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Old 02-04-2014, 05:33 AM   #21
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I had a comparable TV/Cell Phone/Internet level of expense until recently. I cut the cost by about $1800/year using some of the new family deals that the major cell phone providers have come out with in the last few months.

My advice is to attack each of the expenses and see what deals you can make to reduce each one. The savings will add up.
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:46 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iibgdi View Post
I am currently working on a budget and have discovered that my basic expenses are kinda crazy.

These are annual #'s.

Cell phones: $3,060 (3 smartphones, one dumb phone)
Satellite: $1,344
Internet/phone: $924 (We are kind of stuck with our internet provider and the phone is included)
Electric: $2,099
LP: $1,400
Garbage: $264
Rural Water: $676

Total: $9,768 ***Edited as I found a mistake in my spreadsheet

That's not including home or auto insurance, life insurance, taxes, mortgage, cabin payment, food, entertainment, health insurance (through wifes work) etc.

The kids are Sophomore and Freshman in college so hopefully, the electric and LP go down! The water will go down slightly.

I'm sure one of the first question will be location....We live in the upper mid west. In a small subdivision outside of a small town. Our house is only 10 years old but it is fairly large so that does help explain how high the electric and LP is. (just over 5,000 sq ft counting main floor and basement.)


what are other peoples expenses?
We are at $250 a month or about 3k a year. We do not have cell phones or cable. We are on city water. But our house is only about 1/5 the size of yours.
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:05 AM   #23
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It depends on where you live. Here in the North East, those expenses would be fairly normal (maybe a smidge high on the satellite/internet combo) for a family with two older kids.

Cell and cable/satellite are budget killers and some folks have managed to live nicely without them but I'm not sure how a younger family with kids, living a suburban lifestyle (in a 5,000 sq/ft house) could do so.
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:14 AM   #24
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Here's mine, 2013, 1500 square foot condo in urban St. Paul MN:
cable/internet: $932.37
landline: $407.30
gas/electric: $1272.07

No cell phone; a landline still works out just fine for me. I hate Comcast with a passion and would love to cut the cable but haven't been able to yet. My water/trash bills are included in my monthly association fee, so I don't have the break down for those. They're not much.
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:32 AM   #25
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We live in the NE, with similar square footage. Our yearly expenses are similar. One area we cut was the cable bill, meaning TV and Internet. We have minimum TV service now. We lowered our monthly bill by $70, and pay for Netflix, about $12 per month.

The next area we will attack is cell phones. Currently paying $190 for 3 smart phones. That includes an employee discount. Plans will change this year, and we may move away from VZW.
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:15 AM   #26
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Here's what mine look like:

cellphone 1248
oil (heat) 1345
tv/internet 1476
trash 358
sewer 350
electric 774
__________
total: 5551

I'm in the northeast and it's just me in a 1000 sqft cottage so I'm not sure how applicable this is to you. I hate my cable bill but I'm not ready to cut the cord yet. My cell phone is employer subsidized so I'm not worred about my (single smartphone) bill yet.
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:29 AM   #27
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Live in a 3,700 SF Ranch Style Condo in midwestern USA.
Electric 75 a month, Natrual Gas: 54 a month, Cell Phone: 10 a month (on F&F plan, no data), Internet: 63 a month (no cable TV just Wi-Fi streaming for Netflix and 3 computers), Condo fee covers Insurance, water, sewer, all outside maintenance, Snow removal, Landscaping, etc.,: 250 a month. No mortgage, one Luxury car, one cell phone, don't work (been retired forever).
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:59 AM   #28
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Thre is usually a thread each year for expenses, here is a recent one 2013 expenses

Cell phones: $100 (tracfone )
Internet/tv: $1125
Electric: $1178
LP: $300
Garbage: $216
Water: $360
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Old 02-04-2014, 09:46 AM   #29
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Here were ours. We also live in the upper midwest in an 100-yr old house (but insulated). In the winter, we keep our thermostat at a steady 68 degrees.

Natural Gas: 1050
Water/Sewer/Trash: 835
Electric: 981
Satellite/Internet: 1362
Cell: 1088 (one smart, one reg)

I think we could cut the cell and satellite, but DH likes it.
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Old 02-04-2014, 09:59 AM   #30
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Living in a large co-op apartment complex on Long Island (NY), some of these expenses are paid from my monthly maintenance fees and are not broken out in our annual report. I live alone in a studio apartment. Expenses are annual.

Electric: $671 (excludes a portion of the co-op's electric bill for common areas)
Natural gas for cooking: Part of my maintenance, not shown separately
(The above two charges are combined in my annual report, my share is $166.)
Landline phone + Internet: $692
Cell Phone: $0, I don't have one
Cable TV: $859
Water: $154, my share of co-op's water bill
Sewer/Trash: Part of my maintenance, not shown separately
Oil for heat: $396, my share of co-op's fuel bill.

Total: $2,938 (about $245 per month).
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:31 AM   #31
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 YoursMineNotes
 Cell phones: $3,060 1080Four phones, 4 plans (iPhone, 2 Android, 1 old semi-smart)
 Satellite: $1,3440OTA with personally crafted DVR software
 Electric: $2,0991267Duke Power (0.11/kwh)
 LP: $1,400902Piedmont Natural Gas (2400sf, 350 miles S of mason-dixon line)
 Garbage: $26447Single Family Solid Waste
 Rural Water: $676732City Water
   
 9768437545%
I'm gonnna have to see what I can do about that water bill, hehe.
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:48 AM   #32
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We have spent less than a fairly generous budget I had set years ago - and never adjusted for inflation.

We got close to our "budget limit" last year. But considering we put a large chunk into a charitable gift fund, and we paid two years of property taxes last year, we actually did a lot better than it appears on the surface. Those expenses were pulled into 2013 from future years, and they will certainly make this year's expenses lighter.
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Old 02-04-2014, 11:14 AM   #33
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Family of 3.5 (DD in college dorm most of the time) in SoCal. House is 1590 SF.

Electric/Water/garbage $3600 -- one bill
Land line/internet $1080 -- one bill
Nat Gas $600
Cell (2 kids) $600
TV $0

Total: $5880.

Not sure what I can cut. Maybe less A/C in the summer.
After DW and I RE, we will have to get 2 dumb cells with pre-paid plans, so Cell category will go up a little.
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Old 02-04-2014, 11:46 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by iibgdi View Post
what are other peoples expenses?
Cell phones: $360 (2 smartphones, 2 dumb phones)
Satellite: $0 (receive TV OTA)
Internet/phone: $600
Electric/gas: $2,040
LP: $0
Garbage: $0
Rural Water: $100


I'm amazed at how much the average household spends on mobile phones and satellite/cable TV.
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Old 02-04-2014, 11:50 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Brett_Cameron View Post
My advice is to attack each of the expenses and see what deals you can make to reduce each one. The savings will add up.
We have been doing this for two years and we still have a lot we can cut. I keep a big spreadsheet of everything we have done to date. We still live in the same house and drive the same cars, but it has been eye opening how much we can lower each expense without making any major lifestyle changes.

This year so far I cut an advertising expense for the business, deleted an old email account that was costing $20 a year, cut a magazine subscription I can replace with a nearby city library card with Zinnio access, and realized I could get 30% off our dog food by signing up for Petco newsletters and buying the food online when it is on sale, not at the store when we run out. So that was an easy $300 a year. If we live 50 more years that is $15K.

We have another $10K or so total, even without downsizing, I think we can cut per year of just a bunch of little stuff like that all added up. It just takes time to implement each one. But over a 50 year retirement that means freeing up $500K in the nest egg for travel or charity or something significant, instead of piddling it away on day to day unnecessary expenses.

Each week we just work down the list and keep cutting all the unneeded expenses one by one.
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Old 02-04-2014, 11:54 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iibgdi View Post
I am currently working on a budget and have discovered that my basic expenses are kinda crazy.

These are annual #'s.

Cell phones: $3,060 (3 smartphones, one dumb phone)
Satellite: $1,344
Internet/phone: $924 (We are kind of stuck with our internet provider and the phone is included)
Electric: $2,099
LP: $1,400
Garbage: $264
Rural Water: $676

Total: $9,768 ***Edited as I found a mistake in my spreadsheet
The only thing that I spend less on is for the cell phones, and that's because we still have no data plan. I may have to add that on a monthly basis when I take off again in my RV.
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:06 PM   #37
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Our 2013 expenses for two adults (vs OP):

Cell phones: $3,060 (3 smartphones, one dumb phone) $722 (2 semi smart phones-voice/text/slow data)
Satellite: $1,344 $777
Internet/phone: $924 (We are kind of stuck with our internet provider and the phone is included) $599 (no landline, not wanted)
Electric: $2,099 $1600 elec & gas
LP: $1,400
Garbage: $264 $158
Rural Water: $676 $453

Also upper Midwest, 2270 sf home.
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:10 PM   #38
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Cell, internet, streaming service, cable/dish, land line all add up to a fortune if you are not careful. Insurances, cost relating to owning a house (more in CA), taxes (ditto), entertainment (night out, golf, travel, ...), donations, ...., whew! When I RE, hopefully, I can make some serious change to all my expenses.
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:29 PM   #39
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I live alone and have no cell phone (just a landline) but utilities/phone/internet/cable run $6K a year. I consider it out of control but live in an older 2600 SF home that is not energy efficient. My plan is to downsize in a couple of years after I retire and get a smaller, more energy efficient home. I haven't looked in detail at the cable alternatives but get the impression that most of the shows that I like to watch are not yet available. Visiting family who only have Netflix has been painful.
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Old 02-04-2014, 04:40 PM   #40
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Without the benefit of having expense numbers with me, I have four kids, so . . . yeah
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