Friday, June 29, 2012

Vegetable Garden

I want to get a vegetable garden started.  The house renos are taking longer than I had hoped, so any real work on a vegetable garden will have to wait till next year.  Too bad.

I have though got some containers going.  I love home grown tomatoes, so I had to get something growing this summer.

Here are my little beauties.  Hopefully they will save me a few grocery dollars this year.

Taxes, taxes, taxes

How much do you pay in taxes a year?

Well I've been tracking all things financial for years and I thought I should give some scrutiny to how much I pay in taxes.  For the last few years I've been tracking sales taxes as well as income tax.  So I thought I should do a little breakdown here.

I was less detailed in my past records and failures in software means my older data is missing a few numbers, so the actual taxes going back before 2005 would probably be higher.

I wish I could say this was a definative report on how much we pay in taxes.  Perhaps I will try and see if I have any older records buried anywhere.

Right now I will just try and digest that I've paid at least $155,508.83 in taxes since 2003. 
In NINE YEARS, we have paid an average of  $17,278.76 a year to various levels of government!  YIKES!
I think I need to sit down...  wait I already am....

Murdering the Mortgage June 2012

It's our one year mortgage anniversary!

So after 12 months, we have managed to pay down $13316.48.  Only $76,683 to go!

At this rate we will be mortgage free in 8 years and 1 month without doubling up as we often do.  I will be slowing by extra payments for the next couple of months due to my coming parental leave.  I will need to see if we can double up as the next few months progress.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Where does the money go? 2011 and 2010

I decided to do some pie charts to show my annual expenditures for 2010 and 2011.

Housing is the basic utility bills and insurance.  Home is furniture and home renos, etc.  

Here is 2010.

Here is 2011.

2011 proved an expensive year.  A move to a new house that needed some work will do that.  You can see the aggressive paying down of the mortgage here as well.

Here is a big chart for the 2004-2011 period to show a bit of history.  We tend to average around the mid $30's for annual expenditure.
I've got to keep that upward trend under control.  Most of the jumps are one time costs.

I have some data going farther back, going back to 2000 and earlier but problems with Money software make getting it all together a chore.  I also changed how I track my expenses a couple of time so categories get confusing.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cost of running the furnace circulation fan

I decided to work out what it costs to run my furnaces air circulation motor.  I thought running the circulation through the night without the AC on would help get the cooler air from downstairs to upstairs as we slept.

It seems to be helping, I don't think the AC was activated too much overnight.

Here are my calculations.

Typical late night hourly power consumption when not much is going on is 0.20 Kwh
Typical late night hourly power consumption when fan motor is on is 0.30 Kwh

So this difference of 0.1 Kwh is my basis to calculate how much the fan is costing me.

Off peak is 6.5 cents for 12 hours a day
Mid peak is 10 cents for 6 hours a day
Peak is 11.7 cents for 6 hours a day

This works out to 20 cents a day rounding up. 

So conceivably running the furnace fan every day of the year can cost me $73 a year(or another way $9 a month).

Well, thats nice to know.  Now to decide if that is affordable or not.

Having a heat wave!

Having a heat wave...  Da, da, da, da, daa...
Notice on the chart below starting on the 19th and 20th...
That is the result of air conditioning during a heat wave we are having in these parts.  Ugh, that bill is going to hurt!  There is still at least another day of these 30c+ degree days due to us as well!

Since I have to keep the family cool, I'm going to have to get to work on some improvements around the house.  I need some functional air register vents, some of the old ones barely close or open when required.  I need to evenly distribute the AC more upstairs.  The second floor still gets a bit warm.  I also need to get some window covering up on upstairs office window.  That is letting on too much hot sun.

Those last two days of yellow and red bars are costing me $4.08 where normally I would be spending $0.53 for those days, $3.55 extra!

No data to build chart

Cost of Living for May 2012

This will inaugurate my monthly cost of living statement.  My goal is to track and analyze my family spending.  This is an important exercise to determine how much I will need to retire early.

Here is the May Cost of living for my family.
This was pretty much an average month for expenses.  We are still doubling up on most of our mortgage payments.  Driving and gas prices both picked up last month, so that is why May was a record month for Auto costs. Home renovations continue, but no major purchases in that category.


Dec-12 Nov-12 Oct-12 Sep-12 Aug-12 Jul-12 Jun-12 May-12 Apr-12 Mar-12 Feb-12 Jan-12


$139.55 $1,187.75 $177.30 $1,236.17 $148.08

$422.68 $323.77 $315.27 $338.05 $285.01

$390.63 $342.64 $430.64 $415.43 $333.13

$68.20 $40.16 $74.38 $67.04 $17.23

$9.44 $6.47 $11.17 $7.74 $24.46

$167.34 $147.42 $150.53 $311.48 $83.46

$21.99 $21.99 $21.99 $21.99 $25.74

$364.98 $627.77 $620.74 $312.33 $280.88

$95.94 $347.25 $145.71 $107.45 $55.25

$1,600.00 $2,000.00 $1,200.00 $1,600.00 $800.00

$3,280.75 $5,045.22 $3,147.73 $4,417.68 $2,053.24