I am hearing of so many people struggling right now. Times are getting tough for a lot of people. Prices, as you all know, have risen pretty quickly on food, clothing, OTC medicines, cleaning products, hygiene products, gasoline, propane, oil for heating, etc. Doctors and dentists have raised what they charge. We have just gotten notification that our private health insurance and Medicare will be going up January 1st. The Medicare costs will eat in to the Social Security increase for next year. People who rely on that to live are going to have a much tougher time next year than they have had this year even though they should end up with a small increase.
Your local towns and cities will likely raise your property taxes at the highest percentage increase that you have seen in years. Their costs have risen too. I know I am planning on my January property tax bill being much higher. Some may raise your sales taxes or those fees and surcharges that you see on everyday bills like phone service, cellphone service, and your utility bills. We all know that the media and our government have warned us that it is going to be a rough winter because electricity, natural gas, oil and propane bills are going to be huge. I have seen predictions of 30 up to 40% increases. People who have filled their propane and oil tanks already have felt the higher prices. We get billed monthly for natural gas and electricity. We saw an increase last month. I just submitted our readings for this past month yesterday. I am expecting a much larger bill than the same period last year even though we cut our natural gas by 15 CCF’s and our electricity by 98 KWH. We live in a very snowy and cold climate in the winter and our heat has been running all month so I am expecting this bill to a doozy. But that will just be the beginning of these costs rising. I believe it will get worse. I could get into the politics of it but I think you all know why those prices are rising.
Let’s talk about the pain at the pump! UGH! We are paying $ 3.50 per gallon here for gasoline. I am sure there are many people across the country paying a lot more than that especially in states like California. I expect that the prices for the Thanksgiving travel will rise. So if you work from home or are retired get your gasoline tank filled before the prices go up. Even if you aren’t traveling and just need gasoline to go to work next week, fill up today or tomorrow so that you don’t have to fill up next week. Those that are traveling may have to fill up next week too but at least you will have gotten one tank of gas at a cheaper price.
We have gotten notification from our homeowners insurance that the cost to rebuild our home has gone up(lumber prices) so when we get our renewal in March, it will cost more. Not only because of that but their costs have gone up too just like yours and because of so many weather disasters across our country this past year. Many have mentioned that they have gotten their policy increases this Fall and they are way up.
So what do you do if your income hasn’t increased or it has decreased? You get back to basics or what I call a bare bones budget! I have lived through a period like this back in the early seventies when I had little ones. It happened right after we purchased our first home and my oldest was born and then my youngest. Fortunately, our mortgage interest was only about 7.5%. But many that got mortgages shortly after we bought were at 16%. That is what happens when there is inflation. We have not even seen what inflation will really be like in this country because the Treasury has been controlling the interest rates. Just wait until they start allowing those to go up! Every time the government prints money, our costs go up. You have already seen and it is going to get worse and worse every time they spend money that they don’t have. So many people thought that the stimulus checks were free. They weren’t free; we are all paying for them through the printing of money which is devaluing what your dollar is worth. Every time they pass something that is going to cost money, the $ gets devalued more and more. We haven’t seen anything yet. Obviously we survived the inflation of the 1970’s but I believe this will be even worse. So I have some experience working with a bare bones budget and will be writing articles on what you must do to be able to survive it. I will tackle one topic at a time when I can because I am still dealing with health issues. If I am up to it, I may write the first one later today.
So what are you guys doing to control these increases? Share in the comments so that you can help other people who may be able to use your advice.