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A New Budget – First Pass


I’ve put this off long enough, it’s time to come up with a new monthly budget for our new life and space.  Bear with me as I haven’t started receiving utility bills here yet so I’m not sure how they are going to run. I will tell you that we’ve had no A/C or heat running for the past month as it stays really warm in here with all the surrounding units running theirs constantly. Even now, the windows are open. So here’s my first pass at the new budget:

CategoryEstimated Monthly Total
Life Insurance$25
Auto/Renter's Insurance$150
Kids Misc - school, activities$275
Kid's "Allowance"$480
Car - Gas & Maintenance$350
Subtotal Personal$3457
Business Expenses
Phone Service$215
Subtotal Business$301
Total Monthly Expenses$3758

I did not include my debt in this budget as I really don’t have a plan in place for that yet. Since the house closed yestarday, I will start receiving the final bills from all the utilities and that will eat up a good chunk of any extra debt payments. I anticipate being able to get back on the debt payoff race in January once those extra utility accounts are closed out. Through today, I’ve paid these additional monthly bills on the old house:

Electric $196
Gas $57
Waster & Sewer $232 (this is a quarterly bill, so some is from when we actually lived there)
Trash $36 <- This is the final amount for this bill as I cancelled the service once all the renovation was complete. So I should have one more set of the top three of these to deal with in December and then I can officially close the chapter on that part of my life.


  • Reply Angie |

    Good to see you are getting a jumpstart on re-evaluating your budget even with all the chaos going on. One thing, $125 water bill? I’ve never lived in an apartment that had a separate water bill. Also, even if it was metered how could you possibly get to $125 when there is no yard? It will be nice when that line clears up and you get some extra buffer room in your budget!

    • Reply Hope |

      I thought the same thing, Angie, especially since my house water bill wasn’t that high. But I did receive a pro-rated (for 5 days) bill since we moved here and it was $21 so I’m basing this guesstimate off that. I’m not sure how they meter it, by building or what but definitely received a water bill here.

      • Reply Ashley |

        I’ve lived in apartment complexes with astronomically high water bills. I really think the apartment complex somehow uses the water (that tenants pay for) for watering plants and common areas. I remember in years past even calling and complaining and having people come out to double-check meters but our bills were always high. Not sure if it depends on the complex, but just saying that could be a realistic estimate.

  • Reply Angie |

    Also, what is up with your phone bill? $211? I know you probably need a reliable landline for work. But other than that how are you getting to $211 it seems unreasonably high.

    • Reply Hope |

      I actually don’t have a landline, this is for a cell phone plan that includes my ipad and phone with data. I hesitate to change my plan as I currently have unlimited data and that is extremely helpful with our busy life, I can literally work from wherever without worrying about data charges. The ipad connection is one I’ve debated. Since I’m not making any decisions right now, it’s definitely under consideration for change.

      • Reply Angie |

        Depending on your phones native carrier (ATT/Verizon/Sprint) there will mostly likely be a cheaper option you could switch to to keep unlimited data. It will have reduced speeds (go to 3g) after 1gb/2gb but depending on your usage that won’t mean much. You can easily check your usage online. A lot of these plans are now going BYOD (bring your own device) so you will have less upfront costs. Moving to a month to month plan would also let you skip a month or two on your ipad if you aren’t traveling. Caveat is you need to be okay with not always having the best and newest phone.

        Cricket Wireless – Uses ATT towers. $35/month. Reduced speeds after 1gb. If you regularly use more you could still get the $60 a month plan to get 10gb.
        Sorry I can’t remember the Verizon alternative since I don’t have them. But there appears to be a $60 verizon unlimited everything plan.

        Sorry if it feels like I’m nitpicking your budget. I just like to reduce the regular bills as much as possible to sort of lock-in the savings. Its good to reevaluate your options once in awhile instead of just accept them as normal. Same goes for your auto insurance definitely check every 6 months if not sooner. You are not locked in for 6-months. If you find something cheaper mid-way through your policy you can still cancel and they will prorate your refund by the day.

  • Reply Karen |

    Hope, I am so glad your house sold and thing swill be settling down for you soon. I am also glad that you continued to blog about it. Getting to debt zero is never easy and I believe a lot of people can benefit from your experience in this journey. Applause!!!! 🙂

  • Reply Walnut |

    Props on putting together a budget. You definitely need a few months to feel out your new normal before making any big decisions.

So, what do you think ?