Thursday, April 21, 2011

Personal Economics

I have been stopping for gas almost every day as a hedge against rising prices. Already I pay more than $4.00 per gallon. My recently departed car pool companion would have been apoplectic. His pet peeve was gas prices, for which he entitrely blamed evil speculators. I don't know whom to blame. I'm pretty sure that the proprietor of the gas station isn't getting unjustly enriched and that he makes the same few cents a gallon as usual whatever the price may be. I'm thinking of buying a second, more fuel efficient car for commuting in fair weather (I used to have a Honda Civic for this purpose but this went with the ex in the divorce). My CRV gets reasonably good gas mileage but nothing close to what I need to make the 80 mile round trip cost effective. Right now, I'm spending about $15 every day to commute, and since my car pool partner died, this is all on me.

I was unaware that taxes weren't due until 18 April, so I mistakenly did my taxes on 14 April. I had expected to be royally hosed but was pleasantly surprised by how little I owed the feds and that I had actually overpaid the state. I didn't even take any specious deductions like declaring my pit bull as a business expense due to his services in securing my home office. This year I expect to be able to file as a married person and to have more exemptions as a parent, and I think that I will be able to set aside enough each quarter to cover my obligations assuming that my planned nuptials occur. There's a new commuter tax in New York that I don't really understand how to pay and report. All self employed people have to pony up to pay for the train system whether we use it or not.

My ex-wife and I let the listing on our former marital abode expire. Our real estate agent did absolutely nothing to sell the house except encourage us to lower the price every month until we would have to pay someone to take the place. Neither of us can afford to write any big checks at closing, so I reckon that I'll just live in the damned place with my new family until the housing market recovers a bit. We're not looking to make any money. We expect to take a loss of over $100,000 just so that we don't have to be entangled by continuing to own a house together, but we can't deal with being "underwater". Neither of us has any cash to throw away, and there isn't enough spite involved in the divorce to induce either of us to spend money for the sole purpose of never having to speak to one another again. The future second Mrs. Vache Folle is not keen on living in the house that I shared with the first Mrs. Vache Folle, or I would just buy my ex out and refinance.

I've been shopping for health insurance for when my new family arrives, and the prospects are unattractive. I'm probably going to have go with a policy with a huge deductible but which gets me the rates that the insurance company has negotiated with the health care providers. This will still cost me over $800 per month in premiums. If I were responsible, I'd also get life insurance and disability insurance, but I can't deal with all this right now.

My plan is to win the lottery, in which case all my economic woes will be resolved.

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