Author Topic: Extra $600-1000/mth  (Read 1572 times)

Alf91

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Extra $600-1000/mth
« on: July 24, 2017, 02:30:35 PM »
I have a hard time spending money (usually). I have spent many years living on a small amount of money and am quite used to it.

Currently, after my expenses and after contributing to a retirement account, I have roughly $1000 left over. Once my child turns 18, this will go down to $600 left over (currently receiving child support and a government benefit).

Right now, this extra money is just sitting in my chequing account because I don't know what to do with it.

Here are my options (as I see them):

1. Buy a vehicle.
I don't 'need' one. I live within walking distance to work. When I need a car for daytrips or to visit people out of town, I rent one. This costs me $20-40/day plus gas. I usually rent once every month or so. The idea of paying for insurance, gas, maintenance, parking, etc on a regular basis, not to mention the actual purchase price of the car, makes me feel ill. But it would be convenient, I guess?

2. Put more money in savings.
I am currently putting enough in my retirement account to retire at 65. Would it be nice to retire earlier? Yes.

3. Improve my housing situation.
I live in an apartment - it's fine, I've been there for several years. It's a decent neighborhood, the rent is reasonable (cheaper than anything else in the neighborhood). It doesn't have a balcony and I would like one or a yard. To get an apartment with a balcony in this neighborhood, it would be an extra $200-300/month. Yikes. I don't think I want it that badly. To get part of a house with a yard I'm looking at $500/mth more than my current rent. Or I could save for a downpayment but I don't really want to buy.

4. Travel
Not much desire to go overseas, but would be nice to travel within the country. So expensive though! So it's hard to justify.

5. More daytrips/outings/entertainment
This I can see doing, but not to the tune of $600/mth. Maybe $100/mth.

6. Buy stuff.
Like a coffee table. Or an xbox for the kid.

Share your wisdom with me!!

bridget

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Re: Extra $600-1000/mth
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2017, 02:56:36 PM »
I'm surprised you don't already know that the answer in this forum is going to be #2. :) If you want to retire earlier than 65, you'll be able to.  If you get there and find you don't, then you'll have the money left over for any of the other categories if you decide those things are valuable enough to you (or maybe something else will come up you want to spend your money on).

1 - It sounds like your transportation life as-is is pretty convenient, and in fact might be less convenient if you add the hassles of vehicle ownership. 

3 - You say right out that you do not value a balcony at $200-300/month, or a yard at $500/month.  Since it's not worth that much to you, don't pay for it.  I personally would enjoy a balcony $300 "worth" of enjoyment, so I might pay for it, but don't base your spending decisions off of what other people value (and at what price they're willing to buy it). 

4 - Again, don't buy travel at a price point that outstrips the value to you personally. 

5 - Great.  Why not start setting aside $100/month to do fun things around your city you normally wouldn't include in your budget?  Things like museum or theater tickets, art/exercise classes, extra gas to get to the beach or mountains, and the like are worthwhile activities that you can probably do a couple of times a month for $100. 

6 - Do you want a coffee table?  Does your kid want an xbox badly enough to appreciate if you bought it?  If so, get them.  I'm assuming you don't have so many of these wants that they will be a monthly occurrence, and instead they will be one-time purchases and next month you'll have to decide what to do with the surplus again.  If you think you're likely to get trapped in a consumerist conveyor belt in which you just keep buying stuff mindlessly, don't get started down this road.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Extra $600-1000/mth
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2017, 03:01:21 PM »
Why not a combination of things? I would definitely want to sit outside, then spend a 100$ and save the rest. So upgrade apartment 200$ a month, spend 100$ a month....you get the picture

Tuskalusa

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Re: Extra $600-1000/mth
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2017, 06:07:19 PM »
When your child turns 18, do they plan to go to college, and do you plan to help them with college expenses?  If that's on the horizon, I'd say "savings" is a good bet.

Alf91

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Re: Extra $600-1000/mth
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2017, 07:13:04 PM »
I'm surprised you don't already know that the answer in this forum is going to be #2. :) I know eh? I think part of it is that I never expected to be able to save *anything* for retirement, so now that I am easily saving enough for it, that seems like a big deal to me, let alone thinking about retiring earlier.

1 - It sounds like your transportation life as-is is pretty convenient, and in fact might be less convenient if you add the hassles of vehicle ownership.  Yes, that's how I feel! I did have a vehicle briefly, and I found it more of a hassle.

3 - You say right out that you do not value a balcony at $200-300/month, or a yard at $500/month.  Since it's not worth that much to you, don't pay for it.  I personally would enjoy a balcony $300 "worth" of enjoyment, so I might pay for it, but don't base your spending decisions off of what other people value (and at what price they're willing to buy it). 
Again, it's hard to say if I would value it because I don't know! I just think an extra $200/mth that's almost $7/day - do I want to pay $7/day for a balcony? I don't think so. Maybe for a yard tho. It's just been so long since I've had either that I'm not sure how much I would use it / how much enjoyment it would bring.

4 - Again, don't buy travel at a price point that outstrips the value to you personally. 

5 - Great.  Why not start setting aside $100/month to do fun things around your city you normally wouldn't include in your budget?  Things like museum or theater tickets, art/exercise classes, extra gas to get to the beach or mountains, and the like are worthwhile activities that you can probably do a couple of times a month for $100.  Yes, this sounds like a plan. I think I have a much easier time spending on experiences rather than spending on stuff.

6 - Do you want a coffee table?  Does your kid want an xbox badly enough to appreciate if you bought it?  If so, get them.  I'm assuming you don't have so many of these wants that they will be a monthly occurrence, and instead they will be one-time purchases and next month you'll have to decide what to do with the surplus again.  If you think you're likely to get trapped in a consumerist conveyor belt in which you just keep buying stuff mindlessly, don't get started down this road. Good points, thank you.

Alf91

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Re: Extra $600-1000/mth
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2017, 07:14:50 PM »
When your child turns 18, do they plan to go to college, and do you plan to help them with college expenses?  If that's on the horizon, I'd say "savings" is a good bet.

Yes, I am contributing on a monthly basis to savings for his education. I will have enough for half - I expect him to pay the other half.