Can this girl "go wild?"

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grandmacassie
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Can this girl "go wild?"

Post by grandmacassie » Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:33 am

Hi, all. I have been a stickler about recording all expenses carefully for the last 25 years or so, as a way of controlling spending and making sure that retirement funding is on track.

Well, DH is retiring at the end of the year, and our net worth is higher than we ever expected. Our RMDs plus SS will probably be a lot more than we are used to spending. No debt.

My question is this: Can I "go wild" and stop tracking discretionary spending? I feel that I could just record required spending (taxes, HOA fees, auto exp, unreimbursed health exp, insurances, utilities, home maintenance, groceries, charity) and chalk all the rest up as miscellaneous. That way, we would still know what our required spend is each year, and as long as total spending doesn't exceed income we'd be fine. In case of a downturn, all that discretionary spending could be cut back. My estimate is that income will exceed required expenses by about 100K.

I know, I really live on the edge, don't I? (Maybe I am just trying to avoid seeing business class tickets overseas broken out on my budget spreadsheet!) Thanks in advance. It's hard to learn to stop saving.

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Can this girl "go wild?"

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:36 am

You need to live, if not now, then when? If you don't spend it, someone else will.
So long as your outflows do not exceed your inflows, you should be good to go. Enjoy your retirement.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

dbr
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Re: Can this girl "go wild?"

Post by dbr » Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:36 am

You can go wild and spend more, but that does not mean you should stop tracking spending.

bloom2708
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Re: Can this girl "go wild?"

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:39 am

The tracking part (we use Personal Capital) doesn't take much time at all.

So, spend more, keep tracking and then you can look back and see where the increases boosted happiness.

Travel more? Nicer cars? More donations/gifts? Replace older stuff? Even those increases may give short term bumps.
“People don’t want advice, they want confirmation.” Unknown

bluebolt
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Re: Can this girl "go wild?"

Post by bluebolt » Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:40 am

As long as your required expenses are covered and you are disciplined enough to keep within your discretionary budget, I see no reason why you need detailed tracking.

I would think 25 years of experience would give you a pretty good handle on your spending.

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2pedals
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Re: Can this girl "go wild?"

Post by 2pedals » Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:40 am

Since you are entering a new stage in your life your spending habits will change. You may not need to but I think you should track your spending for a while in this stage. It could be a good learning experience.

saveinvestbecomefree
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Re: Can this girl "go wild?"

Post by saveinvestbecomefree » Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:44 am

Seems like you can forget budgeting and go enjoy life! As a suggestion, you could also transition to a much easier check on spending. I recently transitioned from tracking all expenses to a simple once a month recording of expenses. Since all our expenses are ultimately paid out of our checking account, I simply record the amount spent in the month to make sure I'm not going higher or lower than planned. I lose the detail on the categories of spending but I simplify my life and am still able to make sure I'm not unconsciously inflating our lifestyle (in fact, saving habits are ingrained enough that I found us spending less than planned even though it seemed we were spending the same as when we were tracking expenses in detail).

clip651
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Re: Can this girl "go wild?"

Post by clip651 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:45 am

Congrats, and enjoy.

One tip if/as you increase your spending, is to be wary of buying things that require ongoing upkeep. So, for example, spending on travel is one thing, assuming you can afford it, which it sounds like you can. You can always stop or reduce traveling if you need to cut back later on. But buying a boat, vacation home, etc is a whole different category, as there are ongoing expenses associated with those, and that can be harder or more complicated to cut back on if needed later.

Again, congrats! and best wishes,
cj

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prudent
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Re: Can this girl "go wild?"

Post by prudent » Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:45 am

If my income exceeded required expenses by $100K, I would not track detailed spending any longer if I didn't want to. That would be a cushion of over $8,000/month. I know even if I "lived it up" by my standards I couldn't burn through all that. And it's not as if you're ignoring your spending, you're just not categorizing it in detail. You'll still know where you stand. If you find things are getting out of hand, you can always start again.

Go for it.

FireProof
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Re: Can this girl "go wild?"

Post by FireProof » Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:53 am

Hie thee to Cancun, forthwith.

No need to track spending to control it. And doesn't sound like it needs much controlling, anyway.

AlwaysaQ
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Re: Can this girl "go wild?"

Post by AlwaysaQ » Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:53 am

I would think you could. As long as you are not paying with cash you could probably rebuild the last few years of spending if necessary. Often credit cards provide a year end summary and banks keep statements for a term.

I haven't tracked expenses for years. I have a shortened budget spreadsheet that only sums expected expenses in the categories of basic housing, medical, auto, taxes.

DaftInvestor
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Re: Can this girl "go wild?"

Post by DaftInvestor » Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:40 pm

I am not retired yet but stopped tracking spending a number of years ago. You have to ask yourself what are you getting out of doing so.
I spent decades tracking every nickel using Quicken and then one day I realized that I was using the data as a database ("When did we last get the rugs cleaned? Let me query and see when we paid the guy."; "How much do we need for retirement?") but wasn't using the data in any way to modify habits. So I woke up one day and decided "why bother". I now estimate expenses based upon online account history for planning purposes but am freed from tracking every nickel on a monthly/weekly/daily basis.
I see no reason from your story as to why you need to bother.

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HomerJ
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Re: Can this girl "go wild?"

Post by HomerJ » Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:43 pm

Heh, nothing like a "girl gone wild" thread started by someone named grandma cassie :)
The J stands for Jay

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HomerJ
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Re: Can this girl "go wild?"

Post by HomerJ » Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:50 pm

Sounds like you can certainly spend more, but I wouldn't "go wild".

If you change your spending, you should probably continue to track it.

We stopped tracking our spending 5+ years ago, but our spending hasn't changed much in that time.

We have a joint account that pays all the bills. We throw $6000 a month into it, pay everything from it, and if it's the same or bigger at the end of the year, everything's good.

If the account went down significantly, we'd have to start tracking our spending again.
The J stands for Jay

TSR
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Re: Can this girl "go wild?"

Post by TSR » Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:52 pm

I'd put the tracking on autopilot through Mint or some other website that can give you a vague picture of it given that you already know most of it in microscopic detail, but jeez, this sounds like too much tracking and not enough enjoying. Congrats and have fun!

renue74
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Re: Can this girl "go wild?"

Post by renue74 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:00 pm

My step-mom's mother died in early 2017. I think she was in her early 90s.

Her and her husband bought a basic one story house in San Jose in 1976 for $45,000. When she died, her kids put it on the market for $1.6M. It sold for $2.5M.

You can't take it with you.
Last edited by renue74 on Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

btenny
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Re: Can this girl "go wild?"

Post by btenny » Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:15 pm

Yes you can go wild and spend some extra. You have huge excess income. So spend a little and enjoy life. But be careful doing big purchases. Expensive new sports cars or expensive antique furniture or airplanes etc. could bust your budget.

We are in a similar situation with more income available to spend than we need. So my wife no longer pays any attention to grocery costs. She sees things she likes and just buys them. She does the same thing choosing evening dinner wine. She ignores the cost. But we only buy wine up to $25 so there is a limit. We also ignore dinning out costs to a large extent and order good wine and meals. But we still drive used cars although one is a nice luxury car.

So live a little and enjoy life. Good Luck.

rkhusky
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Re: Can this girl "go wild?"

Post by rkhusky » Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:23 pm

I simplified my bookkeeping a number of years ago. I stopped tracking cash transactions - they all went into Misc, unless I needed them for tax reasons. But now that I'm just using the standard deduction, I don't need to worry even about that anymore. Apart from a few other categories that I want to track, such as taxes, cap gains, dividends, everything goes into short, mid and long term items. Short term are consumables that have little value after buying, like food. Mid term are things like clothes, which might have some value a few years later. Long term are things that retain their value longer, like tools and such. I've been thinking I should lump short and mid together.

HomeStretch
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Re: Can this girl "go wild?"

Post by HomeStretch » Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:27 pm

prudent wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:45 am
If my income exceeded required expenses by $100K, I would not track detailed spending any longer if I didn't want to. That would be a cushion of over $8,000/month. I know even if I "lived it up" by my standards I couldn't burn through all that. And it's not as if you're ignoring your spending, you're just not categorizing it in detail. You'll still know where you stand. If you find things are getting out of hand, you can always start again.

Go for it.
+1.

I think it may be interesting going forward to track by year a few key numbers - portfolio balance, investments return (income/growth), other income (SS, RMD), taxes, all other expenses.

RudyS
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Re: Can this girl "go wild?"

Post by RudyS » Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:34 pm

Even if you stop "formal" tracking , I believe you will still have a good mental idea of where you are. Your outlook and spending philosophy isn't going to change that much at this state of your life. Go for it!

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LilyFleur
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Re: Can this girl "go wild?"

Post by LilyFleur » Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:16 pm

Go wild! Have fun! (I'm pretty sure that "wild" for you isn't going to be out of control spending.)

If you don't have one already, get a credit card that tracks your expenses pretty well and has good rewards. I look at the end-of-year summary on my 2% cash back card to see if I can deduct my medical for the year when I do my taxes. If you like, you can download credit card expenses as a spreadsheet to your computer and slice it and dice it to your heart's content.

You can take a look at your expenses every month on the credit card web site (look at the summary page, too), pay off the card, and if things get out of control, just ratchet back a little.

Congratulations!!!!!! :sharebeer

tesuzuki2002
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Re: Can this girl "go wild?"

Post by tesuzuki2002 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:44 pm

HomerJ wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:43 pm
Heh, nothing like a "girl gone wild" thread started by someone named grandma cassie :)
I think there are many on the forum who would like to see grandma Cassie full up Gone Wild!!!


Sounds like a lot saved... Spend some of it!!!

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JoeRetire
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Re: Can this girl "go wild?"

Post by JoeRetire » Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:51 pm

grandmacassie wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:33 am
My question is this: Can I "go wild" and stop tracking discretionary spending?
Yes,of course.

You can stop tracking any spending you choose. You always could.

Most people never track any of their spending at all.

Maverick3320
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Re: Can this girl "go wild?"

Post by Maverick3320 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:34 pm

renue74 wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:00 pm
My step-mom's mother died in early 2017. I think she was in her early 90s.

Her and her husband bought a basic one story house in San Jose in 1976 for $45,000. When she died, her kids put it on the market for $1.6M. It sold for $2.5M.

You can't take it with you.
Maybe she just liked the house?

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goodenyou
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Re: Can this girl "go wild?"

Post by goodenyou » Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:41 pm

Maverick3320 wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:34 pm
renue74 wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:00 pm
My step-mom's mother died in early 2017. I think she was in her early 90s.

Her and her husband bought a basic one story house in San Jose in 1976 for $45,000. When she died, her kids put it on the market for $1.6M. It sold for $2.5M.

You can't take it with you.
Maybe she just liked the house?
You can't take the house with you.
"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge" | Do you know how to make a rain dance work? Dance until it rains.

clip651
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Re: Can this girl "go wild?"

Post by clip651 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:02 pm

goodenyou wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:41 pm
Maverick3320 wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:34 pm
renue74 wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:00 pm
My step-mom's mother died in early 2017. I think she was in her early 90s.

Her and her husband bought a basic one story house in San Jose in 1976 for $45,000. When she died, her kids put it on the market for $1.6M. It sold for $2.5M.

You can't take it with you.
Maybe she just liked the house?
You can't take the house with you.
You can't take the house with you, but there's nothing wrong with enjoying it as long as you're alive and able to enjoy it!

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KSOC
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Re: Can this girl "go wild?"

Post by KSOC » Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:04 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:40 pm
I am not retired yet but stopped tracking spending a number of years ago. You have to ask yourself what are you getting out of doing so.
I spent decades tracking every nickel using Quicken and then one day I realized that I was using the data as a database ("When did we last get the rugs cleaned? Let me query and see when we paid the guy."; "How much do we need for retirement?") but wasn't using the data in any way to modify habits. So I woke up one day and decided "why bother". I now estimate expenses based upon online account history for planning purposes but am freed from tracking every nickel on a monthly/weekly/daily basis.
I see no reason from your story as to why you need to bother.
Yep yep & yep. Used to do the same. Wife & I are frugal spenders. Now I just track CC totals & bank debit totals, subtract it from income. We know where the money goes. Used track everything yet it meant nothing. Every month all wife wants to know is if we were over or short.

OP - you're fine. Ratchet back a notch or two. Congrats on the nice job.
Too soon old, too late smart.

KlangFool
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Re: Can this girl "go wild?"

Post by KlangFool » Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:09 pm

OP,

I save 1 year of expense every year and spend the rest. I never track my expense. So, I won't start tracking my expense if and when I retire.

KlangFool

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goodenyou
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Re: Can this girl "go wild?"

Post by goodenyou » Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:49 pm

clip651 wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:02 pm
goodenyou wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:41 pm
Maverick3320 wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:34 pm
renue74 wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:00 pm
My step-mom's mother died in early 2017. I think she was in her early 90s.

Her and her husband bought a basic one story house in San Jose in 1976 for $45,000. When she died, her kids put it on the market for $1.6M. It sold for $2.5M.

You can't take it with you.
Maybe she just liked the house?
You can't take the house with you.
You can't take the house with you, but there's nothing wrong with enjoying it as long as you're alive and able to enjoy it!
Exactly. You can't take the house with you, so enjoy it. The fact that it was worth a lot sold is immaterial.
Last edited by goodenyou on Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge" | Do you know how to make a rain dance work? Dance until it rains.

FireHorse
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Re: Can this girl "go wild?"

Post by FireHorse » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:27 pm

Yes, you can go wild; but you still need to keep tracking your expenses.
One can have a party and enjoy the party but don't want to be blinded in the party

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auntie
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Re: Can this girl "go wild?"

Post by auntie » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:45 pm

I don't track my spending but twice a year I add up my net worth. If its higher than the previous year I relax. If not I figure out why. So far it's almost always been significantly higher.
High risk does not equal high reward. It equals high risk of no reward.

gr7070
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Re: Can this girl "go wild?"

Post by gr7070 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:57 pm

As a saver I know my lifestyle improved when my wife and I created an allowance for each other. It encourages me to spend far more than I ever would have, yet still well within reasonable limits.

Maybe as part of your tracking you should incorporate something similar. One or a few budget line items you must (or nearly so) spend every year. Travel, family vacations, giving to charity, etc.

Use that money to enrich your lives and the lives of others, before life passes you by.
Last edited by gr7070 on Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:44 am, edited 2 times in total.

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happymob
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Re: Can this girl "go wild?"

Post by happymob » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:48 am

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:36 am
You need to live, if not now, then when? If you don't spend it, someone else will.
So long as your outflows do not exceed your inflows, you should be good to go. Enjoy your retirement.
I like looking at cash flow. We don't track expenses or budget. If our bank balance goes up, we stayed within budget. If our bank balance went down, we need to understand why (this year a 6-week trip to Europe for the Women's World Cup will *likely* mean a net cash outflow, but I'm not sure that's true yet)

For wife and I this is simplified by having a single bank account, where if the balance get too high, we transfer money to our taxable brokerage and if the balance gets too low, or we have a major purchase, like a car, we transfer money from taxable to bank account. These sorts of transfers are rare enough (either way - maybe once or twice a year) that they are easy to track as well. But we can look at a snapshot of the account every December and see if we are roughly on track on spending, regardless of portfolio performance, without a budget.

student
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Re: Can this girl "go wild?"

Post by student » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:58 am

I no longer track my precise expenses, I only have a rough idea.

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