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Author: Bobcatkitty Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 35244  
Subject: Re: Budgeting Date: 8/30/2006 4:20 PM
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Interesting topic. I'll toss out my thoughts on this.

First, we're 62 y/o and have just started taking our reduced SS benefits. My DH has been retired for 11 years.

We have an personal escrow account that is adjusted each January. All major expenses including set &/or variable are accounted for and include:

Real estate taxes
Home insurance
Vehicle insurance
Medical deductible
Travel
CPA (does taxes)
Vehicle repair (in is out of warranty)
A yearly amount given to my Mother for support
Xmas expenses for trip to see kids and gifts for same
Quarterly income tax payments

Totalling what was actually spent during the previous year gives us the new escrow amount for upcoming year. Therefore, for us, this is a set dollar amount that CAN'T be adjusted thru the year.

As for the rest of our living expenses and a written budget projection, let me clarify by saying....we have far more monthly income than we need. Therefore our budget is simply a yearly projection of what our expenses truly are so that we can tell if something has really managed to slip by unnoticed. That said, I already know that our monthly amount for dining out is excessive, as is what we are spending on gasoline for 2 cars.

Now, onto what is actually tracked using Quicken:

These are considered by Quicken to be discretionary spending
Clothing
Computers
Dining
Discount stores
Gifts
Hobbies
Subscriptions

Non-discretionary are as follows"
DHs monthly cash in billfold (he says he really needs that)
Escrow account
Gasoline
Groceries
Hair salon
Homeowners dues
Home repair
Health Insurance
Medicine
Telephones: land & cell
Cable TV
Electric bill
Water bill


It's certain that few bills lesson during retirement, and those that do are quickly replaced by others that increase.

A few years ago was when I attempted to formulate a "budget". I had no idea how to do it and Quicken did help. Do we pay much attention to it today...no. Monthly medicine bill goes up, we pay it. Same for increase in monthly gas costs. We're not driving more, just paying more to do it.

This is a good exercise though for others looking forward to retirement as a way to insure adequate funds will be available.

Thanks for bringing this up.

Kitty
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