09 December 2008

Educate me

It's been a not-s0-fun week of sickies around here, so I've spent most of my time letting Amelia nap on me while I poke around looking for jobs and houses. (Being stuck at the computer because Amelia won't sleep away from me brings on flashbacks to last year at this time!)

One thing I've realized in doing this is that I don't know how much to budget for utilities. Of course this is something that varies and I understand that, but I really don't have much of a clue, which is crazy since I've lived out on my own for 15 years now! But I've always lived somewhere with (mostly) paid utilities.

In Denton I paid electric and that was it. So I know how much electric costs for a small one bedroom apartment with the only occupant gone all day (and how much it is when the apartment sits empty for a couple of months at a time while you jaunt across the country). I also know that Mom and Dad's electric bill can be higher than their mortgage payment. But that's a HUGE range! So, say James gets that job in Concord, NC and we are living in a 3 bedroom house. Probably an older one, so not the best weatherproofing. What am I looking at for electric? And some of the houses have gas heating...would that make a big difference in price?

Then, what else is there? Water? What does that run? (Katie and Chad need not reply!)
Trash? The only time we've "paid" for trash was to get a sticker in Madisonville so that one of our cars (wisely chose James' car) could drive into the dump and drop off our trash.

Anything else? Phones and internet I know about (sure hope we get good cheap high speed wherever we end up). TV we probably won't end up paying for (just buying a converter box).

Just trying to work out hypothetical budgets in order to know how much we can afford for rent, but that really depends on how much we are paying for other utilities. Of course James has to get a job first (and technically he hasn't even lost his here, yet) but I'm trying to do what I can now to figure out the possibilities (no use getting a job we can't live off of). And, yes, I'm largely obsessing over gaining some kind of illusion of control. Humor me.


Katie said...

I had to call Chad to ask him since I never see the bills. He said $15/month for trash. Our heater is gas, so obviously the gas bill is higher during the winter, but he said an average for the year is probably around $40/month. Again, electricity is higher during the summer but on average is around $50/month. You know the size of our house, and we have two AC units, so I think you would be paying less, but we are somewhat stingy with the AC and heater (and probably had to use the AC more that first year when we were getting used to the humidity). Now that we have a different meter in the ground, we pay around $20-30/month for water.

ANYTHING else I can tell you? Please?!?

Ashley said...

I think we are a bit wasteful with our water and electricity :) Our heater is electric and of course these days we have it running nonstop! Our electric bills are usually around $75 a month. A little higher when we were running our AC a lot when we first moved here - like Katie said, getting used to the humidity. We haven't gotten our bill for the past month when we've been running our heater a ton.

We pay our trash,water,and sewer every two months on one bill. Trash is $13, our sewer was $46 and our water was $44 (for two months) We run our dishwasher daily and do laundry daily and Roy takes ridiculously long showers and our kids take baths 3 times a week :)

Utilities was a big hit for us moving here. For our apartment in Davis we were paying about $50 a month for gas/electric, no water bill, no trash bill and free cable and internet. We pay $30 a month for great internet and too much a month for great cable. (which we are going to cancel once we make it through the winter!)

Don't worry about all the obsessing before anything is decided :) I look at housing prices every single place that Roy applies! Unfortunately sometimes I fall in love with a particular house and then never get to live there! :)

Ashley said...

BTW, the last water/trash bill we got was a lot higher than the previous bill. Our August/Sept bill was only $85 but our Oct/Nov bill was $105

lindsey said...

we got bills from our next landlord showing how much utilities will be in a 1500 sq ft home in gilbert... note that he has a huge yard with a ton of trees that get watered daily... the house only has electric and the highest electric bill they had in a summer was under 200 (not bad for phoenix in an older home) for water sewer and trash it was 66 a month. internet is usually around 30.... we had to pay for it in visalia. good luck.. oh and i looked sooo much before looking for housing in phx and visalia and then found a house in gilbert through our cousin jane'

Christie said...

Thanks so much for the responses! That really helps me get a better idea of what our budget will look like.