For the 40-60 crowd: how do you spend/budget, etc? - Page 5 - Talk About Marriage
Financial Problems in Marriage When financial times are tough, it adds to the stress we deal with on a daily basis. This section is for talking about how financial problems affect our relationships and ways to cope.

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post #61 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-08-2016, 04:12 PM
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Re: For the 40-60 crowd: how do you spend/budget, etc?

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1) I am unaware of any software that downloads your cash expenses. This is a big deal to her...tracking every quarter that goes into a vending machine! Based on a quick look at her software, it's 75% of the transactions that she spends hours on nightly.
Cash? What's that??

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2) Trust: she does not like the idea of letting anything automated touch our bank accounts. Given the proportion of personal info that is stolen this way, I sort of side with her.

However, there's no need to use software on a personal computer - every bank account web site that I know of allows you to assign categories to each expense shown on the web interface.

3) But still, I think drilling down into every category is silly. Do that only if the last month's expenses seem "high", then figure out which things went up.

Don't fix it unless it's broken.
My kids are not yet college age. We have a TON of home repair projects. I would love if I could find a way to budget our expenses that would work for DH. Different strokes I guess.

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post #62 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-08-2016, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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Re: For the 40-60 crowd: how do you spend/budget, etc?

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Cash? What's that??

My kids are not yet college age. We have a TON of home repair projects. I would love if I could find a way to budget our expenses that would work for DH. Different strokes I guess.
Here's how I did it before DW's anxiety turned "money" from something I took note of to The Monster That Ruined Our Emotional Lives:

List the projects in no sequence or priority.
Guesstimate how many weekends each will require
Guesstimate how much each will cost
Finally, re-sequence based on how intense the benefit is, and classify benefit: maintenance reduction, impress the neighbors, improve energy usage, make house more "mine" (this covers things like combining rooms so that 3 small ones become one big one).

Now, pick two projects: The one that will make the biggest benefit...and the one that will consume the least time/money. Do both.

Then re-do the list after both are done.

I never encountered a problem with cost of house projects by doing it that way.

A key I learned early on in home ownership: If you can't DIY a substantial proportion of the house projects, then home ownership will be far more expensive than renting.

Not saying my way is the only way, but I think if you come up with any way to prioritize, then pick the most and least of something...ignore the rest. Much time loss is because we can't get the whole list out of our heads!!!!

Good luck

There are three kinds of business. Your business, my business and God's business. Whose business are you in? -Byron Katie
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post #63 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-09-2016, 11:47 AM
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Re: For the 40-60 crowd: how do you spend/budget, etc?

Budget? Ha, that's a good one. DW thinks that we have a bottomless pit of money - since we both work, she can spend what she likes. This is why I bring home a set amount each payday (2X month) and any excess stays in the business account - if she doesn't see it she can't spend it. My business partner and I track our capital balances on a spreadsheet so the cash is mine - I'm able to invest it through the business.

My mom wants to give my brother and I money (like $10K each) and I've told both of them not to let my wife know - if she knows, she'll have it spent or offer it to her idiot drama queen sister. I'll invest it through our business investment account where I can track it.
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post #64 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-09-2016, 12:06 PM
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Re: For the 40-60 crowd: how do you spend/budget, etc?

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Our lovely governor slashed spending on schools, too - public as well as college, which didn't help. That one, I just don't get. You slash funding to public school, double the cost of college, and then blame all the people out of work since you can barely get a job without a degree, and slash welfare and benefits on top of it.

Sounds like you live in same state as me. Or, almost all states have done this.
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post #65 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-09-2016, 01:22 PM
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Re: For the 40-60 crowd: how do you spend/budget, etc?

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Budget? Ha, that's a good one. DW thinks that we have a bottomless pit of money - since we both work, she can spend what she likes. This is why I bring home a set amount each payday (2X month) and any excess stays in the business account - if she doesn't see it she can't spend it. My business partner and I track our capital balances on a spreadsheet so the cash is mine - I'm able to invest it through the business.

My mom wants to give my brother and I money (like $10K each) and I've told both of them not to let my wife know - if she knows, she'll have it spent or offer it to her idiot drama queen sister. I'll invest it through our business investment account where I can track it.
A few years ago 2006 I got a $20K bonus from a generous employer

He sold the company to the biggest in the business

I never saw a dime

Since then any gravy goes into the 401K

55

Endeavor to persevere for your love and happiness

Give up on yourself and others will follow
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post #66 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-10-2016, 04:00 PM
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Re: For the 40-60 crowd: how do you spend/budget, etc?

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A few years ago 2006 I got a $20K bonus from a generous employer

He sold the company to the biggest in the business

I never saw a dime

Since then any gravy goes into the 401K

55
Yep - both my partner and I max out our retirement plan, plus I fully fund an IRA and the kids 529 plans. Better to do that then have it spent on more crap that we don't need (or worse, give it to the SIL when she's crying about how she doesn't have any $).
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post #67 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-10-2016, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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Re: For the 40-60 crowd: how do you spend/budget, etc?

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Yep - both my partner and I max out our retirement plan, plus I fully fund an IRA and the kids 529 plans. Better to do that then have it spent on more crap that we don't need (or worse, give it to the SIL when she's crying about how she doesn't have any $).
Since 1994, my financial priority was always to contribute the maximum legal amount to 401k and IRA accounts. Even in some years when it meant shutting off the furnace and sleeping under 3 blankets (which turns out to be too many in a house that's 40 degrees!), I/we did it. I worry when someone "puts any excess" toward retirement...by calling it "excess", you have just declared every penny you current spend "necessity". I've never seen a person who couldn't cut back. Unless you're at US minimum wage or not much higher, most folks really can fully fund 401k/IRAs....one per working adult.

There are three kinds of business. Your business, my business and God's business. Whose business are you in? -Byron Katie
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post #68 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-10-2016, 05:15 PM
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Re: For the 40-60 crowd: how do you spend/budget, etc?

The more you write OP the more it sounds like you both have an unbalanced issue with money. You are both so wrapped up in money that it seems you are wasting the life you currently have in favour of a retirement that will possibly very lonely anyway.

We don't budget here, we simply live withing our means and have a balanced view of enjoying the here and now while the retirement funds are dealt with quietly in the background, no stress.

There is a saying "every 60 seconds of unhappiness is one less minute of happiness."
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post #69 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-10-2016, 09:58 PM
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Re: For the 40-60 crowd: how do you spend/budget, etc?

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Yep - both my partner and I max out our retirement plan, plus I fully fund an IRA and the kids 529 plans. Better to do that then have it spent on more crap that we don't need (or worse, give it to the SIL when she's crying about how she doesn't have any $).
I agree: 90%.

I have since found out that the 529 cannot be used for anything but tuition and books. We didn't use the 529 in undergrad school, took out loans, and then realized that we weren't allowed to spend it on the above. Luckily, DD25 decided to go to get a Masters, which we could spend it on, or we would have lost it.
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post #70 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-10-2016, 10:13 PM
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Re: For the 40-60 crowd: how do you spend/budget, etc?

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We combine our incomes in one account. Bills are paid out of that. If we are saving money for retirement beyond our 401Ks, then that money is taken out of this account and put into a separate account every month.

We set a fun-money budget and track on a spreadsheet. We can each spend our budget on basically anything we want. The rest is spent on normal living expenses, and shared entertainment.
Sayeth Uhtred, son of Uhtred !


This....This is the nub of the stick that pokes me in the eye when the light of day energizes my optic nerve....SunCMars.... The Allegory of the Cave--> On this, I did a '180' and stepped out.

The Lion in Winter. Invictus..By Will, Shall... Saved from harm by my friends.
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post #71 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-11-2016, 12:42 AM
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Re: For the 40-60 crowd: how do you spend/budget, etc?

Yes, we combine plunder, bury part of it in a corner of the hall, provide gold to the men, and split the rest on mead.

Of course there are still arguments - Is a finely wrought helmet in the shape of a wolf's head entertainment, or a business expense?




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Sayeth Uhtred, son of Uhtred !
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post #72 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-11-2016, 09:01 AM
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Re: For the 40-60 crowd: how do you spend/budget, etc?

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Yes, we combine plunder, bury part of it in a corner of the hall, provide gold to the men, and split the rest on mead.

Of course there are still arguments - Is a finely wrought helmet in the shape of a wolf's head entertainment, or a business expense?
Gese !!

You are a warrior businessman. And you consensually plund-her now! Not the Saxons. Lucky women, she be!

Like a great stalking cat, you bury your consumed, digested plunder in the soil. Not under the mattress or in/on the River Bank's vault.

Your gold goes to your progeny boys. A little for the she-legged.

The rest goes to "Old Chimneys Good King Henry Special Reserve"...but not for long. Eventually it ends up in the Thames.

Since your "now" ride is a motorcycle...that you sit asunder traveling to work...and not your white Courser..... the wolf helmet goes to transportation allocation and protects against blunt force injury from roady cobblestones....not broadswords.

This....This is the nub of the stick that pokes me in the eye when the light of day energizes my optic nerve....SunCMars.... The Allegory of the Cave--> On this, I did a '180' and stepped out.

The Lion in Winter. Invictus..By Will, Shall... Saved from harm by my friends.
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post #73 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-20-2016, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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Re: For the 40-60 crowd: how do you spend/budget, etc?

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You are both so wrapped up in money that it seems you are wasting the life you currently have...
I politely disagree.

In my 20s, I just spent - whatever seemed normal, I did. "Normal", of course, doing what friends did, going out often, etc...saving nothing.

In my mid-30s, I split from my ex, and gave her everything. I believe in getting things done and over with.

But now I applied wisdom: In one's 30s, if one has zero net worth, retirement will be feasible only if one applies a little thinking.

It didn't take long. A quick study showed that as long as I put the max into 401k and IRA accounts, retirement would just happen and be wonderful.

One litmus test: Is your current spending at or below the annual amount you will be able to draw when you hit retirement? I discovered that for me, putting max into 401K and IRA would do just that.

Cutting spending was trivial. A tip from a magazine said to simply put 5% more into savings every month than you used to. After a year, bump it up to 10%. Then 15%. If you're not actually budgeting, you won't notice the 5 or 10% levels, and probably not the 15%.

I didn't cut myself off from anything.

Except in 1999-2001, when our household income plummeted 70% due to the high-tech crash in our area...and we chose to not move so that wife could continue working on her degree. Those are the 3 years when we really did shut things off - it was like a game, how low can we go and still be comfortable and happy.

I learned that what my generation used to say is true - money does not buy happiness, and the best things in life really are free.

Spending more does not beget happiness...so, the fact that a person saves doesn't, in any way, say that they are "wasting the life they could have had..." What life comes from spending?

Because my wife is so obsessed, I now discuss money WAY more often than would be my preference. She brings it up. Her views seem distorted, and I come on here to see how other people do things, to see whether she's closer to the norm, or I am. My preference would be to dump the software and go back to exactly how I used to do things, which is "don't worry about it".

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We don't budget here, we simply live withing our means and have a balanced view of enjoying the here and now while the retirement funds are dealt with quietly in the background, no stress.
I gather that "enjoying the here and now" means spending money? I just don't think that way.

Once you have housing and transportation taken care of, life is relatively cheap. We have a paid-off house and never use loans to buy cars or anything else, so the burn rate stays low even if we "go out on the town" now and then.

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There is a saying "every 60 seconds of unhappiness is one less minute of happiness."
Agreed. And every new item you purchase is more maintenance. Minimalist living's purpose isn't to save money - it's to increase the Joy / Stuff ratio.

There are three kinds of business. Your business, my business and God's business. Whose business are you in? -Byron Katie
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post #74 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-20-2016, 12:54 PM
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Re: For the 40-60 crowd: how do you spend/budget, etc?

To control spending, we developed an envelope system. We bought plastic envelopes at the office store, since paper ones wear out.(Dave Ramsey) Place a max amount that is allowed to be spent in each category, or saved in each category. (As time goes on, you will find you need to adjust the amounts that go into the different envelopes. However with what your wife has already been doing, she may have a pretty good idea of what you spend in the different categories.)

The main time consuming part is getting the cash from the bank, and filling the envelope each month. That takes only about 2 hours, and then you are finished for the month. No more hours on the computer as your wife is doing.

When you buy something, you put the receipt in the envelope the cash came out of. No need to enter anything on the computer, because at the end of the month, all the receipts in the envelope should not exceed the cash that was put in that envelope. At the beginning of the next month, when you are restocking the envelopes with cash, you take out the receipts and put them in another envelope labeled for that category, and you will fill those envelope all year. That way if you need a receipt, you know which envelope it is in.

At the beginning of each month, go to the bank and withdraw the necessary cash (in the denominations necessary) to fill the envelopes, move cash to the savings, etc.

With regard to the spending part, spend the $ directly out of the appropriate envelope. When the money is gone, there is no more spending done for that category that month!

If you forget the envelope and have to use a debit or charge card, write on the top of the receipt the name of the envelope the expenditure should have come out of. As soon as you get home, take that money out of the appropriate envelope, scribble out the note you made on the receipt, and put the receipt in the envelope. Put the cash you just took out into a separate envelope called, "Back to the Bank." You will deposit the money back into your account each month, so you don't overspend.

The "Back to the Bank" envelope is a huge boost to feeling good. It's awesome to deposit hundreds of dollars back into your bank account each month that otherwise would have been piddled away!!

Our main problem was overspending on food (eating out, imported cheeses, other luxury items, overstocking: things expired/went bad before we ate them, etc.) For our food now, we allow a certain amount per person per day. We then split the total into 4 envelopes, dated 1-7, 8-15, 16-23, and 24-end of month. The reason for the strange dating is that there are more than 28 days in a month. The way they are dated allows for enough money for the last week. Splitting the food $ into 4 envelopes keeps us from spending the whole month's budget in the first two weeks (which would be easy to do, the way we eat and used to stock up when items were on sale.)

In the past we would not have $ for big things that would come up and would go into the red to pay for them. Now we pre-save for those types of things.

Have a monthly "eating out" envelope that is separate from you weekly grocery envelopes. When it is empty, you don't go out again, until the next month's budget.

You each need your own "mad money" to spend (or save) the way you wish, without having to ask. Coffees, lunches with the guys, or girls, golf membership (if only one is into golf) makeup, clothes, motorcycles, ladies' spas, makeup, trips with the girls/guys, etc. are spent out of each person's personal mad money. You each have the same amount.

This has worked so well for us, that we have also managed to pay down $20K of debt in 1 1/2 years! Once the debt is paid, we will sock away more money for retirement, for a new car, and increase our food budget a bit.

We will forever live on a budget from now on. It is empowering! It feels like we have more money now, instead of less.

It helps to have something to start with. If you wish, I can PM you our spreadsheet. Then you can tailor it to your lifestyle/needs.

Last edited by IMFarAboveRubies; 08-20-2016 at 01:06 PM.
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post #75 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-20-2016, 02:21 PM
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For the 40-60 crowd: how do you spend/budget, etc?

You want to know what all this saving money gets you? Some die at retirement, or get sick and end up in nursing care, or just age and one of you needing medical or nursing care. They take your money at a clip of 8k a month per person. You eat up all your savings in a few years then the state takes the rest of your assets, moves you to a sh1tty nursing home and your die out of boredom. Was it worth it? Live like Raymond Burr, spend every dollar you have, die with no money in your pocket. Enjoy your money while you are healthy enough too. Besides the govt wants us to work to 70 now, and I'm betting our country will go bankrupt before I ever get to retire or I will die from working so many years.

I think I'm afraid to be happy. Because whenever I get to happy, something bad always happens.
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