I haven’t been hiding our expenses, but the truth isn’t we haven’t really been paying attention. Since we’ve gotten rid our debt except for the mortgage and established a fully funded emergency fund, we have earned the right not to budget. Pants in a Can and DD post their expenses and take flak for it, so I figured I am not above that type of scrutiny. I don’t want to be throwing money away when there are many other good causes and uses for that cash.
Let’s get right into it.
The Happy Rock’s expenses from 4/1/2008 to 4/1/2009:
Food – Wow!!! I knew we spend a lot of food, but $800 plus a month on food. If you do the per day calculations that is about $6.66 a day per person in the family. The Rockette is a Registered Dietitian, so healthy food isn’t something she is willing to skimp on. We buy mostly organic and as much raw fruits and veggies as possible. The Rockette cooks most meals at home and other than snacks like bars and pretzels meals are made from scratch. We also have two boys(ages 18 months and 3.5 years) who eat all the time and I mean all the time, so that part will only get worse. Part of the high costs were organic formula for the baby. The only bright lining I can find is that the amount is trending down and is now closer to $650-$700 in the last few months. I also know that when we were in debt we weren’t nearly as picky about the food we ate, our dollars were better spent on debt.
Auto Maintenance – High because our 2003 Nissan Murano problems and having to replace 4 tires on both cars.
Auto Insurance – Includes $150 for AAA
Home Expenses – All in all, I think we are doing pretty well. Total home costs of of under $1100 even with ridiculous NJ property taxes. $3300 a year for a 1000 sqft condo with no land is staggering! All our other bills are pretty reasonable since someone is at home 24/7.
Household Misc. – This is the Target runs, diapers, wipes and the like. It could be categorized better, but I don’t go through the receipts to break it out into special categories, so a lot of that spending would be broken up into things like clothing, decorations, etc. It is still a pretty sizable expense.
Child Care – This is for a single sitter who comes to our house and watches both boys 18 hours a week while The Rockette works. It is a sizable return on investment since The Rockette makes nice money as a consultant. The boys will be starting preschool in a few weeks which will cause this expenses to go up a little.
All the other costs are reasonable or very good for a vibrant family of 4 in my opinion in an above average cost of living area.
The only other note would be that the monthly and yearly spending is significantly below our income. We spend way less than we earn and always have which is why we were able to destroy $70,000 in debt , buy a house, adopt two children, put a decent chunk into retirement, and fully fund our emergency fund in the last 5 years or so.
So there you have it. Let me have it. Criticism, bashing, whatever, I am up for it.