As a therapist who works for a nonprofit which contracts with various school districts, I invariably drive a lot. It can be assumed I listen to an unfair share of talk radio. I listen to the gamut from cocky Rush Limbaugh to Hannity to Mark Levin. Larry Elder has in on-again, off-again. Of course there are the “fillers” like financial gurus Dave Ramsey and Clark Howard. This is just the secular stations, I’ve got at least one Catholic station saved on the AM dial as well.
In August I usually take a good, long hard look at my budget. The bills that increased in July, are starting to come in; I’m waiting to hear from my property manager about whether rent will increase when my lease terminates at the end of August. Things aren’t computing. I’m not spinning this, I’m not at all related to Bill O’Reily. I promise! On paper I look excellent, earing $47,500 prior to taxes. After my wages are manhandled by greedy, bloated government, I have a ghastly $30,264 left.
Out of 30,264
- Rent (900 x 12) = 10,800
- Internet (34.99 x 12) = 419.88
- LADWP (87.39 X 12) = 1,048.68
- SoCalGas (8 x 12)= 96
- Gasoline (304.10 x 12) = 3649.20
- Car Insurance (336.37 x 12) = 4,036.44
- Car Loan (276.91 x 12) = 3,222.92
- Student Loans 1 & 2 (242.28 x 6) = 1453.68
- Student Loan 3 (88.46 x 6) = 530.76
- Groceries (min. 100 x 12) = 1,200
- therapy (100 x 52) = 5,200
What I am left with: $-2,255.64 annually
What I didn’t include in this is the annual fees for CA DMV registration (upwards of $170), registration with BBS ($75), AAA auto club (IDK), &c. With these included in the deduction, I’m left with nothing. I live in the red.
Routine oil changes on the car cost about $180 annually. What about brakes? Hey, my coolant tank and/or hoses have been leaking. What if I go beyond the $20 grocery budget? Need new shoes/clothing? The water or electricity bill goes up, as it will? How about this year I’m trying to get licensed and just registering for the exam is $200; not to mention testing fees and study materials? How about having to pay off my credit card bill?
In actuality, I don’t have $160 left at the end of the month. Through my account on mint.com I’ve been able to see where each dollar goes ( I pay with my debit card, I don’t carry cash). I have, on average, $40-60, via credit card. Don’t get me started on my parents asking, “Why don’t you have any savings?” Like, really?!? Are you kidding me? Even better, “Are you planning on going somewhere for vacation?” It’s a hoot when I’m asked if I’ll get a raise. I get a 2% raise, which is 20cents added to the hourly wage which is the base for my salary. I’m trying so hard right now to keep myself together. Let’s not consider the likely increase in rent, and my financial inability to afford the cost of moving.
If you could say a prayer for me, I’d really appreciate it.