Elle has a post up about the dread word... BUDGET.
I don't have a copy of the most current budget for our household right now but here are some estimates:
House Insurance: $850/year
Pellets: $750/year ($250/ton)
Vehicle Insurance (3 vehicles): $1700/year (geez-UM. Need to shop this around.)
Property Tax: $2000/year
Vehicle Licensing (3 vehicles): $600/year
Student Loan: $4000/year
Electricity: $1800/year (is $150/month average?)
Land line: $480/year
Cell phones: $1020/year (3 phones)
Groceries: $2400/year (this seems low)
TP & Stuff: $1800/year
Hot Stuff Lunches: $400/year (not much in winter.... lots in summer)
Spending Cash: $960/year
Things I'm failing to report: Donations, shopping, home repairs, car repairs.... um, what else?
SHIT. It isn't pretty when you list it out like that, is it??
Things we've dropped: $47/month for health club membership is on hold until June.... I'll probably pick it back up for the summer so we can swim but I have to add Tuff for $6/month so maybe not. Video store rentals..... we were spending about $30/month so netflix is a great deal for us plus we can get tv shows and no fuel expenses driving to town to get or drop off a movie. Take out pizza.... we get take-n-bake from Costco or make it at home now.
Things we are getting more careful about: I'm planning to "shop" our insurance... but I've been saying that for years. We've done more "winterizing" work on the house but the price of electricity is out of control. We are watching our credit card bill more closely and really working to keep it under $1500/month. We are saving for some major home repairs that are going to strike at any moment.... like a new roof and a new water heater. I really want text messaging but I'm not getting it yet. I also really want high speed internet.
Things I WANT but I'm not buying because of the economy and/or our budget: frontloading washer/dryer, recliner, dvd recorder, new slipcovers for the couch, a new mattress, new flooring, headboards/bedframes.
Things we've bought but budgeted carefully for: a new fridge (happy anniversary 2006), an elliptical trainer (happy anniversary 2008), a new tv (happy birthday 2008).
How about you?