discretionary spending per month

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prudent
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Re: discretionary spending per month

Post by prudent » Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:30 pm

laurelgrowth wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:32 am
midareff wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:29 pm
I don't see food/groceries as discretionary at all. I consider food/groceries, shopping, clothes, eating out, movies, sundries and such as fixed expenses (with an ample safety cushion) and are inflationary indexed in the budget. Travel is a fixed monthly set aside to accumulate for future expenses.

Checking account has a pre-established EOM value. Overages go to MM. MM has a like established thresholds and overages go back to VG IT Tax-Ex in taxable, although I am more focused towards accumulating in Limited Term now.
Would you please tell me what the abbreviations mean in the second paragraph? I'm a new learner of financial terms. Thanks
Welcome, laurelgrowth!

EOM = end of month
MM = money market account
VG IT Tax-Ex = Vanguard Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt Fund

travellight
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Location: San Diego

Re: discretionary spending per month

Post by travellight » Sat Mar 24, 2018 8:31 pm

travellight wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:41 am
Postby jfn111 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 6:43 pm

The wife and I have this discussion all the time:
Cable + Internet runs about $230 per Month
Cell Phone runs about $250 per Month ( have two grown kids that are still on my plan :confused )
Netflix runs $16 per Month
Just dropped Sirius XM because they wanted to go from $150 last year to $240 this year.
Pretty much everything else I don't consider discretionary but could certainly be cut back on.
I canceled cable and went with rabbit ears antenna only but I do have Netflix at their cheapest level, about $8-10/month.
My internet is about $150/month....grrr, darn smart phones and their data plans, it was lower before that.
I pay $20/month for my "land line" but am thinking about going with a Magic jack kind of thing to save there.
Just an update on this.... I canceled Netflix and got Hulu instead for $6/month. I got cell phone down to $70/month using a combination of T-mobile $60 for 2 lines with unlimited data and Red pocket $10/month for my mom who doesn't use much data. My discretionary spending has gone way up though as I have been traveling more.

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midareff
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Re: discretionary spending per month

Post by midareff » Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:44 am

laurelgrowth wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:32 am
midareff wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:29 pm
I don't see food/groceries as discretionary at all. I consider food/groceries, shopping, clothes, eating out, movies, sundries and such as fixed expenses (with an ample safety cushion) and are inflationary indexed in the budget. Travel is a fixed monthly set aside to accumulate for future expenses.

Checking account has a pre-established EOM value. Overages go to MM. MM has a like established thresholds and overages go back to VG IT Tax-Ex in taxable, although I am more focused towards accumulating in Limited Term now.
Would you please tell me what the abbreviations mean in the second paragraph? I'm a new learner of financial terms. Thanks
EOM = end of month. MM = money market which is really a 1.49% interest bearing savings account at Ally Bank in my application. VG IT Tax-Ex = Vanguard Intermediate Term Tax-Exempt Muni Fund.

FWIW (for what it's worth) I use a second 1.49% savings account to escrow car, and home insurance, property tax and IRS EFTPS Quarterly pays. EFTPS is the designation of their automatic pre-scheduled payment system. I believe it is electronic funds transfer payment system as an acronym.

SQRT
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Re: discretionary spending per month

Post by SQRT » Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:14 pm

Agree that discretionary can be a little difficult to define, but in our case if I total entertainment, gifts, travel,donations, new boat, new furniture, I get about $35k per month. It’s a little higher this year as we have some fairly big projects on the go. Obviously plenty of room to cut back if necessary.

Traveller
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Re: discretionary spending per month

Post by Traveller » Sun Mar 25, 2018 2:43 pm

$4k a month goes into the discretionary account. That covers all fuel, groceries, clothing, anything from Costco or Amazon, piano lessons, gifts, minor travel, maintenance stuff like oil changes, entertainment, pocket money, trips to the mall, runs to the hardware store, home goods, girl scout cookies, fro-yo, massages, flowers for my wife when I mess up, etc.

Basically all our routine bills and savings are handled automatically through different accounts. Anything we spend via cash, our normal credit cards, or the checkbook gets counted in this discretionary number. The only exception is if something expensive and out of the ordinary happens such as a big vacation, new car, new roof, etc. For those things we just pull out some savings.

This is a family of 5 and we would not be described as frugal...

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