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Old 03-18-2014, 05:10 PM   #21
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$7500 a month, all-in. $1400 is mortgage. San Francisco Bay Area.
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Old 03-18-2014, 05:18 PM   #22
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I forgot to mention in my bit, above... we have a pre-teen and teenager - they eat a LOT.
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Old 03-18-2014, 05:53 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aja8888 View Post
I've noticed that some folks here (like you Tom) seem to manage on a very low budget. I did that during divorce #2 (California style) which felt to me like I had enough income and possessions to live in a stolen shopping cart.

I wonder how many single ladies here are living on such low budgets or is it just the men here?
My guess would be men only. Once a man has found a non-wife, non-cohabiting exclusive dating partner, he is in phat city. I have never heard of a middle aged hetero man who spends a lot of money on home remodeling, or housewares, or clothes, or beauty and hair care, or yoga, or Pilates, or magazines or much else either. I think it is men with wives who are more likely to own big boats, big houses, etc. Maybe needed to give space away from DW. Spending time with an attractive woman who has likely spent money on all the above things, is like taking a walk in a very well cared for public park or garden with no admission charges and no work requirement. If the man has any sense, he realizes that this is on of life's sweet spots, and cares for it. This means truly listening to her, not ever interrupting her, giving no long winded explanations of anything (she knows a whole lot already),and giving no thought to controlling any aspect of her behavior. She can find a guy anywhere, but these traits are not commonly found, so she will value them.

Then, we can be real sports and buy nice meals, music, dancing or whatever. It is not that much money, not that often, it's controllable, and the lady is pleased.

I do know more than one single man who helps out his honey with occasional cash when things are tight for her. I would too
if she needed it, but many of them don't.

Ha
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Old 03-18-2014, 06:00 PM   #24
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My guess would be men only. Once a man has found a non-wife, non-cohabiting exclusive dating partner, he is in phat city. I have never heard of a middle aged hetero man who spends a lot of money on home remodeling, or housewares, or clothes, or beauty and hair care, or yoga, or Pilates, or magazines or much else either. I think it is men with wives who are more likely to own big boats, big houses, etc. Maybe needed to give space away from DW. Spending time with an attractive woman who has likely spent money on all the above things, is like taking a walk in a very well cared for public park or garden with no admission charges and no work requirement.

Then, we can be real sports and buy nice meals, music, dancing or whatever. It is not that much money, not that often, it's controllable, and the lady is pleased.

I do know more than one single man who helps out his honey with occasional cash when things are tight for her. I would too.

Ha
Good thoughts and logic, except I think the men that buy big boats and other costly toys are doing the deed to set the available budget at a used up level in order to fend off any attempt to redecorate the house after a lampshade upgrade has taken place.
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Old 03-18-2014, 06:05 PM   #25
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Spending time with an attractive woman who has likely spent money on all the above things, is like taking a walk in a very well cared for public park or garden with no admission charges and no work requirement.

Ha

HA, you certainly have a way with words!
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Old 03-18-2014, 06:46 PM   #26
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Very interesting responses. The trend thus far seems to be a paid off home and lots of money saved as well as a budget around 4-5k. I'm 1 for 3 as my budget is right at $3800...0-2 on the huge savings and paid off mortgage.

My military pension is $3000... All expenses are accounted for in the $3800 to include $500 in goof off money. I feel I need a little more cushion and therefore will work part time to earn maybe $1000-$1500 a month.
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:16 PM   #27
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Apparently, we are not ready for me to stop working yet.

We should spend no more than $4k/month, $3k ideally, because that is all we can afford. We spend more than that and we are having issues planning for after my retirement. If we cannot sort this out, I will just drink myself to death.
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:39 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post

...

EDITED to add category break-down of annual expenses, copied from previous thread "2013 Expenses":

Groceries$2,488.66Includes toiletries, detergent, etc.
Restaurants$2,665.23lunch every day plus some dinners
Gasoline$965.24I live in an inner suburb, and everything is close by.
Car$1,443.91insurance, maintenance, registration, safety inspection, driver's license renewal
House$4,904.48insurance (homeowners' and flood), property tax, lawn care (no other maintenance/upgrades)
Utilities$4,947.11Cable TV,internet, nat. gas, electricity, water, trash, sewage, cell, landline
Fitness$1,140.43gym fees, weight watchers
Clothes$527.37casual "retiree wear" and shoes
Miscellaneous$4,039.32Gifts, books, new 55" TV & stand, router, laptop, financial software, furniture, etc.
Video Games, apps$904.19also includes yet another two video game consoles
Medical$4,968.25dentist, implant & crown, optometrist, prescription sunglasses & eyeglasses, prescriptions
Health insurance$2,967.26federal retiree health insurance + 7 months of Medicare Part B
Total$31,961.45 plus income tax
.
W2R, thanks for the link. I missed it the first time. This thread and that one made me go back and review my spending estimates for retirement beginning early next year. I've probably estimated too much, but it provides me with a sense of security (if there is such a thing).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Major Tom View Post
Well, don't be too impressed, as I achieved it by being comfortable with a low material standard of living. Although I withdrew $15,600 from my portfolio last year, the income from interest and dividends in the taxable portion of my account was only ~$8,000, qualifying me for Medi-Cal (the CA version of Medicaid). Under the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, there are no resource (asset) limits for Medicaid - only an income requirement. My doctor and surgery co-pays are $0. Not only that, but I actually like my doctor and can get an appointment within a day or two if it's an issue for which I don't want to wait a few weeks.

When I was working and living in Los Angeles, expenses were higher but not a whole lot, as I rented a 1 bedroom apartment for ~$750 and lived close to work, using a bicycle for transport. Healthcare was on a group policy with my employer, so it came with very low out of pocket expenses.

It's easier to live this way when you're single.
I'm single, too. I plan to leave an expensive area of (LA) for a not quite as an expensive area (Palm Springs). Projected additions to current costs will be significantly increased utility bills. I've calculated projected healthcare under the ACA on the CoveredCa site, and my costs come out to around $5K/yr (with subsidy). Still, I think I'll investigate how to reduce my budget based on your post and others.
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Old 03-18-2014, 08:28 PM   #29
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I'm budgeting for $10k/quarter or $40k for the year. I prefer estimating by quarter since Q1 usually has some travel (ski weekends usually), Q2 is a historically low spend quarter, Q3 is higher summer/motorhome travel (and annual vehicle insurance payment) and eats up the savings from Q2, and Q4 is Christmas and possible travel. Estimating by quarter also allows for a bit of smoothing.
~$10k annually is for the mortgage which has a low rate, so no intention of paying off any time soon.
One adult, one 13 y.o., one dog, one cat, one 25 y.o. (pretty much self sufficient but I do like cooking for him) - and about 3-5 weeks until I'm done working for (I hope/expect) the remainder of 2014.
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Old 03-18-2014, 08:54 PM   #30
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$5,800/month for family of 5

$150 Insurance (Home/Auto/Life)
$158 Medical Insurance
$260 Property Tax
$1100 Mortgage
$355 Utilities
$3800 Household (all other spending; food/entertainment/clothes/Gas/etc)

We are typically ~$1000/month under budget and use that money for a nice family summer vacation and a nice Christmas holiday for the kids.
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Old 03-18-2014, 09:20 PM   #31
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Family of 4, 2 kids in elementary school.

500 Utility
500 Household
1400 Property Tax
400 Gas
300 Car Maintenance
130 Car Insurance & Reg
1200 Food
400 Dine out
450 Clothes
1350 Travel
950 Kids' Class
25 Books
200 Med Out of Pocket
320 Med Insurance
100 Gift
800 Other

9025 Total

And expecting 10% property tax increase again this year.
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Old 03-18-2014, 09:25 PM   #32
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No primary mortgage, single income, kids on their own: ~$2,300/mo.

This is the 'mandatory' part of our expenses. I like to distinguish between that and 'discretionary', mandatory being what it takes to wake up in a warm, lighted house, make a few meals, take a bath, watch over-the-air TV, basically, to exist comfortably. Discretionary would be travel, hobbies, the sort of thing you could do away with in a pinch. I feel that it's important to first cover mandatory, and discretionary is 'lagniappe', a Cajun phrase for 'something extra.'

For discussion, some of what we consider mandatory is dictated by where and how we live. One example: In the US, most communities are organized such that you need a car to do most errands. THAT can be a major part of your mandatory expenses, but could be altered by moving to a home where the things you need can be reached by walking or biking. Okay, or golf-cartting.

I firmly believe that FI is first about controlling your expenses, then rounding up income to meet them. And I came to that even before I found out about Mr. MoneyMoustache. And I'm not talking about dryer-sheet-counting frugality, just the simple realization regarding what you need to live, and doing what it takes to meed that need. My RE planning plots two lines: total monthly mandatory expenses (inflated by 3%/yr), and the total of all monthly income streams. I just work and plan to keep the income line well above the expense line.
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Old 03-19-2014, 07:05 AM   #33
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DW and I keep our money separate and it would be difficult for me to budget her $. My budget is around $4k per month to include all expenses except insurance, electric, her personal expenses and half of the groceries
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Old 03-19-2014, 07:09 AM   #34
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We don't budget either, but we spend around $8,000 a month. No mortgage or other loans, and that's for the two of us.

We could cut back if need be, but as long as the net worth is going up we are not too worried. And we hope firecalc is correct.
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Old 03-19-2014, 07:55 AM   #35
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Family of 4, 2 kids in elementary school.

500 Utility
500 Household
1400 Property Tax
400 Gas
300 Car Maintenance
130 Car Insurance & Reg
1200 Food
400 Dine out
450 Clothes
1350 Travel
950 Kids' Class
25 Books
200 Med Out of Pocket
320 Med Insurance
100 Gift
800 Other

9025 Total

And expecting 10% property tax increase again this year.
If this is for a month, it seems high (especially the property tax). If it's for a year you must be living in a small house in the country with the low utilities.
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:51 AM   #36
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$6k for 2, just retired, no debt. Includes set asides for travel, prop tax, fed tax etc.

Income includes my SS, 2 fixed pensions and withdrawal from portfolio.

OT- I use YNAB software because it allows me to expense everything down to last penny of income and keeps exp on track.
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:04 AM   #37
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Reading the thread, and thinking back to 1958, don't ever remember having a monthly budget. Because DW and I think alike, we never question what is being spent, though we mutually decide before taking on a big expense. After the decision is made, the only thing we look at, is the amount in the checking account... replenishing, like Bonnie and Clyde... taking more money from the bank.
so far, so good
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Old 03-19-2014, 10:34 AM   #38
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I live in the Intermountain West (Utah).
I am married, no kids or even plans for kids.
We have a mortgage.

Here is our average expenditures (over a 2 year period). I don't say budget because I don't really try to keep the numbers under a certain amount. I do track every penny though!

These averages include several large purchases:
1) Invisalign braces for the both of us $5k - 2012
2) a private destination wedding/honeymoon to Canada for us for $7k! - 2012
3) a new $10k deck we added - early 2012
4) $6k in landscaping - 2013
5) several trips here and there - 2012, 2013

Housing/Taxes/Ins.$1,3016 bd/3ba house, mountain views, a lot of house but great when we have guests visiting
Utils$382gas, electric, cable, internet, water, garbage, etc
Grocery store food$508includes some sundries if I don't parse out my receipts
Eating Out$290I feel like we don't eat out that much, but this is kind of significant! We have leftovers for lunch, maybe buy lunch 0-2 a month for each of us.
Alcohol$118Is that a lot?
Entertainment$275Vacations, flights, hotels, camping, park fees, concerts, etc
Medical$274No monthly premiums (HDHP)
Auto$448Gas, insurance, oil changes, repairs; both cars are paid for
Clothing$146Mostly clothes for me, I should taper off here soon, wanted to revamp my waredrobe
Misc$1,397All pet related stuff (10 year old dog), any new outdoor gear, house improvement, etc.
Retirement Savings $4,383Maxing two Roth, two 457b, two HSA, plus $1780 our work gives us
Leftover Savings$1,080This varies greatly per month, but our 2 year average after everything is saved/paid
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Old 03-19-2014, 11:28 AM   #39
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Ours is $2440/mo and that includes Fed and State taxes and Health Care insurance (HDHP via ACA w/ subsidy).

We are 2 adults with grown kids who are out of the house and independent. No home mortgage, no debt. Fairly low cost of living area (northeast Ohio). We think we are living quite well but to others we may look frugal. Our main splurge is DirecTV at $103/mo.

Vacations are not important to us so we don't budget for big expenses there. DHs Mom is 85 and lives in Denver so we make sure he or both of us travel to see her periodically.

DH's monthly pension is larger than the $2440 that it costs us to live every month, so that makes it all VERY SWEEET!
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Old 03-19-2014, 12:22 PM   #40
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We try to fit everything in $4000, family of 3.


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