Here’s our Budget Busters:
1. Gasoline. I’d have the say the number one budget buster for us is gasoline. My job is 48 miles away from our home, and so far all of Mr. A’s jobs for his business are 60-90 miles away from our home. The only thing I can say about Mr. A’s business is at least he can deduct for those miles. You would cry if I told you what we spent total on gasoline for our personal use and Mr. A’s business in the month of April. Get out your tissues… ready? SIXTEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS. I nearly fainted when the report spit out of Quicken, and then I was in a funk for the rest of the night.
2. Satellite Internet. The first four and a half years we lived out here in the country, we dealt with dial up. During those years, the only option for satellite Internet wanted $600 down and $60 per month. When my current ISP started sending out postcards with offers for $100 to start and $50 per month, we went for it. But recently our youngest son began learning to play the guitar, so he’s taking some online lessons, using a lot more bandwidth which means we had to upgrade to the next level. Our son is paying for the additional $20 per month though!
3. Groceries. I still think we could spend a lot less money on groceries if Mr. A or I had more time to plan menus and shop the sales. We’re hoping to rectify this soon.
4. Air conditioning. We live in the Arizona desert and there is no way we can go without it for most of the year. That means our electricity bill is incredibly high. We looked into using an evaporative cooler but it uses water and since we haul our own water we’d have to make about 16 extra trips to the community well each month. It would be cheaper to run it for those couple of months, but then there’s the gas and the time it takes for each load of water (30 minutes minimum per round trip). I recently ordered a programmable thermostat. I am hoping to see our electricity bill shrink in size.
5. Impulse shopping for food when I’m hungry. I leave for work at 5am and arrive home around 4pm. If I don’t bring 2-3 snacks and lunch with me, I don’t have much choice but to hit a fast food joint or convenience store which I really hate to do. When I got gas on the way home a couple of days ago I was very hungry, so I bought a bottle of V8 and a 3 ounce package of cashews. The V8 was $1.59! The cashews were $1.99. It would cost much less to buy cans of V8 by the six pack from the store, or bring an apple, or a larger package of cashews and just bring a little baggie along with the serving size. So I really need to plan ahead to avoid busting our budget with these little expenditures.
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