This week, I’m focusing hard on our overall list of household expenses. I’m trying to identify ways for us to save money.
When I think about the things we spend money on, especially with kids in the mix, it really makes my head spin.
Listing Out Monthly Costs
I figured the first thing I should do is determine all the different ways we spend our money.
So I decided to take start listing out all the ways I can think of that we spend money in a year’s time.
I was about 10 minutes in and on #70 before I started slowing down and having to think of more ways! It’s kind of embarrassing, really….
Our Annual Household Expenses List
I’m sure it’s not an exhaustive list of household expenses for my family, but here’s what I came up with:
- Charitable donations
- Birthday gifts
- Toilettries & personal care items – laundry detergent, toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, nail polish, mascara, eyeshadow, tissues, etc.
- Swimming lessons
- Swim team fees
- Gym membership
- School clothes
- Eating out
- Clothes – regular clothes, workout clothes, underwear
- Hair cuts
- Car wash
- Health insurance
- Dental insurance
- Life insurance
- Sports events
- Dance class
- Homeowner’s insurance
- Life insurance
- Electricity & gas
- Household items – replacement utensils, sippy cups, organizer bins, laundry storage, light bulbs
- Home repairs – gutters, pressure washing, paint, grass seeds, fertilizer, mulch
- Vehicle fuel
- Car insurance
- Car repairs/maintenance – oil filters, tires, windshield wipers, fluids
- Entertainment – movies, plays, books
- Medical co-pays and out of pocket costs
- Telephone – home and cell
- Internet service
- Appliances that broke – pancake griddle, toaster
- TV repair
- Trash service
- Bank fees
- Postage stamps
- Newspaper subscription
- Professional dues
- Magazine subscriptions
- Christmas gifts
- Christmas decorations
- Beach toys
- Special occasion outfits
- Chiropractic care
- Fitness-related gear – headphones, shoe inserts, tennis shoes, tennis racket restringing, Pandora subscription, workout armband,
- Car payments
- Vehicle license and registration
- Federal and state taxes
- Property taxes
- College funds
- Retirement plan contributions
- Office gifts
- Teacher gifts
- Museum / play place admissions
- Office supplies – pens, pencils, highlighters, paper, paper clips,
- Kid art supplies- crayons, markers, paint, tape, paint brushes, construction paper
- Yard sale signs
- Valentine’s Day cards
- Pandora subscription
- Photo developing
- Thank you cards
- Lunch boxes
- Water bottles
- Printer ink
- Gift wrapping supplies – wrapping paper, ribbon, and bows
- Diaper rash creams
- Sports-related costs – goggles, kickboard, dance shoes, dance outfits
- Family Christmas ornament
- Scrapbooking supplies
- Meetup fees
- Water filters
- Propane for our grill
- Entertaining costs – dinner & drinks for guests
- Picture frames
Really?!! Do we need to spend money on all this stuff!
I mean, it’s a good thing I didn’t separately list out all the little things that went into the toiletries category, for instance. I would have easily surpassed 100 types of household expenses if I had done that!
Cutting Back – Paring Down This List of Household Costs
I realize we need to cut back. The list above doesn’t even include all the random junk I buy at the Target $1 section, for instance, whenever I pass by. That could include the Valentine’s Day hand towels that I thought were so cute or the printed Easter fridge notes.
It also excludes the grocery aisle magazines I purchase on random grocery shopping trips because the headlines just caught my eye and I didn’t have time to read the article I wanted to before it was my turn to check out. LOL
I’m going to do my best to get this list of expenses under control. Once upon a time, I never paid money for toothpaste because I was so on top of the coupons and deals for that type of thing.
I don’t know if I have time to go back to that sort of serious couponing, but I can certainly do better than I have been.
First on the list is to get back to basics. I’ve apparently forgotten the Couponer’s Golden Rule…
I’m going to start by using this post as a checklist of what to eliminate or cut back on throughout the year.