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2020 Spending Summary and Analysis
Old 12-28-2020, 09:37 PM   #1
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2020 Spending Summary and Analysis

What, nobody's started a spending thread for 2020? OK, here goes. I'll copy some of the verbiage from last year's thread.

My guess is that many of us are adding up our spending for 2020 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 2019 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 72 years old, and live alone in a 1500 sf paid off house in an inner/urban suburb of New Orleans.

CategoryTotal for 2020Comments
Groceries $3,113.45 Includes toiletries, detergent, paper towels, etc.
Restaurants $3,299.50 lunch every day plus some dinners
Gasoline ...$307.39 Everything is close by.
Car $1,718.74 insurance, maintenance, registration, safety sticker
House $6,704.27 insurance (homeowners', wind-and-hail, and flood), property tax, mowing, maintenance, upgrades
Utilities $2,868.57 internet, natural gas, electricity, water, trash, sewage, cell (I don't have landline or cable TV)
Fitness ...$361.00 gym fees
Clothes .....$17.46 kitty-cat non-skid slippers
Miscellaneous $4,445.32 gifts, haircuts, Lazy Boy recliner, new laptop, etc
Video Gaming, apps, computer software ...$654.39 games, accessories, Switch Lite
Medical $5,706.37 insurance, Medicare, prescriptions, OTC meds
Dental ...$595.00 cleaning, x-rays, tooth extraction
TOTAL $29,791.46 plus a boatload of 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 2019: My 2019 numbers are available here. This year I thought I would spend less due to the pandemic. But no, I spent more than last year. I guess the scalpers got me? And then my new recliner cost ~$2,200, my new laptop cost ~$1,200, and my new Switch Lite video game console cost ~$195. OK, I guess it makes sense.

AM I HAPPY WITH HOW IT ALL WORKED OUT? Pooh. I don't like spending more than last year while thinking I was spending less. But oh well, I can afford it, and the market is up.

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). The point of the thread is to have fun.
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Old 12-28-2020, 09:49 PM   #2
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Although there are a couple days left in 2020, and we have to replace smoke detectors, we've thus far spent 85% of 2019's amount.....but we never traveled then either.

Our last travel year was the partial double trip, truncated by an unverified TIA, 2018, and this year is approximately 58.75% of that.
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Old 12-28-2020, 09:53 PM   #3
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I just added it up yesterday evening. I spent $19,487 in 2020. This is for a single person in a low-ish cost of living area. I do have a mortgage though. In fact I refinanced so I will now pay off the house in 9 years instead of 27 so the payments are noticably higher.
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Old 12-28-2020, 10:10 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 12-28-2020, 11:00 PM   #5
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Don't have a clue and don't want to find out either. Best left unknown and never spoken of.
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Old 12-28-2020, 11:09 PM   #6
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Spent around 67% of budget and around 85% of last years' spending all due to less entertainment and travel coz of Covid.
W2R - I would venture to say that ~29k spending is less than even the typical forum member, although as a single it might be closer.
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Old 12-28-2020, 11:22 PM   #7
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After my spending spiked in 2019, mainly due to taxes on huge cap gain distributions and selling off all the shares of my stock fund at a huge profit, my spending hit an all-time low for the 12 years of my ER, just under $20k (just like you, Aaronc879).

Selling off that stock fund at the end of 2019 and replacing it with an index fund which invests in generally similar stocks has lowered my expenses in 2 major ways: (1) I got back on the ACA premium subsidy train, and in a much larger way than I had been getting it before I went over the cliff the last few years, and (2) lowering my income tax bill by simply eliminating the old stock fund's big cap gain distributions. The $1,200 federal stimulus check, which I am questionably treating as an offset to spending (or an offset to income taxes) instead of non-taxable income, was the final blow, lowering my expenses below $20k.

It's nice to reduce my medial expenses down in 2020, as they had risen in the last few years to become my #1 expense. They are now my #2 expense, and not very close to the top one (housing).
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Old 12-28-2020, 11:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dtail View Post
Spent around 67% of budget and around 85% of last years' spending all due to less entertainment and travel coz of Covid.
W2R - I would venture to say that ~29k spending is less than even the typical forum member, although as a single it might be closer.
We also spent around 85% of what we spent in 2019, despite spending at will on household upgrades. The decrease is due to a big decrease on food and drink at restaurants and also decreased travel and gas.
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Old 12-29-2020, 05:56 AM   #9
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Total spending was up about 10% over '19. Travel was down of course, but we had several projects on the house. Guessing '21 will be near flat, with additional but fewer projects and travel back up. With the market up like it was we are blowing some more dough.
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Old 12-29-2020, 06:02 AM   #10
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It looks like just about 75% of prior year spending. We do enjoy our travel, and we did a lot of it in 2019. This year, not so much.
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Old 12-29-2020, 06:04 AM   #11
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Expenses for 2019 including new car and Africa trip $98K, 2020 expenses $45K. If I take travel out of the last 10 years expenses, on average we spend $51K.
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Old 12-29-2020, 06:40 AM   #12
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Total $501,264.25
Minus taxes/investing -$223,505.45
Minus boat -$50,000.00
Minus truck -$75,500.00
Minus mortgage payments -$45,355.00

Net spending $106,903.80

Less than 50% of net spending in 2019 - no travel, kids rep sports, lower income/income taxes
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Old 12-29-2020, 07:31 AM   #13
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Looks like I'll come in about 15% over 2019, but still under the budget number for the year. I helped someone in need and had some expenses to fix up a townhouse for sale, neither of which will happen again. If I take those out I'd be under 2019. I suppose I could've just taken out the townhouse expenses from the profit on the sale, but the profit improved my net worth and that will allow me to spend more in future years with my VPW method.
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Old 12-29-2020, 07:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronc879 View Post
I just added it up yesterday evening. I spent $19,487 in 2020. This is for a single person in a low-ish cost of living area. I do have a mortgage though. In fact I refinanced so I will now pay off the house in 9 years instead of 27 so the payments are noticably higher.
aaronc879 did you move out of the bay area?
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Old 12-29-2020, 07:36 AM   #15
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Fed and State income taxes were way more than our next highest spending category (Roth conversions), and will be for another 5+ years. Otherwise about the same, we compare to budget monthly so no year end surprises.
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Old 12-29-2020, 07:38 AM   #16
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Looks like we spent about 22K for everything including income taxes this year.
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Old 12-29-2020, 07:39 AM   #17
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Lumpy as usual. Last year we bought a car for cash and this year we’re in the midst of a kitchen renovation. Toss those anomalies and other year over year spending is similar. Our Vanguard CFP says we’re on track with the plan, so everybody’s happy.
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Old 12-29-2020, 07:45 AM   #18
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Spending in 2020 was 65% higher than 2019, but 63% of the increase was paying cash for a new car.
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Old 12-29-2020, 07:52 AM   #19
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I planned for $40,000 of living expenses, spent $37,560, but I have 3 days left. That $37,560 included an $8,100 HSA contribution.
I actually spent $72,800, the difference is kids rent and tuition.
Rent is now done and only two more tuition payments.
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Old 12-29-2020, 07:55 AM   #20
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Don't have a clue and don't want to find out either. Best left unknown and never spoken of.
Come on RobbieB let the cat out of the bag. We know you are no stranger to spending. LOL We cheap guys get a kick out of it.
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