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Old 06-08-2010, 07:28 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by haha View Post
Just file it under posse. Entertainment, food, and liquid refeshment doncha know?

Be careful not to spend too much; you might find it hard to find the off switch.

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...not doing anything of true substance...
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Old 06-08-2010, 02:12 PM   #22
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I would guess our entertainment/food budget is about 15-20%. I don't really keep track. We have just started making a conscious effort to go out less, though, since we are about to buy a log cabin in the woods (talked about a little on the "second home" thread).

We generally go out 2 or 3 nights a week (Friday, Saturday and one other day). "Out" could just be the two of us dinner, or meeting up with friends or going to some event or other. And the amount varies by season - we spend more during hockey season because we go to a few games a month (Go Caps!)

I'm one of the weird ones here who doesn't really budget. I set savings goals, and as long as I am meeting those, I don't worry about the "how" of the rest of my spending. My retirement spreadsheet just has a line that says "living expenses" which is what is left over after Income - taxes - savings - mortgage expenses - health care costs (actual for the past 5 years, projected out to age 95).

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Old 06-08-2010, 02:37 PM   #23
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i just started keeping track of DW and my budget.

We spend about $275/month on groceries. Our "eating out & entertainment" is about $75/month. Which represents about 4% of my monthly gross income. We're trying to eat out less and have me cook more. $275/month may seem like a lot to some and cheap for others, while we avg about $1.50/meal/person. Which is a good number. And it's relaxing for DW and me. I do most of the cooking--whipping up our favorite dishes (vindaloo, green thai curry, tagine etc).

it's all about what you enjoy. i enjoy listening to this american life beg for money while chopping and cooking. and we're able to do it pretty cheap imo (we hardly eat any meat, and i'm 6'2" 235...). have you ever tried putting together a nice meal for date? may not be your thing, i don't know if i've ever met a woman who doesn't enjoy a good meal...
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Old 06-16-2010, 12:25 AM   #24
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We don't limit our entertainment/treat spending to a set percentage. But what we do do is a gut check: "is this something we really want that we are going enjoy?". It definately requires some honesty with ourselves, but it allows us to keep the enternaiment that enriches our lives in some way while cutting back on the stuff that does nothing for us. That works a lot better for us than just doing it strictly by the numbers.
We're pretty serious about saving - we put back around 50% of our net income, but at the same time we're very cautious about overdoing it. Our whole motivation for working towards ER is that this time we have on the Earth is precious and we want to get the most out of it we possibly can. I think there is a definately a danger that you become so motivated to save that you make the preparing years so miserable that you're essentially trading years now for years later.
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Old 06-16-2010, 12:32 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by ronocnikral View Post
i just started keeping track of DW and my budget.
Excellent idea! DWs can get into a bit of mischief if we don't keep track of them.

"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
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Old 06-17-2010, 11:45 AM   #26
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I can relate to the OP, as I'm also single and young (26). Because my other expenses are also very low, my "going out" expenses are 70% of my budget. Because of my saving rate of 80%, I couldn't care less about these expenses.

Not very lucky with the dates, though!
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Old 06-22-2010, 12:09 PM   #27
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We spend about 30% of our total budget on entertainment and travel (not including recreational property expenses). We are retired and can afford it. Certainly couldn't afford this level of spending when we were your age. I would say 15% sounds OK if you can afford it. Obviously once you "settle down" fun takes on a different complexion and generally means mortgage, kids, etc. Enjoy it while you can.
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Old 06-27-2010, 05:27 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by kumquat View Post
Going to bars and such.....................

Getting lucky.... priceless

In all seriousness, you sometimes have to spend a bit to find a mate. Do you want to retire at 35 alone? Whether a bar is the best place to find someone is another topic. I'll leave that for another thread.
Ha! I had never thought of that. Looking back I did spend a little more money on fun and entertainment back when I met my now DW. I consider myself very lucky (and priceless ) because once we got serious, she started asking good questions about the way I handled money and what I was trying to create. Soon enough she was on board.

When we made our FIRE plan, we wanted to make sure that we weren't cash strapped and living like peasants. I know this is subjective, but we just tried to be honest about our preferences. We were quite silly about it and planned for some massive percentage of our total target budget. Looking back over last years numbers it's about 25% for us. It may seem high but we consider all eating out to be entertainment since it's not a must for us.

I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead. - Mark Twain
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