Friday, January 11, 2013

Holy Cow, Owning a Home Is Expensive!

I'm suddenly having a waive of regret for my lavish spending in my single days (I'm being slightly sarcastic as I don't think I was that lavish).  But then again, there are things I could have been more frugal about.  There was one roommate I had who was so good with her money, within a year of working, she had enough to pay all cash for a car!  I always laughed at how careful she was being, but now I'm jealous.  All those dollars wasted on clothing not even in style anymore, purses that don't get used, and shoes that just sit in the closet.  All those toiletries, facial products, and make-up that was thrown away when I decluttered before our last move or still sit in my drawers somewhere for the hopes of one day using them.  The little things that really do add up.  *sigh.  I seriously can't believe how much owning a home is going to be!  I thought we had done quite well with our savings, but now not only is the down payment going to take a huge chunk, but all the work we must do before we can move in (and it's not much compared to some of the homes we were looking at) is going to cost us an arm and a leg!

First, we have the down payment.
Then, there is the home inspection.
Next, there is home insurance.
Oh, and don't forget we have to do some contract work to add a washer and dryer line which is currently estimated at around $12K!
And of course, there is the cost of the appliances (fridge, washer, and dryer)
Last, we will need some curtains or blinds, something to cover our windows that are all without cover.


This is before any deco on our part, any DIY furniture additions, frames, cute welcome to our home but please take off your shoes signs, any wreaths, any closet lining, etc. And we had hoped to upgrade to a King bed but that may have to wait a few years.  

It's going to be a very interesting budgeting year.  I am playing around with our budget to see where we can scrimp and save, but it's not looking good.  Maybe we need to stop dining out once a week or budget our weekly outings at $15 or less for all three of us.  Every last bit seems to count now.  We are saving a bit from a week of vacation to LA that has been cancelled since I will be too far along with baby #2.  Anyone have tips on how to save money?

Onward we go!

Update: I took a hard look through our budget and actuals from prior year, and like any real finance person evaluating a budget and where to cut costs... we've made some decisions on where to cut down on the luxuries of our lives.

We are getting rid of our gym membership (and the free childcare and pool access that comes with it) because frankly, we never got out there as much as we wanted and I have become reacquainted with P90x and Bar Method DVDs, we are cutting our eating out budget to $45 a month which is about once a month or twice if we eat on the cheap and with coupons, our grocery budget to $300 (that one is going to be hard for me!), and our hobbies are down to $40 a month.  Those are the costs we can control the most, as for baby and household which is budgeted at $50 and $40 per month, that might be a bit hard to control or space out when there are good Costco diaper sales or we're out of toilet paper, but we'll have to make do and hope the other cuts we made are good enough.  It's tough living on a budget, but I hope it's worth it.

I've mentioned in the past that we try to live by the 10-20-70 rule, tithe 10%, save 20% and spend 70% and we actually have been pretty spot on, but the challenge will be keeping that up with the house purchase.  *big gulp... Hopefully our tax return will be good to us again.  Fingers crossed!


Deidra Smith said...

You can totally do the grocery one. I've spent about $100/person on my family for years (less a few years ago before everything started climbing.) I just make a meal plan every pay period with a list of everything I don't already have in the house to make that meal plan work. That list HAS to come in at the right amount. If it doesn't I go back to the planning stage and have a few more cheap meals. A lady in my ward teaches budget meals and using food stroage. A lot of her stuff is good, but some of it not my favorite. Anyway, her recipes are great for stretching my budget. I know you like Aisan food a lot so I don't know if you would care for them. But she has one for mexi-lentils and rice. We use it as a substitute for taco meat. One pound of ground hamburger for taco meat will cost 3-4 dollars usually. One recipe amount of the lentils is about $.75-$1.00. My family mixes the hamubrger together with the lentils to make it go further. And they like it better. My sisters family uses it without the hamburger meat and love it. I know it is just a little thing. But, we've found a few tricks like that for stretching the budget. Good luck you can do it!

Deidra Smith said...

oh, and by-the-way, I just use dried minced onions in this recipe (they are $.50 a bottle at walmart in the spice section.) They are easy, on hand, and cheap. I use about 1/4 cup of those in the recipe instead of what it calls for. If you mix it with hamburger, you would still add a little taco seasoning. If you use it on its own you'll just have to decide if it is flavorful enough or if you want more salt or a little taco seasoning. ( i have a big tub of taco seasoning so that it is always around too.) We eat a lot of mexican food!

Larry Williams said...

You need to keep your eyes out for sale or subsidized CFL light bulbs. While you can pay $3 to $6 for them, I have never paid more than $0.25 to $0.67 for them. They make a noticeable difference in the electric bill. Also, sweaters are cheaper than heaters if you can manage it with the kids. Ask everyone you know about home improvement people and you can always save big money on any hired help. Ask the folks at Home Depot as well, they may have some ideas to cut the price of a job. Look for appliances at the scratch and dent store and don't insist that your washer and dryer match. That will save you hundreds. We have had homes for 25 years without matching washers and dryers and not one visitor has ever complained (or even noticed). As far as cars are concerned, the lighter the car the better the mileage, however the biggest cost factor on transporation is the purchase price of the car. Public transporation costs you between 25% and 33% of the cost of driving you own car. Winco grocery store bulk granola is the best deal around. Then the last big money saving idea: Don't read the ads and stay out of the stores. This is probably the number one idea for saving money. The pioneers got by without it and they didn't even have an undergrad degree from Claremont. Just a thought.