I ran some figures on basic household bills and came up with:
- Spent 7.4% less on groceries in 2011 than 2010 (kid left home for university in Sept 2011, so could have done better)
- Spent 10.4% less on electricity (consumed 17% less electricity, but rates went up)
- Spent 23.5% more on heat (heating oil) – used exact same amount as previous year, so entirely due to rate increase
- Spent 20% more on gas for car – this year, I will track the amount I use as well as the price
- Spent 19% more for water & sewer service – despite using 9% less metered water, so increase also due to rate increase
- Spent 0.7% more for property tax – tax rate went down and home evaluation went up
The average of these 6 bills is a 7.6% increase for the year. It turns out I cut my discretionary spending by 11.8%. I had no specific goal other than to keep it down, so I am pleased it helped to offset the bills!