We Are Deep In the Heart of Texas

Nomadic seasons of farming adventures with nature thrown in to include; a pinch of family, snippets of friends, counting our blessings, paying IT forward, home school, and the spicy things I decide to rant about.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Don't Know About Ya'll

I am glad all the festivities are over.  It was a busy two weeks with hubby home.  While we were able to enjoy our time together; we still have lots of HONEY DO'S left on the always full list of things to accomplish. 

Our house phone is still not working properly so, we are debating not calling a repair man and just cancelling the service.  Verizon just keeps raising rates, charging us fees but, never upgrading their services in our area for land lines though they charge us multiple fees.  So, other than a phone for emergencies we can think of no other reason to have a home phone.  I turned off our long distance service over a year ago and have used a phone card with ease since.

American companies with no competition for business have little regard for customers to provide standard services; the companies are able to charge what they want with no fear of losing monies.  We are constantly checking with neighbors to find out what cell phone companies in the area ACTUALLY WORK in the bowl terrain and our home is located at the bottom.

With the vehicles, hubby needs to wait for his state tags so he can register his Honda for access to military bases which will take approximately two weeks.  This creates an issue for him gaining timely entrance in the mornings.  As luck would have it; the farm truck is not able to make a trip right now because something has happened to the gear shift --- it's stuck in 4th gear.

Now my car is a different issue, I have two weeks to go to the court house to transfer the title / registration by Texas law or face consequences.  Then I will have a two weeks wait for a state plate.  When we got home with it (yes, I actually broke the law by driving it home); the insurance agency we use was closed until tomorrow and I am without a viable mode of transportation until the Farm Bureau opens in the a.m.  This caused me to push back the puppies getting neutered in the morning, I can not drive without insurance. 

Also, Texas State requirements have gone up for basic coverage and; if a person gets caught driving without proof of insurance or up to date driver's license; their car gets towed to impound -- no excuses.   WHICH IS A GOOD THING in my opinion. I am just throwing this up to the universe.  Peeps without insurance for Medical and Vehicles are forcing Peeps who chose to follow the law to pay higher rates.  Annoying but true fact of life.

I will miss hubby dearly when he goes back to work; we have been tied at the hip.  Tomorrow marks his job search for work in this area.  We have reworked our budget to build up our savings so, when he does find a job; we have a cushion to fall onto. 

Basically this means, we are cutting our budget to these monthly amounts for a family of five.

Food $300
Elec $300
Spending / Clothes $165
Entertainment $100
Gas $300
Mortgage $700 (we pay an additional $200 on principal)
Computer $60
Dental $60
Medical $40
Loan (shed/tractor) $340
Car Ins $100
Honda $285
Savings $600
Farm $150
Orkin / Trash/ Etc $100

Approximate Take Home: 3600
Approximate Pay Out: 3498

All numbers are approximate but, this shows where we are concentrating.  Paying off loans as quickly as possible, stashing extra into savings, we have a retirement plan as well, and cutting out frivolous expenses like premium cable channels.  Later as time goes by we will be cutting all cable, gardening more, and storing our own foods as we grow them. It just make financial sense because, I saw the signs in late 2006 of the economy's collapse pending and quit selling on eBay.  And, Waa Laa, in 2007-09 the US economy's (global actually -- it was a classic depression but, don't tell anyone I said so) recession.

What I do see for Texas is; the recession has not truly touched here yet.  However, I am thinking we are just around the corner from a mini recession here unless locally the oil fields really do ramp up.  After watching the market price on a barrel of oil; I am wagering with hubby the cost of a gallon of gas will be up near $4+ a gallon again by late summer/fall because OPEC is having great fun with the increase of demand from growing markets.  

Another area of concern I have been watching is the growth in the medical suppliers market and pharmaceutical arena.  With the fight we still have pending over the national health care law; I am just waiting to see how this will affect the American public.  While we have Tricare through my Air Force retirement; adding more bodies from adult dependents will cause congress to raise our monthly premiums as will commerical suppliers so be warned now and prepare.

Any whosits,  I hope all are doing well who pass here.  This week the boys and I will be hitting the books full force.  We plan on really hitting the subjects of  Pre-Algebra, English, Reading, Biology, Astronomy, and Agriculture this next quarter. 

I have plans on pulling out the Bower Incubator for hatching of chicken eggs so, we can raise them for meat.  Yeppers, we are going towards becoming more self-sustaining fare.  I will have to order some turkeys, ducks, geese and other assorted birds to raise for meat.  Hubby brought me a box of 500 Dixie Cups and I will start our garden sproutlings inside the house this week.  My house may not be a Better Homes and Gardens show case but, I will be able to feed a small army come summer so, stop on by when ya'll get a chance. 

I may just have some chicory coffee or mint tea to offer you.


Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

food for a family of 5 = $300. that's great if you can do it. $600 to savings is great if you can do it. I'm real worried about gas prices.

We haven't had a landline in years. We each have a cellphone = $68 per month for both phones.

Sharon said...

Oh, I am SO glad all the hoopla is over! My tolerance threshold for Christmas commercials was threadbare!

Looks like a great budget, if you can do it! I have given up on a budget, I just pay the bills when they come in. My new cheapo furniture was our biggest expenditure this year, besides keeping DH in a running car. I don't think he worked half the year and when he does - we are paying for his room and food somewhere else. Now we will have the added expense of someone to come and clean, because I can't do the "dirty" stuff anymore, or much else actually. (at least I don't need a driver anymore!)

I am really concerned about the price of gas, when it goes up - so does everything else.

Jabacue said...

Mal, you are so very organized!! I am impressed as usual with your drive and stamina. You have just taught me a thing or two about budgets....thanks, I needed a quick, easy to understand approach!
Have a great 'quarter' (love this term) with the kids!

Nekkid Chicken said...

Joanna, This week's grocery bill was just under $56 dollars. I am using the meat from the deep freezer and of course the staples I keep on hand. I had a 'stock pile' of meats, 100 lbs rice, and 25 lbs of dry beans. I just need to get the dairy, bread, and fresh produce to round out the meals.

I also have a 3 or 4 year stockpile of laundry and softener plus about 1 year of toilet paper. I built up this in case, hubby was going to try to get a job closer to the house.

Nekkid Chicken said...

Sharon, My cheapo car was my biggest expense for self this year. Hubby really needed a car with all the time he spends on the road. I urged him to buy a new car since, the old Honda was making a noise hubby could not hear. I just have a knack for 'sensing' up coming troubles with vehicles.

I am too worried about the cost of gasoline. Everything is touch by the price of oil. I can think of nothing manufactured today that does not require oil products somehow.

Nekkid Chicken said...

Hey Jim, I have to keep financial stuff really simple for hubby. If he can see 'it' (the goal) then, he will support how we allot monies. Trust me, if I gave him spreadsheets like the ones we used in the government; he would lose it. A real head scratcher.

What is cool the cars will be a great learning device as well; when dad teaches the boys how to make minor mechanical repairs that will save them a mint later in life. Thanks for commenting and Happy New Year!

Kids and Canning Jars said...

Thanks for the update. I miss the last two posts you did somehow. Good luck with the budget you can use coupons to help with some groceries and entertainment.


Diane said...

Sounds like you really got it all together. I need to work on a budget for our family and start spending so much muoney on food. Just got the electric bill, it was a shocker. We too have simplified but still have a long way to go. Looking forward to eggs in the Spring, might get an incubator to hatch some also.

Nekkid Chicken said...


I love couponing. Though our local HEB does not stack; sometimes we get lucky. I have found a great clipping service but, you are a coupon hound like I am and probably have your own. Smooches, Mal