by Prince Of Petworth January 15, 2019 at 3:30 pm 0

Photo by PoPville flickr user Joe Flood

Ed. Note: If others are interested in submitting their budget diary please send via email to [email protected] thanks.

“Dear PoPville,

Last Friday I shared an overview of my expenses for 2018 and was shocked by the amount of responses. I’m grateful for those of you that have provided insight and tips in reducing costs for 2019, especially for our utilities. I know the total is outrageous, so I’ll provide a bit of background and a better breakdown.

The $900/month is our high average. It includes:
Electric $300 we have a whole-house dehumidifier that runs continuously.
Gas $100
Water/trash/sewer $50 paid to the county.
Verizon Fios phone, cable & internet including HBO & sport networks $170
ADT $55 we’re locked into a contract until February.
Cell Phones $180 includes “leasing” our phones for 18 mos. Contract ends in March.

The home is a 2100 sq ft 3bd/2b with garage in Arlington and was purchased in 2015. (more…)

by Prince Of Petworth January 11, 2019 at 2:45 pm 0

Photo by PoPville flickr user Olaf Zerbock

Ed. Note: If others would be interested in, anonymously, sharing their budget diaries – I’ll be happy to make this a regular series.

“Dear PoPville,

I read a lot of the budget diary series on the website the Kitchn and only once or twice have they featured DC. Being furloughed these past few weeks has made us really scrutinize what we are spending, not just on food but on our mortgage, utilities and everything else. I’m curious to see how we compare to other households in the DC area. Here goes:

How my spending in 2018 has opened my eyes to the cost of living in the DMV.

As the new year approached, I wasn’t expecting to enter it being furloughed like many others in the DC metro area. Rather than focusing on the negative, I’ve taken the last few weeks to review and scrutinize my expenses from 2018 to use as a guide to reduce spending in 2019. We’re a family of two with three furbabies and are living a fairly financially conservative lifestyle, but after seeing our total for the year, I’m completely overwhelmed with our year end total.

Since purchasing our home a few years ago, we drastically changed our habits. We stopped going out to trendy restaurants and instead opted to only go for special occasions or when family is in town. Happy hours were replaced with meeting friends for a coffee or hosting a potluck at our home. I committed to packing lunch every day over purchasing a $12 turkey sandwich from that fantastic cafe across the street from the office. We cancelled that gym membership that we rarely ever used once the contract was up. We’re already living frugally, so how can we significantly reduce our cost of living without sacrificing the small pleasures that we splurge on every once in awhile?

First, let’s take a look at 2018’s breakdown. We spent just over $85,000 for the year, not including medical expenses or routine maintenance on our home. (more…)


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