Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thursday, Good bills, bad bills

     I realize we all have to pay our way to live.  Utilities, rent, taxes, water, sewer, garbage are all part of urban life for most of us.  I realize you can own your home outright but you would still have taxes.  You could be off the grid and have solar power, but the cost of that is not feasible for most Americans.  You could have your own well but electricity would run the pump.  It is going to be really hard to get away from any or all living expenses.

     Actually I am grateful for a safe community (fire, police).  I am thrilled that I have good streets and lighting.  I have clean water and access to natural gas and electricity.  But running a home even when you are frugal is expensive.  Just your monthly bills can run into the thousands.  We are lucky that there is just the two of us and our taxes and insurance only run about $200.00 a month.  We have friends up the street in another neighborhood whose taxes are $500.00 a month and their house is not that much different then ours.  It is newer, the kitchen is gorgeous, but square footage, bathroom space and yard are smaller.  They do have a three car garage, we have a one.  But is that worth and extra $300.00 a month for ever?  I don't think so, but perhaps for them that is okay.

     I have been trying to scrutinize my utility bills since the kids moved out a year ago.  What I have noticed is a considerable drop in the electric and gas bill.  About $50.00 a month.  Less washing, showers,cooking, lights are all adding up.  Our water bill is still very high, but we did have the flood problem last Sept that we still appears on our yearly bill.  Our last power bill was only $86.00 as apposed to $126.00 a year ago.  The studio power has gone down by over $70.00 a month when I changed all the bulbs to low energy.  I also insisted and paid for a furnace man to come in and set the thermostat, (not the landlord who doesn't know what he is doing).  All of these things are making a difference.  Now if I could just get the kids off the insurance and the cell phone.   Yeah like that is going to happen.

    D#2 will be forced off our insurance in October of 2013.  She will be 26 and we will only be insuring the 2 of us and our youngest which will drop us into the Spouse and 1 child plan.  She will also be the only one on our car insurance.  D#2's car will be paid for we will be off the title and she will insure herself.  Right now the studio phone# is daughters phone.  Even though she does not live here we are trying to make sure that all parents and our web and mailings have my number.  But alas the phone directories went out for a year in advance and we cannot change directory until next September 2013.  So I pay for the line.

     I was inspired by "The Quest to be Financially Abundant" to see where I would stand 365 days from now.  So I looked back and saw how my standard bills have fallen by about $200.00 a month.  Next year at this time they could be another $200.00 less. Six years form now we will have no dependents.  But that is counting chickens.  Six years from now hubby will be retired and we should be debt free, hopefully on a mission somewhere. 

     Look back, where were your bills a year ago?  Where do you want your bills to be in a year?   What are you going to concentrate on to reach those goals?

     Out My Window: Beautiful and much cooler.  Lots of tomatoes in the garden.  I am not going to can, so hubby took a box to work.

     Have a great and productive day!



  1. A year from now our car insurance will go down(finally!lol), as oldest will be on his own. right now we have 4 cars and 4 drivers on the insurance.....soon it will be 5 drivers when youngest gets his license before the end of the year. Our car insurance went up $700 for the year from last year-mostly due to 2 additional cars on it.
    All my utilities are about the same as last year...they fluctuate some but not significantly per year. The cable bill is $6 more this year. The gasoline bill is more because the price is up but we drive the min. amount now. My food spending is about the same, maybe a tad higher because of prices.

    We won't see substantially less spending here until 1-oldest finishes school and moves on, 2-middle child finishes her certification(in 2 years)and moves out and 3-youngest goes to college(in 2 years). While youngest will still be dependent for another 4 years after that, at least the food and utilities will go down(since he'll be eating on the college fund money while at school and that's a separate pile of money from "our" money).

    The next few years for me is to just hold steady on bills/expenses where they are now.
    Next Summer we'll lose 1 expense(maybe health care too if he gets a job with bennies), 2 Summers out we'll lose 2 more expenses(middle's car/insurance and living expenses)and our utility/eating costs will go down that Fall with youngest in college(unless he decides to live at home).

    We won't be free and clear with the supporting the kids until 2018(hopefully that soon)when youngest graduates college....if he goes to college. So much is still up in the air here with their plans.

    I am living for the day when we only have 2 drivers and 1 car. That can't happen soon enough for me!lol

  2. Great post! Very interesting to read! We'll have kids around forever here.. ;) My youngest is 5 so we have a ways to go...I've been trying to cut our bills but it seems like theres nowhere to cut back as I have to keep everyone happy as well. In a year I'd be happy with $5K in our EF & still living debt free & beneath our means.

  3. My first reaction to the title was "What? Good bills??" But it's a great post! Can't wait to hear about the time when you are there to go on a mission :)

  4. Thanks for the nod Kim! I'm happy to see the positive things that you've accomplished in the last 365 days, and even more happy to rad about the great things you are hoping to accomplish in the next 365 days!

    Keep on taking one step at a time!!

  5. I have no house-bound bills, per say. But this was an interesting exercise, especially because I do have records of what my monthly payments were last year! It's hard to gauge, as I've added and substracted some dues (added my own car insurance and phone line, substracted my parents/siblings' insurance and phone, plus extra I was sending to help out). But on my personal level, I've stayed pretty constant on my spending. I've also reduced the frequency on which I end up forfeiting money to my parents, but the quantity seems to be creeping up.