The reality hits now. Once again I am joining Frugal Makes Cents for the 2013 Money Saving Challenge.
If you at all pay taxes or rely on an earned income for your living, you are going to pay higher taxes. The payroll tax holiday ends and everyone working will pay 2% more in taxes. If you earn $50,000 that is a $100 month less you will have to live on and if you make $100,000 that is $200 less you have each month to pay bills. Wow!!! I am sorry, but that is a lot of money to me. A weeks worth of groceries or a couple of utility bills worth. This with higher and higher costs for food and utilities, we are all going to have to get by with less. Plus like many others our health insurance has gone up once again. Hundreds less when the New Year turned over. Scary stuff!! Let me say this. I would happily pay this, I am not kidding, if I knew it would really go to pay down our countries massive debt. If other areas of the government spending were cut, but they are not and will not make any cuts. They just want more money to spend MORE AND MORE money. Can you imagine if you ran your house that way?
Okay, the rant is over. No onto the brass tacks. Here is where we have to make serious cuts in our spending.
My husband and I are pledging a year of austerity. Not as if we lived high on the hog before. Every facet of our budget and home is being examined. Our church just finished the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University. Whether you like Dave or not, his idea of every dollar on paper before the first of each month rang home to us. A plan for every dollar. We are not going to take a real vacation this year, nope, first time in all of our marriage. We will take long weekends to visit family and use points to take a long weekend at the beach in a hotel this summer and that is it. We are committing to reaching some of our financial goals this year. You cannot cut the every day expenses you have to pay that much, but we can cut out a vacation and use that money for other goals.
We are looking at our utilities and other monthly bills. When our cable TV contract is up, we are going to go without. We will watch movies online and just watch regular TV. Basic cable is so high, that at least for a period of time, we will go without to recoup that money. We are listing line by line all areas we think we may be able to cut back on. Don't be afraid to call and negotiate for a lower price. All they can do is say no.
Our monthly grocery and household supplies expenses need to be cut. I am not sure how I can cut any more but I think what I need to do is really get back to making as much of my own supplies as I can. Here are a few recipes I will be using. I also want to make more food from scratch. Growing as much as I can from the garden. For a packet of seeds, what I can harvest is really amazing.
We will continue to maintain our vehicles. They are ten years old, nine years old and four years old. Every month I don't have a car payment is a blessing. I HATE car payments. Even with repairs, we are money ahead. It also means lower insurance rates and state registration fees. I am beyond caring about what I drive. If it starts and gets me there, I love the car even more when it costs me less to drive it.
Sitting down and looking at every facet of your finances is not always fun. Not fun at all but I am determined to really examine our budget more than we ever have. We have committed time to sit down and see what we can cut line by line. What choice do we all have? I am not excited about living on less through no fault of our own but it is the reality. I will share with you our progress.
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