Stick&Brick Financials – January 2007

The Finances of Living in a Stick & Brick – Jan. 2007

Winter in a House – January 2007 – Working diligently to sell the house (Old Post)

Still living in the stick home, and volunteering 2 days a week, put the house on the market and Laura still has her own business while Sasha is working Full-Time.

So in January we did not do much in the way of pictures or anything else, we were getting the house ready for Sale, and so our expenses show that as well as we have a ton more categories during this time. We were also both working and I still had my business plus I was volunteering a couple of days a week at Prince William Forest Park. So the months were very busy.

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Expenses for January 2007

  • Food and Household: $332.83
  • Out to Eat: $112.78
  • Clothing Extras: $9.84
  • Shelter, Mortgage: $1.969.57
  • Utilities, Lawn Care: $90.00
  • Utilities, Washington Gas (Natural Gas): $147.72
  • Utilities, Virginia Power (Electricity): $89.24
  • Utilities, Verizon Phone/DSL: $99.74
  • Utilities, HOA (Water & Sewer & Trash): $54.65
  • Household, Equipment: $38.37
  • Household, Services: $539.00
  • Transportation, Tolls: $4.50
  • Transportation, Car Gas: $90.33
  • Transportation, Truck Maintenance: $38.74
  • Transportation, Truck Equipment: $39.75
  • Transportation, Camper Storage: $49.50
  • Communication, Cell Phone: $63.25
  • Communication, Postage: $15.49
  • Health, Insurance: $131.00
  • Health, Hair Cut: $15.00
  • Recreation: Books/CDs: $22.78
  • Recreation: Fun Stuff: $91.07
  • Recreation: Newspaper: $28.80
  • StT Work, Marketing: $125.00
  • StT Work, Supplies: $3.14
  • StT Work, Hosting: $59.94
  • StT Work, Envelopes/Ink: $73.77
  • StT Work, Client Expenses: $66.00

Total Expenses = $4,401.80

Explanation of Expenses

Most of the stuff is pretty self explanatory as we were living in a house. There are just so many more expenses in a house than in an RV!

Food: Spending a bit on food, as we go to a Wegman’s (really nice grocery store which we thought was cheaper, but really was not.) And a Costco. We usually buy most of our fruit and veggies as a Costco, and it is winter, not too much bought at a farmer’s market (not that there is one around here during the winter. )

Out to eat: mostly small meals at McDs or something like that. Sasha is mostly doing this, going to a place near work and getting lunch.

Clothing Extras: Was not clothing but sewing kit.

Shelter: the dreaded mortgage. It was not hard to pay, but it was large as you can see. And if you are not liking what you are in, then paying that large sum of money every month is a hard pill to swallow.

Utilities: OUCH, big bites taken out for things that we need during the winter. Yes, I am not exactly sure why we had lawn care in the winter, but you have to make sure that the place is clean, lawn looking good etc. because we had 1. had it on the market and
2. we live in a HOA – Home Owner’s Association community. What this means is if you have anything out of the ordinary, you might get fined. If you have the grass turn to weeds and do not mow it, you can get fined. Or like us, we had a large size truck in the front of the house, and the mailman gets annoyed, putting little notes up on the truck. Not good, and one of the little annoyances that made it easier for us to leave…soon!

Washington Gas is for natural gas, Virginia Power is for electricity, and the HOA is for water, sewer, and garbage disposal. And then Verizon is what we used for DSL and a land line. But mostly for DSL.

Household: How are these different than Utilities? I am not sure, except it is for maintenance not services. Or not services that we have every month. And especially the house service of $399 to put the house on the MLS – multiple listing service. Another $50 for fees and boom! Our house was on the market. Then we got stuff – like a sign to put out front, extra keys, some paint etc. And we had maid service.

When my Mom came in December 2006, she set up the master bedroom and bath in such a way that we decided that we would no longer sleep in that room. It was so absolutely perfect that we took showers in the guest bathroom. But since I was still working with my business and everything else, we had the maid service come in every two weeks. Crazed I know. Frugal it is not, but I do not clean a house well, this I know, and if we could sell the house, I would do whatever it took to make that happen.

Transportation – with a car and a truck, plus a trailer and camper, that is a bunch of “vehicles”. The car was in the garage, the truck in the street, the trailer was stored near Sasha’s work (for free), and the camper was stored in a storage facility. It was an outdoor parking spot, for $49.50 a month! Peace of mind is what we were thinking. And there is no room for it at the house. If we were getting grief for having a truck in the street then you could only imagine what it would be like for the camper!

I was going back and forth to work for my clients, and I was going through tolls. The maintenance and equipment were: maintenance: truck wash, car oil change, parking, and metro card (for going on the train) to see a motorcycle show (as seen in the fun stuff.) The equipment was for Sasha motorcycle.

Communication: Was for my phone, my cell phone that I used for work. Sasha had a company phone, and he could use it for both work and personal. And we got some postage as we were selling fools, selling tons of books, CDs and other things during this time, using eBay and Amazon mostly.

Health: I pay for my health insurance, as a small business owner I do not have a group plan and it is cheaper to do it as my own health insurance than go on Sasha’s plan. And yes, we put his haircut down under health. Why, I do not know, except it is part of the body and so maybe that would work? Whatever.

Recreation: Books/CDs/Maps! – Really it was maps, not books or CDs as we are trying to get rid of all the books and CDs. But Sasha loves his maps so he got a few. The fun stuff was for the deposit to Tall Pines Truck Camper Rally, Motorcycle show and a magazine. Yup, magazine should have gone with books, but this is six years ago, so why I put it where I did, I do not know.

StT Work: Sales Through Technology, my work: Most people separate out the expenses of their business with their home expenses, but as you can see, I was not spending all that much. I was figuring that within the next 6-9 months, I was not going to have a business anymore, as the real estate market was not doing so well, and I was already seeing clients that were not going to be around for much longer. Yet I was still doing the Marketing and stuff, because I wanted to sell the house.

There was also the social aspect working for Realtors. While I was never a Realtor, my mom was for the longest time, and my clients were in the real estate business. But I was starting to notice how many mortgage brokers and lenders at the marketing events, and how there were SO many Realtors. It was really unsustainable.

Of course, hindsight is 20/20. But I am glad we saw the writing on the wall when we did, and decided to do something about it.

Check out February 2007: Getting closer to the Dream!

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