Author Topic: We only spent $690 for the month of May (ALL bills included)  (Read 6897 times)

minimalistgamer

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So we are on a quest to live under $1000 per month. With a paid off house in a small college town, this is definitely possible [check my signature for that story].

May has been a fantastic month for us. I am not sure if we can top this, but we will try.

I thank god because we are in good health, and I thank the people of this country for giving us this opportunity to live, work and build our lives. We want to pass this forward, and if there is anything I can answer, feel free to ask.

Here are the full details - http://minimalistgamer.blogspot.com/2017/06/month-in-review-may-2017.html
(This is not a ad for my blog. I just find it easier to upload pictures to my blog post than forum post).

Here is the full text -

We started the month of May with the intention of doing better than we did in April which was a fantastic month with $790 expenses. We knew it was going to be difficult to live within $790 especially because we were going to visit family in a different state.

With the baseline of monthly expenditure being $1000, we decided to contribute the difference towards a vacation fund. So far in two months, we contributed $518.64 towards this fund.

Our expenditure for the month of May is $690.80

We managed to spend $99.77 than the previous month. We consider this a huge win for us because we were able to reduce waste very aggressively without compromising on fun or quality of life.

Expenses for the month of May 2017

For the month of June, I intend to reduce eating out, because we are planning for some fancy dining next month.

Spending in 2017 thus far -
I paid off my mortgage! You can read the details here -
https://minimalistgamer.blogspot.com/2017/01/paid-off-our-mortgage.html

Feel free to ask any questions.

Rosy

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Re: We only spent $690 for the month of May (ALL bills included)
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2017, 04:26:36 PM »
Wow - that's some serious badass territory. Congrats!

gaja

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Re: We only spent $690 for the month of May (ALL bills included)
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2017, 04:34:05 PM »
Impressive! And I love your story about paying the mortgage in full. That must have felt good.
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Fi(re) on the Farm

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Re: We only spent $690 for the month of May (ALL bills included)
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2017, 04:40:36 PM »
I read your blog post about paying off the mortgage and I know the whole argument about investing versus paying off the mortgage but for me the sense of security not having a mortgage and no debt is wonderful. Congratulations to you! $690 a month is amazing.

minimalistgamer

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Re: We only spent $690 for the month of May (ALL bills included)
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2017, 07:46:45 PM »
Thank you all for your kind comments. While we did not compromise our lifestyle as such, maintaining and sticking to a budget takes some work! I am glad we were able to pull it off.

I read your blog post about paying off the mortgage and I know the whole argument about investing versus paying off the mortgage but for me the sense of security not having a mortgage and no debt is wonderful. Congratulations to you! $690 a month is amazing.

Thank you.

The popular opinion on this forum is that paying off your house is bad because investing in the stock market will yield more returns in the long term. I cannot argue with that. However, this is where the personal aspect of personal finance comes in.

I am debt averse, therefore, I would prefer to not have a mortgage payment. In my situation it made a lot of sense because I had a lot of cash sitting in the bank. My two choices came down to investing that money as a lump sum into the stock market, or paying off the house.

It was a no brainer for me, and I am very happy today. I don't regret it one bit.
I paid off my mortgage! You can read the details here -
https://minimalistgamer.blogspot.com/2017/01/paid-off-our-mortgage.html

Feel free to ask any questions.

Sarah Saverdink

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Re: We only spent $690 for the month of May (ALL bills included)
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2017, 08:15:29 PM »
Very impressive! Keep up the good work!
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jim555

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Re: We only spent $690 for the month of May (ALL bills included)
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2017, 06:54:43 AM »
Just curious, see no $$$ for health insurance, property or income taxes, maintenance.  You should annualize then divide by 12 and add them in.

minimalistgamer

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Re: We only spent $690 for the month of May (ALL bills included)
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2017, 01:35:28 PM »
Very impressive! Keep up the good work!

Thank you very much. I checked out your blog, and your achievements are very impressive as well! Keep up the good work!

I enjoyed reading your monthly spending reviews. I will look forward to more.
I paid off my mortgage! You can read the details here -
https://minimalistgamer.blogspot.com/2017/01/paid-off-our-mortgage.html

Feel free to ask any questions.

Sarah Saverdink

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Re: We only spent $690 for the month of May (ALL bills included)
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2017, 05:26:29 AM »
Very impressive! Keep up the good work!

Thank you very much. I checked out your blog, and your achievements are very impressive as well! Keep up the good work!

I enjoyed reading your monthly spending reviews. I will look forward to more.

Thank you :) I did ask my husband about his data backup configuration and the response was "it's complicated...." He already had some hardware and hacked together a system using the new back-up drives he just purchased. Typical engineer! I'll see if I can get some more info out of him. He's traveling for work this week, so no guarantees.

I'm highly impressed by your low monthly spending. That takes dedication. Even if we paid off our mortgage, taxes alone are $500/month :)
www.saverdinks.com - DINKs in our 30s. Saved $1M by age 32. Follow our journey to financial independence.

Aggie1999

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Re: We only spent $690 for the month of May (ALL bills included)
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2017, 10:11:08 AM »
Just curious, see no $$$ for health insurance, property or income taxes, maintenance.  You should annualize then divide by 12 and add them in.

Also wondering this. I track my various insurances, HOA and property tax as part of my monthly spend. I don't track income tax as that is something I have no control over. I calculate my savings percentage rate after taking out income tax from my salary.

minimalistgamer

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Re: We only spent $690 for the month of May (ALL bills included)
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2017, 06:41:25 AM »
Just curious, see no $$$ for health insurance, property or income taxes, maintenance.  You should annualize then divide by 12 and add them in.

I think there is some confusion here. The link I posted only shows expenses, not budget. I have budgeted for these annual expenses separately.

Now, one might argue that I am technically spending money on these items (taxes and insurance) every month, but the way I built my spreadsheet system for expenses, I only log what is spent that month. I do not log potential expenses. It makes it easier for me to track the money going in and out of my checking out, which is typically what I use for making payments.

I hope this makes sense!
I paid off my mortgage! You can read the details here -
https://minimalistgamer.blogspot.com/2017/01/paid-off-our-mortgage.html

Feel free to ask any questions.

FamilyGuy

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Re: We only spent $690 for the month of May (ALL bills included)
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2017, 11:04:59 AM »
Impressive !

Meadow Lark

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Re: We only spent $690 for the month of May (ALL bills included)
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2017, 10:00:45 PM »
Wow!  Very impressed.

thriftycanadian

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Re: We only spent $690 for the month of May (ALL bills included)
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2017, 10:12:01 PM »
Impressive!  The paid off house helps - even then, still badass! 

jlcnuke

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Re: We only spent $690 for the month of May (ALL bills included)
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2017, 07:22:25 AM »
Just curious, see no $$$ for health insurance, property or income taxes, maintenance.  You should annualize then divide by 12 and add them in.

I think there is some confusion here. The link I posted only shows expenses, not budget. I have budgeted for these annual expenses separately.

Now, one might argue that I am technically spending money on these items (taxes and insurance) every month, but the way I built my spreadsheet system for expenses, I only log what is spent that month. I do not log potential expenses. It makes it easier for me to track the money going in and out of my checking out, which is typically what I use for making payments.

I hope this makes sense!


Quote
So we are on a quest to live under $1000 per month. With a paid off house in a small college town, this is definitely possible [check my signature for that story].

How "possible" is that sub-$1k/month on average when you add in all the stuff not paid for in this particular month (life/home/etc insurance, property taxes, new clothes, maintenance costs, entertainment that isn't free, etc) without needing to change this statement "while we did not compromise our lifestyle as such"?
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minimalistgamer

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Re: We only spent $690 for the month of May (ALL bills included)
« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2017, 06:09:46 AM »

Thank you :) I did ask my husband about his data backup configuration and the response was "it's complicated...." He already had some hardware and hacked together a system using the new back-up drives he just purchased. Typical engineer! I'll see if I can get some more info out of him. He's traveling for work this week, so no guarantees.

I'm highly impressed by your low monthly spending. That takes dedication. Even if we paid off our mortgage, taxes alone are $500/month :)

Thank you very much, Sarah. I appreciate your kind words.

I am going to look into some sort of a backup solution as well. I've got a lot of documents, pictures etc., that I am storing in an external hard drive, but I want a more robust backup process.

Love your blog so far, by the way. Keep up the good work!
I paid off my mortgage! You can read the details here -
https://minimalistgamer.blogspot.com/2017/01/paid-off-our-mortgage.html

Feel free to ask any questions.

minimalistgamer

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Re: We only spent $690 for the month of May (ALL bills included)
« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2017, 06:30:58 AM »

How "possible" is that sub-$1k/month on average when you add in all the stuff not paid for in this particular month (life/home/etc insurance, property taxes, new clothes, maintenance costs, entertainment that isn't free, etc) without needing to change this statement "while we did not compromise our lifestyle as such"?

Its not possible to have a sub-$1k/month average when taxes and home insurance are due. December will see a big spike in spending. However, if I could manage to live within $1000 for 8 months out of the year, I think I will be satisfied.

Also, we absolutely do not compromise on our lifestyle. Our way of life will not suit a lot of people, and they might take issue with it because it will appear like we are penny pinching. We are not. We track expenses, and we reduce waste. We have fun in life - going out for walks, playing video games, working out etc. None of which cost a lot of money.

When we eat out, we go big :)
I paid off my mortgage! You can read the details here -
https://minimalistgamer.blogspot.com/2017/01/paid-off-our-mortgage.html

Feel free to ask any questions.

CoreyTheMan

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Re: We only spent $690 for the month of May (ALL bills included)
« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2017, 08:26:19 AM »
Dude I love your blog and respect all your accomplishments. Keep on improving man. You are like a goal post I can aim to reach

minimalistgamer

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Re: We only spent $690 for the month of May (ALL bills included)
« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2017, 11:29:36 AM »
Dude I love your blog and respect all your accomplishments. Keep on improving man. You are like a goal post I can aim to reach

Wow...I hope you weren't being sarcastic...in the event that you really meant it, thank you so much. I appreciate your kind words. It means a lot to me that my "success" can inspire someone to do well for themselves.
I paid off my mortgage! You can read the details here -
https://minimalistgamer.blogspot.com/2017/01/paid-off-our-mortgage.html

Feel free to ask any questions.

Dicey

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Re: We only spent $690 for the month of May (ALL bills included)
« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2017, 10:38:40 AM »
The popular opinion on this forum is that paying off your house is bad because investing in the stock market will yield more returns in the long term. I cannot argue with that. However, this is where the personal aspect of personal finance comes in.

I am debt averse, therefore, I would prefer to not have a mortgage payment. In my situation it made a lot of sense because I had a lot of cash sitting in the bank. My two choices came down to investing that money as a lump sum into the stock market, or paying off the house.

Oh boy, this again. Paying off one's mortgage at the expense of retirement or other savings is what is sub-optimal. When everyone understands they have a choice and what it actually costs to slight one for the other, this important work will be done.

Allowing one's self to be "debt averse", without understanding the opportunity cost of taking that position, is not wrong or bad. Unless of course, your goal is to get to FIRE as efficiently as possible.

You can most certainly do what you want, but it would be completely un-mustachian to ignore the underlying concept because, "feelings." Perhaps in your situation, this was the best use of your cash, but an understanding that mortgages can be a great hedge against inflation and a powerful tool for creating wealth is important.

For the record, we don't have a mortgage. We bought this home with cash, after selling two mortgaged and highly appreciated homes. AND after accruing enough cash and investments to hit our FI number first.

I'm not at all against living mortgage-free, I just want people to understand feelings vs. math. It's just one of many mustachian concepts we teach each other on the road to FIRE.

Wanting to help people understand this concept should not be deemed any different than discussing the merits of cycling vs. public transportation vs. driving clown cars. Understand the risks/rewards, then make the most rational decision for your situation.
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minimalistgamer

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Re: We only spent $690 for the month of May (ALL bills included)
« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2017, 06:19:53 AM »
The popular opinion on this forum is that paying off your house is bad because investing in the stock market will yield more returns in the long term. I cannot argue with that. However, this is where the personal aspect of personal finance comes in.

I am debt averse, therefore, I would prefer to not have a mortgage payment. In my situation it made a lot of sense because I had a lot of cash sitting in the bank. My two choices came down to investing that money as a lump sum into the stock market, or paying off the house.

Oh boy, this again. Paying off one's mortgage at the expense of retirement or other savings is what is sub-optimal. When everyone understands they have a choice and what it actually costs to slight one for the other, this important work will be done.

Allowing one's self to be "debt averse", without understanding the opportunity cost of taking that position, is not wrong or bad. Unless of course, your goal is to get to FIRE as efficiently as possible.

You can most certainly do what you want, but it would be completely un-mustachian to ignore the underlying concept because, "feelings." Perhaps in your situation, this was the best use of your cash, but an understanding that mortgages can be a great hedge against inflation and a powerful tool for creating wealth is important.

For the record, we don't have a mortgage. We bought this home with cash, after selling two mortgaged and highly appreciated homes. AND after accruing enough cash and investments to hit our FI number first.

I'm not at all against living mortgage-free, I just want people to understand feelings vs. math. It's just one of many mustachian concepts we teach each other on the road to FIRE.

Wanting to help people understand this concept should not be deemed any different than discussing the merits of cycling vs. public transportation vs. driving clown cars. Understand the risks/rewards, then make the most rational decision for your situation.

Thanks for your input. I personally do not want to retire early. I want to keep working for as long as I possibly can. I might change my mind on this later, but for now, regardless of how much money I have, I want to go to work every morning.

I understand that FIRE doesn't  necessarily mean that I should quit my job, nevertheless FIRE is not a goal of mine at this point.

As I said, the math for paying off my mortgage is not strictly in my favor. It came down to these three choices:

1. Keep the money in the CD for the entire term
2. Withdraw the money from the CD and invest in the stock market
3. Withdraw the money from the CD and pay off the house and aggressively invest.

I choose the 3rd option.

I absolutely do not have any regrets, even when I look at the stock market and how well its been doing, I think I made the right choice for myself because there is a price to pay for not having debt.
I paid off my mortgage! You can read the details here -
https://minimalistgamer.blogspot.com/2017/01/paid-off-our-mortgage.html

Feel free to ask any questions.

Linda_Norway

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Re: We only spent $690 for the month of May (ALL bills included)
« Reply #21 on: July 04, 2017, 04:36:49 AM »
Last month (June) I only spent 6092 Norwegian crowns. Divide roughly be 10 or 12 to make US dollars of it.

In the past 3 months, I spent 32489. And in the last 6 months 85294. This means the 6092 from last month WAY below my average spending.

CORRECTION
I spent 8217 NOK last month. I had forgotten to import my grocery transactions that are paid from another account (with a cash back CC). Which means my grocery spend was not very high last month. Maybe because my DH paid some of the groceries. But I noticed last night that the fridge isn't so full any more. I am building off towards the summer vacation in 1,5 week.

I think this is mostly because we have a lot of bills that need to be paid only once a year, like insurances, the right to drive a car on the road, some left over last year's taxes, memberships for private roads, property taxes on hut. All these have been paid before June. So maybe in total it is not something to brag about. But it does mean that what I spend in the first couple of months is not very representative for the rest of the year. The rest of the year might be a lot cheaper. I am curious how we will do in the coming vacation months. We will have vacation some weeks during July, August and September.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2017, 05:13:43 AM by Linda_Norway »

minimalistgamer

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Re: We only spent $690 for the month of May (ALL bills included)
« Reply #22 on: July 06, 2017, 08:36:22 PM »
I spent 8217 NOK last month. I had forgotten to import my grocery transactions that are paid from another account (with a cash back CC). Which means my grocery spend was not very high last month. Maybe because my DH paid some of the groceries. But I noticed last night that the fridge isn't so full any more. I am building off towards the summer vacation in 1,5 week.

I think this is mostly because we have a lot of bills that need to be paid only once a year, like insurances, the right to drive a car on the road, some left over last year's taxes, memberships for private roads, property taxes on hut. All these have been paid before June. So maybe in total it is not something to brag about. But it does mean that what I spend in the first couple of months is not very representative for the rest of the year. The rest of the year might be a lot cheaper. I am curious how we will do in the coming vacation months. We will have vacation some weeks during July, August and September.

It comes to around $900, which is not bad at all from what my wife tells me. Although when I told her about the number of bills you have, she is rather surprised. We pay property taxes, state and sales tax here which covers most of the roads. We don't have a whole lot of toll roads here, but some states do. Not sure exactly how that works.

The idea behind analyzing spending each month is just to serve as a retrospective, because some times that can give us a lot of important information about spending patters etc., and also to figure out if our spending behavior is going to help us stay on course for achieving financial goals - at least that's how I look at it.

From the looks of it, it appears as if you have everything figured out in terms of finances. Good job! :)
I paid off my mortgage! You can read the details here -
https://minimalistgamer.blogspot.com/2017/01/paid-off-our-mortgage.html

Feel free to ask any questions.

Linda_Norway

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Re: We only spent $690 for the month of May (ALL bills included)
« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2017, 02:13:22 AM »
The idea behind analyzing spending each month is just to serve as a retrospective, because some times that can give us a lot of important information about spending patters etc., and also to figure out if our spending behavior is going to help us stay on course for achieving financial goals - at least that's how I look at it.

From the looks of it, it appears as if you have everything figured out in terms of finances. Good job! :)

Yes, I was quite proud of myself that all expenses in June we done on food, fuel and normal bills. I hadn't bought anything else categorized as sports equipment, clothes and shoes, entertainment, etc. Although I did buy a few entertainment things now in July. We will see at the end of the year, whether we reach the same saving sum as last year: 740.000 NOK. This included 50% of my DH's vacation money to be paid out last year instead of this year. But I still hope to come close to this number by being much more aware of saving than we are usually.

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Re: We only spent $690 for the month of May (ALL bills included)
« Reply #24 on: July 07, 2017, 07:41:53 AM »
Curious to get an update on June from the OP.  Depending on where they live, I assume utilities will jump with warm weather setting in, but I don't know where in the U.S. they are so I could be wrong.
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minimalistgamer

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Re: We only spent $690 for the month of May (ALL bills included)
« Reply #25 on: July 09, 2017, 08:06:28 AM »

Yes, I was quite proud of myself that all expenses in June we done on food, fuel and normal bills. I hadn't bought anything else categorized as sports equipment, clothes and shoes, entertainment, etc. Although I did buy a few entertainment things now in July. We will see at the end of the year, whether we reach the same saving sum as last year: 740.000 NOK.

That's around $92500 (US). There is a big salary and price difference between the US and Norway. Our total for last year was $32385.66. I expect this year to be a lot less because we do not have a mortgage.

Curious to get an update on June from the OP.  Depending on where they live, I assume utilities will jump with warm weather setting in, but I don't know where in the U.S. they are so I could be wrong.

Thank you very much. I made a post about it a while back, here is a link to my blog -

https://minimalistgamer.blogspot.com/2017/07/month-in-review-june-2017.html

If it wasn't for the insurance switch, I would have done better than May!
I paid off my mortgage! You can read the details here -
https://minimalistgamer.blogspot.com/2017/01/paid-off-our-mortgage.html

Feel free to ask any questions.

Lmoot

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Re: We only spent $690 for the month of May (ALL bills included)
« Reply #26 on: July 13, 2017, 06:29:46 PM »
This was an awesome thread to read! I am at around $1250 in monthly expenses most months, and that's including a PITI payment of $425. I plan on paying off the $40,000 balance within the next few years, at age 35. I just want to pay it off because I'm focusing on rental properties versus stocks right now. And paying it off will decrease my DTI ratio, making it easier to get a mortgage for my second property; also, as a singleton I am nervous about being responsible for two mortgages, especially when one of them was, and hopefully will be again, my primary residence. My current interest-rate is over 5%, and it's not worth paying more than $1000 in refi fees to change it. I might as well just pay it off.

It sounds like you made a decision which works for your goals and makes you happy. I am one that is not planning on retiring early, or at least not extremely. My goals are more focused on being able to harvest as much cash now to use in the present, allowing me to be more picky about jobs, and having more free time, while still building something for the future.

minimalistgamer

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Re: We only spent $690 for the month of May (ALL bills included)
« Reply #27 on: July 15, 2017, 06:28:48 PM »
This was an awesome thread to read! I am at around $1250 in monthly expenses most months, and that's including a PITI payment of $425. I plan on paying off the $40,000 balance within the next few years, at age 35. I just want to pay it off because I'm focusing on rental properties versus stocks right now. And paying it off will decrease my DTI ratio, making it easier to get a mortgage for my second property; also, as a singleton I am nervous about being responsible for two mortgages, especially when one of them was, and hopefully will be again, my primary residence. My current interest-rate is over 5%, and it's not worth paying more than $1000 in refi fees to change it. I might as well just pay it off.

It sounds like you made a decision which works for your goals and makes you happy. I am one that is not planning on retiring early, or at least not extremely. My goals are more focused on being able to harvest as much cash now to use in the present, allowing me to be more picky about jobs, and having more free time, while still building something for the future.

I think you consider what your priorities are when it comes to keeping or paying off your mortgage. Feel free to read more about my line of thinking here -

https://minimalistgamer.blogspot.com/2017/01/paid-off-our-mortgage.html

Some people are very opinionated when it comes to this (one way or another), and I am telling you, all their opinions do not matter if it doesn't fit your financial goals, and your long term vision. If I had to offer an opinion, I would say, if you have a lump sum available, just pay if off, otherwise do some math figure out if paying extra towards it makes any sense. My opinion on this matter is that you shouldn't be putting more towards your mortgage if you do not have a fully funded emergency account with 3-6 months of income.

Regarding my expenses, they are low because we paid off the house, otherwise it wouldn't be as low for sure!

Congrats on the low spend OP. If you averaged out your totally monthly expenses over a year where do you think you'd be - higher or lower? I don't track my monthly expenses just my total annual spend (then divide by 12 to get a monthly average) but with a paid off house they're very low too. You might want to check out Herbert Derp's journal as he is the king of low expenses.

If I were to average the monthly expenses over the past year, it would be $32385.66. That's an average of $2698.80.

This year so far, the total is - $135049.65. The high spending number is because we paid off the house. This means our monthly average this year is - $20776.87 Haha!

I keep track all my expenses, therefore it is very easy for me to figure out how much I spent each month. This series of posts will help me stay on track and hopefully inspire others to track their expenses, which I think is the main reason I am able to keep my spending in check so far!

I am going to check out the journal you mentioned. It sounds interesting.
I paid off my mortgage! You can read the details here -
https://minimalistgamer.blogspot.com/2017/01/paid-off-our-mortgage.html

Feel free to ask any questions.

Lmoot

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Re: We only spent $690 for the month of May (ALL bills included)
« Reply #28 on: July 17, 2017, 03:17:47 AM »
This was an awesome thread to read! I am at around $1250 in monthly expenses most months, and that's including a PITI payment of $425. I plan on paying off the $40,000 balance within the next few years, at age 35. I just want to pay it off because I'm focusing on rental properties versus stocks right now. And paying it off will decrease my DTI ratio, making it easier to get a mortgage for my second property; also, as a singleton I am nervous about being responsible for two mortgages, especially when one of them was, and hopefully will be again, my primary residence. My current interest-rate is over 5%, and it's not worth paying more than $1000 in refi fees to change it. I might as well just pay it off.

It sounds like you made a decision which works for your goals and makes you happy. I am one that is not planning on retiring early, or at least not extremely. My goals are more focused on being able to harvest as much cash now to use in the present, allowing me to be more picky about jobs, and having more free time, while still building something for the future.

I think you consider what your priorities are when it comes to keeping or paying off your mortgage. Feel free to read more about my line of thinking here -

https://minimalistgamer.blogspot.com/2017/01/paid-off-our-mortgage.html

Some people are very opinionated when it comes to this (one way or another), and I am telling you, all their opinions do not matter if it doesn't fit your financial goals, and your long term vision. If I had to offer an opinion, I would say, if you have a lump sum available, just pay if off, otherwise do some math figure out if paying extra towards it makes any sense. My opinion on this matter is that you shouldn't be putting more towards your mortgage if you do not have a fully funded emergency account with 3-6 months of income.

Regarding my expenses, they are low because we paid off the house, otherwise it wouldn't be as low for sure!

I read your blog post. I like how you broke down the process of paying off your mortgage, and what came shortly after. Paying off my mortgage is definitely a strategic move. I don't feel comfortable going forward purchasing a rental property until  what I still consider to be my primary property, is paid off. This is for legal reasons, but also practical ones. And of course a little emotional/personal reasons as well. I think once I do this, I'll be able to go forward without hesitation. As I am saving more money towards the down payment of another property, I am feeling anxious, and could see myself saving the money I need but still not making the move. This way, I feel that I will be more encouraged.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 03:20:00 AM by Lmoot »

minimalistgamer

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Re: We only spent $690 for the month of May (ALL bills included)
« Reply #29 on: July 20, 2017, 05:05:21 AM »

I read your blog post. I like how you broke down the process of paying off your mortgage, and what came shortly after. Paying off my mortgage is definitely a strategic move. I don't feel comfortable going forward purchasing a rental property until  what I still consider to be my primary property, is paid off. This is for legal reasons, but also practical ones. And of course a little emotional/personal reasons as well. I think once I do this, I'll be able to go forward without hesitation. As I am saving more money towards the down payment of another property, I am feeling anxious, and could see myself saving the money I need but still not making the move. This way, I feel that I will be more encouraged.

Thank you very much. I can completely understand you not wanting to buy additional property while still having a mortgage. It is definitely a risk. I have contemplated buying another home as well, but I am going to hold off for now because I just got done paying off one. I can afford the 20% down payment, but I would rather wait because the stock market is doing very well at the moment, and I would rather just keep investing every month.

I am sure once you pay off your house, you will feel a lot more confident about investing and buying another property.
I paid off my mortgage! You can read the details here -
https://minimalistgamer.blogspot.com/2017/01/paid-off-our-mortgage.html

Feel free to ask any questions.

GenXbiker

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Re: We only spent $690 for the month of May (ALL bills included)
« Reply #30 on: July 20, 2017, 01:14:50 PM »
Congrats on the low spend OP. If you averaged out your totally monthly expenses over a year where do you think you'd be - higher or lower? I don't track my monthly expenses just my total annual spend (then divide by 12 to get a monthly average) but with a paid off house they're very low too.
Same here.  Some individual months, I spend $600 or less, but then I get a $3700 property tax bill, then a $800+ home insurance bill, some car insurance bills, etc., and that pushes the average way up.  So, I'm pushing a little over $1200 for my monthly budget over a full year.

minimalistgamer

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Re: We only spent $690 for the month of May (ALL bills included)
« Reply #31 on: July 22, 2017, 06:30:44 AM »
Same here.  Some individual months, I spend $600 or less, but then I get a $3700 property tax bill, then a $800+ home insurance bill, some car insurance bills, etc., and that pushes the average way up.  So, I'm pushing a little over $1200 for my monthly budget over a full year.

I will be posting the total yearly spending as well as average at the end of the year. Here is my 2016 review -

https://minimalistgamer.blogspot.com/2017/01/2016-financial-year-in-review.html

I will be doing the same for 2017 as well.

$1200 a month seems very reasonable. Does that include housing?
I paid off my mortgage! You can read the details here -
https://minimalistgamer.blogspot.com/2017/01/paid-off-our-mortgage.html

Feel free to ask any questions.

jim555

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Re: We only spent $690 for the month of May (ALL bills included)
« Reply #32 on: July 23, 2017, 08:15:23 AM »
My all in barebones expenses are about $1,050 per month.  That would not include things like dental work, trips, special purchases, one off items.  It would include taxes, insurance, medical, gas, food, car, and utilities.   Paid off condo and car.

GenXbiker

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Re: We only spent $690 for the month of May (ALL bills included)
« Reply #33 on: July 23, 2017, 10:59:16 AM »
Same here.  Some individual months, I spend $600 or less, but then I get a $3700 property tax bill, then a $800+ home insurance bill, some car insurance bills, etc., and that pushes the average way up.  So, I'm pushing a little over $1200 for my monthly budget over a full year.
$1200 a month seems very reasonable. Does that include housing?
Indeed.  The home is paid for, but that figure includes the housing related items I mentioned in my previous post along with utilities and a home maintenance fund account, so all combined, my housing accounts for about $675 of the $1200.  I've tried to include everything in my bare bones budget that I'm going to have to pay for at some point, so I've got car & home maintenance, dental, medical expenses, minimal clothing, gifts, minimal entertainment.... even though some of those things can vary widely, not just from month to month, but from year to year as well, so I just estimate the best that I can on those things to get my true average monthly expense.  The idea is that while some of those occasional expenses can be high, perhaps once over several years, by allocating some $ to them will allow the bare bones budget to absorb them over time.  My bare bones does not include entertainment above a minimal level, home improvements (vs. repairs), or purchasing anything that isn't a necessity.  One required expense that is not included in that number is health insurance because that is deducted out of my paycheck, and I've always made my budgets based on my take home pay.  If I was to add health insurance, it would be about $50/mo more.  My health issues and expenses have been very low cost over the last 30 years, but I certainly expect my healthcare coverage costs to increase when I FIRE.  And I don't know if I'll just travel more, sell the house and move, sell the home and travel in an RV, or just what yet.  So while ~$1200/mo is my current bare bones budget while working, I want to be sure a 4% WR will sustain at least $3000/mo at FIRE to cover potential budget differences and provide a nice cushion, and my stache is already above that level.  About 10 years into retirement, I should get well over $1000/mo SS as well, but no pension.  So based on the current trajectory of things, my 2 to 4 year FIRE plan is looking good.  I like my job quite a bit and am in no hurry to retire at the moment despite my stache already being above my target.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2017, 11:47:38 AM by GenXbiker »

GenXbiker

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Re: We only spent $690 for the month of May (ALL bills included)
« Reply #34 on: July 23, 2017, 12:34:58 PM »
Me to. Most months if I'm just home just living my regular FIREd life (not travelling or spending on much) I might only spend a couple hundred bucks a month for food, utilities and a little bit of gas for the car I rarely drive. Other months I have travel/fun related expenses, home or car repairs, taxes and insurances etc... So what I've done is broken things down to bare bones expenses (stuff I need to pay for to exist and pay for my basics like food, taxes and insurances, utilities, fuel) and then "everything else" be that discretionary spending or random things that crop up. My barebones average $600/month and have for many years now (paid off house, free medical, no debt, low prop taxes and utilities...). Everything else is highly variable each month and each year depending on what kind of things I do or need.
Well done.  $600/mo bare bones for a home owner is quite amazing.  My home is paid off, and if I remove my random repair/maintenance expenses, that would only drop me down to about $1050/mo bare bones.  I used to have a much smaller much older house before moving for a better job, but even that would only reduce my expenses roughly $300/mo.  And my whole housing arrangement is likely to change at FIRE in addition to the healthcare coverage, so I'm building a nice cushion to cover the range of possibilities.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2017, 12:55:41 PM by GenXbiker »

minimalistgamer

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Re: We only spent $690 for the month of May (ALL bills included)
« Reply #35 on: July 25, 2017, 05:25:00 AM »
My barebones average $600/month and have for many years now (paid off house, free medical, no debt, low prop taxes and utilities...). Everything else is highly variable each month and each year depending on what kind of things I do or need.

That's fantastic! We are going to try and stay below $600 in August, although its going to be tough because our utility bills are going to be high.

My all in barebones expenses are about $1,050 per month.  That would not include things like dental work, trips, special purchases, one off items.  It would include taxes, insurance, medical, gas, food, car, and utilities.   Paid off condo and car.

I am assuming you are "spending" for taxes and insurance on paper. If I am not mistaken, taxes and insurance are not due until the end of the year, right?


I like my job quite a bit and am in no hurry to retire at the moment despite my stache already being above my target.


I am not anywhere close to retirement, but I don't think I will quit working when I reach my financial goals. I like what I do, so I will keep working until I can't work anymore...
I paid off my mortgage! You can read the details here -
https://minimalistgamer.blogspot.com/2017/01/paid-off-our-mortgage.html

Feel free to ask any questions.

minimalistgamer

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Re: We only spent $690 for the month of May (ALL bills included)
« Reply #36 on: July 26, 2017, 06:21:56 AM »

I am not anywhere close to retirement, but I don't think I will quit working when I reach my financial goals. I like what I do, so I will keep working until I can't work anymore...
I loved my job too and had never planned to retire - just take some very long work breaks. But I hit 42 and took a sabbatical (my second multi year one) and just didn't want to go back to work ever. So never say never ;-)! 42 seems to be a very common retirement age around here so maybe that's when the mid-life crisis strikes and those who are FI or close just RE instead of buy an expensive sports car.

I'm able to keep my bare bones expenses very low because I have low property taxes and utilities (coastal SoCal) and free medical thru the VA otherwise they'd be much higher. Also don't have things like cable or home internet and am single with no kids.
[/quote]

That's fantastic that you reached your goals at 42!

I am kind of personally against the idea of retiring early because I come from a family where people did early retirement completely wrong, to the point where some of them retired when others were working, and now they are working when everyone else around them are retiring. I do not want to be in that situation. This is a personal bias of course. My family members did not put enough thought and planning into early retirement. I am sure there are many people who did the early retirement thing right, I am just afraid that I would end up making mistakes, and I cannot reverse them because I am too old. We can make up lost money some how but there is no making up lost time.

This is the reason why I want to work as long as I can provided I have a job that I enjoy. That said, who knows what I will feel like 10 years from now.
I paid off my mortgage! You can read the details here -
https://minimalistgamer.blogspot.com/2017/01/paid-off-our-mortgage.html

Feel free to ask any questions.

minimalistgamer

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Re: We only spent $690 for the month of May (ALL bills included)
« Reply #37 on: July 29, 2017, 12:41:29 PM »

That's fantastic that you reached your goals at 42!

I am kind of personally against the idea of retiring early because I come from a family where people did early retirement completely wrong, to the point where some of them retired when others were working, and now they are working when everyone else around them are retiring. I do not want to be in that situation. This is a personal bias of course. My family members did not put enough thought and planning into early retirement. I am sure there are many people who did the early retirement thing right, I am just afraid that I would end up making mistakes, and I cannot reverse them because I am too old. We can make up lost money some how but there is no making up lost time.

This is the reason why I want to work as long as I can provided I have a job that I enjoy. That said, who knows what I will feel like 10 years from now.
The bolded above is probably the number one reason many of us choose to retire early - we can always make more money but we can't make more time. Especially younger age time. But I understand the many reasons why people want to continue working longer once pretty solidly FI. Getting to FI is the important part because it gives you so many choices about how you want to structure your life.

I completely understand the arguments for retiring early. I have a bias against doing so. I definitely intend to be FI for not RE. I realized that RE does not fit my personality. I am an extreme introvert in life, and if I did not have work, I will just sit at home and turn into a hermit. I am not the kind of person who would talk to people unless there is a need to do so. This is why work is important to me. Its not just work, but it is the only time I will ever interact with people who are not family.

If you were to meet me in real life, you might think I am just a normal person. I just learned to disguise my personality. Haha. That sounds very sinister, but that's really the only way introverts can survive out there in the wild!
I paid off my mortgage! You can read the details here -
https://minimalistgamer.blogspot.com/2017/01/paid-off-our-mortgage.html

Feel free to ask any questions.