Two years ago, I posted my top 5 budget busters. Now my life has changed a lot, so I’ve got a mostly new set of budget busters.
Want to blow your budget fast? Buy a house. On top of the tens of thousands we spent buying the house (in the form of the down payment), we’ve also bought paint, furniture, and home maintenance tools. So far we’ve managed to keep the costs manageable, but a $5500 sewer bill sure put a dent in our plans!
Sadly, my husband is still one of my budget busters. He’s getting better, I promise, but he still has his moments. I thought I’d broken him of his habit of buying weekend lunches while he was recovering from surgery, but once he was able to drive again he went a bit crazy. He went even more crazy once he started working part-time. I’m still struggling to rein him back in.
He also still has ideas about what we should buy to keep up with our lifestyle. He keeps telling me I can afford a more expensive car, but I don’t want a more expensive car! He’s insisting that he’s going to buy himself a very nice car in keeping with his profession. Clients don’t see his car, but he still thinks he deserves it.
My husband’s surgery blew our budget in the sense that the drop in income required us to shift some budget items around. So far we haven’t had to pay much in the way of medical expenses, but there have been some, which have come out of our FSA. That means that other FSA expenses we have planned may have to come out of our pockets.
Food is still one of our biggest budget items. We’ve cut it in some areas because I’ve been shopping at farmer’s markets and using more coupons, but it’s still high. Gluten-free food will do that to a budget. Throw in my husband’s lunches (even though I buy him food), and you can see the problem.
With the house came higher insurance costs. On top of higher auto limits (we have more assets to protect now), we have homeowner’s, flood, earthquake, and life for me. We’re still shopping for my husband’s life policy. For some reason, they didn’t want to insure a guy going in for surgery! Our insurance bill currently tips the scales at $5100 a year, up from $1800 when we rented. It will only get higher once we add my husband’s life insurance and the rate increase for my new car.
Despite these new budget busters, we’re managing to keep our budget in check and have resumed saving money (or at least we’re not drawing down our savings too much despite the big sewer bill.) It’s more of a struggle, though. And we’re certainly not saving the 25% we once managed with ease.