Here's what we spend our money on each month:
Comcast $128 (phone, internet, cable)
Cell phones $135 (3 phones)
Electricity $175 (this is the average based on yearly total)
Food & household supplies $700 (this seems to vary)
Fast food/take out meals $100
Health Ins $188
Life Ins $18
Auto Ins $232
Loan from Mom $200 (or whatever we can afford)
Medical $30 (copay and prescription)
Kids allowances $60
This adds up to $4024 - leaving us $276 to cover all the unbudgeted, unexpected expenses - of which there always are.
Comcast will probably be going up in May, after our one year offer is up. (We switched from Qwest and have been saving $10/mo from what were paying with Qwest). When this happens I plan to call and at least ask for a continued discount.
Cell phones - this will be going down next month and then again in October, after 2 of our phones reach their contract date. We have 3 phones on this plan. I hardly ever use a cell phone, just want it for emergencies while driving 40 miles each way to work. My plan contract is up next month and Ds's is up in October. Ds just switched to grandma's plan (which she is kindly paying for the Ds and Dd now at $10 each per month)
We are on a family talk and text plan but don't need this much coverage. And we've also been paying $7 a month for Ds to have coverage for when his phone breaks, which they always seem to do on him for some reason (which I just now got online and cancelled!). By October I just plan to cancel my and Ds's phones and put Dh on the cheapest plan. Then I will get a cheapy prepaid tracphone that will cost about $7 a month. I'm estimating Dh's phone plan will cost about $40 w/taxes (he hates change so at this point easier to just leave him on same phone/plan rather than deal with him trying to deal with changes!). So, by October we should get the cell phone monthly outgo down by $88 a month.
Food/household supplies and take out meals are the only other areas I really have to try and save. Some weeks I do ok, some not so good. I've already gotten the lowest car insurance I can find and this may in fact go up as Ds was a total idiot for awhile and got 2 tickets! One was deferred if he didn't get another ticket, but then he got a doozy and that went on his record, so I'm sure the deferred one will be adding on....and then our insurace will eventually catch up with it. Arrgggh!! If (well, WHEN) this happens Ds will have to suck it up and get a part time job to help pay for insurance. Right now we want him focusing on school and college as much as possible.
Cutting down on the grocery bill will be a big focus for me and how I go about that will be in future posts, along with some accounting of what I end up spending.