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Old 01-04-2018, 12:53 PM   #221
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Originally Posted by Ronstar View Post
Its not that tough to keep track of cash if I do it daily. I've been at it for 4 days now and all $51 in cash that I spent is accounted for. Pizza and beer, McDonalds, Taco Bell and a $4 car wash. Maybe keeping track of cash better will kick start me eating better.
It helps me in that respect, too. I am one of the very few who actually likes fast food but I know it is not healthy for me. If my spreadsheet tells me that I got fast food too recently (like, in the past month) I am more inclined to make other choices. I got fast food a total of 10 times in 2017 (4 times in October. What happened? ). Anyway it could be worse.

Very good price on that car wash!
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Cash
Old 01-04-2018, 01:00 PM   #222
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Cash

We've been married 34 years and have each gotten $100 bucks each week in cash that we don't track. That's $353600 WOW and no raise in 34 years. Hmmm I know I've spent mine on travel, massages, ukuleles, gifts. I tend to hoard mine. He spends his on cigars...and what else, hmmmm?? We've made it 34 years, guess I better not ask.
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Old 01-04-2018, 01:07 PM   #223
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It helps me in that respect, too. I am one of the very few who actually likes fast food but I know it is not healthy for me. If my spreadsheet tells me that I got fast food too recently (like, in the past month) I am more inclined to make other choices. I got fast food a total of 10 times in 2017 (4 times in October. What happened? ). Anyway it could be worse.

Very good price on that car wash!
I'm going to create a separate fast food category for the sole purpose of trying to limit fast food consumption.

Yep - the $4 car is a manual car wash where you have to power wash it yourself. The automatic bays were backed up. Only 1 guy at the manual bays (1 bay was frozen and didn't work)
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Old 01-04-2018, 01:13 PM   #224
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I'm going to create a separate fast food category for the sole purpose of trying to limit fast food consumption.

Yep - the $4 car is a manual car wash where you have to power wash it yourself. The automatic bays were backed up. Only 1 guy at the manual bays (1 bay was frozen and didn't work)
Brrrr. I can't even imagine washing my car myself in the recent cold weather at one of those manual bays. OK, $4 sounds about right.

It helps me to write down the details of everything I buy, including the restaurant or store. Then at the end of each month I add up the categories. So, whether I have a fast food category or not, I can go back and figure it out or re-categorize it if I want. Also I can figure out how much I spent on average at each of our regular restaurants over the year, which is helpful. Another thing I like is going back to see what I ate at normal (healthier) restaurants; I have the incorrect perception that I eat the same things too much, but when I look at my records I seldom order anything less than two months after the previous time I ordered it. Well, except soup.

Thinking back on it, I think the reason I bought fast food 4 times in October was probably due to subconscious stress after Hurricane Nate (which didn't hit us after all, but the news media was whipping up great panic about it around here). So that tells me that when I am going through stressful times, I should be much more vigilant than usual about fast food creeping into my life.
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Old 01-04-2018, 01:20 PM   #225
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Originally Posted by sakowitzm View Post
2017 was a crazy expensive year for us - many items 2X or 3X normal - way over the top vacations, and more. We are 59 yo retired couple with two recent college grads living nearby, one with boyfriend. So we still have groceries and restaurants and entertainment often for four or five people, not just two. Despite what you see, we are not extravagant. We eat at home most days, I cook dinners - chicken, ground beef, etc. not high-end things. OTOH, we don't deny ourselves much; my wife has cancer and so to the extent she is able, we like to do nice things.

(sorry about the formatting)

HOME EXPENSES
Real Estate Tax 8,700
Electric 2,400
Gas 800
Water 1,200
Cell Phones 2,100
Cable - TV, Internet, Phone 2,800
HOA 500
Furnishings/Appliances 900
Lawn 2,700
Home Supplies, Repair, Maintenance 6,400
Other 600

DAILY LIVING
ATM 8,000
Groceries 11,400
Costco-Target-WalMart 3,100
Personal Supplies / CVS 1,000
Clothing 6,300
Restaurants 7,000
Dry Cleaning 200
Salon/Barber 800
Massage/Pedicure 200
Other 11,400

TRANSPORTATION
Fuel 1,400
Repairs/Maintenance 4,600
Registration/License 200
Personal Property Tax 300
Other (including local Uber and EZPass) 1,100

HEALTH
Travel 700
Doctor - not cancer 2,700
Doctor - cancer 4,300
Prescriptions 1,100
Dentist 700
Labwork 300
Exercise, Yoga, PT 900
Other 600

INSURANCE
Auto 1,300
Health 21,000
Homeowner's 1,800
Umbrella 600
Life 1,100
LTC 3,500

RELIGION/CHARITY/GIFTS
Dues 3,300
Charitable Donations 3,200
Other 200

ENTERTAINMENT
Netflix 100
Movies 800
Concerts 5,300
Theater 4,700
Books 1,300
iTunes 200
Other 500

PETS
Pets 2,500
Other 600

SUBSCRIPTIONS
Newspaper 1,100
Magazines 100

VACATION
Playa del Carmen 9,900
Cruise Spring Break 10,400
Pittsburgh 400
Coeur d'Alene 8,800
Other 6,700

MISCELLANEOUS
Postage 100

Total: 186,900


Additional, not included (one time expenses)
Funeral Prepaid: $10.800
Perpetual Care: $11,700
Cemetary Plots: $7,000
New car graduation gift: $27,500
Apple Mac laptop graduation gift: $2,300
Earrings: $8,300
MIL hearing aid: $3,550

Loved it! Looking forward to your 2018 spend analysis.
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Old 01-04-2018, 01:28 PM   #226
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Costs for two adults and 4 furry critters...

CategoryTotal for 2017Comments
Groceries$7438.00Includes toiletries, detergent, etc.
Restaurants$2512.00 
Transportation$2542.00Maintenance, gas, registration.
Insurance$2560.00Home, auto, umbrella.
House$3700.00Taxes and maintenance.
Utilities$4346.00Internet, nat. gas, electricity, water, trash, cell, alarm.
Clothes$120.00Retirement uniforms are still in good shape!
Travel$1210.00 
Cash$500.00Haircuts, etc.
Medical$1800.00Have Tricare, hence the low cost.
Pets$4783.00Majority was for older dog that is no longer with us.
Miscellaneous$4788.00New bed/mattress and other unclassified expenses.
Total$36299.00 plus income tax

We saved a good chuck of change on travel through the Chase Sapphire Reserve card....in the neighborhood of $2600.00
"Above and Beyond" expenses this year was a new bed and mattress ($3000) and gutter replacement on the house ($1500).
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Old 01-04-2018, 01:58 PM   #227
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Yeah ... money in 76,107.87 / out 77,413 / deficit 1304.55

Transfers 27,660 (35%)
Travel 15,478 (20%)
Credit card 8257 (11%)
Dining out Inc Starbucks 3606
Utilities 3456
Home maintenance 1257
+ gardener 1560
Insurance 2200
Groceries 2070
Misc 18,935 (18%)

Part of the transfers is 3092 property tax + 1800 estimated taxes .... rest is just sitting there. I'm chalking the 29% (credit card + misc) to life happens

edited: with this morning's 4.5 tremor, I just lowered my earthquake insurance deductible to 5% -- peace of mind only raises my monthly payment by $25
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Old 01-06-2018, 12:47 AM   #228
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I am truly amazed how quickly so many folks had this data available. Obviously I need to automate my approach!

Our spend in 2017 not including income taxes was as follows:
Home (mortgage, HELOC, prop taxes, HOA, insurance, housekeeper) - $56K (35%)
Travel, entertainment & wine/liquor (excluding dining out) - $40K
Food (at home & dining out) - $13K
Gifting (charity & gifts to each other & others) - $13K
Healthcare (insurance plus OOP) - $11K
Clothing - $6K
Utilities - $6K
Cars (insurance, maintenance, gas, but no depreciation) - $4K
Pet - $4K
Other (personal care, home office costs, uncategorized cash expenses) - $6K
TOTAL - $159K

The above excludes income taxes because we had to pay a huge and unusual amount in 2017 as a result of intentionally paying in the minimum we could to be in the safe harbor in 2016, and because we still don't have a good feel for what our "ongoing" tax exposure will be in retirement. In 2017 I had sizable W-2 payouts for which the withholding completely covered our 2017 tax liability.

I also excluded one large ($23K) one-time purchase as it's not reflective of our ongoing spend.

We spent about $13-$14K/month excluding taxes pre-ER, and are spending about the same now, but we are spending a lot more on travel and healthcare (no employer plans for us); however we have dramatically reduced our commuting/car costs. We also found that traveling so much reduced our expenses at home by a lot more than we anticipated.

I just finished a rough budget for 2018 and even with allowing for generous increases in several categories, anticipated spending is still in the $13K-$14K/month range. That seems to be a comfortable level for us. If we needed to cut back, about 45% of our 2017 spending excluding the big one-time purchase was discretionary. I wouldn't want to cut it all out, but it's good to know we could get by on much less if need be.

Unlike many on this board, I could easily ramp up our spending dramatically if I had a big windfall - a second and maybe even a third home, a boat, even more travel, and upgraded air travel would all be ways I could envision spending if we had the funds. Being such new retirees and still in our 50's, even though the market was very good to us in 2017, we aren't ramping up spending anytime soon. If our net worth continues to increase for the next 5-10 years despite living mostly from our portfolio, we'll have to reevaluate. We don't have a goal of leaving a large legacy.
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Old 01-06-2018, 02:37 PM   #229
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2017 expenses for three adults: $56,843 not including window replacements of the entire house for $32K.
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Old 01-06-2018, 04:56 PM   #230
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Already fessed up that my spend rate was >5.5%, new car was a big part of that.



Was was interesting to see how the spending was tied to specific things, like a girlfriend. I dropped $1,000 to refresh my wardrobe after several years of getting by with fishing shirts and nylon shorts. She was right to push me on that. Should be good for another 5 years, especially since.....



That GF is no longer in the picture. Had a great time with the $5K+ I spent with her. A few local trips, and lots of days at beach bars, dinner and cocktails. Great memories and no regrets.



Taking a break to regroup, so that category won't be nearly as high in 2018.


I love using spent rate on assets. I have a 0% spend rate. Not homeless or super rich tightwad...Just a pensioner.
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Old 01-06-2018, 05:21 PM   #231
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I had a spreadsheet. Stopped after a year. We are within budget but healthcare went up $300/month. I am aware of what we spend versus budget but I'm not going to beat it to death with what I spent in comparison to my figures. Had a son get married and he's buying a house. Once in a lifetime spend.

It causes me less anxiety if I do not track it. I would know if we went overboard. Plus investments up 5x over what I spent.
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Old 01-06-2018, 05:39 PM   #232
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I love using spent rate on assets. I have a 0% spend rate. Not homeless or super rich tightwad...Just a pensioner.
Did you forget to mention the gambling habit results?
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Old 01-06-2018, 06:03 PM   #233
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Mid-50’s single male. Some random tidbits from my 2017 QuickBooks P&L report:

• $4,300 for food (eat out once per week on average; whole-foods plant-based diet; not much organic; lots of fruits, veggies, nuts, grains, etc.; no alcohol, no soda)
Well, now I don't feel so bad. I spent that much on groceries as well- it includes toiletries and cleaning products but excludes alcohol. I rarely eat out and, although I do buy meat and fish, it's a small part of my diet. Most of my groceries are from Costco.
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Old 01-06-2018, 07:16 PM   #234
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SpendCategory
$8322Dining Out, Theatre, Concerts, Internet, TV
$7747Boating
$7518Groceries, Wine/Liquor
$4771Home - Insur, TruGreen, Prop Tax, HOA
$4490Util - Elec, Gas, Trash, Water, Sewer, Phone
$4070Allowance ($40/week each)
$3750Driveway Repl
$3576 Vacation
$2837Auto - Gas, Insur, Maint, Licensing
$2758DH Personal, Golf ($1816)
$2483Medical Out of Pocket
$1826DW Personal
$1629Gifts
$455Misc
$56,232Total
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Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
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Old 01-06-2018, 08:20 PM   #235
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Utilities/Prop Tax/Insurance $15,200 (Includes pre-paid 2018 property tax)
Home Maint & Repairs 25,000 (Includes house cleaning & lawn service)
Household items 3500 (Appliances, electronics, etc.)
Groceries & Misc. 4600
Car Insurance/Gas/Maint 4200
Medical & Health Insurance 5200
Personal Care 1300
Clothing 1900
Pet 1200
Entertainment 1400
Travel 3200
Gifts & Donations 3500
Total $71,460

2017 expenses were $10-15K more than previous years primarily due to unexpected home repairs (e.g., major water line leak) but also due to planned repairs as I prepare my home for sale. And in preparing financially for retirement the last five years, I've only replaced household items that were essential and broken. Now I'm finding that everything seems to be breaking all at once.

My goal is to downsize to a smaller house by 2019 and to apply any utility and home maintenance cost savings to travel and entertainment. 2018, my first year of full retirement, will be expensive as I replace my old car and continue home repairs but I've saved up extra money to pay for it.
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Old 01-06-2018, 08:52 PM   #236
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Did you forget to mention the gambling habit results?


Yes, Aja, and it is still 0%... Im not that crazy with the betting, lol.. Though if Cardinals hadnt have beat Seattle up in Seattle week 17 to cover my win season total bet I might have had to pull a few bucks out of the investment account to replenish the betting kitty, lol.... Thank God that Seattles FG kicker is a choker!
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Old 01-07-2018, 08:20 AM   #237
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One 48 year old, two teenagers attending private school (listed on the report under "College"), child support (most of the "Kids" category), one house ("House"), one 25-year-old car ("Auto"), and one cat ("Pets").

"Bank Charge" is mostly due to the $450 fee for the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which I have more than made up for through three $300 travel credits, $100 for Global Entry, Priority Pass Lounge access for me and my kids on at least three trips, and 100,000 points (redeemable for $1,000 in cash or $1,500 in travel). This is the well known deal that many people took advantage of. There are some offsetting credits in here that make the total less than $450.

"Cash" is for miscellaneous cash adjustments when I reconcile cash on hand with cash in Quicken.

"Food" includes eating out and groceries, which includes everything bought at the grocery store. I have hungry teenagers and we eat more prepared foods than we should.

"Misc" was eclipse glasses (totality for just over two minutes! ) and some untracked spending in November. The actual total was $91.33; I had some miscategorized stuff in here that I fixed after running the attached report.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 2017.jpg (123.4 KB, 57 views)
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Old 01-07-2018, 11:21 AM   #238
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One 48 year old, two teenagers attending private school (listed on the report under "College"), child support (most of the "Kids" category),
Expenses for Kids and College $48K, 65% of total expenses - Ouch! Just shows how much 5 minutes of indiscretion can cost
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Old 01-07-2018, 03:30 PM   #239
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Expenses for Kids and College $48K, 65% of total expenses - Ouch! Just shows how much 5 minutes of indiscretion can cost

I got a chuckle out of thanks....
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Old 01-07-2018, 03:57 PM   #240
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Expenses for Kids and College $48K, 65% of total expenses - Ouch! Just shows how much 5 minutes of indiscretion can cost
Yeah, I know. They're worth it though. (I mean, it was an expensive five minutes, but I amortize the cost over the subsequent 16 and 18 years thus far.)

Plus, I'm still in the naive stage where I am imagining the schooling costs ending at some point in the not-to-distant future.

Plus, I lead a boringly simple but satisfying life on the rest of what I spend.

Plus, I really should spend more; my WR last year was too low.
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