Call it inflation, call it adding on too many additional expenses…..whatever the cause, my budget is overdrawn this month. The first reason is both medical and vehicle insurance saw a rise in coverage, around 9.6%. The second reason is that I added a few more expenditures onto my monthly budget and now it’s time to eliminate some costs. I usually say I’m going to cut the food budget down from $500 to $400 but that never happens. We’ve stopped buying steaks and expensive cuts of beef and substituted more chicken, fish and plant-based meals but even those adjustments are creeping back up in costs again.
We’re short every month now by around $162. One of the things hubby and I have discussed was going down to one car to lower our monthly costs but that isn’t plausible at this time. Another thing we could reduce would be our savings rate. Each month we put a certain amount of cash away into our property tax account, home improvement account, heating account, vacation account and our emergency fund. We could reduce one of those choices, such as our vacation fund but we’re NOT going to do that! I already made a few cuts to the number of vacation adventures we take each year. I’ve gotten it down to the bare necessities and we’re not going down any further.
The only thing I can cut right now would be the recent additions I’ve added onto our monthly budget. Last in. First out. Literally. We did without them before and we can do without them again. So, technically, the first budget line item to be cut is our doggie’s monthly haircuts at $80 per cut. I tried to spread these cuts out to six weeks but after about 3 to 4 weeks our doggie is looking haggard. Up until now, I had a professional dog groomer cut my puppy’s fur. I’m happy to say, I made the one-time investment and bought all the proper equipment to cut my doggie’s mane myself (buzz cutter, grooming table, various scissors and combs) and now at 11 months old I feel confident enough that I can groom my doggie myself. This is my first try and I definitely got my puppy’s mane down to a more cooler, summer length. Puppy and I are happy with the results. I cancelled her upcoming grooming appointment and have now eliminated $80 off our monthly budget expenditures. I should have done a ‘before’ photo but this is the ‘after’ photo. Trust me. She looks 1000% better! Not bad for my first attempt. I’ll get better each month, plus I’ve been watching a ton of YouTube videos!
The next thing I am going to eliminate off our budget is my monthly payments to WW (Weight Watchers). I’m on a three month trial at $14 per month. Once the trial period is up, the monthly fee jumps to $22. I’m going to remain on the three month trial period (otherwise I pay a penalty) but once the time period is up, sadly I will cancel my membership. Hopefully, I will have mastered the WW diet by then, lost some weight and can continue on my weight loss journey alone. So, that’s $14 saved per month on our budget which totals $94 so far. I still have another $68 to get our budget in balance.
As I discussed on yesterday’s post (click here) we spent $67.29 on snacks for ourselves this month of June. OUCH! That’s totally uncalled for. So as of this writing, we’ve eliminated all snacks and have switched to fruits and veggies or homemade snacks instead. I already have these ingredients on hand and there is no need to buy any more snacking edibles at this time. These three changes should get our budget back in sync by the end of July when we go through our budget expenditures again.
One good thing about this inflationary period is that the value of our home has been increasing like wildfire. Just this past month alone, our property value increased by $43,000. YUP! You read that right. Our home is worth $100,000 more than it did just a few short months ago. We have NO intention of selling or relocating. At least we know that our future retirement years, however, will be secure. We’ll have the bucks we will need for either a retirement home or residing in an assisted living community. The new home appraisal hasn’t even taken into effect the upvalue of our steel barn or ample storage shed. I have no doubt in my mind that real estate will once again make hubby and I millionaires. To me, it’s the only thing that lasts and has constant value. I always advised buying your forever home no later than age 35 and paying it off in 30 years so that at age 65 you have a paid-for home. Today’s housing mania may NOT be the right time to buy but at least you’ll know your future will be a bit brighter when a home is one of your main assets.
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