Monday, February 18, 2008

What is a dollar worth?

I have been trying to figure out what is a realistic budget for my house holds expenses. I first started by looking at the past year's expense tracking then I made some modifications based on the new present day realities. Below is my first real budget attempt:

Monthly expenses
Bank Fee 12.95
Car Repairs 100.00
Gas 225.00
Car Regist.(AB) 21.42
Driver Lic.(AB) 3.58
Driver Lic.(AL) 3.58
MelocheMonnex 99.92
School Tax 29.16
Property Taxes 145.65
Grocery 600.86
Hydro 146.38
Fireplace 42.50
Videotron 96.61
Primus 13.91
Entertainment 101.64
Gifts 194.29
London Life (AB) 45.83
London Life (AL) 31.31
Primerica (Life Ins) 103.81
RESP 245.09
Safety Box 3.31
Misc 133.20


I have already had an 800$ car repair meaning I can not have anything happen until august of this year!

Last summer I wasn't careful with my electricity usage and I used more than what Hydro Quebec expected (I have a pond that had a pump using 0.5kWhr 24hrs a day) so they increased my monthly rate and I opted to pay the amount I owed over the next 6 months (about $35/month). I have been making sure to not waste electricity over this winder and as of January there is nobody home during the day so my thermostats are set low. This should translate into a lower hydro bill.

During my search to find ways of lowering my expenses I stumbled on a philosophy of voluntary simplicity. The idea in a nutshell is to look at everything we buy as costing a portion of our life. When looked from that perspective there maybe a lot of things that are just not worth that price. This is a way to asses on a personal level what a dollar spent is worth to us. I am hoping that this can help me stick to my budget.

I am probably going to start a spread sheet that will help me stay on budget and allow you to see what difficulties, if any, arise from trying to stick to a budget. I think that I will also start exploring different passive income streams that can help me an my journey to financial independence.

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