Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Bracing ourselves for a new household budget
I'm bracing ourselves for the upcoming move but also how this will impact our new household budget. Officially, we will have 2 lodgers: DS # 1 and Gf, who were presented with a contract to sign that stipulates their financial and other contributions to the household, the clear expectations, etc. We all signed it, we each retained a copy. The new home is $500 more rent than I can comfortably afford, they are eash paying $250 in "lodger rent." If I had to, yes, I could pay it (one or both left), however, it would greatly impact my ability to meet my upcoming financial goals.
I've had several, frank discussions with the members of the soon to be blended household stressing that we need to be prudent, especially the first few months, until home costs start to level out. We will continue to live modestly. One of the clauses in the lodger contract, for instance, stipulates that laundry will be hung up to dry (clothes line/clothes racks in Sun room which I was told is warm even in Winter). Should they use the dryer for laundry (besides towels, which I would wash anyway), they are expected to pay $1/load for use of the dryer. I had previously calculated my savings rate at 90 cents/wash load if I hung the laundry to dry. Small measures, but they do add up.
I've taken a look at my household budget for this place, trying to earmark areas for potential increases/decreases once we move. I identified the following categories:
-lawn service decrease (a $5/week savings)
-monthly cleaning service ? (I get a quote on Fri)
-electric? (more people=more utility usage)
-cable/Internet decrease (since we're moving, I was able to take advantage of a moving promotion and our rates are decreasing for one year while the service package will go up a notch, back to the level we were at a year ago, before I dropped us down)
-oil-I fully anticipate a major deccrease even with 2 more people added to the family. Same size home (2600 sq feet) but well built, new energy efficient windows, a new energy efficient wood stove, zoned heat again, and I just learned: all new kitchen appliances! The new LL just posted on the town facebook webpage, all of the existing appliances, asking for an offer as she just remodeled. These are the exact appliances that were in the kitchen, so I am certain that they were just replaced. New stove/fridge/dishwasher/microwave over the stove. Awesome!
-gas costs will definately drop for the 3 young adults in the household-they will have a 5-8 minute commute to their jobs, and 2 ride share anyway (DS & GF have 1 car), I suspect my home-work commute may also be shorter, as we will be moving very close to the main thoroughfare that I take to get down county. I'll have to check in Aug when I return to work. I get fantastic MPG with my Prius so I am not overly concerned. Pleased for the "kids" however.
-I am on a promotional rate with the newspaper, having transfered our subscription to the new home, effective 8/1
-food: I am aiming to keep my spending level to the same as it is now: $100/person for the month. Using many economical tricks, I feel confident that we can continue to eat a healthy variety of foods on a budget, including some treats, organic farm CSA, etc. I've cautioned the 3 paying towards the food budget that this may also increase, due to ever rising food costs
-the remaining budget categories of the household budget should remain as is: celebrations, life insurance, personal care, pet care, medical OOP, school costs, postage, accountant.
Overall, if we remain careful, the increase in rent will be at least partially offset by the decrease in costs for oil, lawn service , cable/Internet, gas.
Am I missing anything? suggestions/thoughts welcomed!