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Archive for March, 2010

the water bill always provokes a 'yikes'

March 9th, 2010 at 12:07 pm

When I read what people nationally pay for water and sewer, it's about $50-60/month. With us, it's $69. We have solid waste with yardwaste pickup, and pay $33 month for that. So we pay over $100/month. Average consumption a day was 107 gallons for three people. Per capita 60 gallons is average. So we're saving water, but paying over $100/month for this... we have a low-flow toilet, watersaving clothes washer, watersaving dishwasher. Only thing I can think of is that when we're trying to be nice to the natural gas company and keep the temps at 64-66F during the day in winter, we take long hot showers and soaks. And I'm drinking much more water and tea.

We're paying $8.98/CCF for sewer and $3.50/CCF for water. Sioux Falls citizens pay $2.56/CCF for the same usage we have.

The residential bill here, on average, is about $240 for two months. It went up 22% over two years. We will be very lucky to see bills under $200. I think I'll put up signs like 'if it's yellow let it mellow' and take the Dr. Bronner-style bath of sponging the body with a gallon of water and Dr. Bronner's liquid castile soaps. More ways to save water here.

Just got off the phone with Comcast sales flunkie who wanted to upsell the Comcast service we have for higher speeds. I told him I wasn't interested in spending more days without food for the purpose of giving Comcast more money. I told him I was pissed about doing everything I could afford to bring down energy usage in my house: 11% water, 33% natural gas, but rates went up even higher, and didn't need to be making conscious decisions to have more money escape our house without a return on investment. When he asked what we used the service for I answered for my husband's vendor/outsource work which his multinational corporation decided it was too poor to pay for itself. I love that these calls are monitored, and I love that these soulless drones and managers are oblivious to consumers' sufferings and increased bills. The next time some drone says "I understand" I'm going to ask him or her about his or her credit debt, or if "I understand" is written in their script which they must carefully copy.

Pinch!

March 5th, 2010 at 08:28 am

$826 for another week.

$140.11 to COBRA -- pass
$100 for food - $50 left
$40 for gas (scooter & car) - $31 left
$16 for entertainment
$9 for postage - $7.68 left
$125 for credit card (trying to pay this weekly to avoid interest) - paid
$100 monthly extraction of payment to HELOC. - scheduled on March 15
would like $58.26 more to go to HELOC to keep it exactly at 14% of my mortgage, but I can wait until payday for that.

This is the month where we get bills for electricity and water/sewer/recycling/yard waste, and those are typically $250 - $270.

I am not looking forward to doing taxes.
Maybe I can postpone payment of mortgage until April 5.

I submitted a claim for orthodontic treatment for the year, and a claim for prescription glasses. We'll see processing for those, what, eight - twelve weeks out?

My wireless phone provider is not effectively blocking the phone numbers I don't want texting me. I visited the website to triple-check that the number to be blocked was in the blocked database and yes, it was. Corporation logic is this: Customer follows procedure, it fails, answer "I don't know" when asked why and offer some other suggestion not on the website customer visited. Corporation congratulates itself for offering exemplary value and customer service. I know of Tracfone and Virgin Mobile -- if I get another text from the fat-fingered ditz the wireless phone provider can say goodbye to my account -- customer account closed due to service incompetence.

The weird thing is that I calculated our mortgage and HELOC, and they're manageable on my spouse's salary. We drive one car and one scooter, and put maybe 600 miles a month on the car (how can that be? we don't drive 20 miles a day!). We also do not dine on steak more than twice a month, and have been choosing to walk to a neighbourhood restaurant during happy hour when we want to eat out.

I've been energy testing my supplements: chlorella yes, Source Natural Visual Eyes a no. Ubiquinol, despite Ray Kurzweil, is a no. Fish oil, calcium/magnesium and Vitamin D, yes.
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on the blessings front: $4.64 from old insurer, credit balances of $2.70 (car) and $87 (house) from new insurer. Cheques to follow in three weeks. I look forward to a 0.9% decrease in mortgage payment.

Although house assessment has changed, surface water fees have increased, giving me a $4/month reduction in real estate taxes. The $7/month reduction in home insurance is a blessing. Now to get rid of the $6/month "Green Up!" voluntary charge for green energy...