Thursday, April 26, 2012

Just another mystery.....

I was delighted to see my income tax refund was deposited into my bank account today.  However, I do wonder about something.

How is it that my submission was basically the same as last year's....I made the same amount of money and deductions were the same BUT...........

My refund was less by more than 110% for federal and for state it was about 100% less than last year's refunds.  My tax preparer is the same one I've used for 35 years and she's an expert at what she does.

I think I may have to give her a phone call and see if she has an answer for me but I have a feeling that the picture depicts it all. I suspect that once again us taxpayers have been screwed.  At this point I'm just glad I was able to score a refund at all.  sigh

Thursday, April 12, 2012

When is it going to stop.....

Any idiot knows that you can only reach into a jar of cookies for only so long before the jar becomes empty. For so many, the jar has been empty for quite a while. The number of people with empty jars gets bigger and bigger with each passing day and yet.....STILL.....they continue to raise prices. No breaks here Folks! And yet the demand has exceeded the supply for quite some time now. For most of us anyway.

A grocery shopping trip is enough to cause vapor lock in most of us. A lot of thought and planning goes into a simple trip to the grocery store now. You find yourself eliminating things that aren't extremely important. Most of the time you find yourself going without things that are important in order to buy another item that surpasses that item on the list of priorities. We have been paying more and getting less for quite some time now.

On last night's news they stated that we have been paying higher electric bills in order to pay for the installation of the so-called "smart meters" that are to go on every house. Lots of controversy has developed over these meters, which some have proclaimed to be nothing more than spy meters, logging your every move inside what used to be your sanctuary......your home.

When asked by the news media if our bill would go back down after a bit.....after the meters were installed.....supposedly the utility company advised that they doubted it. My electric bill has gone up about $45 a month. Just how much do these meters cost anyway. After I have 'reimbursed' them for a meter that I was (a) not even asked if I wanted; (b) not advised it would increase my electric bill and finally (c) not even advised I could opt out.......why do I have to continue to pay inflated prices when they claim the meters save them money. They can take wireless readings, eliminating yet another job. After several months of inflated bills, shouldn't MY meter be paid for......shouldn't YOURS?

I am a senior citizen....retired and on social security and pension. My income, although basically guaranteed, is fixed. While everything else goes up, my income does not. Matter of fact, at the beginning of this year, my state started taxing pensions (which have already been taxed once) and so income went down for many. I just missed having mine taxed, but my age bracket saved least for now. I have a small part-time job to make ends meet. That income is small and also does not go up (no raises) and it's not guaranteed. I could be told next week I'm no longer needed. There are so many in my category. The sub-category divides us even further......I feel fortunate that I at least have a many do not.

When is it going to end? The bottom of the cookie jar has been reached. When there aren't anymore cookies, they can't materialize out of nothing. I have already cut so many things out; I'm to the point where I can't trim it much more without seriously affecting my quality of life. If you have to choose between food to keep you alive and your many are choosing the food. And don't even get me started on our pets. We all know they are like children to us.

I have been reading as many articles as I can find with ideas of how to cut corners. I recently came across a website that the Duggars have (parents of 19....or is it 20, I've kinda lost track). She makes her own soap and the recipe looks doable. Based on the comments of others who have tried it, it seems like it may work well and a wash load only costs pennies a load instead of dollars. Go here to check to out. The liquid form looks like it may be a mess to store as well as make.....we are going to make the powdered version, which the aforementioned link will take you to. It costs approximately $2 to $3 to make the recipe, but it will do 40 loads of laundry. And one thing you have to say......the Duggars always look neat and clean. Frankly, I think a lot of people are now going back to much as they can anyway...... because of the high cost of things.

Are you doing some cost-cutting measures. If so, what are they. Please share.

Like I said.......eventually it HAS to end. An empty cookie jar is an empty cookie jar.