I realize we all have to pay our way to live. Utilities, rent, taxes, water, sewer, garbage are all part of urban life for most of us. I realize you can own your home outright but you would still have taxes. You could be off the grid and have solar power, but the cost of that is not feasible for most Americans. You could have your own well but electricity would run the pump. It is going to be really hard to get away from any or all living expenses.
Actually I am grateful for a safe community (fire, police). I am thrilled that I have good streets and lighting. I have clean water and access to natural gas and electricity. But running a home even when you are frugal is expensive. Just your monthly bills can run into the thousands. We are lucky that there is just the two of us and our taxes and insurance only run about $200.00 a month. We have friends up the street in another neighborhood whose taxes are $500.00 a month and their house is not that much different then ours. It is newer, the kitchen is gorgeous, but square footage, bathroom space and yard are smaller. They do have a three car garage, we have a one. But is that worth and extra $300.00 a month for ever? I don't think so, but perhaps for them that is okay.
I have been trying to scrutinize my utility bills since the kids moved out a year ago. What I have noticed is a considerable drop in the electric and gas bill. About $50.00 a month. Less washing, showers,cooking, lights are all adding up. Our water bill is still very high, but we did have the flood problem last Sept that we still appears on our yearly bill. Our last power bill was only $86.00 as apposed to $126.00 a year ago. The studio power has gone down by over $70.00 a month when I changed all the bulbs to low energy. I also insisted and paid for a furnace man to come in and set the thermostat, (not the landlord who doesn't know what he is doing). All of these things are making a difference. Now if I could just get the kids off the insurance and the cell phone. Yeah like that is going to happen.
D#2 will be forced off our insurance in October of 2013. She will be 26 and we will only be insuring the 2 of us and our youngest which will drop us into the Spouse and 1 child plan. She will also be the only one on our car insurance. D#2's car will be paid for we will be off the title and she will insure herself. Right now the studio phone# is daughters phone. Even though she does not live here we are trying to make sure that all parents and our web and mailings have my number. But alas the phone directories went out for a year in advance and we cannot change directory until next September 2013. So I pay for the line.
I was inspired by "The Quest to be Financially Abundant" to see where I would stand 365 days from now. So I looked back and saw how my standard bills have fallen by about $200.00 a month. Next year at this time they could be another $200.00 less. Six years form now we will have no dependents. But that is counting chickens. Six years from now hubby will be retired and we should be debt free, hopefully on a mission somewhere.
Look back, where were your bills a year ago? Where do you want your bills to be in a year? What are you going to concentrate on to reach those goals?
Out My Window: Beautiful and much cooler. Lots of tomatoes in the garden. I am not going to can, so hubby took a box to work.
Have a great and productive day!