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Old 04-08-2016, 09:33 AM   #101
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2015 Spending:

Groceries $8000

Wine and beer $3000

Eat out/Entertainment $10000

We also consider eating out as entertainment as we enjoy going out to eat for the experience and atmosphere as much as the food.
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Old 04-08-2016, 09:48 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by rodi View Post
I find how people catagorize interesting also.
My categories change over time depending on what I'm trying to learn or change or control about my budget.

When I was working full-time I'd take care to separate out items that would change once I stopped working. So "eating out" wasn't a single category. I had "work dining" and then "non-work dining."

When we started RVing full-time, I wanted to keep separate track of RV expenses for the same reason.

Since we dropped the motorhome and have gone international, I've added a country tag so I can keep track of how much I spend on all my various categories in every country we visit.

When we change our lifestyle again, I'll likely want to change my spending categories too to reflect whatever I'm trying to do at that time.
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Old 04-08-2016, 10:30 AM   #103
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Just the two of us. DW retired last year, I'm still working. We are at the high end for food, drink and dining out. For retirement our budget allows $1500.00 a month, I'm a challenge and she needs her wine to take the edge off. There's a lot of cushion in our food allowance. A typical week has us eating out 3/4 times a week. Once I retire, I'll be the cook and we'll be eating in more often.
I feel better now

We spend about $750 a month eating out for two of us, mostly spicy ethnic food. We go out 3-4 meal a week too.

We thought we'd cook more when retired, but it turns out to be too much w*rk. Eating out is our biggest form of entertainment and is a big part of our socializing too. No regrets, no plans to cut back.

On the other hand, we drink much less now in ER. We almost never drink out, due to the high cost relative to benefit. At home we drink cheap stuff.
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Old 04-08-2016, 10:33 AM   #104
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I'm grinning to myself as I read this thread, so I will make everyone feel good by giving you my horrible example. You may call me a hopeless case and laugh at my practice. It won't bother me a bit.

I have a category in my spending budget that includes:
  • Everything bought at supermarkets, Costco, etc.
  • All restaurant meals and other food bought outside the home
  • All cash withdrawals from ATMs (I usually pay with cash at restaurants and buy quite a lot of things with cash
  • All tickets to movies, concerts, plays, events, etc.

The category is "Cash/Entertainment/Food" and averages about 12-13% of total spending.

You folks who worry about tracking costs down to a gnat's eyelash are fascinating, but I just can't see myself ever bogging down to that level.

OK, you may now shake your heads and wonder how I managed to survive this long.
Actually, that is pretty close to what I do. I think because originally groceries were usually paid in cash. We include everything that is or was paid in cash as a "cash expense". This includes all ATM withdrawals obviously. We do track "entertainment" AKA eating out separately. These two expenses are not really very significant in total to our budget, maybe around 10% and very consistent.
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Old 04-08-2016, 10:38 AM   #105
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I just like analysis and being able to set goals or make changes and seeing the results. Personally, I'm paranoid with our retirement planning goals because going without a paycheck scares the heck out of me. So I really want to understand what we're spending on.
Ditto, that's why we started a budget upon ER. During the accumulation phase, we saved a minimum fixed amount, gave a fixed amount, then spent the rest without guilt or budget.

It's a different animal in ER, when spending down the 'stache. Have been ER only 1 year, so still have some financial jitters. Watching the budget helps us think we're doing what we can to fight sequence of return risk, risk of poor investment performance the first decade.
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Spending Habits: Food & Drink
Old 04-08-2016, 04:51 PM   #106
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Cooking is also entertaining and relaxing for me. But my husband likes live performance, premium seats. I don't mind the money he spends except sometime I discovered the tickets too late. I need to be more organized or get etickets.


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Old 04-08-2016, 04:52 PM   #107
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I cook more since we retired and we usually eat out 1x/week. since we both lost 40lbs I eat half my meal and bring the other half home. I love to eat out and could do it daily but I think my weight problem would return. But i know a couple that never cook and eat every meal out and they are thin. If I am eating out I tend to not make the healthier choices-ugh! On the MM forum I felt like a spendy pants with our monthly dine out budget but most you guys have us way beat. Although, we didn't eat out much when we were young either and they tend to be a younger crowd.
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Old 04-11-2016, 03:47 AM   #108
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We do not have a budget for food, entertainment,etc. We see no point in keeping track to this degree of detail. Besides, it is too much like work.

We have a monthly after tax budget. It takes about five minutes to calculate each month by reviewing our chequing account statement. We don't care about the monthly balancing very much since we often prepay certain travel expenses. We focus on the annual spend. Been on track for the past four years. This year we increased the spend budget by eight percent to adjust for inflation.
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Old 04-11-2016, 06:37 AM   #109
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Family of 4 1/2 (with three teenage boys - eldest in college 20 min away). We spend about $16K @ grocery stores/Costco which includes cash advances) and about $5K eating out. Very little of it is alcohol - maybe a 3 bottles of beer and a bottle of wine a month.


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Old 04-11-2016, 07:24 AM   #110
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Good news is that we can go three years without buying wine just by drawing down the cellar contents--in fact, we are starting to cut back now to avoid having too many bottles reach their peak drinkability when we are traveling.
Please allow me to assist you in the draw down of your cellar contents.
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Old 04-11-2016, 09:11 AM   #111
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Eating out has never been important to us, and we only do it 1x per week--usually Sunday lunch. And even then, it'll be something reasonable.

When working, we took our lunch most years. This alone was enough $ to fund a major vacation per year.

I have a close friend that grew up very poor, and he only ate what he caught/shot--wild game. In his adulthood, he spent massive amounts of $ eating out. When he lost his job 10 years prior to retirement, he continued that lifestyle and had to go into a 401K to live. When it was time to retire, Ole Fred had to keep on working. He ate up his retirement, literally.

Eating out is just not that important in the total scheme of life.
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Old 04-11-2016, 11:26 AM   #112
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Eating out is just not that important in the total scheme of life.
Sure, but you can say this about most things. Many people enjoy it and can afford it (unlike your friend). Better to qualify your statement by including " for me".
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Old 04-11-2016, 11:47 AM   #113
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For 2015
$2260 for grocery
$25 for eating out
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Old 04-11-2016, 12:02 PM   #114
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I enjoy eating out, but I frequent styles that I don't know (or do well) at home.

Sushi, Ramen, Pizza, Chinese and Dim-Sum

Here in Central California, good small family owned Mexican restaurants are excellent and so inexpensive that I haven't even learned that style although I could. It's almost like "why bother"
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Old 04-11-2016, 02:09 PM   #115
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Sure, but you can say this about most things. Many people enjoy it and can afford it (unlike your friend). Better to qualify your statement by including " for me".
+1.

You beat me to it.

It may not be for him but it is for me and a lot of others that I know.
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Old 04-11-2016, 10:10 PM   #116
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For 2015
$2260 for grocery
$25 for eating out

I did that when I was on the Dave Ramsey plan and got out of debt. I don't feel the need to be that frugal any more. Good for you though, if you can do it!


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Old 04-14-2016, 10:00 AM   #117
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I enjoy eating out, but I frequent styles that I don't know (or do well) at home.

Sushi, Ramen, Pizza, Chinese and Dim-Sum

Here in Central California, good small family owned Mexican restaurants are excellent and so inexpensive that I haven't even learned that style although I could. It's almost like "why bother"
Also Indian, Korean, Vietnamese.

Way too many ingredients and prep, and quite inexpensive to enjoy while out.

Also some Mediterranean styles that involve long prep of sauces. Anything that challenges the chef.
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Old 04-14-2016, 10:44 AM   #118
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Korean I learned to do well at home. After 30 years my town finally got a Korean Restaurant. Absence makes the belly grow fond.

So, Kalbi, Bulgogi and my fav sprouts Sukju Namul. And steam up some rice too.
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Old 04-14-2016, 02:30 PM   #119
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You folks who worry about tracking costs down to a gnat's eyelash are fascinating, but I just can't see myself ever bogging down to that level.
That is a major form of entertainment for me ..... DH not so much as I don't think he has looked at financial details in years - his eyes just kinda glaze over if I mention things like budget, investment returns, etc......

Good thing he just turns his paycheck over to me minus his "spending allowance" and lets me handle it all!
-------------

Anyway, back to subject of food. This week I had leftovers for lunch and salads for dinner all week. I bought some cheap eggs last weekend ($1.19/dozen on sale) and boiled them for protein on my salads. I still have eggs left so I think I will have to do up some tuna salad this weekend for at least one lunch. DH actually took sack lunch to work all week too....

Today we are "splurging" on Freddy's burgers for lunch since I have errands to run in that direction anyway.... I figure I can afford the calories since I did so good with the dinner salads all week. I am trying to drop a little more weight and can't do that very often though.....
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Old 04-14-2016, 08:13 PM   #120
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$0.00 for Wine. We rarely drink wine - we still have a lot of wine given to us as gifts. It's just on display. We use to drink a lot of wine living in Europe for 5 years, but wife and I find wine to be acidic for us, so we stopped. We don't drink any kind of Soda or soft drinks either.

Eat out - less than $100. Wife buys a lot of organic stuff (chicken, veggies,eggs) and grass-fed beef. Our grocery is around $500 - $550 a month. She's so conscious of eating organic food that we rarely eat out to feast on GMO beef and hormone-fed chicken LOL. I do crave crispy fried chicken at times and she can't stop me haha
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