I hate January.
Used to be I hated October and then I hated December, but now it's definately January. You can't help but hate the month that causes the most financial hardship. Here I thought I had everything under control and we get hit with a Dec (for Nov) gas bill of $466 (estimated) and then the Jan bill (for Dec) arrived and it's $777 (actual)! I was floored. Even being on a budget billing the amount taken out now is $425. Couldn't help but think how high it could have gotten had we not changed all the glass block windows and added the air conditioning covers outside. Those two places would loose the most heat! Had to have a chat with one of my tenants. Seems he has to have fresh air and would leave the windows open. I even showed him the bills and begged him to keep them closed. He's a nice guy, so we'll see.
All of this has really wrecked havoc on the checking account since it's pretty much been set up to just make ends meet. Looks like I've got to sit down and make some adjustments like looking into bill pay instead of directly having bills paid from the checking and getting some heavy duty rebate credit cards. Advanta is for business, but people use it to pay their own utilities and insurance premiums. Hey, why give away 5% when you can get it credited back to you for things you have to pay for anyway.
The gas was only the beginning. Flood insurance came due end of Dec and that's a bill that has to be paid in full so I waited till Jan thinking there would be enough to cover it. That one is going to go on a cc to buy me another month. $776.
Paid the umbrella policy in Dec on a cc: $236.
Homeowners bill came in: $843, but SF will give a discount if we up the deductible even more. Heck, I upped the deductible last year! This bill along with the car insurance is spread out over the course of the year.
Car insurance is due to come in later this month. I'm worried since I know the premiums are tied in to Fico scores which is why I've been careful NOT to apply for any new cc's. The HO premium went up, but that one is tied to my mom's FICO score (don't know what hers is) while mine has remained steady for a year. Still, I'm biting my nails worrying about what the new payment will be. It's ungodly that FICO scores play a part in insurance premiums. Unless, of course, you know how to work them to your advantage.
We have Dish Satelite. If you pre-pay the year they knock off a months payment. Last year we were in a good position so we did this last Jan. The bill this year would have been $397 to be deducted Jan 15. Had to call in and go back to monthly billing, at least untill things even out better in the checking account.
I guess I'm angry with myself for getting caught with my pants down. The past years I did extremely well with the budget and I must have gotten too complacent while expenses went up. That and maybe being a little greedy. 2005-early 2006 had some consistent 5%-5.12% CD deals that I took advantage of and funneled most of the available cash there. The good news is that the interest will allow for a good cushion when the CD's mature (end of Jan and early Feb), but untill then I have to sit tight while I redo the years' budget.
I hate January.
I hate January
I hate January.