Posts Tagged ‘spending’

Did I mention We Are Debt Free?

December 10th, 2010 No comments

Dave RamseyWe are, and have been since the end of September.  I’ve been slacking posting here.  And it is not completely debt free.  We still have a mortgage, and I’m waiting on about $700 worth of medical bills to arrive, but we have no other financed debt. I have to thank Dave Ramsey for this.  Even though we haven’t stuck to the plan as well as we should have, without his course we never would have known where to start.

So what have we been doing since we hit that point?  Spend, spend spend! I’m ashamed to say that we haven’t put much of the money we were putting towards debt towards saving.  I wouldn’t say we blew most of it, just didn’t sock it away.  I did manage to take my wife away for a weekend to a nice hotel, an intimate concert, dinner and shopping, and we did use some of it to open an ING checking account, which just gave us $50 for doing so.

But with the start of the new year will come the new austerity plan.  More to savings.  Save save save!  And I’ll change the debt odometer on the right to a save odometer. Right now the magic number is going to be $16,000.

What We Spend Compared to the National Average

January 23rd, 2009 1 comment

National Average 2007

MSN Money had an article yesterday on how to save $10,000 in 2009.  The article didn’t interest me much (the suggestions are either impractical for us, or we’ve already done them,) but the pie chart of the average spending by familes in 2007 caught my eye.  I decided to make my own pie chart for last years spending and to compare them:

What we earn

  • We fall more or less into the Average pretax income.
  • Our household size is 5, double the national average.
  • We own three cars, though only drive two currently.

What we spend on

Our spending for 2008

Our spending for 2008

  • Food at home surprised me:  I figured it would be almost double the average, but we spend almost three times the average!
  • Dining out: We were close to the national average, which I guess is ok with double the household members.
  • Housing: We are about 75% of the national average, but our housing prices are low in this area, and we bought a fixer upper.
  • Transportation: Our costs are about 25% more than the average, but I think I can explain that:  we bought two used cars this past year, and the skyrocketing fuel prices this past year (compared to 2007.)  I also commute 120 miles a day, but this is still cheaper than if we moved closer to my job.
  • Health:  We must be pretty healthy, because we don’t spend half the average.
  • Entertainment: I wasn’t sure what all to throw in here, so I used our actual entertainment spending (not quite $600) and things like satellite TV, which brought it up close to the average.
  • Insurance/Pensions:  we were about 50%, but we are not currently contributing to my 401K until we get out of debt, though a small amount goes into a pension fund for my wife.
  • Other: I sort of swagged this one and came up with an number about the average.  Their amounts don’t add up to the total income, and I really didn’t know what to add in here.

So I guess, on the average, we are average, with the exception of our food costs.  Some of it can be attributed to rising costs, but it still seems high.  I’m hoping we can cut back on this by growing more things in our garden this year, and dieting (so I can lose the twenty pounds I resolved in 2009.)  We already buy most of our groceries at Aldi, and don’t buy a lot of pre-packaged foods, so I’m wondering where else we can cut.

How does your spending stack up to the national average?

How to save $10,000 in 2009 – MSN Money.