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Old 12-29-2020, 11:31 PM   #61
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3% more overall this year compared to last. Trying to spend more, not particularly being very successful.
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Old 12-30-2020, 04:43 AM   #62
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Made me look.

I had a large transition last year - coming out of semi-retirement and taking a job, moving overseas, selling my house, my car, etc....I now rent but that cost is covered by an allowance. Nevertheless, rent is a big chunk of change around here.

Both years' taxes are my largest expense; I spent almost 35% less this year than last, still taxes tends to be 25-35% of the amount. I tend to travel a lot - that has been shot to he!! around here. I did buy some nice pieces of furniture, but that didn't even make up the difference from last year. I also was in the hospital last year over here and after that ordeal, the bills kept coming as most of the lab work, specialist support/etc, in the hospital were out of network, so I paid out-of-pocket.

My second highest 'expense' was tax deferred and Roth max-outs. I also took advantage of my SEP IRA withholding amounts.

This year, the biggest check I will write is for the Roth conversion taxes owed. That will be repeated over the next few years....

Nevertheless, as I review this year and the last few, I am a very fortunate person financially. My mistakes both in investing and personally that affected my financial situation have been absorbed and I am still in a great position. My goal next year is to max out the Roth, tax defer to the matching only and then shovel more into the Roth again from the tax deferred. That will mean not maxing out tax-deferred so that cash in the checking account can cover the check at the end of the year to Uncle Sam.

My other goal is to pack 25 lbs of vacation and traveling fun into a 5 lb bag while I am still here - my list has definitely grown....and my friends are waiting as well to join me.
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Old 12-30-2020, 06:31 AM   #63
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Our 2020 spend is down 18%. Our transportation costs are down over 33%. that is expected since DW and I are largely WFH.

Travel spending was reallocated to go against the mortgage. We are in a cold climate and really miss one or two winter trips to sunny shores.

Surprised to see our food/grocery/restaurant spend is down only a little.

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Old 12-30-2020, 07:39 AM   #64
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Just curious, are property taxes included in your taxes bucket? And why do you take mortgage out? Id love to see more breakdown of the net spend bucket, mainly because I think our spend pattern is somewhat similar and curious what those kids are going to cost us in a few years!

I tend to ex out big one time expenditures, since theyre usually discretionary, but I think of the property tax and mortgage as key baseline spend items.
Property taxes are not included in taxes deductions, those were about 13,000 last year on three properties (now down to 2). I take the mortgage payments out just to see what our spending was without it as I can pay it off anytime and won't go into retirement with one. Thinking $150k net in retirement will be what I want and we are on track for that before I turn 55.
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Old 12-30-2020, 10:30 AM   #65
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Property taxes are not included in taxes deductions, those were about 13,000 last year on three properties (now down to 2). I take the mortgage payments out just to see what our spending was without it as I can pay it off anytime and won't go into retirement with one. Thinking $150k net in retirement will be what I want and we are on track for that before I turn 55.
Ah, that makes sense. At our current interest rate, I think were going to carry our mortgage forever!!

Thanks w2r for starting this thread. I love seeing the diversity of spend and the priorities people have on different areas of their lives. Its been a huge help for me over the years to see how much (or how little) others spend in areas and help me target places for reduction.

I usually do my annual analysis mid Jan when the kids are back in school, but it may have to wait a bit this year.
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Old 12-30-2020, 10:39 AM   #66
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We have no idea how our number breaks down. It is simply a tape from our current account. That is as far as we care to break it down.

The biggest components are property taxes, HOA, utilities, insurances. Things that we do not control or that we keep tabs on price. The rest....food and travel is discretionary. We spend what we want and it does not matter. When our fridge packed it in we bought another. No choice. Same with car and home repairs or dental.

What we do spend time on.....reviewing our taxes (and our investments), doing pro formas in November to see where we sit with regard to income tax, and understanding what we need to do to minimize our income tax burden.

Far better use of our time than keeping track of what we spend on cans of peas, rolls of toilet paper or what DW spends at the clothing store on a new whatever.
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Old 12-30-2020, 10:41 AM   #67
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I spent roughly $13,000 in 2020 with $2,500 in unexpected expenses for car repair and work done around the house. Less than 2019 by a little. I'm not deprived in anyway for anyone who might be wondering how I live on so little. I do live in a very low cost area compared to almost everyone I've seen or read about. My home and cars are paid for and I have no debt. My home is quite modest and taxes are low. But I go where I want, do what I want and spend what I want. I have more than enough.
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Old 12-30-2020, 11:17 AM   #68
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$241 spent on gas for my car this year - about half of what I spent in the past few years.
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Old 12-30-2020, 11:56 AM   #69
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I spent roughly $13,000 in 2020 with $2,500 in unexpected expenses for car repair and work done around the house. Less than 2019 by a little. I'm not deprived in anyway for anyone who might be wondering how I live on so little. I do live in a very low cost area compared to almost everyone I've seen or read about. My home and cars are paid for and I have no debt. My home is quite modest and taxes are low. But I go where I want, do what I want and spend what I want. I have more than enough.
Very impressive. Is that Danville IL?
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Old 12-30-2020, 01:15 PM   #70
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Very impressive. Is that Danville IL?
I was guessing Danville, KY. Dunno how many Danvilles there are.
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Old 12-30-2020, 01:19 PM   #71
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I was guessing Danville, KY. Dunno how many Danvilles there are.
Danville VA is bigger than both.
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Old 12-30-2020, 01:31 PM   #72
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Danville VA is bigger than both.
DW & I wandered around there a number of years back...they were converting old tobacco warehouses into (condo) apartments...quite pleasant.
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Old 12-31-2020, 03:36 AM   #73
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Our 2020 total spend will be about 81% of 2019... 2019 and 2018 were about the same.

2020 taxes are lower because I did 0% LTCG rather than Roth conversions this year. Recreation is lower with lower travel, dining and golf.

ATM withdrawals were also a lot lower.. the last ATM withdrawal that I did was in Feb 2020... we pay more with credit cards these days.
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Old 12-31-2020, 04:08 AM   #74
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I very rarely step into sector-specific investing, but this thread makes me want to invest in travel stocks. The drops in travel spending likely signals loads of pent up demand and thereby a willingness to pay.

Seems like there might be significant inflation in travel pricing when the pandemic end. People will have the desire and the money.
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Old 12-31-2020, 08:12 AM   #75
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^^^ Interesting thesis... I guess it demand will depend on when people will be psychologically comfortable getting on a ship with another 1-3 thousand strangers ...and there will at least initially be mobilization, recruiting and training costs as well.
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Old 12-31-2020, 08:20 AM   #76
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Base spend was around $110k. See below. This is our budget for retirement which should start 3/31/21.

Spent a lot on moving and new truck and camper. Total spend about $318k. Plus $497k for 2019 taxes. No travel.

Move 48,073
Camper 45,168
Truck 31,977
House 40,562
Ebikes 7,286
Ammo 1,486
Cats 2,392
Telescope 4,990
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File Type: png Screen Shot 2020-12-31 at 9.16.00 AM.png (44.0 KB, 269 views)
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Old 12-31-2020, 08:35 AM   #77
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Would have been about 25% less than average and 35% less than last year except it seems we had a "blow that dough" kind of year that sort of just happened.
$1500 new puppy
$583 new puppy training
$322 new puppy fencing
$428 new puppy veterinarian
$1647 new puppy food, crates etc.

$680 new laptop(not for the puppy)
$850 new mini split AC/heat pump
$4015 dentist (approx $3000 more than usual)
$15198 new to us (used ) Subaru Outback Limited with eyesight(couldn't resist only 48k miles on it)


subtotal $24,208 above and beyond "normal"
the car came with only 3 days left in the year. Maybe should have waited to after the new year.
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Old 12-31-2020, 08:37 AM   #78
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Total spending is about 20% below 2019 unless you add in the car I bought for cash- then it's 4% below 2019. Biggest decrease were in travel (no surprise there) and taxes. In 2019 I owed extra taxes beyond the estimates I'd paid and then had to make higher estimated payments. In 2020 I got a large refund and was making smaller estimated payments.

Some offsets in increased charitable giving and higher contributions to the grandchildren's 529 plans.
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Old 12-31-2020, 08:57 AM   #79
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We spent $88,000 plus in 2020 being split about 50:50 between basic living expenses and discretionary spending. Still, we spent about $15,000 less in 2020 than 2019. In 2019 we had the moving expenses and related home improvement costs for our new home in Florida.

We are fortunate that we have been retired nearly 7 years, moved twice, and have not yet needed to tap into any IRA or 401K investments. Retired life has been good so far.

2021 should be a bit less expensive. Only planned major expense is to air condition the garage. We are hoping to spend under $85,000 in 2021.

Category2020 SpendNotes
Groceries5,215.73includes food, toiletries, cleaning products
Gasoline606.35lower than normal due to Covid
Utilities & HOA Fees5,767.67includes elec. cable & internet
Yard Maintenance1,370.00Includes mowing, bush trimming, fertilizing, etc
Medical/Dental7,622.07includes prescriptions, Medicare monthly fees, etc.
Clothes1,769.23 
Miscellanous4,975.19mostly one time expenses that are un-catagorized
Insurance2,458.00house, cars, golf cart
Gifts3,052.27birthdays, Christmas, etc.
Property Tax6,252.13includes some bond interest fees
Car Repairs1,129.69 
Home Repairs3,064.90 
Total Basic Living Expenses43,483.23 
Travel & Entertainment8,597.80Incledes eating out, and vacations
Home Improvements19,752New flooring, new crown moldings, etc.
Bond Payoff16,564.77Future property tax bill will be lowered as result
Total Discretionary Expenses44,914.57 
Total 2020 Spending88,397.80 
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Old 12-31-2020, 10:10 AM   #80
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Quicken says I spent $16.6K less in 2020 than in 2019. I guess that it is the effect of Covid.

There are a few days left in the year, but I dare say it is highly unlikely I will manage to make up the difference in the remaining time.

Oops, make it $15.1K. I spoke too soon.

I discovered that I underpaid income taxes, hence had to remedy it quickly by making another small IRA withdrawal with a $1.5K withholding for taxes.

The difference in spending between 2019 and 2020 is mainly due to lack of travel. That's right, because there's no discernible difference in how we eat/drink/spend, other than a small increase in charity donation and gift.

Yep. We have been in a rut. Can't think of anything worthwhile to spend money on. Soon running out of space to mount more solar panels, so can't even spend more money on the DIY solar storage project. Bummer.

PS. It's beautiful to have the checking account and investment accounts with the same institution. The moment I hit the CR key, the money instantly got subtracted from one account and added to the other, minus the "friction loss" of course. Totally painless.
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