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Taxes the Eye Opener.

Monday, February 11, 2013

I got my taxes together yesterday. I found my DH makes $35,000 a year. $2,300 of which goes to doctors, meds, and the like. $1,300 went to church. We had $6,770 in stuff we gave away. Leaving us with $7,800 per person in our house for living. What an eye opener. How many families can say that they can do this? No wonder we can't save for college, do more family vacations, field trips, extra stuff in general.

Here is what we can do: we volunteer at the zoo. We get a zoo membership for free. Its an hour away so we have to budget gas carefully. We know the meaning of the word no, but we can save up for it. Believe it or not we can save up for a week in the Smokie Mountains. We just put 10% of what we get into a jar. My DS is the one that does most of it with his earnings neighbors pay him doing odd jobs. We know the meaning of work. Hard work at times. We know how to work together to get to the end goal. We are wonderful pet owners. We know the joy a pet can bring. We know the value of a family dinner. We know not to "blow" our dollars on something just because "Johny" has one. We know how to borrow stuff. Take great care of the item until it is returned to its owner. We know how to hunt for the deals. Our last trampoline was free. Just had to haul it away. Same with our two swing sets and my swing made for two.

My name is Honey Muffin and stuff collects me. We don't lack in stuff that is a fact. We have more to give and to share. There should be a group for people like me. Thing is most of it is free. It helps with taxes. It helps to redecorate our house. I keep the cream of the crop and pass on the rest.

Over all, I'm surprised at how little we have to "live on". With prices going up, it will be a HUGE challenge to make it all work. I've got to do more couponing. I've to save more too.
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  • PROT358
    A few months ago I decided to start tracking my money, every penny. I have two columns paychecks and other deposits. I have expense columns: VISA, rent, student loans, and other. (And any paper money I spend goes under other, but typically I put everything on VISA. But if I were to get a daily coffee on the way to work, that goes under "other"). Then I add up the month's assets and subtract the expenses to get the net fluctuation up or down. At a glance I can see if my bank account is going up or down, and if it's going down I can see where the big offender is. This whole money tracking business is stressful and at times terrifying but it keeps me responsible and aware. And since I implemented this system I have spent money a lot more judiciously.

    All this to say I congratulate you on your numbers-crunching. Becoming more financially aware will likely lead to you taking steps to spend less and save more, or at least take a closer look at where the money is going. With so many people in debt or headed that direction I view this as an accomplishment.
    1829 days ago
    Muffin, this was a terrific blog. What a picture you have painted - a family that truly understands that life does not hand us things for free .... yet some things can be had for free IF a person (or family) is willing to make the effort to find them and to pay whatever price, which often involves sacrifice of time, energy, to make them their own. I applaud all of you for what you do!
    It IS hard to make ends meet these days, to be sure, and to read of the balancing act that you and your husband and children perform day-to-day and in so many different ways, well, it truly is a lesson and an inspiration to follow.
    But I tell you now, your TEAM is a hard act to follow and my respect for you has just gone up another notch.

    Wonderful Blog in spite of the taxes and all that they revealed to you. Keep doing what you do best - Managing!
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    1832 days ago
    You and your family should be proud of those numbers. It has made me think of ways that I could improve and spend less money on stuff that is not necessary and to prioritize things that are important. Thanks for an eye opening blog!
    1832 days ago
    Amazing how far a shoe string budget can stretch when someone knows the difference between want and need.
    1832 days ago
    I know exactly what you are feeling!! My hubby and I held down 6 jobs together last year, and we made just under $20,000! And in our house we have 9 people, not including my step son who is away at college, but we give money to. We do the same thing you do like volunteering for opportunities. I do it all the time. I am good at finding bargains and passing on the unnecessary things. You do what you have to do in order to survive - although at times I don't feel like we're "just surviving", but thriving! :-) Good job - I think you are doing great!!!
    1832 days ago
    Its truly amazing how the numbers look when we do our taxes. I have at least six times your medical expenses and it truly hurts

    1832 days ago
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