Hi there. I am Cyndi (real name - Americanized though). I thought I would go through my budget with you. To share my thoughts on my needs and wants, and to decide where do I cut to prepare for the coming economic doom. To start, I do not make more than $250k per year, so I am looking forward to that tax cut BHO, and I am going to hold you to your promise.
Where do I start?
My mortgage is $2343 on a thirty year fixed at 6.125 including taxes and insurance into a monthly escrow. I suppose I could refinance to a lower payment to conserve funds. I do have two roommates who throw in $500 each. Perhaps I could sell it, but then there would be a nasty loss in value.
Cellphone bill - $149.77 including all applicable taxes. Hey, I 'm young and single and need all that texting to commune with my comrades. But do I NEED it?
Utility bills are running an average of $327 in gas and electric w/includes applicable taxes, thanks Duke! Could turn the thermostat in the proper direction except I already keep it cold in the winter and warm in the summer.
DirecTV costs me $169 a month including taxes. Gotta have my sports channels right?
Starbucks is about $140 a month including taxes. A girl's gotta have her coffee or else I might get bitchy, right?
I have an Audi TT but it's paid for but I could ride the bus except I work out of my house most of the time now because I live on the road but the company picks up that tab. So no real opportunites there. Oh wait, I could get a tire gauge.
I give $233 per month to United Way because my company stresses how much I should give. I guess I could keep that.
I give $1250 to a scholarship foundation I set up each month. Since education is free in a socialist republic, I should be able to stopt those costs too.
The gym membership and my personal trainer. That costs me $219 per month combined. I guess I don't need to spend that kind of cash to look and feel my best. What the heck, Im gonna have free health care to fix me up if I fall apart, so why take care of myself? The government is signing up for that one.
Shoes - hmm. Probably $200 a month average. Silk things and other fine garments (my uniform) $400 a month including dry cleaning.
I suppose $750 a month in groceries is exhorbitant for a single lady. But I do like to cook for my friends and my roomies. I guess I can stop eating fresh fruits and veggies and move over to the preprocessed variety.
Looks like I have some real opportunity to be more patriotic here and pay up my fair share in taxes. Last year I paid $33,459 in federal taxes even with my foundation. All I have to do is cut out my cell phone, my lattes, my directv, healthclub, my golf, vacations, going to the movies, cut back on my food bill, and I should be ready for my patriotic tax increase, uhhh I mean tax cut. Notice I am keeping shoes and silk in the budget otherwise morale could sink to an all time low around my house.
The point is folks I do have a means to cut and I will get by. I know many of you will struggle to make the ends meet. And you will slash your expenses in the process. But the problem is, if we all cut back we will further strangle the economy. If we all drop our cable or sattelite, a bunch of big companies will take it on the chin and will likely layoff their workforce. If we cut back on lattes or frapaccinos then Starbucks and a bunch of coffee houses drain their pots and close up shop. If we stop purchasing cars, electronics, ipods, etc...we only serve to deepen the recession. Keeping up deficit spending on the other hand is not the answer. Use cash to buy stuff. Break the cycle of credit. Otherwise you are not helping the economy grow, you are only borrowing from your future.
You know there was a much lampooned President who said we should continue on with life and keep shopping after 9/11. He was right. But Obama has made that the punch line in campaign bumper sticker speech. So now no one can utter it. But it does not change the fact that we the consumer are the ones (not our government) who must spend our way out of a recession or else the entire economy - housing, autos, electronics, commercial, etc...- will fall on harder times than we see today.
Surely we must be responsible and only spend what we must (You, Me and the Government). We should ask if we REALLY need that thing we have in our hands (or in our barrel.) If the answer is no then don't buy it. I am talking to you, politicians!
The question is....Do we vote in Obama who wants to spend $1 trillion AND raise taxes (and let's not kid ourselves, shall we, $250k is not the threshold is it BHO?) Or do we vote for McCain who proposes a spending freeze and lowering all taxes?
Both candidates say they will sift through the budget and look for waste. IS that possible? I wonder. When my division's budget came across my desk this past week for next year, my pen made contact with the paper and crossed out many things we do not need to do, heck, it would be irresponsible to our customers, employees and shareholders if we did not. Hey politicians, why don't you give it a try, it might make you feel like a leader instead of pretending.
Just my ramblings....I am out of the country next week so don't be sad, I will post again when I return. Our European division is credit and cash strapped thanks to the economic turmoil. The Europeans are looking for difficult cuts to help them get by. Otherwise we may face job cuts across the globe in our company to remain afloat. By the way, this is precisely the reason the government bailouts of the banks are happening folks. Without it, corporate debt, a necessary evil to fend off takeover bids, cannot be refinanced which will force companies to tap into cash reserves to make payroll and other commitments. IF you are not scared it is because you just don't understand, but you will be effected. Count on it.
Do you think we can get BHO to add shoes and lingerie to the tax deductible list? I will vote for him if he does.