Category Archives: Personal

Goal for 2014: Tighten the budget even more

The Living Wage Calculator is an interesting view on how much it costs to live. While I’m sure there are better resources for breaking down a budget, I think this is enough structure to shape my own. I’m trying to get us as tight as possible, without going nuts, so I can prepare for the future. The thought of our grocery bill when Max is a teenager gives me the willies.

Here’s the information in case the site changes:

Living Wage Calculation for Dutchess County, New York

The living wage shown is the hourly rate that an individual must earn to support their family, if they are the sole provider and are working full-time (2080 hours per year). The state minimum wage is the same for all individuals, regardless of how many dependents they may have. The poverty rate is typically quoted as gross annual income. We have converted it to an hourly wage for the sake of comparison. Wages that are less than the living wage are shown in red.

Hourly Wages 1 Adult 1 Adult, 1 Chld 1 Adult, 2 Chldn 1 Adult, 3 Chldn 2 Adults 2 Adults, 1 Chld 2 Adults, 2 Chldn 2 Adults, 3 Chldn
Living Wage $10.20 $22.97 $30.57 $39.76 $15.51 $19.21 $20.60 $23.97
Poverty Wage $5.21 $7.00 $8.80 $10.60 $7.00 $8.80 $10.60 $12.40
Minimum Wage $7.25 $7.25 $7.25 $7.25 $7.25 $7.25 $7.25 $7.25

Typical Expenses

These figures show the individual expenses that went into the living wage estimate. Their values vary by family size, composition, and the current location.

Monthly Expenses 1 Adult 1 Adult, 1 Chld 1 Adult, 2 Chldn 1 Adult, 3 Chldn 2 Adults 2 Adults, 1 Chld 2 Adults, 2 Chldn 2 Adults, 3 Chldn
Food $242 $357 $536 $749 $444 $553 $713 $904
Child Care $0 $788 $1,538 $2,288 $0 $0 $0 $0
Medical $127 $384 $412 $397 $263 $371 $352 $360
Housing $784 $1,128 $1,128 $1,383 $922 $1,128 $1,128 $1,383
Transportation $262 $509 $587 $629 $509 $587 $629 $640
Other $83 $208 $290 $395 $140 $182 $205 $235
Required monthly income after taxes $1,498 $3,374 $4,491 $5,841 $2,278 $2,821 $3,027 $3,522
Required annual income after taxes $17,976 $40,488 $53,892 $70,092 $27,336 $33,852 $36,324 $42,264
Annual taxes $3,236 $7,291 $9,696 $12,618 $4,930 $6,098 $6,527 $7,595
Required annual income before taxes $21,212 $47,779 $63,588 $82,710 $32,266 $39,950 $42,851 $49,859

300 training miles down. 3 months to go.

Feeling good about the half marathon finally. I wore out my first pair of shoes after 300 miles of training. I bought the same shoes after some others didn’t fit. They served me well on a 10.24 mile walk yesterday that helped me get over anxiety over being able to finish a half marathon. I have three months to add the last three miles and work on time — I’m really glad I did that. Continue reading

Working through a sea of tasks

I downloaded all my old tweets and went through the ones at the very beginning I finally get to see again and came across this:

Screenshot of tweet

Archived tweet from October 1, 2007

As I recall I never got that done.  The urgent overtook the important again.  Looking through my old tweets got me thinking about what has (and hasn’t) changed in the past 5 1/2 years.  Much has, very slowly.

I feel like I’m steering a ship.

I’m slowly turning the corner in the direction I want to go – a better quality of life and improved productivity.  I’m seeing results, but I feel like frustration is going to win over patience and defeat me.  Not yet, but it’s something that weighs on me daily. Continue reading

We’re breaking things in pieces. Will we miss them as a whole?

Humans are good at taking things apart. We’re just not great at putting them back together. I know there’s a quote or a scene in a movie that says that better.

As I see posts about such things as dismantling journalism into it’s component parts, and think about how we’ve broken out CDs into individual songs we can download, [there must be a dozen or more instances of this] I wonder if we’ll lose site of the composition — like losing the feel of an album from start to finish, and more.

Are we destined for things all fractured into pieces? Or will those pieces turn into building blocks for future creativity (playlists are an example of that.)

This post is to get down a deep thought (not as deep as I can explore right now) and get back to work.

To ponder another time.