without answering to the other?

We're both pretty independent souls, and I fear this will be an issue in a few years when we both give notice. Now I just roll my eyes when he buys some of these manly things that I think are completely unnecessary.
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Old 09-25-2013, 03:39 PM   #2
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Is there a line item in your budget for money to each of you to spend without answering to the other?
Yep.
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Old 09-25-2013, 03:42 PM   #3
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We roughly can spend up to around $50 without the other one weighing in. Above that, it is usually a joint decision. One thing is that we work pretty hard to have mostly the same expensive hobbies. Little stuff is no big deal, but if I wanted to bring a horse home, it'd be a hard sell to justify the expense when I'd be the only one enjoying it.
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Old 09-25-2013, 03:43 PM   #4
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How do you handle discretionary spending in retirement? Right now, we're still w*rking, and both have separate accounts. We don't answer to one another for our Amazon Prime habits, or gun purchases, or just one more pair of shoes, or another purse, or a box of expensive cigars, more chrome for the motorcycle, tickets to concerts with the girls, etc.... Is there a line item in your budget for money to each of you to spend without answering to the other? We're both pretty independent souls, and I fear this will be an issue in a few years when we both give notice. Now I just roll my eyes when he buys some of these manly things that I think are completely unnecessary.
We do a monthly allowance and budget for the personal "wants".
The allowance amount is a fixed percentage of net worth, now at 0.75 %.
So if you want more, be worth more.
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Old 09-25-2013, 03:47 PM   #5
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Nope.
We each spend whatever we want for discretionary expenses. Something over $1K would most likely involve a little discussion, but since we're both pretty frugal in general, the occasional treat is perfectly reasonable.

DW bought me something really expensive one time (long ago) without any prior discussion, but I really, really love it and it seems perfectly appropriate.

Likewise, I bought her something really expensive this year when she formally retired, and she is extremely happy with it, so no problem there either.

Our FIRECalc runs always show that we can be spending a lot more than we do, so there is no issue here.
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Old 09-25-2013, 03:52 PM   #6
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We are both still working as well...

Generally, between $50 - $100, we just casually tell the other that we made a purchase.
Over $100 is usually mentioned / discussed before the purchase.

With Quicken, all purchases are accounted for, so there is no hiding anything from each other (other than small cash purchases. At Christmas, we just delay updating quicken for a while to keep the purchases a surprise).
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Old 09-25-2013, 04:07 PM   #7
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Usually ~$100 gets some discussion or at least mention. Occasionally one or the other will go over that but it's so rare, and there's usually a good reason, so it isn't an issue for us.

Although when she bought the chain saw that did cause me to raise an eyebrow.
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Old 09-25-2013, 04:11 PM   #8
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We have agreed upon amounts that we both feed the basic living expenses account, the rest we're on our own. She likes her job and I like my time.
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Old 09-25-2013, 04:13 PM   #9
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Great question and good idea to discuss now before you both retire. We each have an equal amount of "no questions asked" money a week. We started doing that when we got married 16 years ago and works fine for us. For other purchases we usually discuss anything over about $50.
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Old 09-25-2013, 05:06 PM   #10
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We've never had a firm amount. Our rule is simply "use your best judgement". That seems to have worked for the past 38 years......
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Old 09-25-2013, 06:38 PM   #11
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We've never had a firm amount. Our rule is simply "use your best judgement". That seems to have worked for the past 38 years......
That has been the way we work as well and it has never been a problem. We've always had joints accounts too since we agreed from the start that neither one of us liked separate accounts.
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Old 09-25-2013, 06:49 PM   #12
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We budget $1k annually each for personal discretionary spending.
This is in addition to some recurring budgeting categories, like for example haircuts or DW's gym.
Quicken keeps track of it, but it would not be a big deal if one of us went over.
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Old 09-25-2013, 06:54 PM   #13
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We live separately, just a mile or two apart, and although we are together every day we don't mix our money. So, I don't have to spend my money on his guns or radios, and he doesn't have to spend his money on my video gaming consoles or artwork. Neither of us has to ask permission to buy anything.

Works for us.

We do sometimes bounce the idea off the other, just to get another perspective on whether a purchase seems like a good idea.

Back in prehistoric times before my divorce, the agreement with my ex was that both had to verbally sign off on any purchase over $50. I much prefer the present arrangement.
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Old 09-25-2013, 06:55 PM   #14
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No. We have always had a joint account with equal access to all monies. We never have a disagreement over spending...unless it is trying to shortlist travel plans.
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Old 09-25-2013, 07:11 PM   #15
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Yep, we are not retired but every two weeks we each get an "allowance" for personal spending outside of the normal needs (a new purse for DW or a new beer extract kit to brew for me). If we go over our bi-weekly amount we then "owe the bank" and that money is deducted from the next allowance distribution. We actually make a game of it and it keeps us both focused on our long term goals.
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Old 09-25-2013, 07:25 PM   #16
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We roughly can spend up to around $50 without the other one weighing in. .
My wife and I have about the same limit. Above that, and we discuss the proposed purchase together before pulling the trigger. This has not been an issue for us.........we're both pretty frugal, and we share the same goals.
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Old 09-25-2013, 07:33 PM   #17
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We have always had joint accounts including in retirement with no firm limit on expenditures but I guess we always discuss anything over about $100.
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Old 09-25-2013, 07:47 PM   #18
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Back in prehistoric times before my divorce, the agreement with my ex was that both had to verbally sign off on any purchase over $50. I much prefer the present arrangement.
I can't imagine having to be accountable to someone else for such a small amount of money as $51. I guess that's why I truly enjoy being single!
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Old 09-25-2013, 07:48 PM   #19
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We're pretty much on the same page regarding spending. The joint checkbook is in the kitchen and either of us can access it but seldom do. Most of our discretionary spending is for joint travel which is planned in advance.
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Old 09-25-2013, 08:06 PM   #20
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We have always had joint accounts including in retirement with no firm limit on expenditures but I guess we always discuss anything over about $100.
+1 We're both pretty frugal so it has never been a problem. More contentious are her spending for home improvement stuff and occasional fixer upper piece of furniture but the contention is more clutter than money.
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