Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
We tried to live within a budget, but we can't
Old 07-22-2021, 09:12 AM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
corn18's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 1,312
We tried to live within a budget, but we can't

I have been closely tracking expenses since 2010. Retired this past Mar and put together a budget for retirement that I thought was reasonable. Areas that I think we overspent on were food and clothes. So I put in an amount that I thought we should spend vs. what we do spend. Ask me how that turned out. So now the "budget" (or should I call it planned expenses) reflect what we have been spending the last 2 years. Nice try, huh? At least I know we don't have to watch what we spend on a daily basis and just need to meter the big spending. Probably happier that way. Still have more money than we needed to retire, so life is good.

Just to put up the dart board:

Food: $1,500 / mo budgeted, $2048 actual over the last 2 years
Clothes: $400 / mo budgeted, $600 actual over the last 2 years (I haven't bought clothes for me in years)

I also had to bump gas up 40% because we are camping a lot and pulling my 12,000 lbs fifth wheel with a gas truck costs a lot. We weren't camping before, so didn't account for that. Truck costs $125 to fill up and I can go about 200 miles on a tank when towing.

Everything else is tracking nicely.
__________________
Don't do something, just stand there!
corn18 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 07-22-2021, 09:15 AM   #2
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Fargo
Posts: 621
Interesting. Is he or she spending $400/month on clothing?

Food is expensive. Gas is too, when towing and camping.

Clothing is a trap. Most have overflowing closets of clothes and wear 5-10% of it.

I hope to dramatically simplify my clothes when retired. Shorts and a T-shirt every day. :-)

Budgets don't work if you spend freely and then look backwards at what you spent.
bloom2708 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2021, 09:18 AM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
corn18's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 1,312
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloom2708 View Post
Interesting. Is he or she spending $400/month on clothing?

Food is expensive. Gas is too, when towing and camping.

Clothing is a trap. Most have overflowing closets of clothes and wear 5-10% of it.

I hope to dramatically simplify my clothes when retired. Shorts and a T-shirt every day. :-)

Budgets don't work if you spend freely and then look backwards at what you spent.
Yes she is. And her closet is overflowing and we have more clothes in the basement. I don't complain because my hobbies aren't cheap.

We don't want to have to budget for everyday stuff. Just track and plan for it. If we bust it by too much, it cuts into our annual play money, but we're not close to that yet.
__________________
Don't do something, just stand there!
corn18 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2021, 09:19 AM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas: No Country for Old Men
Posts: 48,176
Quote:
We tried to live within a budget, but we can't
Sure you can, don't spend so much. It's a simple as that.
__________________
Numbers is hard

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2021, 09:20 AM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
SecondCor521's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Boise
Posts: 5,702
My guess would be that your partner never really bought into the budget in those two categories. They may have claimed to, but they probably didn't appreciate the implied judgment that they were spending too much, or they didn't really think the budget amounts were reasonable/realistic, or they think the whole idea of budgeting is not worthwhile, or they never really had a good reason to change their spending behavior, or some combination of these.

That's the classic and extremely common pattern, anyway. You might be different but I think it's unlikely.

Since you have enough money, you can gloss over the underlying disagreement if you want to.
__________________
"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.
SecondCor521 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2021, 09:23 AM   #6
Full time employment: Posting here.
Lakedog's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 780
Wow, $600 a month on clothes? I don't spend $400 a year on clothes with most of that being on running gear. Of course, you indicate none of that was on clothes for you. Being a single guy I just cannot relate to $7200 a year on clothes for one person......maybe that's why I'm single?
Lakedog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2021, 09:27 AM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
kcowan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Pacific latitude 20/49
Posts: 7,451
Send a message via Skype™ to kcowan
It is always a good idea to have an honest conversation about overages because it will cost in other areas. We have done that and it did result in some cutbacks.
__________________
For the fun of it...Keith
kcowan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2021, 09:30 AM   #8
Recycles dryer sheets
RetiredHappy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 452
The question is can you afford to "blow" your budget without jeopardizing retirement? If so, then just not worry too much about a budget and tracking spending against budget.

I plan our lives on a spreadsheet for the last 20 years. Unfortunately we have never spent to budget and usually blow our budget by 30%. There is always something, so to speak. Some are inevitable but most of the unplanned spendings are in the discretionary category. The fortunate part is that we are not in danger of out spending our savings.
RetiredHappy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2021, 09:32 AM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: South central PA
Posts: 2,704
And I though $600/mo for food was a lot. I have bought clothes once since spring 2020-socks and underwear. I wonder if the excess clothes will start to take over your life. A friend of mine had to clean out her aunt's house for sale after she passed away. She spent a month in California doing it. The aunt was a clean horder. She collected items from all her travels, and far too many clothing items. When I visited on my own trip to California, I took my friend for a drive in SF and a nice lunch. She needed the break. The house was nearly impassable for all the clothes on racks, filling the hallways, extra bedrooms, and even the living room.

Eventually the clothing will begin to own you. Please be careful. It's not the spending I'm worried about; it's the clothing "spilling" out of the closet. Where will you be if this goes on another 2 years?
EastWest Gal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2021, 09:33 AM   #10
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 973
I initially budgeted $6k a year on clothes for me. That was less than I spent while working, so I figured that was safe. I feel like I’ve bought a lot and haven’t come anywhere near my initial budget. But also not buying much because of covid, so we’ll see… my sizes also change more than I’d like, so I will often buy more than one size or something I like.

To the OP, if you’ve been staying in due to COVID, I would be surprised if the clothing spend doesn’t increase!

Are you eating out a lot? That’s close to our food budget as well, though also includes cleaning supplies and the random Costco purchase. I would like to get it lower, but we’re remarkably consistent.
tb001 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2021, 09:51 AM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
corn18's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 1,312
Quote:
Originally Posted by tb001 View Post
I initially budgeted $6k a year on clothes for me. That was less than I spent while working, so I figured that was safe. I feel like I’ve bought a lot and haven’t come anywhere near my initial budget. But also not buying much because of covid, so we’ll see… my sizes also change more than I’d like, so I will often buy more than one size or something I like.

To the OP, if you’ve been staying in due to COVID, I would be surprised if the clothing spend doesn’t increase!

Are you eating out a lot? That’s close to our food budget as well, though also includes cleaning supplies and the random Costco purchase. I would like to get it lower, but we’re remarkably consistent.
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.
__________________
Don't do something, just stand there!
corn18 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2021, 09:53 AM   #12
Recycles dryer sheets
erkevin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Tennesee
Posts: 458
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloom2708 View Post
Interesting. Is he or she spending $400/month on clothing?

Food is expensive. Gas is too, when towing and camping.

Clothing is a trap. Most have overflowing closets of clothes and wear 5-10% of it.

I hope to dramatically simplify my clothes when retired. Shorts and a T-shirt every day. :-)

Budgets don't work if you spend freely and then look backwards at what you spent.
I retired just over five years ago. In those approximately 1850 days, I have worn slacks maybe a dozen times. (in my w@#king days, it was pretty much slacks, dress shirt and tie daily). If it's really cold, it is sweats. Other than that, shorts, Ts, or tanktops!!!
erkevin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2021, 09:55 AM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 7,657
I don't really track how much we spend on clothes. It goes into the monthly household category, but it is probably less than $500 a year for both of us. Pants and tops from Costco: $10 - $20 each. Coats usually $20 - $40. I just look on the Costco online site every once in awhile and we order whatever we like. It is quick and easy. If it doesn't fit we usually return to the store but we could mail it back for free if we wanted. We both buy pretty basic, neutral colored mix and match pieces.
__________________
Even clouds seem bright and breezy, 'Cause the livin' is free and easy, See the rat race in a new way, Like you're wakin' up to a new day (Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether lyrics, Alan Parsons Project, based on an EA Poe story)
daylatedollarshort is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2021, 10:10 AM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Huntsville, AL/Helen, GA
Posts: 5,130
We too are spending the week in our RV with the two grandchildren. My wife's getting ready to go to the grocery as they've already eaten just about all the food and we still have 2 days to go until we leave. That's somewhat expected. We're 250 miles from home, and unfortunately groceries here are substantially more expensive than at our LCOL city.

We have found it possible to cut down dramatically on our cost of food by limiting ourselves to eating out to just about once per week. And even then, it's not eating at expensive restaurants. We just don't find dining out to be important any longer.

My wife plans very carefully on our meals, and even making a menu helps us not buy foods we're not going to promptly use. When we go to the store, it's with a list, and we try to not deviate from buying the items on the list.

As we all know, many items in the grocery are showing price increases. We start shopping at Aldi's for specific items they're so cheap on. And we fill in at the only other grocery store that's having great week to week sales. Other local grocery stores are simply too expensive, and we avoid going into them. Needless to say, we eat a lot of ground beef, pork and chicken. Steaks and roasts are saved for special meals. We load up in sales items, and much goes into our freezer.

As far as clothing goes, all our budget goes to the granddaughter we're raising. My wife and I seldom buy clothes as we really don't need any.

Our total cost of this week in the campground is $40 to move our camper on and off the campsite (out of storage.) And it cost us 20 gallons of gas to get here and return home. We can stay 14 days a month in the campground for $1 a night. I'd say that's a bargain.

Even if we kept our camper at home, we have state parks, city campgrounds and other RV facilities within an hour of home. Gasoline wouldn't be an issue towing my RV.

There are so many ways to tuck ourselves in when it comes to budgets. Little here and a little there adds up.
Bamaman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2021, 10:14 AM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
corn18's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 1,312
Quote:
Originally Posted by RetiredHappy View Post
The question is can you afford to "blow" your budget without jeopardizing retirement? If so, then just not worry too much about a budget and tracking spending against budget.

I plan our lives on a spreadsheet for the last 20 years. Unfortunately we have never spent to budget and usually blow our budget by 30%. There is always something, so to speak. Some are inevitable but most of the unplanned spendings are in the discretionary category. The fortunate part is that we are not in danger of out spending our savings.
We can afford it, so I'm not sweating it. I still like tracking everything. Always have. My spreadsheet goes back to 1996. It's always interesting going back and looking at what we spent money on back then.

I don't make a big deal out of it with her and we never fight over money.
__________________
Don't do something, just stand there!
corn18 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2021, 10:18 AM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
OldShooter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: City
Posts: 7,073
Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Sure you can, don't spend so much. It's a simple as that.
This. Not sure, though, what question you're asking. If you just want someone to pat you on the head and say that failing to achieve your budget numbers is OK, you may be in the wrong place.
__________________
Ignoramus et ignorabimus
OldShooter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2021, 10:23 AM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
38Chevy454's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 3,179
I'm one of the "just look at monthly total" type budgeter and as long as it's reasonable I don't get concerned. I only budget at the very macro level. No categories to speak of. Just the monthly total, which unless we make a big trip somewhere or other single large purchase of something, the monthly total stays surprisingly pretty even.
__________________
The advice we're giving you is invaluable, that's why it's free
Experience is a good teacher, but the tuition can get expensive real fast

Semi-Retired 7/1/16: working part-time (60%) for now [4/24/17 changed to 80%]
Retired Aug 2, 2017; age 53
38Chevy454 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2021, 10:27 AM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
ivinsfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 7,793
So you have the money, don't fight about money and aren't looking for ways to cut back. What exactly did you hope to get from this thread.
ivinsfan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2021, 10:30 AM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Tampa
Posts: 8,567
Quote:
Originally Posted by corn18 View Post
We can afford it, so I'm not sweating it. I still like tracking everything. Always have. My spreadsheet goes back to 1996. It's always interesting going back and looking at what we spent money on back then.

I don't make a big deal out of it with her and we never fight over money.
I can relate with these categories, but on a lesser scale.
Food has gone up for us, as neither of us like cooking all that much, but we do cook 3 to 4 times weekly. Our budget in this area is 15/16k annual.
As for clothing, budget at retirement was 1k, but now is at 2k annual. Most not for me, except sneakers for sports.

I also track everything as I like it too for comparison, rerunning calculators and just plain like numbers.

It sounds like you are just letting a bit of steam off, as you have accepted this concept, perhaps a little reluctantly.
Have faith, I am in a similar boat, just on a lesser scale in these 2 categories.
__________________
TGIM
Dtail is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2021, 10:30 AM   #20
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Castro Valley
Posts: 725
My clothes spending is about $25 per month. Even then it accumulates. My wife on the other hand buys a lot of clothes and she won't tell me what she spends (we have separate accounts for this like that). Our closets are so full I'm turning the 4th bedroom into a giant closet.

Our monthly food purchase is about $750 and we spend about $400 per month dining out.
jkern is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Looking to retire within 2-4 years but need your help Carpediem Hi, I am... 5 01-23-2017 01:38 PM
This Guy Tried To Tell Us, But We Just Wouldn't Listen! haha FIRE and Money 5 05-08-2010 11:01 AM
Poll: Do you live within 50 miles of the ocean? tangomonster Other topics 37 06-21-2007 11:28 PM
I tried to cheat on you, but no one is good enough Martha Other topics 10 12-25-2005 08:13 PM

» Quick Links

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:55 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.