Looks like my husband and I will be facing two new financial challenges in 2022. First one will be hubby’s increased medical insurance costs. He’ll be starting Medicare when he shortly turns 65 which means no more affordable ACA. Right off the bat he will have $170 deducted off his Social Security check to cover Part B. Then he will have to pay an additional Part D (drugs) policy as well as a Medigap policy. In other words, we estimate his net income will probably drop by $250 every month.

The second challenge is now that hubby will be 100% on Social Security, our gross income margin will have increased to a level that will disqualify us from the Over 65 Property Tax Reduction on our home. I estimate we will see our property taxes rise by $500 annually which means our net income will be reduced by the same. For arguments sake, let’s just calculate that going forward into 2022, right off the bat, we will see an increase in expenses by approximately $3,500 for the year.

OUCH!

To compensate for the shortfall I’ll be directing one of our investments to fund our expense account at $271 monthly and hubby will pick up the slack by taking on a part time job. He’ll just work a few days per week and that should solve our financial shortfall. For now. I have no idea what our future will hold. The only other rabbit we might be able to pull out of our financial hat is to eliminate one of our vehicles. We’ve been thinking of downsizing our RV (since we will be taking shorter trips much closer to home) and going down to one vehicle (which will also be able to tow). Those two moves will cut down our monthly/annual expenses immensely. It’s comforting to know we still have some viable maneuvers left in our basket of tricks.

No amount of preparedness could have been viable enough to help us conquer the current rate of inflation. The higher prices we are paying for gas, energy and food have put a damper on our finances through no fault of our own. Thankfully, for now, we can live with it and somehow manage. The Omicron variant isn’t helping our travel plans much either. It’s as if we got hit with a double whammy.

One beam of light, however, shown to me was yesterday when we went food shopping. Thank goodness for Aldi. They have actually lowered their food prices on many necessary items such as eggs, milk and regular bread. They had beef roasts on sale at 50% off (I didn’t buy any since I don’t like red beef anymore) and they had $3 off coupons on chopped turkey and chicken parts. Those I did buy and store in the freezer since those two items make up the majority of our meals. I found my shopping venture yesterday to be enlightening and hopeful. Gas was ‘down’ for us at $3.39 a gallon. Truthfully, if the price per gallon can stay below $4.00, I’d say that would be a win-win solution for us and our RV traveling.

On the food front, I thought I would address lunch ideas this week. We’ve been eating the same old-same old for lunch plus an occasional leftover and realistically, we’re bored. I decided to spruce things up and make black bean tacos for a few days (with all the fixings’). Next came our usual chicken soup but I used tortellini’s in place of rice and it seemed to work out much better. I also pulled out my old panini maker, bought some panini bread and made grilled sandwiches filled with ham, Swiss cheese and honey mustard. I also warmed up some frozen manicotti and marinara sauce (which is a sure dinner dish) and I served it for lunch. Delish!

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