Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A financial account + AUSTERITY!!

I've been saving receipts for all the home improvement projects, garden buys, etc. I wanted to do a breakdown of what each project cost. The problem with that is : 1) I've bought a lot of items that I use for multiple jobs, and 2) I've waited so long that the labor necessary to figure a;; that out feels like a waste of what little free time I have.

Instead, I'm offering below a (rather sobering) list of total expenditure so far on the new house.


Including 2 dozen seedlings, seed potatoes, a zillion actual seeds, soil for the two raised beds, rhubarb crowns, asparagus crowns, lots of compost, the multi-grafted fruit tree, raspberry, blackberry, and strawberry plants, herbs, a few house plants, and some organic pest control stuff, we've spent $409.95 so far. The biggest expenditure by far was the fruit tree ($150.00) but starting soon we won't have to buy apples ever again. We've only spent about 60 bucks on soil and compost, which I'm happy to do given how happy the plants are in the raised beds and how pathetically sad all the plants are we directly planted into our ground. Hopefully we'll need to buy less soil amendment next year once the composting operation is up and running. We also won't need any new seeds next year since I can save anything I like, plus I still have A TON left over from this year. I'll probably still grab some seedlings, but the cost should decrease. Given what my weekly organic grocery bill looks like, I'm happy with this. Plus it's a hobby I enjoy. I'm keeping harvest tallies.


Including the babies themselves, grit, organic starter feed, straw for bedding, a brooder lamp, a feeder, waterer, and a coop, we are at $465.49. It's important to note, though, that 399$ of that was the coop. The babies and their food and supplies only cost 65 bucks. While there were certainly some cool plans online to make a coop on the cheap, most of them assumed that you just had lumber lying around "from other projects." We didn't, and calculated that it'd easily cost us 400 bucks to buy all the stuff to make a coop, and this one was pretty! One of our concerns with backyard chicks was keeping the yard nice so we didn't piss off our neighbors. The local organic eggs we buy at the farmer's market are around $4.50 a dozen, meaning we'll need 1,200 eggs to break even (and of course, by then we'll have bought more feed and straw, though not that much more.) However, I LOVE my chickies. They are pets. Given what a dog costs to maintain, I'd say our babies are much cheaper (and better, because they give us presents!)

Appliances & Furniture:

This was the HUGE expenditure category so far. Even with buying stuff mostly used or at outlets, we needed a dishwasher, fridge, chest freezer, washer, dryer, dining room table, six chairs, and various decor items. $2616 so far, which includes the stuff we bought from previous owners (armoires, chests, lamps, etc.)

Building Supplies and Tools:

I've given Lowes, Home Depot, and Allegheny Milllery $1190.74 of my hard-earned dollars. That's bought A LOT of tools we didn't already have, paint, stain, electrical stuff, caulk, mortar, lumber, garden tools, etc. It's less horrible than I expected, frankly, but still not ideal. We buy the American version of stuff if they have that option. I estimate we'll need another 300$ worth of baseboard lumber and 100$ worth of paint and stain to complete the dining room, living room, and bedroom. We've already got all the stuff to complete the kitchen. For an overhaul, I think that's a steal.

While I don't think any of the above tallies are unreasonable, I need to go on austerity for the next few months with things that aren't house related. No more eating out twice a week (though I love supporting local independent restaurants)! And I need to cool it on the expensive cheese purchases!

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