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Updating Our Budget and Choosing Cuts

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I published our updated budget in January but thought it was time to look into what we could cut pretty easily to save for more important goals.  We are still aiming to pay of our rent house mortgage by the end of this year and would also like to fit in a couple of fun excursions, so let’s see what we can cut without much pain at all:

Here is how our budget looked and what is changing:

  • Rent House Mortgage – $505
  • Rent House Home Insurance/Property Taxes – $275
  • Home Mortgage – $990
  • Home Insurance/Property Taxes/HOA – $860  $750
  • Health Insurance – $350
  • Life Insurance – $30
  • Car Insurance – $110  $55
  • Gasoline – $150
  • Electricity – $200
  • Water – $60
  • Gas – $40
  • Eating Out – $300  $250
  • Groceries – $300  $250
  • Cable/Internet (DSL) – $120…maybe $50
  • Sprint – $150
  • Housekeeping – $175 (average over the year)
  • Lawn – $60 (average over the year)
  • Medicines – $75  $20
  • Toll Roads – $50  $25
  • Miscellaneous – $100
  • Cash – $100
  • Total Expenses = $5000  $4585

All of the crossed-off costs have been changed EXCEPT cable.  We are looking into that cut right now.  We finally want to give in to everybody’s pushing since an antenna, Netflix, Hulu, network sites, and a variety of other services can pretty much take care of our crazy tv habit.  We’ll see if it makes sense for our household.

The rest sort of cut themselves or we’ve already changed our habits in order to save the money.  I overestimated the property taxes for our new house, so that is a readjustment.  I called GEICO and changed to a new plan to save half on our car insurance.  We’re consistently keeping our food spending to $500 or less and are driving less on the toll roads whenever possible.  And the new health insurance policies mean I save money every month on my regular monthly meds.  No matter what, we’re looking at $4000 or more in cash we could put towards any of our other goals.  That sounds great to me.  😀

Have you taken a look at your budget lately?  See anything you can cut pretty easily to save for your priorities?

FYI:  I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year.  I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $70,000-$90,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home.  If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!).  Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!
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12 thoughts on “Updating Our Budget and Choosing Cuts

  1. Good job! We’re always looking for new ways to cut back in our budget. Right now I have pretty much already called every company and have asked for nearly every discount they offer though haha

  2. Bah, tolls! That’s one thing we don’t really have here.

    Awesome job trimming the budget. I can’t say we’ve been paying too much attention to that lately.

  3. I’m like you and I occasionally revisit our expenses to see if there’s something to cut. Recently I cut a premium movie channel from our cable package and the built-in Verizon service from my iPad. Together they totaled $432/year.

  4. Very cool. Have you looked into switching phone service to straight talk or anything like that to cut down? My wife’s contract is up in September and I think we’re going to head over there. We’re paying about $175 per month and should be able to cut it below $100.

    We’re also thinking of cutting cable. It’s pretty nuts how emotional a decision that is…

  5. Not sure how much you guys actually use your phones or what phones you have, but you should give Ting a look-see! I was with Sprint and paying about $85/month for my plan. I ported my phone and number over to Ting (no activation fees) and am now paying ~$35/month for the same usage since I wasn’t using most of my plan. If you’re interested in it, email me for a referral code and you would get a $25 credit!

  6. @Michelle, way to go!

    @SavvyFinancialLatina, you may want to look at eSurance for some options…

    @eemusings, what have you been up to? 🙂

    @Julie, woot!

    @Nick, it is crazy. For us, the only two things holding us back are sports (but the antenna will at least get him Sunday football) and not being able to record our shows…we love our DVR.

    We use a ton of data, minutes, and texts, so $150 for two completely unlimited everything phones is really nice for us…

    @Leigh, whenever we are away from the house, our phones are used a ton for work emails and texts to friends and family. So we use a buttload of data and more than 1400 minutes a month per phone. If we ever can cut down on our phone usage, I will totally email you for a referral code!

    @Lance, check out my post from last week –

    @Kim, yeah, sports and DVR are holding us back a little. A digital antenna will get hubby Sunday football, but he still wouldn’t get the Monday night football that way. And I love having DVR record my shows to watch later…we use that 99% of the time.

    @Tony, thanks.

  7. How funny that you actually have a line-item for “toll roads.” I understand why you include that in your budget, though…. tolls can really add up! Some of the most expensive tolls I’ve seen are in and around the New York area, though I’m sure there are plenty of high tolls elsewhere, as well.

    I also did a double-take when I saw that you only spent $40 a month on gas. It took me a second read-through to see that you’ve listed gasoline (presumably for your car) at $150 and gas (presumably for your home) at $40. That makes more sense!

  8. Frankly speaking, there are a lot of things we can cut without much pain at all. As for me, I usually eat out of house spending a lot of money on fast-food services. Of course it would be much cheaper to cook at home and enjoy home cuisine. Everyone should think over rent bills and realize that a lot of costs can be avoided. There is no use to apply for online lending when you know how to cut expenses and don’t feel any discomfort.

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