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If the chips are down, the buffalo is empty.
This is the budget I try to work from:
$940 Mortgage (this includes taxes and insurance, and an extra $25 I've
been trying to pay on principle) stop paying the extra $25
$200 The City (electric, water, sewer, trash/recycling)
(in the summer, this goes up to $230) see if you can reduce this by unplugging things rather than just switching them off, using task lighting instead of lighting the whole room, if it's yellow let it mellow, etc. can you save money by getting a smaller trash can and recycling more, or is that a flat rate?
$70 Natural Gas (that's average - it's $10 in the summer, $130 in the winter,
and we keep the heat pretty low) do you "winterize" by caulking, putting up plastic, etc? that costs a little but does ultimately save money.
$90 Phone/Internet (employer pays $25 of the $50 internet bill,
and being in a small town, we don't have any other options for phone
carrier - their prices are much higher than where we used to live) so do you really pay $65 after the employer's contribution, or is phone/internet a total of $115? can you get vonage for $15 a month instead of $40 for phone? can you call the internet provider and tell them you're thinking of canceling because it's so expensive, to see if they'll cut you a deal?
$50 Car insurance
$75 Church (wish this was higher, but it's better than a year ago!) true DR style would cut this out temporarily.
$45 Compassion what's that?
$15 Husband's monthly prescription
$20 Children's life insurance cancel
$510 School Loans (neither of our parents helped with college, and we were
both kind of ignorant as to how much we'd have to pay back each
month - I wish now I'd gone to a cheaper college!) check into lower monthly payments, if not now, then in july for sure
*$50 Car Repairs
*$110 Gasoline (half of this is visiting grandparents once a month - they live
three hours away - but I want my children to grow up knowing their
grandparents) so you spend $55 a month visiting grandparents? i'd ask if they're willing to split this or to come to you every other month. just explain that you're paying off medical bills and need to cut expenses wherever possible.
*$80 Medical (this needs to be upped - our seven-month-old has eye
problems, is getting glasses and her constant appointments and lens
changes are going to eat this up very quickly)
*$40 Husband's allowance ($10 of that goes to Netflix)
*$40 My allowance (theoretical - I haven't actually taken that in several
years...) then where is it going?
*$20 Dog (this doesn't include food - it's just to cover Heartguard and vet
$20 Pictures for the great-grandparents (I try to keep them all informed this
way since most live too far away, and they aren't online at all) you can cut this down to $5 and still be able to send a few photos and a nice note updating them. really.
*$30 Garage Sales is this for necessities or for fun? if fun (or both) then maybe consider that you do get some allowance. i pretty much use all of my allowance thrifting, and don't really care that i'm buying useful items for the home/family. it's entertainment for me.
*$30 Clothing for you, baby, dh? clothing is a necessity, but look really closely at these purchases and whether they're truly necessary.
*$30 Eating Out i suspect this is higher, and that's why the money isn't making it to the envelopes. just a hunch, maybe i'm wrong.
$100 Bathroom supplies/OTC stuff (Prilosec, vitamins, toilet paper, and dog
food - they're all categorized together because it's all purchased at the
same store) does this also include diapers and wipes or are you doing cloth? do you do coupons?
$100 Co-op order (this is our whole wheat flours, oats, yogurt, kefir, and a
few bathroom products - healthier stuff that isn't available in our small
(it's usually less than this, but that's how much I try to leave for it)
$500 Groceries/Stuff that comes up (usually I spend about $300 at the
beginning of the month, restocking the pantry and freezer, then pick up
milk, produce, and bread as needed, plus sale items) a total of $600 for groceries plus $100 for other essentials (which many people consider 'groceries') is reasonable, but if you're not making ends meet and trying to trim spending in order to pay off those bills, this area can definitely be cut. like you said, mr. meat-and-potatoes isn't helping your grocery budget. it's a matter of whether it's important enough to him. if paying off these bills isn't high on his priority list and he wants to keep eating the way he currently is, then it's probably worth compromising to maintain marital peace. however, if the bills do stress him out to the point that he is burying his head in the sand and asking to know nothing about the finances, that's putting an unfair burden on you. if he wants you to be solely responsible and bear all that weight then he needs to play by your rules, imo, including accepting the fact that there are going to be some "meatless" days. there are definitely some other types of meals he might like better than italian and mexican, though. what about pancakes or waffles with peanut butter and granola on them to get the protein in. what about soup with bread and butter?
Dave Ramsey says that life insurance for kids is a waste. Life insurance is to replace income in the event that a wage earner dies. That's not the case for kids.
What's this $45 Compassion thing?
$20 for the pictures for the relatives seems kinda high. I mean, how many pictures do you have to send a month? I get pictures for very little at Walgreen's. What do you have - Walmart?
Cut the eating out. $30
I'd cut your DH's allowance by some, too. What does he use it for, other than the movie subscription?
Apply for the student loan forebearance.
If the chips are down, the buffalo is empty.
Stay-at-home Mama to my fabulous DD (10/08) and DS (9/12) and wife to my just-as-fabulous DH
This may sound like a silly question, but where do I get coupons? We get the free shopper weekly that has sale prices in it, but the few times I have coupons, it's for name-brand things that I wouldn't normally buy. Where can I find coupons for stuff I'd actually use?
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