The Finances of Living in a Stick & Brick – Feb. 2007
Winter in a House – February 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 February 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.
Expenses for February 2007
- Food and Household: $191.59
- Out to Eat: $114.36
- Shelter, Mortgage: $1,969.57
- Utilities, Lawn Care: 0.00
- Utilities, Washington Gas (Natural Gas): $191.79
- Utilities, Virginia Power (Electricity): $89.58
- Utilities, Verizon Phone/DSL: $85.91
- Utilities, Water & Sewer: $68.01
- Utilities, HOA (Trash): $54.65
- Household, Equipment: $13.63
- Household, Services: $190.00
- Transportation, Tolls: $2.50
- Transportation, Car Gas: $117.59
- Transportation, Diesel: $82.62
- Transportation, Camper Storage: $49.50
- Communication, Cell Phone: $63.25
- Communication, Postage: $247.48
- Health, Insurance: $131.00
- Health, Hair Cuts (L&S): $40.00
- Recreation: Charity: $20.00
- StT Work, Marketing: $250.00
- StT Work, Client Expenses: $66.00
Total Expenses = $4,039.04
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.) But looking at the lists, it seemed like we ate a ton of grapes, berries (totally out of season!) and drank lots of half and half. Of course that is not the real picture, but still, kind of interesting.
Out to eat: This month was only five meals out, sometimes together, sometimes apart with others.
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. So while the “lawn care in the winter” really was not the winter, but pre-paid for three months. I guess we figured we would hopefully have the house sold by then. We had 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. But for some reason, there was extra money spent for water and sewer. I can not remember why this was. Oh well. And then Verizon is what we used for DSL and a land line. But mostly for DSL. So the HOA and DSL numbers will stay the same until we move out.
Household: So the equipment? Well, it was a toilet seat cover. I guess the one we had broke so we had to get a new one. And yet, they do not make them the same as when we bought the house so of course it looks a little different than the toilet color. Oh well, we are not going to worry about that too much.
Services: For just two times this month, we had maid service. We had to keep the place spotless to showcase the home and I am just not good at that. But just so you understand, wood floors on the first story, carpet on the second, and they did windows too!
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, however, not as many as before.
We had to pay for gas of my car, diesel for the truck (just one fill-up at $2.56 a gallon, not bad!), nothing for the motorcycle.
Communication: Was for my phone, my cell phone that I used for work. And we had some major postage as we were selling fools, selling tons of books, CDs and other things during this time, using Ebay and Amazon mostly. What was nice, was that the company that Sasha worked for at the time, did cheaper postage that what you could get in a Post Office, what he would do was to take the package to work with everything filled out, and then pay his work to send it off. That way we were able to make a little bit of money on the postage as well as the item sold. Really can not do that anymore, but that’s what we did back in the day.
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 haircuts down under health. Why, I do not know, except it is part of the body and so maybe that would work? Whatever. This time I got my hair cut too, cost $10 more to get mine cut to his. He gets a buzz cut, and I get a trim. Oh well, some day that will go away and we will cut each other’s hair.
Recreation: So it was a short month, and we did not have any real recreation. But we did give money to Military Families organization. It was so that we could get into Pentagon Federal Credit Union. If you gave money to this charity, they allow non military people to get into the system. I wanted to have the ability to get CDs as they were earning around 6% interest. Unheard of by 2012, they had great rates and long term CDs so as soon as we got money for the house, I was prepared to invest in the CDs.
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.
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.