September 2009 Household Budget Update

Now that we’ve moved into our house, it’s time to update the budget yet again. I’m excluding our new home purchases because those come out of a separate fund from our other household expenses.

We cut back our spending for the first half of the year, partly because we spent all of our time looking for a house and were too busy to do anything else, and partly because we were saving as much as we could toward the house and its future contents. Now we’re spending like crazy to replace all the stuff we’ve been waiting to replace.

So, six months after I last did our budget, and now with a mortgage and property tax, here’s where we stand compared to six months ago:


Fuel has crept back up, so we’re spending more there. Plus, winter gas is more expensive than summer gas. My commute is roughly the same, but my husband’s commute is a quarter of his old commute, so we’ll have to see if this reduces our spending here. We’ll also soon be buying me a new car, so our service bill will go down, but we’ll be adding a car loan bill.


Clothing has remained about the same, but my husband needs new suits, so we’ll be seeing a spike there. Most of the current clothing budget is dry cleaning for his clothes, too.


Our dining out budget shot way up. Part of that may be the eating out we did while moving, but my husband still buys lunch way more often than I would like.


Our medical expenses went way down thanks to my new insurance doubling up with my husband’s insurance.

Pet Care. 

This went up and will stay up. We haven’t yet decided whether our cats will be allowed outside, but they’ll now be getting annual outdoor shots and checkups in case they make a break for it.

Property Tax.

This is a new one. It will take a good portion of our budget for a few years, but thanks to California’s wacky property tax system, it won’t rise at anywhere close to inflation. Instead it will increase a fixed percentage every year based on the purchase price. Note: that’s why California is always broke.

Student loans. 

These are lower again, too. Once again, it’s because of falling interest rates. We don’t expect this to last forever, but we’re enjoying it while it does.


We haven’t yet received a water bill, so our utilities may go up even more, but we’re trying to rein in our energy use.

This budget is about $1500 more than our February budget, but the majority of that can be attributed to higher housing costs. Only a couple hundred are a result of our day-to-day spending. We still need to work on that, but I think we’re doing pretty well. Thanks to the tax savings, we’re still saving a good chunk of money every month.

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