The year ahead

Like many families in the United States, when the calendar turned, we began to look at the year ahead.

What are the “big” things we need to accomplish? What are the things we need to be mindful of? How far can we stretch the few bucks we earn?

We have to repair a car that’s been in disrepair since last July. It was parked because it literally is not our car we own, but one we were “helped” with years ago. Time ran out on getting a new title and a new plate and it’s been parked since, expired tags and all. We would like to get the title finally in our name. We would like to finally get the car fixed, from the rear axle to bald tires to the now dead battery because it’s sat for nearly six months. All told, we believe we’ll have to tie $1,000 into the vehicle.

We would like to move from our tiny double-wide. It’s half the space we had in Wisconsin and much of our belongings have been in storage since our move now more than a year ago. We probably would have had a down payment for a house (that, later), but now we’re resigned to likely renting – again. And I still can’t shake the feeling we’ll be stuck in this same house because of the lack of quality, good-value rentals in this market. We, at a minimum, need a three-bedroom something – house, apartment, townhouse, whatever. Problem is, there’s very few duplexes or townhouses in this market. Few as in none and nearly nonexistent. Finding a home or an apartment will be an issue, too.

We have to worry about healthcare in ways worse than in years past. We went to having superb healthcare with some co-pays, but we had to cut costs and went with a different plan and through my employer, not my wife’s. That called for a deductible, which wasn’t that bad. The company chipped in on some of that. Last year, we did the same, but we didn’t read the fine print well enough. So, the savings we thought we had, went to paying medical bills.

These are things we have to account for. And we have to account for our children’s activities – hockey and baseball and maybe football for my son; band and more for my daughter.

We’re in that portion of the country that will receive an income tax refund. Last year’s was significantly less than the year before, which is fine by me. I’d love to be in an actual tax bracket where I have to pay in rather than receive a refund. We’re storing money away as well as we can.

I can only hope we can continue to live fairly well – doing some things with the family; forgoing a vacation for yet another year (we’re masters of the staycation); and getting some of the big issues we face this year resolved, not with the help of others, but on our own.

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One thought on “The year ahead

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