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Old 02-13-2011, 08:37 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by WhoDaresWins View Post
I am saving money in one area. I like the occasional glass of dry red wine and have discovered some pretty good box wines. I previously turned up my nose at this but sampled some at a friend's holiday party and have since purchased two boxes.
What box wine did you like?
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Old 02-13-2011, 08:48 AM   #42
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What box wine did you like?
I really enjoyed a Spanish red wine called "Seven". It was my first purchase and I will buy it again. I currently have Bota Box Old Vine Zinfandel (California 2009) as it was on sale for $3.00 off and it is very good also. They stay nice and fresh in the fridge for weeks. I will put some into the wine glass and let it stand for about 20 minutes to take the chill off.
My doctor says a glass of red wine is good for me (resveratrol you know)
I cook a lot with wine and it is nice to have a ready source to pour a little in a glass and use it to deglaze a pan.
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Old 02-13-2011, 09:56 AM   #43
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Where does the money go?

Marshmallows and beer.
I have a story about marshmallows and dark rum. When camping in the near north (Elliot Lake) a friend and I were cooking our liver bacon and onions over an open fire and one of us decided it was time for a rum and coke. Being young this led to several more. After a while we started roasting marshmallows. Then I set one on fire and extinguished the flame in a glass of rum and ate it still warm and steaming. (somehow there was no more coke) I thought this was good. My friend tried it. They liked it. We ate a large bag of marshmallows this way. There is a LOT of sugar in marshmallows. Soon there was no more rum and it was getting to be early morning. After awhile it was near noon the next day and I was in the tent. After I crawled out I found my friend was under the picnic table. I always say I got my first hangover from marshmallows.

Expenditures Pets, eating out, entertainment, charities, property maintenance and some toys.
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Old 02-13-2011, 10:22 AM   #44
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Old 02-13-2011, 10:23 AM   #45
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My money goes to a woman named JJill in return she sends me the perfect clothes .
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Old 02-13-2011, 10:45 AM   #46
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We spend $100/month for satellite TV and $72/month on land line telephone+internet. Seems high to me.

Phone, cable and internet in Phoenix is running me something like $172 or a little more I think. I hate the expense, but feel I really can't cut anything out as I need a phone in case of emergency (I don't trust a cell that much), love cable and need the internet. Kinda like a forced choice for me. I just grit my teeth and pay the darn thing.
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Old 02-13-2011, 10:57 AM   #47
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We spend big time on all these items. Travel, cars, and art probably the biggest discretionary items. Spend all my dividends and pension. Retired over 4 years. Vacation properties about the only thing I could think of where we might want to spend more.
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Old 02-13-2011, 12:13 PM   #48
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What box wine did you like?
We've tried several, Bota Box is the best we've found so far. We rarely drink whites, so I can only speak for the reds. FWIW...
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Old 02-13-2011, 12:19 PM   #49
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We spend $100/month for satellite TV and $72/month on land line telephone+internet. Seems high to me.
All these costs irk me somewhat (just old fashioned I guess), and we haven't found a package deal we liked. We pay
  • $53/mo for HD DishTV (down from $79/mo until 2 yr contract ended),
  • $50/mo Comcast hi-speed/cable internet, and
  • $48/mo AT&T cell phone (no land line).
And I hope to reduce internet expense by going with dry loop DSL one of these days. FWIW...
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Old 02-13-2011, 12:33 PM   #50
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I'm paying $25 for landline phone, and $63 for cable TV and cable internet. The total is low right now ($88), but I am only getting bare bones basic cable TV. That's about 60 channels and has been fine for the past decade.

I am thinking of cancelling my landline phone if I decide to get a Verizon iPhone. Instead of $25 for the phone, I'd be spending $30 for a data plan. That's almost a wash.

Also, with my new 58" superduper 3-D HDTV, I suppose I really should break down and pay for something more than basic cable.

So, it looks like I will be spending more in the future.
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Old 02-13-2011, 12:47 PM   #51
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My gal's a corker, she's a New Yorker
I buy her everything to keep her in style
She's got a pair of legs, just like two whiskey kegs
Hey boys, that's where my money goes-oes-oes

That's where my money goes, to buy my baby clothes
I buys her everything to keep her in style
She's worth her weight in gold, and mighty fun to hold
Hey boys, that's where my money goes

When we go walkin', she does the talkin'
And when my arm's round her, how time does fly
She does the teasin', I do the sqeezin'
Hey boys,...

She's got a pair of eyes, just like two custard pies
And when she looks at me, I sure get a thrill
She's got a pair of lips, just like potato chips
...

She's got a pair of legs, just like two whiskey kegs
And when they knock together, oh what a sound
She's got a pair of hips, just like two battle ships

She's got a bulbous nose, just like a big red rose
And when the lights go out, it really does shine
She wears silk underwear, I wear my last years pair
Hey boys that's where my money goes!
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Old 02-13-2011, 01:15 PM   #52
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Yep, we probably need a "hobbies" category. And if one's hobby is either an airplane or a boat, one might not need to bother with any of the other categories.
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Old 02-13-2011, 01:27 PM   #53
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Mr. Amethyst gnaws his way through a $5.00 bag of baby carrots every week. That amounts to 5.5% of our yearly grocery expenditure (groceries = food + everything else one normally buys at the grocery store). It's an even higher percentage of our food expenditure!

I think I'll start calling him the Eater Bunny

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Old 02-13-2011, 02:23 PM   #54
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Mr. Amethyst gnaws his way through a $5.00 bag of baby carrots every week. That amounts to 5.5% of our yearly grocery expenditure (groceries = food + everything else one normally buys at the grocery store). It's an even higher percentage of our food expenditure!

I think I'll start calling him the Eater Bunny

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Does Mr. Amethyst have carotenemia?

Carotenemia: eMedicine Dermatology

Or is he developing a bunny hop?
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Old 02-13-2011, 02:46 PM   #55
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I have a story about marshmallows and dark rum. When camping in the near north (Elliot Lake) a friend and I were cooking our liver bacon and onions over an open fire and one of us decided it was time for a rum and coke. Being young this led to several more. After a while we started roasting marshmallows. Then I set one on fire and extinguished the flame in a glass of rum and ate it still warm and steaming. (somehow there was no more coke) I thought this was good. My friend tried it. They liked it. We ate a large bag of marshmallows this way. There is a LOT of sugar in marshmallows. Soon there was no more rum and it was getting to be early morning. After awhile it was near noon the next day and I was in the tent. After I crawled out I found my friend was under the picnic table. I always say I got my first hangover from marshmallows.
Mmmm...I love your story about the intoxicated marshmallows...mmm, hmm.... However I had no idea there was such a thing as liver bacon.

.......
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Old 02-13-2011, 02:58 PM   #56
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Nope, but he can see in the dark!

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Does Mr. Amethyst have carotenemia?

Carotenemia: eMedicine Dermatology

Or is he developing a bunny hop?
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Old 02-13-2011, 03:20 PM   #57
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I'm paying $25 for landline phone, and $63 for cable TV and cable internet. The total is low right now ($88), but I am only getting bare bones basic cable TV. That's about 60 channels and has been fine for the past decade.

I am thinking of cancelling my landline phone if I decide to get a Verizon iPhone. Instead of $25 for the phone, I'd be spending $30 for a data plan. That's almost a wash.

Also, with my new 58" superduper 3-D HDTV, I suppose I really should break down and pay for something more than basic cable.

So, it looks like I will be spending more in the future.
We are sitting at $150/mo for Cable (includes HDTV and two DVR's), High speed internet, home phone (package deal for suckers).

Then, close to $200 for cell phones (5) for the whole family, it is an all inclusive plan that covers data, texting, all minutes we can use, etc.

I would like to bring these expenses down and I am going to start with having the older kids pay for their add-on cell phones.
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Old 02-13-2011, 03:27 PM   #58
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A lot of people spend money on high monthly expenses. That is, Cable TV with all the extras, NetFlix, Fancy cell phone service, (wasted) electricity, heating/cooling the house day and night, frequent housecleaner, etc.

Not saying those are all bad, but they can eat up a lot of dough.
100% agreement!

Throwing out some annual numbers...
$900 Cable/satellite (mid-range, not the high end plans)
$600 Cell phone (national average)
$960 House cleaning (and that's the low end of average estimates)
$780 Highest tier broadband based on national average
$1720 for 2 people eating out (best data I could find was a few years old unfortunately)
$1196 electricity (that's US average, not accounting for household size)
$500 water (national average)
$5748 car payment (based on Edmunds.com analysis of the average car payment)
$300 alarm system (assuming $25/month)
$480 assuming a $40/month bill

I couldn't find data on the national gas heating bill. But to sum up the expenditures total $13184 per year!

Personally, my family:
$299.40 satellite
$1140 Cell phone, that's 3 phones, 2 with data plans because need it for our businesses
$238.80 3Mbps broadband
$540 for our family of 4 people eating out (ie, its rare)
$1272 electricity, our rates are slightly more than national average, and we really try to conserve. Rate is also inflated because it has electric water heaters
$384 water
$179.4 wireless/wired alarm system through Simplisafe
$119.88 Netflix

Yearly total: $4173.48.
No house cleaning service, no car payments!

Each year we look for improvement and for 2011:
We shaved off another $2 per month by switching to Netflix's streaming only service. We're seriously considering dropping satellite and going with just Hulu, Netflix and online videos (Nickelodeon has many full episodes online for the kids and 99% of my TV is via Hulu, but the wife has to have Netflix!)
We spent some time going over spots in the house and added insulation and weather stripping.
We've put our laser printer on a timer (even in sleep mode it consumes some power), plus added timers to various things around the house.
The office section of the house, vents have been closed off and we use a space heater on a timer so its only heated during business hours. Already covered the cooling aspect of it with a window unit AC on a timer in the summer.
Went into overdrive mode with saving/couponing with groceries and cut our food spending in half.
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Old 02-13-2011, 03:54 PM   #59
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We've put our laser printer on a timer (even in sleep mode it consumes some power), plus added timers to various things around the house.
Dang, that's tight!. The new laser printers use 10-20 watts in sleep mode. That's about $9 per year (10 hours "off" per night, 15 watts, $.15 per kwh). And, in the winter, that electricity isn't wasted (heats the house). Plus, the timer itself takes a bit of electricity (probably .5 - 2.0 watts, depending on digital/mechanical). I guess every little bit does help. Good for you guys!
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Old 02-13-2011, 04:54 PM   #60
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Dang, that's tight!. The new laser printers use 10-20 watts in sleep mode. That's about $9 per year (10 hours "off" per night, 15 watts, $.15 per kwh). And, in the winter, that electricity isn't wasted (heats the house). Plus, the timer itself takes a bit of electricity (probably .5 - 2.0 watts, depending on digital/mechanical). I guess every little bit does help. Good for you guys!
I have a 6 year old Samsung CLP-510 color laser printer. I bought it years ago for the business when we were doing some heavy volume color printing. Its a monster, takes up about 2.5x2.5 feet of space, plus just as high. Imagine the Borg of printers, and this is it. It uses 30 watts in sleep mode.

We're actually saving a more there as well. A power strip is on the timer, with the laser printer, 5.1 speaker system, 2 external hard drives and 26in monitor all connected using roughly 57 watts total. Not a huge savings still but....

Space heater and AC used in that office are on another timer and the savings there can get quite large. We put several other items in the house on timers. We purchased 6 dual outlet timers 6 bucks each. Haven't added up all the savings yet, but it should come to a couple hundred if we set up everything correctly.

I guess you can call me hard core. I retired around 40, and we're looking to cut back where we can without making huge impacts on lifestyle, so that we save up to do a lot of travel after the kids grow up (we do take vacations now, but it'll be far more often after they are gone). We've always been savers, but retirement and the past 3 years looking at the financial world convinced us to tighten the belts more to increase my chances of never going back to work!
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