Tag Archives: budget

How We Spend

It’s tax filing time, which in our home means it’s time for the annual “How the hell did we spend so much on THAT?” ritual. Maybe that’s why I found this snapshot of how the average American household spends its money so interesting:

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Source: Digg.com

Apparently, the average household has 1.3 earners, 0.6 children and 0.4 seniors, which explains why there is Social Security included in income. What I found most surprising is the health insurance number at $3,414 per year. That works out to $285.50 per month which, quite frankly, I find almost unbelievable. Here’s why:

My wife and I have been married for 27 years and for almost all of those years we’ve both worked for small companies or been self-employed. As a result, we’ve not had access to large group health insurance or, better yet, the health insurance available to government employees. If I were to make a conservative estimate, without having the numbers in front of me, I’d say that we have averaged $8,400 per year ($700/month) in health care premiums alone. Throw in co-pays and deductibles and we were almost always in the $10,000/year range.

Now, we have three kids so that obviously put us beyond the average, but health insurance isn’t necessarily linear so you can’t draw a direct corollary between the number of kids (people) and premiums. If you’d asked me to guess what the average household spent before I’d seen this data I would have said something like $5,000-$6,000 a year. That just shows how my own experience has skewed my perception of what health insurance costs, and perhaps why I felt more strongly than many of my peers that the ACA (Obamacare), as imperfect as it was, was at least an effort towards reining in the exploding costs of health insurance and health care.

As for the other numbers? Well, let’s just say this time of year also features the annual “We eat out too much” ritual self-flagellation.

About Those Overpaid Bureaucrats? They Aren’t in Cali These Days

California hasn't passed it's 2010-11 budget and as a result Gov. Schwarzenegger has reduced state employees' pay to the federal minimum wage: $7.25 an hour.  And if you're a state employed lawyer or doctor you're really SOL:

Some employees, such as doctors and lawyers, would get no pay because federal exempts them from any minimum wage requirement. Managers, supervisors and others who don't get paid for working more than 40 hours per week would receive $455 per week until a budget deal got done.

Schwarzenegger has invoked a 2003 state Supreme Court decision as grounds for the move. That ruling, White v. Davis, held that without a budget that appropriates money for state payroll, employee wages can be withheld to the federal minimum. That condition exists today, which is the start of the 2010-11 fiscal year and the state is without a budget. The back pay would be paid once a budget is enacted.

Full article: http://www.sacbee.com/2010/07/01/2864148/schwarzenegger-orders-minimum.html#ixzz0sWVNpsyi

The good news for the 'crats is that they'll get their money eventually, but I'm thinking next month's mortgage and car payments are gonna be painful for them.