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Any relatively low spenders out there?

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  • Vagabond MD Vagabond MD 
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    Status: Physician
    Posts: 3422
    Joined: 01/21/2016

    We are not big spenders now, but my concern is that our spending will go up in retirement. My wife and I are currently working 0.75 and full time, and are often too busy to spend money on much except for daily essentials. But, when we retire, and have more time on our hands, we might start finding more ways to spend (travel, hobbies, etc).

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    I hope so. I want to travel with you guys. 🙂

    "Wealth is the slave of the wise man and the master of the fool.” -Seneca the Younger

    #189376 Reply
    ACN ACN 
    Moderator
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 616
    Joined: 01/08/2016

    I’m always shocked on how low some of these numbers are that people post.  I’m very early into my career, my wife and I are both young with no kids.  We eat out 1-2 times per week, give to charity, and enjoy traveling ($10-20k/year).  Even if I cut out the traveling, we’re still well over 6 figures in spending.  And I’m counting 99.99% of every dollar we spend whether it’s taxes, loans, car payments, ect.  And I wouldnt say we live any lavish life, we live in a normal 2 bedroom apt, have normal furniture, shop at TJ Max, amazon and normal grocery store (don’t eat organic or anything that’s dumb and expensive).  Buy bulk @ costco.

    This year, I’m anticipating our spending to easily hit $200k as I’m going to dump ~$100k towards loans.

    If you're ever having a bad day, just remember in 1976 Ronald Wayne sold his 10% stake in Apple for $2,300.

    #189377 Reply
    Lithium Lithium 
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    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1159
    Joined: 02/15/2016

    ~30k here, but that is with no rent to worry about.  In the last year, cutting out alcohol, cutting out soda, mostly cutting out driving, and a lot less eating out, but spending more on travel.

    I am starting to realize I have the financial equivalent of an eating disorder.  I do get irrationally uncomfortable with spending, but that is something I hope to work on.

     

    #189379 Reply
    Lithium Lithium 
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    Joined: 02/15/2016
    Splash Refinancing Bonus

    I’m always shocked on how low some of these numbers are that people post.  I’m very early into my career, my wife and I are both young with no kids.  We eat out 1-2 times per week, give to charity, and enjoy traveling ($10-20k/year).  Even if I cut out the traveling, we’re still well over 6 figures in spending.  And I’m counting 99.99% of every dollar we spend whether it’s taxes, loans, car payments, ect.  And I wouldnt say we live any lavish life, we live in a normal 2 bedroom apt, have normal furniture, shop at TJ Max, amazon and normal grocery store (don’t eat organic or anything that’s dumb and expensive).  Buy bulk @ costco.

    This year, I’m anticipating our spending to easily hit $200k as I’m going to dump ~$100k towards loans.

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    I don’t count principal paydown of loans or taxes as spending.

    FICA, State, Federal, and property taxes were easily over twice as much as what I spent on everything else.

    #189380 Reply
    Liked by CM, hatton1, SLC OB
    Avatar Kamban 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2416
    Joined: 08/01/2016
    Our annual spending is about $70k (which includes disability and life insurance for both of us). We travel and do what we like, but our spending has never really gone up.

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    A lot depends if one of you has some sort of stable medical insurance. It costs $15-18K per year even with a company provided insurance and with a $10K deductible or more you can look at spending $30K in a bad year.

    And that is if you can find health insurance. If you have that you can easily live on $70K per year.

    #189383 Reply
    Liked by hatton1
    Avatar Kamban 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2416
    Joined: 08/01/2016

    I’m always shocked on how low some of these numbers are that people post. I’m very early into my career, my wife and I are both young with no kids. We eat out 1-2 times per week, give to charity, and enjoy traveling ($10-20k/year). Even if I cut out the traveling, we’re still well over 6 figures in spending.

    Click to expand…

    if you enter every penny in a spreadsheet or Quicken and run a report you will see quickly how they add up. I suspect the 1-2/ week eating out and the charity  make the big chunks but the little numbers tally up.

    The next time you go to Costco and buy some simple items in the $2-15 range like detergent, milk, some bagel and chips, salsa etc. When you check out, the list of items is about 20-25 in number and nothing looks very expensive like a large screen TV set. But the final total is $309.88. You think this cannot be possible and there is some mistake in the addition. When you actually do it on your phone calculator it is the correct number. Small items add up to a large sum.

    #189384 Reply
    ACN ACN 
    Moderator
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 616
    Joined: 01/08/2016

    I’m always shocked on how low some of these numbers are that people post. I’m very early into my career, my wife and I are both young with no kids. We eat out 1-2 times per week, give to charity, and enjoy traveling ($10-20k/year). Even if I cut out the traveling, we’re still well over 6 figures in spending.

    Click to expand…

    if you enter every penny in a spreadsheet or Quicken and run a report you will see quickly how they add up. I suspect the 1-2/ week eating out and the charity  make the big chunks but the little numbers tally up.

    The next time you go to Costco and buy some simple items in the $2-15 range like detergent, milk, some bagel and chips, salsa etc. When you check out, the list of items is about 20-25 in number and nothing looks very expensive like a large screen TV set. But the final total is $309.88. You think this cannot be possible and there is some mistake in the addition. When you actually do it on your phone calculator it is the correct number. Small items add up to a large sum.

    Click to expand…

    That’s what I’m saying…life’s expensive.  So last year, the car payments and starting a new job/boards accounted for $50k.  So half will be eliminated this year, but then we’ll add $100k more in loan payments.  Everytime I eliminate a large category a new one appears.  Next year will be mortgage and practice buy in to add in to the mix.  I guess once we have no loans and no debt to pay, our expenses will drop, but then we’ll probably have private education expenses…lol.  I’ll report back in 20 years with a new expense report! haha =/

    Last Year:

    • Work Stuff, Boards, Moving, Business Website: $30k
    • Rent: $24k
    • Car Payments: $24k
    • Health Care: $13k
    • Giving: $10k
    • Insurance: $9k
    • Restaurants: $8k
    • Shopping: $8k
    • Groceries: $6k
    • Another 10 categories around $500-$1500.

     

    If you're ever having a bad day, just remember in 1976 Ronald Wayne sold his 10% stake in Apple for $2,300.

    #189393 Reply
    Avatar Anne 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1104
    Joined: 11/07/2017

    I’m always shocked on how low some of these numbers are that people post. I’m very early into my career, my wife and I are both young with no kids. We eat out 1-2 times per week, give to charity, and enjoy traveling ($10-20k/year). Even if I cut out the traveling, we’re still well over 6 figures in spending.

    Click to expand…

    if you enter every penny in a spreadsheet or Quicken and run a report you will see quickly how they add up. I suspect the 1-2/ week eating out and the charity  make the big chunks but the little numbers tally up.

    The next time you go to Costco and buy some simple items in the $2-15 range like detergent, milk, some bagel and chips, salsa etc. When you check out, the list of items is about 20-25 in number and nothing looks very expensive like a large screen TV set. But the final total is $309.88. You think this cannot be possible and there is some mistake in the addition. When you actually do it on your phone calculator it is the correct number. Small items add up to a large sum.

    Click to expand…

    That’s what I’m saying…life’s expensive.  So last year, the car payments and starting a new job/boards accounted for $50k.  So half will be eliminated this year, but then we’ll add $100k more in loan payments.  Everytime I eliminate a large category a new one appears.  Next year will be mortgage and practice buy in to add in to the mix.  I guess once we have no loans and no debt to pay, our expenses will drop, but then we’ll probably have private education expenses…lol.  I’ll report back in 20 years with a new expense report! haha =/

    Last Year:

    • Work Stuff, Boards, Moving, Business Website: $30k
    • Rent: $24k
    • Car Payments: $24k
    • Health Care: $13k
    • Giving: $10k
    • Insurance: $9k
    • Restaurants: $8k
    • Shopping: $8k
    • Groceries: $6k
    • Another 10 categories around $500-$1500.

     

    Click to expand…

    Yeah not having any loans beyond a (relatively small) mortgage helps a lot.  And not having kids makes planning for future expenses much more easy to predict, as well as costs a lot less.

    Good points from zzz and Kamban about healthcare.   That’s the biggest wild card when making future spending predictions.

    We can’t get out of Costco for less than $300.  I’m always impressed by the people standing in line with one of those huge carts with like a pack of batteries and a 2 pack of bread.  We only go once every 2-3 months though.

    #189405 Reply
    Avatar SLC OB 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 531
    Joined: 06/23/2018

    I’m always shocked on how low some of these numbers are that people post.  I’m very early into my career, my wife and I are both young with no kids.  We eat out 1-2 times per week, give to charity, and enjoy traveling ($10-20k/year).  Even if I cut out the traveling, we’re still well over 6 figures in spending.  And I’m counting 99.99% of every dollar we spend whether it’s taxes, loans, car payments, ect.  And I wouldnt say we live any lavish life, we live in a normal 2 bedroom apt, have normal furniture, shop at TJ Max, amazon and normal grocery store (don’t eat organic or anything that’s dumb and expensive).  Buy bulk @ costco.

    This year, I’m anticipating our spending to easily hit $200k as I’m going to dump ~$100k towards loans.

    Click to expand…

    I totally get where you are coming from… I feel like we spend more than the average on this forum…. but we have 3 kids, live in a ski resort area (so HCOLA and expensive sport with growing kids!), and allocate our money to things we want to pay down. We also live in a high tax area which kills the income. Sometimes I feel like we are living “pay check to pay check” but that’s because we are paying lots extra to our mortgages, maxing out all retirements, putting a “name” on all the money so it is not spent on other stuff.

     

    #189408 Reply
    CM CM 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1143
    Joined: 01/14/2017

    I understand why people are conservative with FI numbers, but any relatively low spenders out there with some thoughts on our plan or how you plan to handle your FI number if you no longer want to practice and don’t spend a lot?

    Click to expand…

    …..

    Erstwhile Dance Theatre of Dayton performer cum bellhop. Carried bags for Cyd Charisse (gracious). Hosted epic company parties after Friday night rehearsals.

    #189410 Reply
    Avatar FIREshrink 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 984
    Joined: 01/11/2017

    Yeah, we spend $70k. Every four months, unfortunately.

    DocRambo DocRambo 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 11
    Joined: 01/17/2019

    Some of the numbers seem really low. I know there is always room to cut back, but I am trying to enjoy life with my family (within reason) as I go through it and not save a small fortune just to have at the end…..because we don’t know when the end is. I have enough to be FI, with a few small cuts in spending for a few years until the pension kicks in, and continue to save around 30%/year. I work primary care and the wife teaches, we both love our job so there is no rush to get out early. Groceries and travel are the two biggest expenses. It seems like we live in the grocery store – but with 4 teenage children the cupboards empty quickly. We work overseas. The main reason was to travel and expose our children to the world so we take a 3-7 day trip monthly about 10 x a year. Average annual spending – around 100k.

    Avatar ZZZ 
    Participant
    Status: Spouse
    Posts: 663
    Joined: 06/18/2018

    ‘I don’t count principal paydown of loans or taxes as spending’

    Case-in-point of some of the mental gymnastics some go through to be ‘low spenders’. By the above logic, I could take out loans for a Bugatti and a Bentley, have $1M in student loans from living it up, and 500k personal loan..and my annual ‘spending’ on those is essentially zero, or only the interest cost.

    If you take out health care, various insurances, and the ever growing list of taxes on everything, I guess we could all come up with some blue sky, lowball numbers with regards to our ‘spending’.

    #189419 Reply
    Liked by MaxPower, Zaphod, Peds
    Avatar EndoRobert 
    Participant
    Posts: 62
    Joined: 01/12/2019

    ACN- truly with all due respect, one person’s normal is another extravagance. Dave Ramsey says if you want to be “normal” that’s fine, but normal is broke! Looks like y’all are rapidly paying off debt and certainly being early career dentistry (that’s what it seems like) doesn’t help so long term I have no doubt you’ll be in good shape. But you’re paying $1k/month/person on cars. You either did zero money down or are leasing, and I imagine they’re both pretty nice cars at those figures.

    We spent 69k and change over a rolling last 12 month average. Early career, one child, and another on the way. I’m sure it’ll go up moving forward as family grows and we grow into our income. Cutting back late forties and *really* cutting back at 55 are priorities. I’d like to cap our peak spending at 100k, but we’ll see how that works out.

    #189438 Reply
    Avatar mxg67 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 79
    Joined: 11/25/2016

    My spouse and I spend about that much too.  Around these forums it seems to be on the lower end and portfolio needs of 25x-30x is on the low side as well, but that’s fine.  We live in a MCOL area, rent a comfortable up-scaleish apartment, average grocery spending, eat out a few times a week without guilt, 2 average cars, a few trips a year domestic or international (coach, 3-star hotels, etc.), and overall live a very comfortable lifestyle w/o feeling restricted or lacking anything.  Certainly if we retired costs would increase for healthcare.  And retiring completely and relying solely on a portfolio would make me nervous at that age.  But your plan seems sound, work towards a certain FI number, but having one of you continue to bring in a steady income afterwards, maybe covering health insurance and delaying withdrawals, all sound reasonable and likely the way I’d go too.

    #189439 Reply
    Liked by Anne, bobedwards

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