Friday, August 15, 2014

Personal cost of living increases and spending priorities

I knew our property taxes were going to increase substantially this year, but a 36% increase was a surprise. I had budgeted for about a 25% increase knowing we were going to have a triple whammy - our property tax freeze from a valuation appeal a few years ago was expiring, property values have increased significantly (nice if we were ready to sell LOL), and the tax rate increased over last year. We are living in this house until Hubby retires at the end of 2017, so we will continue to pay taxes for more house than we need because it doesn't make sense to move now.

These are the kind of things that can destroy family budgets and retirement financial plans. So while healthcare and food costs are often mentioned as things that are increasing more than inflation, house related items can also increase substantially and need to be handled in our planning.

If you are having difficulty dealing with your own cost of living or simply want to save more for the future, check out this Take along printable decision card from And Then We Saved

So we continue to be thrifty in the areas that are lower priority to us or give benefits in other ways. As much as I hate doing yard work it is good exercise! So this morning I transplanted some bushes to fill in an area that is looking empty, pruned and am rooted two new oak leaf hydrangea bushes from cuttings. Tomorrow I need to head out the door early and spray for mosquitoes for the final time for the summer. They really haven't been too bad this year but are definitely increasing.

I definitely made progress on my August goals with a half of them completed so far.

1. DONE WK 1 Spray for weeds/invasive plants in the wooded area on the next non-rainy day
2. DONE WK 1 Prepare everything needed for Friends of the Library book sale that will occur while I am on vacation
3. DONE WK 2 Make a pair of sleep shorts - bought thrifted pair of PJ pants and shortened them
4. DONE WK 2 Transplant some plants in yard to area that needs more coverage
5. Go out to coffee with friends times 3 but not otherwise - FAIL on the not going out myself - I am a coffee addict and I love to get out of the house; SUCCESS I did have lunch with a friend this week
6. Finish one of 2 paintings that has been in progress forever - no progress
7. DECIDED Decide what to make with fabric given for Christmas and get started - I have made a "muslin" (actually red poplin) of a sleeveless top using a free PDF pattern and it came out good enough that I am going to finish it off to wear. I'll make the same top and a skirt with the fabric I have.
8. DONE WK 1 Resolve stacks of paper on desk
9. Eat dinner at home every day before vacation - so far so good!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, 36%, that's a killer! Increasing property taxes is one of the biggest financial burdens that retired people face -- something local govts. just don't seem to understand.