Living in Society

Budget Time


Each year I put together a budget. When I say “budget,” I mean “expense budget.” Sometimes I follow it, other times not so much. I’ve been unwilling to accept the constraints of living on a pension, so when unexpected things happened — furnace repair, yard tractor repair, or auto replacement — our debt increased each month beginning in April. We’ve been unable to pay it off from cash flow. It’s time for a reckoning.

In the budget spreadsheet I compare income against projected expenses. There is not a lot left at the end of the year.

Paying the car loan and addressing some long-standing home maintenance issues are part of it. There will be unexpected expenses again this year combined with a project list to accomplish. Any income beyond our pensions can readily find a home. Our current income is spent on basic living.

What to do?

We need more income for things beyond basic living.

Some parts of a budget are not complicated. If we take the time to step back and examine what we are doing, the answer seems obvious. Now that the need has been identified, how do we meet it?

This is the part of budgeting at which most people never arrive.