Tuesday, January 25, 2011

How Things Have Changed

I posted our budget on-line back in January of 2009. Firstly, it is really hard to be this honest. And B, it's really hard to put it out there for everyone to comment on. That said, I think that posting our monthly bills has been one of the best things that I have done. It made me take a really hard look at what we are paying for and if I was being honest and realistic. If I hadn't done this, I think that we would be back in debt. So for the look back.....
1296.00 House payment
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 
And now.....
1260 house payment
114 car insurance
160 Nicor & ComEd(gas & electric)
70 garbage & water
140 cell phones
30 gym
320 food
280 gas for 2 cars
200 save
80 for Anna(she hasn't used the $20 a week yet because of careful budgeting)
40 Den's fake cig
32 My pills
2726 total
There have been some changes since my first posted budget. We no longer have a home phone, the satellite dish, the 2nd mortgage and Den quit real smoking. I still save the money every month from the satellite bill($25). We have been using this to buy movies. And the grumbling has almost stopped. We do have cell phones but this is a luxury that I'm willing to pay for. I like being able to talk to Anna, who would have seen that one coming?
I do need to squeeze a bit more out of the budget just because of the IL tax hike. Ahhhh but that is a rant for another day.
Thanks for stopping over,
SonyaAnn

26 comments:

Annie Jones said...

I agree that it can be a little intimidating to put finances out in the open like that, but I also agree with you that it's a VERY good way to become accountable. It's helped us out a lot.

Sheila said...

I should do that too but I'm to embarrassed. The amount of money I spend on food is atrocious!! I like to see other peoples budgets--makes me want to/try to do so much better. I appreciate your sharing. Take care.

SonyaAnn said...

Annie Jones-SUPER NICE comment! It's scary but it has helped. This month is a bit tight, we keep getting hit by odd things. Den's fake cig broke and there was $70 but it is so much cheaper than real cigs.
Thank you for always being here for me!

SonyaAnn said...

Sheila-Thank you. I'm glad that you feel inspired. I hope that it helps. It does help me and it can be very discouraging when you don't hit it.
Have a great week!

Jill said...

That is nice to share to help others work through budgets too. By the way can i switch my house payment with yours??? LOL If I could change that I would be happy! But unfortuneately it's more than double of yours. :-(
I hope to be posting money saving ideas, etc soon. I've been saying that and time is getting away from me! lol. Good luck with everything!!
blessings,
Jill

slugmama said...

OH, you know I live for these number geeky posts. Thanks for the reading gift. ;-)

I would put ALL our numbers out there but Hubs would have a stroke, so I can't.lol

You have really changed your budget ALOT! No 2nd mortgage, cutting $100 a month on food and YOU ARE PUTTING $200 A MONTH INTO SAVINGS!....yes, I AM shouting that part.lolz

I know how you struggled with Den and the food spending....what have you done differently to get that variable expense under control....don't just tell me with Anna not there you spend less.lol

These are wonderful positive changes and I just want to hug you! Really I do, but my arms aren't long enough.lol

Now my question to you is....How do you feel about these changes?....and what impact have they made on your life?

Did your car insurance really go DOWN? Please tell me how that you got that to happen so I can do it!
This $140 on cell phones worries me(I bet Frances will say the same thing.lol). I bet there is a cheaper plan....somewhere....but I am not cell phone savvy.

Even if you don't see it, y'all have had an amazing budget transformation!

Jill said...

Me again... i forgot to answer your question about my hair, lol. It was about 2 years for me too to get it long again. However this time I think it will remain long. There were some days I was just missing my ponytail! LOL My husband however likes my hair in a bob cut. Which is unusual I think, most men like womans hair long from what I've been told! LOL

Frances said...

SonyaAnn, your new budget looks great. It is wonderful to see that even though you give Anna money, that was not in last year's budget, you are still able to save every month. That really is great.

Congrats on cutting down the grocery bill so much! That is a pretty great accomplishment.

I agree with Sluggy. $140 cell phone bill!!!??? Of course, I don't know what plan your on or what company, but I would be shopping for cheaper rates. We pay less than $140 a YEAR for our 2 cell phones. Of course, we use prepaid, but we have more than enough minutes to keep us happy. I know you might need more since you are now talking to Anna and got rid of your home phone, but it seems like you could find a cheaper family plan. Maybe not.

And I think I need to hear more about Den't fake cigarettes. I think it is time for me to look into this for Hubby.

Mark said...

Thank you! I needed something like this to give me a kick.
Your Friend, m.

SonyaAnn said...

Jill-I wish that we could afford a nicer house. Grrr, this one is the pits. This is such an expensive place to live though. Our taxes are through the roof. We are at $5000 a year. yuck
I can't wait to see what you post for money saving ideas. I always read everyone's ideas because eventually I will stumble across one that I didn't know!
Thanks for coming to see me!

SonyaAnn said...

sluggy-I'm so glad that I made your day by posting our bills. I think that it shows that it is possible to shave money off even when you think that you can't.
I also love that you are shouting about saving money. I wish that it was all going to an EF but there just isn't enough to go around. But Den's retirement is fully funded plus some and we are putting extra on the house.
And please forgive me on the cell phone bill. We did try the prepaid cell phones and it didn't work for us. Let me rephrase that, it didn't work for Ms. Text 6000 texts a month. And I'm not joking on that one. I compare rates quite often, the thing is our entire family is on Verizon so if we change to a different company, we wouldn't get to call them for free. I did get it down by $20 so I think this is the best I can do.
Thank you for all of the wonderful and encouraging words that you always leave me when it comes to the bills.

SonyaAnn said...

Jill-OMG-Dennis hates long hair! Weird? And he also doesn't care for it so much because it was always in his food.LOL

SonyaAnn said...

Frances- Thanks for the bloggy love! I work on it all of the time but there are just somethings that I can't get much cheaper.
We cut so much off of the grocery bill because Den has been doing all the grocery shopping. I think that we just needed to find a system that worked for us. You would think that it wouldn't work sending him but it has kept our costs down. He likes to be creative when he cooks so if he is at the store and sees something in the clearance bin/shelf then he can pick it up as ling as he gets everything off the list. On of the women that he works with brings him fliers every week from a cheap store by her. We make the list together and then he stops on his way home. It works but I don't know why. He knows he can't go over $80.
I know, the phone bill sucks. But if we go back to prepay it will cost twice that. Anna is a texter as is the rest of the family now that we have it for free. I just cut our minutes from 1400 to 700 so that shaved $20 off a month. But still I have no excuse!
Thank you for being so supportive of me and my many, many problems!!!

SonyaAnn said...

Mark-Well if you need any help in the bill/budget department, there are plenty of people around here to help kick you. LOL
Thank you for being such a good friend!

Jill said...

Hi again... can't seem to get rid of me today can you?, lol. I'll have to post a series on our journey to this house, lol. A lot would be explained! I don't know where you live but taxes are killing us here too, that's part of why our mortgage is insane!! We pay $7,000 a year! ugh. But like I said that story is several posts, lol. You gave me inspiration :-). Had to laugh about hair in the food, hmmm that happens here but considering Hayley and I cook with ponytails I tend to think it's the cats or dogs, lol. :-) Have a great night!!

Blessings,
Jill

Frances said...

Anna may become less of a texter when she has to pay the bill. LOL!(In the future of course.)

I was a bad mom....I never paid for kids' cell phones.

Annie Jones said...

I'm falling over in a faint over how much you and Jill are paying in taxes! Our area is neither affluent nor a slum. Our taxes were less than $1300. Of course, there is a lot to compare there...size of house, location, appraisal value, etc.

We paid a little less than $400 in personal property taxes for our 2006 minivan, 2002 pickup and 1997 pop-up camper. Are those taxes higher for you, also?

SonyaAnn said...

Jill-I'm so sick of getting squeezed for more tax money. It really is just obscene.
Den and DJ were both so sick of my hair. They both complained that they found my hair in the cracks. I laughed but they didn't find my laughing at all funny!

SonyaAnn said...

Frances-I know, I shouldn't pay it but......
They do have to pay their own car insurance so I'm getting more out of them that way.;)
I'm just worried what we are going to do when DJ gets his license. Even with him getting really good grades, I don't see how he is going to pay $200 a month. And that's with the two of us sharing a car.

SonyaAnn said...

Annie Jones-Our house is lower middle class for this area and it is falling fast. It is almost half housing(section 8). So we are paying a ton to live the same as people on welfare. I'm not knocking them at all. But we are struggling for the same amount.
"We paid a little less than $400 in personal property taxes for our 2006 minivan, 2002 pickup and 1997 pop-up camper."-DO you get a bill? We don't pay on any of that. Or maybe it is just different in IL. They gouge us by charging us for plate stickers for cars and campers. It's $100 a year for the plate sticker.

Annie Jones said...

Yeah, we get a bill for it in early November, due by Dec. 31. I just plan for it and set aside a few dollars each week. And yes, it sounds like they are getting what they want from you with the vehicle registration fees. Our registration fees aren't nearly that expensive.

SonyaAnn said...

Annie Jones-We are getting hit in every direction from the state of IL. They really are going to force us on welfare.

Frances said...

I am SO happy we live in Texas!! We don't pay property taxes, of course, since we rent, but I don't even know what personal property taxes are.

Our vehicle registration fee is only $55/year (for our cars...it is based on vehicle size, I thin,). We do have to pay about $50/year for a vehicle inspection.

We also don't have a state income tax. Yeah us!

SonyaAnn said...

Frances-Show off!
We need to move but the best we could do is move to WI and we will get stuck for both state taxes. SO that would just make it worse. Maybe we should me in with you. LOL

Nicole said...

That is absolutely amazing progress! Especially quitting smoking and getting rid of a second mortgage. You ROCK!

Our property taxes are more...

SonyaAnn said...

Nicole-Thanks! It's just evolution. I think bills come and go(if you are lucky).
Have a great week. I'll be out most of the day shoveling! And the sad thing is, we haven't even got hit yet!