Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Water rates going up 11% this year and other increases in personal cost of living

I noted in my annual review of our personal cost of living that although we reduced water use 4.7% in 2012, the cost was 6.5% more! I knew rates had gone up and had forgotten that it was an 11% increase. The same increase in rates will be applied in 2013 and 2014. That will be $45 to $50 annually for us based on last year's usage. It is to pay for massive sewer line work that had been delayed for many decades resulting in many sewage spills into creeks and rivers. A good reason to raise rates.

I'm not sure how to reduce our water use further. Our new dishwasher should use less water and we can pre-rinse less. We could go back to collecting the "warm up" shower water in a bucket and hauling it from the 2nd floor to the basement to use in the washer. I think that won't happen due to my shoulder and Hubby's back problems. I'd rather shower every other day in cool weather to save water.

Other increases in our personal cost of living for 2013? The cable/internet/phone bundle went up 21% as the intro rate expired and I imagine there were other increases in fees/taxes. I am sure we will see increases in car and homeowner's insurance although our excess liability policy stayed the same. Our life insurance costs go up each year as well. Of course our OASDI withholding went back up 2% to the normal rate after the "tax holiday" as did everyone else's. I think the Medicare withholding went up a bit too. Our property appraisal is locked for the year but the rates will probably go up so our bill will too. We are very fortunate that our medical insurance rate only went up 1% after years of larger increases. The only thing I can think of that will go down is the personal property tax on our cars as it is based on value and they keep depreciating.

Of course that leaves our discretionary expenses as the only place to see reductions. I'm working on that!


6 comments:

  1. Everything around here is going up except hubbys paychecks!! lol! I just cut our budget by 1/3 in able to add to our savings account! It's hard to stay afloat sometimes!

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    1. You have a big challenge. I don't think I could cut 1/3 of our expenses unless we stopped visiting family all together.

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    2. It has dawned on me that the other big savings I could make if I had to cut 1/3 would be to sell this house which is expensive to operate. Lower housing costs would do it.

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  2. It is depressing and ridiculous the rate at which things like that continue to go up. Lately I feel like we can't win. And I am (starting) to feel as you do about selling this big house for something smaller.

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    1. Inflation and other increases in unavoidable costs are hard to factor in for retirement planning. In this case, the county paid fines for sewage spills for many years rather than fixing the problem. I'm all for fixing it but also for conserving on our utilities as much as we can. We won't be selling for 5 more years if all goes as planned so in the meantime I am trying to manage our costs.

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  3. I am in the same boat. Electric, heating oil, water, Internet bundle and insurance keep going up; and property tax is capped for now. I am just glad not to have medical to deal with. I am always examining the discretionary expenses, but like you, I could downsize to another living arrangement if things got tight.

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