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Old 02-24-2021, 10:50 AM   #21
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Those of you that are spending less, do you feel less content?

Those of you spending on different things, will this be a permanent change?

We have spent a little less on everyday things, quite a bit less on travel since we have now missed two snowbird trips, but more overall since we bought a new car...

I don't see anything changing for good, we have done OK without driving out West to snowbird, but most certainly will resume it ASAP.

Less content? I am not sure. I guess I should be happy to be still alive and healthy (knock on wood, still trying to get vaccinated). Add to that, not having to rely on a job for income, like many workers are worrying about.

Permanent lifestyle change, and no more travel? No, unless this pandemic thing drags on, and I become too old to satisfy my wanderlust by doing my own things.

When this Covid becomes past and I get too old, will I get so desperate for travel that I will be willing to take tours and sit on a tour bus of hours on end? I don't think so, but maybe beggars can't be choosy. Well, maybe more cruises in my old age, but no buses.
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No travel, no travel agent work
Old 02-24-2021, 11:15 AM   #22
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No travel, no travel agent work

We've been spending way less because of no travel. I retired from teaching in June, but being a travel agent is my side gig so we used to explore LOTS of places--for research, you know?

I was so excited to be able to travel during non-school vacation times. Oh well.

However, we all just got our first shot and the second is scheduled for March 11th, so I already have a trip planned for late April!

Hoping that when they are vaccinated, more people will be ready to plan a trip, even if its later in the year. From the bookings I have been getting, it seems that people are ready to go top shelf. Works for me!
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Old 02-24-2021, 11:17 AM   #23
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Vacation expenses was planned to be the biggest part of our FIRE life. In 18 months of retirement before 2020, we spend close to $40K on vacations. Since last year, zero. So we are definitely spending less right now.

The only area we might feel less content is in seeing our overseas children and grandchildren, it has been a year since we have been able to physically visit each other. But we have patience on this matter, and all other things that were available B.C. (Before Covid ).
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Old 02-24-2021, 12:40 PM   #24
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1K less/month. We abstained from dining out, playing in bar bands/drinking out, movies, concerts, hair styling, gym and travel. Vaccinations are slow going....perhaps a vacation next Fall.
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Old 02-24-2021, 12:41 PM   #25
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Spent way more. Got nowhere to go, spiffy up the place!
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Old 02-24-2021, 12:45 PM   #26
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Less on vacations, as they were cancelled.
Much more on groceries and restaurant take out, and online shopping.
I used to just run into a store, quickly grab what I needed and get out. Now I will order something, then start "grazing" to other items. Pretty soon my cart is $200 or more!!
Never shopped from Amazon before, have been shopping there for the past year--have to get away from the feeling of buying more, because my cart only has one item :-(. Silly, I know.
Our yearly budget is still good though.
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Old 02-24-2021, 12:51 PM   #27
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Overall, yes. Way less on travel.


A bit less on dining out, gas, general merchandise shopping.


More on groceries and booze though. Fine dining at home is all we have to look forward too sometimes.
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Old 02-24-2021, 12:53 PM   #28
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Spending in 2020 for me was basically a wash. Travel, concerts and special events were way down. I moved in April so I had the cost of the move, getting house ready to sell and the purchasing furniture for the new house.
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Old 02-24-2021, 12:54 PM   #29
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Those of you that are spending less, do you feel less content?

Those of you spending on different things, will this be a permanent change?
I've been surprised how content I've been despite everything. I think the fact that I've continued to go to work same as always every day has helped a lot. Had I been stuck in the house or working from home, I'm sure I'd be much more antsy to get out and do stuff.


We definitely miss traveling. And I miss restaurants. We ate outdoors a few times late summer/early fall when the weather permitted it, but then it was back to home cooking and occasional take out. I can't wait until the day when we can go inside a restaurant again. Next Saturday will be one year since we last ate indoors.
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Old 02-24-2021, 01:21 PM   #30
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We're down 26%. I was WFH the last year, so our savings were in commuting, tolls, car maintenance, eating out, plus we reviewed all our expenses and cut back on things like internet, phones, TV, alarm system, hair cuts and the like as we decided that we were just about to retire. We also got lucky last year and had no big household expenses or health problems, but of course those have a way of piling up.
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Old 02-24-2021, 03:01 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivinsfan View Post
Those of you that are spending less, do you feel less content?

Those of you spending on different things, will this be a permanent change?

We have spent a little less on everyday things, quite a bit less on travel since we have now missed two snowbird trips, but more overall since we bought a new car...

I don't see anything changing for good, we have done OK without driving out West to snowbird, but most certainly will resume it ASAP.
I wouldn't say less "content", but I am "antsy" for sure. I like being around people, and this has hampered our time with friends. Definitely will NOT be a permanent change...worked all our lives to save enough to do fun things...so we will do them. I'm thinking that 2022 will be a much HIGHER spending year for us as we do some additional travel and so on.


Thanks to everyone for the responses...seems most people experienced similar things.
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Old 02-24-2021, 03:03 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by roadtripper View Post
We've been spending way less because of no travel. I retired from teaching in June, but being a travel agent is my side gig so we used to explore LOTS of places--for research, you know?

I was so excited to be able to travel during non-school vacation times. Oh well.

However, we all just got our first shot and the second is scheduled for March 11th, so I already have a trip planned for late April!

Hoping that when they are vaccinated, more people will be ready to plan a trip, even if its later in the year. From the bookings I have been getting, it seems that people are ready to go top shelf. Works for me!
That's great! Glad to hear you're going on a trip. We will wait a bit longer, but I think the tourism business in general will be very healthy for a few years...just hard to say exactly when it will start picking up again.

We are thinking about a trip to Greece...but have not yet started planning.
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Old 02-24-2021, 03:09 PM   #33
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Yes. Less travel, dining out, etc.

DW has upped her charitable giving somewhat.

Amount? Haven't done a calculation.

Now in our 70's veterans of ER with first shot second scheduled signed up to travel August for family reunion on East Coast.

Heh heh heh - ? Light at the end of the tunnel?
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Old 02-24-2021, 03:37 PM   #34
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My spending went down about 40% between 2019 and 2020. Like other people have commented travel was a big contributor. Restaurants and drinking were also a big chunk of my discretionary spending that just evaporated. I never had very big gasoline bills but they went down to virtually zero.

I did spend money on different things. SO is working from home now so I have to feed him breakfast and lunch that he used to get at work. That plus not eating out roughly doubled our grocery bill. I've been gardening and spent a fair bit on that, but I think it kept our groceries from going up even more. I upped my charitable and political contributions as well.

I definitely miss travel and going out to eat or drink with friends and imagine those expenses will come back eventually. I may even make up for lost time with extra travel.
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Old 02-24-2021, 03:42 PM   #35
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Spent about 25% less. Travel was big part of our budget and that was cut to the bone in 2020.
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Old 02-24-2021, 03:52 PM   #36
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Another factor that we don't often think of is wear and tear on a vehicle. We live in a small city, so historically we drive about 9,000 miles/year, much of which is vacations. For the past 12 months that dropped to 5,800 miles. Driving that little will allow us to keep our cars longer than many people that commute daily or live in larger cities where they drive more. We buy brand new cars, but maintain them very well (I used to be an auto mechanic) and keep them until they reach about 120,000 miles. Our current 2016 Lexus RX350 has about 50,000 miles on it, so we should be able to keep it another 7-8 years.

I grew up in Cincinnati OH and drove about 13,000 miles/year there while working. I know many people drive even more than this. If that's mainly city driving, it can wear a car out in 6-7 years if it's not well-maintained.
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Old 02-24-2021, 03:58 PM   #37
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We spent half as much on travel, as we were home for 7 months or so--and after March, everything was domestic except for one short dive trip.

Restaurant spending doubled, although it is miniscule compared to travel. We've been striving to go out to eat every week to support the restaurants.
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Old 02-24-2021, 04:19 PM   #38
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I spent about $5K less than expected last year. I had earmarked that money for new carpeting, actually had it picked out and got a written estimate just before COVID hit. Then I didn't feel comfortable having the installers in the house so have put it off until (hopefully) later this year.

Other small savings were less driving and less eating out. I don't really travel much but do miss going to the beach. I *really* miss eating out.
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Old 02-24-2021, 04:57 PM   #39
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Spent little last year. However the new HVAC system should make up the deficiency.
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Old 02-24-2021, 05:22 PM   #40
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We have spent less. This fits in two categories though. Things that we just spent less on because of lack of activity and things that we have deferred. The latter will ultimately be spent.

First Category:

Less on Dining out. We get take out twice a week which is a little less than we ate out and we spend less since we don't get a beverage and eat somewhat less expensive places overall.

Groceries are a wash, maybe a little less. Yes, we spend more because not eating out. On the other hand we do grocery orders online which limits impulse purchases.

Gasoline - This is down by over half. We just aren't going very far.

My hair care - I used to spend an average of over $200 a month on my hair between coloring my roots, highlights and twice yearly Keratin treatment. In the last year I have spent $110 total for hair color (bought from my hairdresser) plus about $30 for shears to trim my hair.

Travel - I would have expected us to have at least one day trip or two to visit kids but there have been none.

There are others but those are big ones.

Category two

1. When Covid hit we had just finished a big remodeling project. We were going to then buy some new furniture for the living room and window coverings for our new sunroom, etc. That was all deferred for the last year. This will be spent. One advantage of the wait, though, is that after a year of living with the remodeling I have much more clear idea of what we want and in some cases it is less expensive than the original plans.

2. We don't take a lot of vacations, but we were going to last summer. That has all been deferred probably until next year.

Quote:
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Those of you that are spending less, do you feel less content?

Those of you spending on different things, will this be a permanent change?
No, I don't feel less content spending less. I mean, yes, I would have liked to have been able to go on vacation, for example, but we will do that later.

There are a couple of reduced spending habits that will continue. We will probably continue to get dining out pickup at least once a week instead of going to the restaurant. Also we will probably continue to use grocery orders online with curbside pickup most of the time. We find we like both of these.

During this past year I learned how to color the roots on my hair. I doubt I will go back to having the hairdresser do it. It has turned out to be much easier than I thought it would be.
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