Lots of posts on expenses and inflation recently.
Anyway, I have records handy. Here is our 15 year spending history which includes every place our money went, discretionary and required, taxes and medical, donations and gifts....everything. Our expense history is different than most here, but I will give it anyway. By the way, our standard of living has not changed. I retired in mid 1998.
The spending in our last year of employment, 1998, totaled $57,831 plus $23,858 in federal income taxes...total $81,869
Average spending history in 5 year increments: Included are notes of our auto purchases because they are usually the highest expense category.
1998-2002 average $57,898 per year including 1999-2002 taxes (1 auto purchase in this period) (Taxes 1999-2002 totaled $14,829)
2003-2007 average $57,825 per year including taxes (1 auto purchase in this period) (Taxes 2003-2007 totaled $875)
2008-2012 average $65,981 per year including taxes (2 autos purchased in this period) (Taxes 2008-2012 totaled $1867)
Our spending last year, 2012, totaled $55,781 including taxes was less than during my last year of employment.
2013 will be quite higher because of 2 cruises reserved
and a bathroom remodel.
Comment on our low federal taxes since retiring: That is thanks to our Roths and the planned elimination of most taxable investments prior to 2002.
People should not say everything they think. They should think about everything they say.