In relation to yesterday’s post…

I’m baffled. Perplexed. Befuddled. Bewildered. Flummoxed. Flabbergasted and confounded. Okay, doesn’t have too many more entries and it was just too long to say “some-other-word-for-not-understanding-a-fucked-up-situation.” Oh. I guess I just did… Anyhow.

I can’t for the life of me figure out why we are so broke. In all honesty, it doesn’t make any sense to me. My Mom was saying the other day how it’s not really our fault that we’re so broke all the time. I started to argue with her, but then I thought about it… and I stopped. Because even if I stick to my budget to the penny and don’t spend too much on groceries (i.e. buy meat) or go out to eat or what have you, we’re still in the red at the end of the month. I’m cancelling my $12.95 per month Audible subscription because that might just be enough to get us in the black.

I tried to figure it out…

  1. We don’t have car payments- our cars are both over 10 years old. The insurance on the truck is the bare minimum since our insurance agent (the nice lady in town who handles the house and car insurance for us) told us it’s pointless to have collision coverage on it since, after the deductible, we’d get pretty much nothing. And My Parents still pay the insurance on my Subaru as part of their family package thingy. Gas is a lot, I think a good portion of our budget goes into increasing our carbon footprint.
  2. Small house- we don’t have a huge mortgage. In fact, I bought the house when it was just Princess Punk and myself and the amount I could borrow was based on my income alone. Which was less than it is now. And I borrowed less than I was approved for. The house is a pain in the ass and no longer appropriate for the four of us but since we’re broke, the housing market is shit and the house is considered a mobile home by the banks, we’re pretty much stuck here. We keep repairs at a minimum and though we are badly in need of a new stove and I wouldn’t mind a new fridge, we’re not buying anything new for the house. Taxes are a killer though, I believe that the escrow payment for our school and municipal taxes are about 20% of our monthly payment? Not exactly sure, but doing the rough calculations in my head, that seems right. maybe even a little more than that.
  3. Modest living- we buy our clothes at thrift shops. We pay for Netflix and internet. No cable TV. Cell phones for us, My Mom and my sister-in-law. That’s pretty expensive. But we do have a fairly stripped down family plan and I get a discount through work. No eating out. If we do, it’s cheap and we get the cheapest thing on the menu. No luxuries. The days of video games and computers for gifts are long gone.
  4. Utilities- a relatively large chunk. We pay for electric, water, heating oil and propane for the stove and water heater. As we all know, energy prices are high and the state of Vermont seems to thing that high taxes on heating oil and auto gas will help encourage people to use alternative energy sources and drive more fuel-efficient cars. Which is a load of horse shit because if I could afford a more energy-efficient home and a Prius, then I wouldn’t be complaining about the gas tax.
  5. Credit card debt- not a whole lot there, we’ve been very careful about that, people can get into a LOT of trouble with a hefty line of credit. Still, when The Peach was born and we had a severely reduced income for awhile, it was the only way we were able to pay the heating bill so our house wasn’t 40 degrees with our newborn. 2 cards, one at 18% interest, even paying more than the minimum (which we do, otherwise we’ll be stuck there FOREVER) we’re still carrying more debt than I’m comfortable with.
  6. Groceries… Even sticking to my $50-75 per week schedule (which is damn near impossible) we seem to barely make it.
  7. Medical… Stuff- Co-pays, prescriptions, vitamins, glucose tablets, protein shakes… It adds up. Even with health insurance, we pay a good amount of out-of-pocket stuff every month. And the flexible spending account that my employer offers is useless since it covers pretty much nothing (including vitamins). So it’s not worth the money taken out of my check because I’ll never get it back again.

SO yes. I am guilty of some not-thrifty choices. And yeah, I go to the grocery store and buy stuff outside my budget. But we make a solid middle-class income. $2.99/lb ground beef should not be a luxury.

So what the hell?


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