How much daily "food and fun" money is enough for YOU?

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  #1  
Old 06-03-2011, 03:04 PM
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Cobalt Cobalt is offline
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Default How much daily "food and fun" money is enough for YOU?

OK. Here is the assumption for this question. You can live in the Villages with all costs covered. Your house, car payment, amenities fee, insurance(s), utilities, taxes, bond, phone, cable, internet, lawn care, etc.....everything is covered. You don't have to pay anything.

But, you do need money for...

1) Food...because you decide how much you eat
2) Gas...because you decide how much you drive
3) Fun...because you decide how much you play 'over and above' what the villages provides as part of the amenities fee
4) Rainy Day Cash...because we all know odd expenses come up

Considering 1-4 only, how much money would YOU consider to be enough on a DAILY basis that if that is all the money you had, you would still move to the villages knowing your retirement would be fabulous.
  #2  
Old 06-04-2011, 03:48 PM
swrinfla swrinfla is offline
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Cobalt:

I'll bite.

1] I average about $55-$65 a week at Publix. That's supplies (paper and cleaning products and such) as well as food.

2] I fill the car maybe once a month. Use it only when going "off campus" or further than 8-10 miles in any particular trip. Electric golf cart.

3] Very hard to say. Most of my "fun" is either cruising (obviously a little more money than were I staying home). When I'm home in TV, my fun is almost always covered by a number of social club events (at the most, $20 per month/event); seldom do either square.

4] Almost always have $100 or more in my wallet, just in case.

You asked for a daily amount. That's very hard, but, based on the preceding vague answers, I, as a single, could probably be comfortable with $15 a day [that'd be about $450 a month!].

SWR
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Old 06-04-2011, 04:17 PM
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Kind of a silly question, isn't it? I mean no two people are going to be the same. One person has lunch out every day, another dines out twice a week. Some people go to movies, some buy books, many do both. If you give a dinner party, your Publix tab is going to go up. I can't imagine how you could estimate daily expenses.
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Old 06-04-2011, 05:02 PM
Ohiogirl Ohiogirl is offline
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Default Not silly to me

I think the numbers will vary widely, but don't think it's a silly question at all, just a hard one.

I've been tracking all these things, because in our situation, we retired early - at age 60, and will have some other things (2 small pensions, social security) kick in in the next 4-5 years. So - our income is smaller now than it will be later, and I was very concerned as to whether or not we could afford to do this.

Groceries: $350 January thru April this year in TV, we averaged about $350 in monthly grocery bill (but went on a couple of 8-10 day trips). Also had lots of company that we fed (but sometimes they took us out to eat).

Restaurants/Bars - $200

Gas - $60. Averaged about 2 fill-ups per month (small 10.5 gallon tank). 2 electric carts we try to use for most errands, etc. 2 airport trips to pick up people.

Misc. expenses (repairs, improvements, plants, new tires. etc.): $200

Travel: $350 (2 beach trips per year, one cruise, back and forth to Ohio, and to NC to visit grandkids, trips to visit friends in Florida and when in Ohio) Some of this is gas, some airfares, some cruises, some hotels.
  #5  
Old 06-04-2011, 05:16 PM
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Publix about $75/wk on average w/o company
Gas 1 tank car usually lasts 4-6 wks. only use off campus
Golf cart 1 1/2 tanks / month. I use it a LOT
vacations 1 or 2 good ones a year
eating out 3x / week $ 100.00
cocktails out Happy Hour we like to consume $100.00/ wk
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  #6  
Old 06-04-2011, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jblum315 View Post
Kind of a silly question, isn't it? I mean no two people are going to be the same. One person has lunch out every day, another dines out twice a week. Some people go to movies, some buy books, many do both. If you give a dinner party, your Publix tab is going to go up. I can't imagine how you could estimate daily expenses.
I agree....silly.
  #7  
Old 06-04-2011, 07:58 PM
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I don't think the question is silly, albeit hard to answer effectively. The question is really about your weekly/monthly discretionary spending. When I was trying to determine whether to retire early or wait until a more traditional retirement age, I had to estimate my monthly spending habits.

For what it's worth, I grossly underestimated my discretionary spending...in every category...golf, eating out, traveling, entertaining, etc... It's really a lifestyle change, for which it is really hard to form a good basis.

Good luck in your analysis, but estimate high!

Cheers...
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Old 06-04-2011, 08:09 PM
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$400 - $500/Week for 2 people.


Food, Drink, Dining out (2 - 3 times a week), Fun, Clothes, Gas, Maintenance & Repairs, Hobbies, (don't golf), etc. Excludes travel back and forth to Norcal in PU with travel trailer getting 9 MPG - two weeks each way.


.
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Old 06-04-2011, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobalt View Post
OK. Here is the assumption for this question. You can live in the Villages with all costs covered. Your house, car payment, amenities fee, insurance(s), utilities, taxes, bond, phone, cable, internet, lawn care, etc.....everything is covered. You don't have to pay anything.

But, you do need money for...

1) Food...because you decide how much you eat
2) Gas...because you decide how much you drive
3) Fun...because you decide how much you play 'over and above' what the villages provides as part of the amenities fee
4) Rainy Day Cash...because we all know odd expenses come up

Considering 1-4 only, how much money would YOU consider to be enough on a DAILY basis that if that is all the money you had, you would still move to the villages knowing your retirement would be fabulous.
I have also thought about how much I will be speading for the above items. That is why I like to read TOTV so others can share their ideas. I think you asked a fair question . What is silly to one is not to others. Thanks to the others who gave great answers. See ya soon
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Old 06-04-2011, 09:12 PM
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I just checked to see what we had entered in our Fidelity Retirement Income Planner for "discretionary expenses" and our numbers for 2 people align well with Chuckinca's. We had $1660./month while Chuckinca said $400-500/week.
I do not think your question is silly at all as this is one of the big guesses for retirement. I must note however, that we have not retired yet so its still just an educated guess!
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Old 06-05-2011, 06:10 AM
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Different strokes for different folks.
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Old 06-05-2011, 08:30 AM
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This is an excellent question. Everyone will be a little different, but everyone needs to estimate this to know what is affordable. For two of us I decided to budget $2500 a month. I honestly believe it will be less then that, probably closer to $2000, maybe even slightly less. I included premium golf payment, 2 times weekly championship golf on average. 2 dinners and 3 lunches out each week. And a few other things like nights at the square, clubs, wine, clothing, and the unknown. This is all a guess. I add to that $1200 a month for everything to live there except mortgage and bond to maintain our home, add medical cost and came up with my total needed to live there. A guess, but I believe a safe guess.
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Old 06-05-2011, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobalt View Post
OK. Here is the assumption for this question. You can live in the Villages with all costs covered. Your house, car payment, amenities fee, insurance(s), utilities, taxes, bond, phone, cable, internet, lawn care, etc.....everything is covered. You don't have to pay anything.

But, you do need money for...

1) Food...because you decide how much you eat
2) Gas...because you decide how much you drive
3) Fun...because you decide how much you play 'over and above' what the villages provides as part of the amenities fee
4) Rainy Day Cash...because we all know odd expenses come up

Considering 1-4 only, how much money would YOU consider to be enough on a DAILY basis that if that is all the money you had, you would still move to the villages knowing your retirement would be fabulous.
I think questions on budgeting are very important. Getting an insight to what others are doing can be helpful in deciding if you can also do it. I am not retired so my budgeting is a mixture of some of my current expenses that I do not think will change and then the addition "fun" expenses. I estimate on the high side. I think my number for your question is $75.00 per day.
  #14  
Old 06-05-2011, 10:08 AM
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Cobalt -

Here's a blended approach: As has already been stated, come up with your own estimate (based on feedback here from others and your own thoughts) then go on the high side. Continue to reevaluate your guesstimates as you move towards retirement as your mindset and perspective on things will perhaps change (ex. maybe you don't golf now but as you get closer to moving to TV, you can see yourself doing that). The blended part: Once you pull the trigger and retire, stick to that amount.....somehow.....any way you can. It becomes a give-and-take approach - maybe you underestimated in one particular area.....you can cut back in another area to offset it. But the main thing to do is manage yourselves to that budgeted number as best you can. Obviously, nobody can foresee some unexpected circumstances that can throw a wrench in things. But if you've done a good job of addressing your #4 (stashing away some rainy day money), then you should be fairly well prepared for changes in circumstances.

Also, build some reasonable annual inflation/cost-of-living factor into your estimates.

JMHO

Bill
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Old 06-05-2011, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oceangirl View Post
I have also thought about how much I will be speading for the above items. That is why I like to read TOTV so others can share their ideas. I think you asked a fair question . What is silly to one is not to others. Thanks to the others who gave great answers. See ya soon
I agree with you, Oceangirl. Someone else might mention something that someone else hadn't thought of, or that someone wouldn't know if they haven't lived here yet. I also agree that it's a hard question, though. I do think it's helpful the way some people have talked about averages over time; things won't stay the same week-to-week depending on sometimes having guests vs. not, sometimes doing lots of things and other times just relaxing and enjoying simple things. I think an important "take away" from the whole thing is that The Villages offers lots of opportunities for fun even if you have to be on a limited budget.
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