Thursday, February 18, 2010

New monthly Budget for 2010

I haven't refigured our monthly budget since the beginning of last year. I guess it's time.
Here is the old budget......
1296.00 House payment(bi-weekly) so we save $324 a week
122.00 Car Insurance
183.00 Nicor and Comed
25.00 Home phone
135.00 2nd mortgage with a little extra
280.00 gas for all three cars
38.00 satelite
480.00 groceries for the month
120.00 a week
75.00 Den smokes
70.00 garbage and water
24.00 synthroid and iron pills for me
2728.00 total

I've been able to save in some areas and others not so much.

1300 .00 House payment(bi-weekly) so we save $325 a week
145.00 Car Insurance
176.00 Nicor and Comed
27.00 Home phone
240.00 gas for all three cars
25.00 satelite
480.00 groceries for the month
120.00 a week
60.00 Den "fake" smokes
70.00 garbage and water
188.00 pills for me
40 gym for Den
2751.00 total

This is the break down of how we will use the checks every week.
Week 1 -$325 house, $238 food,gas, pills,& cig, $70 garbage & water, $20 insurance
Week 2- $325 house, $238 food, gas,pills &cig, $125 car insurance
Week 3- $325 house, $238 food, gas,pills & cig, $88 Nicor, $27 phone,$25 sate
Week 4- $325 house, $238 food, gas,pills & cig, $88 Com Ed, $40 gym

This may change because Nicor and ComEd now have a large tax on them. The village of Antioch has to make up a shortfall. Don't even ask me how I feel about this! Read this article is you really want to feel sorry for me. I told you it was expensive here.
Thanks for coming to see me,


Annie Jones said...

I gots questions:

What are Nicor and Comed?
Did you pay off the 2nd mortgage?
How many people do you feed on $120/week?
Why did your meds go up so much? Is it because of the holistic doctor you see now?

Just curious (aka, nosy).

Beth said...

I must say I admire you for being so open about your budget/finances. I don't know if I could do that. Not that I have anything to hide or that I'm ashamed or embarassed. But when you are caught up in a custody battle and the ex tries to use every. little. thing you do or say against you....well, you sorta learn to keep some things a mystery. Good luck on your budget. Lord knows I need to work on mine. Need to save more and get my finances up.

Helene said...

Nicor is the gas company and Comed is Commonwealth Edison the electric co.

SonyaAnn get over to and get that grocery spending in line. I've also started shopping at market type stores in Chicago (too far for you)where prices are so much lower on meats etc. And cooking fresh-that's new to me. But I have money left over at the end of the month. Never happened before. Kinda freaks me out :-)

Beth-hang in there. It gets better. I went through a bad time with that years ago and now even have custody of my 4 1/2 y. o. grandson.

This is SonyaAnn's blog, not mine :-) Love ya!

Helene said...

And go to then Skokie then read about our village utility tax. Ugh.

Together We Save said...

It is wonderful that you can share so much. Motivates me to try and do better.

McVal said...

I won't give you my budget! You're a brave woman!
We pay bi-weekly on our mortgage too.

Pam said...

Thanks for being so open and honest about your budget. Do you use coupons? I had to cut our grocery budget to around $30 a week for 6 months last year. It was awful, but we made do.

Annie Jones said...

I think a lightbulb just went on over my head. ;)

Does your "groceries" category include pet food, cleaning supplies, paper products and health/beauty items? If so, then $120 sounds more reasonable. I was thinking you meant $120/week for food only.

slugmama said...

Ok SonyaAnn....
what happened to the second mortgage?....I don't see it for this year.

Budget looks good to it one you can keep to?

And is this all AFTER you've taken something off the top to put away for retirement(401K, roth, etc.), right??!
Don't forget to pay yourself first! ;-)

And we need to get your food/toiletries budget down looks good(for 4 people, right?)but you could tweek it a bit more.
How about you start stockpiling. Take a piece of that $120 a week for stockpiling opportunities on things you use alot when they hit rock bottom prices. Do that for about 6mos. and you'll be able to bring the monthly cost down I think.
I know you don't have a Rite-Aid but what drug stores do you have?....we need to get you seriously into CVSing or

Frances said...

I am with everyone else that the grocery budget sounds high. When our 3 kids lived at home...and they were all teenagers...I rarely spent more than $75/week for food, HBA, cleaning, and pet supplies.

Now, I have couponed and stockpiled for years, but it is very doable to start cutting your grocery budget down at least some, just by using coupons and the previously suggested stockpile build.

I average around $60/week for the two of us, but am still stocking enough to provide our kids with groceries when they come to visit. They are still all young and poor. LOL!

Frances said...

I feel terrible!! I realized that I may have sounded like I was criticizing your grocery budget. I am not. It sounds high to me, but may be perfect for you and a lot of people.

I guess the first question I would ask is, "Is this budget working for you, or you you need to trim it?" You didn't say if you are coming up short, or barely making it.

So, what can we help you do with your budget?

SonyaAnn said...

I LOVE ALL OF YOU! Thank you so much for caring about me!
I was cleaning yesterday so I couldn't get to the computer. It was horrible, I missed you all!

SonyaAnn said...

Annie Jones- ComEd is electric and Nicor is the gas company. The thieving bastards!
We refinanced and rolled it in. So basically we still owe the amount that we started with when we bought the house. 15 years later and we haven't made much headway. I wish I knew then what I know now. I just console myself with I could have waited another 10 years to get on the ball!
$120 a week is for the four of us. And my meds went up because of the holistic dr. I'm going to cut back just a bit on that and see if I can still stay well and save a bit. We are getting squeezed from all sides!

SonyaAnn said...

Beth-My reasoning for posting my bills is two fold. I like getting help and ideas for cutting corners and I feel that if we all talk about our bills/problems the taboo will eventually leave and maybe we all won't teach our kids to waste.
And I went through a mess with Anna's bio-father. Fight the good fight and keep your chin up, it is the hardest thing to do. When I went through it with my ex, one of my friends said something that changed my entire perspective on it. She said, "Sometimes you can't tell the bad news from the good." You are better off without the jack ass!

SonyaAnn said...

Helene-This is your blog too! You can say anything that you want.
I'll check out the sites. I thought that I was doing pretty well with the grocery budget but you are right. I can always look for ways to improve. And I'm impressed that you have money left over. We basically have nothing after paying everything.
Happy Friday!!

SonyaAnn said...

Helene-I honestly don't know how anyone makes it around here!

SonyaAnn said...

Together We Save-Thank you for the nice comment. I can say that it is a bit scary to post your bills. We are only supposed to talk about what we have not what things cost!
Have a great weekend!

SonyaAnn said...

McVal-I don't feel brave, I fell broke!;)
Even though it costs us $5, every time they take out the $, I think it is worth it. It forces me to pay extra and stay on course.
Have a great Friday!

SonyaAnn said...

Pam-Yes, I use coupons but obviously not as well as you! I'm so impressed that you got your grocery bill to $30. WOW, that is amazing. And it just proves that I need to do more! Thank you.
Have a great Friday!

SonyaAnn said...

Annie Jones-$120 is for everything. I know this is an excuse but Den is a big part of the problem. He likes to cook(that is the good part) but he likes to buy expensive food. He is getting better though. I sat down with his and went though everything and he agreed to help. SO we shall see? He isn't a bill sort of person.

SonyaAnn said...

slugmama-You always have such thoughtful questions. Proves you care! Awwwwww
We rolled the second mortgage in. So we basically have paid nothing off in 15 years. Be kind.
Honestly, we are right down to the penny now. So I hope that we can stick to this. As long as I can fund the other extras budget, we can stick to this. Fingers crossed!
Yes, we are taking out 11% for 401k and Den has a pension plan, too. We can't up this until the kids are out of school. There just isn't anything left.
I have been trying to learn CVS and Walgreens. I have been going to your site and trying to figure it out. The problem is I never have enough cash to do the deal exactly like you. And that is where I run into problems. I've been thinking about posting my learning experiences with them.
With all of my heart, thank you for caring!

SonyaAnn said...

Frances-This isn't an excuse but it is really expensive here. That said, you are whole heartedly right. I've got to do better. I feel inspired knowing that everyone has been able to cut back so much.
And you are a wonderful mom to still take care of everyone.
Thank you for caring so much about me and my family. It is nice to know that I have people to help me!
Have a great weekend!

SonyaAnn said...

Frances-Shut up! You weren't criticizing me! But you are welcome too as long as you smack my ass while I'm in trouble!
This budget is just making it. Nothing is left over. Your questions are making my rusty wheels turn! I've got to get it down.
Much love!

slugmama said...

Ok's some thought on getting the grocery budget down a bit. Check out the hillbilly housewife. She has some good ideas there for low cost menus, recipes. Here is her emergency Feed 4 for $45 for a Week Plan...
How about picking 1 week a month and following hers or some other low cost menu plan?
How often does Den cook vs. how often you cook the meals? If he enjoys high cost foods to cook, maybe limit him to 1 or 2 meals a week or something? He'll still get his cooking fix but it won't be as hard on the budget.
How much meat do ya'll eat a week? Try taking 1 meat meal out per week and subbing beans, pasta, vegan, etc. If you family doesn't mind eating leftovers, make extra at a meal and reuse part of it/remake part of it for a second meal.
Eat breakfast for dinner. It's usually the cheapest meal of the day and what kid doesn't want to eat breakfast for dinner?lol
If you have a yard, plant a garden this spring! In the long run, this will save you TONS on fresh produce. Make sure you freeze &/or can what you can't eat fresh too. Take up fishing as a family hobby. Fishing will get you out together enjoying yourself and the outdoors plus if you have any luck or skill, you can feed yourselves with what you
Unless you can get them for real cheap with sales/coupons, don't buy boxed convenience foods/mixes. Make your own....
Stay OUT of warehouse club stores! Nobody ever leaves one without spending at least $
If you can find family or friends/neighbors who want to, set up a food buying club and buy directly from wholesalers. If you run it for your group you will generally get a better discount/free merchandise or a small cut of the payments thus lowering your cost to buy the food.
Can you tell I am full of items?lolol
If any of this sounds possible or interesting, email me privately and we can chat more. Let me help....I love to help! ;-)

slugmama said...

Two more ideas.....make sure you have a weekly menu plan. Even if you don't end up following it totally or you end up moving around what you fix, this is a great tool to help get your food budget down.
Also....make a price book. This is just a way to track when items you buy are at their rock bottom price for your area.

SonyaAnn said...

slugmama-I'm obviously doing something wrong. We never ever use boxed convenience foods/mixes. We shop once a month for all the main items and then Den stops on his way home from work once a week for fresh produce. He stops at an ethnic store. One of the women that he works with brings him the fliers once a week so we can work out the best deals on fruit and veggies.
I go to the HillBilly House wife and use some of her recipes. I haven't tried the other one but I'll head over there after I'm done typing.;)
I'm still trying to get Den on-board with the huge garden. I'm going to need him for this project. That's alright, I have 4 months to work on him!
I have only been to a warehouse club twice and I wasn't that impressed.
I rewrote our food budget to make it a bit more healthy. SO the price went up. I also purchased way too much food so I think that I can adjust it. The good news is I lost 4lbs. It's not much but its a start.
Oh and Den cooks on the weekends. Yay!
Thank you for trying to help me. I think I just need to take a long hard look at where its going. We don't even buy ice cream anymore. Which is killing me!!!

SonyaAnn said...

slugmama-I do have a weekly meal plan and the monthly grocery list. I call it the master. But I don't have a price book.
Maybe you should just move in with me and fix us!

slugmama said...

RE-Food Budget, et all.
It looks like you are doing everything right there. I know it does cost more to eat healthier(organic meat/dairy/fresh produce)especially if it isn't the right time of year for a garden or you don't have food saved from last year's. I'd talk Den into that massive garden idea...maybe pay or guilt the kids into helping, that's what I have to

And I am way impressed that ya'll take that retirement/pension $$ off the top. That will be an awesome pay off down the road there!

SonyaAnn said...

slugmama-Thank you so much for your help and encouragement. I really mean that.
It just doesn't go far enough. I bet you never heard that before, did ya? I know i sound like a whiner but some of it I just can't get down anymore. I've decided to back off the pills a bit. I know that is one of the worse things that I can do but he has me on some stuff that I can get cheaper online.
Den I think is about done "fake" smoking. I found that if I bring it up, he "smokes" more. He said he needed to do it his way and it seems to be working. So I would say within a few more months he should quit and we will have an extra $60 a month. I'm actually thinking about putting that $15 a week into his 401k. Every penny helps.
I've also been looking at the bills and I think the food bill will go down when Anna is at school. And we are putting two tanks of gas in her car a month. She has a job waiting for her at EIU and she is going to save the money and use it to pay for school. So I think we should be able to squeeze $25 a week out for her. I think that making her be responsible for part of the bill will help keep her grounded. Not that she is spoiled by any means, not possible in this house. My FIL who is a CPA, said that every penny she makes will be deducted from her grant money the next year. SO we will have to save it. And Anna cleans for her great-grandfather once a week. He pays her $25 so I'm going to clean for him when she leaves. So between his house and the other lady that I clean for, I should get about $160 a month extra.
I try and squeeze every penny that I can from the budget and then throw it at the house, retirement, or taxes. I know that I shouldn't pay extra on the taxes but I couldn't save it. Our life gets in the way.
Thank you so much for helping me. Can you tell that I'm longing for human contact? Den is under the house, Anna is with a friend and DJ is playing a game. I wished you lived closer we could have coffee.
Have a great weekend!

Nancy said...

Hey SonyaAnn, looks good - I think with coupons & Stockpiling we could get the $120.00 / week down even further.

I'm trying to catch up on visitin' and postin' - still tryin to get the anesthesia out of my system - I sit for longer than 5 minutes and I'm asleep!

Take care and stop by for a visit when you get a chance.

slugmama said...

SonyaAnn....don't you dare NOT buy/take those pills! You neeed those and shouldn't skimp there no matter what. If you don't have your health, nothing else matters, right? Sounds good to find them cheaper though as long as the quality doesn't suffer.

And I know about the money never going far enough! Speaking from experience you will save on the food bill once Anna goes to school...but then again, you'll be paying for that college meal plan so tho you gain in one way, you lose in the But again with college, you'll get a little tax break with the educational credit on your taxes for 2010(we got $3000some off the taxes for Matt this year).
I am all for making the kids pay some on their college bills too. Good for Anna that she has the job waiting for her! Matt wasn't able to get a job at college but he does have the now and then job at the camp nearby where he works in the summer which has helped.

And come on over for coffee anytime! 8-)

Oh, I realized that Anna is going to college in the town where my Sis-in Law works! She works for the Sara Bush Hospital right near EIU.

SonyaAnn said...

Nancy-Hello there! I'm working on getting it down but I'm hit or miss on working the deals. But I love how you said we could get it down. I'm loved!
I was over by you and I didn't see where you had surgery. I'm on my way now!

SonyaAnn said...

slugmama-Well I should of had your instructions, Friday! I didn't take my pills for a day and I crashed. Lesson learned and a day wasted! I did realize though how sick I was before. I don't know how I did it! I',m not going to do it anytime soon again.
We got our FAFSA papers and it said that we will owe about $4500 a year. And we just got the paper from the IL and they said that she is on track for state money too. MY CPA FIL(Lots of letters) figures our out of pocket won't be more than what they figured. My question is, will that include loans for Anna or not? He said that we really won't know until we sit down with the school. Our only goal is for her to walk away from school with no debt. From what I can tell it, if someone is going to leave with a ton of debt its not really worth it. By brother just got out of college and he said most of the kids are loaded with debt and are making $8-9 an hour. Someone without a degree could do that. Scary.

The only reason Anna even got a job was because her cousin gave her her old job. If you don't know someone on campus, you aren't getting a job. My FIL said though that we have to save every penny because it is just going to be deducted from federal money. SO it kind of seems like a wash. No one is able to find jobs so I'm not surprised that your son is having a hard time.
I went to CVS today and spent $12 and got about $25 worth of stuff. It's a start but still not as good as you. I have to start saving more coupons especially for the high end stuff. I'll get it eventually. I think that I will save a ton when I learn everything. And thank you for helping me.
And I pray that Anna doesn't need to got to the hospital when she is at EIU!;)
Have a great Sunday!

Frances said...

SonyaAnn, you are getting some great advise. (I need to go hang out at slugmama's house!)

You definitely need to plant a garden in the spring. You would same a TON of money on fresh produce and can do some canning and freezing for next winter.

Make the kids help with the garden. They are gonna eat it, let them help grow it.

Your costs will go down some when Anna goes to school. When Sam moved out (the last to go) our electric and grocery bills dropped. Though we still give her groceries when she comes to visit, we are still saving money.

As for Anna's tuition, our FAFSA always said we would have to pay $4000 - $5000. We never paid anything. Sam always got enough aid to cover the bills until this year. She screwed up and lost some of her aid...totally her she took out a small student loan.

The FAFSA EFC is just an estimate. I will cross my fingers that your actual cost is much less.

I am SO proud of you that 11% goes into a 401K!! It is hard to save to retirement, especially when you are young. But if you don't see it, then you won't spend it.

I have 20% going into mine and once in a while, I think of what I could do with that extra money now, then realize that I want to be able to eat when I retire. So, it will not be stopped or cut. Actually, it will increase by 1% every year until I stop it.

Yeah for your savings at CVS! Every little bit helps.

SonyaAnn said...

Frances-You wrote a book! I can appreciate that.
What would i do without all of you! Thank you for helping me!
I'm really hopeful about the garden but it isn't going to happen without Den. He isn't a saver and he prefers video games to work. I'm really hoping but the closer we get the less it seems it is going to happen.
Good to know that the bills will go down a bit when she leaves. I really didn't think about the electricity just the food. She eats more than a football player. DON'T tell her I said that!
Can I ask how Sam lost some of her aid? Not to cause problems but to avoid it.
Thanks to you, I'm sort of starting to understand how this all works. I feel so re leaved to know that you are here to help. It makes a world of difference. Thank you. SO one more question. FAFSA said that Anna would need to take out about $3000-$4000 a year in loans. Is there anyway around that?
Thank you for the praise on the 11%. I complain about the bills but it is because we squeeze everything we can out of his check. We are also putting an extra $250(ish) a month towards the house. Basically what I do is put what extra we can on things and then leave no wiggle room during the month. It's crazy but it is the only way to get the house paid off and Den to retire. The house should be close to being paid off when DJ graduates from college in 8 years. But you know how that goes, its more like a dream. It works out on paper but I'm not sure about the real world.
Thank you for all the love!

Annie Jones said...

My garden suggestion is plant one or two things that all or at least most of you like, that produces a lot, and that you can handle without Den's help. My suggestion would be tomatoes (then possibly green beans or zucchini).

Tomatoes are easy to water-bath can or to freeze, and you can make juice, sauce, pasta sauce, salsa, ketchup, chili sauce, etc. from them, either before you can/freeze them, or after.

You could save quite a bit of money on that crop alone.

SonyaAnn said...

Annie Jones-Good idea! But I can honestly say that I have never grown a tomato that was eatable. Don't know what I did. I'm going to do what you said. I've never tried zucchini so that is a thought. But I know for sure I'm going to do herbs.
Last night, Den said that he was ok with a garden. He has good intentions but doesn't follow through.
And I got really good news, my doctor called and one of the really expensive meds that I was taking can be replaced with something a bit cheaper. Yay.
If I have time today, I'm going to swing by the library and see if they have any budgeting books. Even if I pick up a little something its a win. And I hope that Den will read one.
Thanks for coming to see me and caring.

slugmama said...

RE-FAFSA and Anna.
There may be no way out of having to take out some loans. Since you're going to qualify for aid, you'll probably be eligible for a Stafford loan(under Sallie Mae)and that might be enough to get her through her year. Staffords are the subsidized/lowest interest rate ones. There is also a parent's loan through Sallie Mae you can take out.
The thing about loans is if you cosign for Anna, she might get a better rate, but then you are on the hook if she defaults. Go to the Sallie Mae site and read up.
Try to avoid taking out a personal loan to help her pay for college...the rates are higher.

If you have any money saved and you have a paid off mortgage, it counts bigtime against you toward getting any financial aid. Our FAFSA said our expected family contribution to Matt is $38.400.
Yes, the government thinks we are millionaires!
You'll do fine....Anna might have a tiny bit of debt coming out after 4 yrs. but it won't be any huge amount she can't pay off.

SonyaAnn said...

slugmama-Well, its nice to be able to say that I know someone that is a millionaire! LOL!
I can't remember exactly but I think they said our part was $4500. We can cover that but it's her part that I'm worried about. But at least, I'm not freaking out. Everything that you and Frances has said has been right on the money. You will never know how much that has helped me sleep at night! You just hear about these people that can't pay their debt back. That isn't us. The best way is not to take on much debt from the start. My FIL said that Anna's cousin Emily made about $6000 working on campus. SO I'm hopeful that Anna will make some where around that. He said just not to go over that or she will lose some of her funding.
If I can shave a bit more off of the budget, I can use that for Anna too. She will have to help but I don't want the debt to be all consuming. She is going to need to concentrate on school.
Thank you for all of your help and wisdom!