Monday, January 26, 2009

Money Recap

This month I concentrated on money issues: figuring out how much I have, how much I spend, and what I spend it on. Here's a recap of what I've learned:

Our mortgage, although relatively small, is still our biggest fixed expense. If we sell this house and move to our rental property, we won't have a mortgage at all.

Next comes food - last year we spent about $7000. I'm working to drive that number down without sacrificing quality.

Then comes health related expenses: $1296 for insurance, at least another thousand for dental work, plus the cost of braces for two kids. Maybe $3,000 - 4,000 this year? I'm not going to waste time trying to change this number. I have learned the hard way not to put off dental work. At least the braces are one-time fees.

We drove across country last year. I'm going to guess we spent about $2500 on gas for the car. Since we aren't going to New York this year that number should decrease considerably even if we do move.

Our natural gas bill was $1830 for the year. Moving would cut this number.

Our telus bill (phone and internet) was $1078. Don't know if I can budge this one.

BC Hydro (our electric bill) was $654. We're going to install a clothesline for a start.

Star Choice (satellite TV) was $268. We already cut back here.

Of course, there's a bunch of miscellaneous stuff: property taxes, regular taxes, clothes, and so on. Some of that will go away if we move. The rest I'm trying to mitigate by considering my purchases more carefully.

Next month my emphasis is going to shift a little: Now that I have a better handle on our expenses, I'm going to take a good hard look at my budget and see if I can free some money up from bills to improve the quality of our "experiences".

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