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Thread: $160 per month due to new tax law.

  1. #1
    Senior Member dmc's Avatar
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    $160 per month due to new tax law.

    My wife has a pension and her new withholding has changed $160 per month in her favor. I know it’s just crumbs for some, but it will cover our lawn care. So yea!

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    Dmc, sometimes I wonder about your life and if you truly understand how it compares to the general population of the world or even the US.

    for me “lawn care” is gas for the mower and tractor every few weeks for about 5 months.

    $160 is more than all my car gas for a month, and it’s almost my heart daughter’s monthly food budget. She has not seen a change in her paycheck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken lady View Post
    Dmc, sometimes I wonder about your life and if you truly understand how it compares to the general population of the world or even the US.
    wow. This feels rude. People are frugal, save for the future, retire when they are ready and pay for things important to them. I applaud DMC for success.

    Kind of like, I saved $ for 17 years and bought my Mercedes C300. "oh nice fancy car". Um, no I spent less than you did on your last 3 since I bought my 17yo.

    DMC, we too are quite surprised by a drop in taxes/increased take home. I was sure the tax law changes would not help the average American wageearner.

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I don't think Chicken lady is being rude, but in my neck of the woods a lot of people have "lawn care" in their budget just as they would "house cleaner" or even "gas & electric." In my suburbs, I would say that it's about half-and-half--people who mow their own lawns vs get someone to do it.

    We used to get lawn care, because a) we don't have a riding lawn mower, and it was taking DH too long to push the darn thing around every week, especially after our indentured servants (kids) had left home. b) With us working it was one less thing we had to attend to. c) the lawn looked great in a short amount of time. it took 3 men 20 minutes to have our entire lawn mown and weed-wacked.

    But we stopped a few years ago. The main reason was money. I really felt it was a luxury we couldn't afford. Plus my DH could use the exercise. It seemed the ONLY time he moved was when pushing the lawn mower.

    In addition, the landscapers/workers mowed down my blueberry bushes one year, and they completely messed up my grape hyacinth bulbs. Plus they didn't seem to get it that I wanted to keep the clippings ON the grass, and I couldn't trust that that they were keeping the blade at 3" height. In short, I feel they were fast but very careless and clueless about environmentally-friendly mowing practices. AND we had to pay them for their ignorance.

    So DH got a Fitbit and a tune up on the mower.

    dmc is not that different from my neighbors at all. And we don't have private planes. We're just normal bedroom community suburban folk.

    Congrats on the new-found money, dmc!
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmc View Post
    My wife has a pension and her new withholding has changed $160 per month in her favor. I know it’s just crumbs for some, but it will cover our lawn care. So yea!
    Worked out about the same for me. With apologies to the Chicken Ladies of the world, I will probably just invest the extra $2K/year rather than spend it on plutocratic excess.

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    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    I've always thought that yard work is good exercise regardless of how affordable it is. And it's not unpleasant. I have an electric mower with a rechargeable battery and it's a pleasure not having to deal with gas and fumes. There are a lot of older people in my neighborhood and most of them use a lawn service.

    An additional $160 a month is no small deal in my budget, but I don't know off hand what I would do with it.

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    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    We are poor people who do our own mowing with a push mower.

    According to the tax calculators we will realize a tax break of $300 per month
    which seems high to me, so we will see how that shakes out.

  8. #8
    Senior Member dmc's Avatar
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    When we first moved down here I did take care of the lawn, but it needs to be mowed at least once a week year round. So it was a problem when we were gone. And I’d rather get my exercise on the golf coarse.

    and I’m sure the guys taking care of my lawn appreciate the fact that there are enough of us that will pay them to earn a living. And my wife says they do a better job than I did.

    Its the cleaning lady that makes out, she gets $75 in cash for about 3 hours of work. Wait, no it’s the guy that does the windows, he gets $200 and he is done in around 4, but he only comes once a month or so.

    My wife and I saved quite a bit back when we were working, and we both put in a lot of hours. So now we can afford to have others take care of some things we would rather not do. It gives us more time to do things we enjoy.

    I shouldn’t even mention that she also got a cost of living bump of around $100. But I stopped tracking our expenses a few years ago and we never really had a budget. I look at her pension as a nice annuity that means we should never have to worry about basic living expenses. And our investments should mean we never have to worry about having a nice standard of living.

  9. #9
    Senior Member dmc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    We are poor people who do our own mowing with a push mower.

    According to the tax calculators we will realize a tax break of $300 per month
    which seems high to me, so we will see how that shakes out.
    i haven’t looked at how it will affect us overall. We just got the notice from her pension provider about the change in withholding. I have just started working on this years taxes, so haven’t got around to looking at next.

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    From what I have read the higher your income the more of a tax break you will get. I find that very sad. When I get a pension increase I get 30/month so 100 seems huge to me. No reason not to spend your $ on the things you don't want to do. I do wonder however if wealthy people understand the struggles many experience. I know for certain that the people we elected do not have a clue. Having spent my working life in human services I have seen so much poverty and pain. As we live in the desert we put in good quality astro-turf so we would not waste water. I don't know anyone with lawn service but plenty must have it as I see the trucks driving around.

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