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your monthly budget before entertainment?
Old 09-08-2021, 08:01 AM   #1
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your monthly budget before entertainment?

Hi friends,

What's everyone's monthly budget before entertainment or food? I'm sure this has been posted before but w rising costs of living everywhere probably a good one to revisit. Mine is about 900 a month.

Budget:
Mortgage: $0
County Tax:$104
Home Owner Insurance: $50
Electric: $250
Internet: $50
Ring: $10
Gas: $15
Water/Sewer/trash: $50
Pool/yard maintenance: $50
Cleaning: $120
Mobile Phone: $55
Gym: $25
Insurance (car, Home warranty) $110
TotaL: $889
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Old 09-08-2021, 08:09 AM   #2
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Location: St. Louis
Posts: 1,415
Budget:
Mortgage: $0
County Tax:$200
Home Owner Insurance: $80
Electric: $225
Internet: $4
Gas: $35
Water/Sewer/trash: $70
Mobile Phone: $2.50
Insurance (car, ) $38
TotaL: $654.50
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Old 09-08-2021, 08:13 AM   #3
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It will depend on what you count as "entertainment". Certainly internet and pool maintenance could be considered entertainment expenses. Most of my entertainment comes from the internet (streaming TV and movies, discussion forums, communicating with friends and family, etc.).


Our monthly spending runs about $7,000 counting everything. I don't break it down so I can't pull out entertainment or food.
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Old 09-08-2021, 08:22 AM   #4
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I have found it tough to break down on a monthly basis as some months are relatively cheap but other months are pretty expensive. Overall, our "normal" expenses average around $2200/mo.

This figure includes all utilities, property taxes, cable/internet/tv/streaming, insurance, gas/maintenance/registration, food (includes eating out) and pet care.

Not included is house maintenance (was about $15K last year but we "expect" about $5K a year) and vacations/trips/other discretionary spending. Last year was a pretty expensive year overall due to ice storms and lots of vet bills (surgery on one of the dogs). We were "all in" at about $48K.

We have no debt (mortgage, car loans, or otherwise).
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Old 09-08-2021, 09:05 AM   #5
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Here’s a rough stab at ours:

Family of 3 in a MCOL area

Property Tax: $267
Home insurance: $90
Car insurance: $160
*Home maintenance items: $200
Health insurance : $126
Dental ins: $38
Gym: $109
Phones: $200
Natural Gas: $50
Electric: $100
Water/Sewer/Trash: $100
Internet: $70
Gasoline: $135
*Clothing: $80
OOP Medical/Dental: $450
*Autos: $500
Home security service: $25
Miscellaneous: $100

Total: $2800

*I took a swag at what things like home maintenance, clothing and vehicles costs when the one time costs are spread out over time. We just spent $10k+ on a new roof and gutters, for instance. I need to replace 4 tires on an SUV, and that might end up being $1000 for decent off-road tires (haven’t priced yet, but preparing myself). I had a check engine light come on and needed a hard to reach sensor replaced a couple months back, $800. We pay cash usually for vehicles, but I spread that out over a decade (if they last longer, great, but useful for budgeting). I’d rather overestimate on things than come up short here.

Additional notes: My medical bills are high, but would be crazy high if we weren’t in the ACA CSR range, limiting our Max OOP, which we tend to hit most years. The joys of getting cancer.
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Old 09-08-2021, 09:18 AM   #6
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This is interesting information, but may I ask WHERE in this country you can live and pay $200-$300 per month in property taxes and $100- $160/ month in auto insurance?
We live in North Jersey, with a 2nd home at the Jersey shore and monthly property taxes alone on either home are more than your entire stated monthly budget (Jose and Fan). Yes, I realize our taxes are quite high here as I have lived in NJ all my life and it is HOT TOPIC political issue.

I guess this is why so many Retirees move to LCOL areas. Our family (kids and grandkids) all live in this area so moving to a LCOL area is not something that we would even consider. Do others here move away from their families in order to afford a comfortable lifestyle during retirement? To me, if I had to face that decision, I would keep working.
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Old 09-08-2021, 09:31 AM   #7
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Arizona for me. Property taxes are great here. Even w sky rocketing prices.
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Old 09-08-2021, 09:36 AM   #8
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Single person in lower cost of living area with paid off home.

Property tax: $250
Homeowners Ins.: $50
Internet: $80
Gas/electric: $100
Water: $40
Phone: $15(Tracfone)
Car Insurance: $25
Car gas/maint.: $50

Total: $610

Health insurance is free with ACA subsidies and haven't had any co-pays or other OOP in the last year+. Internet is my primary source of entertainment but I included it anyway. Food and entertainment would only increase my budget by a couple hundred unless I went to Florida for part of the Winter.
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Old 09-08-2021, 09:37 AM   #9
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Before we moved, the property tax was only $200 per month on a $700K home and we live in Nevada. Now we pay about $340 per month on a $900K home.
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Old 09-08-2021, 09:48 AM   #10
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Florida's First Coast
Posts: 4,997
Budget:
Mortgage: $0
Real Estate Tax:$475
Home Owner & Flood Insurance: $250
Electric: $120
Internet: $75
Gas: $25
Water/Sewer/trash: $50
Pool/yard maintenance: $150
Association HOA: $160
Mobile Phone: $60
Insurance (car): $30
Healthcare: $400
Car Lease: $410
Total: $2,145
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Old 09-08-2021, 09:49 AM   #11
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,145
Budget:
Mortgage: $0
County Tax:$303
Home Owner Insurance: $68
Electric+Water/Sewer/trash: $170
Internet: $50
Natural Gas: $60
Gas for cars: $50
Mobile Phone: $32
Insurance (car): $75
Medicare+Medigap+Part D ($537-$312 HRA):$224
DirecTV:$118

Total: $1150

I eliminated some of your categories that don't apply to us and added a few of ours. What about your health insurance?

Our total for everything including food and a generous category for "OTHER" each month is right around $2750/mo. That's less than DHs pension so that means we save a nice chunk every month. Sweeeet!
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Old 09-08-2021, 09:50 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RetiredHappy View Post
Before we moved, the property tax was only $200 per month on a $700K home and we live in Nevada. Now we pay about $340 per month on a $900K home.
Wow, I pay $240-250/mo on a house that is valued at around $130K but would probably not be able to sell for more than $100K.
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Old 09-08-2021, 09:59 AM   #13
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I don't separate entertainment and food expenses from other, more easily quantifiable expenses because sometimes I pay for them in cash, sometimes with a credit card.

I first break down my expenses into 3 broad categories: (1) housing, which is my monthly co-op maintenance charge minus any state property tax rebate; (2) medical costs, which include health insurance, dental, and all copays; and (3) everything else.

Housing is about 1/3, medical is about 1/6 (a lot lower than prior to 2020 because I am back on the ACA subsidy train), and everything else is 1/2. Prior to 2020, the last items used to be split evenly.

As others have mentioned, what one defines as entertainment can vary from one person to another. My triple-play internet/cable-tv/phone could be split into entertainment for the first 2 services and non-entertainment for the phone.
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Old 09-08-2021, 10:08 AM   #14
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Hmm... Nobody is paying any Federal/State income taxes?

That is one of our larger expenses.. Same question for pet/vet costs? and maybe even clothing?

Perhaps folks are answering the "what are you housing costs" question.

-gauss
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Old 09-08-2021, 10:29 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gauss View Post
Hmm... Nobody is paying any Federal/State income taxes?

That is one of our larger expenses.. Same question for pet/vet costs? and maybe even clothing?

Perhaps folks are answering the "what are you housing costs" question.

-gauss
I'm low income so I pay almost no income tax but I don't consider that an expense. My income is what I make after taxes, my expenses come off my after tax income. I don't have any pets and almost never buy clothes. If I buy clothes it's a couple $10 t-shirts every few years and a pack of socks or boxers every few years, maybe a $10-20 hoodie every 5 or so years. Breaking it down monthly it's maybe $5/mo or less for clothes.
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Old 09-08-2021, 10:56 AM   #16
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$6K after tax, not including any income tax installment payments.

That is the only budget number we have.
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Old 09-08-2021, 01:36 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luvtoride View Post
This is interesting information, but may I ask WHERE in this country you can live and pay $200-$300 per month in property taxes and $100- $160/ month in auto insurance?
We live in North Jersey, with a 2nd home at the Jersey shore and monthly property taxes alone on either home are more than your entire stated monthly budget (Jose and Fan). Yes, I realize our taxes are quite high here as I have lived in NJ all my life and it is HOT TOPIC political issue.

I guess this is why so many Retirees move to LCOL areas. Our family (kids and grandkids) all live in this area so moving to a LCOL area is not something that we would even consider. Do others here move away from their families in order to afford a comfortable lifestyle during retirement? To me, if I had to face that decision, I would keep working.
Most of the middle of the country is like this. I pay about $2400 in house taxes a year. If I moved to a so so area I could cut it down to $500 a year. If I moved to a small town maybe 1k a year. I pay $35 for car insurance. If I moved to that so so area it would jump to $50 month. You get the picture.
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Old 09-08-2021, 01:42 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luvtoride View Post
This is interesting information, but may I ask WHERE in this country you can live and pay $200-$300 per month in property taxes and $100- $160/ month in auto insurance?
I'm in Oregon and pay about $300 a month in property taxes and $100 a month for car insurance for 2 cars. I thought our taxes were high here; I've been looking at lower cost of living places for retirement where I'd pay less taxes for more house.
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Old 09-08-2021, 02:01 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gauss View Post
Hmm... Nobody is paying any Federal/State income taxes?

That is one of our larger expenses.. Same question for pet/vet costs? and maybe even clothing?

Perhaps folks are answering the "what are you housing costs" question.

-gauss
We don't budget, so did not reply to OP. But to your question on taxes, our taxes are a function of Roth conversions. So they could vary from $100/mo to $2,000/mo.

I am guessing others are in the same position.
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Old 09-08-2021, 02:05 PM   #20
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GG,
Lower rates than Oregon where you live now?
Is cost the only factor on where to live in Retirement?

I must be so numbed by the high cost of living in the NJ/ NYC area that I don’t realize how much lower it is in other parts of the country. What “services” are lacking in these places that taxes can be that low? I must be missing something!.
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