This first section, housing and utilities, is straightforward. Most of the bills are set amounts. We could reduce our heating costs somewhat but we choose to pay the extra money for comfort. I’m naturally cold, so am happy I can afford to pay for extra heat. But that also means I don’t need air conditioning unless it’s extremely hot so that saves on electricity.
You’ll notice I’ve only included the interest portion of our mortgage payment interest. The principle repayment affects our cash flow but isn’t technically an expense. Not including this also allows an easier comparison between the cost of renting and buying.
1 Many of the 2014 items (property tax, maintenance, natural gas, electricity, insurance) are estimates.
2 All these expenses are split equally between my husband and me. As I am only analyzing my own spending I’ll be focusing on my portion, but for easier comparison I’ve included totals and annual amounts in this chart.
3 Water is included in the condo fees.
4 Cell phone is for two phones both with data, and one with long distance. They are currently under contract, so price is non-negotiable. Do you have a cheaper plan with data and long distance? Let me know.
5 Internet is currently paid for by my employer.
6 Most of these changes are obviously related to our switch from renting to owning. Rent and laundry costs have disappeared, but in exchange we have property tax, higher utilities, and condo fees. You’ll note that our total sunk costs are almost the same either way. I’ll do a more in-depth rent vs. buy analysis in the future. Cost is one of the reasons we chose to buy a condo last year. We were able to switch from a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment to a split level, 3 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom condo without spending any more money.