Sunday, September 18, 2016

This instead of that

As we’ve run the numbers and scrutinized our budget on just my income, we’ve figured out that we’ll need to tighten up by about $300 a month when unemployment runs out.

Here’s an interesting side note: in Kansas, the length of time you can be on unemployment is tied to the state unemployment rate. Right now, the unemployment rate is 4.3% and that means you can get 16 weeks. If it rises to 4.5% over a rolling three-month average, then that time would increase to a total of 20 weeks. We probably won’t get there in time for Kent to have the longer amount of time and honestly I don’t actually want unemployment to rise (not to mention that unemployment pays very little).

Going back to our budget, we don’t actually do a lot of discretionary spending, Crazy Trips notwithstanding and also we haven’t gone on one in well over a year. Where we did spend like that, we stopped: we dropped my contribution to my 401K down to 10% and may drop it more after the first of the year, and we stopped paying extra on the principle for our mortgage and now just pay the mortgage.

I have one professional membership I’d already decided not to renew so that’s confirmed as money I won’t spend (I will keep my membership to SIOP, however, as that’s important to my career). But the rest of that shortfall will need to be made up in tiny savings, not big obvious ones.

We compare prices between Amazon, Walmart and whatever store we’d normally have gone to for the item. Walmart almost always has the lowest price (not in cat food because they don’t carry what we use), followed by Amazon. I know some folks who won’t shop at Walmart and to them, I would say that’s a choice you can make. Right now, we can’t (and honestly where do you think the employees of Walmart would work if all the stores shut down?), and I made no apology for that. 

Here are some of the choices we’re making:

I’m sure there are other, similar choices we’ll be making—but those are the ones we’ve identified already. Got any suggestions? 

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