Saturday, February 6, 2010

Take, take, take...

Everyone wants just a little bit we are forced to tighten our belts. Way to boost the economy.

We are getting the first bills in of 2010 and with them come rate increases. It is a new year and a new decade but it is not a good time to nickle and dime the consumer. First we received our electric bill and accompanying rate increase. We subscribed to Blue Sky at an additional $5 to $10 per month, now CUT.

Our water and sewer bill came in next and it too came with a rate increase, this summer I'll add another rain barrel to the downspouts and cut a little more lawn out of my yard making my shrub beds larger to save water. I have overseeded with a more drought tolerant variety of grass seed and I really don't care if my lawn goes dormant in the summer (less to mow). Ironic, considering I work for the grass seed industry, but we did not receive a wage increase this year.

Now let's see, what else can we cut? Nothing boosts the economy like spending less.

Netflix, they support an already antiquated, financially failing government run postal service. We dropped our service from three movies at a time to one movie at a time saving us $8 a month. Sorry letter carriers, times are tough.

I wonder how Red Robin, Applebees and Ruby Tuesday restaurants will survive when they are no longer in business selling $10.79 soup and sandwiches off their lunch menu. We are going out less and eating at home more. When we do go out we usually share something and eat at small local shops like Vietnamese Baguette, Taylor Street Ovens and University Hero. Of course, we always have and always will pack our lunches to work everyday, this is how we were raised, thanks Mom.

I have to add something about motorcycles, it is a motorcycle blog after all. I ride my bike to work everyday...rain, shine, fog or 8˚ freezing weather. I made this decision several years ago but really severed the ties when I sold my lawn ornament of a truck two years ago to buy a new bike. I went into this knowing that I was giving up the luxury of driving a nice warm vehicle into work everyday. I also knew that 40+ miles to the gallon beat the heck out of the 17mpg I was getting from my truck. Owning a bike is a luxury and a recreational hobby, but it is bottom line, an inexpensive way to commute to work. I buy regular gas as I have rarely noticed a difference in how the bike runs on other grades of gasoline. I buy gas down the street from my work at a small local farm store which is ten cents a gallon cheaper than the big stations in Corvallis.

I guess what I am trying to convey is that the more fees, taxes and rate hikes placed on Joe Q. Public, the more these companies are making us aware of our budget and need to spend less money.

Kind of counter productive, ain't it?


  1. When I lost my job last year I came down to the same conclusions. Where could money be saved? Energy? We are already on the low end with switching lights and heat off, when not needed. TV, phone, cable got stripped down to basics. I went shopping for cheaper insurance. Home cooking? No problem, it's a hobby of mine anyway. New clothes? Well, the current will have to suffice. Additionally I also questioned myself, what could be sold? So I cleaned out my closet and garage, and sold a lot through ebay or the other 'usual suspects'. Times will be better soon... or so I hope for all of us.

  2. We just finished doing our taxes and we discovered that we owe, so I went off on a rant. It is tough, we'll have to tighten our belts, spend less but we'll make it.
    Today the sun is shining and I realized just how fortunate we are, how much we have compared to others who have lost their jobs, their homes and so much more. I am thankful for what we have and for having a job, a home and someone to share it with.

  3. Yes, sometimes owing additional taxes can be a privilege. Unless, of course, finding the $ to cover the debt is a problem.

    You're right, of course, that most of us "normal citizens" think first of ways to economize, spend less, use less, make old last longer, eliminate, etc., is not the best way to "grow" the economy. But perhaps growing the economy isn't the right goal ... possibly a better goal is that of improving our individual and collective quality of life. Quality of life doesn't necessarily mean "more" ... walking for better health, eating together after cooking together after shopping together ... growing our own food. There is satisfaction for many in these endeavors.

    My personal favorite is using two wheels for my principal transportation. Now that is a big win-win!

  4. I just spent 86 bucks to renew the tags on my wife's car. Good for the State of Oregon ( the robbers ) but somebody in business who needs the money is going to get less. Sorry.

    Used to fill up at Wilco all the time. Since they sold the gas station to the store people, I tend to think the service went downhill.

    Hang in. Sunshine is coming. If we can afford to go ride in it!


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