Critique my expenses and help me save money.

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jh
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Re: Critique my expenses and help me save money.

Post by jh »

yosemite_mountain wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 3:14 am Question: Please critique my expenses and help me save money.

You are paying $34,020 for rent which is 44.18% of your total spending.

The main question to ask yourself is, "Is living in the San Francisco Bay area worth the cost?"

If the answer is yes, then you are just going to have to accept that you are already doing as well as you can. I don't see any fat to cut in your budget.

You didn't list your salary, but I am guessing that it is large enough to justify your current location.
Retired in 2022 at the age of 46. Living off of dividends.
chris319
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Re: Critique my expenses and help me save money.

Post by chris319 »

Either be totally forthcoming or don't bother.
:thumbsup
+1
Financial decisions based on emotion often turn out to be bad decisions.
Triple digit golfer
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Re: Critique my expenses and help me save money.

Post by Triple digit golfer »

jh wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 7:26 pmI don't see any fat to cut in your budget.
:confused
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yosemite_mountain
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Re: Critique my expenses and help me save money.

Post by yosemite_mountain »

Triple digit golfer wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 7:17 pm [

Your savings are down 37%, which is $50k?

You were saving $135k and it's down to $85k?

This doesn't make any sense. Either be totally forthcoming or don't bother.
Yes, this is correct. I reviewed my annual expenses this week and was shocked at how much I spent this year, which is why I posted to the forum.
Triple digit golfer
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Re: Critique my expenses and help me save money.

Post by Triple digit golfer »

yosemite_mountain wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 8:10 pm
Triple digit golfer wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 7:17 pm [

Your savings are down 37%, which is $50k?

You were saving $135k and it's down to $85k?

This doesn't make any sense. Either be totally forthcoming or don't bother.
Yes, this is correct. I reviewed my annual expenses this week and was shocked at how much I spent this year, which is why I posted to the forum.
You listed $77k in annual expenses. Is that before or after the $50k increase?

What did you spend an extra $50k on? Should be very easy to find FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS in expenses.
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cchrissyy
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Re: Critique my expenses and help me save money.

Post by cchrissyy »

ok well what happened?

did your income decrease that much?

did you live somewhere for free until now?

did your rent and food and toiletries triple in price? unlikely!

be honest with yourself. is this expected?

if not expected, do you have a spending category not reported here eating up the rest? (like gifts or a habit/addiction)

or maybe you are counting "savings" in an unconventional way, using the term to mean how your investments performed? if so, welcome to the club, we all had a low year, and that is ok.

after thinking about all the above, i would encourage you to ponder if saving $80k annual is fine, actually, even though it is not $130k would you still consider it "enough" to reach your goals? i would asset that anyone saving more than they spend is doing extremely well.
Last edited by cchrissyy on Fri Nov 18, 2022 8:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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galawdawg
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Re: Critique my expenses and help me save money.

Post by galawdawg »

yosemite_mountain wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 8:10 pm
Triple digit golfer wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 7:17 pm [

Your savings are down 37%, which is $50k?

You were saving $135k and it's down to $85k?

This doesn't make any sense. Either be totally forthcoming or don't bother.
Yes, this is correct. I reviewed my annual expenses this week and was shocked at how much I spent this year, which is why I posted to the forum.
Your math doesn't add up. Are you trying to tell us that you are spending $50k annually more this year than last?

You are spending $77k per year, that would mean last year you only spent $27k. But from a prior thread in 2020 that the mods linked in your first post (and that you apparently since edited out), you reported that you were spending $72k per year. viewtopic.php?p=5619024#p5619024. That's an increase of $5,000 over two years or a 3.5% increase annually.

So your reported figures simply don't compute. If your reported expenses in this thread and in your 2020 thread are correct, your expenses aren't "through the roof this year, mostly due to inflation" as you report. Has your income dropped substantially in the past two years or have you omitted a significant amount of expenses from your post?
strummer6969
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Re: Critique my expenses and help me save money.

Post by strummer6969 »

jh wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 7:26 pm
yosemite_mountain wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 3:14 am Question: Please critique my expenses and help me save money.

You are paying $34,020 for rent which is 44.18% of your total spending.

The main question to ask yourself is, "Is living in the San Francisco Bay area worth the cost?"

If the answer is yes, then you are just going to have to accept that you are already doing as well as you can. I don't see any fat to cut in your budget.

You didn't list your salary, but I am guessing that it is large enough to justify your current location.
If he's in tech with several years of experience, I'm guessing 400K+. I'm not sure why he's being so coy about it.
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yosemite_mountain
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Re: Critique my expenses and help me save money.

Post by yosemite_mountain »

jh wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 7:26 pm
You are paying $34,020 for rent which is 44.18% of your total spending.
Yep, its ridiculous how expensive housing is around here. After my lease is over late next year, I hope to share housing/rent, which should free up $17k that I can put towards savings.
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CyclingDuo
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Re: Critique my expenses and help me save money.

Post by CyclingDuo »

yosemite_mountain wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 9:58 pm
jh wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 7:26 pm
You are paying $34,020 for rent which is 44.18% of your total spending.
Yep, its ridiculous how expensive housing is around here. After my lease is over late next year, I hope to share housing/rent, which should free up $17k that I can put towards savings.
It could be that you simply need to lower your goal of saving annually $135-$140K on your quest to FIRE after only 15 years of working. You certainly had the salary and savings going with your package of $200K to $300K including bonuses + RSU's at your former employer. Now that you have moved on from that job and your annual expenses have risen to the point of being shocking to you at $77K, you may have to adjust your annual savings rate lower to account for your current income level and current expenses. You simply don't have $50K of fat to trim.

We've all pointed out what we saw in terms of potential places to cut - be it rent, car loan, money sent to parents, travel/vacation, facial care products, or eating out. All combined, no matter what you would trim are you going to net the $50K difference to make up your current annual savings rate of $85K and boost it to $135K. I'm guessing your former salary/bonus/RSU combination at Apple would have allowed you to stay in your target savings range to meet your long term goals. If you are down $50K in your annual savings this year, your option to increase that amount going forward will most likely include one or all of the following...

•Cut current expenses
•Increase income
•Lower annual savings goal and work a few years longer before you FIRE

Your new-new may be a lower rate of savings, and a more extended work career to reach your goals. To be honest, there is nothing wrong with that. You adjust to your new-new.

CyclingDuo
Last edited by CyclingDuo on Sat Nov 19, 2022 7:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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JoeRetire
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Re: Critique my expenses and help me save money.

Post by JoeRetire »

yosemite_mountain wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 3:14 am My expenses are through the roof this year, mostly due to inflation. I have not been able to meet my target savings amount this year; my savings are down 37% this year.

-Rent: 2835
You could get a roommate.
-Contribution to parent’s expenses: 600
Is this necessary?
-Vacation fund: 541
This is an obvious place to trim.
-Facial care for acne (squalane oil, cotton rounds, cleanser, curology, facial moisturizer, hydrating mask, sunscreen, vitamin C serum): 55+5+25+45+0+0+11+7+0+90+0 =238
Another obvious place to trim.
-Household items (toilet paper, trash bags, paper towels, deodrant, body lotion, toothpaste+toothbrush, lip balms): 40+5+10+10+40+20+10+10 =145
Per month? Way too much.
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yosemite_mountain
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Re: Critique my expenses and help me save money.

Post by yosemite_mountain »

CyclingDuo wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 7:46 am
If you are down $50K in your annual savings this year, your option to increase that amount going forward will most likely include one or all of the following...

•Cut current expenses
•Increase income
•Lower annual savings goal and work a few years longer before you FIRE

Your new-new may be a lower rate of savings, and a more extended work career to reach your goals. To be honest, there is nothing wrong with that. You adjust to your new-new.

CyclingDuo
I started working at 25 after grad school so I only have 9 years of savings.

I'd like to focus on cutting current expenses and increasing annual income.
Ron Ronnerson
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Re: Critique my expenses and help me save money.

Post by Ron Ronnerson »

You’re leaving out some very important details that would provide a fuller picture. Your goals, assets, and income are important variables in the equation. If your goal is simply to maximize income and minimize expenses, I’d say to move toward Tracy and commute into the Bay Area. Get a small place with many roommates and cut all your expenses as much as possible (living on rice and beans, as they say). Get a second job if possible, though your new, long commute may prevent how many hours you can devote to that.

I don’t mean for my response to be unhelpful or ridiculous but am trying to get you to see why it’s important to provide additional details about your situation. Otherwise, if income maximization and expense reduction are truly and supremely important, my advice above gives you a roadmap to follow. It’s not a road I’d personally choose to go down, but we all must take our own paths.
Ivygirl
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Re: Critique my expenses and help me save money.

Post by Ivygirl »

Instead of starting with your current expenses and trimming down, maybe start from scratch with Dave Ramsey's Four Walls:

1) Food (that means groceries only)
2) Utilities
3) Housing
4) Transportation to get to work.

For 1), at your income level you can budget more than beans and rice, rice and beans, but one could still think through "what is enough when it comes to buying food, and how do I not waste the good stuff I bought." (Ignore any suggestions of things you don't like or won't eat.) Estimate for example beef for three dinners a week, fish for two dinners a week, grain/bean/tofu/vegetable salad or soup/sandwich for work lunches, and two days of eating in restaurants. Buy the meats and seafood from an online butcher and have it delivered. Buy the salads and soups ready-made from Whole Foods or similar and buy hummus and vegetables/fruit which are already cut up and raw nuts that have been refrigerated. Stack it neatly in the fridge, eat as much as you like. Observe if anything gets thrown away and don't buy so much. I think you have a tendency to estimate high and may buy more than you need at first. The actual servings of whole food needed are small, so small they don't look "normal."

2) Utilities - I thought this was fine.

3) Housing - This is fine for where you live and your income but if you really liked where you live you wouldn't need to go on so many vacations. Something about where you live is not satisfying you.

4) Transportation - I thought this was fine.

After this add things on, maybe starting with insurance, your cost for which also looked fine to me. Keep in mind as you are adding things that a recession is likely next year (mild moderate or severe, no one knows) and the Fed has a stated goal of increasing unemployment and holding down wages to fight inflation. Are you ready? If you aren't ready, sacrifice budget items until you are. If you are ready, then you can spend.

Inflation is not 37%. If your savings went down that much it isn't even half inflation's fault.
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CyclingDuo
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Re: Critique my expenses and help me save money.

Post by CyclingDuo »

yosemite_mountain wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 11:33 am
CyclingDuo wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 7:46 am
If you are down $50K in your annual savings this year, your option to increase that amount going forward will most likely include one or all of the following...

•Cut current expenses
•Increase income
•Lower annual savings goal and work a few years longer before you FIRE

Your new-new may be a lower rate of savings, and a more extended work career to reach your goals. To be honest, there is nothing wrong with that. You adjust to your new-new.

CyclingDuo
I started working at 25 after grad school so I only have 9 years of savings.

I'd like to focus on cutting current expenses and increasing annual income.
Right, but I thought I read in some of your other posts that your goal was something like age 40-45 to hit your FI goal. Are you willing to work beyond age 40-45 if that goal is not reached by that age range? I was just suggesting it is an option.

You could cut $19.5K of expenses by eliminating the car loan, facial care products, parent expense fund, travel/vacation fund.

Car Loan: $3,000 (12 X $250)
Facial Care Products: $2856 (12 X $238)
Vacation Fund: $6492 (12 X $541)
Parent Expense Fund: $7,200 (12 X $600)

Monthly expenses:
-Rent: 2835
-Contribution to parent’s expenses: 600
-Insurance (auto,umbrella,renters, Long Term Disability): 149 + 344 = 493
-Food (groceries, restaurants, work lunch): =480+200+150 = 830
-Transportation (gas, car payment): 50+250 =303 50
-Utilities (water, electricity, gas, internet): (100+25+120+60) = 305
-Cleaning supplies (body wash, liquid hand soap, laundry detergent, dishwasher soap, toilet bowl cleaner, swiffer wipes) =50
-Facial care (squalane oil, cotton rounds, cleanser, curology, facial moisturizer, hydrating mask, sunscreen, vitamin C serum): 55+5+25+45+0+0+11+7+0+90+0 =238
-Household items (toilet paper, trash bags, paper towels, deodrant, body lotion, toothpaste+toothbrush, lip balms): 40+5+10+10+40+20+10+10 =145
-Haircare (Shampoo, conditioner, hair moisturizer): 23+0+0+0+9 =32
-Online payments (amazon prime, skype): 14+20+0+0+0+0 =34
-Healthcare (medications, doctor co-pays + out of pocket expenses): 0+(10+7+15)+0+0 = 32
-Vacation fund: 541

I am assuming cutting all of those 100% is probably not realistic. However, they are the larger items that could be pared back to some level. How willing are you to visit each of those items?

The only other large item is your rent, and as you mentioned, you are in a lease for your own place at the moment. COL in the Bay Area is high, so unless you go back to the multiple roommate scenario like you had before to drop that rent cost down (weren't you paying around $1000 when Covid led you to moving out on your own?), then there just isn't much fat to trim from your budget without some cuts that might seem dramatic. Your prior rent with multiple roommates + some cuts to the items mentioned above could net you nearly half of the way to fill the $50K savings gap.

Combined with an increase in salary to fill more of the gap along with cuts, and the $50K savings gap starts to lessen.

That being said, you have an amazing level of savings that is to be commended. I also commend you for going through a difficult situation with your former job and boss. In addition, condolences on the loss of your mother. You've been through a tough stretch the past few years. No doubt about it. Because of all of that, I think you owe yourself to not stress too much about your current budget at the moment. How crucial is the need to be looking to quickly fill the 37% savings gap due to the recent changes you've been through (apartment, job, loss of parent)? Take small steps, and then look at some of the larger items that you could slowly pare back over the course of next 6-12 months or more if it still makes sense for you.

CyclingDuo
"Save like a pessimist, invest like an optimist." - Morgan Housel
KrisNC
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Re: Critique my expenses and help me save money.

Post by KrisNC »

OP,
Your post reminds me of this quote..
“You can have it all, but not all at once”

My jaw dropped at facial care expense, please see a dermatologist.
Also, groceries/households is way too high for a single
Shop smart, stock up on sales or Costco. There are many websites/newsletters to show how to do this.

If you think you need to save more then,
get a roommate or cut down on vacations.

Read some personal finance books, Your Money or Your life etc.
stoptothink
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Re: Critique my expenses and help me save money.

Post by stoptothink »

KrisNC wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 1:24 pm OP,
Your post reminds me of this quote..
“You can have it all, but not all at once”

My jaw dropped at facial care expense, please see a dermatologist.
Also, groceries/households is way too high for a single
Shop smart, stock up on sales or Costco. There are many websites/newsletters to show how to do this.
If you think you need to save more then,
get a roommate or cut down on vacations.

Read some personal finance books, Your Money or Your life etc.
I completely agree, some of the expenses floored me, but it (may be) all irrelevant depending on the rest of the financial picture (which OP is oddly secretive about). We all spend on wants and it is not my place to judge what others spend their earned money on. I'm confused as to what OP is expecting, they can't possibly be unaware that many of these expenses are wants and not needs. If saving more is that important, then cut some of those wants. If not, don't.
Ivygirl
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Re: Critique my expenses and help me save money.

Post by Ivygirl »

Appearance is important, thus the skin care budget. I totally get the importance. Since it is a major expense though, maybe try (if you haven't already) giving your liver a rest from booze, complicated food, and the major allergens like dairy, wheat, and soy for 14 days. I'm by no means a doctor, consider this a Middle-Aged Lady Giving Mom Advice. It doesn't cost anything and can't harm you, there is no downside.
BigCoin
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Re: Critique my expenses and help me save money.

Post by BigCoin »

CaptainT wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 4:51 am I recommend YNAB it is a budget tool that is also a phone app so you can track everything and see the trade offs.

How much money do you get per month after taxes?

You are not considering all true expenses. True expenses are non monthly things that still need to get paid. Think every 3 year car registration renewal or other expenses you can reasonably assume will happen but may or may not happen this month.

Your groceries are very high for a single person who eats out several meals a week.
Your household items is also absurdly high. 40 dollars a month in toilet paper!! Buy in bulk. Fyi I just looked on Amazon at Charmin ultrasoft 40 dollars buys 120 rolls of TP. No single person should be going thru 120 rolls of tp a month that is 4 rolls a day!! (If you are go se a GI doctor)This makes me think you don't actually know what you actually spend and reinforces the recommended of ynab
+1 for YNAB. I’ve been using it for a year. The methodology (assigning each dollar to a purpose) and software are great. Worth the annual fee in savings I’ve realized by better tracking and planning for expenses.
michaeljc70
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Re: Critique my expenses and help me save money.

Post by michaeljc70 »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 8:05 am
Cleaning supplies (body wash, liquid hand soap, laundry detergent, dishwasher soap, toilet bowl cleaner, swiffer wipes) =50
-Facial care (squalane oil, cotton rounds, cleanser, curology, facial moisturizer, hydrating mask, sunscreen, vitamin C serum): 55+5+25+45+0+0+11+7+0+90+0 =238
-Household items (toilet paper, trash bags, paper towels, deodrant, body lotion, toothpaste+toothbrush, lip balms): 40+5+10+10+40+20+10+10 =145
-Haircare (Shampoo, conditioner, hair moisturizer): 23+0+0+0+9 =32
I'm sure this stuff is going to be a huge target. My total for our family of 4 for all this is $8.
Agreed. How many trash bags, toothpaste, etc. can one person use in a month?

Are these bougie cleaning products?
Wannaretireearly
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Re: Critique my expenses and help me save money.

Post by Wannaretireearly »

77k seems fine a year for someone paying rent in the Bay Area.

This thread made me look at my expenses, and it has been pretty outrageous. Thing is my expenses are almost all discretionary. No mortgage or car payments. Largest fixed monthly costs are property tax and private school payment. $1k and 2.5k respectively.
Roughly $12k ‘variable’ costs per month on top of fixed costs :( (lots of great travel this year!)

I’m trying to save 1/3 gross. I think I’m closer to 20%, haven’t computed in detail.

Our food and travel costs are thru the roof. Ce la vie…
Death and taxes. Only one is under your control!
strummer6969
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Re: Critique my expenses and help me save money.

Post by strummer6969 »

Wannaretireearly wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 5:43 pm 77k seems fine a year for someone paying rent in the Bay Area.

This thread made me look at my expenses, and it has been pretty outrageous. Thing is my expenses are almost all discretionary. No mortgage or car payments. Largest fixed monthly costs are property tax and private school payment. $1k and 2.5k respectively.
Roughly $12k ‘variable’ costs per month on top of fixed costs :( (lots of great travel this year!)

I’m trying to save 1/3 gross. I think I’m closer to 20%, haven’t computed in detail.

Our food and travel costs are thru the roof. Ce la vie…
Same. Kids are expensive. But it's been very gratifying seeing what these little humans can do when given good nurturing.

I like to keep a healthy food and travel budget. Healthy food allows us to reduce medical bills later in life. Vacations allow us to decompress and preserve our human capital. Eating ramen and penny pinching for 7-10 years to FIRE and sit at home to do nothing just doesn't seem that great of a proposition to me.
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yosemite_mountain
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Re: Critique my expenses and help me save money.

Post by yosemite_mountain »

edited
Last edited by yosemite_mountain on Tue Jan 24, 2023 11:52 am, edited 2 times in total.
Topic Author
yosemite_mountain
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Re: Critique my expenses and help me save money.

Post by yosemite_mountain »

Edited post with 2023 expenses
LittleMaggieMae
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Re: Critique my expenses and help me save money.

Post by LittleMaggieMae »

I can't say much about the listed expenses. It looks a bit like a single month's credit card(s) bills were reviewed and reported on.

I think the OP needs to do a better job of tracking their expenses - with an eye towards the "lumpy" expenses that happen here and there during they year.

(the listed "spending plan" has vacation - but it doesn't have holiday gifts, clothes, anything for car maintenance, stickers/tags/plates, Utilites, Cell phone/internet)
Topic Author
yosemite_mountain
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Re: Critique my expenses and help me save money.

Post by yosemite_mountain »

LittleMaggieMae wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 1:12 pm
(the listed "spending plan" has vacation - but it doesn't have holiday gifts, clothes, anything for car maintenance, stickers/tags/plates, Utilites, Cell phone/internet)

Good suggestion to add one offs such as holiday gifts, anything for car maintenance, stickers/tags/plates.. Utilities already included.
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