My Electric Bill

Have you ever actually looked closely at your electric bill?  What a joke!  Here are the details of my bill.

Cost of Electricity Used:

  • Basic service charge
  • Delivery service charge
  • Environmental benefits service charge
  • Federal environmental improvement surcharge
  • Competition rules compliance charge
  • System benefits charge
  • Power supply adjustments
  • Metering
  • Meter Reading
  • Billing
  • Generation of electricity on-peak
  • Generation of electricity off-peak
  • Transmission and ancillary services
  • Transmission cost adjustment

Taxes and fees:

  • Regulatory assessment
  • State sales tax
  • County sales tax
  • City sales tax
  • Franchise fee

After crunching the numbers I spent roughly 25% on actual electricity and the other 75% on other fees and taxes!

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Things to ponder when buying a house

Something I have been watching recently has been the housing market. 
Here is my criteria when it comes to a purchasing a house:

The house must be affordable.  You can’t have the plan of getting rid of the house in 2-5 years.  The market may drop again and you need to make sure that you can afford the mortgage no matter how long you will be in it for.  If you have stretch to buy the house or are relying on two incomes to buy it then I would pass on it.

The Rate must be locked. Get a 15 year fixed or 30 year loan for the house.  Sometimes people do the interest only because they think they will get rid of it fast.  Before they know it they were in the house for 10-15 years just paying interest on the loan.  If it was fixed the house would have had some principal paid off on it.

Put 20% Down.  Investment or not you must put this amount down into your house.  This will allow you to avoid mortgage insurance and get you the best rates available from lenders.  I am sure people out there disagree with this but this is my opinion.

Location. Is this where you want to live?  Are you okay with the commute to work and other places?

A mortgage is not your only bill. Not only will a mortgage be your biggest bill but many people have to remember they have car payments, insurance, HOA fees, electric, cell phone, cable, food, and many more. So after you have all those bills can you still afford it?

Last minute double check.  Once you think you have found a place you want to buy do a final market analysis with your agent to see what else is out there in the same area for the price you are willing to pay.  You might find a better bang for the buck.

There are many more things to consider but these are a good start in the process of getting a new home.

Fees that I will not pay

  • Paying my bills on-line electronically.
  • Checks from my Bank.  They already make plenty of money. Get them free if you still write them.
  • For a new cell phone every couple years.  There are plenty of companies that want your business so use places that will give you one free.
  • Membership fees to clubs, except Costco because they rock!
  • Free checking and savings accounts
  • Annual Fees on credit cards.  There are plenty out there that have free reward programs.

Free money for some

Well a few weeks back I talked about how we are going to be getting back some cash from the Government.  This is to help stimulate the economy so more people will spend. Well the bill finally passed.  There will be about 130 million people who will be getting a check in the mail. 

It looks like people will be getting the following money back:
If you are single and make up to $75,000 you should get around $600 back.
-If you are married filing jointly and make up to $150,000 you should be getting around $1200 back.
Do you have any thoughts on the Government going even deeper into debt just to give us this money back?