On average since Jan 2, 2019 our budget has floated from $8794 to as low as $5062. I've tracked the changes which sometimes incurred every month and the reasons why it changed. The average is $6,690.
SO with our health insurance changes, higher co pays and 1/3rd increase of out of pocket. (OUCH). AND doing worse scenario for Daughter 4 not working (her doctor doesn't know if she can handle doing Door Dash while in treatment) due to cancer and keeping her in her own home. I just added her $18000 (not counting medical costs) into our budget. She needs $1500 a month to run her home. AND I am paying extra each month on the mortgage.
We come in at $5500 for us and her $1500 is $7000. Hubby asked how that could me when it's only $310 more than what the budget averaged with increased insurance and daughter.
What did I change?
Insulated curtains on windows. Keeps the propane down and the electric as the furnace is not kicking on all the time. Opening up house in morning to cool house down and closing curtains when the heat of the summer day comes in. Opening curtains in the winter to help keep lights off and warmth brought in. Covering the crawl space vents at the heater ductwork. Same thing.
Turning down the heat when furnace is on, turning OFF the AC when we leave when it's on. Right now I turn the furnace off when the mornings are no cooler than 55 and I have the furnace set at 70 (68 in the dining room where the thermostat is is 63 in the front room and too cold for Hubby even with long sleeve flannel shirt over his tee shirt.)
Turning off FANS when not in room.
Not using the dryer except to defur dogs beds. I have started hanging out the pillows and blankets to air them out instead of fluffing in the dryer. They actually smell better that way.
Using an oil lamp for mornings at the dining table and a candle at supper... Not for romance though he thought it was.
Using LED through out the house, using LED for night lights so we are not turning on bigger or more lights. I turn off coffee pots. Unplug computers. Unplug phone chargers You would be surprised what vampire electric appliances cost you.
Keeping frigs and freezers full (they run less).
I changed where I get my BP meds because I can't take blue dye. I am now paying $5 for 90 instead of $25 for 30.
Our prescription meds goes up next year and might costs us more than Good RX will. I just have keep track of what and where I get our meds to see if I can get this amount down.
The electric bill hit over $200 last year for 5 months. It only hit $166 once this year the rest of the time it was $140 or lower. This month was $105... $45 lower than last year.
I conserve water from showers etc. to water the dogs and plants so the softener isn't using as much salt. We have dropped 4 bags a year in usage (our salt is based on water used). That saved us $32. PLUS we just have them bring 8 bags and what ever doesn't fit we add later saving 1 service call of $50/yr.
We have rerouted the field tile to go to the pond except one that goes to the county. We will be having some more spouting put on the barn to tie into the pond field tile so we won't need to be running the water pump to put water in the pond to keep the fish alive. That should be happening in the next week or so. Amish is doing it when they get out of the field.
He got the internet/house phone dropped down from $125 to $85.
Our house insurance and car insurance dropped down and then the umbrella insurance got cut in half.
I started pricing dogs items and cut the price by 1/4th. Vet wants them to have dental treats as they fight if you try to brush their teeth. Instead of cutting them in 3rd I cut them in 4ths so I have and extra 10 days of the dental. Vet okayed that change. We changed vitamins for them that include the things that Wilbur and Rascal needs and it's okay if Charlotte has it also so I don't have two to three different pills to shove at them. They all hate taking pills but okay with chewable. They think it's a treat.
I cut back on buying chips, Fritos, tortilla chips, chip dip, trail mix completely(he now makes his own) and granola bars. I cut back on candy bars (both of us). I buy these items at the dent store along with cold cereal there also. Though this time Dollar General brand cereal was actually cheaper. I will go back to making yogurt.
I cook from scratch... that takes my time and has at times been an issue, but to stay healthy (so I am not spending so much out of pocket ) I need to cook from scratch.
I buy bulk when it's cheaper, break it down and store it.
I change the non food as the cleaning rags are right with the paper towels. I use Bounty select a size and still will tear them into 4ths when using them if that is all I need for a smashed stink bug, or in half for grease. I use less than needed with cleaners. I always price out furnace and frig filters before buying and I buy for the year if I can get them cheaper.
I grew a lot of my herbs/mint teas this year cutting that out of the budget. Last fall I spent over $250. On herbs and teas. I didn't need to buy any this fall.
I cut the grocery budget by $400 a month... first I went back to only going every 2 wks instead of every week. Second I started back into making a lot of my own mixes. Third I change where I bought what I didn't grow and save a lot of money on produce that is organic.
The garden budget has been cut in half. I have saved several of my own seeds and found Amish that are growing some of the produce that will save me money also as they are willing to barter.
Since I am not running around much and not going to Son 2 's to take care of his cats as he's not going either for work. My maintenance and fuel has dropped by 3/4ths. It also dropped my car ins.
Daughter 4 is looking over her budget again with her 3 children to see if there is any where for her to cut also.
Paying off the house early is going to make the difference of living only on SS or needing the IRAS to help pay the bills.
Do you set a budget for your finances?