So we have finished a full billing cycle of expenses without kids at home and the results are in and they look good. 8-)
Since #2 Son left mid August I will use July's bill to compare what we paid before he left with the September bill showing what we paid after he left for school.
The cable and phone bills stayed the same as was expected and him being here or not didn't impact the bottom line on those services.
Then we turn to the water and electric bills......
* The water bill went down from $74.24 in July to $47.68 in September. The difference in activity was 1 less person showering and less clothing and dishes needed washing. In the first 4 weeks after #2 Son left I did 3 loads of laundry. And no, I didn't just get lazy and let the dirty clothes pile up for a month. lolz Likewise the dishwasher didn't need to be run as often either. And there are now 14 less showers taken every week. #2 Son usually took 2 a day minimum, sometimes more in the warmer months.
A decrease of $26.56 in water usage costs.
* The electric bill went from a high of $173.44 in July to $95.47 in September. Overall, part of this decrease was due to little to no a/c use in September while July saw moderate usage. #2 Son has a window a/c unit in his room so since he was not here late Aug./early Sept. that electricity drain wasn't turned on, thus less kilowatts used.
We also turned off the upstairs computer he use to use. That machine has a faulty ON switch so it was kept on 24/7 and wasted electricity every danged day. I am sure this was also making the electric meter spin extra too.
A decrease of $77.97 in electricity costs. I don't expect this is going to be an ongoing/usual savings but I will continue to compare it against the same month's usage in 2013, when #2 Son was home to add to the consumption of this utility. Who knows? It just might be the new norm.
There were also 2 other categories we saved money in as well due to #2 Son being away at college.....
* We no longer pay for private music lessons. This amount ranged from a low of $80(the last 2 weeks he was home)to a high of $200 per month. It was usually in the $160 a month range.
* We pay less for our car insurance. Between #2 Son being an "away at school" driver without a vehicle(meaning he doesn't drive much, if at all) and donating the 3rd spare car to charity our insurance has gone down by $1,332.82 a year. Another $800 or so should be added to that savings once the insurance carrier processes the removal of the minivan from our policy as well, which will give us a savings of approx. $2,132.82 per year.
I look forward to paying in the neighborhood of $1,277.16 a year instead of our old $3,409.98 bill per year. At the moment(before the minivan gets removed from our coverage)we are paying $173 per month for insurance instead of $284 per month, a $111.00 decrease in costs.
And then there is food.....
* The jury is still out on whether we will see significant savings on the food/toiletries/pet food/paper goods budget long term.
Yes, I was able to bring the spending down $95+ in September from July's amount. But August, when #2 Son was only home for half the month I spent $24 MORE than in July?
I hope the downward trajectory of September's food spending continues but I won't call it a "win" in the decreased expenses column until I see how I do in October and November too.
And all bets are off in December on the decreased food spending since #2 Son will be home on a school break more of that month than not.
All totaled in September we realized a $470.53 savings on water, electric, lessons, insurance and food spending.
Can you see me smiling from here?!?
Of course we are saving hundreds in the running of our home, but now are spending thousands on college expenses.
Looking at it that way, these savings don't thrill me quite as much......lolz
Not to worry since the kid's college bills are coming out of his College Account and not our regular income or savings. We finished putting this money away for him earlier this year.
I don't expect all of these savings to continue or stay at this level but I will monitor it all in October and hope for the best.
Electric use will go up when the heat goes on in October, but by comparing it to the electric bill from last year(when #2 Son was here), I can still get the gist of how much we are savings this October vs. last October.
Overall, I am surprised at how much the bills went down and am eager to see if we can maintain or lower the costs even more going forward.
After all, every dollar I can hang onto and put into savings means it's that much closer until Hubs can retire and we don't have to worry about running out of cash in retirement.
How did your expenses fair once your kids left home?
Did you see a noticeable decrease in costs?