As I talked about here we will need to have about $500 of work done on our car this week.
I'm not complaining about what it is that must be done in terms of the work (new struts are a maintenance thing on cars), just the timing. Usually for this kind of things we plan ahead for a couple of months which gives me the time to put aside the money we need to have the work done.
So, I've spent a lot of time trying to find a way to get $500 out of an already very tight budget, and it will just be one of those months where there's no extra money for anything that is not absolutely required.
Along the way, I decided to take a look at what is really happening to our money, and found some interesting facts. Here is my brief list:
1. Income -- (by this I mean the income I KNOW will be there, which means only my husband's social security and his pension -- all of my income is purely a "maybe" proposition since I have no job, I'm too young yet to get my pension or social security and selling art is a "maybe" sort of thing.) Between the end of 2001 and the end of 2006 our income rose by 4.69%
2. Utility Bill -- (I'm taking this on the average billing over a year, and its worth noting here that while we used to keep our house at about 70 degrees in the winter, this past winter we turned it down to 62 degrees -- we tried 58 degrees, but both of us just ached too much to handle that) Between the end of 2001 and the end of 2006 our utility bill rose by 76.77%
3. Groceries -- (I'm basing this entirely on one commodity since I don't keep all of the receipts from the grocery store) Between the end of 2001 and the end of 2006 the price of a gallon of milk rose by 66.99%
4. Gas -- (Okay, every one already knows this has gone crazy!) Between the end of 2001 and now, the price of a gallon of gas in our area rose by 176.47%
5. Health care -- (at the end of 2001 I was still covered by the group health insurance plan with my husband's retirement. As soon as he became eligible for Medicare, the price for my insurance skyrocketed) Between the end of 2001 and the end of 2006 the cost of just the health insurance premiums (not actual medical or RX costs) rose by 600.26%
No wonder our budget is at the breaking point....