Our 2012 Budget

Posted by Mrs Money on January 9th, 2012

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For 2012, I wanted to come up with a more accurate budget, seeing that our baby would be born this year and hopefully we’ll be able to control our spending without worrying too much about it. I figured if I budget better, then I’ll hopefully be less stressed about where our money is going. Of course, I’ve also decided I’m not going to be so darn hard on myself because I’ll have a baby and have no clue how that’s going to impact our budget. If it costs us more money than I anticipated, then it does, and I’ll adjust our budget accordingly.

Here’s our 2012 budget:

  • Mortgage- $793.19
  • Escrow- $215.00
  • Energy- $150.00
  • Car insurance- $88.00
  • Verizon- $40.00
  • Cable, phone, internet- $125.00
  • Food- $350.00
  • Retirement- $100.00
  • House Stuff- $50.00
  • Gas- $200.00

Some notes:

The mortgage is just principal and interest.  I used to round the payment up to $800 or so, until I found out that the extra money that I was paying was being applied to the next month’s payment!  Talk about annoying.  To make additional principal payments, I have to mail a separate check to a certain address.  What a pain.

We escrow our taxes and insurance ourselves.  We refinanced our mortgage to a home equity loan a few years ago, and the bank will not escrow for us.  We have a separate escrow account with ING.

The reason our energy category is a flat $150 each month is because we budget for irregular expenses by transferring that amount into a separate account each month.

The Verizon bill includes just my cell phone, as Mr. Money has a phone paid by work.

The car insurance went down a little since last year because the cars are older and so are we!

The cable, phone, and internet may get changed this year.  It seems like that’s a high amount for that.  I’m thinking about switching our phone to something like a Magic Jack since I really like having a home phone, and maybe dropping the cable.

I don’t know if the food budget is a reasonable amount our not.  Guess we’ll see after a few months!

We’ll have to really start saving for retirement ourselves, as I won’t be participating in my 401k plan at work, and Mr. Money’s employer doesn’t offer any retirement savings plan.  I’m sure we’ll figure it out.

The house stuff we’ll have to play it by ear with. We’ve done a lot of work to the house over the past five years, so we’re not anticipating any huge expenses like new flooring, etc.  I would like new counter tops and flooring in my kitchen, but that’s not a necessity so we’ll have to see about that.

Gas will go down from our monthly expenses since I won’t be commuting to work and back every day. Yay!  This might be too much budgeted, but who knows at this point!

Of course, I won’t know how this budget works for us until I’m actually staying at home with the baby.  I’m just glad we’ve got a general idea of where we’d like our money to go.  I feel like there are a few categories I’ve forgotten, but it’s a flexible budget, so that’s okay!

Have you budgeted for 2012?

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10 Responses to “Our 2012 Budget”


  1. Kacie says:

    Have you shopped car insurance in awhile? I forget. $88/mo seems kinda high unless you’ve had prior claims or tickets or something. I think ours is around $63/mo and it’s the same insurer that does our house.

    The cable/phone/net does seem a little high. What would the price be of just your internet? Do you feel like you use your cable enough to keep it where it’s at? And how about your landline use?

    I have a magicjack plus if you recall, and I’m really happy with it. SO cheap, and the benefits of having a landline with E911 service, but a backup cell is also great.

    I think you could cut this bill by a lot if you wanted!

    I think you are wise to give yourself some slack while you adjust to having a baby. It’s ok if the budget totally goes out the window for the first few months or whatever, you’ll adjust and it’ll be fine.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Kacie- I haven’t shopped for car insurance in awhile. Ours is with the same company that does our homeowners. We don’t have any tickets or claims, thank goodness ;)

    I think the internet would be just $45 a month. I should call and check. I don’t think we get enough use out of the cable to keep it where it’s at. I love using the landline and very rarely use my cell phone.

    I’ll have to look into cutting it down to just internet and getting the Magic Jack. Do you talk on yours a lot? Do you know if I can use it with our current phone?

    That’s what I am thinking. It is just money. We’ve been saving for years and years, so I can cut myself some slack. I’ve always wanted to have a baby and be a SAHM, so I’ll do what it takes to make it work. :)

    [Reply]

  2. Kacie says:

    Yep, you can use the MJ+ with your current phone. Be sure to get the Magic Jack PLUS instead of the regular magic jack, since with the Plus your computer doesn’t have to be on.

    We have Comcast and have to have cable on our bill to keep our internet low (it’s just internet + cable). We have their cheapest cable option and our total bill is $41/month.

    Cutting your internet/phone/cable bill could save you $1k/year!

    I do use my landline quite a bit to call my parents and my grandma, and local calls so I don’t use my cell minutes. I might switch to a prepaid cell later when my contract is up.

    Let me know if you have more questions about the device! So far, I’m a fan.

    [Reply]

  3. Mrs. Money, I thought you had two dogs. Is their food included in with your groceries? Also, do you budget anything for you and Mr. Money like a weekly allowance? I think you have mentioned that you are going with cloth diapers, and I know they don’t do super great with line drying. Do you think your electricity bill might go up a bit from diaper drying? Otherwise your budget sounds great. Isn’t it amazing how fast it all adds up?!

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Mrs. A- Their food is included with our groceries. We don’t get a weekly allowance. If we want something, we try to just use our extra money to get it :) As far as the cloth diapers raising our electric bill, we’ve got quite the buffer in our electricity account as the $150 is more than sufficient to cover the bill each month (we usually have a lot left over, but I like to have that cushion!).

    It does add up too quickly :( I’m sure there are things that I’m forgetting but we’ll work through them. Budgeting can be such a pain!

    [Reply]

  4. Tera says:

    What about medical expenses? Those will definitely change with a baby… Possibly an increase in premiums and more frequent Dr. visits/copays.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Tera- Well baby visits are 100% covered, so if the baby gets sick we’ll just use some of the money we’ve set aside to cover copays/deductibles. We made sure we saved money for those expenses. :)

    [Reply]

  5. bogart says:

    Here via Frugalbabe’s blog and your comment there. Congratulations on your growing family!

    Here’s a short list of some expenses that affected us when our son arrived and that I don’t see included in your budget. As a newbie here, I may be missing stuff you’ve addressed elsewhere, so please forgive me if so. But …here’s my list. Birth costs. My son was born in a hospital (my choice) by c-section (not my preference, though with my consent based on circumstances); his arrival cost us about $2K out of pocket with “good” health insurance by US standards (it would have been less without the c-section, but surely still $1k). Adding him to our health insurance (provided through my employer) costs us an extra $100/month. Life insurance — we upped ours, at a cost of about $50/month for new/increased coverage. Higher utility costs. The dryer wasn’t an issue — line-drying our cloth diapers caused us no problem (nor did tossing them in with everything else and washing them in regular detergent) — but as many budget-conscious folk do, we (generally) keep our thermostat set low, especially at night. With a newborn, and up several times with him at night with my chest bare, I wasn’t willing to set it below 68 his first winter (he arrived in March, so for us this was only a few months, but still a noticeable cost in our poorly insulated home with an ancient electric furnace). Updating our wills — I forget cost, but it wasn’t free. Nursing bras. I’m usually pretty minimal on support garments, but with the many changes my body went through, I found I needed decent, and decent quality, support. I was scandalized by what nursing bras cost and how difficult it can be to find one that fits right (and I cared that it fit right). And I too am of the “don’t need lots of stuff” school of new motherhood, but in my experience and observing other new parents I know, there comes a moment when you are desperate for something that costs somewhere between $50 and $200. Could be a stroller you can fold easily to get in the trunk of your car, could be a humidifier to help a congested little one; for me, it was a battery-powered mobile that entertained our son well enough that I could — gasp! — shower while (otherwise) alone in the house without the baby wailing (later, and for similar reasons, it was an exersaucer). Oh, and I ate A LOT and wanted it fast and convenient when I was nursing, so there’s that.

    Anyway, those are just some thoughts to kick around in terms of things you may not yet have planned for but may need to incorporate into your plan when you welcome your little one. Again, congratulations!

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    bogart- Thanks for your help! We’ve already got our birth expenses paid for, so that’s a very helpful thing! We saved for that before we got pregnant, thank goodness. We also have padded our “electricity fund” in anticipation of higher bills when the baby gets here. Nursing bras are expensive!! I hear you on that one. We have money left in our “baby fund” so if we find we need something later, we’ll have the money for it.

    Thanks so much for all the kind suggestions! It is going to be a fun year. :)

    [Reply]

  6. Mirium says:

    I see your cell phone bill is $40/month using Verizon. I only pay $7/month for my Tracfone SVC Samsung T155G phone (which only cost $14.99). If you want to save $396/year just switch to the Tracfone phone card : $19.99/90 days service/120 minutes (if you have the double minutes for the life of the phone plan). If you are prepared to make the sacrifice of not making long phone calls then you can save a lot of money using the Tracfone prepaid phone plans. You can buy the phone cards at Walgreens, just about anywhere in fact. Tracfone’s coverage is the best in the USA as it uses the major networks.
    Compared to my last cell phone contract I saved $820 last year moving onto Tracfone plans and I will never look back.

    [Reply]



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