Wednesday, October 1, 2008

its a budget, people!

well here's my attempt at a second "riveting" post. nate and i were paying the mortgage ( i love it!) today, and looking at our upcoming bills for the month. its interesting, looking at how things have changed since we moved in. for instance: diet coke, although a staple in my book, goes unreplenished if my grocery money has already been spent. and the bills, well, in the apartment, it was cell phone, cable, and electric (all totaling less than $200 a month).

now, its garbage, water, electric, heat, cable (extra awesome cable with a dvr!), home phone, and insurance. and i am looking at all these bills, and like most people, trying to figure out a way to cut them back a bit. i could lose the dvr and super+ cable, but its my one luxury item in life. did i just say that? then our cell phones, i could cut back to less than 200 txts a month, but i would end up paying more just because my sisters and i are addicted to txting a few times a day, so its cheaper just to keep the plan.

groceries. yep, 6 people, four of them being starving children. haha. nope, that ain't it.

then it occurred to me today that i enjoy watching my super+ cable (on our 50 inch plasma) when i come home from work at 230ish. and then i watch when my shows are on around 7, until 9 or so. then we clean up, load the dishwasher, and get in bed around 11. then i watch tv (on my 13 inch) for an hour or so more, and then set my sleep timer on the tv for 90 minutes so i can fall asleep to it (melissa knows what i am talking about!) overall, i figure that i watch tv or have the tv on for 6 hours a day, on a productive day. on my days off, its not unusual for me to keep the tv on while i watch old 90210 reruns while cleaning up or running laundry, so add a few hours more. i know, its disgusting, but bear with me here.

so while i am pondering all this over while paying bills, nate mentions to me that with winter approaching, our gas bill will only get higher as we heat the house (its on no setting right now, since the house stays perfect without heat or cool). this gets me thinking: i wonder how much my constant tv watching affects our electric bill? so i get a great idea to challenge myself (and hopefully, my budget):

for the next month, i will no longer be watching tv during daytime hours, and will limit my tv watching time to 7-9 pm. that means, no more 90210, no more late night "seinfeld" or "will and grace" reruns while i fall asleep. and if its not a tv night where one of my "shows" is on, the tv won't get turned on. overall, i think i will, cut our electric bill by a quarter (or maybe a third!). right now, our electric bill is about $121.00 a month. this a good chance for me to change my very worst behavior (mindless tv watching), and maybe improve my budget a bit. i think it will be great.....i hope! thoughts???


Anonymous said...

It will be interesting to see how it affects the electric bill! Be sure to post that!
Have you and Nate ever heard of Dave Ramsey? This year will be our church's 3rd year of his program Financial Peace University. You really should check this program out. It DRAMATICALLY changed Nate and I's life and budget! We were able to pay off his brand new truck in only 17 months!
just go to and check it out! I'm sure they have classes around the twin cities that you and Nate could do. It's a 13 week course and DEFINATLEY worth it!!! It's helped us a TON!
Just a thought................. :)

mommak said...

anything to cut out a little bit of those bills... smart move! :)

The House Family said...

One thing you can do to reduce the electric bill and still be able to watch tv during the day hours is to give me your plasma tv and I'll give you my Sharp 27", straight up. No gimmicks or funny business, I'll even throw in new batteries for the remotes since that is technically 'electricity.'

What a guy? huh? hehehe, jk. I hope we see a difference in the price, I'm curious now!