Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Crazy, Crazy, Crazy

I stayed up late working out exactly how much money we spent last year. And let me tell you that figure kept me up ALL night! Amazingly we had just as much money come through our hands on its way from either Mr F's employers or our savings.... and the fact that that much money passed us by while barely leaving a mark (minus our house, our food, our new heating & cooling system, and of course our health) is nauseating.

I have to say I am incredibly overwhelmed with my newfound financial knowledge. I don't even know if I'm up to writing about it. Seriously overwhelmed. While I try to compose myself head on over to read Smoochiefrog's Money Monday post from yesterday.

I'm going to start with these little Furious Financial tidbits:
$4711.06 - Target (paper goods, prescriptions, clothing, gifts)
$2910.23 - Gas/Electric
$24,709.80 - Mortgage/Property Taxes (this includes a monthly overpayment)
$986.16 - Comcast telephone/highspeed internet
$676.68 - T-Mobile (we hardly even use our cells)
$7367.80 - New Furnace & Air conditioner
$3070.00 - preschool
$684.00 - extra curricular classes
$451.25 - plumbing repair
$755.64 - DirecTV
$439.15 - water bill
$285.00- life insurance for Mr F
$1728.72 - gas (for cars)
$6909.73 - groceries

This is kind of becoming fun in a weird nerdy kind of way...


Deb said...

I find our year-end credit card statement to be both enlightening and perplexing at the same time. How did we spent thousands of dollars with Amazon.com? This year's statement was no different.

Marie said...

Never, EVER total up the Target reciepts...are you MAD???????? Colleges could be funded, houses paid off if it wasn't for the allure of the Target...

Mrs. Furious said...

sadly I actually have a Target card so that one was easy.

year end statement?! I wish ours did that it would make this process a lot easier. Month to month we are fine... but looking at a years worth of something is mind blowing!

Deb said...

Yeah... I know. We only have one credit card, and it's a Visa, so that's why I know where every dime of our money goes at the end of the year. I cannot seem to make my husband understand that putting Taco Bell on his credit card is not a wise thing to do.

I am flabbergasted by how much crap we buy. I'm on the verge of banning shopping for a year. Except, of course, that would mean I couldn't shop.

moi.bloggirl said...

Mrs-Furious - How did you calculate expenses over the entire year? I would love to be able to do that..


Mrs. Furious said...

"Except, of course, that would mean I couldn't shop."
I'm right there with you ;)

well it is tedious... but I'm going through EVERY single bill. We use almost no cash and charge everything so I can account for virtually every penny. So far I just have the bill totals and now I'm going to work on breaking down the credit cards to see how much went to travel, food, going out to eat, hardware stores, etc... that will probably take me awhile but I can't really figure out where to cut back if I don't know where we're spending it.
Yes looking at it all in the "year total" amount is SHOCKING!!!

Mrs. Furious said...

I'm not sure if that was clear. Basically I have all the cable bills,mortgage, electric, preschool, etc stuff out for getting our taxes ready and I just literally added them all up. Then I have the credit cards (groceries, clothes, gas, gifts, travel, virtually everything) and I have those all added up. I got the rest from our bank statements (things I wrote checks for: house repairs, medical) and added those in. The result is our yearly spending and it is a lot...

Smoochiefrog said...

Thanks for the link!

Me thinks someone might want to put themselves on a Target restriction for a bit. That's a lot of bucks in one store.

The good news is that you should have almost 8K available this year. Can you consolidate the Direct TV to Comcast digital? That might save a little overall.

Why don't you have life insurance? You need it too! Mr. Smoochiefrog has is through the military, and I have my own. That $40 a month is a great piece of mind in the case something happens to me.

Mrs. Furious said...

Funny enough the Target bill seemed pretty reasonable compared to our total spending... considering that is the only store I shop at for all our clothes, toiletries, paper goods, prescriptions, gifts, and some groceries, etc. Outside of the grocery store it is the only store I shop at (sad but true). But since I don't need any clothes until summer I think I can try to only go for our medications (sadly that is close to 100/month alone!) and paper goods, etc I think $150/month is a doable and realistic minimum on non-clothing months. So you read it hear first I am NOT buying any clothes until June since let's face it ... it is actually still winter here until then ;) Unfortunately the Target card doesn't break down my spending and I don't have all the receipts because I would like to see how we spent our $ there. I'm going to start tracking that this year. Obviously YES I always buy some impulse things there... but I'm not sure how much that really is for the year.

The cable/DirecTV is actually the same if you switch it over... we get the savings for the phone/internet combo but the cable is awash. I actually think Angie said they pay a little more having all three with Comcast. I do think that we are going to give up the DirecTV over the summer months and then restart in the fall if we want it back. Also I'm looking into a Go phone... I need a cell phone for safety issues but I don't actually use it.

Life insurance. Yes I need it and Mr F has to up his policy. I was pregs when we got his policy and it skewed my weight and raised my rates so we were waiting.

8K?! You mean with the furnace? Unfortunately we have to paint the exterior of the house this year = 7-8K. Having an old house there is always something.

The bad news? Mr F makes 2/3 his income from his freelance business... and this year he's probably going to make 20K less. And last year we took out of our savings and we do not want to have to do that this year. But I think we can do it if we're diligent about where we spend. And probably NOT going to Disney... and thankfully no longer paying for preschool (only $660 left for the year!)

josey said...

my hubby is mr budget extraordinaire. LOL. so he's always trying to figure out ways for us to spend less.

one way we cut back on spending this last year was with our cells--we dont use them much either. we were paying about $1200/year for the convenience...which made no sense because we get FREE long distance on our land line (tho just to have the stupid phone line and service is close to $50/month!) and why do i need to talk to ppl on my cell when i can do it from home?

anyway...we switched to Cingular's GoPhone (i think that's what its called...oh wait, i see you just posted a new comment talking about it. haha!) and its pay per minute. i think mine's .25/min. you know how much i've spent in the last 8 months? only $60!!! better than $400!! so go figure.

we also cut back our cable package. that added up to probably a couple hundred bucks a year. i still have tivo tho. hehe.

we also broke down and put that funky plastic on the outside of our windows for the winter (im in WI). for spending $20, we have saved about $50/month on heating. not tons, but still every little bit adds up!

so anyhoo, take heart! im sure you can make improvements and save money without having to sacrifice too much. you'd be surprised at how much you can do without! =)

man im so glad the closest target is NOT close to my house. LOL...

katieo said...

Just let it give you hope.
I read the Hunt book and wish I had read it years ago.

But even seeing where we are now compared to this time last year, and I gotta just be grateful I put the brakes on when I did. (by brakes, I just mean really starting to responsibly manage our money.)

The other thing I like about her approach, is all she does (really) is help you to see where your money is going. And then plan accordingly. So you can look objectively at a Target trip and thing, "ok, I'd really rather have that money in X, Y, or Z"

Just know our numbers are different but when I actually saw where our money was going I had the same reaction. This is just the beginning, you'll be so glad you started now. (especially if Mr F, is going to be making any less this next year)

Again, good luck this weekend with everything you have going on. Keep it simple!

Heather said...

But Target also included prescriptions, yes?

Mrs. Furious said...

I gotta make dinner but real quick...

Yes we do the plastic on the windows (and for any other Northerners out there) it really does save quite a bit!!!

as kind of exhausting/overwhelming this part of the process is... I do feel closer to feeling "in control". And once I can break down all the credit cards into gas, food, entertainment, clothing (as much as I can w/o the Target exacts) then I'll be able to actually start a budget.

Oh yes Target includes the prescriptions... so not that bad really (right?)

Heather said...

Not so bad at all. I've put off finding out how much I spent at Kaiser every year on doc appts and prescriptions. I really, really should find out...

Mrs. Furious said...

Oh I'm happy to get a positive recommendation on the Go Phone. I'm totally going to switch over to that!

Julie said...

Arggh...I just wrote out a long comment on Quicken and its wonders.

Anyway, Quicken and Microsoft Money are great for seeing where your money is going...monthly, yearly, whatever.

I am sick with a fever...waaah.

Julie said...

I meant I wrote out a comment and it disappeared.

Nutmeg said...

I did this a couple of years ago when we were digging ourselves into a debt hole and I was trying to figure out where.

Besides cable internet and tv we were seriously spending hardly any money on anything we didn't really need and I totally couldn't remove anything that was going to put more than a tiny dent in our costs. And both of us use broadband internet every day for accessing articles online which would take FOREVER without so that wasn't really optional. Turns out we just didn't make enough money to own a house! HAHA, really funny right? Of course that only lasted for two years and we knew it wasn't a long term situation, but YIKES! that was an eye opener!

I should probably do this now. Getting the statement from the daycare about our year's tuition was sort a WHOA NELLY scenario.

And our water/sewer bill is EXORBITANT compared to yours. It almost makes me angry! I guess that's what you get when you live in a 230 year old town that has no tax ratables in it.

angie said...

Yes, the comcast 3 = 400 more than what Mrs F is current spending on cable + direct tv. For the record, we pay for DVR (about $10/month), but Mrs F has tivo. We also have a digital cable, which is more expensive.

Erin said...

Mrs. F, just thought I might point out a program I'm heard many good things about, it is pretty neat though I have yet to try it myself. It's supposed to be better than Quicken though I can't vouch for that. It's called Mvelopes, I meant to put a link here but didn't see a clear cut way to do so. Anyway, good luck with everything-from reading your other posts on other topics I am sure you will kick *ss and take names.

josey said...

hey mrs f--yep the go phone is a great bargain. the sucky thing is you dont have a great selection of phones--but hey, if you dont use it much, who cares as long as it works! :)

also, we use quicken home and business (we have home-based businesses so its used for multiple things). in fact, hubby just got the 2008 version off ebay for only $35! anyhoo, all our normal purchases are put on a credit card which we pay off every month, but hubby checks the online statement every few days and enters all our stuff in quicken. we have a budget set up so its really easy to see how much we are spending as the month progresses. its helped us TONS! because of sticking with a budget for the last few years, we will be out of credit card debt by the end of this summer :D *APPLAUSE* hehe.

then we'll only have a car payment and *uhhem* my student loans. um yeah, from a decade ago. LOL...but hey, progress is progress ;)

Smoochiefrog said...

Yeah, the 8K from the furnace. Can you do the painting yourselves to save money that way?

I didn't think about the prescriptions at Target. Gotcha. I hit them too for toilet paper, paper towels, diapers & wipes, toothpaste and guinea pig fluff. I buy the big packages of TP and PT so they last longer. Even with 3 bathrooms, an 18 pack of TP will last about 2-3 months. I budget about $90 a month for all that stuff. Sometimes we use it all, sometimes we don't. Clothes are hit and miss. It depends where and when I can get the good prices. We do $50 a month for that. That tends to roll over month to month.

Our cable/internet/phone is through Comcast and we pay $120 a month. I thought prices were the same nationwide. Guess I was way wrong huh?

I always forget that prices tend to fluctuate based on area. Plus we get those great military only prices at the BX and Commissary, so I tend to lose sight of what "real" prices are. For example, I pay $2.15 for a gallon of milk. *Ducks flying tomatoes*

Mrs. Furious said...

I think I've listed before that milk is 5.99 (not organic)
Paint the house ourselves.... HA! That would take Mr F (ADD crippled) about 5 years to complete ;) And TRUST me when he does stuff around the house it inevitably costs as much if not more than we hire it out.

progress is progess! Good work.
I already have an old sucky phone... I'm switching!

hey thanks for commenting! :)
I'll google it.
"I am sure you will kick *ss and take names."
That's pretty much what my therapist said... in slightly different language ;)

sick with fever! :(
I'm like a strung out freak when I am even remotely feverish... for real... it is kind of scary.

well NJ's not known for their cheap cost of living ;)

Want to know what is really interesting:
on the months we spend more on groceries we also spend more on going out to eat! What the hell is up with that?
Also since Baby started eating in July our grocery bill has gone up at least 200 a month... that little piggie! She's eating us out of house and home with all those little organic cookies!

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