Saturday, December 31, 2005


Little House on the Hill and the Costs of Keeping It

My house is little, I mean really little. Two bedrooms, one bath, 670 square feet. That is smaller than both one bedroom apartments I've lived in. The bfriend has lived here 10+ years and he loves this house. I've only been here 2+ years and I have a love/hate relationship with the house. I love that the lot is over 5000 sq. feet so we have a nice big yard. I love the location and that I'm only 5 miles from work and 10 minutes from downtown seattle. I mostly love that I'm living in a house instead of an apartment. I hate that there is practically no storage space to speak of and that the washer and dryer are not in the house. The laundry room is connected to the garage which is detached from the house, its at the far end of the backyard this means schlepping through rain and mud on laundry days all year 'round because this is seattle after all. This house has been a huge motivation factor in my wanting to live more simply, we just don't have room to not be simpletons. Here are the costs of keeping this house, I'd like to reduce where I can:

Rent, $960
Cable/Internet, $92.67 I thought of switching to limited cable for $12.30/month, but I don't watch local channels. I like HGTV, FSN, and Food Network.
Phone, $34.91, I researched switching to Vonage, we don't use the phone hardly at all so their $14.99 plan looked really good, but the fact that if the power or cable goes out you lose phone service worries me. We don't have a cell phone (GASP!!!) and I do not ever want to lose the ability to call 911, if the fire we had this month had been worse and we couldn't call 911, I don't even want to think about it.
Electricity, $81.83/month budget billing plan, need to make sure it doesn't go up for 2007.
Water, Sewer, Garbage, $105/January. These services come bundled and are billed every other month. Garbage is pretty much a fixed cost unless we have extra trash $29/month. I'm going to assume Sewer is fixed as I can't think of a way to reduce it, roughly $46/month, Water of course fluctuates but I'm working on lowering it, the hard part is because we don't have a dishwasher we tend to handwash the dishes every day, for January $31.51.

Here's a link to an FCC consumer advisory regarding VOIP phone service and 911.


Blogger Nick said...

About Vonage. I'd switch to them in a heartbeat if I weren't tied to a landline by Verizon DSL's requirements (still better than Comcast cable and internet, in my opinion). If the lack of cell phone and worry about not being able to contact 911 are all that's stopping you, maybe you could pick up a pre-paid wireless phone to keep around just in case. Then, even if the power goes out, you'll still have a way to make calls without needing to commit to a plan.

7:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You seem to think handwashing dishes uses more than a dishwasher.
Not necessarily so - wash ALL dishes from the day at one time, use only 1-2" of hot water in sink, rinse dishes (I assume you use a dish drainer) all at once. I've been married 38 years, have & have not had a dishwasher - recently retired to FL and found I save on water doing dishes this way. ALSO limit showers to 5 min.and do only full loads of laundry (or have a washer with load sizes). Good luck. Wish my kids would reduce their debt and live more lightly on the earth.

7:18 AM  

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