Author Topic: Evaluating expenses....checking lifestyle inflation  (Read 2754 times)

Giro

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Evaluating expenses....checking lifestyle inflation
« on: April 29, 2016, 07:04:41 AM »
We have two years from November before we FIRE.  My husband and I are doing a combined budget and I'm trying to get an idea of which expenses are a little too high and maybe try to cut back on some things to see where we need to be for FIRE.  We've been spitting expenses for a few years so I didn't realize how much he was spending on insurance and groceries.

Looking for objective eyes for comparison and maybe some ideas to cut back. 
This is monthly.  At first glance, 3236 monthly seems fairly reasonable for a family of 3. 

Thanks everyone.

Cell phone - 185 (included 3 lines)
electricity - 90
natural gas - 50
water, sewer - 40 (lowest price)
waste removal - 15
property taxes - 300
auto fuel - 200
groceries - 800
restaurants - 150
pet - 30
health club - 61
Netflix - 10
cable, internet, phone - 195
insurance, 5 autos, 3 homes, 2 motorcycles - 550
private k-8 tuition - 350  (this goes away in 4 years) 
home maint - 100
car maint - 40
clothing - 60
HBA - 10

total monthly - 3236
total annual - 38832


meg_shannon

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Re: Evaluating expenses....checking lifestyle inflation
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2016, 07:13:40 AM »
How old is your kid? Based on your expenses I would guess a teen, but based on the school tuition line, fourth grade?

Cell phone - 185 (included 3 lines) (High! Can you switch to a prepaid plan, limit data, Republic, etc.)
electricity - 90
natural gas - 50
water, sewer - 40 (lowest price)
waste removal - 15
property taxes - 300
auto fuel - 200
groceries - 800 (This depends on how old the kid, and how much he/she eats. We spend 450$/month in NJ with a voracious six year old and hosting a few dinners per month for friends)
restaurants - 150
pet - 30
health club - 61
Netflix - 10
cable, internet, phone - 195 (Between your cells and this, you're spending almost 400$/month! Can you cut the cable cord, and why do you have a home phone?)
insurance, 5 autos, 3 homes, 2 motorcycles - 550 (That's A LOT of vehicles, I'm guessing there's a serious hobby, or two)
private k-8 tuition - 350  (this goes away in 4 years) 
home maint - 100
car maint - 40
clothing - 60
HBA - 10

If you're two years away from FIRE, and this how you've chosen to spend your money great. But you've got almost 400$/month for entertainment, internet, phones.

prognastat

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Re: Evaluating expenses....checking lifestyle inflation
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2016, 07:18:54 AM »
It seems like a pretty healthy budget, but there are definitely things that could be trimmed up some.

Cellphone is kind of high even for 3 lines.

You can get pretty large data pool with unlimited minutes and SMS for probably under 120 for 3 lines and even that would be considered high here.
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/communications-tech-son-of-the-superguide!/

Groceries seems slightly on the high end, 600 should be pretty doable.
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/03/29/killing-your-1000-grocery-bill/

The cable, internet and phone seem slightly high. I would check if you can get it any cheaper and if you still need phone with 3 cellphones. Another option is cutting the cord and instead using services such as netflix and hulu.

You'll probably get flack for the 5 cars for a family of 3 here.

Other than that I don't see much else to trim.

Giro

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Re: Evaluating expenses....checking lifestyle inflation
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2016, 07:47:49 AM »
The daughter is 10 and in 4th grade. 

I'm going to check on cell service.  My husband and I LOVE our cell phones so this might be a touchy subject, but if I do my homework and find a good alternative, that would be fantastic.  I cover 1 other family member's cell phone but she's super easy and will go with whatever.

I need to just cancel the home phone.  We don't even answer it.  The only time it rings is for marketing/political phone calls.  ugh.  waste!!


Giro

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Re: Evaluating expenses....checking lifestyle inflation
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2016, 07:50:35 AM »
Also, two of the cars drop off of our insurance in a few years.  We are still covering the insurance for my older twins who are on their own now and graduate college this year.  I will cover them for another year or so and then the insurance should be much more reasonable.

abhe8

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Re: Evaluating expenses....checking lifestyle inflation
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2016, 07:53:41 AM »
You have three homes?

prognastat

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Re: Evaluating expenses....checking lifestyle inflation
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2016, 07:57:14 AM »
If you cut down on cellphones, groceries, cable/internet/phone, and the 2 cars drop off insurance next year that could make your monthly expenses about 400 lower probably. That would mean almost $5000 less per year. And 5000 * 25 = $125000 which is the amount of difference needed for fire at 4% withdrawal.

Giro

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Re: Evaluating expenses....checking lifestyle inflation
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2016, 08:34:57 AM »
If you cut down on cellphones, groceries, cable/internet/phone, and the 2 cars drop off insurance next year that could make your monthly expenses about 400 lower probably. That would mean almost $5000 less per year. And 5000 * 25 = $125000 which is the amount of difference needed for fire at 4% withdrawal.

I think 400 is optimistic.  The insurance should go down at least $100-150.  The groceries are pretty bare bones, I think.  Idk how people spend less.  We are pretty healthy and cook nearly every meal and we aren't talking steak and lobster either.  I will collect receipts for awhile.  My husband does the grocery shopping so I'll start monitoring this expense.  I forgot my new lawn service that is $140 a month.  UGH.  I'll drop the landline for sure but I bet it's only 20-30 bucks. 

You have three homes?
main home + two rentals