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Old 01-08-2021, 10:18 AM   #201
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You're right that to "do it accurately" it would be too much work. For me, it's a conceptual thing. One of the things that's also too much work is to split mortgage payments (I have none now, but before). The interest portion is gone-gone, but the principle was just a transfer from an asset account to a liability account. On the "cash flow" it made a difference, but on the spending, the principle portion "didn't count". It's just a hobby, because there's no need to put such a fine point on it. My short stint as a financial analyst doomed me to think of these kinds of things

Here, I will agree with you that it makes sense to split a mortgage payment so that you do not count the principal portion as an expense. What one would do is to list the home mortgage as a liability, and show that the mortgage payment offsetting that liability. It is a significant amount of money, and is not the same as splitting a Costco receipt to keep track of alcohol consumption vs. food, for example. Maybe the latter would make sense for someone who drinks a lot more than me.

There should be a way to do the above with Quicken, and is worthwhile for people with a large mortgage payment. They probably also want to show the equity in their home as an asset.

As for me, I never think much about the value of my homes, and totally concentrate on growing my investable assets, which are a lot more liquid and larger. I also cannot trade, er, rebalance the value of my homes, so I don't pay much attention to them. But when I have to pay for maintenance, it comes out of my pockets, and I don't like it.
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Old 01-08-2021, 10:34 AM   #202
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This may or may not be helpful, but you are able to download EVERY THING YOU HAVE EVER BOUGHT at Amazon.
I finally got the download links. The first book in 1999: Something about "Tofu". Must have been a gift. But overwhelmingly tech books for the first decade, and not a high volume of purchases, compared to later years.
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Old 01-08-2021, 10:36 AM   #203
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... and not a high volume of purchases, compared to later years.
I looked again/downloaded my purchase history and wow...I was quite surprised to see how much $$$ has been sent to AMZN via my bank account. It was not an insignificant amount.
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Old 01-08-2021, 10:41 AM   #204
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... and is not the same as splitting a Costco receipt to keep track of alcohol consumption vs. food, for example. ...
Spinning into a different topic: Central to spending analysis, in my thinking, is the separation of discretionary spending. That's a good thing to know should TSHTF. For us, discretionary is primarily travel. One could argue there's other niceties that should go there...stuff that if we had to tighten the belt, would go un-purchased, but not a whole lot, and that could be handled with a percentage (i.e. if things got really bad, I'm sure we could spend 10% less on groceries).
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Old 01-08-2021, 10:55 AM   #205
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Spinning into a different topic: Central to spending analysis, in my thinking, is the separation of discretionary spending. That's a good thing to know should TSHTF. For us, discretionary is primarily travel. One could argue there's other niceties that should go there...stuff that if we had to tighten the belt, would go un-purchased, but not a whole lot, and that could be handled with a percentage (i.e. if things got really bad, I'm sure we could spend 10% less on groceries).
Definitely!

When I started to think seriously about ER, I did not know how I could evaluate my ability to do so. And being DIY'er all my life, I did not want to come to a financial advisor.

When I searched the Web for info, I ran across FIRECalc, and then this forum, and learned about the Trinity paper, etc... Observing other posters, I realized that I did not have a good handle on my expenses. Yes, we were always LBYM, but that means diddly squat in retirement when our means may be severely curtailed by a total lack of earned income.

After tracking our expenses for a couple of years, I saw that a lot of our expenses would go away, such as kids out of college, mortgages paid off, etc... Hello ER!

The habit of tracking expenses, after-the-fact and not budgeting, sticks with me. It does not take that long with Quicken autodownload anyway.

And by the way, besides travel, the expenses on my 2nd home are also discretionary spending. Gotta know where my money goes.

PS. Don't know about spending 10% less on grocery. We just had our driver license renewed (issued in 2007!). The clerk asked us our current weight to put it on the license, and commented that we both lost several pounds. Darn, we cannot eat any less.
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Old 01-27-2021, 09:17 AM   #206
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Table below details by category and some subcategories I thought may be of interest. Total expenses (less Federal taxes) was $35,620. Sales taxes were about $422 in total and captured within the spending categories. Groceries includes cleaning/laundry/paper products/hygene so food is overstated by quite a bit. Auto includes sinking fund for replacement of new vehicle ($1,800). Dining out is only solo dining (too lazy to cook) otherwise meals out is categorized as dating or socializing.
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