Personal Finance

Lots of Talk on Saving and Income, let's chat Spending

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 25th, 2023 10:36 am
[OP]
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Dec 11, 2008
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will888 wrote: Those who truly have budget issues have no clue of their actual spending. If they are lucky the income exceeds budget. However, they would not know what operating margins are.
Yep. This is why most people should be asking "what are you spending?" instead of "what are you saving?"

Subtle but big difference.
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Jan 6, 2002
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Toronto
I won't post the breakdown, but I calculated last year that my complete carrying costs for my life (SND) is $1400/mo in Toronto.

This is the "recurring, predictable, or unavoidable" costs like food, utilities, property taxes/insurance, vehicle operation; but also the baseline discretionary choices like monthly subscriptions.

It does NOT include big ticket expense planning (household big ticket repairs, vehicle purchases, vacations, savings plans.)

This came of my assessment, now that I am completely without debt (everything paid off), of what my minimum viable income needs to be, and how long I could take between jobs if needed.

EDITS:

I track spending, but I don't budget it. As an adult I have never had an issue with my spending. My "6th sense" of awareness of what I am spending on, cash flow, and planning has never needed to be made explicit.

Also, as a lifelong single person, I don't have to coordinate/control spending by anyone else, which makes things easier I guess?

I am not frugal in the sense that I categorically refuse to spend frivolously -- I am frugal in the RFD sense in that my mentality is to find ways to cut costs, but not to the extent it impacts my baser hedonism. I joke with my mom that I'll only visit her as long as Air Canada has seat sales regularly and I can get to YYC for under $500. :D

My family grew up in lower class (and officially under poverty line at times) so I guess that's left its mark on me, despite the upper middle class I've personally attained.
Last edited by hoob on Jan 21st, 2023 2:31 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Dec 12, 2009
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speedyforme wrote: Yep. This is why most people should be asking "what are you spending?" instead of "what are you saving?"

Subtle but big difference.
There are so many tools available that it an epic fail to not have a budget with tracking. I use plastic for everything. The monthly credit card statement provides a breakdown by spending category that roughly matches the categories I have in my budget. I don't really have to undertake much effort to know what is happening vs what is supposed to happen. The chequing account is the catch all which captures expense items not found on the credit card statement.
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May 5, 2006
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I actually track my spending much more closely than my income - it's what I have most control over. I'm naturally frugal and don't have a lot of expenses, but I spent pretty freely this year!

Here's my spending, pretty much exactly, for 2022.

Chart is from Sankeymatic. I import all my transactions monthly into a database which mostly auto categorizes them. End of year is fun, I just change the filter from the month to the year.

Fun/Big Ticket are essentially the same thing - discretionary purchases. But next year I'd like more spending in Big Ticket (really expensive things) than Fun (stuff like dining out and Amazon shopping). But lately things that used to be Big Ticket are now categorized just as Fun since I'm no longer a poor student. (Like, a new computer monitor.)
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[OP]
Deal Guru
Dec 11, 2008
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randomthoughts wrote: I actually track my spending much more closely than my income - it's what I have most control over. I'm naturally frugal and don't have a lot of expenses, but I spent pretty freely this year!

Here's my spending, pretty much exactly, for 2022.

Chart is from Sankeymatic. I import all my transactions monthly into a database which mostly auto categorizes them. End of year is fun, I just change the filter from the month to the year.

Fun/Big Ticket are essentially the same thing - discretionary purchases. But next year I'd like more spending in Big Ticket (really expensive things) than Fun (stuff like dining out and Amazon shopping). But lately things that used to be Big Ticket are now categorized just as Fun since I'm no longer a poor student. (Like, a new computer monitor.)
What are some big ticket items on your list?

Not a traveler?
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May 31, 2018
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smartie wrote: Thanks

So this farming lifestyle really just one generation pass to next generations?

I have been wondering this for awhile. Because for new generations, there are so many choices and temptation. Not sure how many of them want to continue to be farmers
Out of all the people I have ever known, exactly zero quit their job, went out and bought a farm to be a farmer. All the farmers I know either grew up with it, or married into it...nobody is crazy enough to borrow $5-$10m just to have a job. It really is a lifestyle kind of thing, because otherwise rational people wouldn't fork out over a minimum of a half million bucks every year for inputs just in the hopes of growing a crop and selling it for a decent price. It'll be interesting to see what happens when the truly big farmers retire/die/sell, as I have no idea who will want to buy in at that time.
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Sep 12, 2008
208 posts
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Canada
Interesting. You spent almost 2100.00 last year just on what you call "datacom", which I assume means telecom expenses. I'm pretty sure there's plenty of room to cut there, if you want to budget for it.
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May 5, 2006
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speedyforme wrote: What are some big ticket items on your list?

Not a traveler?
Nope, not a traveller, I'll go if someone invites me along (and pay my own share of course!) I enjoy travel a lot, but not quite as much as staying home! Mostly, it's electronics (iPad Pro, Sonos Arc/surrounds/sub, lol the Costco 20% off sale). Sometimes it's very fancy restaurants, but not for the past few years... Last year I put my new roof in there.
shplad wrote: Interesting. You spent almost 2100.00 last year just on what you call "datacom", which I assume means telecom expenses. I'm pretty sure there's plenty of room to cut there, if you want to budget for it.
Oh yeah there's totally room to cut in there. But I enjoy my fast internet and tv package ($150/month? I could get an Internet only package for $50/month) and while I could cancel my cell phone/data ($30/month) that I always leave home and just use my work phone... I'm reluctant.

I'm not really looking to save money on things I use a lot since my savings rate is really high/my overall expenses are low. As long as I'm enjoying something, I don't care toooo much what it costs!
Sr. Member
May 5, 2006
911 posts
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Oops I just realized my $1700 car/house insurance isn't in that list! It's because I just broke them out of other categories this year heh. It's in my table, just forgot to put it into Sankeymatic
Deal Addict
Jul 11, 2009
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Calgary
Speaking of food costs...

I find that that if I browse the aisles in grocery stores and buy only things on sale - then stock up - it's much less expensive than buying the ketchup when you run out.
Also use flyer apps (like flipp) to comparison shop for fruit/veggies - some stores allow price matching this way.

Having a freezer and buying large amounts of food/meat when on sale, and portion it out in smaller bags also really helps.

Pro tip - Buy bulk (2-3Kg) ground beef, stuff 500g at a time in small freezer bags then flatten them out and stack in the freezer. Defrosts fast and is the main ingredient for chilli/taco nights etc...
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[OP]
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Dec 11, 2008
11406 posts
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randomthoughts wrote: Nope, not a traveller, I'll go if someone invites me along (and pay my own share of course!) I enjoy travel a lot, but not quite as much as staying home! Mostly, it's electronics (iPad Pro, Sonos Arc/surrounds/sub, lol the Costco 20% off sale). Sometimes it's very fancy restaurants, but not for the past few years... Last year I put my new roof in there.



Oh yeah there's totally room to cut in there. But I enjoy my fast internet and tv package ($150/month? I could get an Internet only package for $50/month) and while I could cancel my cell phone/data ($30/month) that I always leave home and just use my work phone... I'm reluctant.

I'm not really looking to save money on things I use a lot since my savings rate is really high/my overall expenses are low. As long as I'm enjoying something, I don't care toooo much what it costs!
Nice. I think it is just a niche spending split but it is good you know where the money goes and enjoy it!
[OP]
Deal Guru
Dec 11, 2008
11406 posts
2347 upvotes
ben35 wrote: Speaking of food costs...

I find that that if I browse the aisles in grocery stores and buy only things on sale - then stock up - it's much less expensive than buying the ketchup when you run out.
Also use flyer apps (like flipp) to comparison shop for fruit/veggies - some stores allow price matching this way.

Having a freezer and buying large amounts of food/meat when on sale, and portion it out in smaller bags also really helps.

Pro tip - Buy bulk (2-3Kg) ground beef, stuff 500g at a time in small freezer bags then flatten them out and stack in the freezer. Defrosts fast and is the main ingredient for chilli/taco nights etc...
Yes. These are good tips and I employ them all lol.

If cooking is flexible and open; shopping sales for the week can save as it can dictate what you eat but can save a lot. Or stock up on sale items; freeze them and then you can make that recipe/meal anytime.

There are some things we like; like those frozen "unagi" eels. When on sale we buy like x6 or more and yes it is like $60 but it is better than buying as needed.

I think veggies are the only thing that may be slightly less flexible but we also buy what's on sale that eek if it works with the rest of the meal.
Jr. Member
Apr 26, 2022
143 posts
134 upvotes
I just use a spreadsheet from mymoneycoach to track my budget.

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