Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Money-Here and Gone

Me Likey

I'm totally flip-flop on everything on my blog. But you guys are used to it. I talk about how much money I have spent and then I talk about coming up with ways to save money. I save as much as I can and then I splurge every so often. But when I do splurge, I have the money for it. So I guess that makes it ok in frugalland.
Back in 2008, I wrote about setting up an unemployment/emergency budget. On paper, I could get the bills down to $2107 a month. That was cutting about $600 off of the bills. I've done really well not only paying debt off but making the unemployment budget our monthly budget. Our only extras are the phones and the gym membership, we don't have cable or car payments. We are dumping Verizon and going with TMobile when the kids get home for Thanksgiving break. That should cut at least, $100 a month off our bills. So in a pinch I could get our monthly bills down to $2200. Hmmmm, its higher than it used to be by almost $100. That would be the lovely Illinois taxes. We got hit again this month for another $80 a month for our escrow. Oh joy.
I'm glad that I have worked to get our bills down even if the tally looks the same on paper as it did before. I can't even imagine the mess that we would be in if we had credit card debt or didn't try to save money. So my efforts aren't in vein, its just that Illinois sucks. There is a sucking noise every time you open your paycheck in this state.
And the 10% challenge that I wrote about before is still at the front of the list. I did manage to save $82.58 last month on our gas and electric bill. But what I'm really shooting for is to shave 10% off permanently. It's not going to happen unless I can shave some money off of our tax bill. Haha, I really should be a comedian. Hmmmm, do I sound bitter?
My neighbor fights every year to get a lower tax bill after we are assessed. I think I'll hitch a ride with him next year and raise a stink. What have I got to lose? Maybe my freedom. I could see me getting arrested after dealing with them.
Have you ever fought your tax bill? Have you been working on the 10% challenge?
Little money,
Sonya Ann

16 comments:

slugmama said...

Well our water bill went down again this month since #2 Son has been at school.....$74.24 July, $53.81 August(he left mid month), $47.68 Sept, $42.58 Oct. and $36.45 Nov.

The electric bill trended downward too after mid Aug. but now we have the heat on so it's back up & will go higher until Spring.

My food bill since Aug. hasn't changed much as I am still spending about the same. After I thought about that I remembered that toward the end of #2 Son being here he really wasn't eating much at home so no surprise I can only shave about $50(about what I spent on his stuff)off of that monthly expense.

Once Hubs retires(in 2 years!)we will be on a fixed income--retirement savings/annuity until 2024 and then SS kicks in. I am anxious to see once the year is over and a tally up all our spending what our 2014 "Nut" is/was and how close we are to being able to afford for him to retire. Until I see the actual numbers I am scared..... 8-(

Once the numbers are in I may have to move into your spare bedroom. No pressure, but have you considered painting that room? lolz

Sonya Ann said...

sluggy-Its easy to sketch it out on paper and its something completely different to live the budget. I honestly think that you or I could live on very, very little. We would probably look back on these days as wasteful. LOL But I hope and pray that I never have to try and make it on unemployment.
I'm so glad that hubs will be able to retire in 2 years. That is amazing and he deserves it.
Let me guess, you would prefer the room to be purple?

Cheapchick said...

Part of being frugal is trying to save money no matter what - it also means you save on what doesn't really matter to you like taxes to spend on what really does matter to you. I like travelling and have never felt guilty about one of the pennies spent there. You are definitely frugal!

Linda said...

I fought the tax bill in vain, but at least I tried. I had done nothing to my home or property. He house was visibly in worse shape than the year before. But, according to the tax office, I had made improvements. The final response to me was there was nothing to change the assessment. I still complained to all the right people. Maybe a solid front with your neighbor will help.

Linda said...

By the way, my escrow was in my house payment every month. So, my house payment varied, going up and down each year, mostly up.

Anne in the kitchen said...

I have decided other than our normal saving and feeding the various kitty's we fund monthly, I am just not worrying about finances until Christmas is over. Our family decided only practical, needed gifts or consumable items would be given this year, so the Christmas spending will be very very small. ( Much less than we anticipated and planned for.)

Starting in January I am going to play a game just to see how little we can spend for 2 months. ( We have no debt with the exception of a mortgage) We will see how it goes. I am hoping to reduce the total by 30 percent and will throw the savings into either retirement or long term savings.

Sonya Ann said...

Cheapchick-I think my problem is I'm always in the save mode so when I spend it, I panic a bit.
And thank you for thinking I'm frugal!

Sonya Ann said...

Linda-I hokestly, have no idea what I am stepping in to. It may help, it may not.
I'm sorry that you didn't have a better outcome. It is getting so that people are being chased out of their homes by higher tax bills.

Sonya Ann said...

Linda-My escrow payment goes up every year and it never fails.

Sonya Ann said...

Anne in the kitchen-Its great that you will have a surplus since you are spending less. I am just a worrier and when money is flying out of the house, I panic a bit.
I'm still working on the 10% game that I set up for myself but maybe this wasn't the time to start working on it. LOL

McVal said...

Our taxes scare me. I just have Robb do them, no matter HOW long it takes!

Sonya Ann said...

McVal-Our property taxes scare me. They are out of control.

Donna Freedman said...

Allow me to point out that your bare-bones budget is almost $100 more...than it was almost seven years ago? Given the increasing cost of damn-near-everything, I think you've done an amazing job at budgeting.
Just sayin'....

Sonya Ann said...

Donna Freedman-I've crunched and recrunched a few times. Its kinda my thing. I think this is accurate and the only thing is to pay off the house. Ahhhh, what a nice dream.
And thank you for thinking that I am doing a good job. Your stamp of approval means a lot to me!

Frances said...

Sonya Ann, you ARE doing a fine job. Everything has gone up and I don't know many people that can say they are only spending an extra $100 per month. Most are spending much more. I might be, but I have not been tracking it. LOL!

Sonya Ann said...

Frances-Its not as bad/tight/desperate as it used to be but I still like to keep control of the bills. I'm a control freak, what can I say!