Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Money, Money, Money

Collage of One Hundred Dollar Bills by Paul Katz
Collage of One Hundred Dollar Bills

Where is all of our money going??

I filled up my gas tank last week and it came to EXACTLY $100.00. Wow, that was a shocker! It's not as if I can get a small, fuel-efficient vehicle with 5 kids. If anything, I actually need something bigger than my Expedition. We're cramped in there with all 7 of us and the double stroller. I can barely fit groceries in there!

Something always goes wrong when you buy a house. When we owned a house in Texas, the air conditioner went out and had to be completely replaced (in the middle of summer of course). Now that we live in Alaska, our boiler went out. We have already spent over $300 having things replaced on it last week (but of course they weren't the RIGHT things). Now a guy is coming today to replace a $500 part. I don't even want to know what it will come to with labor...

I had to take my vehicle in today to get a bunch of little things fixed on it. The warranty expires soon and I would hate to let it run out without getting them fixed. We are also getting a tune-up since Andy is deploying soon and I really don't want anything to go wrong with it while he's gone. I envision me stuck on the side of the road with 5 kids when it's negative 40 degrees out this winter. Doesn't sound pleasant to me :( Anyway, I don't know how much the tune-up will cost, but it has to be done....

Along with the climbing cost of gasoline is the cost of heating oil (which is how our house is heated). Last year they came and filled our tank 4 times. Each time it was an average of 320-340 gallons. The first three times I payed $900. By the time it was filled the last time, prices had climbed enough that I had to pay $1200 for the same amount. I checked the current prices, and I would be paying over $1500 for the same amount now. My tank won't have to be filled again until fall, but what if the prices go up again? As it stands now, I will be paying at least $1500 4 times next winter. YIKES! This is on top of a $170-$200 electric bill every month. I just got my electric bill today. They included an insert which explained why our bill is going up an average of $25 starting this month. Great!

I don't know how people afford to live here long term. We are military and only here for 2 more years. We get COLA to live here since it is more expensive to live up here, but it doesn't cover close to the extra money we have spent to live here. Besides the outrageous utilities, we had to completely outfit our entire family in winter clothing (we were in CA last) and we had to winterize both of our vehicles.

I have had my kids in various classes throughout the year - dance, gymanstics, swimming, girl scouts, yoga, etc. I have been lucky enough to usually be able to drop my daughter off at dance (which she had 3 nights a week) and my husband would pick her up on his way home from work. He will be deploying this fall and I will either have to run home for 30 minutes and then come back and get her, or else I will be waiting in the parking lot (with the car running in the winter). Either way, I will be eating up lots of very expensive gas. I am going to have to seriously think about what classes I am going to let them take this next school year :(

Everything is really starting to add up.........

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