Compare yours to mine....

>> Thursday, September 11, 2008

Eventually, I'd like to have a chart or graph or some nice visual image on this blog showing how my buying choices are affecting my budget, but just to start things off, I'm going to have to list approximately what I currently spend each month. These are the categories that I think will be effected as I try to make better shopping decisions:

  • Grocery (this includes anything you can get at a grocery store, so food, health, beauty, cleaning, etc): $500
  • Gasoline: $300
  • Electricity: $150
  • Water: $50
  • Entertainment (movies, eating out, etc.): $300
  • Clothing: I don't have a good set budget for this. I think I buy about $200 worth of clothes for my kids twice a year (spring and fall), but it might be more than this, might be less. My husband and I get new clothes whenever my husband gets a bonus, or we get a tax return, or I'm just feeling really depressed and need a pick-me-up.
I think $500 is a pretty average grocery budget. I have a family of five: my husband, myself, and three kids under five years old. Until a year ago, my grocery budget was $400, but rising food costs and the addition of an extra mouth forced me to increase my budget. As I mentioned, since living in Raleigh, I've struggled to stay under that $500.

I found this chart from the USDA that shows what the average cost of food should be for a family of four who prepares all their meals at home and eats according to USDA dietary guidelines: http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/FoodPlans/2008/CostofFoodJun08.pdf

3 comments:

LeGrand September 19, 2008 at 2:47 PM  

One of my old roommates uses a website called Yodlee to keep track of all his spending habits and such. I tried to sign up for it once, but got bored before the process was done. The website connects to your bank account (it's safer than it sounds) and categorizes all your purchases, etc. I bet you could get some fancy graphics from an account there. I thought of this because my friend had almost the same post you did, but on a yearly scale.

Oh, and Jaime and I totally spend less than you on everything! I guess that might have something to do with our lack of children. :-) We eat out too much.

Conscious Shopper,  September 19, 2008 at 8:25 PM  

My grocery budget has gone up with each additional kid. Darn parasites think they need to eat...

Anonymous,  February 19, 2009 at 6:28 PM  

Teenage boys will triple you grocery bill. From about 14 to 18 my boys ate about three times what I did. Now that they are 19 it has suddenly slowed down to normal adult consumption.

Frank Ladd

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