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Thread: NY Times Magazine: "What We Spent in a Month"

  1. #21
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    I am always amazed what people spend on cell/internet service.
    definitely, cable internet is $60 a month (this is no t.v.), I gave in and got it because of work from home.

    Surprised at how little they are spending on housing though, except that one couple in mountainview.

    Evaluating one's spending in the context is only really worthwhile in a comparable context. If someone around here is paying way less in rent or someone is spending less on food it might matter (but food really depends on what you buy). But if someone was paying $100 a month to see plays before the 'rona, and I hate plays say, there is really nothing to compare.

    I assume most of them have employer provided health insurance or go without.
    anything other than employer provided (at least until 65) is a complete nightmare
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  2. #22
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bae View Post
    Well, this article definitely provided more context for evaluating my own spending, which I thought was insanely high, but clearly is more moderate than is the norm for the day.
    That's what I thought, too, although my monthly spending is even higher than yours, bae. You guys should kick me off the forum. My personal spending is inflated by the house payment to my NJ house which my son covers for the most part in rent but that will disappear in October, and also the AT&T Family plan, which the kids also contribute to, and also a boat (which DH insisted we got when we moved here.) Other major expenses are health insurance (540), and the cable/internet/phone bundle (230), but I have the phone for business, so I write that part off.

    I get angry when I see that my monthly expenses are what they are. I don't buy clothes much at all, I don't do mani-pedies or massages or belong to a gym. My house is very small and I clean it myself. I own a paid-off 2007 car and a paid-off 2004 truck We hardly ever go out to eat. And I still need to cut my expenses in half before I retire. Targeted places for cutting expenses are boat, entertainment, gifts, mortgage payoff, and DH's smoking (he swears he's going to quit).
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  3. #23
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    In the year 2020 we spent $80,000. That does not include a purchase of real estate. That is about what our income is from government sources.

  4. #24
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Since others have listed their monthly expenses, mine, for a solo household, include:
    - $300 - property taxes
    - $200 - house and car insurance
    - $400 - food for self and dog
    - $250 - internet, phone and cell
    - $300 - water, electric, gas for heat and hot water and hot water rental
    - $250 - subscription/donation to online services
    I live comfortably for $2000/mth.
    As Cicero said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”

  5. #25
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    I have never looked at our expenses in terms of monthly. I suppose that’s because I’m not the one with the checkbook who pays the bills. I want the executive summary, an annual report.

    There was a discussion over on the Mr. money mustache some months ago about budgeting. I was delighted to see several people say that they’ve never budgeted. I have never budgeted. My tribe.

    others who budget say well of course you people in the tribe are budgeting you just call it something different.


    But I hold firm to the opinion that spending only that which is necessary according to your values is different from “budgeting.”


    Now we spend a lot of money, but back decades ago we did not.We spent according to our values and according to what was clearly identified as necessary, and that is all we spent.

  6. #26
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    Honestly the first family did seem rather wth, massive credit card debt and unpaid child support. The seconds main expenses were they lived in mountain view and had student loans. I don't find it even surprising she did get a law degree without thinking about it too much, and since it's almost paid off, it's probably a net win, if taking out debt when young actually leads to a good income and paying it off latter, that's an investment. From my bfs private school half the school seemed to end up in law school. Now nothing of the sort was true for my much poorer public schools. Besides you get a bachelors in political science or philosophy and what the heck do you do with that. But then people start saying: consider law school ...

    The person spending it all on therapy just had psychological issues, which they are trying to deal with the ways they can in this world (through therapy etc.). And honestly with the pic of that it's meant to be self-depreciating humor (lying on a bed with 5 books about psychological problems and trauma looking overwhelmed). It's played for self-depreciated humor, but the interwebs are cruel. Would I work 3 jobs to afford therapy? No, the 3 jobs would make me more crazy than therapy could ever make me sane!!!

    The other people's spending wasn't even out of line, the black couple was investing a great deal of it, the beadmaker lived quite reasonably etc.. The last family did spend a lot on horses ...
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  7. #27
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    I have never looked at our expenses in terms of monthly. I suppose that’s because I’m not the one with the checkbook who pays the bills. I want the executive summary, an annual report.

    There was a discussion over on the Mr. money mustache some months ago about budgeting. I was delighted to see several people say that they’ve never budgeted. I have never budgeted. My tribe.

    others who budget say well of course you people in the tribe are budgeting you just call it something different.


    But I hold firm to the opinion that spending only that which is necessary according to your values is different from “budgeting.”


    Now we spend a lot of money, but back decades ago we did not.We spent according to our values and according to what was clearly identified as necessary, and that is all we spent.
    I think it helps that you and your DH were/are on the same page in many ways in terms of values and where you want your life energy to go. I think budgeting helps as a communication tool for some people who are not aligned. Sometimes you need a shoehorn to get the money to fit into the "shoe" available and if you have to negotiate on various ways to get things to fit, having a budget/spending plan will help.

    I think in many cases, couples are not aligned, which is why money is the #1 cause of divorce, supposedly.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  8. #28
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    Our largest expense (after savings) is insurance - house, car, DHs health insurance. Property taxes used to be our largest expense in Tx but here they are only $1300 a yr for a 2000sf house. Groceries remain around $425 a mo regardless. I no longer budget but do track about ten categories monthly just because I like to do that sort of thing.

  9. #29
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    As a couple we spent 55-70/year depending if we traveled. Now alone I spend 2k/month but doesn’t include travel.

  10. #30
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    Of course the biggest expense is rent, still it's under $1300. I can't complain, but sometimes I still do.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

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