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Old 04-11-2011, 01:33 PM   #161
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This is probably obvious but don't forget that the property tax and escrow (for homeowner's insurance, etc) portions of your mortgage payment don't really go away. When I first started planning to pay off my mortgage and RE, I managed to forget those little tidbits!
I pay those out of pocket so they are included in my "essential" expenses. Good point though since taxes+house insurance is almost 10% of my annual expenses.

I figured out that my total housing expense is roughly a quarter of my annual expense. Utilities, repairs/maintenance, taxes, insurance, appliances, etc all add up.
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Old 04-11-2011, 01:38 PM   #162
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Thanks for the update Fuego. Once you spend a year tracking all the detailed expenses, I bet you wonder how you ever got by without tracking. I feel naked if I don't enter my expenses. Or perhaps better stated, I'd feel lost if I don't keep track of what I'm spending my money on.
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Old 04-11-2011, 01:38 PM   #163
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Simple Girl, I'll tell you how he does it: buying toilet paper in bulk!
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Old 04-11-2011, 01:42 PM   #164
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Simple Girl, I'll tell you how he does it: buying toilet paper in bulk!
That only saved me $18 a year on an annualized basis. And I now know that 288 rolls lasts roughly 7 months in our household.
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Old 04-11-2011, 01:42 PM   #165
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Simple Girl, I'll tell you how he does it: buying toilet paper in bulk!
Lifestyles of the Frugal and FIRED!
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Old 04-11-2011, 01:46 PM   #166
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Thanks for the update Fuego. Once you spend a year tracking all the detailed expenses, I bet you wonder how you ever got by without tracking. I feel naked if I don't enter my expenses. Or perhaps better stated, I'd feel lost if I don't keep track of what I'm spending my money on.
I look at this expense data as invaluable guidance for what we really need to FIRE on. And occasionally it is useful to review the historical record of when we bought something or what specific items we bought.

Like the $1000 we spent on electronics. I couldn't believe we spent that much until I reviewed the electronics category and realized we bought an HDTV, a media player, hard drive, tv cables, 2 computer monitors, digital camera and a couple other assorted items. Nothing really "new", just upgraded items for those things that have become functionally obsolete or broken. But that is probably a fairly typical year for us.
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Old 04-11-2011, 01:50 PM   #167
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My bank (Bank of America) offers what they call "Portfolio". It keeps track of income, expenses, credit card usage & investments (basically like Quicken-only its FREE). All checks & debit card usage is already there, I just have to re-code some. you can manually add accounts or download the actual accounts (have not done this yet-just manually keeping up with DH checking & investments). On the Walmart issue......I segregate my purchases & pay with 2 debit card swipes so that I can easily re-code when transaction hits my account. The portfolio transaction register lets you "split" a transaction into 2 diff catagories. Most of my shopping at Walmart is groceries, household goods, pets supplies, medical/health so doing 2 swipes makes it easier to split into 4 seperate catagories. On the down side of this tracking expenses system.....I did not realize how much our bird watching hobby was actually costing us until I saw my pet supplies broken down...YIKES! those buggers are eating us out of house & home!!! But we do love it so I guess we will keep at it as long as we can still afford it.
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Old 04-11-2011, 02:12 PM   #168
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Like the $1000 we spent on electronics. I couldn't believe we spent that much until I reviewed the electronics category and realized we bought an HDTV, a media player, hard drive, tv cables, 2 computer monitors, digital camera and a couple other assorted items. Nothing really "new", just upgraded items for those things that have become functionally obsolete or broken. But that is probably a fairly typical year for us.
$1000 for all these items is very good. Hopefully, these are non-recurring items that may even reduce your expenses for next year. People don't normally replace their TVs and monitors every year.
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Old 04-11-2011, 02:19 PM   #169
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That only saved me $18 a year on an annualized basis. And I now know that 288 rolls lasts roughly 7 months in our household.
We would only use half that amount since I insist that everybody uses both sides ...
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Old 04-11-2011, 02:44 PM   #170
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$1000 for all these items is very good. Hopefully, these are non-recurring items that may even reduce your expenses for next year. People don't normally replace their TVs and monitors every year.
Oh yeah, I left out a new full price non-contract subsidized smart phone and a GPS.

I view these electronic purchases more as recurring expenses, since tech items are always becoming functionally obsolete. This year maybe I upgrade the desktop computer(s), netbook, media player, mp3 players, DW cell phone, etc. True I won't do this every year, but there will always be the "need" to upgrade different electronic devices.
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Old 04-11-2011, 02:45 PM   #171
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We would only use half that amount since I insist that everybody uses both sides ...
No, you would be about par with us. My kids seemingly only use toilet paper on about 1/2 their transactions. Yes, both kids are girls, and no, neither pees standing up (that I have seen).
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Old 04-11-2011, 03:50 PM   #172
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288 rolls of TP in 7 months? That's more than a roll a day! If it was me, I'd call a family meeting....
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Old 04-11-2011, 03:53 PM   #173
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288 rolls of TP in 7 months? That's more than a roll a day! If it was me, I'd call a family meeting....
Not over $5 a month in total expenses! There is a price for familial harmony, and it is somewhere north of $5.

Besides, I'm trying to get the kids to use TP MORE often, not less.
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Old 04-11-2011, 03:57 PM   #174
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288 rolls of TP in 7 months? That's more than a roll a day! If it was me, I'd call a family meeting....
No kidding. That's 10 rolls per month per person. That's 10X what I go thru. Maybe I should've taken the job across town at a TP maker instead of staying at the plastics maker
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Old 04-11-2011, 04:03 PM   #175
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No kidding. That's 10 rolls per month per person. That's 10X what I go thru. Maybe I should've taken the job across town at a TP maker instead of staying at the plastics maker
Hey, preaching to the choir here! I know it is a ridiculous level of consumption. They use 10x what I use. I have tried to train the 3 ladies in the house about the proper quantity of TP. Somehow "5 sheets" has turned into "less than 50". As long as I can keep the supply flowing for $5-7/mo (not including the occasional water damage from overflowing toilets due to having half a roll of TP tring to be flushed down in one fell swoop), I'm ok with the long term budgetary impact of the ladies' TP consumption.

You should see the conditioner/shampoo budget for the ladies. Probably 100x what I spend (yeah, I'm bald lol).
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Old 04-11-2011, 07:23 PM   #176
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Yeah, I'd find other battles to fight than how much TP your small peeps use daily.
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Old 04-11-2011, 08:01 PM   #177
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Does all this TP have an adverse effect on your home's plumbing? Do you get a lot of stoppages? Just honestly curious about how these things work...
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:22 PM   #178
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I added a new column to my spreadsheet this year. I have always tracked how much I spend on gasoline but I added an additional column that indicates how many gallons of gasoline I got for that amount. I've always tracked the amount of natural gas, electricity, and water usage in addition to tracking the monthly amounts I spend on these items. So adding the number of gallons of gas made sense too.
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:44 PM   #179
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I added a new column to my spreadsheet this year. I have always tracked how much I spend on gasoline but I added an additional column that indicates how many gallons of gasoline I got for that amount. I've always tracked the amount of natural gas, electricity, and water usage in addition to tracking the monthly amounts I spend on these items. So adding the number of gallons of gas made sense too.
Since you are already tracking the number of gallons that you are using, go a step further and track your gas mileage (mpg) and cost per mile driven. You need to note your odometer reading when you gas up.
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:57 PM   #180
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I've been tracking my spending in Quicken since the early 90's. It's a great tool for this, but it's also great if say, we want to stay a hotel that we really liked on a vacation 5 years ago, but can't remember the name - voila it's in Quicken! Along with all my investment detials, portfolio value - everything about my financial life. I couldn't get along without it.

Now trying to get my DW to track her cash spending - well there was no eye rolling, but if I made any more of a deal out of this, something of mine would have been rolling.
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