Here it is again. I just want to make it clear to everyone that I am a positive person. I don’t bitch without wanting to find solutions. But we can’t ignore a problem and hope that it goes away only to say that we are trying to stay positive. We must discover problems, discuss them, and find and create solutions to these problems.
Here is another day of bitching. I don’t know what impact I can have on this problem but would love to hear what you all have to say about it and learn what you would do to solve it.
Some time last month, our air conditioner broke and was down for a week because we were waiting on parts. We took this opportunity to adjust to the heat and decided to use our air conditioner at 78 and 80 degrees instead of 75 and 78 degrees we had it at before. We decided to do this to save on electric costs.
Now, a couple things you need to know.
One, I hate to spend money on things that I do not choose to buy. This includes:
• My taxes being wasted on earmarks that I would have never spent my money on,
• Things that brake that shouldn’t,
• Being ripped off,
• Unreasonable prices,
• Unreasonable taxes,
• Forced to pay unreasonable insurance like social security that won’t be there when I retire,
• Bank fees (I think banking should be free, they are making money off of our money),
• My son’s diapers because he refused to learn to potty train,
• Fruits that go bad because no one eats them,
• And no on.
Two, in our area, we can only use one electric company. Each electric company controls a part of the city. There are about 3 electric companies I think.
Last year, our electric company asked the commissioner to be allowed to raise rates. Guess what their reason was – to keep profits high for their stockholders. You see, they have been selling the idea to their customers that if they want to save money on electric they need to conserve energy, and so we did. Now their profits are low because we are conserving energy and not using so much of it. Now, they want to raise the rates to keep their profits, which they got used to, high.
Isn’t that great (sarcasm)! I should create a company where people will be forced to use me and raise the prices whenever I want more profits. What an idea!
Tell me. How is this OKAY?
So, a couple of days ago, we get our electric bill and it is slightly higher in energy use and the costs per kilowatt is about 33% higher than last year.
Now, back to the beginning of the story, I told you that our air conditioner was down for a week. How is our electricity higher than last year then?
Moreover, within the last year they changed our electric meters to digital. They can rip us off by lying about the meter and we would never know. It costs about $14 per kilowatt, so one number higher a day makes a big dent in our pockets and fills theirs up exponentially.
Life Lesson with My 10 Year Old
Before I discovered this, I had a conversation with my 10 year old about life. I told him about living expenses and working in a job. I explained to him this:
He gets out of college and gets a job making $65,000 a year. His expenses are $35,000 per year. (Now, don’t get on top of me about math. I am not going to get out a calculator for this. Just pay attention to the lesson.)
The end of his first year of living, his job gives him a 2% raise, because this is what is standard. His expenses are raised about 25% because not only did his electricity raise there rates by 25% in one year, but so did his water company, food suppliers (groceries), his insurance and health costs and other businesses he buys from. Therefore, his income is now $67,000 and his expenses are about $44,000. Now instead of $30,000 for savings and vacations, he has $23,000.
The second year income is $68,000, and expenses are $55,000.
The third year income is $70,000, and expenses are $69,000.
The forth year income is $71,000 and expenses are $86,000. Now, expenses are higher than the income and there is not enough to pay the bills. I ask my son what is he going to do. His answer was to get a second job.
Okay, I told him he could get a second job, but eventually that would not be enough either. So, he said he would then get a third job; I then had to remind him that there is only a certain amount of hours in a day.
Other options would have been to cut back on expenses. Lower the living standards. And eat into the savings to pay for the expenses.
Even with all these options, there would come a time when your income would only get you a box to live in and there would be no money left in saving for anything.
Now to Our Life
My husband and me are facing this situation. He makes only a certain amount of money from work. He already is paid the maximum for his job, so there is no other place for him to look for work in this city that could pay him more. However, expenses in this city that we can’t avoid like electric, water, insurance and taxes keep going up about 25% per year, while my husbands income only increases by 2% per year.
How do we cope? We cope with my work at home income. However, every year, I hear the same thing from my husband, we need to make more money, while I say, we need to find ways to cut back on expenses. Because as I said before, I hate spending money on things I am FORCED to buy. On the other hand, I don’t mind spending money on investments and things I want.
The only way we have been able to stay ahead is by having our own businesses that would bring in the money when we want at the amount that we want. We can’t depend on a job that is limited to an increase of only 2% per year!
But something has to be done about the electric company and similar monopolies. I know that not everyone can run a business. I feel bad for those people. It is not fair that these companies are taking advantage of people.
My solution is for families to become self-sufficient. That is, we create our own energy. I looked up solar power energy for homes and these companies are taking advantage of people charging $20,000 for something that should cost less than $5,000.
I am going to work with my 10 year old on a science project for his science fair that may help the home energy solution. Our goal will be to power an entire home using multiple technologies available.
However, this is only one part of the problem and one solution. Another is to spread the word about the problem, complain to the commissioner and more.
What Would You Do
What would you do? How do you handle your rising expenses and SLOWLY rising incomes? Comment below, I want to hear what you have to say.
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