Friday, February 6, 2015

Sometimes it is the big picture, when it comes to finances


Moving to this rental meant a significant jump in the rent cost:  33.3%. Yikes! The former rental was cheap, by this town's going rate. I knew that I could comfortably pay it, as it was approximately what my mortgage payment was at my former marital home. That housing situation no longer met our needs, and obviously, I decided to move.  Crunching the numbers, I knew also that the maximum rent I should pay would be 24% more. The rent here is well over than figure.

I knew that I could swing it, however, by continuing to live modestly, being prudent with energy costs, especially the first few months as costs settled themselves. Additionally, when DS and his Gf moved in, the lodger agreement we all signed, stipulates that they each are to pay 50% of the difference between my maximum rent figure and the new rent amount. They are to absorb that 9.3% overage. As a cushion, I also anticipated that the costs to run this rental, which is a comparable square footage home, just a different layout, would be significantly less than the former rental.

I keep several different types of budget records. Case in point: the oil bills. I still have my document that records the cost of oil and how many gallons were used at the former rental, where the lease stipulated that I was to use the Landlord's oil service company for my home delivery of heating oil (awesome service but notorious for very high oil prices). I have started a new document with the same data, but for this rental, where I have a new furnace and the freedom to use whatever oil company I choose, so I returned to using a local oil delivery company that I used at my marital home, who had historically been an affordable option. I recently ordered a top up, as I noted we were again down to 1/2 a tank of oil; the delivery came today. I have compared my average daily costs and gallons used the past 3 Januaries:

Jan-Feb 2013: avg 10.05/gallons day @ an average cost of $3.94/gallon (2 deliveries during this period, at 2 different costs) costing me $39.10/day just for oil

Jan-Feb 2014: avg 9.28/gallons day @ an average cost of $4.04/gallon (again 2 deliveries at different costs)costing me $37.56/day just for  oil

Jan-Feb 2015: avg 3.75/gallons day @ cost of $2.35/gallon, costing me $8.81/day just for oil

*At both homes, we use an estimated gallon/day for heating hot water. Note that we are now a family of six vs 4, so in comparing that information, our costs declined.

Although the rent on this home is significantly higher than the former rental,  the energy costs are 62.3% lower, significantly reducing my oil bills. At both homes, we supplement with a wood stove in the main living area at night, use programable thermostats. but note that overall, we are MUCH more comfortable, temperature wise in this home as it's properly insulated and has few drafts. As much as I hated increasing my rent, I am glad that this has worked out. I had sold my remaining seasoned firewood to the tenant going into the former rental and I put that money towards a cord of seasoned firewood that I had delivered here. I actually still have an extra $25 in the coffers.

Electricity charges have skyrocketed, and I am anxiously awaiting my new bill, which should be generated this week. A 17% jump took effect in January. We remain careful about electric, and as long as it's $150 or less a month, I am Ok with that. Trash figures have been settled, we remain at $10 or less a month. Cable and Internet are cheaper here as we received a moving promotion, along with an upgrade, thereby dodging a hefty increase that was looming at the other place. We now pay a few dollars more for significantly expanded options. Dd took over her cell phone, on her own plan-her choice. DS #1 will be under mine until April, which he is aware of. He can then reimburse me, or get his own plan.

I think we've got this.


Lili said...

Carol, the savings on oil heat alone are so substantial! And you are more comfortable, to boot. A definite win for your family! I'm glad for you.

Belinda said...

Wow, what a difference in oil prices per day. That is such a significant savings. So happy for you. :)

Gill - That British Woman said...

the good thing in all of this you are very aware of what everything costs so none of it will come as a surprise.

~Carla~ said...

I find it's soo hard to find affordable housing then the other bills to match. Hydro here is off the charts. Our new rental is $50/less month then our gas/water/hydro *should* be lower than here as well, making our budget not so tight and allowing for some savings once again. You've found some great savings on the oil at least, so that will help with the rental increase. :) Onwards & upwards right?

Baroness Prudent Spending said...

Carol I read your blog (and others) and just think, "this is the way it has to be done." if you don't keep detailed records and note the increases here and there, your costs will get away. The move to this place was a good idea and I'm glad that you've been able to offset some of your costs and the former rental. ~ Pru