Author Topic: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income  (Read 26662 times)

arebelspy

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #50 on: October 02, 2014, 01:07:09 PM »
Ironically, just yesterday I was on Early-Retirement.org and they had linked to the Net Worth Percentile part of the calculator.  I'd rather be in the top 1% on that calculator than 1% on this one...

Actually, I saw that calculator linked on another site, but found this one way more interesting. Perhaps it's because I do so much better on this one than that one. :P

I got 8-10 years left building my 'stache, but my savings rate should get my net worth up there quickly.

99.02% for that one (using my age +/- 5 years, for a 10 year age span).  Made the top 1% on that one, whoo!

Now to try and hit top 1% in both simultaneously...
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
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Pooperman

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #51 on: October 02, 2014, 01:17:47 PM »
Ironically, just yesterday I was on Early-Retirement.org and they had linked to the Net Worth Percentile part of the calculator.  I'd rather be in the top 1% on that calculator than 1% on this one...

Actually, I saw that calculator linked on another site, but found this one way more interesting. Perhaps it's because I do so much better on this one than that one. :P

I got 8-10 years left building my 'stache, but my savings rate should get my net worth up there quickly.

99.02% for that one (using my age +/- 5 years, for a 10 year age span).  Made the top 1% on that one, whoo!

Now to try and hit top 1% in both simultaneously...

70% on that second one. Not bad really (I only just got my financial ass going 3 months ago).

MsRichLife

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #52 on: October 02, 2014, 06:19:58 PM »
Ironically, just yesterday I was on Early-Retirement.org and they had linked to the Net Worth Percentile part of the calculator.  I'd rather be in the top 1% on that calculator than 1% on this one...

Actually, I saw that calculator linked on another site, but found this one way more interesting. Perhaps it's because I do so much better on this one than that one. :P

I got 8-10 years left building my 'stache, but my savings rate should get my net worth up there quickly.

99.38% on this one. Much better :)

sol

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #53 on: October 02, 2014, 06:50:44 PM »
Both of these calculators suffer form low data density.  The net worth one tells you that a 31 year old millionaire is doing much better than a 25 year old millionaire, which is dumb.  The percentages are very lumpy in their distribution, so it's easy to find ranges that give you better or worse numbers.

I think you need a pretty big window around your income or age to get meaningful results.


Beric01

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #54 on: October 02, 2014, 07:16:30 PM »
Both of these calculators suffer form low data density.  The net worth one tells you that a 31 year old millionaire is doing much better than a 25 year old millionaire, which is dumb.

Why is that dumb?

Think about some expenses that a 31-year old might have that a 25-year-old won't (hint: they have to do with family, housing, etc.). I would not be surprised if a lot of 31-year-olds were worth less. Also consider that 31-year-olds were just graduating from college in the 2008 recession, and their wages and net worth may have been permanently impacted by the market crash, whereas the 25-year-olds graduated in a bull market with more jobs available.

Agreed that there is a sample size issue though.

arebelspy

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #55 on: October 02, 2014, 07:31:11 PM »
Both of these calculators suffer form low data density.  The net worth one tells you that a 31 year old millionaire is doing much better than a 25 year old millionaire, which is dumb.  The percentages are very lumpy in their distribution, so it's easy to find ranges that give you better or worse numbers.

I think you need a pretty big window around your income or age to get meaningful results.

As stated, I used my age +/- 5 years to get a 10-year window.

What would you suggest?
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

cats

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #56 on: October 02, 2014, 08:01:55 PM »
using my Mint expenses for the past 12 months and dividing by 12, I get 1.13%.  That number does include a large check written to the IRS in April, but does not include the taxes that are routinely deducted from my paycheck, because I was too lazy to go and look up my last pay statement.  If I remove the IRS check, it goes down to <1%.
I'm pretty surprised.  We live in a very high COL area, and we've had a couple of large expenses this year (close to $1500 on air travel, among other things).  I'm going to guess that a big chunk of people in my income range have children or a mortgage to contend with as well.  Childcare for two young kids would triple my monthly spending.

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #57 on: October 02, 2014, 08:06:49 PM »
6.87%, but if I moved into the rental home I own that is paid off it would really drop. My mortgage payment is $1139...a good chunk of my monthly expenses.

Squirrel away

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #58 on: October 03, 2014, 05:21:35 AM »
8.98% for the first one and 96.91% for the second test.

Latwell

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #59 on: October 03, 2014, 08:22:09 AM »
Yikesssss!!
For income range 70k - 80k:
90% $ 6,793.67


80k / 12 months = $6,666.67

....90% are spending more than they make and that's Pretax!

arebelspy

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #60 on: October 03, 2014, 09:02:39 AM »
You're reading that wrong.  90% are spending less than that, meaning 10% are spending more than they make.
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

Jessa

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #61 on: October 03, 2014, 09:52:31 AM »
4.82%!!! I'm pretty happy with that.

65.39% on the net worth one. I believe that would be a D in academic terms :(

Latwell

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #62 on: October 03, 2014, 10:40:52 AM »
You're reading that wrong.  90% are spending less than that, meaning 10% are spending more than they make.
Ahhhh thank you. I knew I must've been reading that wrong. LOL

dragoncar

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #63 on: October 03, 2014, 12:51:50 PM »

Apples

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #64 on: October 04, 2014, 06:52:13 AM »
My husband and I are 34% for the first one (high for this forum!) and 82% for the  net worth one (and 73% if you split it between us).  We are in our mid 20's and I put in from 20-30.  I also did income for $5,000 more and less than we make.  Projecting out our net worth over the next 5 years or so and moving up the age range as we go, it looks like we'll be stuck around 86% for a long while.  And probably fall when we have kids and save less than we do now.

Emilyngh

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #65 on: October 04, 2014, 07:22:36 AM »
8% for the first and 84th percentile for the second.

Sid Hoffman

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #66 on: October 06, 2014, 05:28:20 PM »
Based on when I was married, it ranked as 51%, which I guess would be validation to my wife who thought that we were spending an appropriate amount of money, regardless of how much I died a little inside every time I looked at our balance sheet.  Since my divorce, I now rank as 3% and in many ways feel like I'm living a richer, more enjoyable life overall that doesn't rely on spending money to gain fulfillment.

Beric01

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #67 on: October 06, 2014, 07:10:36 PM »
I now rank as 3% and in many ways feel like I'm living a richer, more enjoyable life overall that doesn't rely on spending money to gain fulfillment.

That's awesome! I'm sorry to hear about the divorce. :(

gimp

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #68 on: October 06, 2014, 07:13:18 PM »
Only here would I feel bad about 9.68%.

Herbert Derp

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #69 on: October 07, 2014, 01:02:11 PM »
Used an income spread of 50k with 3000 samples and got 0%. Yay! As an experiment, I lowered the income to below minimum wage:
Quote
Expenses of $ 450.00 for income $ 10,000.00 to $ 15,000.00. ranks at: 0.84%. Winning!

These results are based off of 2119 individual samples where the consumer unit income ranged from 10000 to 15000 and are weighted to represent 12913132 American households.

So apparently my spending is so low that I spend less than 99% of people making minimum wage. Wow.

Beric01

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #70 on: October 07, 2014, 04:48:17 PM »
Used an income spread of 50k with 3000 samples and got 0%. Yay! As an experiment, I lowered the income to below minimum wage:
Quote
Expenses of $ 450.00 for income $ 10,000.00 to $ 15,000.00. ranks at: 0.84%. Winning!

These results are based off of 2119 individual samples where the consumer unit income ranged from 10000 to 15000 and are weighted to represent 12913132 American households.

So apparently my spending is so low that I spend less than 99% of people making minimum wage. Wow.

You an ERE'er? I'm trying to get myself there. :)

GreyMatters

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #71 on: October 14, 2014, 09:29:58 AM »
.03%; sample size of ~7600; range 30k-60k.

Malaysia41

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #72 on: October 14, 2014, 03:25:42 PM »
Man, I'm feeling very humble on this forum. 

We live in a low COL country, and STILL don't have expenses buttoned down like many of you.  Your examples provide a picture of how it can be.  With your examples in mind, we continue to scrutinize every expense, even when it seems no more savings can be squeezed out.  So we make progress slowly but surely, but we haven't arrived yet.

Props to you guys. 

mjs111

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #73 on: October 14, 2014, 10:56:16 PM »
4.4% for me.

stash4cash

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #74 on: October 20, 2014, 02:58:54 PM »
Does this seem right: put in $360-370k income and $10k/month expenses.  I would think that's pretty badass for a family, but the result is 58%.  Really?  58 of 100 people spend less? 
 
Is this due to low sample size or is this reality?  I'd think this income level would be plagued with lifestyle-inflated data points.

... not ... feeling ... so ... smug.

I'm noticing this as well, although I'm not in your income bracket.
We score very well on all the other calculators (net worth, retirement savings, etc) but not on monthly expenditures. Something is amiss - if people really spend this little per month then their networth and retirement savings should be thru the roof :)

backandforth

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #75 on: October 21, 2014, 12:29:32 PM »
15% with mortgage+property tax, 2% once mortgage paid off. Can't wait to pay off the house and move to a low tax state!!!

The Dutchman

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #76 on: October 23, 2014, 12:03:11 PM »
Woof

24.77% expense to income...

72.13% Networth Percentile 
89.58% Income Percentile

I have work to do. 

PS - I am up for a position move in my job which could bump me up another 10k making these numbers just that much better. 

Middlesbrough

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #77 on: October 23, 2014, 12:39:40 PM »
I got 1.85%. I got some room for improvement.

VirginiaBob

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #78 on: October 23, 2014, 01:03:50 PM »
Wow, we are at 38%, but if we take out charitable contributions/tithing, we go down to 29%.  Net worth is at 91%.  I spent so little when single and saved so much that my journey isn't that difficult anymore.

minimalist

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #79 on: October 23, 2014, 01:11:15 PM »
I got 0.79% based off of 2416 individual samples, which is great, but I have done better on expenses in the past.

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #80 on: November 15, 2014, 06:46:04 PM »
Badass!! I'm in the bottom 4% and I was generous with my monthly expenses!

CCCA

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #81 on: November 21, 2014, 01:10:07 AM »
Hmmm, we are at 66%.  Maybe one of the only folks on this thread who are spending above average for our income.  Expenses of $7800/month on ~$170,000.  Okay so not terribly mustachian, but we live in a high COL area (about $3500/month is housing costs) and have childcare costs.

The strange thing is that even if our expenses are above average, I still believe that we are saving more than most in our income group as well.  Is it possible to be above average in expenses and in savings for a given income?  We are saving over $50,000/yr, since our tax rate is fairly low (lots of tax deductions). 

Our networth is 95% for our age so we are doing well there, because of our high savings. 


arebelspy

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #82 on: November 21, 2014, 08:02:25 AM »
Hmmm, we are at 66%.  Maybe one of the only folks on this thread who are spending above average for our income.  Expenses of $7800/month on ~$170,000.  Okay so not terribly mustachian, but we live in a high COL area (about $3500/month is housing costs) and have childcare costs.

The strange thing is that even if our expenses are above average, I still believe that we are saving more than most in our income group as well.  Is it possible to be above average in expenses and in savings for a given income?  We are saving over $50,000/yr, since our tax rate is fairly low (lots of tax deductions). 

Our networth is 95% for our age so we are doing well there, because of our high savings.

How would that work?

You should consider moving to a cheaper area.  I'm saving more than you (in absolute dollars, not just percents - though admittedly I don't have a kid) on half the salary. Are you planning to FIRE in the same area, or move when you FIRE?
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

Gerard

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #83 on: November 21, 2014, 08:26:51 AM »
8.7%. And that's with spending that I consider well above optimal.

(Um, actually I just realized that I was including mortgage prepayments in my monthly spending... I should probably go back and fix that...)

samburger

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #84 on: November 21, 2014, 08:35:18 AM »
Is it possible to be above average in expenses and in savings for a given income?  We are saving over $50,000/yr, since our tax rate is fairly low (lots of tax deductions). 

I think so, yes. The monthly expenditure calculator doesn't include taxes, so it won't correlate with savings difference between someone who pays a ton in taxes and someone who's a savvy tax planner.

And as arebelspy points out..

... they underestimate their spending by missing large one-off irregularly occurring items (whereas on the earnings side, they'd probably add in a bonus, if they had one, to their annual income, as that's easier, versus dividing by 12 and adding it to the monthly).

So you could have Person A and B reporting $100k in income and $3,000/month expenses, but Person B saves much more than Person A. When Person A reports $3,000/mo, they aren't calculating all of their lumpy or unexpected expenses throughout the year--medical bills, vet bill, home repair, car repair, even regular but non-monthly bills--and they actually spend about $8,000/year more than they report. They also don't do any tax planning, so they end up paying close to $30k in taxes every year, leaving them with something like $26k to save/invest.

When Person B reports $3,000/mo, they're reporting their yearly expenses of $36,000 divided by 12, so they're accounting for their lumpy expenses. They also go out of their way to minimize their tax burden, so they only pay about $12k in taxes when all is said and done. That leaves them with $52k to save/invest, twice what Person A saves.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2014, 08:38:06 AM by samburger »

CCCA

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Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #85 on: November 21, 2014, 09:30:53 AM »


The strange thing is that even if our expenses are above average, I still believe that we are saving more than most in our income group as well.  Is it possible to be above average in expenses and in savings for a given income?  We are saving over $50,000/yr, since our tax rate is fairly low (lots of tax deductions). 


How would that work?

You should consider moving to a cheaper area.  I'm saving more than you (in absolute dollars, not just percents - though admittedly I don't have a kid) on half the salary. Are you planning to FIRE in the same area, or move when you FIRE?

Arebelspy

I think the main thing is our low taxes. We pay under $10000 in federal taxes on our salary with all the deductions. 

And we've got two kiddies.

I don't think we'll move to a lower COL area. We've thought about it but we like it here and aren't really far from FIRE right now. We'd be FIRE in a year or two if we weren't planning to pay for college for our kids but instead we have maybe 4-6 more years.  We have a rental property and will have a small pension that will help cover our higher than mustachian expenses in addition to our savings and retirement accounts.

Our housing and childcare costs are actually low for our area and childcare will end soon so that will help with our expenses. We live in a really nice area which is very walkable. We can walk to the waterfront and see San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. Take BART to a ton of great places. Yes I sometimes look at our budget and am sad that we are almost spending $100k/year but beyond childcare and housing we are only spending ~$3000/month for a family of four. So I'd like to think that's not terrible.

But certainly our budget is shaped primarily by our high housing expenses.  We'd be FIRE right now if we moved to a place with even average COL (i.e. we could get a house under $400K).
« Last Edit: November 21, 2014, 09:59:57 AM by CCCA »

CCCA

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #86 on: November 21, 2014, 09:52:37 AM »
Is it possible to be above average in expenses and in savings for a given income?  We are saving over $50,000/yr, since our tax rate is fairly low (lots of tax deductions). 

I think so, yes. The monthly expenditure calculator doesn't include taxes, so it won't correlate with savings difference between someone who pays a ton in taxes and someone who's a savvy tax planner.

And as arebelspy points out..

... they underestimate their spending by missing large one-off irregularly occurring items (whereas on the earnings side, they'd probably add in a bonus, if they had one, to their annual income, as that's easier, versus dividing by 12 and adding it to the monthly).

So you could have Person A and B reporting $100k in income and $3,000/month expenses, but Person B saves much more than Person A. When Person A reports $3,000/mo, they aren't calculating all of their lumpy or unexpected expenses throughout the year--medical bills, vet bill, home repair, car repair, even regular but non-monthly bills--and they actually spend about $8,000/year more than they report. They also don't do any tax planning, so they end up paying close to $30k in taxes every year, leaving them with something like $26k to save/invest.

When Person B reports $3,000/mo, they're reporting their yearly expenses of $36,000 divided by 12, so they're accounting for their lumpy expenses. They also go out of their way to minimize their tax burden, so they only pay about $12k in taxes when all is said and done. That leaves them with $52k to save/invest, twice what Person A saves.

Yes, that is what I think is happening.  I'd be interested in seeing what percentile our savings fall in compared to our income peer group.  It wouldn't be way better than average but I would suspect it would be above average.

Zikoris

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #87 on: November 21, 2014, 10:26:59 AM »
.97-1.71% for expenses of $1400-$1500/month in the income range of 70K-75K. Not bad!

Jellyfish

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #88 on: November 21, 2014, 10:49:05 AM »
I was 36% on the expense calculator (I know I am less Mustachian than many) but what blows my mind is that I was 97% on the retirement savings percentage calculator.  I've just maxed out my 401(k) contributions each year I've worked and let it ride at Vanguard.  Admittedly its a big number now, but bigger than 97% of other 40-45 year olds?  I just assumed that's what most other people do.  Clearly not.

RelaxedGal

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #89 on: November 21, 2014, 11:40:06 AM »
Wow, when I posted my initial "Say Hi and Introduce Yourself" message I said if Mustachianism was a 1 to 15 scale (where 14 is MMM and 15 is Jacob from ERE), I was a 4.  This is pretty humbling, but I scored a 68% on the first run through.  I'm hoping I just misread it, I put in $250-$300K gross income, which is our salary + investment income, not counting 401K match.  And then $9625 monthly expenses, which is our regular monthly + irregular, including 529 and taxable investments.  Taking out 529 and taxable brings it down to $7625, and 46.75%.  If I just mess with it and only put in my mortgage and daycare ($3425/month) I'm still above many on this thread at 3.67%.

I'm very impressed with everyone's badassity!

[Edit: found the original data.  Apparently people with higher income have a pretty good savings rate.  For the highest income group the medin pre-tax income is $238,245, the median after-tax is $187,547, and average annual expenditures are $126,242.  That's a $61K/year in savings; every 2 years they save 1 year of expenses.  I'm OK with being average.]
« Last Edit: November 21, 2014, 12:35:38 PM by RelaxedGal »

Frugal_Red

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #90 on: December 31, 2014, 01:43:46 AM »
I got 2.36%. Winning! Thats with a +\- $5,000! :-D

netskyblue

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Re: Frugal Meter: compare your expenses to others with similar income
« Reply #91 on: December 31, 2014, 06:38:15 AM »
Not 100% sure what to put as the range...

I make 39,500 and put 35,000-40,000 and got 13.77%.