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Old 07-22-2021, 03:34 PM   #61
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"Too much money, and not enough to do."
Is that a problem? I thought that's what FIRE is all about.
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Old 07-22-2021, 03:35 PM   #62
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Not trying to pile on here, but $2,000 per month for food (even including toiletries and cleaning supplies, etc.) is mind-boggling to me. Unless that number includes alcohol, like expensive, vintage wine. Even then it's pretty staggering. But, spending what others think is a king's ransom on food (and/or wine, and/or clothes) is perfectly OK if you have the discretionary funds for it in your "safe withdrawal" FIRE budget. If so, no problem, carry on. If not, reduce your spending in areas where you can. Based on previous replies, I think most of us here would suggest starting with trimming back the lavish spending on clothes and food. But, again, do what's possible for you that doesn't diminish your FIRE happiness too much.
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Old 07-22-2021, 04:02 PM   #63
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I guess we can't share stuff on ER.org? Move on. You are bitter about something.
Man don't be so sensitive.....your budget is just a serving suggestion. Why don't you just update your actual spending numbers.. problem solved or thread title immaterial
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Old 07-22-2021, 05:34 PM   #64
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Probably not. In 2018-2019, our daily lunches cost me an average of $8/day, including tax and tip. The average in 2020 was a dollar more but let's face it, that year was pretty crazy and not very typical so who knows.
I absolutely loved my lunches from the Chinese lunch truck in Cambridge back during my latter working years.
$5, $5.50, $6, probably up to $7 by now, I'm guessing.
One of the main reasons I took up learning Sichuan cooking in retirement...
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Old 07-22-2021, 05:37 PM   #65
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Is that a problem? I thought that's what FIRE is all about.
Well yes, BUT.
But obsessive buying stuff from various places, the packages from which are never opened...
Is that a good idea?
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Old 07-22-2021, 05:44 PM   #66
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Two grand a month? That's only 66 dollars a day. With 2 people only 33.

Thirty three is just a good lunch for 1 person.
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Old 07-22-2021, 05:49 PM   #67
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Two grand a month? That's only 66 dollars a day. With 2 people only 33.

Thirty three is just a good lunch for 1 person.
I shall take Robbie's advice tomorrow when hitting the Elm City Brewpub in Keene NH...
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Old 07-22-2021, 05:53 PM   #68
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I shall take Robbie's advice tomorrow when hitting the Elm City Brewpub in Keene NH...
Hah. Been there several times. Used to work in Keene. They have some pretty good brews there. Enjoy.
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Old 07-22-2021, 06:09 PM   #69
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Not trying to pile on here, but $2,000 per month for food (even including toiletries and cleaning supplies, etc.) is mind-boggling to me. Unless that number includes alcohol, like expensive, vintage wine. Even then it's pretty staggering. But, spending what others think is a king's ransom on food (and/or wine, and/or clothes) is perfectly OK if you have the discretionary funds for it in your "safe withdrawal" FIRE budget. If so, no problem, carry on. If not, reduce your spending in areas where you can. Based on previous replies, I think most of us here would suggest starting with trimming back the lavish spending on clothes and food. But, again, do what's possible for you that doesn't diminish your FIRE happiness too much.
I don't now spend $2000 a month on food (not including HH consumables such as toilet paper, etc.) but I could easily do that. Nowadays we don't eat out that much (couple of times a week) and we usually go to less expensive places (just had takeout from Panera). But, I know plenty of people who eat out every day (and I don't mean at Panera). Let's say I spent $800 on groceries for the house during the month. So that leaves $1400 so that is $700 a person. If you eat out at nicer (i.e. more expensive restaurants) and go out several times a week that is easy to do. I recently went to a nice restaurant with 2 of our adult kids. We did not buy alcohol. The bill with top was $260. Only one of us had a dessert. None of us had an appetizer. This was one entree each and 3 of us had an extra side dish. We did not buy anything close to the most expensive thing on the menu.

There was a time in my life when that kind of restaurant was a routine place for me to eat. It isn't hard to do at all.

In this case, though, I don't see the reason why they need to cut back on "lavish" food or clothes. They can afford what they are spending on these categories. It isn't keeping them from spending other things they want more. I don't see a reason just to cut spending if they don't want to. I don't usually go to super expensive restaurants any more mostly because I don't want to dress up, etc. and usually prefer more casual places. But I don't have any problem with going to those places if you like it and kind of afford it.
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Old 07-22-2021, 06:27 PM   #70
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Two grand a month? That's only 66 dollars a day. With 2 people only 33.

Thirty three is just a good lunch for 1 person.
It's hard for me to imagine—in a practical sense—how two people could spend this much on food, day in and day out, consistently. I suppose it's possible by buying only the most top-of-the line, gourmet, organic meats and produce for at-home meals and supplementing those meals with lots and lots of dining out. Personally, I think we eat very well here at the Sojourner house, don't feel deprived whatsoever, rarely shy away from buying expensive food at the grocery store when we want it, yet we don't come close to spending $2K per month on food. This whole calculation changes, of course, if you throw alcohol into the "food" category (as I mentioned in an earlier post).
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Old 07-22-2021, 06:30 PM   #71
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It's hard for me to imagine—in a practical sense—how two people could spend this much on food, day in and day out, consistently. I suppose it's possible by buying only the most top-of-the line, gourmet, organic meats and produce for at-home meals and supplementing those meals with lots and lots of dining out. Personally, I think we eat very well here at the Sojourner house, don't feel deprived whatsoever, rarely shy away from buying expensive food at the grocery store when we want it, yet we don't come close to spending $2K per month on food. This whole calculation changes, of course, if you throw alcohol into the "food" category (as I mentioned in an earlier post).
Yes indéed. Booze puts the total way higher...
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Old 07-22-2021, 06:33 PM   #72
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It's hard for me to imagine—in a practical sense—how two people could spend this much on food, day in and day out, consistently. I suppose it's possible by buying only the most top-of-the line, gourmet, organic meats and produce for at-home meals and supplementing those meals with lots and lots of dining out. Personally, I think we eat very well here at the Sojourner house, don't feel deprived whatsoever, rarely shy away from buying expensive food at the grocery store when we want it, yet we don't come close to spending $2K per month on food. This whole calculation changes, of course, if you throw alcohol into the "food" category (as I mentioned in an earlier post).
The op explains that of the 2 K a month 800 is eating out. So not really food per say. They don't say how many. meals the 800 replaces
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Old 07-22-2021, 06:35 PM   #73
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I mostly drink the booze at home where I buy top shelf stuff at the grocery where it's cheap ($30-50). Never at lunch (not even beer) but I might have a couple beers for dinner out.

But fifty bucks is not that hard to do for lunch at the sushi bar (still no alcohol) with tax and tip for just little (sans wife) me.
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Old 07-22-2021, 06:39 PM   #74
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Let's say I spent $800 on groceries for the house during the month. So that leaves $1400 so that is $700 a person. If you eat out at nicer (i.e. more expensive restaurants) and go out several times a week that is easy to do.
Sure, but then you're talking about going out to eat, say, 10 times a month and spending $70 per person every time (on average). IMHO, that's not "easy", at least I don't see it that way. I certainly know there are people who eat out three, four, or five times a week, so for them it may feel easy. And if it brings them pleasure and isn't causing financial trouble, more power to them.

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In this case, though, I don't see the reason why they need to cut back on "lavish" food or clothes. They can afford what they are spending on these categories. It isn't keeping them from spending other things they want more. I don't see a reason just to cut spending if they don't want to. I don't usually go to super expensive restaurants any more mostly because I don't want to dress up, etc. and usually prefer more casual places. But I don't have any problem with going to those places if you like it and kind of afford it.
I totally agree and essentially stated as much in my earlier post. However, it seemed like the OP was open to feedback about how he's been unable to live within his budget, so my comments about "lavish" spending were motivated by that.
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Old 07-22-2021, 06:40 PM   #75
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No, it's only a problem, if you think continually buying Stuff you don't use is a problem. Which some people consider to be a barrel of fun (or three barrels, since they keep buying more!)

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Is that a problem? I thought that's what FIRE is all about.
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Old 07-22-2021, 06:45 PM   #76
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That's how I see it, too. Tax and tip add at least 25% to the cost of any meal, and nothing to one's enjoyment.

Rarely eating out is a great way to save money. Plus, it's more of a treat when you do go for a good meal, versus doing it all the time.

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Two grand a month? That's only 66 dollars a day. With 2 people only 33.

Thirty three is just a good lunch for 1 person.
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Old 07-22-2021, 06:49 PM   #77
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Hehe, I never had a budget and never will. But the 4% thing was always in my mind re spending vs assets. Always because I was well over the 4% ever since I retired.

What If?

After 7 years retired and doing 5-7% the whole time, I now have more dough than ever.

Budget? Why budget? Why worry about the 4%?

Blow that dough -
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Old 07-22-2021, 06:53 PM   #78
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The OP said that they spent 1200/month on groceries. Yes unless it’s expensive booze I have no clue how you even do that. The eating out I can understand spending a ton if you eat at expensive restaurants.
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Old 07-22-2021, 06:55 PM   #79
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Rarely eating out is a great way to save money. Plus, it's more of a treat when you do go for a good meal, versus doing it all the time.
+1

Not to mention that frequent restaurant dining can be much less healthy than eating meals at home, due to the (hidden) excess salt, fat, and sugar that are often present in restaurant food. This is a big reason why I wouldn't eat out more than 1-2 times/week even if I were 5x wealthier.
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Old 07-22-2021, 07:06 PM   #80
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Well yes, BUT.
But obsessive buying stuff from various places, the packages from which are never opened...
Is that a good idea?
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No, it's only a problem, if you think continually buying Stuff you don't use is a problem. Which some people consider to be a barrel of fun (or three barrels, since they keep buying more!)

Buying things just to put in a closet is not good, but we do not know if the OP's wife is doing that. Maybe she wears an outfit once and only once when they go out to eat. And they can afford to do it.

Then, the thing to do is to round up the worn clothes then take them to Goodwill when you are done with them.

I remember the MIL of my close friend. She stayed with them, and they did not charge her anything for food or lodging. So, her SS was not that high, but it was entirely her discretionary income. She stayed in her room to watch QVC, and ordered all kinds of stuff. And yes, she had to rent a storage locker, because her room was packed tight. My friend and his wife indulged her, and let her do what they thought was harmless.

When she died, they rounded up all the stuff, opened all the unopened boxes, and found stuff like high-heeled shoes that no way a frail woman could have worn, all kinds of electronic gadgets, and lots of costume jewelries.

He said they had a heck of a garage sale, and there was a crowd like at a zoo. Despite selling spanking new and unused stuff for pennies on the dollar, they recovered several thousand dollars.

Now, again the OP did not say his wife was doing the above. She may just wear a piece of clothing just once, and gets tired of it.
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