So, I've been playing with numbers a lot trying to figure out a new budget for this new normal. There seems to be more money that needs to go out than there is money coming in. If I sputter along like normal, I think we will be okay for this year, however, we will be running in a huge deficit for the 2013 school year and that's not what I want to do.
I've still got that credit card #2 which I would like to have had paid off --- however, that has NOT happened. I need it to be gone. We have been using it some, but I have been paying off what I've been using, plus my monthly goal of $500 per month. It still doesn't seem to be going away fast enough. Currently the card is in the Princess's possession -- she will use it for gas, medical co-pays and if she needs her migraine meds refilled at school. These are the only acceptable uses and she knows it, so I am really not worried about her charging up a storm. She has proven to be responsible and it is easier for me to track her spending on it than in her debit account which she can spend as she sees fit.
Anyway, all of that rambling is because I'm still struggling with how much to slash my budget for my current household expenses. Obviously certain things like groceries, water, and power should go down. One person using those things vs two should automatically decrease them somewhat. My first instinct was that "Oh, I can cut those by 50% easy" -- then you take into account that the food for the pups comes out of the grocery budget, so do the toiletries that the Princess will still need. The fridge still has to be plugged in and running regardless and I'm certain that on the weekends she comes home, the Princess will be bringing a ton of laundry for me to do. So, I don't think I'll be able to cut them 50%. But it was a nice thought!
I've been toying with ideas for cutting the utility costs. Unplugging vampire electronics. Adjusting the thermostat just a wee bit warmer (thank you for the below normal August temps!), stuff like that. Do you have any great ideas for cutting electric costs? I'm already using CFL bulbs. I'm thinking that, as much as I hate to, I might forgo my usual Halloween and Christmas light displays. Or, at the very least, put them up later than I usually do. Lots of thoughts rambling through my head on that one, so any suggestions would be welcome.
I'm also thinking about cutting the cable. Problem is, my house is now very quiet and I've turned on the TV more this week than I have in the past month. AND football season is coming. I live in Alabama and college football is what we DO in the fall, so I'm not sure that's a great option for me even if it would cut some of those monthly expenses.
Sheesh. This new normal is driving me crazy!