I just went over the budget again just to give you an idea of where we’re at. In 2007, we had a combined income of $87k, a 12% tax rate, and living costs of $24k leaving $52k for frivolous stock purchases, etc.

Being a few sigma off the mean (but I do know people — yeah, both of you — who are more frugal than we are) means that I occasionally run into people that in less polite terms question how we can live on so little. In turn, we can not understand, how they can spend so much on essentially the same functions.

So here is the current approximate monthly budget (for two adults and one dog).

  • Car payments: $0
  • Utilities: $60
  • Food: $150
  • Rent: $1400
  • Gas: $75 (current figures, was $50 last year)
  • Car insurance: $50
  • Phone+internet: $100
  • Health: $75 (I got really good benefits)
  • Stuff insurance: $0

It used to be a lot lower and the rising prices probably reflect our rising ages. For instance, rent used to be lower, there was no car, no phone, no internet and no TV, and food was slightly cheaper too.

Some comments on the above. We don’t insure our stuff following the philosophy that replacement costs are trivial compared to liquid savings. Also, I doubt that the insurance company would pay replacement cost for the things we have (hint: most of our stuff was acquired at prices quite below retail value). I do not include car depreciation in the above calculation. If I had to, it would be $100-200 a month. (We buy new, and run it into the ground). The comm. bill is bothering me. We have one cell and one landline which apparently is essential to the DSL connection(?!). DW insists that the cell is indispensable, although I remember people doing fine ten years ago when few people had them. Anyhow, the landline is only used to do battle against telemarketeers. Does anyone have a suggestion for a setup? I would like to have home access, but speed is practically not an issue.

Originally posted 2008-07-01 07:35:36.