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Feeling discouraged

December 30th, 2022 at 09:39 pm

Upon reviewing our income and spending for 2022 and forecasting for 2023 I am feeling very discouraged. I track everything and so I know the numbers are accurate. With our estimated income I am putting us at $4,800 short in 2023 for our budget NOT including vacation spending, home improvement or IRAs.

Adding those three categories makes our deficit a whopping $17,200! Which is almost half of our total budget.

Well how did we get here? The main thing I can figure is that we have received over $11,000 in tax returns and/or stimulus payments for both of the last two years which has given us a deceptively inflated income. I am estimating our tax return this year to be somewhere between $4-7k. Which will help offset some of the deficit, but we are going to have to make hard choices of where to put that money and where we are going to have to cut and/or scrounge up more income for the rest.

This is estimating very little side income besides husband’s paycheck, so if I can hustle a little, pick up more web design, sell things, etc, then we will be in better shape but it’s still a large mountain to climb. I’m also not sure what the impact of husband’s raise will be over the course of a year because he works so much overtime it’s almost impossible to see the difference in the last couple months. But I’m thinking it should give us $3k+ more to work with than I am budgeting.

Unfortunately there aren’t many areas to cut drastically, but every little bit helps I suppose. I may have to seriously consider going back to the workforce if we can’t hustle and cut enough in the next few months. Such as bummer since I don’t feel like we have added too much extra spending, the price of all the normal things have just increased dramatically.

7 Responses to “Feeling discouraged”

  1. Lots of Ideas Says:

    I am sorry you are starting the new year feeling discouraged.

    Congratulations to being on top of and understanding your situation while you have time to take action.

    I don’t remember if you are working full time, but perhaps more employment for you is the answer? I’m sure you know the low hanging fruit things to do - cancel subscriptions, call for quotes on insurance, give up cable. Meal planning, no food waste, clothes from thrift stores. If you have credit card debt, try to get interest rates lowered.

    Best wishes on your journey.

  2. Wink Says:

    I can totally relate to feeling discouraged. In spite of living very frugally and being very diligent with my budget, the rate of inflation on just about everything has really hit hard. Tough choices ahead. I hope you can make things work without too much compromise!

  3. terri77 Says:

    I’m sorry to hear that you’re starting the new year discouraged. It’s good though, that you have a plan to pick up more work to bridge the gap. It’s great that you have the ability to do so with your skills in web design.

  4. VS_ozgirl Says:

    Perhaps look at your spending categories like medical expenses for example which can be really high at times. If they were high last year are they likely to be high this year or were they one off issues? I find it helpful to look at spending categories that fluctuate vs spending categories that don’t. If your incomes can meet the spending categories that are necessities and don’t fluctuate then it is a matter of how much extra money is needed to be allocated towards spending categories that do fluctuate. Sometimes if you analyse these areas you will find that you don’t need to earn as much income as you originally thought.

  5. klarose Says:

    We don't have cable tv and only one subscription (Amazon Prime), no debt except our mortgage and land loan. We hit our medical OOP Max every year which is $7k and a huge financial drain on us but nothing to do about that. Our income meets our basic fixed expenses / bills. It's the savings, vacation, and spending categories that we don't have enough for everything. We will be okay, it's just going to be a tight year for sure.

  6. rob62521 Says:

    It is frustrating when you are discouraged. One thing you also didn't factor is was the inflation making things more expensive. I know you know that, but it is hitting everyone's budgets.

    I hope you can make things work; you are smart to figure this out so you know you need to try!

  7. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    Shoot me an email I have an idea. but part of it is you likely qualify for a lot of earned income credit and stuff so you should have $0 withholding federal withholdings. Anyway shoot me an email. I'll look for it and send you a message on SA

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