Monday, May 26, 2014

Paying Too Much for What Ifs?

I'm a very conservative person by nature, meaning I like to "protect" myself from possible risks. What I'm realizing is that this means I pay a lot to cover myself in case of what ifs.  This hit home this month because I've spent $1K on these type of expenses:

-- Long term disability insurance: When I started at this job, we didn't get any coverage, so I purchased a private policy. I've lowered the coverage amount, but I still paid $784 this month for my annual coverage. Since I now have coverage through work, I wonder if I need this at all anymore.

-- Homeowner insurance: I increased the value of my house to keep up with the market, so my premium increased this year. I paid $680 for insurance this year. I think it's about $200 more than last year. In reality, I could cover most home emergencies myself, so maybe I should look at increasing my deductible and lowering my premium.

-- HVAC coverage: I have a service repair contract so if anything happens to my HVAC or hot water heater, someone will come repair it for free. I think I even can get a new hot water heater for free under this contract. This expense is $412.

So that's a total of $1196 in expenses I might not even need (disability and HVAC) and then I could probably save at least $200 on my homeowners insurance, so that's a savings of almost $1300 a year or $108. Since I just locked in these contracts for the year, I'll have 12 months to consider whether to cut, reduce or keep these expenses, but I think it's worth considering.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Spending Like Crazy

So this year has been a mixed bag with spending, a little bit of feast and a little bit of famine. Basically alternating months of each. In January (which is always my highest spend month) I spent more than I made by a few thousand because I spend a little of my December bonus money. This year I bought a mattress (from Ketsia which sells "green" mattresses and uses a no pressure sales strategy. Such a nice experience) and a couch.  I also bought a new side table and coffee table. I'm kind of regretting buying those because I actually like my old ones, it's just that I stained the top of the coffee table. I should have just sucked it up and kept it, but what's done is done.

Then in February and March I spent way below what I made even though I went on vacation.

In May I've been really restricting my daily spend, but had big expenses -- long term disability payment for the year, yearly homeowners insurance payment, an education expense for a program I'm starting. Basically about $2400 in extra expenses. The only saving grace is that I might be getting a small bonus payment at the end of the month. Also, I got my tax money back in March, so that actually should cover the overage from January.

Either way, it's strange to feel like I'm constantly watching my money and trying to save but yet spending on abstract expenses like insurance so at the end of the month even though I've been "good" I still don't have a big (if any) surplus.

C'est la vie I suppose.