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Just a Thought - Inflation drowning my monthly budget
Lisa Hobbs, new mugshot.jpg

I’m moving to Maine. So long, Tennessee.

Inflation is killing me. I’ve begun examining expenses in order to cut back in any area that can handle it. Anything considered non-essential has a target on its back. I’m keeping an eye on how much is spent on food, household items and gasoline.

Living on a budget has never been easy, but doable. It means continually scrutinizing expenses. Before buying anything, I ask myself, “Can I live without it?” If the answer is yes, it is rarely purchased. I need justification to avoid regret later. Minimal impulsive purchases.

Cutting down on expenses now seems like the prudent measure to take before the budget gets too tight. The old adage “what goes up, must come down” does not apply to the rising cost of food, household items and gasoline. When those items go up in price, they rarely come back down.

Food, a definite necessity, can be outrageously expensive. At this time, it’s probably the largest cost in my monthly budget. I’ve been saving my store receipts. My goal is to understand exactly what is spent in a 30-day period. Awareness is key, sometimes, to cutting back.

Additionally, my daughter and I are gearing up for ad shopping and coupon using. We used to do that on a weekly basis. Stopped. Seems like a good idea to begin again.

Saving 50 cents on an item that I’m going to buy anyway doesn’t sound like much, but every small effort helps.

The age of my vehicle is also causing increased financial anxiety. I’m pretty sure a 2008 with 250,000 miles is close to its last few miles of use. Have you checked the cost of vehicles? It is absolutely terrifying. Used vehicles are outrageously more expensive than they used to be just two years ago. New? I would have to work a second full-time job in order to afford a new vehicle. I want to drive it, not live in it.

The latest rise in the cost of everything is due to government intervention during the pandemic. Shutting down the economy and offering an additional $600 a week to people not working was a wonderful idea. Consumers are now paying the price for it, literally.

Why move to Maine? While Maine Gov. Janet Mills wants to send checks of $850 to each resident to offset the inflation and to help its residents, Gov. Bill Lee is suggesting 30-day suspension of the state and local grocery sales taxes.

Being from the south, the polite response would be to say thank you. I’m working myself up to it. I’ll mull it over as I’m push mowing my yard this weekend. Push mowing, because it uses less gasoline than the riding mower. Maybe mull it over in between couponing and scrutinizing the bills.

Standard reporter Lisa Hobbs can be reached at 473-2191.