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Old 12-30-2017, 01:31 PM   #61
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Taxes are always the largest single component of our annual expenses. Do you not consider taxes as part of your spending?
I split my income taxes into 2 parts. The first part are the taxes on my more predictable income sources, the monthly and quarterly dividends from my stock and bond funds, the ones which pay the bills. The second part are the taxes on my more erratic and less predictable income sources, the cap gain distributions from those same funds. Some years, they are zero, other years, they are big. But in theory, at least, I always have the means to pay them because they can come out of these "lumpy" distributions, even if I automatically reinvest them.
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Old 12-30-2017, 01:34 PM   #62
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My guess is that many of us are adding up our spending for 2017 right now and want to tell someone about it. How was your spending compared with last year? Are you happy with the amount you spent? This is a thread for saying as much as you WANT to say and feel comfortable sharing. If you do not feel comfortable even reading this type of thread, please stop now! There are lots of other threads to read.

The purpose of this thread is.... fun.

We have a wide range of income and spending on the board, so I'd suggest you don't compare yourself to others on the forum; no matter how much or how little you spent, there are others just like you. It's more productive to compare your spending to that of your 2016 self, or to your goals. Do you want to report it as all inclusive, or in categories? Either way, here's your thread so have at it.

These are my totals for every category except estimated income tax payments. I am 69 years old, and live alone in a 1500 sf house in an inner/urban suburb of New Orleans.

CategoryTotal for 2017Comments
Groceries$2,323.72Includes toiletries, detergent, etc.
Restaurants$3,394.62lunch every day plus some dinners
Gasoline$438.40I live in an inner suburb, and everything is close by.
Car$1,704.42insurance, maintenance, registration
House$7470.62insurance (homeowners', wind-and-hail, and flood), prop. tax, mowing
Utilities$2,848.34internet, nat. gas, electricity, water, trash, sewage, cell
Fitness$504.00gym fees
Clothes$496.42casual "retiree wear", underwear, shoes
Miscellaneous$2,762.29Gifts, iPad, etc
Video Games, apps$27.51 
Medical$14,975.32Lots of dental work including two implants, insurance, Medicare, etc
Total$36,945.66 plus income tax
(BTW, here's the forum explanation of how to set up a table like this one for those who might want to).

COMPARISON WITH 2016: This year I had to pay for a couple of dental implants and other dental work, but at least I did not have to buy a new HVAC like I had to buy in 2016. Overall, including medical but not income tax for both years, I spent about $2,000 less this year than I spent in 2016.

AM I HAPPY WITH HOW IT ALL WORKED OUT? Yes, this year I was really lucky because I didn't have a lot of unexpected big expenses, other than dental work. I am happy with what I spent, because I thought it would be more than it was. The excess that I set aside and didn't spend will be enough to pay for that new SUV I'm planning to buy, when the time is right.

AM I SOMEHOW TO BE REGARDED AS ADMIRABLE OR VIRTUOUS FOR SPENDING THIS MUCH OR THIS LITTLE? I don't think that I spent a lot more than, or a lot less than, the rest of our members. And if I did, I don't really give a hoot because that is not where I get my feelings of self worth (and I imagine the same is true for you, too).

OTHER COMMENTS:
1) I may have to merge my Video Games category in with the rest of my miscellaneous expenses sometime in the next few years. It is still my favorite hobby, but I'm happy with the games and consoles that I already have. Perhaps it's not really enough to merit a separate category.

2) I estimated my spending for December 30th and 31st. I'll come back and edit this post once I know what I spent.

3) Medical: In past years, I did not report medical because I have federal retiree medical insurance and I know others have staggering insurance costs. So I felt bad for them and didn't want to tell them how little I was spending. However, with my crummy teeth and other aging issues, my medical costs are going up every single year. By now, they are high enough that I decided to start reporting them.
I've seen several comments you made about treating yourself to a new SUV but your car numbers are really interesting..If you have reliable Uber/Lyft in your area and trade off lunchtimes trips with F it's possible you'd come out ahead head of the game with no car. I believe once you add on depreciation of a new SUV you'd definitely come out ahead with Uber/Lyft. I know you want to up your spending and the SUV is part of that plan, so money isn't really a factor. But other later 60's/70 in close readers might consider this a way to save money and get rid of the headache of driving and car ownership. In our case 14 miles from the nearest grocery store and 100 plus from our kids and GK's a car is mandatory. But others might not realize what a boon Uber/Lyft could be in either budget or stress relief.

Enjoy that new SUV...
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Old 12-30-2017, 02:15 PM   #63
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I just love this thread. Can't give totals as it isn't the end of the year yet. Will update next week when I get all the totals together.
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Old 12-30-2017, 03:09 PM   #64
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I've seen several comments you made about treating yourself to a new SUV but your car numbers are really interesting..If you have reliable Uber/Lyft in your area and trade off lunchtimes trips with F it's possible you'd come out ahead head of the game with no car. I believe once you add on depreciation of a new SUV you'd definitely come out ahead with Uber/Lyft. I know you want to up your spending and the SUV is part of that plan, so money isn't really a factor. But other later 60's/70 in close readers might consider this a way to save money and get rid of the headache of driving and car ownership. In our case 14 miles from the nearest grocery store and 100 plus from our kids and GK's a car is mandatory. But others might not realize what a boon Uber/Lyft could be in either budget or stress relief.

Enjoy that new SUV...
At some point, I do want to do that for safety reasons, because I don't want to be one of those older drivers who is a hazard on the road. I have already quit driving on the interstate and just do easier driving around our neighborhood. Uber could be a good alternative for me soon. Something like that is ultimately going to be the solution for me, but maybe a few more years down the road.
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Old 12-30-2017, 03:20 PM   #65
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still fighting my 93yo father who still insists on driving.
I live out of state so, it's hard to be there to intervene
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Old 12-30-2017, 03:33 PM   #66
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2017 Ford F350 Platinum Ultimate, 6.7 PSD, Crew Cab, 4x4. Retrax Pro MX Tonneau cover, Rhino liner.

I do not have kids to write off, but I do have a truck. $113K (not $103K) worth of deductions, spread over several years, but I had to pay upfront.
When I test drove the 3500 they took her out of factory test mode and I hit the pedal. As the salesman grabbed for the oh-$hit bars in the back I asked, "What the hell do you tow with this?" To which he replied, "Anything you want sir. " lol.

Crew Cab 4x4 is the only way to go, those back seats are soo big these days! If you see the new white duramax with hood scoop denali rims, honk! I've only seen a cpl of the new platinums around town and only 1 3500 I think it was maroon, do they make that color?
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Old 12-30-2017, 04:05 PM   #67
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A wonderful year end thread and it is interesting to know that so many people here do pretty much the same type of annual expense tracking. We do what I call a looking backward budgeting process. We know our income and expenses and track them monthly on an excel spreadsheet. We've been retired for 12 years and have yet to run into any major financial issues, we have no debt, relatively house and vehicles and the next hurdle is going to be how to handle RMDs in a few years.
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Old 12-30-2017, 04:22 PM   #68
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A wonderful year end thread and it is interesting to know that so many people here do pretty much the same type of annual expense tracking. We do what I call a looking backward budgeting process. We know our income and expenses and track them monthly on an excel spreadsheet. We've been retired for 12 years and have yet to run into any major financial issues, we have no debt, relatively house and vehicles and the next hurdle is going to be how to handle RMDs in a few years.
We don't really budget; we spend what we want. I just like to track it all, so I do. At the beginning of the new year, I put in an expected number for each category in my spreadsheet. I usually come pretty close to actual at the end of the year.
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Old 12-30-2017, 04:40 PM   #69
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This year was an odd one. It was the end of the first period of credit card churning I tried, mixed in with an unexpected windfall, with a pinch of moving out of state. And there was a knee replacement surgery in there somewhere.

Take away the savings and investing, I think this year I've spent more than any other year. More than several years combined. While this year the expenses were easily managed, I really don't care to see it all add up to this much again.

Where'd It All Go?Break It Down
RENT$8,969.77
UTILITIES$439.01
INTERNET$179.33
GROCERIES$7,175.43
LIQUOR$771.31
CAT FOOD$513.51
PHONE$1,466.30
AUTO/RENTERS INSURANCE$955.76
CAR MAINTENANCE$775.47
GAS$957.79
SUNPASS$130.00
MED INSURANCE$2,803.48
MISC MED$2,039.63
CAT MEDICAL$1,287.33
FURNITURE$1,977.00
CLOTHES$913.60
OFFICE$419.84
HOME DEPOT$186.65
TARGET$979.70
INVESTMENTS/SAVINGS$22,419.44
AMAZON$1,835.73
MOVIES$99.69
BOARD GAMES$199.50
DIGITAL GAMES$359.69
EATING OUT$1,489.63
SUBSCRIPTION ENTERTAINMENT$144.82
FUN MONEY$3,162.5
MOVING TRUCK$1,042.93
CREDIT CARD PAYOFFS AT END OF 0% PROMOTIONS$17,714.51
TOTAL$81,409.35
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Old 12-30-2017, 06:38 PM   #70
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I'm pretty consistent. Taxes were up a little in 2017; other than that, the ups and downs of everyday living expenses were about a wash with 2016.

I expect 2018 will include more for longer-term items: bathrooms update, new HVAC, and a few other smaller projects. I budget for these over time, setting aside ~$10k cash each year as a reserve for these and larger HC OOP costs, for when needed.
Recurring type expenses 2017:

Income/Prop Taxes$44,000
Ins/Health Care$13,000
Core Living Expenses$23,000
Auto$ 1,000
Other Misc$ 5,000
  
Total$86,000
I only track a few categories...in particular, taxes, insurance and those that can vary significantly from year to year. The regular day to day expenses are in the Core Living category.

Other Misc this year included a new refrigerator (~$3,000).
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Old 12-30-2017, 06:39 PM   #71
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I have to say, I find this thread refreshing. I figured you were all millionaires, so it's nice to see some down to earth living expenses. ...
Most people either give $ amounts like W2R, or a % number like myself.

I cannot comment on the $ amount because each person has a different lifestyle and a specific set of circumstances. But I will say that if you withdraw less than my % number, then you are too frugal. If you withdraw more, then you belong in the "blow that dough" group.

There are people who withdraw so little. They are either 1) very very LBYM, or 2) they have pensions or SS.

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Originally Posted by frayne View Post
A wonderful year end thread and it is interesting to know that so many people here do pretty much the same type of annual expense tracking. We do what I call a looking backward budgeting process...
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Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
We don't really budget; we spend what we want. I just like to track it all, so I do. At the beginning of the new year, I put in an expected number for each category in my spreadsheet. I usually come pretty close to actual at the end of the year.
I never budget, but like to see how I fare with respect to that 4 or 3.5% WR guide.

What I was afraid of is the lifestyle creep. When I first tracked expenses about 7 years ago, it was a lot more than I would think. It was scary. But seeing what the money went for convinced me that many big items were non-recurrent and would go away. And indeed that seems to be the case.

It appears that I am sliding down the Bernicke slope, rather than creeping up the hedonic curve.
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Old 12-30-2017, 06:49 PM   #72
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I don't keep track either, I estimate a hundred grand.
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Old 12-30-2017, 09:51 PM   #73
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We spent $90k. That's up a bit from last year but still not bad for a family of 4.

The big categories are:

Groceries: $12,500. (remember, we have 2 teenage boys and eat at home mostly)

Insurance: $12,000 broken down as follows
- Health for me and the boys: $6,034
- Medicare B, D, and F+ for DH: $2400
- Auto 2 cars: $1430
- homeowners $830
- Rental policy (we have a granny flat): $500
- Umbrella $500

Medical coinsurance, dental, prescriptions: $10,800 (They decided I needed an endo and colonoscopy... nothing found but lots of $$$, and $4400 was money from last years high deductible as part of my son's surgery, but billed this year)

Education (ap exams, piano lessons, SAT fees, bus passes): $6350 (most was piano lessons)

Vacations/Travel (this includes meals and spending on the road, kennel charges, everything): $10,700

Utilities (water/sewer, gas/electric): $3550

Home improvement/repair: $5000 (some more new windows, new fridge)

Auto (gas, car downpayment and payments, registration, parking charges, washes, service - Less what I sold my old car for): $3800.

restaurants: $2300

Phones (2 new phones, plus service for 4 people, and a year of magic jack for our landline): $2300

Clothing: $700. (We're cheap and I've trained the kids to shop at Goodwill. LOL)

Entertainment (this includes cable, netflix, movies at the theater, tickets to concerts): $3500

The other categories are too small to list but the total was just under $90k.

Things that I expect to drop when the kids are launched:
- education
- groceries!!!!
- gas for car
- insurance

But those won't drop for a while... still have to get them through college.
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Old 12-30-2017, 10:30 PM   #74
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I use 8 categories, one person, a renter total for 2017 $39897
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Old 12-31-2017, 08:30 AM   #75
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Interesting to see the very wide range of spending. The real big spenders are smart enough not to post actual figures I suspect.
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Old 12-31-2017, 08:35 AM   #76
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Interesting to see the very wide range of spending. The real big spenders are smart enough not to post actual figures I suspect.

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Old 12-31-2017, 08:35 AM   #77
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Spending was up 15% in 2017 mainly due to additional travel and entertainment. 2018 spending is planned at the same level.
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Old 12-31-2017, 08:38 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by rodi View Post
We spent $90k. That's up a bit from last year but still not bad for a family of 4.

The big categories are:

Groceries: $12,500. (remember, we have 2 teenage boys and eat at home mostly)

Insurance: $12,000 broken down as follows
- Health for me and the boys: $6,034
- Medicare B, D, and F+ for DH: $2400
- Auto 2 cars: $1430
- homeowners $830
- Rental policy (we have a granny flat): $500
- Umbrella $500

Medical coinsurance, dental, prescriptions: $10,800 (They decided I needed an endo and colonoscopy... nothing found but lots of $$$, and $4400 was money from last years high deductible as part of my son's surgery, but billed this year)

Education (ap exams, piano lessons, SAT fees, bus passes): $6350 (most was piano lessons)

Vacations/Travel (this includes meals and spending on the road, kennel charges, everything): $10,700

Utilities (water/sewer, gas/electric): $3550

Home improvement/repair: $5000 (some more new windows, new fridge)

Auto (gas, car downpayment and payments, registration, parking charges, washes, service - Less what I sold my old car for): $3800.

restaurants: $2300

Phones (2 new phones, plus service for 4 people, and a year of magic jack for our landline): $2300

Clothing: $700. (We're cheap and I've trained the kids to shop at Goodwill. LOL)

Entertainment (this includes cable, netflix, movies at the theater, tickets to concerts): $3500

The other categories are too small to list but the total was just under $90k.

Things that I expect to drop when the kids are launched:
- education
- groceries!!!!
- gas for car
- insurance

But those won't drop for a while... still have to get them through college.
I'm stunned by your DH Medicare costs, was that for the whole 12 months?
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Old 12-31-2017, 08:46 AM   #79
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I'm stunned by your DH Medicare costs, was that for the whole 12 months?
Did you notice the F+ (high deductible) Medicare supplement? That plan costs substantially less than the standard Plan F, but only makes sense if you are in good health.
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Old 12-31-2017, 08:50 AM   #80
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Did you notice the F+ (high deductible) Medicare supplement? That plan costs substantially less than the standard Plan F, but only makes sense if you are in good health.
Yes I did but Part B alone is around 144 a month this year..just wondering if it was a full 12...
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