Saturday, April 16, 2011

New Home Budget,Take 2

Today is a very rainy and over cast day here in Mid Michigan. So Kyle and I have decided we will be staying in today. That means cuddling up with a good movie and of course discussing the house. We have been hoping that we would have more on the budget to share today but as of this afternoon we have not received out revised budget from our builder. Our builder is working on going back to companies that have already bid on the house to get them to offer us better pricing. We have however compiled a list of areas we have already saved on our own by contacting more contractors in the Lansing area.


We had meetings this week with a plumber and a geothermal company here at our apartment. Both meetings went very well and we were very excited to met some very knowledgeable contractors that also gave us great estimates. We also had back to back meetings last weekend on Saturday at our property. Kyle met with three geothermal companies and an excavator. We set up meetings an hour or so apart so that we could avoid any awkward run ins with competing companies. Thankfully all the timing worked out well and it was a productive morning.


Here is the current list of areas we have saved on our own. (soon we hope to bring you a list from our builder of what he has saved us too). So with out further ado, I present the nominees...


In the category of masonry, we have saved an incredible 30%

For the foundation, we have saved 12% in that area

Our new bid for the decking materials and labor has saved us 17%

In the area of cabinetry, we have now saved 14%

Our painting bid just came back a few days ago and has saved us 19%

We saved a huge amount in the counter top category by switching from granite to laminate, giving us back 81% (Jaw dropping, I know!)

The plumber that we met with this week has saved us 33% in the plumbing category

We got a great bid back for the interior trim work but we need to make sure it is as good as it claims to be. If it does included everything we need it to then that will be a huge savings for us!

and the grand finale... We saved 53% with our newest bid on the siding of the house.


All of these estimates have been very encouraging for us. We still are at the upper threshold of our budget but we are not settling till we get the numbers where we want them. Could we mortgage all that, yeah I suppose, but we don't want to. We want to stick as closely as possible to our original budget and not be stretched to our limit. We have always lived by a simple rule and that is live within your means.

Check out the clip from SNL on the subject.




So as of today, we are at a total of 15% savings from where we started. Not to shabby for the two of us in less than one month. That's about half of where we would like to end up but keep in mind this percent does not include the savings our builder has already gotten.

During all this unrest with the budget I have already begun packing boxes and they are rapidly piling up in the dining room. Every box I pack it feels like hope. I know that sounds funny but I have never been so excited to pack and to move. This is the fourth apartment that Kyle and I have lived in together. We moved our sophomore, junior and senior years of college and then when we graduated we then made one more move back to our current apartment in Lansing. This time packing boxes has a whole new meaning. It means that soon we will be moving into our dream home and settle into the life that we want together. So today, we remain cautiously optimistic

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Favorite Eco-Friendly Products

We try to buy environmentally friendly products when possible (and affordable). Here is a list of some of my current favorite "green" products that are also frugal. Enjoy...

These tees from Vaute Couture (http://www.vautecouture.com/p-76-friends-not-fashion-racerback-its-back.aspx) features organic cotton and recycled polyester. They are printed in the USA and cost $32.00 each. Aren't they adorable!
These beautiful towel by Amy Butler are 100% organic cotton and come in four fun prints.
The towels are $16.99, hand towel are $12.99 and wash clothes are $7.99.
I found these at Bed, Bath and Beyond.



Organic Housekeeping is a great resource for tackling all kinds of household messes in a eco-friendly way. The book is available at most book stores or online for between $4.00- $13.99. A great book to keep handy.


This set of 3 doves are made of felted wool by low income women in Nepal. They are only $9.99 for the set of 3 and would be great in any corner of your home. They can be found at http://www.ecoexpress.com/page-1907-ECO%2520SHOPS-1036.htm