Has Your Spending Changed Since The Shutdown?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
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geerhardusvos
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Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by geerhardusvos »

Hey Bogle friends,

I’ve been talking with some of my close friends and family about what their monthly spend is during this situation and things they’ve cut out. So I’ll pose the question to you all: For your budget and standard of living, what is the lowest you can comfortably live on? What things are you cutting out of your budget if anything? Are you more aggressively investing? I say comfortably meaning not cutting out any necessities, so keeping only those things that bring a base value to your life. Right now my family is pretty much spending bare bones as we save/invest money during the current situation (food
$950, rent $3000, utilities $150, basic home entertainment and necessities, etc). We don’t feel like we are cutting back since we are at home, but travel, eating out, sporting and music events, etc. are the biggest line items cut out. Interested to get actionable ideas and thoughts from you.

Here’s my current situation and spending, feel free to share yours:
$60k/year (Or $5000/mo) — West Coast, HCOL area, 30s, married, young kids, renting a 3000 sqft SFH in nice neighborhood, two old cars — We could probably go as low as ~50k if we needed to, but then we would need to rent a different place, cut out Home entertainment, organic foods, etc which is not ideal or comfortable to us. We have also significantly ramped up investing in our portfolio since we have a good enough EF. Before the current situation, we were spending roughly $6500/month with a household income of ~$200k/year (income has stayed the same so far)
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by MathWizard »

We've cut out commuting, travel and eating out.

Electric bill is up, and we added one streaming service, but have no cable TV, just internet.

My base budget is $46K/yr after taxes and health ins. plus an estimated $5K/yr for home maintenance and car replacement, so $56K total. That is without changing our lifestyle, but does not include pleasure travel. We have no debt and are empty nesters nearing retirement. Maxing out retirement, though we could cover
our base budget if we retired right now
runner3081
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by runner3081 »

Nope, hasn't changed. We don't spend much on things that are impacted (eating out, etc).
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by Hockey10 »

There was a similar thread on this topic earlier this week:

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=313181
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by geerhardusvos »

runner3081 wrote: Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:06 pm Nope, hasn't changed. We don't spend much on things that are impacted (eating out, etc).
That’s pretty similar to us, but we did you go to sporting events and concerts
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by runner3081 »

geerhardusvos wrote: Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:50 pm
runner3081 wrote: Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:06 pm Nope, hasn't changed. We don't spend much on things that are impacted (eating out, etc).
That’s pretty similar to us, but we did you go to sporting events and concerts
We had a very minimal entertainment budget, with a small child, there are/were plenty of free things.
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by radiowave »

I usually fill my vehicle tank 4 times a month, April only once since I'm working from home. No eating out or takeout meals for past 6 weeks (including lunch at work). Estimated savings for April about 1K, likely will continue this way through summer and no vacation (was planning a trip to Australia in July which is now off). So biggest negative budget impact in order: vehicle fuel costs, eating out, vacation travel. Annualized that would be abt $10k or so.
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smitcat
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by smitcat »

MathWizard wrote: Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:06 pm We've cut out commuting, travel and eating out.

Electric bill is up, and we added one streaming service, but have no cable TV, just internet.

My base budget is $46K/yr after taxes and health ins. plus an estimated $5K/yr for home maintenance and car replacement, so $56K total. That is without changing our lifestyle, but does not include pleasure travel. We have no debt and are empty nesters nearing retirement. Maxing out retirement, though we could cover
our base budget if we retired right now
Very similar to our base budget at maybe $60K/yr as we retire. Although it is a base we could live on we would not want to have to use that budget in the future.
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

I guess we are spending way less, or zero, on some things we previously spent money on:
Dry cleaning
Tolls and other commuting costs
Eventually I guess replacing work clothes is going to be affected.

Other than that, I don’t think there’s much change.
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by Glockenspiel »

Definitely spending less. No gas, reduced childcare expenses, limited takeout food, no auto maintenance, auto insurance gave me a refund, no vacations. Probably spending about $4,000/month for a family of 4, and definitely spending less than $5,000/month.
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by MikeG62 »

Ok almost two months of data now.

Line items which are down:

Gas (for vehicles),
Restaurants (eating out) - we have swapped dine-in for take-out, but the net is down,
Health Care Out of Pockets - we aren't going to doctors so no OOP's
T&E - it's zero now, so down very materially (mid five figures each month)

Line items that haven't changed (which I thought would):

Groceries - they are up actually. Some due to pantry filling and some due to no travel so we are home and no dining out
Discretionary spending - things my DW would ordinarily purchase during the month in her daily rounds have been replaced by online purchasing of things we need (or think we need)

Netting it all out, for us it''s all about the complete shutdown in T&E overwhelming all other budget variances.
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MikeG62
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by MikeG62 »

Ok almost two months of data now.

Line items which are down:

Gas (for vehicles),
Restaurants (eating out) - we have swapped dine-in for take-out, but the net is down,
Health Care Out of Pockets - we aren't going to doctors so no OOP's
Health club dues - zero (gym is closed)
T&E - it's zero now, so down very materially (mid five figures each month)

Line items that haven't changed (which I thought would):

Groceries - they are up actually. Some due to pantry filling and some due to no travel so we are home and no dining out
Discretionary spending - things my DW would ordinarily purchase during the month in her daily rounds have been replaced by online purchasing of things we need (or think we need)

Netting it all out, for us it''s all about the complete shutdown in T&E overwhelming all other budget variances. We have not made any attempt to curtail spending for its own sake.
Last edited by MikeG62 on Mon May 04, 2020 8:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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stoptothink
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by stoptothink »

No childcare. END. OF. THREAD. It's our single largest bill and it's gone for the time being. Food and gas were minuscule in comparison and have decreased slightly (food budget cut to the bone already and a tank of gas usually lasted us 3wks). Eating out/entertainment were almost non-existent to begin with.
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by mega317 »

Between no day care, no car payments (we paid both off not related to covid), and recent mortgage refinance, our monthly expenses have almost halved. There is nothing we could cut that would make a bigger difference than any of these. I guess we could eliminate cable but then how am I going to watch The Last Dance?
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by treadingwater »

Right now we are not travelling, DH isn't golfing, no shopping or eating out. Not even a Culvers concrete mixer. :wink: So our monthly expenses are approx 3000$ per month. Down from 4-5 k per month. House and cars are paid off. So while this stock market drop has been upsetting, its nice that our burn rate is also down.
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by RightGuard »

So...

Overall decrease in budget although no real big decline in any specific category save one..

Gas - no discretionary travel plus gas prices declining overall with the rout in oil
T & E - can't go anywhere and working too much to do anything other than basic stuff at home.
Grocery and Food - Almost zero. Did my big bi-annual Costco run in Feb before COVID really hit my state. Hospital is paying all meals right now and I take some of the leftovers home for dinner. I haven't cooked or needed to buy anything for weeks now.

Mortgage - Same
Taxes - ... Same
Utilities - Same
Stimulus - Zero
Ron Ronnerson
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by Ron Ronnerson »

We're spending around $70k/year or $6k/month (this includes all taxes). Bay Area, VHCOL Area, mid-40s, married, one young kid, own a 4-bedroom/4-bathroom townhouse (2150 sq. ft), newish cars. Income is around $120k gross.

Things like eating out at restaurants, vacations, house cleaning, and transportation expenses are way down right now. All combined, these things usually add up to about $1k/month for us. Many of the bigger items in our budget are fixed costs like mortgage, property taxes, insurance, and utilities so our expenses haven’t decreased all that much. People not paying for day care are finding big savings these days, for example. My wife is a stay-at-home parent so that isn't a factor for us.

Also, some expenses are just postponed rather than eliminated so it’s important to be honest about that. For example, even though we’re staying at home for the time, appliances and cars are aging and will eventually need to be replaced and the house will eventually require repairs.

Edit: fixed typo
Last edited by Ron Ronnerson on Thu Apr 30, 2020 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by flyingaway »

Salaries and retirement contributions were cut by about 15%.
This is not what you asked, but just to show that there are two sides of a story.
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by JGoneRiding »

Day care and mortgage (in that order) make up about 60 to 70% of our budget. If one of us stops working daycare has to go! We spend nothing else significant. Next highest is food at $500 to 600.
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by tibbitts »

Unfortunately the travel budget has gone to zero. Otherwise I only retired in December 2019 so I don't have much of a baseline to compare.
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by willthrill81 »

runner3081 wrote: Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:06 pm Nope, hasn't changed. We don't spend much on things that are impacted (eating out, etc).
Pretty much the same here. We were planning on an RV trip to Yellowstone in June, and it looks like that should still happen, albeit there will be minimal use of facilities.
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by geerhardusvos »

flyingaway wrote: Thu Apr 30, 2020 4:28 pm Salaries and retirement contributions were cut by about 15%.
This is not what you asked, but just to show that there are two sides of a story.
Sorry to hear that. It’s interesting to think about if my income went away because of layoffs or whatever, and I think I’m spending almost as little as I can currently. But there’s probably $500 a month that I can cut out, but we have tried to be pretty diligent during this time not banking on any future bonus, RSU, ESPP, etc. Would have the additional expensive cobra depending on the layoff scenario. Hang in there!
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by geerhardusvos »

willthrill81 wrote: Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:26 pm
runner3081 wrote: Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:06 pm Nope, hasn't changed. We don't spend much on things that are impacted (eating out, etc).
Pretty much the same here. We were planning on an RV trip to Yellowstone in June, and it looks like that should still happen, albeit there will be minimal use of facilities.
That sounds like fun... Having young kids has made our travel and concert budget go way down, so it almost prepared us for this. Interesting to think about the types of vacations that are still open, as one of our Airbnb stays was canceled for October for a friends wedding. I guess that’s the benefit of having an RV or boat! I thought surely by October we would be back to a normal state of affairs...
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by willthrill81 »

geerhardusvos wrote: Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:34 pm
willthrill81 wrote: Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:26 pm
runner3081 wrote: Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:06 pm Nope, hasn't changed. We don't spend much on things that are impacted (eating out, etc).
Pretty much the same here. We were planning on an RV trip to Yellowstone in June, and it looks like that should still happen, albeit there will be minimal use of facilities.
That sounds like fun... Having young kids has made our travel and concert budget go way down, so it almost prepared us for this. Interesting to think about the types of vacations that are still open, as one of our Airbnb stays was canceled for October for a friends wedding. I guess that’s the benefit of having an RV or boat! I thought surely by October we would be back to a normal state of affairs...
We're actually renting our RV. It was significantly cheaper to rent an RV than to stay at any of the hotels outside the park, and we'll be spending most of our time in the park (also in Grand Tetons just to the south), so it reduces our driving while there also. And with restaurants in the park only being grab and go this year, it also carries the benefit of us being able to prepare our own food wherever we are.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by quantAndHold »

We spent $40k on travel last year, and I was planning on spending several months traveling around Europe this spring and summer. So that changed.

All in all, though, our total spending will be about the same. $40k remodel happening, despite the lockdown. Camping in our motorhome, in our own backyard, while strangers do things inside the house.
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by stan1 »

Gas is almost zero

Travel is zero, and we got a refund for an expensive flight to Europe in May

Medical expenses are way down, I am wondering if we will be able to use all of our Health Care Flexible Spending Account this year.

Eating out is more since we are supporting local businesses with takeout and tipping 30%

Charitable contributions are up since we added a local food bank to our regular list

Gifts to family members of essential items are up (masks, cleaning supplies, etc)

Home office costs are up. We were set up for a few hours at a time not all day. Already had to buy a new folding table, monitor, desk organizer, and maybe two new chairs soon.

Running/walking shoe costs are up (double weekly mileage)
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by Slacker »

Like many others, we are eating out way less.
Movie expenses also decreased as we are now only streaming videos and no longer going to theaters.
Our electricity costs are decreased (we always worked from home, but now with less driving we don't have to charge the electric car nearly as much)

Grocery costs went up slightly.
Spending is about $3650 a month during the lockdown in a medium-low cost of living area with a 30yr mortgage, one car payment, family of two adults and one teen at home and a menagerie of animals.
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by geerhardusvos »

stan1 wrote: Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:51 pm Gas is almost zero

Travel is zero, and we got a refund for an expensive flight to Europe in May

Medical expenses are way down, I am wondering if we will be able to use all of our Health Care Flexible Spending Account this year.

Eating out is more since we are supporting local businesses with takeout and tipping 30%

Charitable contributions are up since we added a local food bank to our regular list

Gifts to family members of essential items are up (masks, cleaning supplies, etc)

Home office costs are up. We were set up for a few hours at a time not all day. Already had to buy a new folding table, monitor, desk organizer, and maybe two new chairs soon.

Running/walking shoe costs are up (double weekly mileage)
Interesting! We just ordered new running shoes as well, it’s interesting to consider how those businesses are doing (brooks, ASICS, etc). Office supply companies are probably doing ok too, at least on the residential side
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by geerhardusvos »

willthrill81 wrote: Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:37 pm
geerhardusvos wrote: Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:34 pm
willthrill81 wrote: Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:26 pm
runner3081 wrote: Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:06 pm Nope, hasn't changed. We don't spend much on things that are impacted (eating out, etc).
Pretty much the same here. We were planning on an RV trip to Yellowstone in June, and it looks like that should still happen, albeit there will be minimal use of facilities.
That sounds like fun... Having young kids has made our travel and concert budget go way down, so it almost prepared us for this. Interesting to think about the types of vacations that are still open, as one of our Airbnb stays was canceled for October for a friends wedding. I guess that’s the benefit of having an RV or boat! I thought surely by October we would be back to a normal state of affairs...
We're actually renting our RV. It was significantly cheaper to rent an RV than to stay at any of the hotels outside the park, and we'll be spending most of our time in the park (also in Grand Tetons just to the south), so it reduces our driving while there also. And with restaurants in the park only being grab and go this year, it also carries the benefit of us being able to prepare our own food wherever we are.
What a great trip, and renting an RV does sound more economical if you’re only doing it once or twice a year. Enjoy!
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by 7eight9 »

Gasoline has gone down (two cars) ---
February - $84.67
March - $51.14
April - $25.13

Subscribed to Netflix so that is an increase of $8.99/month.

Everything else unchanged.
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by runner540 »

Similar thread from a month ago: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=310523

No big changes, major expenses are fixed (mortgage, insurance, daycare which we still pay to hold the spot), utilities and groceries are up.
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by willthrill81 »

geerhardusvos wrote: Thu Apr 30, 2020 6:38 pm
willthrill81 wrote: Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:37 pm
geerhardusvos wrote: Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:34 pm
willthrill81 wrote: Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:26 pm
runner3081 wrote: Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:06 pm Nope, hasn't changed. We don't spend much on things that are impacted (eating out, etc).
Pretty much the same here. We were planning on an RV trip to Yellowstone in June, and it looks like that should still happen, albeit there will be minimal use of facilities.
That sounds like fun... Having young kids has made our travel and concert budget go way down, so it almost prepared us for this. Interesting to think about the types of vacations that are still open, as one of our Airbnb stays was canceled for October for a friends wedding. I guess that’s the benefit of having an RV or boat! I thought surely by October we would be back to a normal state of affairs...
We're actually renting our RV. It was significantly cheaper to rent an RV than to stay at any of the hotels outside the park, and we'll be spending most of our time in the park (also in Grand Tetons just to the south), so it reduces our driving while there also. And with restaurants in the park only being grab and go this year, it also carries the benefit of us being able to prepare our own food wherever we are.
What a great trip, and renting an RV does sound more economical if you’re only doing it once or twice a year. Enjoy!
Thanks! I'm sure we will. I'm hoping that there won't be many crowds.
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by mnnice »

willthrill81 wrote: Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:26 pm
runner3081 wrote: Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:06 pm Nope, hasn't changed. We don't spend much on things that are impacted (eating out, etc).
Pretty much the same here. We were planning on an RV trip to Yellowstone in June, and it looks like that should still happen, albeit there will be minimal use of facilities.
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by mnsportsgeek »

My budget hasn't necessarily changed, but I did have a category in YNAB for "Fines and Unexpected." I've beefed this up somehow to cover a month of expenses before I would have to dip into my emergency fund. So while I haven't cut any monthly bills, apparently I've been subconsciously saving more for a potential furlough.

I guess the only thing we've cut is gym because it's closed but it's only $50 a month for 2 people. We've continued to pay for daycare throughout. If our income did change we'd cut things like restaurant, entertainment, streaming services/cable, security system, and scale back on retirement/college savings.
Last edited by mnsportsgeek on Thu Apr 30, 2020 7:24 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by KFBR392 »

SoCal HCOL area. With our gym and daycare closed, we're saving $1460/month. We've eliminated all dining out. Both our car leases ended (one in March, the other April) and we opted to go carless until things open up again. (We can walk to several grocery stores.) So for the time being we have no car insurance premiums or car payment. We also canceled HBO.

Our May budget should be somewhere around $3800. Rent is $2700. The rest is basically utilities, life insurance, and groceries.
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by houseofnine »

Don’t have a budget, but we dropped Netflix.
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by bayview »

MikeG62 wrote: Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:34 pm Ok almost two months of data now.

Line items which are down:

Gas (for vehicles),
Restaurants (eating out) - we have swapped dine-in for take-out, but the net is down,
Health Care Out of Pockets - we aren't going to doctors so no OOP's
T&E - it's zero now, so down very materially (mid five figures each month)

Line items that haven't changed (which I thought would):

Groceries - they are up actually. Some due to pantry filling and some due to no travel so we are home and no dining out
Discretionary spending - things my DW would ordinarily purchase during the month in her daily rounds have been replaced by online purchasing of things we need (or think we need)

Netting it all out, for us it''s all about the complete shutdown in T&E overwhelming all other budget variances. We have not made any attempt to curtail spending for its own sake.
Mid-five figures PER MONTH? As in ~$40,000/MONTH on travel and entertainment? :shock:
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by 02nz »

bayview wrote: Thu Apr 30, 2020 7:52 pm
MikeG62 wrote: Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:34 pm Ok almost two months of data now.

Line items which are down:

Gas (for vehicles),
Restaurants (eating out) - we have swapped dine-in for take-out, but the net is down,
Health Care Out of Pockets - we aren't going to doctors so no OOP's
T&E - it's zero now, so down very materially (mid five figures each month)

Line items that haven't changed (which I thought would):

Groceries - they are up actually. Some due to pantry filling and some due to no travel so we are home and no dining out
Discretionary spending - things my DW would ordinarily purchase during the month in her daily rounds have been replaced by online purchasing of things we need (or think we need)

Netting it all out, for us it''s all about the complete shutdown in T&E overwhelming all other budget variances. We have not made any attempt to curtail spending for its own sake.
Mid-five figures PER MONTH? As in ~$40,000/MONTH on travel and entertainment? :shock:
My eyes popped at that, too! Mid-four figures is a generous travel and entertainment budget, mid-five figures?!
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by bayview »

02nz wrote: Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:00 pm
bayview wrote: Thu Apr 30, 2020 7:52 pm
MikeG62 wrote: Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:34 pm Ok almost two months of data now.

Line items which are down:

Gas (for vehicles),
Restaurants (eating out) - we have swapped dine-in for take-out, but the net is down,
Health Care Out of Pockets - we aren't going to doctors so no OOP's
T&E - it's zero now, so down very materially (mid five figures each month)

Line items that haven't changed (which I thought would):

Groceries - they are up actually. Some due to pantry filling and some due to no travel so we are home and no dining out
Discretionary spending - things my DW would ordinarily purchase during the month in her daily rounds have been replaced by online purchasing of things we need (or think we need)

Netting it all out, for us it''s all about the complete shutdown in T&E overwhelming all other budget variances. We have not made any attempt to curtail spending for its own sake.
Mid-five figures PER MONTH? As in ~$40,000/MONTH on travel and entertainment? :shock:
My eyes popped at that, too! Mid-four figures is a generous travel and entertainment budget, mid-five figures?!
Haha, our combined SS plus the tiny remnants of my FERS pension left after paying my share of retiree health insurance is $40k and change a year.

Maybe it’s a typo and that’s the per annum figure.
The continuous execution of a sound strategy gives you the benefit of the strategy. That's what it's all about. --Rick Ferri
Ivygirl
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by Ivygirl »

This thread made me look back at April. For this month some things haven't changed:

YMCA gym $40 (it's closed but I'm still paying)
Mortgage $803
Utilities (electric, water/garbage, natural gas) $163
Cell phone $35
Internet & home phone $109

Some things that did change:

Yard and garden - $406 (spending a lot of time in the garden nowadays)
Food for myself and pets - $512 (I blame coronavirus madness for the overbuying - usually more like $380)
Vet visits, sick cats - $234 (usually $0)
Dining out - $86 (usually it's more like $20)
Gasoline $20 (usually $70) no commute, working from home
Clothes $98 (couldn't cheap out, no discount stores open, so ordered the good pants from LL Bean)
Laundry $20 (spent the first 3 weeks of April washing my clothes with a portable washing machine in the bathtub, free and don't have to leave home)
Entertainment $0 (usually spend $20-$30 on video rentals, but my garden has been my entertainment this month)

I have not increased my investing. It stayed the same. I have surplus this month plus the $1,200 from Uncle Sam and will probably stack cash for future home improvements.

The least I could comfortably live on is $1,600 per month. For my 6-month emergency fund I added some margin and estimated $2,000 per month.
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AerialWombat
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by AerialWombat »

I’m spending significantly more.

I eat out every day, and paying slightly higher prices for take-out, since I had to switch restaurants. I’m also consuming far more alcohol, since I’m drinking at home instead of the pub, where I have a one drink limit due to the need to drive home.

I haven’t measured it, but my spending is easily up $500/mo or more.

Oh, I also had a second internet connection installed, just in case (and have had to use it). So that’s $45 more.

I have not pulled the trigger on this, but the situation has finally made me consider purchasing health insurance. This would obviously skyrocket my expenses.
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Traveller
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by Traveller »

Three college kids back under our roof, so our food budget is WAY up...

But gas, entertainment, and travel is down. Roughly a wash overall.
toocold
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by toocold »

We have a target budget of $6,000 and we spent $3,400 on April. I've been tracking our spending for the past 5 years and this by far is the lowest amount we've ever spent. Slight uptick on groceries. Flat on utilities and health insurance. Significantly down on restaurants, kids activities, general merchandise, clothing, auto/gas.
Colorado13
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by Colorado13 »

I just tallied my April spending

Lower expenses:
Utilities. No longer have the heat on in the house. (This is typical for April.)
Birthday celebrations and gifts
Eating out/entertainment
Fitness classes
Gas for the car (filled at the end of March...still have a full tank due to work from home)


Higher expenses:
Garden/yard/lawn (This is typical for April)
Covid-related (cleaning supplies and bonus payment for friend who made fabric masks)
Groceries (some price gouging going on it seems...)
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CyclingDuo
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by CyclingDuo »

geerhardusvos wrote: Thu Apr 30, 2020 1:58 pmI’ve been talking with some of my close friends and family about what their monthly spend is during this situation and things they’ve cut out. So I’ll pose the question to you all: For your budget and standard of living, what is the lowest you can comfortably live on? What things are you cutting out of your budget if anything? Are you more aggressively investing? I say comfortably meaning not cutting out any necessities, so keeping only those things that bring a base value to your life. Right now my family is pretty much spending bare bones as we save/invest money during the current situation (food
$950, rent $3000, utilities $150, basic home entertainment and necessities, etc). We don’t feel like we are cutting back since we are at home, but travel, eating out, sporting and music events, etc. are the biggest line items cut out. Interested to get actionable ideas and thoughts from you.
Event driven budget tweaking is always a good thing to dive into - be it a layoff, an economic crisis, etc... . So kudos to you for diving in and utilizing the time to comb through it all.

For your budget and standard of living, what is the lowest you can comfortably live on?

Lowest in normal times would be $153 per day, but we have usually averaged around $182-183 per day over the past few years. The last two weeks of March and for the month of April, we averaged only $139 per day.

What things are you cutting out of your budget if anything?

Cuts were due to the shut down and working from home - so gas, restaurant/lunches, personal grooming, entertainment, and travel were the obvious drop offs in spend.

Are you more aggressively investing?

I assume you mean additional investing as we have not changed our asset allocations or regular contributions from paychecks. We did increase our weekly contributions to taxable account investing using some of the money that normally would have gone to gas/restaurants/grooming/entertainment/travel. We wouldn't call that aggressive, just redirecting some of the unused cash flow.

We don’t feel like we are cutting back since we are at home, but travel, eating out, sporting and music events, etc. are the biggest line items cut out. Interested to get actionable ideas and thoughts from you.

Same here with the shut down cuts. Gas, restaurants, entertainment, personal grooming, discretionary were all cut due to working from home and the shut down (budget app says one milkshake at a drive through was our only "restaurant" charge for the month of April). Groceries increased. Wine increased. :beer Wife added Hulu. Took on some garden bed construction projects which added about $610 of one time expense - thus far - to build everything. Decided to redesign my pergola over the deck, so spent a couple hundred on cedar wood to beef it up and cosmetically improve it. Invested more than usual each week into our taxable investments.

With all of the fluctuations of cuts plus increases in other areas - or redirecting some of the cash flow - our budget app says we spent a total of $1,343 less in April than we did in March. I guess we could have invested more, or redirected those funds more, or shopped online more rather than just letting it sit in the bank. I'm sure we'll find a way to spend it as our state starts opening up restaurants and other things today. Sounds like one of our work commutes (me) will be starting up again in 10 days to a couple of weeks from now and my spouse went in the past 2 days to one of her offices, so gas/transportation costs will rise again. Although gas has dropped to a $1.50 and change, until that rises it will remain lower than it was prior to the shut down. We remember paying $40-50 a tank, now we are down to the low to mid $20s per tank.

Only thing actionable for the prior 6 weeks was to redirect that cash flow. We chose to put some into additional taxable account investing, and some into home DIY projects. We're not sure if you are asking for actionable ways to cut more, live on the current cuts, or what to do with the money that was not used?

We'll go with the latter...

Depending on your leftover cash flow and actionable ways to use it, you could use it to pay down the mortgage, invest more, home maintenance/improvement projects, put it in the vacation fund, add to your emergency fund, college education accounts, or treat yourself to a new gadget - and on and on. If you have found over the past 6 weeks things you can live comfortably without - consider making those items a permanent budget cut. We'll be cutting Hulu soon as she binge watched what she wanted to watch. And wine consumption will go back to normal as we get back to not working from home.

CyclingDuo
Last edited by CyclingDuo on Fri May 01, 2020 9:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Save like a pessimist, invest like an optimist." - Morgan Housel
quantAndHold
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by quantAndHold »

Ivygirl wrote: Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:41 pm Some things that did change:

Clothes $98 (couldn't cheap out, no discount stores open, so ordered the good pants from LL Bean)
You’re still wearing pants?
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
quantAndHold
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by quantAndHold »

mnnice wrote: Thu Apr 30, 2020 7:14 pm
willthrill81 wrote: Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:26 pm
runner3081 wrote: Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:06 pm Nope, hasn't changed. We don't spend much on things that are impacted (eating out, etc).
Pretty much the same here. We were planning on an RV trip to Yellowstone in June, and it looks like that should still happen, albeit there will be minimal use of facilities.
Pack warm stuff
Yes. We’ve been snowed on at Yellowstone in June. Several inches.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
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midareff
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Location: Biscayne Bay, South Florida

Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by midareff »

Covid-19 has caused us to stop travel for the time being... until there is an immunization. That knocks the budget down about $80K annually. Eating out seems to have gone away too probably another $300 a month net after increased groceries.
reln
Posts: 446
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by reln »

geerhardusvos wrote: Thu Apr 30, 2020 1:58 pm Hey Bogle friends,

I’ve been talking with some of my close friends and family about what their monthly spend is during this situation and things they’ve cut out. So I’ll pose the question to you all: For your budget and standard of living, what is the lowest you can comfortably live on? What things are you cutting out of your budget if anything? Are you more aggressively investing? I say comfortably meaning not cutting out any necessities, so keeping only those things that bring a base value to your life. Right now my family is pretty much spending bare bones as we save/invest money during the current situation (food
$950, rent $3000, utilities $150, basic home entertainment and necessities, etc). We don’t feel like we are cutting back since we are at home, but travel, eating out, sporting and music events, etc. are the biggest line items cut out. Interested to get actionable ideas and thoughts from you.

Here’s my current situation and spending, feel free to share yours:
$60k/year (Or $5000/mo) — West Coast, HCOL area, 30s, married, young kids, renting a 3000 sqft SFH in nice neighborhood, two old cars — We could probably go as low as ~50k if we needed to, but then we would need to rent a different place, cut out Home entertainment, organic foods, etc which is not ideal or comfortable to us. We have also significantly ramped up investing in our portfolio since we have a good enough EF. Before the current situation, we were spending roughly $6500/month with a household income of ~$200k/year (income has stayed the same so far)
Cut commute, eating out, gas, movies, travel, etc
Increased charity, groceries, cook wear
bltn
Posts: 882
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Re: Has your budget changed? What items have you cut out?

Post by bltn »

Less spending overall.

Less on gasoline.
Less on restaurants.

More on groceries.
More on books from Amazon. (The libraries are closed.)
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