Monday 115: April is the Cruelest Month!

Monday, 24 April 2017

This is the first line of T. S. Eliot’s poem “The Waste Land.”  Given this is all about spending money and tax season, and waste, it seems appropriate!

April is the month when our taxes are due – federal, state, and property.  It is also the month when our specialized insurance is due, for things like floods and such.  We also had extra bills to pay – dental and veterinary.  Altogether, if we had not been prepared for the known bills, and if we had not saved, we could have been really up the proverbial creek!  All told, between all these, the costs came to $5000.00 for April alone . . . we had already paid the state taxes, so!

The bad is the fact we had to pay for needed dental work and vet bills!  They weren’t on the budget!  How dare they show up!

The good is that because we have been saving, and paying off bills, our cash on hand could take the $700.00 hit for the dental and vet bills.  Not happily, of course, but necessarily.  While we are far from having F-You money, we certainly are at a point where we don’t get F’d!  A year ago it would have been a different story.

Future plans at the moment are deciding how much we want to save over the next four or five months.  I want to increase our rate of savings, but that means we will slow down our debt reduction.  Right now, it feels a bit more important to have more cash on hand.  We have a vacation coming up, and I don’t want any surprises.  I also think I want to have a 10K amount in the bank, even with the vacation.  As well, one of our cars needs some work, to the tune of about $1000, which I want to do in May.  The air conditioner is out in the Acura (14 year old car).   Then it is clear sailing until December.  Unless, of course, Murphy decides to visit.

Revisiting Dave Ramsey is also on the agenda.  It is so important to keep frugality and debt reduction in the forefront of daily activities.  As a result, I am listening to his show, and his YouTube presentations.  Even a year or so into our debt reduction, it is easy to slide back – we do like to spend money and it is so important to continue to work on changing this (natural?) tendency.

A year of hard work is showing results, even if it seems eternally slow.  We can meet financial emergencies more readily, as well as not feel stressed by large annual expenses, such as insurance premiums and taxes.


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