Friday, December 17, 2010

Plans for 2011

Lots of rocket for salads and pesto
I thought I'd share our hopes for next year. We are going to have another no spend year (beyond essentials) since the last one was so very successful. (  I don't expect we'll have such a generous government this time, no 'get the economy flowing' type payments, so it will be all us this time.

2010 it cost us $579 a week to keep our family fed, clothed, housed and tootled around in the cars.

I'm hoping this year we can do it for $489.50/wk or less. We don't expect to have pre-school costs so that's an automatic saving. We have changed to a cheaper internet plan that gives us more download, same company too, makes you wonder.
I allowed extra in other areas like pharmaceuticals and mobiles.
So the question we are asking, is can we lower electricity and gas bills? Tweak the food budget further and resist the urge to splurge on something we don't really need but fully justify at the time of purchase?

Here's the break down per week:

Mortgage interest only: $122
home and contents insurance: $25
Electricity: $15
Water costs: $5 (this is petrol to pump and servicing costs)
Gas: $8
Rates $9
Landline $5
Mobiles $10
Internet/voip and call costs: $14

Groceries: $120
Petrol costs: $30
Car rego: free
Car insurance(includes green slip) $53
Car repairs/ maintenance: $10
Caravan rego: $2.50

School fees $5
Pets $20

Life insurance $7
Pharmacy: $5
Dentist: $10
Clothing: $1 (op shop)
Shoes: $1 (op shop)
Gifts: home-made from what I have or from the grocery budget.

Donations $12

Banana Passionfruits

The aim is for us to knock as much as off the mortgage as possible.

To reduce these costs further we will try to not use electricity as much, I'm going to get a wood heater in the garage to dry the clothes in wet weather. Use a home-made solar hot water heater for bathing in. Use the wood cooker for meal preparation more. Get the garden producing more. Come up with monthly meal plans and then perhaps 3 monthly if possible.
I hope we don't need any clothes as we have enough but I thought I'd budget in from my fav op shop.
I hope we will save in the dental area, the little ones can go to the hospital clinic for free. Depending on the asthma the pharmacy might not be $5 a week. Here's hoping littlest has better health but starting school probably means lots of colds that then means asthma :o( Poor little dot.
I don't imagine we will need the proposed school budget either. It should be half but I don't know what excursions there will be.
If this amazing rain keeps up we won't need to pump much water so that could also be a $260 a year saving ;o)

So we are fingers crossed we can do life 2011 a bit cheaper, but you never know what is going to pop up.

I hope to sew more and use up my fabric stash, Pooh hopes to garden more. i will try to come up with regular family fun that doesn't cost much.

Vietnamese mint and regular mint for tea and cooking.


Anonymous said...

Fantastic plans for next year Secret Hippie. I think your idea for the monthly then three monthly meal plan is great, this is something I had thought about last night. I have to ask, how does your no-spend work out with a teenage girl in the house.

My daughter is heading into Grade 8 this year and I am trying to work something out as far whether I give her a monthly allowance to cover clothes, phone credit, maybe bus fares etc (is that going too far). I would like her to learn to be financially responsible.

I think I need to review our outgoings as well. I personally could cut back on my mobile phone usage. DH is claimed back in his work expenses at tax time. Electricity costs I see are low, do you have solar ? I will endeavour to read your archives. I could only dream of that amount :)

Love your idea reagarding a homemade solar hot water heater. I have always dreamt of having a outdoor clawfoot outdoor bath. Yes I understand what you mean about the hidden costs associated with school excursions. I had the best intentions over the last year to record the costs associated wth school for DD and DS, but alas the best laid intentions dont always come to fruition. It will be different with one in highschool and one in primary this year.

Cant wait to read more, I will be here to cheer you on xx

Secret Hippie said...

Thank you for the cheers Radical Homemaker!

Children and money: None of our children get pocket money but we do cover basic clothing, we expect them to earn their spendings so we got them a junk mail run. Our DD also makes all the lunches in the house and is very helpful with the younger children, so she is paid from the junk mail run first. She pays for most of her her own clothes (except underwear and socks type things), phone and gifts etc.

Before they had jobs we gave them a yearly budget that they could buy their clothes from, that worked quite well but they got older and dynamics changed so we stopped that. It taught them how to budget so it was very helpful.

Electricity is just low, we don't have enough daylight hours for solar :o( We don't really seem to use a lot of power. We gravity feed the water so no pumps regularly. We have a tiny refrigerator only (no freezer section) and a deep freezer that is programmed to turn off each night for 8 hours. We use a dish washer each day. We have an air conditioner but it isn't used much. Last year it made $35 difference to the summer time bill. We haven't used it this year, it's turned off at the power box. Our tv is an old CRT that is very cheap to run.

Our hotwater and cooking is gas.

I'll post photos of the outdoor bath we are planning! A claw bath would be lovely! We'll use an old one we have. We'll get on to that next year:O)