The Cool House: finances
Showing posts with label finances. Show all posts
Showing posts with label finances. Show all posts

Monday, September 29, 2008

Before long we'll just be eating soup

The market is banking on it. Shares in Campbell's Soup rose as the market plummeted.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Oil Crisis

Shock, disbelief, wailing and gnashing of teeth. That pretty much describes yesterday when the oil company filled my tank. Oh, I knew it was coming. When we moved here in 2004 home heating oil cost $1:35 a gallon and it was predicted it would be over $3 way back last summer. So I had plenty of time to do the math, scream and enter the comfort of denial land. It hasn't helped that our bills have been pretty consistent over the years. Fuel prices went up but we became more economical and installed programmable thermostats, turned the temperature down and shut doors. We also replaced all those single pane windows, so we used less oil. Obviously this trade off had to stop sometime and that would be 01/07/08 when the price per gallon was $3:11. The bill was humongous. A whacking, walloping whole heap of cash is required to pay it.
Faced with the fact that there isn't much room for more energy efficiency, absent a new boiler or a change to gas, what to do? We could just do without heat or hot water, though that's not the way I'd choose to go. It might be 65 F here later today but I'm pretty sure we will need to put the heating on again this winter.
I'm thinking we might have to sell something. A cat, or a kidney or maybe that fabulous credenza.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

$50 solution*

*Plus NY state tax
OK, Hands up. How many of you thought we'd spring for ceramic tile in the powder room? And hardwood flooring? Anyone for bamboo? Anyone?
Yep, you don't know us at all.
The problem is dependency. I would have loved to have spent $300 on slate-look porcelain tiles but that would have led to the whole "but the powder room and kitchen floor have different height/ different colour" discussion/argument.
Let me walk you through it: Eventually - schedule 2008, now possibly 2009, more realistically 2010, we will remodel the kitchen. The kitchen floor has a sub-floor of marine ply-wood that makes it higher than the the dining part of the kitchen and the powder room. If we replace the nasty carpet we have to ensure the two heights are the same when we remodel the kitchen, otherwise someone will not be happy. Plus, if we lay ceramic tile today, will the same tile be available in 2009 or 2010? Unlikely. Doing one project properly depends on another project.
So to avoid a costly "That looks like s**t mistake", we are making the best of it and going with a temporary or "band aid"* solution. That would be the cheapest fix we could find. And the winner is? Carpet. A remnant at $49. Who would have thought I would contemplate carpet in a bathroom?
I hate it, but I am going to have to live with it - hopefully only in the short term.

*The carpet remnant is beige and it looks like elastoplast/bandaid, too.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Not that I'm cheap

But it's been so mild this October, and I had to run the air conditioning at the start of the month (that nearly killed me), that I'm trying to get into November before we put the heating on. It hasn't been a problem until today when the temperature inside dropped to 64F. The weather is set to get warmer again on Halloween so I'm just going to tough it out. After all, we didn't have central heating when we were kids and we survived. And it's environmentally friendly. Right?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Never miss another call

Although Steven has issued a "the well is dry" notice which effectively precludes any more demolition or construction before January 2008, I am still hunting around for inspiration for the master bathroom renovation. After all, looking costs nothing, right?
While researching bathrooms on I came across this gem:
"Phones in the toilet area are part of the expanding communication technology for baths".
Lovely. Just what you need when you were hoping for a quiet, private moment. If you look at the picture that accompanies this piece of puffery, you can see how well that communication technology blends with this year's decor. Also, not at all unsanitary, is it?