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Old 07-22-2021, 07:07 PM   #81
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Buying more stuff than you need/use...maybe you and your wife can get your dopamine pings some other way.
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Old 07-22-2021, 07:14 PM   #82
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Sure you can, don't spend so much. It's a simple as that.
+1. how many people is the OP feeding? we don't spend anywhere near that on food and entertainment (includes eating out) combined? if i spend $400 in a year on clothes it would be very unusual. t-shirts, jeans, cargo shorts aren't that expensive. we buy SAS shoes and they are fairly expensive so we might hit $400 if you include shoes.
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Old 07-22-2021, 07:42 PM   #83
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I think it is great to spend your money (on whatever you want). No need to put unnecessary constraints. Enjoy!
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Old 07-22-2021, 08:28 PM   #84
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OP I get your pains. My little section of closet rods are workable, I can rifle through my clothes OK.
The rest of the closet, those clothes are so tight, I can't work any more in. There is a reckoning in the near future
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Old 07-22-2021, 10:30 PM   #85
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I think this thread is a helpful reminder to base budget on actual historical spending numbers vs estimates or ‘ideal’ targets. When I was working up our RE budget, I made cuts in several spending areas that haven’t come to fruition. DH’s delivery lunch habit being one. Luckily other areas came in lower and gains from the market and a couple of windfalls now support a higher level of spend, but the assumption that a SO will reign in spending you deem frivolous or excessive can be a dangerous one.
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Old 07-22-2021, 10:34 PM   #86
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Hehe, I never had a budget and never will. ......
Budget? Why budget? .....

Blow that dough -
We've never budgeted in the past 20 years, but now I do track my spending, so I can know how much I spent.

OP's problem is not blowing the budget, it's that they have a budget..

OP only needs to track spending and relax.

Also, think about moving to a bigger house with more closets
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Old 07-22-2021, 10:40 PM   #87
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Eh, I wonder if there are more people like us. The popular "Blow dough" thread makes readers think a majority of FIRE'd people spend a lot of money, but is it true?

We have never had a budget, before and after retirement. We always underspent our income while working, and now way underspent the 4% WR.

We could spend more, but don't see getting more happiness that way.

PS. One thing I am certain will make us happy is business seats. My frugal wife finally agrees with me. It's too bad travel is still curtailed for me to carry out this treat to ourselves.
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Old 07-23-2021, 12:27 AM   #88
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Corn18,

Thanks for your post.

Your numbers look fine to ms gamboolgal and I. Well done.

Good to track Actual vs Plan. That is what we are doing and will revise based on Actuals.

As others have said, if you have the monies and are comfortable spending it, then do so.

I just retired 1-Feb-21 and we knew and planned for some Lumpy Expenses that would come the first year or so after retiring.

Our Net Spend thus far is running ~$15K per month. But that does include some One Off's that are very Lumpy.

We are taking Road Trips and eating out alot. It does add up. We got our fill of flying the last ~20 year of the Oilfield living in Africa and while we have and will fly some domestic, we we now prefer to take Road Trips and enjoy Small Town America. We planned and budgeted for it.

I want to go to Vegas to play in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) later this year - but ms gamboolgal is leaning towards next year - that's OK with me.

We are heading out on extended Road Trip to North Carolina in a early August for about 3 weeks to play in the WSOP Satellite Events that run from 12-Aug thru 23-Aug at Harrahs Cherokee.

#1 Daughter is flying out and we'll have a good times with her and will do lots of sight seeing in addition to Maybe Dad will win some monies at the Pokerssszzzz..... ha !

But here's the thing. We are very near to our planned expenses. Our higher costs were for the One Offs that we figured would come the first year or two after retirement. We planned and budgeted for them.

We are fortunate and blessed. We know this.

Again, thanks for your Post and putting it "out there". It's made for some great discussion.

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Old 07-23-2021, 03:19 AM   #89
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We were disappointed the first time we flew international business class. We were seated next to each other, but the immovable barrier kept us from being able to hold hands, which we can do in coach. And the "bed" position isn't comfortable for those with extra-long legs and big feet.

It didn't seem like so very much more for the immensely higher price, TBH. We don't fly enough to get upgrades on "points."

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PS. One thing I am certain will make us happy is business seats. My frugal wife finally agrees with me. It's too bad travel is still curtailed for me to carry out this treat to ourselves.
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Old 07-23-2021, 04:01 AM   #90
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Although my food and clothing bills are nothing compared to the OPs, I agree with others that if you have the money and if something is your priority in life, spend it. One of the great advantages for me of living alone is that you can spend your money exactly as you please. No one here to make judgements. For example, I just replaced an expensive bedroom set that was only a few years old and still in really good condition. Got almost nothing for it on Craigslist. Just wanted a change. It was definitely something another person would roll their eyes at, but I did it, have no regrets, and love the new one. I afford things like this by not caring much about clothes and eating frugally, among other things.
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Old 07-23-2021, 06:48 AM   #91
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Sure you can, don't spend so much. It's a simple as that.
+1

The amounts being spent on food & clothes are ridiculous. Classic overspending.
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Old 07-23-2021, 06:54 AM   #92
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This is why we re-budget every year after looking at actuals. Our priorities change year to year and that is all that matters, we are spending the money on what brings us joy rather than just wasting it.

Clothing and food just happen to be two areas we have agreed to put more money into to buy better quality for our health. Food was for fish and organic. Clothing is mostly for comfort, breathability (for exercise clothes) and then I invested in a few hats and sun shirts to protect myself from the sun. The technology has come a long way in some of these sport clothing and to us worth the pricetag but it still wears out and you are off replacing it again, especially shoes.
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Old 07-23-2021, 07:33 AM   #93
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This is our annual spend from 2010 to 2020 on the base budget. Can you tell when we read the book The Millionaire Next Door?
Congrats on the level of spending reduction displayed here. You're making it work and if a category or two is overspent, you can justify it as the result of a faulty estimate. Nothing wrong with that. We've honed our own budget over the years quite a bit.

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Old 07-23-2021, 07:36 AM   #94
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+1

The amounts being spent on food & clothes are ridiculous. Classic overspending.
I would say that none of us is in a position to make this kind of judgement.

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Old 07-23-2021, 08:44 AM   #95
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We were disappointed the first time we flew international business class. We were seated next to each other, but the immovable barrier kept us from being able to hold hands, which we can do in coach. And the "bed" position isn't comfortable for those with extra-long legs and big feet.

It didn't seem like so very much more for the immensely higher price, TBH. We don't fly enough to get upgrades on "points."
Really! For me it was only the cost that has kept me from flying it. Our megacorps paid for all the times we flew business class.

I am trying to remember what airlines I flew business class on. None of them had barriers between seats back then. And not being a tall person, I was able to sleep, and long flights went so fast, instead of me squirming in the seat the whole time because my body got tired. And that were on long flights like non-stop LAX to Sydney (Qantas), or Atlanta to Tel Aviv. Told my wife I could go on any flight anywhere if I could sleep in my seat.

Not being "wide" persons, we would be fine with the coach seat, if it reclined a bit more. I have never flown premium coach, or whatever it is called, to see if that works better than coach. The business class seats I experienced did not extend completely flat, but it was more than enough.
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Old 07-23-2021, 08:59 AM   #96
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Dining is $800 / month. The remaining $1248 does include all the toiletries and cleaning supplies she buys when she's at the grocery store or Costco.

The $600 / month on clothes is about half what it was a few years ago, so we have cut back

Here's our spending for the last 2 years (first number is monthly, second number is annual):

Auto 1,159 13,903 (includes savings for new car every 5 years)
Clothes 400 4,800
Pets 200 2,400
Food 2,000 24,000
Gifts 454 5,450
Health / Beauty 260 3,120
House 1,862 22,338 (includes property taxes)
Entertainment 150 1,800
Misc 700 8,400
Insurance 304 3,650
Medical 250 3,000
Cell Phone 113 1,352
Utilities 320 3,840
Internet 165 1,980
Taxes 836 10,027

TOTAL EXP 9,172 110,061

We also have a $25k annual blow that dough budget.

Pretty similar to ours (planned when DW retires next spring). Will bump dining up from $800 to $1k, have $1500/mo for travel and most likely not have a mortgage. No BTD budget, but should probably have one.



Another interesting exercise to to split "essential" vs "discretionary" expenses. Let's you see what the fat life is costing you, and knowing where the rail is should the s^it really ever hit the fan. Ours is about 35% discretionary I think.
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Old 07-23-2021, 09:33 AM   #97
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Pretty similar to ours (planned when DW retires next spring). Will bump dining up from $800 to $1k, have $1500/mo for travel and most likely not have a mortgage. No BTD budget, but should probably have one.



Another interesting exercise to to split "essential" vs "discretionary" expenses. Let's you see what the fat life is costing you, and knowing where the rail is should the s^it really ever hit the fan. Ours is about 35% discretionary I think.
We do essential vs. discretionary too. 26% for discretionary.
Many folks don't like to budget, but for those of us who like to do these things and/or the WR for example for us will be 7 years around 5% until SS, the budgeting can be helpful.
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Old 07-23-2021, 09:58 AM   #98
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We budgeted when we were in the accumulation phase. For example, monitoring what we spent on work-related lunches and brown bagging whenever possible to keep costs down.

In retirement we are in the comfortable/extravagant spending stage. I only monitor overall cash flow in/out to see how we are doing. We are so far ahead of our plan that I have to remind myself sometimes. Like the other day after we were out all day, and decided to pick up dinner. DW wanted chinese food, about $17 per person. I wanted a pizza, about $10 per person. I began making a case for pizza because it was cheaper, then caught myself - is DW spending $7 more going to cause a crisis? Silly me.

Our total clothing bill for the last 10 years for the two of us has not been $8000. And we like to dress up. Our weight has stayed within a range that has not required buying new clothes, and we know how to get nice clothes that last at bargain rates. DW also sews to make some of her clothes. So spending hundreds of dollars per month on clothing I cannot relate to. But if one can afford it, go for it. I have spent a lot on home computing, and DW has spent a lot on jewelry compared to other folks. But to each their own.

I would not fuss about it. When we budgeted, part of that budget was a "no questions asked" about for each of us to spend as we chose. By the time I retired it was up to $400-$500/month. Interestingly each of us rarely spent that on a monthly basis, we tended to let it accumulate for something big. It is good not to have to "worry" about that now.
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Old 07-23-2021, 10:29 AM   #99
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We do essential vs. discretionary too. 26% for discretionary.
Many folks don't like to budget, but for those of us who like to do these things and/or the WR for example for us will be 7 years around 5% until SS, the budgeting can be helpful.
Looks like we have some purely discretionary in the base budget. That is, if the SHTF, we could cut some from our base spending and be fine. Of course, we already have the $25k in annual BTD on top of that we could cut. And my data indicate that we actually have $50k / year we could spend on BTD. Maybe a list is in order?

$83,409 - Mildly frugal base budget
$108,129 - actuals (no real budgeting, just monitoring expenses)
$133,129 - actuals + $25k / year BTD
$158,129 - what the model says we can spend
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Old 07-23-2021, 10:37 AM   #100
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We were disappointed the first time we flew international business class. [...] And the "bed" position isn't comfortable for those with extra-long legs and big feet.
I felt exactly the same way, but for slightly different reasons. The lie-flat bed was great when compared to your standard, ridiculously cramped coach seat, but it just isn't well suited for side sleepers, like myself. I have a much harder time getting to sleep lying on my back than on my side, so it took me well over an hour before I finally drifted off. I did appreciate the much better food, the incredibly attentive service, and all the little touches (like mimosas shortly after boarding and settling in). And there is no doubt the seats are much roomier and more plush for plain old upright sitting. Even in first class, though, Xanax is still very much needed when it comes to getting some sleep.

Considering the huge price differential, one of my biggest FIRE budget decisions going forward is how often to book first/business seats for long international flights. I am certain I can easily afford it once or twice per year, but I find it galling in principle to pay roughly $400/hour for a seat on an airplane.
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