I just finished the open enrollment process at work. I have been putting it off because I know there have been lots of problems with health insurance as a result of all the changes brought about by Obamacare. I am incredibly thankful to have a job and have health insurance with it, but my take home pay will definitely be going down as a result of everything. So, my wife and I will have to look carefully at the budget and try to decrease our spending levels.
As a result, less waitresses will be getting tips since we will have to eat out less and eat at home more. We have been doing some of this since I broke my arm and couldn’t work for a month anyway, but we will intentionally refocus our efforts to cut costs.
Health Insurance Premiums Going UP
Thankfully, health insurance isn’t the only line item in our budget, but we are seeing an incredible increase in the cost for 2014 compared to 2013. Our out of pocket costs will be going up by 18.2% in 2014! And that is after my employer is supporting a 7.5% increase!
That means that our family health insurance premiums for 2014 are increasing by 25.7%!!!
Ouch and double ouch.
Hopefully no other items in the budget go up by that much in 2014. If gasoline, which is currently at $3.25 per gallon where I live, the cost would be $4.08 per gallon. I think I might have seen prices about that during the summer so it is entirely possible.
What if food were to go up by that much? Then a gallon of milk would be approaching $4 per gallon which could conceivably happen. Dang, I am getting a little depressed. I guess the budget will have to be squeezed quite a bit in 2014 in order to withstand the potential price hikes.
I haven’t set goals for 2014 yet, but I have mentally been thinking that I would like to shave expenses by about 5% next year. This would be through a combination of spending less on discretionary items and avoiding additional debt so that as a few debts get paid off, the costs remain eliminated from overall spending.
I plan on sitting down at the end of the year, seeing what the expenses are and then cutting from there. I have a feeling that the costs for health insurance are only going to get worse for the next few years.
So, what impact has Obamacare had on you?
I am not sure how much of this should be made available for public knowledge, but my wife and I will be owning a business in the near future. We are purchasing the assets of a business in an Article 9 sale and have learned or will soon be learning many aspects of owning and running a small business such as:
- Negotiating with a bank
- Completing an Article 9 sale
- Forming an LLC
- Getting a Federal tax identification number
- Collecting and paying sales tax
- Hiring and firing employees
- Meeting vendors
- Plus tons of other stuff that would be overwhelming to list right now
Our goals for this week will be to form the LLC with the help of an attorney since there are some legal issues involved, get the tax ID numbers and start the sales tax application.
In the meantime, we are shopping for business checking accounts, a line of credit, and figuring out how the system works to collect via credit or debit cards.
Now my wife and I have some experience with most of these issues, but it ends up occurring at an entirely new level. I have formed 2 LLC’s in the past which are still active. But it is just my wife and I with some real estate so there are no major legal issues between us. Getting tax numbers was easy as well.
But sales tax adds another whole dimension as does dealing with multiple customers and vendors. I am looking forward to the knowledge and challenge, but it will be quite a lot of work so I am not sure how I feel about all of this leading into the holidays with everything else that needs to get done.
Of course, there is also the concerns that this whole thing might not make a profit or even support itself. We will know more about that over the next several months.
Anyway, I have several emails that I need to write related to all this so we can keep this moving this week.
I haven’t had much time for hobbies in the last few months, and I can’t say for sure that it will be getting any better.
First, I broke my arm which really ended my golf and softball playing for the year. I did manage to play 9 holes on October 20th, right before the weather started turning nasty. The good news is that I shot better than I had hoped and was really pretty consistent with my efforts before the fracture. My wrist and arm was sore, but no worse off than when I started. But my ball flight was a bit off since I was afraid to take a divot and hit my arm on the ground. However, it continues to feel better each day and has been pretty good the last few days.
Second, I had a huge test to take on the 19th, which limited my ability to much of anything the past several months anyway. I started studying in July and continued during August when I was off work with the break. But once I started working again in September, I spent almost every waking moment studying to the exclusion of blogging, which I still consider a hobby. Now that the exam is done and there is no opportunity to play due to weather, I feel like I have a lot of free time.
Alas, it won’t last long. Of course I have a lot of catching up with items around the house plus I will, in all likelihood, become the owner of a small printing business as part of an ongoing issue that goes beyond this blog post. It will probably consume some of my time as I have to work with mainly oversight issues, but still. Ultimately, I hope that it is worth it.
It does feel good to be writing a bit. I have taken the past week to do a little pleasure reading which was a nice break. I re-read “Catching Fire” since the movie will be coming out soon (November 22nd), and I wanted to be able to compare the book to the movie and didn’t remember all the details. I enjoyed being able to read without feeling like I had to memorize each detail.
Anyway, I do hope to be able to do a bit more blogging over the next couple months. It feels good to be able to write a little again.
I need to catch up with a few carnivals, but had stopped doing this since I wasn’t publishing as much. Plus I really don’t want to put any money into the blogging adventure preferring it to pay for itself. With a decrease in revenue, I needed to watch the expenses so paying to have articles posted to carnivals was the first thing that was cut.
But, I do have to link for the last few so here goes:
The Tortoise Banker Carnival - SD
Hope the month of November will go well for everyone.