Didn't read all the replies. Here are how our expenses stack up against yours:
Rent: $350 $650
Phone/cable/internet: $125 $26.99 (internet only)
Storage: $35 N/A
Gas/Electricity: $200 $100 (electricity only)
Water/Sewer: $60 N/A (included in rent)
Garbage service: $20 N/A (included in rent)
Cell Phones: $110 $60
Insurance (cars, life, renters): $175 $90 (car only, about to drop to $60, restructuring our insurance to add life/renters soon - not sure how much the total will come to.)
Vehicle Maintenance: $50 ?? We don't have a dedicated fund.
DH Gas: $260 ~$50 combined
My Gas: $70 See Above
Clothing: $80 $~10 (wild guess, we don't spend hardly anything on clothing)
Medical: $100 $181 (health insurance), no dedicated medical savings
Groceries/Household: $600 ~$400
Total: $2235 ~1600
Medical 1: $50
Medical 2: $60
Total: $310 This is another story. We do not have any debt we are currently paying on. That said, we are both in school - DH is a 1L in law school - and we will be graduating with about $100k in loans combined. Different game, then.
Originally Posted by HappyLittleHouse
You might consider calling your phone bundle and asking if they can reduce your cost. Ask for their retention department and ask, "I want to keep my service with you but I need to cut the cost. What can you do for me?" Same goes for insurance and cell phones. I did this recently and was surprised to cut it by more than $100 a month, with no change of service.
Yep. I just called and threatened to cancel my Verizon DSL because our contract had expired and we were paying $41.99/mo. vs. $29.99 for new customers. I wound up with a customer retention price of $26.99.
OP: Cut the cable - you can watch tons of shows online. We don't have a landline, just cell phones, but will probably get the very basic $20 landline when DD gets a little older (for emergency purposes, basically).
What's in storage? Anything you can get rid of? You could make some money off selling the stuff, plus save the $35/month storage cost.
Cell phone costs seem high, especially with a home phone. I would get rid of all texting and data and cut back to the lowest minute plan possible. DH and I have two cell phones for $60/month, 550 rollover/anytime minutes, free nights-and-weekends and AT&T mobile-to-mobile. We regularly have leftover minutes.
Clothing seems high, but you already said you probably don't really spend that much.
Medical seems high for actual expenses, assuming you're all healthy. Is that savings/insurance?
I have problems staying on budget, as well. I recommend NOT carrying cards, and using the cash envelope system. It helps a lot.