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-   -   Peakster's House Efficiency (https://ecorenovator.org/forum/showthread.php?t=499)

Peakster 08-11-10 05:52 AM

She's a hot one out!
 
Here's what July's bills were like:

Natural Gas - $31.02
Electricity - $86.28
Water - $64.31

Other expenses:

Cable/WiFi - $61.50
Telephone - $44.91
Insurance - $24.50
Condo Fees - $125.00
Property Tax - $109.26
Debt Interest - $383.23

Total July '10 Housing Costs: $930.01

Rent collection from roommates: $1,540.00

Monthly Surplus: $609.99

----------------------------------------------------------------------

It is HOT 85*F in the house! My roommates don't seem to understand that keeping the windows open during the daytime heat doesn't help cool the place! :rolleyes: The furnace fan is running 24/7 now to keep air circulating (the new windows and door seal the place up almost too well) so electricity costs went up a little. Lots of cold showers throughout the day too.

AC_Hacker 08-17-10 08:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Peakster (Post 7677)
It is HOT 85*F in the house! My roommates don't seem to understand that keeping the windows open during the daytime heat doesn't help cool the place!

Hey Peak,

It may be a bit late in the season for this, but if you put a soaker hose or yard sprinkler on the roof of your place and a timer that will activate it every 20 minutes or so, for about a minute or two duration (the right timer is the toughest part of the system to obtain, but they do exist), the evaporation of the water will give you a considerable amount of cooling for not so much money.

I suggested this to a friend that was suffering from the heat in her convenience store job. After the sprinkler setup, the inside temp dropped ten degrees. Seventy five-degrees is much easier to live with than eighty-five degrees.

-AC_Hacker

Daox 08-17-10 09:45 AM

Very interesting idea... I might have to try that.

Peakster 09-15-10 12:59 AM

100% Self-Employed!
 
Well I took a giant leap in August. I quit my day job and I'm loving all this extra free time! A housemate moved out of the 'reject room' and the new guy that moved in is paying $140/week rent! ($20/day = $600/month!)

Here's what August's financials ended up being:

Natural Gas - $31.02
Electricity - $86.28 (both gas and electric were exactly the same as last month... weird)
Water - $61.48

Other expenses:

Cable/WiFi - $101.78 (big increase because housemates wanted extra channels)
Telephone - $47.38
Insurance - $24.50
Condo Fees - $125.00
Property Tax - $109.26
Debt Interest - $382.01

Total July '10 Housing Costs: $968.71

Rent collection from roommates: $1,610.00

Monthly Surplus: $641.29

----------------------------------------------------------------------

It's been raining a lot here in Saskatchewan and with the end of summer temperatures have cooled substantially outside (overnight lows around 45*F). There was a big jump in cable/wifi prices, but I'm in the midst of swindling a "student" offer where we could get both services for $50/month for 8 months.

Daox 09-15-10 06:16 AM

Glad to hear you're loving the new occupation. :)

BTW, what is free time? I've been working 10-12 hr days for almost a year now. The money is nice, but I didn't get anything done this summer... :(

Peakster 09-16-10 09:57 PM

Holy smokes! 12 hour days?! *dies inside* I can't imagine such a situation.

Peakster 10-16-10 07:30 PM

Getting ready for winter...
 
Here's what the month of September ended up being like:

Natural Gas - $43.72
Electricity - $46.16
Water - $46.87

Other expenses:

Cable/WiFi - $10.98 (much lower because of prorated service)
Telephone - $61.24
Insurance - $24.50
Condo Fees - $150.00
Property Tax - $109.26
Debt Interest - $380.98

Total July '10 Housing Costs: $873.71

Rent collection from roommates: $1,157.14

Monthly Surplus: $283.43
-----------------------------------------------------

This month had pretty low bills considering one housemate hasn't paid rent (and it undergoing 24 hour eviction as I type) and a condo fee increase. Still looking good! :)

Peakster 11-12-10 05:16 PM

Here's what the month of October ended up being like:

Natural Gas - $48.43
Electricity - $83.42
Water - $53.83

Other expenses:

Cable/WiFi - $60.44
Telephone - $45.08
Insurance - $24.50
Condo Fees - $150.00
Property Tax - $109.26
Debt Interest - $380.15
Eviction papers - $50.00

Total July '10 Housing Costs: $1,005.11

Rent collection from roommates: $891.43

Monthly Deficit: $113.68
-----------------------------------------------------

What a crazy month! The one housemate refused to pay rent and was removed from the household. Then once we got a new housemate moved in, the money he paid me went missing from my wallet just hours before I was heading to the bank. Hopefully next month will be much better.

Daox 11-12-10 09:39 PM

Wow haha, crazy month indeed.

Peakster 01-03-11 02:52 PM

Back to stability and a surplus
 
Here's what November's costs came up to:

Natural Gas - $81.32
Electricity - $82.44
Water - $50.79

Other expenses:

Cable/WiFi - $49.95
Telephone - $44.08
Insurance - $24.50
Condo Fees - $150.00
Property Tax - $109.26
Debt Interest - $378.44

Total July '10 Housing Costs: $970.78

Rent collection from roommates: $1,670.00

Monthly Surplus: $699.22
-----------------------------------------------------

My last bill (my phone service) got lost in the mail so that's why it took forever for a complete update. The household is running perfect with all three housemates paying rent on a weekly basis now. Cold temperatures have set in permanently and the thermostat is set at 22*C.

Peakster 01-26-11 11:36 PM

Winter wonderland
 
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-..._5158327_n.jpg

December's housing costs:

Natural Gas - $95.81
Electricity - $109.17
Water - $50.79

Other expenses:

Cable/WiFi - $48.95
Telephone - $46.28
Insurance - $24.50
Condo Fees - $150.00
Property Tax - $109.26
Debt Interest - $377.69

Total December '10 Housing Costs: $1,012.45

Rent collection from roommates: $1,670.00

Monthly Surplus: $657.55
-----------------------------------------------------

Very cold temperatures and short daylight hours means high utility bills :( Oh well, at least it should go down from here. Still running a surplus so that's always good.

Peakster 02-24-11 12:58 AM

3 Attachment(s)
January's housing costs:

Natural Gas - $42.20
Electricity - $25.83
Water - $38.80

Other expenses:

Cable/WiFi - $49.45
Telephone - $44.01
Insurance - $24.50
Water Heater Rental - $110.00
Condo Fees - $150.00
Property Tax - $109.26
Debt Interest - $376.68

Total January '10 Housing Costs: $1,010.73

Rent collection from roommates: $1,695.00

Monthly Surplus: $684.27
-----------------------------------------------------

Electricity and natural gas meters were actually read this time by the supplier, so it turns out I was using less than what was approximated. In other news, the 2nd bathroom is now complete after a lengthy construction period. Finally we don't have to plead with a neighbour to use theirs when someone is busy with the upstairs toilet! ;)

Attachment 1285Attachment 1286Attachment 1287

Peakster 03-16-11 07:36 PM

February's housing costs:

Natural Gas - $79.15
Electricity - $85.13
Water - $51.45

Other expenses:

Cable/WiFi - $49.45
Telephone - $40.78
Insurance - $24.50
Condo Fees - $150.00
Property Tax - $109.26
Debt Interest - $376.04

Total February '10 Housing Costs: $965.76

Rent collection from roommates: $1,695.00

Monthly Surplus: $729.24
-----------------------------------------------------

First time profits exceeded $700. New housemate moved in, but the market has been holding steady so no rent increase this time. Warmer temperatures should keep heating bills down and the extra daylight means less use of indoor lights too. Time to increase my mortgage payments to pay down the principle with this extra cash :)

Daox 03-17-11 09:49 AM

Great to see things looking good for ya Peakster. Do you have any more renovations planned?

Peakster 03-17-11 12:59 PM

Yes Daox. Now with the bathroom done, I need to cut out an egress window for in the basement wall to make the bedroom down there legal. I'm thinking it will be a $1-3K job.

After that, just frame and finish the rest of the basement (which should be a heck of a lot easier/cheaper that putting in a bathroom - drainage pipes and all) and then I'm done! :) I just need to replace all the carpets before I sell again.

Peakster 04-15-11 04:57 AM

Rent increases again
 
March's housing costs:

Natural Gas - $76.97
Electricity - $77.44
Water - $51.45

Other expenses:

Cable/WiFi - $83.18
Dryer repair - $136.38
Telephone - $55.91
Insurance - $24.50
Condo Fees - $150.00
Property Tax - $109.26
Mortgage P+I - $673.51

Total February '10 Housing Costs: $1,438.60

Rent collection from housemates: $1,738.10

Monthly Surplus: $299.50
-----------------------------------------------------

I changed the mortgage to principle plus interest again because not including the principle made me feel richer than I actually was :rolleyes:. New housemate moved into the master bedroom and is paying $10/week more than the previous person.

Winter is almost gone so the furnace is running less and less. Dryer broke down and needed repair. The 8 month promotion for internet/cable expired so we're back down to 36 channels and 1.5 Mbps starting next month. So many things going on!

raydias 04-15-11 10:09 AM

Netflix
 
Have you considered doing Netflix streaming instead of cable. From what I have seen from various friends they pay way too much for cable tv and get a bunch of reruns. With 1 Netflix account you can stream to up to 5 devices (computer, Roku box etc). i pay about $11 a month and haven't seen a commercial in over 4 months. They add new content all the time and so far my family hasn't missed anything. I have never had cable etc so the Netflix was a step up.

Ray

Daox 04-15-11 10:41 AM

I do the same as Ray and am quite happy with netflix on demand.

Peakster 04-15-11 12:52 PM

I've thought about Netflix before as one of my friend's subscribes. I like the idea that it's only $8/month but the selection is rather poor in Canada - so many things that I want to watch only to have them listed as "Unavailable".

Definitely something to look into though because I do have an Xbox360 and I hear that's a device that's compatible. Cable and Internet in Canada is super pricey - If I keep the current 103 Channels and the 5 Mbps, it's like $130/month with tax!

Edit - I just gave them a call and found out I need to subscribe to Xbox Live for this to work. Looks like I'll be getting a used Wii :P

Daox 04-15-11 01:28 PM

There is also a netflix box of some sort that you can buy specifically to get netflix on your TV. I think it runs ~$100. I'm not sure what a used Wii goes for, but just throwing out options.

Angmaar 04-15-11 05:41 PM

You could use Boxee which is about $200. The Wii is the same price but only plays 480p. Or just hook up a computer to the TV though HDMI or DVI with audio.

Clev 04-15-11 06:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daox (Post 13020)
There is also a netflix box of some sort that you can buy specifically to get netflix on your TV. I think it runs ~$100. I'm not sure what a used Wii goes for, but just throwing out options.

Yup, the Roku does it for under $100. Or just find an old PC and use that. We use a PC (with S-Video out; my TV is an old CRT) for Hulu and Netflix, and haven't paid a cable or satellite bill in 6 months.

strider3700 04-16-11 01:53 PM

I use XBMC on my main PC out through HDMI to the tv in a different room. Add a USB remote/receiver and an extension and it was wife friendly enough to keep her happy. For live TV I built a small antenna and receive digital HD over the air signals. If I remember correctly I get CBC, Global, CTV, Omni, KVOS, and a couple of other shopping channels in HD. A channel and Chek should be going to digital in the next few months and that will cover 99% of what you get on basic cable anyways. With a bit of work I may get PBS. IT's free and legal and the picture is better then cable so it's not like the old snowy tv days.

raydias 04-16-11 06:11 PM

I bought 3 Netgear Roku boxes and the family loves the tv and movie selection so far. We usually pick a TV series and watch all the episodes like the Stargate series. Daughter has watched the Hanna Montana series etc. For $11 a month it has been great. We also get a dvd for the movies that are not streaming yet.

Peakster 05-08-11 02:48 AM

1 Attachment(s)
I subscribed to Netflix to try out their "1 month free" package. Just in time too because I just got my cable/wifi bill in the mail and it was $117 this month :eek:

I should also mention that after 2 years of CFLs, I relapsed back to incandescent and halogen light bulbs throughout the house this month. I got annoyed with the 'institution' feel of the place and the light quality is *much* better. We'll just have to see how it impacts my electric bill.

Attachment 1462
CLFs left, halogen & incandescent right

RobertSmalls 05-08-11 07:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Peakster (Post 13407)

Oh, no! A relapse!

After the sun goes down, a single 13W CFL per room is all I need. However, I'm trying, with mixed results, to get CFLs to work for my mother. So, what is it you don't like about the lighting of an institution?

Do you have the same amount of luminosity (total Lumens) in each photo? Perhaps the kitchen was too bright or too dark.

Is it the color temperature you object to? I never could empathize with this point, as it seems so arbitrary. My mother grew up with Tungsten-colored light behind yellowed lampshades. Now she runs low color temperature CFLs. She derides the light in my house as blue, but how is that different from selecting slightly less orange furniture and wall paint?

Speaking of lamp shades, CFLs and LEDs are a better approximation of a point source of light. The result is crisp shadows, and the solution is a diffuser.

If there is any perceptible flicker or hum, then you have some of those cheap CFLs that give fluorescence a bad name.

Lastly, photographing light sources is always difficult. What technique did you use? Was the sun up?

Peakster 05-08-11 08:47 AM

I found the CFLs to be very glaring in comparison. They weren't too bad in fixtures with frosted coverings, yet there was still a difference. I had a 9w CFL inside a recessed shower light and it made me squint compared to a standard warm glow of a 40w incandescent.

In the first photo, the lumens were much higher. The CFL lighting casts a bright general white light on the ceiling and the cabinetry comes across as greenish-yellow. The 2nd photo has a darker ceiling with more dramatic shadows and a truer appearance. The photographs are very accurate representations of how the room looks like.

Those 3 kitchen track lights were a total of 31w with CFL. Now they're 150w with halogen.

Peakster 05-19-11 02:25 AM

Time for a household defragmentation
 
April's housing costs:

Natural Gas - $42.20
Electricity - $37.92
Water - $86.55

Other expenses:

Netflix - $0.00
Cable/WiFi - $117.60
Telephone - $41.88
Insurance - $14.00
Condo Fees - $150.00
Property Tax - $109.26
Mortgage P+I - 673.51

Total April '11 Housing Costs: $1,272.92

Rent collection from housemates: $1,738.10

Monthly Surplus: $465.18
-----------------------------------------------------

Spring is finally here in Western Canada. It's now the middle of May and the trees are *finally* starting to bud leaves. Utility costs went down (the water bill was read later in the month, so that's why it's higher than usual) and my insurance was re-worked to exclude sewer backup now that we have a back-flow preventer installed.

We're now connected with Netflix - free first month trial. The cable/wifi skyrocketed as our 8 month promotion expired (we should get a credit this month because it's billed in advance). We downgraded to basic 28 channels and 1.5Mbps internet speed.

strider3700 05-19-11 10:41 AM

you insurance is $14 per month? my house is close to $100/month. About $110 if I remember correctly and they're talking about increasing that for our area...

It may not go over well with your roommates but I cancelled cable and 2 months later got a year of HD basic plus an HD PVR for free on promo plus they cranked my internet speed and gave me unlimited long distance for $2. I actually saved money getting all this vs the previous internet and phone I had with them. I'll cancel again before the promo is up.

Peakster 05-19-11 02:07 PM

I hear that cable companies offer huge discounts if a customer tries to cancel entirely. Unfortunately they're never permanent - a promotional offer always expires and bills skyrocket.

As the for the insurance: That's one of the huge rewards of living in a condo! The $150/month maintenance fees already cover building insurance :) I just need additional insurance to cover my own personal belongings, interior betterments and improvements, and liability coverage for each of the 3 housemates.

raydias 05-19-11 03:52 PM

My wife used to have cable until we got married and with NetFlix she hasn't complained about missing anything. in fact the other day we went to a friends house and got annoyed at all the commercials on his cable. It's been a long time since we have seen a commercial that some of the people looked totally different and we had to ask who is that...

Peakster 06-19-11 11:22 AM

Sweet summer with low utilities
 
May's housing costs:

Natural Gas - $35.69
Electricity - $58.04
Water - $26.16

Other expenses:

Netflix - $7.99
Cable/WiFi - $0.00
Telephone - $56.18
Insurance - $14.00
Condo Fees - $150.00
Property Tax - $109.26
Mortgage P+I - $1,303.57

Total April '11 Housing Costs: $1,760.89

Rent collection from housemates: $1,738.10

Monthly Deficit: $22.79
-----------------------------------------------------

With last month's huge wireless/cable bill, we switched to basic cable and slow internet and opted for Netflix. There's now a credit on our cable bill, so no payment to them this month :).

I increased the mortgage to $300/week this month to pay off some of the principle and now just recently switched it back to $155/week. Looks like switching from CFLs to incandescents only cost us about $20 extra a month, so all in all not bad.

Wanna Beco 06-24-11 10:54 AM

I love this thread, thanks for the detail. I can tell your saving your stories for you book about renting out property. I definitely wanted to hear more about the guy and the prostitute :D

I wonder why you quit your job tho. I mean, maybe move to part time or start an ebay business, but to quit all together... cash is cash... strike while the irons hot.

Anyway, I am definitely interested in this thread. wish I was young and single and childless now that the housing prices here in AZ have tanked. I am happy to see you have so much success so quickly. Lookin forward to reading more.

Peakster 06-24-11 06:02 PM

I'm glad you enjoy this thread. I like how it documents my progress and experiences every month. The prostitute story is definitely one of my favourites to tell at a party. I actually made a YouTube video entry after it happened 2 years ago. YouTube video

As for why I quit my bank job, I was already working part-time there was much more behind the scenes that was just simply sketchy. It just got to the point where I was going to work thinking "why am I dealing with all this silly upper management business stress when I can make 60% as much money with the rental property with 10% of the effort and be my own boss?"

Peakster 08-30-11 11:50 PM

June's housing costs:

Natural Gas - $30.62
Electricity - $82.57
Water - $50.14

Other expenses:

Netflix - $7.99
Cable/WiFi - $33.05
Telephone - $41.61
Insurance - $14.00
Condo Fees - $150.00
Property Tax - $109.26
Mortgage P+I - $673.97

Total April '11 Housing Costs: $1,193.21

Rent collection from housemates: $1,738.10

Monthly Surplus: $544.89

Peakster 08-30-11 11:55 PM

July's housing costs:

Natural Gas - $37.86
Electricity - $45.60
Water - $50.14

Other expenses:

Netflix - $7.99
Cable/WiFi - $24.32
Telephone - $45.47
Insurance - $14.00
Condo Fees - $150.00
Property Tax - $109.26
Mortgage P+I - $673.97

Total July '11 Housing Costs: $1,158.61

Rent collection from housemates: $1,738.10

Monthly Surplus: $579.49
----------------------------------------------
It's odd that my water bill was exactly the same as last month. I'll have to investigate with my condo association to make sure it was correct.

Peakster 12-11-11 10:59 PM

August's housing costs:

Natural Gas - $28.44
Electricity - $77.57
Water - $37.71

Other expenses:

Netflix - $7.99
Cable/WiFi - $53.85
Telephone - $77.65
Insurance - $14.00
Condo Fees - $150.00
Property Tax - $109.26
Mortgage P+I - $673.97

Total July '11 Housing Costs: $1,230.44

Rent collection from housemates: $1,911.90

Monthly Surplus: $681.46
----------------------------------------------
New housemates are paying higher rent $440/week collectively.

Peakster 12-11-11 11:04 PM

September's housing costs:

Natural Gas - $32.06
Electricity - $70.85
Water - $36.19

Other expenses:

Netflix - $7.99
Cable/WiFi - $53.85
Telephone - $27.48
Insurance - $14.00
Condo Fees - $150.00
Property Tax - $109.26
Mortgage P+I - $673.97

Total July '11 Housing Costs: $1,172.65

Rent collection from housemates: $1,911.90

Monthly Surplus: $739.25
----------------------------------------------

Peakster 12-11-11 11:08 PM

October's housing costs:

Natural Gas - $49.44
Electricity - $44.62
Water - $34.66

Other expenses:

Netflix - $7.99
Cable/WiFi - $53.85
Telephone - $46.57
Insurance - $14.00
Condo Fees - $150.00
Property Tax - $109.26
Mortgage P+I - $673.97

Total July '11 Housing Costs: $1,184.36

Rent collection from housemates: $1,911.90

Monthly Surplus: $727.54
----------------------------------------------
One of my housemates prefers to shower at the YMCA (no idea why) and that makes my water bill super low!

Wanna Beco 12-11-11 11:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Peakster (Post 18259)
One of my housemates prefers to shower at the YMCA (no idea why) and that makes my water bill super low!

Check and see if he is the cop from the village people :thumbup:


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