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"Household" Expenses

September 27th, 2008 at 10:33 am

Our third-biggest expense in the 2007/2008 school year was the category we call "Household". We spent just under $8000.

Over $6000 of that was for a new roof - we knew the house needed a roof in 2005 when we bought it, but we managed to stretch it out and replace it after I was done my re-training and had a full-time one-year contract.

The remaining expenditures in that category are not really very well itemized. Anything we buy at Rona (the Canadian version of Home Depot), Canadian Tire (hardware store), Zellers (Canadian department store), or the pharmacy tends to end up categorized here. It includes supplies bought for wiring and plumbing fixes (our house was built in 1914), but also the occasional purchase for the kitchen (like canning jars).

Without the roof, it works out to average $135/month. There are other bigger expenses to worry about...

6 Responses to “"Household" Expenses”

  1. fern Says:

    I was interested to read how you categorize your expenses. But i have a category that's called, "Major Expenses," and anything that is $500 or above i put in there. (You could use any cutoff number you felt worked for you.) By having this as a separate category, i can quickly tell at a glance when looking at my expense spreadsheet where i spent the big bucks. If you bury it in "Household expenses" with all the little stuff, it'll be hard to tell later why that category was so high.

    An alternative would be to put the roof expense under "Home Maintenance." Just a suggestion.

    I try to avoid having categories where you throw a bunch of expenses that don't really fit anywhere else, cus then they get lost in there. I know sometimes it's unavoidable, though.

  2. kirsten Says:

    You're absolutely right, Fern - part of the reason I'm doing this analysis is that the categories we've been using don't really work. For the first year I just used the ones that Quicken suggested, and "Household" quickly became a "Miscellaneous"!

    I think the idea of a separate category for "Home Maintenance" is a good one, because it's a category that's important to us, and we want to have a good idea of how much actually gets spent on it.

    The other miscellaneous stuff will need to be scrutinized someday... but just wait until you hear what our $4 category was... you may not be surprised, but you might be shocked!

  3. Aleta Says:

    I have a category for Home Maintenance as well. This account is for the large jobs around the house. I also fund an account called House Furnishingss. This one is usually for items like toasters, lamps, pillow, etc. I also have an account called House Supplies. This includes laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, brooms, mops, paper product, sponges, etc. Then, I have a category that is for Furniture Replacement. I don't put much in there, just a regular amount. I increase it when I am planning on a purchase.

    Each of us can help one another with ideas and how we do things.

  4. debtfreeme Says:

    i have found it very interesting as you have analyzed your spending for the past year...thanks for sharing it with us!

    i need to be better about how i write down my spending. Currently i get a set amount in all my spending catagories but i could not tell you where the largest expense is other than debt payments and auto items.

    i can only total that i spent XYZ on debt or other expenses. You have inspired me to try and keep better track in October and beyond!!


  5. fern Says:

    There seems to be a fair amount of interest in this. (Nice to know i'm not the only nerd here.)

    So if your'e interested, i thought i'd share all of my categories. I created my own little spreadsheet. I don't use any fancy software, not even Excel. If you know Word pretty well, you know you can easily create your own tables, and that's what i did.

    I keep the blank form on my computer, and each new month i print out a new form and fill in the month and year.

    I break my expenses down into two main categories: Fixed Expenses and Variable Expenses. I like to separate them this way becus i know that it's the Variable Expenses i have the most control over, so this helps me see that more easily.

    Under Fixed Expenses, I've got the following sub-category: Mortgage/property taxes (I pay a single check to the bank on this so i don't break it out.)

    Next sub-category under Fixed Expenses is Insurance. Under that comes "Auto," "Homeowners insurance" and "Health premiums" (the amount deducted from your pay each month).

    Next Sub-Category is Taxes, and under that comes Borough taxes, IRS (i usually owe something at tax time) and car tax (for simplicity i also combine various driver's license fees and registration with the car tax becus they happen so infrequently, tho they aren't really taxes.)

    Other Fixed Expense categories include: Dump sticker, sewer usage fee, cable TV, Internet/Phone and Water usage fee.

    Next comes Variable Expenses.

    Sub-Category: House. Under that falls Electricty, Fuel oil/furnace cleanings, home maintenance (i define these as "keeping things up," not enhancing or improving) and my only real "catch-all category, "Household," which contains purchases for around the house, dish towels, a toaster oven, etc.

    Next Sub-Category: Personal. Here i include "Clothing," "Dining out," "Entertainment," "Out-of-pocket medical expenses" and "Toiletries."

    Next Sub-Category: Hobbies/Interests. Here i include "Birds," (birdseed and bird feeders etc); "Gardening," "Books/Music," "Cat." (her catfood, vet visits, etc)

    Next Sub-Category: Vacations

    Next Sub-Category: Other. These include "Car upkeep," "Food," Gas," "Subscriptions," and "gifts," which includes Xmas shopping as well as birthdays, mother's day, etc.

    Next Sub-Category: Major Purchases. I define this, as mentioned earlier, as any purchase above $500. However, if it's a $500 car repair, i'll list it under car repairs. If it's a vacation, i list it under vacation. Usually what ends up here are major home improvements or in years past, furniture.

    This is what makes the most sense for me. Everyone needs to personalize their expense sheet, i think, to fit their needs.

  6. household expenses Says:

    According to me saving money is very important factor, so we have to see all small things from which we can save single penny. This recession applies to household expenses. Check out some ways for saving like always look for sale, donít use bottled water, always buy from same shop. Evey person should inculcate the habit of savings for brighter and secured future.

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