What did you spend in 2020?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
SQRT
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by SQRT »

SmileyFace wrote: Wed Dec 30, 2020 10:30 am

I also don't consider my taxes money I have "spent". It is money taken - not money spent.
I agree with this approach. My tax instalments and year end payments are included in the income section of my budget as an offset to the income that caused the tax. My pension is tax withheld at source so I simply record the net in income. Income taxes are not something you chose to spend on but the direct result of income generated. Therefore it seems to make more sense to treat income taxes as an offset to income. A bit like “Cost of Goods Sold” in a retail business.

Having said that there are lots of ways to do this stuff.

As far as actual spending went in 2020. Well under plan with travel virtually zero. Eating out, entertainment, way down. Charitable giving, groceries and liquor way up. Lake house renovation and unplanned new car soaked up most of the under spend. Sure glad 2020 is gone. Hopefully, 2021 will be more fun. Retired, 70 years old.
aristotelian
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by aristotelian »

count damoney wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 11:07 am Ugg . .. this is depressing.
$271k broken out as follows:

$24k mortgage
$55k investments
$60k expenses (food, utilities, entertainment, car lease, cell phones etc)
$17k landscaping project
$18k kids college
$8k property taxes
$6k insurance (auto, home, umbrella, etc)
$10.5k FICA/Medicare
$10k state income tax
$62.5K federal income tax
Mortgage is not an expense, it is reducing a debt. Also investments are not expenses. Does that make you feel better?

We spent $61k, down from $77k. Biggest changes were travel and childcare. Savings rate was best ever, over 60%.
TheNightsToCome
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by TheNightsToCome »

Our tax bill was 5.46 times our annual spending on everything ex-taxes.
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Tim_in_GA
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by Tim_in_GA »

Married, no kids - spending for 2020 was $42.8K which includes mortgage, utilities, food, and discretionary spending. Plan was $44K. I’m happy with that, it’s less than 40% of my income.
andypanda
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by andypanda »

I have no idea what we spent. We're 65 and 70 and were married in 11/2018. I stuck to my lifelong plan of investing too much and then spending most of what's left.

For 2020, I sold my former home in an all cash deal and paid off the mortgage on my wife's home where we now live. That was $129k. Some of the rest will go to two new decks, some bathroom renovations and maybe windows and a new 130-foot driveway. The rest we talk about spending on a second boat and a beach house or a river place or something. Well, I talk about a second fishing boat. ;)

HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!
shell921
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by shell921 »

Retired 73 year old widow

expenses :
................................
2018-$57,202
2019-$68,217
2020-$61,819
OnTrack2020
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by OnTrack2020 »

For items that we budgeted for at the beginning of 2020, we spent, give or take a few hundred dollars, $64,300. We were basically around $5,000 over budget for the year. :shock: That was for 4 and 1/2 persons--one son moved out mid-year.

We also spent another couple thousand helping college kids get settled, which I had given no thought to budgeting for. :oops:

This was our first year of retirement and, quite honestly, there were just too many things that went somewhat awry financially.

Where we went over budget by quite a bit was: Health care/medical supplies (2 unexpected surgeries and some unexpected medical supplies) and groceries. We just simply didn't budget enough for groceries/paper products/toiletries, etc.
SDLinguist
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by SDLinguist »

Working from home, going out once or twice a week and cooking the rest vs the opposite from last year, and no travel really decreased our spend.

Over all we spent, close enough with rounding errors, 25% less than last year. The decrease in eating out accounts for close to 65% of the total reduction in spending.

Taxes paid will be a bit higher than last year given income increases but I suspect that the final breakdown for 2020 will look something very close to:

Taxes: 20%
Spending: 35%
Savings 45%
Cruise
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by Cruise »

DINKs with no mortgage or rental expenses:

$85K (not including income or property taxes). This was quite low as a result of only one (pre-pandemic) trip.

The largest categories of credit card spend were:
Shopping- $15K
Food & Drink- $11K
Groceries- $10K

Given the need, charitable giving accelerated this year: $70K
delamer
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by delamer »

aristotelian wrote: Fri Jan 01, 2021 8:44 am
count damoney wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 11:07 am Ugg . .. this is depressing.
$271k broken out as follows:

$24k mortgage
$55k investments
$60k expenses (food, utilities, entertainment, car lease, cell phones etc)
$17k landscaping project
$18k kids college
$8k property taxes
$6k insurance (auto, home, umbrella, etc)
$10.5k FICA/Medicare
$10k state income tax
$62.5K federal income tax
Mortgage is not an expense, it is reducing a debt. Also investments are not expenses. Does that make you feel better?

We spent $61k, down from $77k. Biggest changes were travel and childcare. Savings rate was best ever, over 60%.
Paying down mortgage principal is debt reduction. Mortgage interest is an expense.
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Cranberry44
Posts: 125
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by Cranberry44 »

Rent & Utilitiess: $ 26,613.05

Health Insurance: $ 1,508.76

Groceries: $ 3,884.92

Misc./Other: $ 1,535.11

Rare/yearly payments/subscriptions: $ 3,208.44

Gas: $ 302.82

Restaurants/eating out: $ 285.44

Travel Expenses: $ 539.37

TOTAL: $ 37,978.91
ship_at_sea
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by ship_at_sea »

My first full year tracking expenses:

Total post-tax income:
126314.33

Total expenses:
130019.71

Expense highlights:
Rent: -23730.74
Child Support: -12610
Alimony (includes prepaid alimony so this expense will disappear in the future): -39400
Investments (401k, HSA): -21907.82
Groceries+Alcohol: -6266.02
Lawyer: -4350.68
Home furnishings: -4050.06
Restaurants/Dating: -3342
Taxes (this is direct payments to IRS as a result of underpayments elsewhere. I don't include paycheck deductions here): -4044.49

2020 was a near break-even year financially, but I expect 2021 to have around $40k surplus with a similar savings rate. I'm not sure if I'll allocate this towards increased savings or allow myself to enjoy it and increase spending. I don't really know what I want that could absorb $40k of spending, but I could probably figure out around $5k, maybe $10k if I do a vacation.
Last edited by ship_at_sea on Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
H-Town
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by H-Town »

delamer wrote: Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:45 am
aristotelian wrote: Fri Jan 01, 2021 8:44 am
count damoney wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 11:07 am Ugg . .. this is depressing.
$271k broken out as follows:

$24k mortgage
$55k investments
$60k expenses (food, utilities, entertainment, car lease, cell phones etc)
$17k landscaping project
$18k kids college
$8k property taxes
$6k insurance (auto, home, umbrella, etc)
$10.5k FICA/Medicare
$10k state income tax
$62.5K federal income tax
Mortgage is not an expense, it is reducing a debt. Also investments are not expenses. Does that make you feel better?

We spent $61k, down from $77k. Biggest changes were travel and childcare. Savings rate was best ever, over 60%.
Paying down mortgage principal is debt reduction. Mortgage interest is an expense.
If you nitpick, then I’ll say the value of your house should be amortized as housing expense if it’s your principal residence. It’s the cost of putting the roof over your head.

The goal of tracking expense is knowing where every single dollar of your income goes. If you achieve this goal, categorizing stuff is personal preference.
FountainFormation
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by FountainFormation »

Anecdotally, I’ve heard from friends and family that they spent way less in 2020 than in 2019. But for me it has only been a little bit less: in 2020 I spent ~96% of my 2019 total. I count myself lucky that my job is secure and I haven’t had to worry about that in addition to everything else.

While I spent far less on travel, eating out, etc., I spent quite a bit more than usual on categories to make being stuck at home more pleasant (ergonomic desk chair, bought my first TV, espresso maker, Peleton), on groceries (meal kits and grocery delivery), and on upgraded home internet. Donations (both charitable and political) were way up this year as well.

One thing I’m kicking myself for is not trying to negotiate my rent down this year. While there was no increase when I renewed my lease in July, I suspect I could have gotten a better deal if I had asked for it.
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aj76er
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by aj76er »

Married, no kids, MCOL

Total spend was around $50k

Largest items were:

Housing (mostly rent): $30k
Food (mostly groceries): $10k
Electronics (computer, iPad, etc to facilitate WFH): $3k
Pet food & boarding: $2k

We had virtually no travel, auto, or eating out expenses as compared to previous years.
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finite_difference
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by finite_difference »

mak1277 wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 3:23 pm
UpperNwGuy wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 3:02 pm Is the winner the one who spends the most or the one who spends the least? I find this thread to be exceedingly odd.
Definitely the one who spends the most.

I won't do my bookkeeping for December until next week, but we'll probably be around $80-$85k. That doesn't include taxes (a number substantially higher than $85k) or charitable contributions.
I think this year we need multiple winners:

-the one who spends the most, supporting the economy and jobs
-the one who spends the least, as a role model for anti consumerism and an exemplar for minimizing expenses
-the one who donates the most, for benevolence

I haven’t run the numbers, but I would estimate we spent about the same as last year except money normally spent on daycare went to home upgrades and grocery delivery.
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh
Tingting1013
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by Tingting1013 »

UpperNwGuy wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 3:02 pm Is the winner the one who spends the most or the one who spends the least? I find this thread to be exceedingly odd.
The last time this type of thread came up it was locked.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=299032

I see no reason why this one shouldn't be either.
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geerhardusvos
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by geerhardusvos »

Looks like we spent $64,XXX in 2020 in an area where the median household income is over $150,000 per year and median house value is above $850,000.
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smitcat
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by smitcat »

TheNightsToCome wrote: Fri Jan 01, 2021 8:56 am Our tax bill was 5.46 times our annual spending on everything ex-taxes.
A great answer and good perspective - and another reason why these answers in general have little value.
howard71
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by howard71 »

$73,314 was spent on take home pay of $91,708 (My SS and wife's salary). The rest ($18,394) went to savings. Wife also maxed out 401k.

Includes about $18k spent on new furniture and refrigerator.

No major vacations in 2020 due to Covid. Hoping that will change in 2021.
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StevieG72
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by StevieG72 »

More than I thought...

Over $100,000 but I am now debt free including my home, still managed to invest just short of $100,000 as well.

2021 expenses should be an all time low!
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mindboggling
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by mindboggling »

Retired. My expenses for 2020 were about 43k. That includes all income taxes. No large car repairs or house repairs/improvements in 2020 (for a change).
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House Blend
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by House Blend »

About 10% more than last year.
life-kingsize
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by life-kingsize »

My spend in 2020 was 37K .
surfstar
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by surfstar »

H-Town wrote: Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:15 pm
delamer wrote: Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:45 am
aristotelian wrote: Fri Jan 01, 2021 8:44 am
count damoney wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 11:07 am Ugg . .. this is depressing.
$271k broken out as follows:

$24k mortgage
$55k investments
$60k expenses (food, utilities, entertainment, car lease, cell phones etc)
$17k landscaping project
$18k kids college
$8k property taxes
$6k insurance (auto, home, umbrella, etc)
$10.5k FICA/Medicare
$10k state income tax
$62.5K federal income tax
Mortgage is not an expense, it is reducing a debt. Also investments are not expenses. Does that make you feel better?

We spent $61k, down from $77k. Biggest changes were travel and childcare. Savings rate was best ever, over 60%.
Paying down mortgage principal is debt reduction. Mortgage interest is an expense.
If you nitpick, then I’ll say the value of your house should be amortized as housing expense if it’s your principal residence. It’s the cost of putting the roof over your head.

The goal of tracking expense is knowing where every single dollar of your income goes. If you achieve this goal, categorizing stuff is personal preference.
I think that is just budgeting. The depressed poster above just basically listed their income and where all the money 'went'. That isn't necessarily "tracking expenses."

And its another example of this thread serving no real useful purpose. I guess it did let the silicon valley people see that their $170k annual expenses lined up with another poster. So I guess that was helpful?
surfstar
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by surfstar »

jhawktx wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 8:09 pm
iamblessed wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 11:01 am We compare spending every year on the forum. It goes back many years. It's almost a tradition.
Why?
It makes some people feel better about themselves, some people experience jealousy, some indifference, etc - you know, it's a tradition - like thanksgiving.
elle
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by elle »

TheTimeLord wrote: Wed Dec 30, 2020 10:50 am I am somewhat amused people know these numbers. I could tell you basically what our monthly spend is based on the balance of our checking account and knowing what goes in monthly. Anything beyond that really doesn't interest me.
Agreed! Fascinating. I consider myself pretty conscious compared to my IRL peers but folks here never cease to amaze me.

As a side note, never considered what I spend annually till this thread. All I know is it’s less than I make and I meet my savings goals.
vested1
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by vested1 »

We had a goal to not withdraw anything from savings in 2020 and succeeded, despite a ton of maintenance which included 17 trees falling and having to be removed. Still managed to live on fixed income in retirement all year and spent 55k total, not including taxes, which was surprisingly easy. About 20k of that was discretionary.

That ended as of January 1st 2021, with 25k worth of improvements scheduled on the house in the next two months. Moving a wall and replacing/expanding master bath shower, changing 700 sq ft of basement flooring from laminate to porcelain tile, putting in a pool table in the man cave err... basement.
New Providence
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by New Providence »

$3,000 on new Apple laptop and new iPad, and some software. I always invest on the very best for personal IT.
azianbob
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by azianbob »

DINKs here. Spent $70k this year in expenses, in Southern California.

Our spending decreased 17% this year, mainly due to COVID reducing travel, gas, entertainment and restaurant expenses.
sschoe2
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by sschoe2 »

$40k total not including income tax
-$25,871 mortgage (about 6k was property tax; I refied to a 10 year @2.625% $120k remaining in June)
-$3,241 veterinary care (I try my best to keep that down but one of my dogs is elderly I even do my own vaccinations)
-$3,072 groceries
-$1,671 insurance home&auto
-$1,633 utilities
-$1,247 home improvement
-$986 general merchandise probably mostly home improvement
4a757374696e
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Location: Austin, TX

Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by 4a757374696e »

I live in a MCOL city. My total income is about $150k. Feel free to ask me anything.

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kaudrey
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by kaudrey »

BAM55 wrote: Wed Dec 30, 2020 12:22 am
iamblessed wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:55 am We spent about 22k for everything including income taxes. We are retired.
I think we spent $22k on wine this year...
We resemble this remark...
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Sandtrap
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by Sandtrap »

Uncomfortable healthy 6 figures. :(

j :happy
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flyingaway
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by flyingaway »

vested1 wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 7:24 am We had a goal to not withdraw anything from savings in 2020 and succeeded, despite a ton of maintenance which included 17 trees falling and having to be removed. Still managed to live on fixed income in retirement all year and spent 55k total, not including taxes, which was surprisingly easy. About 20k of that was discretionary.

That ended as of January 1st 2021, with 25k worth of improvements scheduled on the house in the next two months. Moving a wall and replacing/expanding master bath shower, changing 700 sq ft of basement flooring from laminate to porcelain tile, putting in a pool table in the man cave err... basement.
Are you retired? If so and "not withdraw anything from savings in 2020", then what money did you spend in 2020? (I am just curious about what is counted as savings.)
2Birds1Stone
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

$16,550 for two people, living mostly abroad in LCOL EU countries.
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truenyer
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by truenyer »

Sandtrap wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:49 pm Uncomfortable healthy 6 figures. :(

j :happy
Ditto. We were at $150k (about $40k of that is mortgage excluding taxes).
Random Poster
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by Random Poster »

4a757374696e wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 12:00 pm I live in a MCOL city. My total income is about $150k. Feel free to ask me anything.
How much “moving” do you get for $40 these days?

Also, I would think that $10k for rent in Austin would be a steal, as I wouldn’t call that town MCOL.
Hyperchicken
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by Hyperchicken »

4a757374696e wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 12:00 pm I live in a MCOL city. My total income is about $150k. Feel free to ask me anything.
Impressive level of details!

One question - what is included into "shopping" , given that food, drinks, clothes, etc. are broken out as separate categories?
Count of Notre Dame
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by Count of Notre Dame »

Monthly figures for HCOL:

Credit cards - $12.5k (way too much DoorDash and wine)
Mortgage - $6.7k
Private school - $2.4k
Daycare - $2k
Utilities / home repairs - $2k
Property tax - $1.6k
529 plans - $1.2k
Insurance - $1k
Misc. - $1k

Yup I spend too much money!
Count of Notre Dame
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by Count of Notre Dame »

BAM55 wrote: Wed Dec 30, 2020 12:22 am
iamblessed wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:55 am We spent about 22k for everything including income taxes. We are retired.
I think we spent $22k on wine this year...
My number looks like yours! I considered it a Covid anxiety treatment.
jsapiandante
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by jsapiandante »

We spent roughly $71k excluding taxes in 2020 living in HCOL in SoCal. Family of 3.

Mortgage - $30k
Property tax - $9.4k
General Merchandise (Costco, Amazon, Target, and Walmart) - $6.9k
Car loan - $5.1k
Groceries - $3.5k
Pre-k/Daycare - $3.3k
Restaurants - $3k
Utilities (electricity, water, trash, gas, Netflix and internet) - $2.1k
Gas - $1.5k
Auto insurance (2 cars) - $1.1k
Personal Care - $1k
Homeowners insurance - $950
Home Improvement/Maintenance - $800
Automotive (maintenance and registration) - $750
Travel - $600 (way down from our budget of $6k)
Entertainment - $450
Hobbies (Golf) - $300
shuresm7b1
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by shuresm7b1 »

45k, budget is 60k
helloworld1111
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by helloworld1111 »

$333k, married, had a kid in 2020!

$100k investments
$30k cash savings
$5k hsa

$31.5k mortgage
$13k property taxes
$40k expenses (food, utilities, entertainment, car lease, cell phones etc)
$12k home upgrades
$6k insurance (auto, home, umbrella, medical)
$14k FICA/Medicare
$24k state income tax
$55K federal income tax
4a757374696e
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by 4a757374696e »

Random Poster wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 6:18 pm
4a757374696e wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 12:00 pm I live in a MCOL city. My total income is about $150k. Feel free to ask me anything.
How much “moving” do you get for $40 these days?

Also, I would think that $10k for rent in Austin would be a steal, as I wouldn’t call that town MCOL.
That was a tenant screening fee. Hired movers were more expensive. I think the roommate and I paid $600 ($300 each) for 4 hours of work. That transaction is hidden inside the Cash Apps:Venmo category.

Austin is definitely more than average, but I'm not sure I'd consider it a HCOL city. It's cost of living index is 119.3. I'd consider Seattle (172.3) or Boston (162.4) to be HCOL, and places like San Francisco (269.3) to be VHCOL. Like I mentioned, I have a roommate. Our total rent is $1950 ($975 each) for a three bedroom house with nice amenities. We used to live in a two bedroom apartment that was $1300. Most of my friends pay about the same that I do. If you want to live downtown, it'll cost more.
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4a757374696e
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by 4a757374696e »

Hyperchicken wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 6:57 pm
4a757374696e wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 12:00 pm I live in a MCOL city. My total income is about $150k. Feel free to ask me anything.
Impressive level of details!

One question - what is included into "shopping" , given that food, drinks, clothes, etc. are broken out as separate categories?
Good question. Shopping transactions are primarily consumer goods that do not fit into other categories. For example, this year I bought a new laptop, monitor, and desk. And all of my Amazon purchases are included (as a subcategory) in shopping.
Don't do anything tomorrow that can be done today
vested1
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Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by vested1 »

flyingaway wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 2:00 pm
vested1 wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 7:24 am We had a goal to not withdraw anything from savings in 2020 and succeeded, despite a ton of maintenance which included 17 trees falling and having to be removed. Still managed to live on fixed income in retirement all year and spent 55k total, not including taxes, which was surprisingly easy. About 20k of that was discretionary.

That ended as of January 1st 2021, with 25k worth of improvements scheduled on the house in the next two months. Moving a wall and replacing/expanding master bath shower, changing 700 sq ft of basement flooring from laminate to porcelain tile, putting in a pool table in the man cave err... basement.
Are you retired? If so and "not withdraw anything from savings in 2020", then what money did you spend in 2020? (I am just curious about what is counted as savings.)
Yes,, we have been retired for 5 years next month. Our savings is comprised of our combined portfolios. We didn't need to withdraw anything in 2020 because fixed income covered all expenses and discretionary spending. This came from my wife's 100% survivor pension and our SS income. My wife earned a bit less than me while working, and is a year younger than me exactly. She filed for her own benefit at age 65 and I filed a restricted application simultaneously at my FRA, getting 1/2 of her PIA amount.

In 1.5 years at age 70 I will file for my own SS benefit and our fixed income will rise to 100k combined from both of those sources. If not for RMD's beginning in 4 years we wouldn't "need" to withdraw from savings at all. Extras are for those irregular major purchases, like the aforementioned remodel this year, and come from savings.
vested1
Posts: 2394
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:20 pm

Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by vested1 »

Also, 2019 was the first full year that we received SS benefits. 2020 was the first full year we had no mortgage, having sold our home of 25 years in CA and bought one for cash in SC. We went from MCOL to LCOL, which also helped.
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danbdzs
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:29 pm

Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by danbdzs »

smitcat wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 3:41 pm
TheNightsToCome wrote: Fri Jan 01, 2021 8:56 am Our tax bill was 5.46 times our annual spending on everything ex-taxes.
A great answer and good perspective - and another reason why these answers in general have little value.
I also really liked how this was framed.
Advantages of living in a super LCOL had my tax bill at ~2.1 times my total annual ex-tax expense.

I also observed about a 50% reduction in ex-tax expenses, totalling at roughly 15k!
TallBoy29er
Posts: 1120
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:06 pm

Re: What did you spend in 2020?

Post by TallBoy29er »

Oye, I don't want to know. We took a covid hiatus in the mountains.

Me + DW each got:
Yeti full suspension bike
Downhill ski setup
Skimo ski setup
Nordic ski setup
Snowshoes
Packs

I can't compare to prior years. I don't want to know how much coin this blast of a time is costing us. 🥂🍻
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