Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Property Tax Time

I think I do this every year. This time of year I have usually spent more than I have budgeted but it doesn't seem to bother me because for some reason I still have money in my bank account. I am surprised by this extra money and wonder how I got such a surplus. Then one day I check the mail and I remember what that money is for...property taxes!

Yes, I got my property tax bills today. The property that I am living on is actually 2 separate pieces. One has a $500 property tax bill. The other has a $1,000 bill. Right now I am over budget approximately $800 so I seem to be a little short on cash for these bills. The good news is that I have until December (I think) to pay them in full or I can pay half now and half later. I am kind of bummed that I didn't really have a surplus. I thought I had a magic bank account. My budget is so automatic that I totally forget that I set aside money monthly for those yearly expenses like property tax, RV insurance, car insurance (well, that one is every 6 months).

It's a little disappointing that my cushion is going away but maybe that will help me remember to stick to my budget! Negative $800 is not a good place to be.


Dave said...

I have some large, irregular expenses like you do, mainly my health and auto insurance and my estimated income taxes (similar to your irregular expenses).

To best plan my cash flow, I have created a spreadsheet which maps out my expenses for the entire year so I know when I need to run a monthly surplus to cover the months when the large bills become due, often in the same month.

So, when my checking account seems to be on the high side, I know it is not usually because I am "rich" but because it will soon be spent on one of those big, irregular bills coming up in the next few months (or longer). Sometimes, I actually do have a "real" surplus after taking into account the large upcoming bills. But the spreadsheet determines what is real and what is not so I don't get fooled.

Anonymous said...

I use to have that problem. Now I have 6 ING accounts for the irregular expenses on auto pilot. The total biweekly amount is direct deposited from my paycheck into an ING checking account and then ING transfers XX amount into each account. When the bill comes due once a year I transfer the money back into the checking account and write a check or have it done automatically. This has been the best system for me. I can see the amount in each account daily, it is automatic so I do not have the think about it and I am not guessing how much money I should have in my reg. checking account to cover the irregular expenses.

Daizy said...

Yes, $1,500 is such a large amount I should have a separate account for it. I keep my renter's deposit in a separate account so I am not tempted to spend it...ok, sometimes I look at it and think about using it for the mortgage, but I resist!