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Rejiggering the Budget

November 2nd, 2014 at 06:37 am

**Before I forget. We went over our usual Ting data this month and planned for it with all the traveling we did and so on. BUT... Like the day before our Ting month ended dh realized we had only used like 1005 MB of data. He recalled that they had a 5% grace on each tier, so I think that means we could have gone over by 25MB (or up to 1,025MB) without paying for the higher tier. So I set my phone to airplane mode that day and we squeaked by!

Ting is so cool on things like that. VERY customer service focused. I had just assumed we were going over. WAY over. It would have cost us $5 if we did, so I Wasn't exactly sweating it.

**The projector came in a little under budget. Will see, but so far so good. IT was quick to set up and it looks phenomenal. (It's 3 times are bright as our old one but it still works in our dark room). IF we wanted brighter, it would have been even cheaper. I guess that is a lot of where the technology has been going.

{I do have one complaint. We've always been very "meh" on the decor of our home theater because you mostly enjoy it in the dark. This is no longer the case. The projector now lights up the room so much! That said, no plans to funnel any money into aesthetics.}

Dh also thinks he can sell the old projector for more than he initially thought. Will see on that too.

Dh thought that he may need a new tuner to enjoy and saw a good sale this week. So he looked into it a little further and decided that he is probably going to be just as happy with his temp fix, which was to buy a $15 cord. Phew!

**I've met my spending minimum for the $500 gift cards from SW Chase. Just waiting to be able to redeem those, so we can pick up a new PS4.

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Of major news, I am upping our grocery budget. The kids are eating us out of house and home! I knew this day would come, but the older child is 11 this year, and Good Grief!

{I've been told he eats more than a teen boy; I've been told this about both my kids for years. But I think it's official that BM has graduated to some new level of eating, and yes I do worry it will get worse when he is actually a teenager}.

Which means a full 20% bump to the grocery budget. I am moving it from $500 to $600 monthly. That is our people/cat/household goods/toiletries/whatever else grocery store budget.

It's past due and I will figure out the entire budget and logistics when I get my salary and health insurance figures for 2015. For now, I know I have some wiggle room in the budget for groceries. (This is one reason why we tend to save all our raises. Save them when they come so that we can dole them out when we actually need them).

I wish I had not mentioned to my dh because he has taken this very personally. We have *never* increased our food budget and he has probably felt for the past 12 years that it is his primary financial contribution to the house to keep the grocery costs down. & he has done a *phenomenal* job. So, in the end, I am upping the budget and dh may work on keeping it down. I don't think that's a bad thing, but I just don't want him beating himself up over the fact that his kids are growing. I think it was quite foreseeable and nothing we can do about that! Wink & of course, prices are rising too, but dh has always been able to outwit rising grocery prices. Which is also nice, but at some point you run out of room for improvement. I don't think we are so broke that it needs any more energy. I am sure we could re-strategize and scout out new stores, and maybe we will when the kids are older, but for now we have the income for this increase and I really don't care.

The reason I Decided to increase the budget so much was I feel like money has been tight the past few months and we have been regularly over-spending. Our "forever" budget has been $500 groceries and $300 gas. The gas budget is very high to allow for ever increasing gas prices. Plus, I used to drive home every day for lunch and just could not bring myself to do so when gas prices shot up. So, I set the gas budget really high but probably have been economizing gas in other ways. In the end, the gas budget has allowed for a little wiggle room in an otherwise very tight budget. We throw all our misc. purchases into that extra space.

I thought maybe I could lower the gas budget to offset the groceries, but we are at $600/month groceries and $200/month (Fairly consistently for 2014). So, no wonder I feel like we have been over-spending. I think $900/month for groceries/gas/misc will be fine. That will give us $100/month wiggle room for all the miscellaneous. Like, if we ever want to eat out or get a haircut or go out anywhere.

In other news, I still don't have my 2015 health insurance rates. ??? Really really late this year. I initially figured ignorance is bliss. I really just don't want to know. But now that our food spending and property taxes have gone up so substantially I am trying to rejigger the budget. Which is fairly useless if I don't know what our health insurance bill will be next month. So, I am thinking about it, but the specifics will have to wait. I guess I will figure a no-raise budget when I get my health insurance figures. Usually we can offset increasing costs with some other decreasing cost. & I think this is true next year. Our taxes have gone down substantially with the shift to funding our Traditional IRAs. I kind of wanted to keep that in my back pocket for dealing with our health insurance when I turn 40. (It's not going to be pretty). BUT... I do have the money for all the cost increases we are experiencing here and now. IT is what it is. Easy come, easy go.

2 Responses to “Rejiggering the Budget”

  1. LuckyRobin Says:

    I hope your DH doesn't take it too much to heart. When my son hit 13 he started eating twice as much as my husband. At dinner he eats what I would consider two full meals. In the last 14 months he has grown 7 inches and his shoulders have broadened considerably. He only 14 1/2 so I know there is more growing to come. Our grocery budget is $200 a month more than it was two years ago and if we weren't raising so much of our own food, I'm sure we'd have to bump it up again soon. I'd plan ahead and be prepared for your grocery budget to double when both your boys hit the teenage years.

  2. scfr Says:

    While I don't have actual numbers yet (I'll get those in a week) I'm planning on a 7% increase overall for medical/dental/vision insurance with the highest percentage for medical. I read that medical costs were forecasted to increase 6.8% in 2015 but I also know my employer is going to have to make some changes to come in line with the Affordable Care Act thus my expectation that my out of pocket for medical insurance will go up more than average.

    Food prices really have increased so you are doing the right thing by budgeting more.

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