Wishes And Pixie Dust

Follow the journey of a Wisconsin family of 4 who relocated to the Walt Disney World area in July 2011

Living Life In Florida

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When we were planning our move to Florida, we were excited at the possibility of our expenses being lower than in Wisconsin.  Now that we’ve been here for over six weeks, we thought we would take a look at our actual expenses and share them with our readers. For a reference point, our apartment is 1,389 sq feet.

  • Our monthly rent increased by $186; however, we are no longer responsible for lawn care.
  • Our monthly cable bill for phone, internet and television decreased by $5.
  • No more gas bill (averaged $35-45 in summer; $300 in winter)
  • Our electric bill is $220, which is not bad considering we haven’t been careful about our usage, we had many pool days which means more towels to wash, and it’s summer 🙂  We expected it to be less, but it’s less than it would be in Wisconsin.
  • Our income increased because there are no withholdings for state income tax.
  • The biggest change is our water bill.  In Wisconsin we were paying $135 monthly. In Florida we paid $8.64.  We do expect the bill to go up for September, as the meter was read August 5 for the water, which resulted in only 12 days of water, but we don’t expect it to be a significant amount.
  • Our gasoline usage has increased significantly, due to the fact we are approximately 40-50 minutes away from Disney (one way), Clermont is much more spread out than Fond du Lac was, and approximately an hour’s worth of gas is used daily for bringing the kids to and from school.
  • Groceries are approximately 15-20% more expensive here than in Wisconsin, and significantly lacking in a variety of dairy products 🙂  We find that we shop at four different grocery stores:  Winn-Dixie, Publix, Sweetbay and Target, which is an extremely different routine for us.  (We’re used to shopping at one, and we’ve really been missing it lately).
New bills for Florida:
  • Disney annual passes are $150 per month
  • Pest control fee is $1 per month
  • Valet trash fee is $15 per month
  • Sunpass:  this varies on how often we go into Orlando, but in six weeks since we’ve been here we’ve spent $17.50 in tolls.  It will go down considerably from here on because we’re not using the Turnpike as much now.
So are we paying less in expenses than Wisconsin?  No, but we’re not paying more, either. It all seems to equal out in the end.  We do acknowledge the fact that if we were renting a house, we would be paying more in expenses; in terms of lawn care, pool upkeep and a higher bill for pest control.  We’re quite satisfied with the apartment complex and love not having the responsibilities that renting or owning a home entails.  We recognize that apartment living is not for everyone, but it suits us perfectly.  

One thought on “Living Life In Florida

  1. i love and appreciate your honesty! and am so glad its working out for everyone!

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