NonMom Budget Rant

I skimp and I save and I just cannot see any light at the end of the tunnel anymore.
And then I see this article in today’s Toronto Star.

I try to keep my posts non-controversial but I honestly am up in arms. Another flipping increase in my budget, I don’t know what else to cut and this has just plain got to stop, by all parties.

Now before I go on, I want to mention that I am not anti environmental, I recycle and I take my bags to the grocery store and I even try to cut down trips on the road by taking my neighbour with me when we shop because that cuts down on single passenger traffic. I ditched my V6 (which believe me I LOVED) and am now on my second 4 cylinder, smaller vehicle. I plant my own veggies in summer and try to buy local as much as possible.

In the past, oh, call it 6 months tops, I have seen the following:
* My gas go up from costing me $45 tops (most weeks no more than $40) to fill my car to over $50, closer to $55 if I fill it. I don’t fill it to the top anymore and I’ve slowed down yet again and am trying consciously to conserve fuel. I fill it once a week so we’ve gone from $180 per month to $220.
* My car insurance has increased about $18/month
* And last week I get a notice in the mail that my hydro is going from $140 to $167 per month. I’m reviewing and doing an inventory of my candles…no I’m not kidding.

To attempt to balance this out my groceries have gone to No Name and frozen where possible and our once per week take-out treat has been reduced to maybe twice per month. Thank goodness it’s bbq season and so far this week at least, dry so we can use it.

We are definitely staying home more but this article just infuriated me! My husband works, well, all over. He has to travel for his job so carpooling is not an option for us. And for me, I’m freelancing so I’m all over too. As a result, I don’t have a huge SUV, I don’t need it, I’m not carrying anything big, but my little SX-4 will hold all of my groceries and my neighbours and IF we go away it holds all of our stuff and Lucy (yes I name my cars) is pretty darn good on gas. I have passed on several events that I typically don’t miss simply because of the price of gas and I’m going to pass on several more too.

If this extra fee comes out I think I’ll scream. As it is the road (and I use that term loosely as roads imply movement as I assure you the 403 does not move when I’m on it) is perma-jammed and the 12 cars that pass me in the car pool lane is definitely not helping to reduce any smog, in fact, MANY times this lane causes accidents which jams us all up again and then we’re sitting and idling causing more emissions. I can tell you exactly what will happen if I’m charged for taking the highway, I’ll take the side streets….and I won’t be the only one. So, in an effort to reduce emissions which are harmful to the masses this fee will encourage people to drive nearer to homes in stop and crawl traffic to avoid another fee and create more smog around homes and schools. Brilliant.

I write this as a ‘married with no kids’, and I’m struggling, believe me. For parents with kids who need to run more laundry, buy more groceries and feed more mouths and use more hydro and water I just don’t know how you are doing it if I can barely manage. You all get gold stars from me.

The one ‘luxury’ item I have kept is my beloved satellite radio. Want to know why? It’s not the fact that there are no commercials on the station I listen to even though that was an original incentive, it’s not that I can travel all over and still listen to my station, it’s because no matter what happens I am stuck in stop and crawl traffic and I need something to keep me sane.

I am an eternally practical person so I have sat down with my husband several times and we have gone over our budget and we have cut everything that we felt we could….more than once. In fact, we’re going to do another round, this time the satellite, which we use a lot because we’re staying home more. It’s a good thing I love crocheting, it keeps me busy and occupied. It’s also a good thing I read as much as I do.

So to the bean counters who are obsessing over how much more of my meager bank account to take from me, STOP IT!!! Find another way, stop punishing us for not being able to get jobs and work the identical hours as our spouses or close neighbours. If you can find me a job that pays me what I’m worth that’s closer to home or even within walking distance, believe me I’m all for it. My resume is all yours!

Ok, NonMom’s rant is over for today. Now onto happier things, like the fact that the sun is shining and I can plant some veggies in my garden when I get home.

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2 Responses

  1. I get it. we have the same frustrations. The gas thing drives me insane. I take the go train every day – and that costs me $300 per month (approx) on top of what Mike pays in gas to get to work.
    The toll highways won’t affect me because of the train – tho we get price increases. What i see happening though, is people like my husband who currently take the highway because it’s faster will start finding alternate routes through the city which will increase traffic where you don’t want it.

  2. I feel your pain, and I’m in Alabama!! It’s going to get better–just has to. 😦

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