Wednesday, March 26, 2014
The big bills for March were -
Semi Annual car insurance $742
Country Club - $900ish
Semi Annual Property Taxes - $1000ish
New roof - $9500ish
Some explanation - we have one teenage driver (in May we will have 2). We used to pay about $900 a year before son #1 started driving. My husband needs to stop at the country club and pay in person. We aren't sure what we owe because the kids are getting older and might need junior memberships which could add a couple hundred dollars. We live in a small town. I know this is probably very low for golf compared to what other readers might have to pay. I am mailing out the property taxes on Friday. The bill is on the desk but I am not going over there right now to see the exact amount. The roof is not done yet. The initial estimate was $8350. Things keep creeping up. We are at about $9300 right now. I am hoping not to go over $9500, but I will not know until the job is done. I have already paid $8000 of it and have enough in the checking account to cover the rest. This is actually a good price in my opinion.
In the last year we have also replaced our washer, the dryer and the dishwasher. Both vehicles are aging at the speed of light. My husband's car has over 140k miles. Mine is older with less than 100k, but they are starting to show their age. We took 5k from our car replacement fund for the roof.
It is hard trying to do all of these things without going into debt. I am not sure we can stay the debt free course but we certainly are going to try. Several years ago we started sending $100 a pay (every other week) to a credit union savings account for annual bills which worked great for us. We kept upping the amount and now direct $400 a pay ($200 a week) and have tagged it as a car replacement fund. We stopped paying annual bills from it and try to let it grow. It became easier to just pay those annual bills as we received them and not touch the account, but this month has sucked the life out of me and the money out of our bank account! Hopefully we can save the money to pay for a car outright, but there is never a guarantee about how long an older car will last. Time will tell. If we need to take out a loan it won't be the end of the world, but we will try our best to avoid it. I keep telling myself that a few years ago I wouldn't have been able to do the roof without a loan, so we are moving in the right direction.
The new plan is to keep saving the $400 biweekly for replacement cars and to start a new account for annual bills. Property taxes, car insurance, golf membership and homeowner's insurance total roughly 6k per year. Starting this Friday I am going to send $120 per week to a separate account for annual bills. I have a spreadsheet of bills for the entire year and need to go in and make the adjustments. It will take $120 each week from the income but it will make March, June, August and September easier months. Previously we saved little or nothing in those months and a great deal in the other months. Not only will the pain of big bills be spread out better now, so will the joy of saving. I will let you know how it goes!