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Old 02-17-2021, 11:30 AM   #281
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Just reviewed our lock down year & found that our (2 peeps) actual spending is $43k from the last 12 months. We were on the road for 4 weeks in 5 different trips plus a couple of weekends. This has given us a good baseline of our low comfort zone...
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Old 02-17-2021, 12:33 PM   #282
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJpop View Post
These threads always are nuts.
People do what is important to them. To some, setting a record for cheap living is what makes them happy and fulfilled. I do not find it admirable because anyone obsessed with it can do it. For those who do it out of necessity that is totally different.
I donít know if being obsessed with not spending is much better than the opposite.
Whatever makes one happy.
Some people take it too far and thrive on depriving themselves but there is a middle ground. What if you only earn $40k but can live like someone earning $80k due to smart choices?

You can extrapolate it further. What if you earn $100k but can live like someone earning $200k?

There are dozens/hundreds of decisions and choices one can make to get the best value for their money. I don't want to not spend...I want to get the most for my money.
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Old 02-23-2021, 08:32 AM   #283
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Originally Posted by Music Lover View Post
Some people take it too far and thrive on depriving themselves but there is a middle ground. What if you only earn $40k but can live like someone earning $80k due to smart choices?

You can extrapolate it further. What if you earn $100k but can live like someone earning $200k?

There are dozens/hundreds of decisions and choices one can make to get the best value for their money. I don't want to not spend...I want to get the most for my money.

Great point! Living close to the water or flyover country can be huge, a simple top freezer refrigerator or the one with french doors with a built-in tv, Camry or Lexus.
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Old 02-23-2021, 10:33 AM   #284
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Originally Posted by anothercog View Post
I'm somewhat amazed on what people say they live on. I saw one guy said his annual budget is $15k!? How is that even possible in America.

Even after I pay off my mortgage, my property taxes, HOA, insurance and light maintenance will still run $20k/year. I'm sure my expenses will drop considerably once my kids are grown and hopefully financially independent but I can't see how DW and I can get any lower than 80k/year including health care costs and that is with cutting travel to the bone.

I'm not interested in a retirement where we have to live with roommates and live off ramen. I already did that in college.

For those couples living on less than $60k/year, how do you do it? What does your budget look like?
Here is my $60K budget....no roommates or ramen here.

HOUSEHOLDMONTHLYANNUALLY
RENT/MORTGAGE$1,825$21,900
INSURANCE (RENT/HOMEOWNERS)$32$384
HOME SUPPLIES$100$1,200
INTERNET$45$540
MOBILE PHONE$75$900
UTILITIES$140$1,680
TOTAL HOUSEHOLD$2,217$26,604
--  
FOODMONTHLYANNUALLY
GROCERIES$500$6,000
EATING OUT$300$3,600
COFFEE SHOP$45$540
ALCOHOL$45$540
TOTAL FOOD$890$10,680
--  
TRANSPORTATIONMONTHLYANNUALLY
CAR INSURANCE$130$1,560
GAS $170$2,040
MAINTENANCE$50$600
MISC (PARK/TOLL/TAX)$25$300
PUBLIC TRANSIT$5$60
TOTAL TRANSPORTATION$380$4,560
--  
PERSONAL CAREMONTHLYANNUALLY
HEALTH & FITNESS(INS/DOC/PHARM/EYE)$300$3,600
LIFE INSURANCE$33$396
HAIRCUT / SALON$25$300
SHOPPING (HOBBIES/ELEC/CLOTHING/TOILETRIES)$220$2,640
GIFTS $80$960
$0$0
TOTAL PERSONAL CARE$658$7,896
--  
ENTERTAINMENT & TRAVEL (VACATIONS)MONTHLYANNUALLY
AIRFARE$500$6,000
HOTEL / AIRBNB$125$1,500
RENTAL CAR$50$600
ENTERTAINMENT (MOVIES/MUSIC/MAG)$43$516
BOAT$0$0
NETFLIX/MOVIES$0$0
TOTAL ENT & TRAVEL$718$8,616
--  
SERVICESMONTHLYANNUALLY
FINANCIAL$60.0$720.0
LEGAL$0.0$0.0
TOTAL SERVICES$60.0$720.0
--  
TOTAL EXPENSES$4,923$59,076
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Old 02-23-2021, 10:44 AM   #285
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FatBob View Post
Here is my $60K budget....no roommates or ramen here.

HOUSEHOLD MONTHLY ANNUALLY
RENT/MORTGAGE $1,825 $21,900
INSURANCE (RENT/HOMEOWNERS) $32 $384
HOME SUPPLIES $100 $1,200
INTERNET $45 $540
MOBILE PHONE $75 $900
UTILITIES $140 $1,680
TOTAL HOUSEHOLD $2,217 $26,604
--
FOOD MONTHLY ANNUALLY
GROCERIES $500 $6,000
EATING OUT $300 $3,600
COFFEE SHOP $45 $540
ALCOHOL $45 $540
TOTAL FOOD $890 $10,680
--
TRANSPORTATION MONTHLY ANNUALLY
CAR INSURANCE $130 $1,560
GAS $170 $2,040
MAINTENANCE $50 $600
MISC (PARK/TOLL/TAX) $25 $300
PUBLIC TRANSIT $5 $60
TOTAL TRANSPORTATION $380 $4,560
--
PERSONAL CARE MONTHLY ANNUALLY
HEALTH & FITNESS(INS/DOC/PHARM/EYE) $300 $3,600
LIFE INSURANCE $33 $396
HAIRCUT / SALON $25 $300
SHOPPING (HOBBIES/ELEC/CLOTHING/TOILETRIES) $220 $2,640
GIFTS $80 $960
$0 $0
TOTAL PERSONAL CARE $658 $7,896
--
ENTERTAINMENT & TRAVEL (VACATIONS) MONTHLY ANNUALLY
AIRFARE $500 $6,000
HOTEL / AIRBNB $125 $1,500
RENTAL CAR $50 $600
ENTERTAINMENT (MOVIES/MUSIC/MAG) $43 $516
BOAT $0 $0
NETFLIX/MOVIES $0 $0
TOTAL ENT & TRAVEL $718 $8,616
--
SERVICES MONTHLY ANNUALLY
FINANCIAL $60.0 $720.0
LEGAL $0.0 $0.0
TOTAL SERVICES $60.0 $720.0
--
TOTAL EXPENSES $4,923 $59,076

This is great but what about taxes?
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Old 02-23-2021, 10:47 AM   #286
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FatBob View Post
Here is my $60K budget....no roommates or ramen here.

HOUSEHOLDMONTHLYANNUALLY
RENT/MORTGAGE$1,825$21,900
INSURANCE (RENT/HOMEOWNERS)$32$384
HOME SUPPLIES$100$1,200
INTERNET$45$540
MOBILE PHONE$75$900
UTILITIES$140$1,680
TOTAL HOUSEHOLD$2,217$26,604
--  
FOODMONTHLYANNUALLY
GROCERIES$500$6,000
EATING OUT$300$3,600
COFFEE SHOP$45$540
ALCOHOL$45$540
TOTAL FOOD$890$10,680
--  
TRANSPORTATIONMONTHLYANNUALLY
CAR INSURANCE$130$1,560
GAS $170$2,040
MAINTENANCE$50$600
MISC (PARK/TOLL/TAX)$25$300
PUBLIC TRANSIT$5$60
TOTAL TRANSPORTATION$380$4,560
--  
PERSONAL CAREMONTHLYANNUALLY
HEALTH & FITNESS(INS/DOC/PHARM/EYE)$300$3,600
LIFE INSURANCE$33$396
HAIRCUT / SALON$25$300
SHOPPING (HOBBIES/ELEC/CLOTHING/TOILETRIES)$220$2,640
GIFTS $80$960
$0$0
TOTAL PERSONAL CARE$658$7,896
--  
ENTERTAINMENT & TRAVEL (VACATIONS)MONTHLYANNUALLY
AIRFARE$500$6,000
HOTEL / AIRBNB$125$1,500
RENTAL CAR$50$600
ENTERTAINMENT (MOVIES/MUSIC/MAG)$43$516
BOAT$0$0
NETFLIX/MOVIES$0$0
TOTAL ENT & TRAVEL$718$8,616
--  
SERVICESMONTHLYANNUALLY
FINANCIAL$60.0$720.0
LEGAL$0.0$0.0
TOTAL SERVICES$60.0$720.0
--  
TOTAL EXPENSES$4,923$59,076

I'm in the United States now due to work requirements; however, we will move to our house (already paid off) in Portugal for retirement. The PT budget is only $40K annually for my wife and I. Again, no roommates or ramen....but rather a stones throw from the beach and fresh seafood for dinner regularly!

HOUSEHOLDMONTHLYANNUALLY
MORTGAGE/PROPERTY TAX$32$384
INSURANCE (RENT/HOMEOWNERS)$30$360
MAINTENANCE$100$1,200
HOME SUPPLIES$75$900
CABLE/INTERNET$50$600
CELL PHONE$50$600
UTILITIES$87$1,044
TOTAL HOUSEHOLD$424$5,088
--  
FOODMONTHLYANNUALLY
GROCERIES$400$4,800
EATING OUT$296$3,552
COFFEE SHOP$45$540
ALCOHOL$45$540
TOTAL FOOD$786$9,432
--  
TRANSPORTATIONMONTHLYANNUALLY
CAR INSURANCE$36$432
GAS $150$1,800
MAINTENANCE$50$600
PARKING/TOLLS/TICKETS$50$600
VEHICLE REGISTRATION/ROAD TAX$10$120
PUBLIC TRANSIT$0$0
FINANCIAL SERVICES (US and PT)$70$840
TOTAL TRANSPORTATION$366$4,392
--  
PERSONAL CAREMONTHLYANNUALLY
HEALTH INSURANCE$240$2,880
PHARMACY$25$300
CLOTHING$100$1,200
HAIRCUT / SALON$25$300
GYM MEMBERSHIPS$0$0
TOILETRIES$50$600
GIFTS $0$0
TOTAL PERSONAL CARE$440$5,280
--  
ENTERTAINMENT & TRAVEL (VACATIONS)MONTHLYANNUALLY
AIRFARE$650$7,800
HOTEL / AIRBNB$180$2,160
TAXI / UBER$50$600
THEATRE$34$408
MISC FAMILY ACTIVITY$200$2,400
SPOTIFY$0$0
NETFLIX/MOVIES$0$0
TOTAL ENT & TRAVEL$1,114$13,368
--  
INCOME TAXMONTHLYANNUALLY
US INCOME TAXES$250.0$3,000.0
PT INCOME TAXES$0.0$0.0
TOTAL Taxes$250.0$3,000.0
--  
TOTAL EXPENSES$3,380$40,560
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Old 02-23-2021, 10:57 AM   #287
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Originally Posted by SmallCityDave View Post
This is great but what about taxes?
I'm not retired yet, my income is well north of the $60K budget and I simply listed our current budget excluding income tax/FICA/medicare....there is no way around paying them, so I don't "budget" for it. In retirement my W2 income stops, FICA/Medicare taxes go to zero and my income tax goes down significantly as well. While it doesn't work for everyone, we plan to move to Portugal (see post above) and will fall under the Non-Habitual Residents (NHR) visa which allows us to live nearly tax-free for a 10-year period. I did include all the taxes we will have to pay in retirement in the Portugal Budget above. Notice that my property taxes on a beach house are only $384 annually. I don't think most Americans realize how expensive (insane) property taxes in the U.S. have become. It is a bit like a frog in a boiling pot...the GOV has turned up the heat slowly over a number of years and people didn't seem to notice.
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Old 02-23-2021, 02:11 PM   #288
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We were under 40K this year for sure, but no longer keep track. Both early retired with a highschool kid and not much going on due to covid. Too young to draw from retirement accounts, so using savings along with small pension (6000 per year), RMD from small inherited IRA (4200 this year) and small 72T (7000 per year) we were forced to take to qualify for a small mortgage in 2013. Total is 17,200 and the rest from savings was around 16-17k.

Mortgage - 0
Property tax - 8800
Ins. (home,auto & umbrella) - 2294
Int,cable&phone - 1165
Cell - 2760 (we let my 2 adult sons stay on)
utilities - 2064
groceries & eating out - 10,000
auto gas and maintenance - 900
Health ins, dental & vision - 0 (husband retired from verizon with it)
Prescriptions and copays - 800
Life ins. - 0 (husband retired with it and none for me)
Hair services - 0 ( I am a retired hairstylist)
shopping (clothes and such) - 2400
Entertainment - no budget, but normally anywhere from 2000 - 8000
(very little this year due to covid maybe around 1000)

Total is 32,183 here, but another 1500 or so was spent on my princess to keep her busy at home with covid. (new bicycle, video games, art supplies and such)

Our AGI for 2020 was 0, so no taxes. One of the perks of using savings.

Already planning a long awaited trip for summer and keeping our fingers crossed it all works out.

We don't deprive ourselves of anything, but we also feel no need show our financial situation off. Happy with a 1200 sf home in a nice Long Island town, 2017 Sonata sport and shopping at stores like Kohls.
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Old 02-23-2021, 03:52 PM   #289
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Originally Posted by Digger1000 View Post
Ohio. The first 24k of income is taxed at 0%. They changed it to that 2 years ago. I had moved here in 2017. I had no idea they were going to do that.

Yes I could spend more. But I would break out in hives. I am in the top 12% in net worth in America but I might be in the top 1% in least spending. 2 reasons I would like to keep my spending low is to be able to convert 15k a year to a Roth and I have a 84k longterm capital gains loss that allows me to have a 3k loss every year on Form D. I would like to stretch that 3k loss as many years as I can. A 3rd reason would be to make sure I keep my ACA $0 premium bronze plan. But you can make 25k a year(28k for me with the 3k loss) and keep the premium at $0. I'm well under that even with the 15k yearly Roth conversion. In Iowa where I lived most of my life my deduction would only be $1900. In Tennessee where I will eventually move the deductible is the same as Ohio.

I was totally in dotcom mutual funds and went from 276k down to 15k in the dotcom crash. 15 years later I retired at age 51 as I put that 15k along with all new additional money over the years in index funds. I thought I would have to work until 70 after the 07-09 crash.
Your phone service seems a little high, many on here pay a lot less if you go with a prepaid MVNO. I only pay $5 for mine, unlimited texts and 500MB of data and PAYG for call at a penny a minute. You may even quality for a free phone and call allowance from the state or government if you want to go that route. I think it's called Lifeline service and it's based on income, you get free phones and monthly call, text and date allowance.
https://www.entouchwireless.com/stat...-phone-service. I'm pretty sure you would quaiify.
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Old 02-24-2021, 11:50 PM   #290
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Originally Posted by SecondCor521 View Post
It's hard to do if you live near the coast. It's expensive to live in San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Washington DC, New York, Boston, Miami, etc.

It's much easier if you move to what is sometimes called "flyover country". I do, and although I'm single, my annual basic spend rate is about $28K per year.

My property taxes are about $1729 this year. HOA fee is $250 per year. Not sure what you mean by light maintenance, but if you mean house maintenance I've spent about $155 in the last six months on my 16 year old home.

Let me know which budget categories you are curious about and I'll tell you what I spend and how I manage to spend as little as I do.
What do you spend for phone and internet?
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Old 02-24-2021, 11:54 PM   #291
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Originally Posted by FatBob View Post
I'm not retired yet, my income is well north of the $60K budget and I simply listed our current budget excluding income tax/FICA/medicare....there is no way around paying them, so I don't "budget" for it. In retirement my W2 income stops, FICA/Medicare taxes go to zero and my income tax goes down significantly as well. While it doesn't work for everyone, we plan to move to Portugal (see post above) and will fall under the Non-Habitual Residents (NHR) visa which allows us to live nearly tax-free for a 10-year period. I did include all the taxes we will have to pay in retirement in the Portugal Budget above. Notice that my property taxes on a beach house are only $384 annually. I don't think most Americans realize how expensive (insane) property taxes in the U.S. have become. It is a bit like a frog in a boiling pot...the GOV has turned up the heat slowly over a number of years and people didn't seem to notice.
This is awesome. How is your Portuguese?
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Old 02-25-2021, 01:24 AM   #292
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Originally Posted by anothercog View Post
What do you spend for phone and internet?
In the last 12 months (2/26/20 through 2/25/21):

My cell phone usage was $386.44 using 4G LTE prepaid with Page Plus Cellular, which is a Verizon MVNO. I generally buy 2000 minutes at a time at a cost of $82.80. I've also spent $3.17 on SIM cards and $190.79 twice for a new Samsung Galaxy A11. The "twice" part was my fault - I left my first one in a rental car on vacation so had to buy a replacement. The first one was because Page Plus is shifting to 4G LTE. My previous phone was an Iphone 4.

Internet was $763.54 with Sparklight (formerly Cable One). I had a $55 a month plan but was going over on data, so I upped it to the $65 plan a few months ago because that's more efficient. I get 200MB download speed - which I just measured at 109MB but that's over WiFi - and 700GB of data monthly. I've owned my modem for several years now.
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Old 02-25-2021, 04:47 AM   #293
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My real estate tax is $15k a year.

DAMN.......Mine is $1700


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Old 02-25-2021, 07:16 AM   #294
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This is awesome. How is your Portuguese?
Neither my wife or I speak any Portuguese beyond basics (please, thank you, etc...). However, English gets you by just fine in Portugal because of the long relationship between Portugal and UK. The Brits have been going to Portugal on vacation for many, many years and as a result, most Portuguese speak fluent English.
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Old 02-25-2021, 09:30 AM   #295
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Finally ran my 2020 spending numbers. My total spending in 2020 was $13,205.94. I retired 4 years ago at age 51. Taxes are of course included in total spending after you retire. My taxes are $0.
Sounds about right here in the ATL burbs - if you own everything living is cheap, and we can easily live on $1k-1500 a month with taxes and maint. included. The ACA also makes health insurance close to free. Don't have to drive new cars, don't drive much.

Monthly costs -

Utilities incl. cable: $350 average
Property tax: $150
Home/auto/umbrella insurance: $200 (two cars)
Maint. allowance (house/cars): $150 - probably less than this over the 26 years we've lived in current house
Health insurance: $50 average incl. OOP costs
Dental: $50 for routine stuff
GA income tax ($0 fed): $50

So $1k fixed cost, add another $250 or so for food/gas etc. and it's about $15k/yr. on average here. Many months are less than $1k OOP.

This doesn't include the occasional vacation, but there's no real budget because it varies depending on mood and destination. The above figures are just to keep living in current place.
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