I’m sure some of you have noticed your electric bills have gone up significantly this year. Unlike a lot of people I actually keep all of my old electric bills so I actually decided to look back at this time last year and see what I was paying and why.
In 2005, my electric bill was $318.65, but I didn’t have to pay anything. Why? Because I’d had a brand new energy-efficient Air Conditioner installed a few months earlier and Progress Energy has a rebate program. That month, my daily average use was 92khw per day.
A year later, my average daily use is 90kwh per day. That’s right, my friends, we’ve managed to find a way to use LESS electricity.
My electric bill is $391.49. That’s a 23% increase in my bill, when I had a 2% DECREASE in my energy consumption.
Last year at this time Premium Unleaded gasoline average price in Florida (which I basically have to use in my car or it runs like total ass) was $2.35 a gallon. Today, the average price of that same gallon of gas is $3.14 (zFacts.com). That’s a 34% increase in the cost of fuel.
I haven’t got the data handy to compare my grocery bills, but I’d bet good money that they’ve gone up as well. It’s getting harder to stretch the same amount of money we averaged last year to feed our family of four.
I still don’t know if my Homeowner’s Insurance is going to go up. Right now, it’s sitting at $1700 for a year. Every time I get a notice in the mail from them my heart skips a beat, but so far they haven’t dropped me or upped my rates.
Oh, and on top of all that my house, which was refinanced last year, might be 36% overvalued.
I got a pretty nice raise recently, bigger than a lot of people get on their annual reviews. It was somewhere in the area of 5-6%.
In other words, my income is not scaling with the cost of living. Despite the fact that I’m making more money, I’m in a worse financial situation this year than I was last year.
BUT THE ECONOMY IS DOING GREAT, RIGHT??
Last night, one of the actors in the cast of We Won’t Pay! (two performances left!) made the comment that middle-aged homeowners with steady jobs and investments tended to be Conservatives. Not this one, baby. I was able to purchase my house at the tail end of the Clinton administration, admittedly with the help of a very small inheritance I got from my Father. Since then, despite the fact that I have significantly increased my income and savings potential my financial situation has largely stagnated or in some ways gotten worse. Every year I watch the same bills get higher and higher, and every year those increases surpass whatever new earning potential I have. I don’t give a flying rat’s ass what the politicians say – I’m not doing better, and I’ve made an honest assessment of my finances to see if that was “my” fault and the answer is no. The proof is in the numbers, and the numbers say I’m getting fucked.
Bah…and here I wanted today to be a relaxing one. Now I’ve all gone and gotten myself worked up. This post calls for a “Vote Fuckers” icon.