Saturday, May 8, 2010

Budgets $ Furloughs

Several years ago my household felt the pinch of our economy that was swirling like a big turd about to be flushed through that hole at the bottom of the toilet.  In real life, that turd hits the sewer in seconds.  Our economy swirls slowly......for months and years that big turd spins in the bowl.  I am no economic wizard, yet I could see the writing on the wall.  Surely some of you could see this coming too.

Gas prices were going up and up and the water levels were low [as they are again this year].  After much discussion at the dinner table we decided to sell our boat.  The money went to pay off a loan.  Our budget got a little better but the pinch was still there.  Last year one of our vehicle loans was paid off and this past year the other loan was satisfied.  Our budget was back in control.  With a little planning and sacrifice [no shiny new car] our discretionary income increased.  Yes I know, you are saying JC you have over simplified the big government budget process.  Dumbing down the budget process works.  For example look at our village, town, and school budgets.  They all seem to be in line.  Those budgets are set by people just like you and I.  I am sure all their household budgets are inline also.  I hope!

Furloughs are simple.  You have a job, one day a week you get to stay home but you lose a days pay.  Your employer [ the state] gets to keep that money and use it some where else.  In this case that one days pay will save the state about $30 million dollars. The furloughs could last only one week or they could last 8 weeks.  Maybe longer, who knows!  This uncertainty makes most people nervous.  When I get nervous I stop spending my discretionary income.  Instead of going down town and treating my family to some of those tasty cheese burgers,  we will cook burgers on our grill at the fraction of the cost.  Friday night is my night to walk down town and have a few beers and leave tips. Instead,  I stayed home and did yard work and drank beer out of my fridge.  Not to brag, but I tip a buck a beer.  Some look at me and think friggin state worker.  Keep this in mind,  there are over 100 thousand of us friggin state workers facing furloughs and I bet all of them are doing the same thing.  Don't get me wrong, I know the state budget is a mess and I am willing to do my share.  And if my share is a furlough, then so be it.

My father-in-law had a saying....."Everybody has to suffer just a little bit".  And I feel your pain!

No comments: