Monday, October 8, 2007

More Budget Categories-Maintaining My Standard of Living

There are a few things that I should put in my budget that aren't there. One is travel money. I just bought a plane ticket to visit my family but I realize that I don't have any money in my budget to replenish my travel fund which did have $500 in it but now has only $200. With Christmas right around the corner and another expensive plane ticket to buy, I need to set some money aside very soon.

Another neglected category is medical and dental bills. All of my extra money has gone to pay my medical bills this year and I have decided to put off my dental work (partly because I don't trust that dentist and I want a second opinion). But I know that I will have more bills, there is no way around it. I might as well be prepared. And also, I need a home improvement budget. I think I need to start spraying for bugs around my home which means buying pest control products and a sprayer. Also, the paint on all of the outside house trim is peeling. Some painting will need to be done soon.

I should also have a car fund. I have been very lucky and haven't needed any major repairs lately but I will need tires soon. I should have at least $2,000 set aside for a replacement car. It probably should be more like $6,000. I paid $12,500 for it used. That is the most I have ever paid for a vehicle. I can't believe I paid that much. I had more money back then. I also bought my RV for $20,000 around the same time. Both of those items have depreciated considerably. My car is worth under $4,000 and I would probably be lucky to get $10,000 for the RV. Oh, that reminds me of another budget category I should have...RV upkeep. If I ever sell that thing I will need to buy new tires, batteries, vinyl trim and plastic covers for all of the outdoor lights. The sun is brutal. Much of the decorative touches and trim have dry rotted from the sun.

I can see that I am at that point where my budget just barely keeps up with my standard of living. I have too much stuff that costs too much to maintain. And I don't even have time to enjoy it because I am working to pay for the maintenance on my stuff. I see a vicious circle here.

Well, hopefully, my plan to rent my house will help my cover my bills and free up a little money for savings. I do feel lucky that I have that opportunity for extra income. At least some of my stuff can work for me.

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