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2008 rough totals - Ewww!

December 6th, 2008 at 03:46 pm

I did some calculating tonight, and it seems with bills (rent, cable, internet, home phone, cell phone, health insurance, meds, dr visit co pays, gas, electricity, gas in car, car insurance, 2 CCs, 1 student loan, therapy, netflix, groceries, and eating out) we spent about of $33.5k last year. Big scary number!!!

I mentioned maybe trying Shiela's idea where she budgeted her finances and tried to live on $20K in 2008. Looks like she will make it, too. So I filled in all the bills with a budgeted amount for 2009, and I came up with about $32K. Yup, saved myself $1,500. Problem with that is it is still too high for me. I know I can't make it on $20K, but I would be happy at $30K. Most of the things are not adjustable for next year either, such as health insurance, co pays, meds, therapy, rent, car insurance... I cut down where I can, but I am still not happy. And honestly, I think if I cut down more, we won't hit the goal and will go over budget.

Things I didn't include in the list are things like clothes, entertainment (books, CDs, movies, concerts), holiday adn b-day gifts, money for getting together with friends, toiletries (soap, shampoo, toothpaste, tp, etc). And I know there are plenty of misc. items that don't belong in any of those categories and need a Misc. category. So, that will bring my total even higher.

I really thought I had this frugal thing down, but it appears I have a lot more to learn and even more to put into practice.

I know rent is a biggie for us. We pay $1,095 a month. Gag! It's for a 2 bedroom about 10 miles outside Boston. Damn city living; I was paying $625 a month in my old pace in the 'burbs! We are looking to move to a smaller (ie, one bedroom) and cheaper apt. We'd love a 2 bedroom for a cheaper price, but I don't think that will happen. We are also looking for a cheaper city, but still near here as BF works here. I know he only works part-time, but it took him so long to get a job (almost 2 years) I hate to move too far away so he can't work. However, even 1 bedrooms are pricey here, and even if they are $200 cheaper a month, we would have to pay for heat, which we don't pay for here. Ugh, damn housing crunch!

So, anyways, I am still looking to trim some fat off our 2009 budget. If I get on MassHealth for free, it will save us $420 a month. Even if I have to pay for it, it will only be about $50 a month, and my prescriptions may end up cheaper (currently pay $90 a month), so that is a big help there. I'll have to do some heavy decision making to see what else we can cut down on. I won't post 2009's budget yet; I want to see if I can make it lower first.

9 Responses to “2008 rough totals - Ewww!”

  1. Analise Says:

    Wow... rents are very high in your area! Your idea of looking for a smaller place is a good one.

    I'll keep my fingers crossed you get on MassHealth ASAP. Have they said how soon you can expect to know the outcome of your application?

  2. Koppur Says:

    I just got a letter from them. They need proof of my citizenship and a copy of my license to continue processing it. Sending that out tomorrow. Hopefully will be soon afterwards!

  3. gamecock43 Says:

    wow! Thats some serious calculating! Dont stress, at least you have a goal!

  4. merch Says:

    I use to live in Brookline and I had a car. So , that was big rent and in Brookline you can't overnight park on the streets.

    Good luck. Boston is damn expensive. I work downtown and live about 50 minute commuter train out. Even out here 2 bedrooms are running that high.

    Good luck. And I also thought 20k was amazing.

  5. Ms. Pearl Says:

    I will send good thoughts your way. I hope you can get the healthcare soon. That will help so much. I live in such a rural area, a two bedroom apartment here would go for about 400.00. Definitely not more than 500.

  6. whitestripe Says:

    oh to be able to move into a 2 bedroom...!
    we pay $1520 a month :S

    do you HAVE to use heat? if you can wear jumpers and stuff most of the time it might be worth moving into a smaller place and paying for heat. i dont know what temps it gets to in your area, but i have never had aircon or a heater and our temps can go below 0 C in winter and above 40 C in summer.

  7. frugaltexan75 Says:

    Do they have any one-bedrooms in the utilities paid complex? I def can understand not wanting to give up a place where utilities are paid. (Mine are paid - only reason I have heat on or aircon on - when I paid it, they'd only be on when it was unbearable.)

  8. shiela Says:

    Hi Koppur. I'm not sure if you are aware that in my challenge I don't include our mortgage and some other things like tuition, house repairs, holiday etc. Only our living expenses (excluding mortgage) is included in the challenge. Last year we spent just over $23,200 on these items (see my first post of $20K Challenge category). Most of the things that we've cut down are under groceries, entertainment and miscellanous. A lot of the others have actually increased this year, eg. all of our utilities have gone up because everyone has increased their charges. It just shows that those "miscellanous" items (ie crap) that we use to buy cost a lot of money. Most of them are probably just gathering dust in the garage. I really got to learn how to do ebays.

  9. Koppur Says:

    Thanks for the advice everyone!

    whitestripe: this is the first time in 5 years I have lived where we don't pay for heat and it is so nice not to have frozen toes all the time. But, if we can find a reasonable place where we pay for heat, we will go back to lots of clothes, blankets and space heaters. It gets pretty cold here; sometimes under 0 degrees Farenheit.

    frugalTexan: nope, the complex we live in is all 2 bedrooms. We don't really want to go to a 1 bedroom, but we will if we have to. We use the 2nd bedroom as a library/home office/room for my magick.

    Shiela: Even though yours didn't include everything, I wanted to get a better picture on how much we spend every year with major bills. I think I might take the rent out of our goal for next year. We want a cheaper place, but if we don't get to one, not counting rent will take about $13K off our total.

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