Medicated Money

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Bills, Bills, Bills

Joanne: "Well, what are you going to do about money and bills and... "
Peter: "You know, I've never really liked paying bills. I don't think I'm gonna do that, either." -From Office Space

In continuing with our current theme of debt reduction, we wanted to talk a little about everyday bills. We all hate them, or at least, we do! Unfortunately, if we all took the attitude of the quote above, we would not be here talking about this. So, we decided to sit down, and look where money we earmark as 'Living Expenses' really goes. For us, we calculated that $3,500 a month goes to this category. The breakdown of that is the following:
  1. Rent - 45%
  2. Groceries - 25%
  3. Dining Out - 7%
  4. Auto - 5%
  5. Entertainment - 3%
  6. Utilities
    1. Cable, Broadband, & Telephone - 4%
    2. Electric & Gas - 8%
    3. Cell Phones - 3%
    4. Water - 1%
Our biggest expense is our rent. Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about this. However, on every other category, the amount spent is adjustable. Due to this fact, we have decided to pursue options to lower these categories. The goal is to lower each by 1/5 or 20%. This may be easy to do on some because they are based on consumption. For others, this many be extremely difficult due to our needs and wants. We feel that we do not want to completely turn everything off just to save a buck! The goal is to find acceptable and innovating ways to change.

We discovered an interesting website that discusses this issue. We have decided to try many of the suggestions as well as some ideas of our own. We will continue to post our results, and our monthly expensive to better see our progress.

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