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Top Ten Expenses?
Old 02-28-2024, 05:01 PM   #1
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Top Ten Expenses?

Looking at my 2023 spending my top 10 expenses from highest to lowest were:

1. Federal taxes
2. Travel
3. State taxes (CA)
4. Mortgage
5. Property taxes
6. Groceries
7. Medicare
8. Pet care (3 dogs, lots of boarding due to travel)
9. Social Security
10. Health care (insurance + deductibles/copay)

If I were to include my son's college expenses it would come in at number 7 last year (only paid for 2 quarters so far) but I didn't include it since it paid out of the 529.

I'm still working and get heavily subsidized health insurance so I expect in retirement health care will move up to the #3 spot until I qualify for Medicare. Curious what other retirees top ten expenses look like?
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Old 02-28-2024, 05:56 PM   #2
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Posts: 2,825
1. Federal taxes
2. State taxes
3. FICA taxes
4. Healthcare - Insurance/COBRA/Co-pays/Deductibles
5. Property taxes
6. Utilities
7. Groceries
8. Homeowner's insurance
9. Water/Sewage/Trash bill
10. Internet

2023 was the transitional year for me. I worked almost half the year before I was forced into retirement a little ahead of schedule.
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Old 02-28-2024, 06:01 PM   #3
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ACA managed income, so no Fed (or FLA state) taxes for me.
Food, House, Travel are the big 3.
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Old 02-28-2024, 06:19 PM   #4
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1. Travel/recreation
2. Medicare/Medical
3. Groceries
4. Taxes (fed/state/sales/property)
5. Homeowner expenses
6. The rest combined
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Old 02-28-2024, 07:09 PM   #5
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Posts: 7,065
My top expenses are similar to yours except I don’t pay state taxes.
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Old 02-28-2024, 08:10 PM   #6
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 6,181
For 2023:
1. Taxes (federal/state/property)
2. Charity/Gifts
3. Vacation/Travel
4. Medical
5. Auto (maintenance, insurance, supplies, repairs)
6. Food (Groceries, take out, restaurants)
7. Household (supplies, appliances, maintenance, repairs)
8. Utilities (electric, cable, landline, sanitation)
9. Insurance (Home, Liability, Life)
10. Entertainment & Recreation
FIREd date: June 26, 2018 - "This Happy Feeling, Going Round and Round!" (GQ)
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Old 02-28-2024, 08:43 PM   #7
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Location: Boise
Posts: 7,883
For 2023, in descending order:


Top three represent more than 50% of expenses. Top four represent almost 75% of expenses.
"At times the world can seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe us when we say there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough, and what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events, may in fact be the first steps of a journey." Violet Baudelaire.
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Old 02-29-2024, 04:10 AM   #8
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Quicken says

Auto (maintenance)
Auto Insurance

Top 3 equals 68% of spending
For me experiences are not good or bad, just different
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Old 02-29-2024, 04:29 AM   #9
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For me I'd say:

1. Automotive (bought a new car in September and paid it off in a few months, so this isn't a regular occurrence)
2. 401k contributions (maybe not an expense in the traditional sense, but it's money going out right now, so I'll count it that way)
3. Mortgage
4. Federal taxes
5. Roth IRA (again, maybe not a traditional expense, but I think of it as a cash outlay)
6. Maryland state tax
7. Social Security
8. Property taxes
9. Electricity
10. Swimming pool maintenance (opening, closing, weekly service)
11. Health insurance premiums
12. Homeowner's insurance

A few notes: I took it out to top 12, just in case anyone wants to call me out for the 401k and Roth contributions. For "automotive" I lumped EVERYTHING together: new car purchase, insurance, fuel, repairs/maintenance to other cars, etc. If I didn't buy the new car, "automotive" would have probably placed in right after property taxes. Food didn't make the list, because I rarely eat out, and I have two house mates who buy most of the groceries.
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Old 02-29-2024, 05:42 AM   #10
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Location: North TX
Posts: 1,840
Ours are evolving but currently are:

Federal tax
Insurance (many types)
Property tax
Gifting (529&MIL expenses)
Pet (very small %)

These are likely 90+%of everything
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Old 02-29-2024, 05:59 AM   #11
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Location: Michigan
Posts: 5,003
Our top 3 are

Medical (mostly insurance)

I don't track our spending in enough detail any more to know the next category. In 2020 and 2021, home remodelling was our largest spend, but those projects are done now.
"The mountains are calling, and I must go." John Muir
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Old 02-29-2024, 06:40 AM   #12
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There are only 8 here because my spreadsheet groups them into just 8.
1. Taxes (Federal and property) 45%
2. Utilities (Gas, electric, garbage, water) 14%
3. Medical (insurance and drugs) 9.7%
4. Food (grocery and restaurant) 9%
5. Total Stuff purchased (check account and credit card digressionary, including online purchases) 8.1%
6. Subscriptions (comcast, phones, amazon prime, britbox, news) 6.9%
7. Insurance (Car house umbrella earthquake) 4.5%
8. House maintenance (yardwork, house repair and replace, car repair) 3.1%
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Old 02-29-2024, 06:45 AM   #13
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Location: Coastal CT
Posts: 240
3.Boat maintenance/storage/diesel

Just retired last May , so I expect taxes to decrease next year.
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Old 02-29-2024, 06:55 AM   #14
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Location: Flyover country
Posts: 25,364
My categories, in descending order:

Hobby & Travel
Cash, Entertainment, Dining, Groceries
House, Utilities
I thought growing old would take longer.
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Old 02-29-2024, 07:00 AM   #15
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Posts: 23
1. Medical 17%
2. Home Improvement 15%
3. Travel 12%
4. Grocery 10%
5. Self Improvement 6%
6. Dogs 5%
7. Housewares 4%
8. Misc 4%
9. Restaurants 4%
10. Misc. Auto (3%)

Income taxes are minuscule due to managing income for ACA subsidy.
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Old 02-29-2024, 07:16 AM   #16
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Posts: 2,666
Travel & Leisure 22%
Healthcare 15%
Food 11%
Gifts 11%
Utilities 9%
Taxes 9%
Housing 7%
Automobile 6%
Miscellaneous 5%
Insurance 2%

I also noticed I had a significant negative "expense" under Credit Card Expenses. Works out to 1% of my total expenses. Gotta love those cash-back cards. And that doesn't even account for the 5% discount at the register my Lowe's card brings.

The Gifts category was a bit above normal last year. We got a modest inheritance and shared the wealth. We'll be spending more of it this year so categories like housing and leisure will spike a bit.
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Old 02-29-2024, 07:18 AM   #17
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Location: DC area
Posts: 2,497
1. Income tax (Fed income and SE, and MD) 42%
2. Travel 16%
3. Healthcare (unsub ACA) 8.7%
4. Property tax (2 houses) 4.0%
5. Home maintenance (including HOA fees) 3.5%
6. Groceries 3.5%
7. Insurance 3.2%

Everything else totals less than 20%
FI and Semi-ER March 24, 2017
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There is always a well-known solution to every human problem: neat, plausible, and wrong.” - H.L. Mencken
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Old 02-29-2024, 07:25 AM   #18
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Posts: 6,698
For 2023:

(1) Net medical (HI premiums less ACA subsidy, copays, dental);
(2) Co-op maintenance (less prop taxes);
(3) Food (estimated, I don't keep track of it exactly because it is a mix of credit cards and cash);

The next 4 items are very close together, within $200 of each other.

(4) Property taxes;
(5) Phones/cable TV/Internet;
(6) Income taxes (Fed+state);
(7) car+home insurance;
Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

"I want my money working for me instead of me working for my money!"
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Old 02-29-2024, 07:56 AM   #19
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Location: NC
Posts: 21,314
Of course it depends a lot on how each of us choose spending categories. My top 8 in 2023 were (falls off dramatically at 9):
  1. Roth conversions (for a couple more years)
  2. Fed Inc Tax (largely due to 1)
  3. Car Purchase (unusual)
  4. Home Expenses
  5. Medical Expenses
  6. State Inc Tax
  7. Dining Out
  8. Groceries
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 50% equity funds / 45% bonds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 1.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
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Old 02-29-2024, 08:26 AM   #20
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Seattle
Posts: 6,023
1) House build
2) House build
3) House build
4) Food
5) Non medical insurances
6) Utilities
7) Sailboat moorage
8) Auto gas/maint.
9) Property taxes
10) Vacation expenses
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