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My Sisyphean Budget (Warning: Political)

March 27th, 2014 at 08:50 am

In Greek mythology Sisyphus was a king of Ephyra (now known as Corinth) punished for chronic deceitfulness by being compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this action forever.

My county dearly wants to place a FLAT vehicle registration fee (FLAT = fee for renewing the annual tabs on your 75cc 2002 Yamaha Vino is same for renewing the annual tabs on the 2014 Porsche Boxster). We have two motorized vehicles: one is an eight-year-old Yamaha scooter, another is a two-year-old Toyota Prius. This flat fee is $60/vehicle, equivalent to what I spend on gas for the year for the scooter, and two months' gas on the Prius.

My county already instituted a fee hike of $20 on vehicle tabs (they call it car tabs, but no, it's a motorized vehicle tab fee, make no mistake) no more than two years ago. Its transit authority's already eliminated the "ride-free area" option. For some reason my county and state enjoy disproportionate and regressive taxes. I'm too ignorant to point out any political party as the culprit, so I'll just type that both of the two major ones are to blame. The county council is "nonpartisan" but let's be honest, I live in a city where only American cities like St. Louis and San Francisco seem more Democratic.

I don't want to pay $10 more per month because I'm not sure I can afford it. So my challenge to myself is to come up with $10 savings per month. I can tell you it will not come from fixed budget costs, nor from monthly expenditures under $40 a month. It won't come from spending $1440 in closing costs refinancing a 12-year $100000 mortgage down 0.125%.

I may be Sisyphus here, but I feel I am being punished for my county's chronic deceitfulness.

This is a very tightened black belt. I won't be giving up my celebratory Moxie pop for each alt.obituaries dead pool stiff (usually 10-11 a year, that's $1.50/month). I will probably cut down on my potato chips. I love the salt, but the carbs aren't good for me and the calories are empty. I will, however, be searching for the obscure, rare, brilliant, bizarre and ethically grey ways. And I'll put them in a page linked from the side bar.

Update: I play with a spreadsheet. I'm paying $382.21/mo in debt outside mortgage. Seeing what paying 10% less a month for a longer term looks like.

4 Responses to “My Sisyphean Budget (Warning: Political)”

  1. ceejay74 Says:

    I'm sure you've considered it, but what about trying to raise your income? It sounds like expenses continue to crop up and put a stranglehold on your current income. If it's only $10 per month you need to come up with, shouldn't be too hard to find ways to make that up.

  2. My English Castle Says:

    I somehow made it through the crisps aisle today, only to falter in the chocolates...

  3. PauletteGoddard Says:

    Well, My English Castle, if I were in the land of Aero bars and CurlyWurlys and After Eights, I would go nuts. I adore Walker's Crisps though! I used to cross the border into the US just to get Lays Potato Chips... the looks I got from the border patrol...

  4. My English Castle Says:

    My students were eating CurlyWurlys today and completely into them. Somehow calling crisp Mature Cheddar and Red onion makes them seem less awful for you. Now the McVites meat flavoUrs, well that's another story.

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