At the end of each month we prepare the budget for the next month. Most of the time it’s a simple task with small adjustments. For example, in July and August I plan for larger electric and gas bills than in June and September due to air conditioner usage.
Sometimes the changes are bigger. As our lives change over time so have our budget demands. Here’s a a peek at five categories and how they’ve changed in the last 12 years.
Although our current mortgage is about $100 a month higher than our previous home, it is a smaller percent of income. You couldn’t even rent a one bedroom apartment for what we pay each month. ?With a goal of paying mortgage off early this goes away in less than 10 years.
Cable and Internet have probably gone up the most in the budget area although the other line items have also increased. We didn’t have high speed Internet in 1998 so it may be an unfair comparison, but I’m not willing to give it up today!
Over the air television reception has never been great in San Diego County so we’ve had cable forever. The price seems to increase every year with the electrical rates not far behind.
We cut out the land line and are on a power saver program to save money but then there’s the cell phone…..
This is one area we definitely pay more today. I am on a few medications to manage various conditions as opposed to none in 1998. I find it common among friends my age although I hate it.
Being on medications means more doctor visits as well. Each doctor visit costs three times as much as it did since our copay went to $30 last year.
We took our first cruise in 1998 and it cost about $3600 for the four of us on a week long cruise. That’s before you add in the cost of parking, excursions and onboard expenses. We typically spend the same amount or less each year today.
The only reason this has stayed constant is that there are two instead of four.
Even though prices are higher now than in 1998 our expenses are lower. Before the kids were adults, a trip to the movie meant 4 tickets and snacks all around. Add the cost of sporting equipment, team fees and dinners out following Little League games and our budget far exceeded the $50 I plan a month today.
We keep it low by going to the movies for the matinee and buying 1/2 price live theatre tickets.
Have you gone back and looked at your expenses from the 1990’s? Our kids are grown so some expenses have been eliminated or decreased. At the same time aging has brought us new costs. How does your budget compare?