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less than $10K 49 31.21%
$10K to $12.5K 28 17.83%
$12.5K to $15K 19 12.10%
$15K to $17.5K 15 9.55%
$17.5K to $20K 6 3.82%
$20K to $25K 10 6.37%
$25K to $30K 4 2.55%
$30K + 26 16.56%
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Old 04-02-2017, 01:34 PM   #141
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That makes sense . I have a budget but with a lot of padding so those home maintenance things do not really bother me .
If one can handle these things, it seems silly to me to put them in a budget at all; if they genuinely aren't a problem, then I think there is no need to be saving up for them. I prefer to just pay them and be done with it.
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Believe me I know about crashes my stash took an almost 40% hit in the last one but the good news is having survived that I know I can handle another .
I am so glad you survived and that you feel you can handle another. I remember exactly what your reactions were during the last crash, and completely understand and sympathize with how upset you (and many of us) were, and for good reason. It was a hideous, awful, frightening time. But as you know, as long as we don't sell anything while the market is low, everything should work out eventually. And if we try to buy low we might even make some money from it.

That's where my idea of keeping my spending flexible comes in; if we can spend less and have plenty of discretionary money to invest when there is "blood in the streets" (as the saying goes), maybe we will make some extra $$$ by buying low.
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Old 04-02-2017, 01:36 PM   #142
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Don't stop ! I enjoy your culinary treats .
+1

I enjoy your exuberance when you find something expensive that you really love to eat and can now afford, Robbie.
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Old 04-02-2017, 01:59 PM   #143
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Speaking of spending money on food, I like to cook more than to eat. Maybe my palate is getting dull with age, and I do not see myself spending a lot of money at fancy restaurants that I do not appreciate the costs. I prefer to take the challenge of cooking a dish myself.

Now, about my palate not being good, I was recently humbled by my son. After a recent holiday meal, we were sitting outside, in my brother's courtyard sipping from different French XO bottles. I had found a bottle of French brandy (not labeled Cognac), but also of XO age and a lower price than a typical brand name XO. I thought it was pretty good. So, we decided to do some blind tests between different bottles.

Everybody agreed that the different XO bottles were far better than the VSOP grade. I could not tell which XO bottles I liked better, but my son could. And he said the least expensive bottle was the worse.

Dubious, I challenged him to another blind test. He could pick out my bargain find right away, saying that he could tell there was added caramel (to add a dark color and to make it taste less astringent). Son of a gun!

Now, my son was also the one who told me earlier of an American brandy that he found tasted pretty good, and he brought a bottle for me to try. There was no way that that inexpensive bottle could be as good as the lesser French brandy that cost more, but we did not have that bottle of American brandy there to compare.

So, I think that unless one's palate is very fine, he needs an A/B test to tell the difference. And in my case, I still could not tell the difference between a $150 bottle and one for $50 in a side-by-side comparison. I thought I used to be able to, but my palate is now dull. So, why should I spend the difference?
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Old 04-02-2017, 02:14 PM   #144
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Here is what I do not understand . Did you subtract the $7200 from your yearly budget or the $360 ? I just purchased a new AC system including all new duct work for $9000 so my budget took a $9000 hit immediately .
Ah the difference between cash basis accounting and accrual based accounting shows up. I suspect most folks use cash basis accounting, because it is simpler.Actually having just bought a car for cash, I did the totals for last with and without the car to provide comparisons from year to year.
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Old 04-02-2017, 02:19 PM   #145
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The last few years, I kept having large unexpected expenses. It would be easy to dismiss them as "non-recurrent" or try to amortize them, but I am too lazy. Besides, if they take turn recurring, then there's something very wrong with me or my lifestyle.

I'd rather book these expenses, than try to weasel out of it.
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Old 04-02-2017, 02:45 PM   #146
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The last few years, I kept having large unexpected expenses. It would be easy to dismiss them as "non-recurrent" or try to amortize them, but I am too lazy. Besides, if they take turn recurring, then there's something very wrong with me or my lifestyle.

I'd rather book these expenses, than try to weasel out of it.
Yeah, and then when you see that you have already spent some huge amount that year, LBYM mode just sort of automatically kicks in and stays in place until it compensates for the huge expense.

Unlike meieride and others, personally I know NOTHING about accounting, nada, zip, zero. Some label me as sort of a math whiz, though, and even better I know what kind of approach interfaces with my own psychology the best. So, I "wing it". I find debt to be especially repugnant, and when I have a big unusual expense like that I regard it as borrowing money from myself. The reason this works for me is that I even find THAT kind of debt to be distasteful enough that I will work quite surprisingly hard in my LBYM efforts to save enough money, that I can feel like I have paid it back to myself.


Yeah, too much Puritan heritage I guess.
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Old 04-02-2017, 02:56 PM   #147
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I'm glad I don't have a Puritan heritage. Just black sheep heritage, whatever that means, I try to sound like Prince Charles.
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Old 04-02-2017, 03:03 PM   #148
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We are getting away from high-income discussion, but I do not think there is anything wrong with accrual method. If you just spend a big chunk for a car, there's nothing wrong with saying that this new car will last you another 5 or 10 years, whatever period you choose, and amortize it that way.

My problem is that I would need to be thorough with this method. I would have to figure out the replacement cost for my roofs, exterior repainting, swimming pool replastering, tree removal, etc... and plan for them. It's too much work, and I am not good at itemizing all these things.

So, I just book expenses as they occur, and if over something like 5 years, find out that I spend way too much, then I need to take corrective action to make sure I am not going broke. Can't be complacent that way.

This year should see me spending less than the previous 5, but something just happens that may see me spend an unexpected $25K. Darn it! I am keeping my finger crossed. It would still be way less than FIRECalc and iorp say I can spend, but I do not like unplanned expenses like this.
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Old 04-02-2017, 04:58 PM   #149
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I am so glad you survived and that you feel you can handle another. I remember exactly what your reactions were during the last crash, and completely understand and sympathize with how upset you (and many of us) were, and for good reason. It was a hideous, awful, frightening time. But as you know, as long as we don't sell anything while the market is low, everything should work out eventually. And if we try to buy low we might even make some money from it.
I panicked during 2009 since I had recently retired and feared that I would have to return to work . I also remember that you got an inheritance at that point so you could buy low . Of course it is always sad to get an inheritance .
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Old 04-02-2017, 05:44 PM   #150
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I panicked during 2009 since I had recently retired and feared that I would have to return to work . I also remember that you got an inheritance at that point so you could buy low . Of course it is always sad to get an inheritance .
Are you feeling OK? I noticed on the ER Forum get together thread that you are having some health issues. I hope you are all right. I worry. If you don't feel well then take care, chicken soup, lots of rest and sleep, and I hope you feel better in the morning.
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I am sorry I can not make it . I had other plans but then ended up with a tiny health crisis that needs to be resolved .Have a great time !
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Old 04-03-2017, 07:17 AM   #151
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I think we all have our own ways of looking at things. As long as someone is spending less than they take in, it's LBYM to me.
Exactly!

I always look at things in terms of what I can afford, not what is the absolute cheapest option.

If something is important to me, I usually try to find a good quality/cost point.

Sometimes I splurge on the best, as long as I can afford it.

Nothing in a restaurant will break my budget. I'm retired, no longer saving for retirement. I order whatever I want. Ironically we rarely eat out unless traveling.

Somehow I still underspend my income.

I don't mind the show-offs, wealthy or frugal, as they make the forum so interesting!

I admit I get annoyed when someone points out that I could be paying less for something, which turns out is an apples to oranges comparison, and then points out how much extra I'm paying for a feature that is important to me. Yep, it's important to me and I can afford it. Of course there are times when it's a better deal even to me, and worth switching, so it's better to get the feedback.
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Old 04-03-2017, 07:31 AM   #152
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Well, there are restaurants that will not break my budget, but would make me cringe when receiving the bill. I am afraid to book any Michelin 3-star restaurant.

Just no-star restaurant for me in Europe, thank you.
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:11 AM   #153
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Well, there are restaurants that will not break my budget, but would make me cringe when receiving the bill. I am afraid to book any Michelin 3-star restaurant.

Just no-star restaurant for me in Europe, thank you.
Some of the worst culinary experiences I have had were at Michelin starred restaurants. The pretension is breathtaking. Give me a good old trattoria anytime. When we dine out, which we do a lot, the ambiance is actually more important than the food. For us it's entertainment. A chance to reconnect, perhaps with family or friends, or just ourselves. Now, obviously the food shouldnt be terrible and it seldom is.
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:18 AM   #154
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As for large lumpy expenses. We get a lot of these that are house related. Our budgets are cash basis but if I am planning for something big (new car, deck refinish, new roof, painting,etc) I will include in budget. Otherwise, I put a fair bit of slack in the budget which can cover most unexpected expenses. I had a big deck repair cost at one of our places that was 5 figures but managed to absorb it and still be under budget last year.
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:25 AM   #155
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Some of the worst culinary experiences I have had were at Michelin starred restaurants. The pretension is breathtaking. Give me a good old trattoria anytime...
Thanks for sharing the experience. Saves me the trouble for trying one out to see for myself.

Speaking of dining out, some French restaurants in the US have a more formal front dining section, plus a bistro-style section in the back. I always go to the back, as the price is lower. Same food out of the same kitchen. I do not want to pay for candle light and roses on the table, when we are not eating out for a special occasion.
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:31 AM   #156
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As for large lumpy expenses. We get a lot of these that are house related. Our budgets are cash basis but if I am planning for something big (new car, deck refinish, new roof, painting,etc) I will include in budget. Otherwise, I put a fair bit of slack in the budget which can cover most unexpected expenses. I had a big deck repair cost at one of our places that was 5 figures but managed to absorb it and still be under budget last year.
I have slacks for the same purpose. Still irks me that the slack keeps getting used every year. It is not a slack anymore then, for me, is it?
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:31 AM   #157
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Well, there are restaurants that will not break my budget, but would make me cringe when receiving the bill. I am afraid to book any Michelin 3-star restaurant.

Just no-star restaurant for me in Europe, thank you.
Yeah, I've seen some Michelin starred multi 100 dining options in Europe, but I haven't been particularly inspired to eat there after reading menus and reviews. There is a lot of competition for reservations for those Michelin stars, and I can't be bothered.

I'll make a reservation a day or two in advance to a nice place with great reviews, if necessary, but I ain't planning weeks ahead. We've eaten fantastic meals for 80-120 for two in France. Happy to pay it. Restaurants in Nice were fantastic.
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:35 AM   #158
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Thanks for sharing the experience. Saves me the trouble for trying one out to see for myself.

Speaking of dining out, some French restaurants in the US have a more formal front dining section, plus a bistro-style section in the back. I always go to the back, as the price is lower. Same food out of the same kitchen. I do not want to pay for candle light and roses on the table, when we are not eating out for a special occasion.
I think my absolute worst experience was in Salzburg last September. Some place out near the airport that had rotating star chefs (went back to my journal and saw it was a place called Ikarus). They each tried to outdo the others I guess. The waiters were as snobby as hell. I think they looked down their noses at these loud,uncouth Americans.
There were six of us and it was the last night of a bike trip. We were tired. Our reservation was at 7 and we didn't finish till 1130!! I think it was a 9 course tasting menu. Never saw such a collection of weird, obscure foods in my life. Some of them I had to force down. €750 a couple too!! Hated it.
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:38 AM   #159
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I have slacks for the same purpose. Still irks me that the slack keeps getting used every year. It is not a slack anymore then, for me, is it?
No it's not really slack, but by putting it in, it does make the budget more realistic. Stuff happens.
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:46 AM   #160
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I have slacks for the same purpose. Still irks me that the slack keeps getting used every year. It is not a slack anymore then, for me, is it?
I would regard it as being a normal level of spending, even though some years it isn't needed. Timing of discretionary purchases can help to fill in during those years when the slack isn't used.
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