Author Topic: New Budgetary Tool: "Save Spending!"  (Read 9930 times)

Hugerat

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 57
New Budgetary Tool: "Save Spending!"
« on: January 28, 2015, 06:44:05 AM »
It's funny, usually I associate people who budget with frugality, either because the act of budgeting induces people to carefully assess their spending habits, or because the budgeting is borne of a natural frugality. But here's a couple who write an absurdly meticulous budget, yet still spend like drunken sailors. These fools actually need 5 separate line items just to account for vehicle spending. And I would lose my shit if a $300 electrical bill were part of my "budget." Kudos to this couple too for actually coining the term, "save spending." Queue hysterical laughter...

http://www.businessinsider.com/detailed-budget-of-high-earning-couple-2015-1

Cromacster

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1696
  • Location: Minnesnowta
Re: New Budgetary Tool: "Save Spending!"
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2015, 06:55:50 AM »
Well somethings off already.  He lists savings at 2,291.68 (which is their "save spending"), but I see 2,500 that they saved in their 401(k).  He stated he includes his 401(k) deductions in the amount they earn.

Quote
They also contribute to retirement through 401(k)s, the contributions to which are deducted from their paychecks. At the end of the year, McManus adds that money back to their income number, "because technically that's income that gets taken out."

Correct me if I am wrong, but by this logic, they are over spending by 2,500 each month.

Update:  Apparently they include 401(k), 529, and UGMA in spending.

« Last Edit: January 28, 2015, 06:59:38 AM by Cromacster »

rocksinmyhead

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1491
  • Location: Oklahoma
Re: New Budgetary Tool: "Save Spending!"
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2015, 07:11:09 AM »
I mean, what they're calling "save spending" is I think a totally normal and responsible thing to do. Some people (like especially innately frugal people) are fine just dipping into their single pot of savings/investments when they need a home repair or something, but for other people it works better to have designated funds for home repair, travel, etc. I don't see what's crazy about that. What IS crazy is that they've only paid off $40k of their student loans when they net $170k+ a year... holy fuck!!!

MaryInMichigan

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • Location: Detroit, MI
Re: New Budgetary Tool: "Save Spending!"
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2015, 08:31:06 AM »
I agree with rocksinmyhead: some people -- I'm one -- think in pots and buckets, so I have a spreadsheet for our savings account where I keep track of the amounts piling up for travel, house updates, car replacement, property tax, LTC premiums, whatever -- it's a cash flow management system. On the daily spending record, I have five line items for our one old Corolla: payment/registration, insurance, maintenance, gas, parking/tolls/misc.

However, I think you'd have to know a lot more about the student loans to know how well they're doing: it may crazy like a fox. Back in the day of 0% balance transfers, I paid for a car by flipping, paying the minimum, flipping again, and stashing budgeted excess in a savings account for final lump sum payoff. The mantra was: I don't pay the bank. The bank pays me.

Cromacster

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1696
  • Location: Minnesnowta
Re: New Budgetary Tool: "Save Spending!"
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2015, 08:39:44 AM »
I mean, what they're calling "save spending" is I think a totally normal and responsible thing to do. Some people (like especially innately frugal people) are fine just dipping into their single pot of savings/investments when they need a home repair or something, but for other people it works better to have designated funds for home repair, travel, etc. I don't see what's crazy about that.

I agree that this is totally normal and it is what my wife and I do.  The issue I have is that this category is the only category that qualifies as "savings" under his spending report.  I feel that when you have earmarked an amount for a goal (car, vacation, maintenance, etc) it should not qualify as saving.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2015, 10:51:51 AM by Cromacster »

slugline

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1169
  • Location: Houston, TX USA
Re: New Budgetary Tool: "Save Spending!"
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2015, 10:23:31 AM »
I'm mostly satisfied with Quicken, but one behavior that drives me batty is that it reports buying an investment as an "expense" and selling an investment as an "income."

(No, dumb program, I may move the "stash" from one "pocket" to another, but it's all happening in my own personal "pair of pants"!)

rocksinmyhead

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1491
  • Location: Oklahoma
Re: New Budgetary Tool: "Save Spending!"
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2015, 03:51:57 PM »
I'm mostly satisfied with Quicken, but one behavior that drives me batty is that it reports buying an investment as an "expense" and selling an investment as an "income."

(No, dumb program, I may move the "stash" from one "pocket" to another, but it's all happening in my own personal "pair of pants"!)

Mint randomly does this with some of my investment transactions but not with others. I haven't bothered to mess with it too much but it does annoy me.

Pooperman

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2968
  • Age: 29
  • Location: North Carolina
Re: New Budgetary Tool: "Save Spending!"
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2015, 05:00:53 AM »
They're saving 15%! Actually, a bit more, but I don't know the principle payments va interest on their loans, so 15% for just the saving accounts. Then again, they make 250k, so it's kinda pathetic. At least they aren't completely fucked.

LalsConstant

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 439
Re: New Budgetary Tool: "Save Spending!"
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2015, 08:02:51 AM »
I for one don't think this is that bad, considering the massive opportunity here. 

I for sure am a "bucket" thinker!
« Last Edit: January 29, 2015, 08:04:36 AM by LalsConstant »

Gone Fishing

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2754
  • So Close went fishing on April 1, 2016
    • Journal
Re: New Budgetary Tool: "Save Spending!"
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2015, 09:04:14 AM »
One vote for "swimming pool" thinker.

MrsPete

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3519
Re: New Budgetary Tool: "Save Spending!"
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2015, 06:40:38 AM »
They earn a good living.
They spend most of what they earn. 

Cool for them.  Their values are not lined up with ours (and, to be honest, if you polled everyone on this board, we're not all in perfect alignment either), but they're managing their money better than most Americans. 

I don't find them particularly admirable, but I also don't think they're total financial idiots. 


mveill1

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 87
  • Location: United Kingdom
Re: New Budgetary Tool: "Save Spending!"
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2015, 05:24:07 AM »
Their after-tax income is huge. I don't live in the US, but is it really how much you can make in the US, in a medium size town like Syracuse?

Primary income earner is a physician's assistant. Sheesh.

I should have got a green card when I had the chance...
« Last Edit: February 02, 2015, 05:27:43 AM by mveill1 »

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3057
  • Location: Emmaus, PA
Re: New Budgetary Tool: "Save Spending!"
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2015, 11:06:15 AM »
I'm mostly satisfied with Quicken, but one behavior that drives me batty is that it reports buying an investment as an "expense" and selling an investment as an "income."

(No, dumb program, I may move the "stash" from one "pocket" to another, but it's all happening in my own personal "pair of pants"!)

Mint randomly does this with some of my investment transactions but not with others. I haven't bothered to mess with it too much but it does annoy me.

It counts each dividend reinvestment as an expense. Very frustrating.

voidmain

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 20
  • Location: Bay Area
Re: New Budgetary Tool: "Save Spending!"
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2015, 04:54:31 PM »
Their after-tax income is huge. I don't live in the US, but is it really how much you can make in the US, in a medium size town like Syracuse?

Primary income earner is a physician's assistant. Sheesh.

I should have got a green card when I had the chance...

This is well above average. That sort of income puts them in the top 2-3% of households in the country. The wife is a surgical physician's assist, which pays pretty well ($100k+).
« Last Edit: February 02, 2015, 05:23:34 PM by voidmain »

Will

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 770
  • Location: Vancouver, WA
  • What the deuce?!?!?
Re: New Budgetary Tool: "Save Spending!"
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2015, 06:42:25 PM »
They earn a good living.
They spend most of what they earn. 

Cool for them.  Their values are not lined up with ours (and, to be honest, if you polled everyone on this board, we're not all in perfect alignment either), but they're managing their money better than most Americans. 

I don't find them particularly admirable, but I also don't think they're total financial idiots.

From the article:
Quote
"For all of 2014," he continues, "we spent $324.22 more than we made. In December, I check where we're at for the year, which is typically on the positive side (earned more than we spent) and allocate the delta to one of my 'savings' pots."

They spent more than they earned, and they earned a lot!  Seems pretty idiotic to me.  Even if you are using terms like "allocate the delta."  SMH


MoneyCat

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1754
  • Location: New Jersey
Re: New Budgetary Tool: "Save Spending!"
« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2015, 07:14:50 PM »
How does someone even use $300 in electricity per month?  Are they running an illegal marijuana grow operation out of their house or something?

caliq

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 675
Re: New Budgetary Tool: "Save Spending!"
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2015, 07:38:39 PM »
How does someone even use $300 in electricity per month?  Are they running an illegal marijuana grow operation out of their house or something?

My electric bill is on a budget plan for $285/month but I'm expecting it to go up with the new rate increases... :(

But my entire house is electric - heat, hot water, stove, everything. 

rocksinmyhead

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1491
  • Location: Oklahoma
Re: New Budgetary Tool: "Save Spending!"
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2015, 06:59:34 AM »
How does someone even use $300 in electricity per month?  Are they running an illegal marijuana grow operation out of their house or something?

My electric bill is on a budget plan for $285/month but I'm expecting it to go up with the new rate increases... :(

But my entire house is electric - heat, hot water, stove, everything.

Oh wow!!! do you have a really high $/kwh rate? Our house is all electric too, air source heat pump, practically uninsulated, and original 1918 windows (well, original except for the ones where the panes have been replaced with plexiglass... not even kidding, LOL) and we average $150. That really sucks!!

mveill1

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 87
  • Location: United Kingdom
Re: New Budgetary Tool: "Save Spending!"
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2015, 07:35:36 AM »
Their after-tax income is huge. I don't live in the US, but is it really how much you can make in the US, in a medium size town like Syracuse?

Primary income earner is a physician's assistant. Sheesh.

I should have got a green card when I had the chance...

This is well above average. That sort of income puts them in the top 2-3% of households in the country. The wife is a surgical physician's assist, which pays pretty well ($100k+).

Thanks - it's very interesting. I didn't even know that job existed. I should have looked it up before I posted, but having done that I now realize what the responsibilities are, and how much education you need. Sounds like 100+ is fair.

MishMash

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 645
Re: New Budgetary Tool: "Save Spending!"
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2015, 08:59:30 AM »
Lol, I commented on that article, who the heck spends 7k on furniture and 5k a year just on christmas presents? I don't think I've spent 7k to furnish my ENTIRE house total over a number of years.

caliq

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 675
Re: New Budgetary Tool: "Save Spending!"
« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2015, 01:14:35 PM »
How does someone even use $300 in electricity per month?  Are they running an illegal marijuana grow operation out of their house or something?

My electric bill is on a budget plan for $285/month but I'm expecting it to go up with the new rate increases... :(

But my entire house is electric - heat, hot water, stove, everything.

Oh wow!!! do you have a really high $/kwh rate? Our house is all electric too, air source heat pump, practically uninsulated, and original 1918 windows (well, original except for the ones where the panes have been replaced with plexiglass... not even kidding, LOL) and we average $150. That really sucks!!

Um it's around .10 cents/kwh I believe.  And I do shop around for the cheapest provider.  We have a ~1500 sq ft ranch built in the early 80's but with newer (2007?) windows and a newer roof, so I'm assuming it's fairly well insulated.  I think heat pumps are southern things, lol...We live in CT, so the poor little baseboard heaters are working pretty hard this time of year.  And we used way too much A/C (window A/Cs) last summer because my husband has a sleep disorder and we live near a busy road -- he can't take any traffic noise AT ALL without waking up so open windows were a no go :(  And now his disabilities have gotten so bad that he can't work, so he's home all the time, with the heat/lighting/electronics on.  We just bought the house (our first!) a year ago in January and I have to say we have a little bit of buyer's remorse -- definitely should have opened the windows so we could hear how loud the big street was :/ 

The people who owned the house before us had a budget amount of like $400/month so I thought we were doing pretty darn good, lol!

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3057
  • Location: Emmaus, PA
Re: New Budgetary Tool: "Save Spending!"
« Reply #21 on: February 03, 2015, 02:29:26 PM »
How does someone even use $300 in electricity per month?  Are they running an illegal marijuana grow operation out of their house or something?

My electric bill is on a budget plan for $285/month but I'm expecting it to go up with the new rate increases... :(

But my entire house is electric - heat, hot water, stove, everything.

Oh wow!!! do you have a really high $/kwh rate? Our house is all electric too, air source heat pump, practically uninsulated, and original 1918 windows (well, original except for the ones where the panes have been replaced with plexiglass... not even kidding, LOL) and we average $150. That really sucks!!

Um it's around .10 cents/kwh I believe.  And I do shop around for the cheapest provider.  We have a ~1500 sq ft ranch built in the early 80's but with newer (2007?) windows and a newer roof, so I'm assuming it's fairly well insulated.  I think heat pumps are southern things, lol...We live in CT, so the poor little baseboard heaters are working pretty hard this time of year.  And we used way too much A/C (window A/Cs) last summer because my husband has a sleep disorder and we live near a busy road -- he can't take any traffic noise AT ALL without waking up so open windows were a no go :(  And now his disabilities have gotten so bad that he can't work, so he's home all the time, with the heat/lighting/electronics on.  We just bought the house (our first!) a year ago in January and I have to say we have a little bit of buyer's remorse -- definitely should have opened the windows so we could hear how loud the big street was :/ 

The people who owned the house before us had a budget amount of like $400/month so I thought we were doing pretty darn good, lol!

You live in CONNECTICUT and have electric resistance heat? Awful! Heat pumps are used all over PA, so I'm sure they're in CT too. Assuming you have a basement, forced air wouldn't be impossible to put in a 1-story house. You should seriously look into the payback of gas heat.

caliq

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 675
Re: New Budgetary Tool: "Save Spending!"
« Reply #22 on: February 03, 2015, 02:34:58 PM »
How does someone even use $300 in electricity per month?  Are they running an illegal marijuana grow operation out of their house or something?

My electric bill is on a budget plan for $285/month but I'm expecting it to go up with the new rate increases... :(

But my entire house is electric - heat, hot water, stove, everything.

Oh wow!!! do you have a really high $/kwh rate? Our house is all electric too, air source heat pump, practically uninsulated, and original 1918 windows (well, original except for the ones where the panes have been replaced with plexiglass... not even kidding, LOL) and we average $150. That really sucks!!

Um it's around .10 cents/kwh I believe.  And I do shop around for the cheapest provider.  We have a ~1500 sq ft ranch built in the early 80's but with newer (2007?) windows and a newer roof, so I'm assuming it's fairly well insulated.  I think heat pumps are southern things, lol...We live in CT, so the poor little baseboard heaters are working pretty hard this time of year.  And we used way too much A/C (window A/Cs) last summer because my husband has a sleep disorder and we live near a busy road -- he can't take any traffic noise AT ALL without waking up so open windows were a no go :(  And now his disabilities have gotten so bad that he can't work, so he's home all the time, with the heat/lighting/electronics on.  We just bought the house (our first!) a year ago in January and I have to say we have a little bit of buyer's remorse -- definitely should have opened the windows so we could hear how loud the big street was :/ 

The people who owned the house before us had a budget amount of like $400/month so I thought we were doing pretty darn good, lol!

You live in CONNECTICUT and have electric resistance heat? Awful! Heat pumps are used all over PA, so I'm sure they're in CT too. Assuming you have a basement, forced air wouldn't be impossible to put in a 1-story house. You should seriously look into the payback of gas heat.

Lol! We don't have natural gas available, so we'd have to switch to propane or oil.  We're considering it but this is a short term house for us (like we'll just barely be here 5 years) so we're not sure it's worth it.  If we had natural gas available I'd have switched before we moved in if only because I CANNOT STAND MY STUPID FLAT TOP ELECTRIC STOVE. 

Edit: Although I wouldn't have known that before we moved in so, there's that.  Lol.

Cinder

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 468
  • Location: Central PA
Re: New Budgetary Tool: "Save Spending!"
« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2015, 07:20:25 AM »
How does someone even use $300 in electricity per month?  Are they running an illegal marijuana grow operation out of their house or something?

My electric bill is on a budget plan for $285/month but I'm expecting it to go up with the new rate increases... :(

But my entire house is electric - heat, hot water, stove, everything.

Oh wow!!! do you have a really high $/kwh rate? Our house is all electric too, air source heat pump, practically uninsulated, and original 1918 windows (well, original except for the ones where the panes have been replaced with plexiglass... not even kidding, LOL) and we average $150. That really sucks!!

Um it's around .10 cents/kwh I believe.  And I do shop around for the cheapest provider.  We have a ~1500 sq ft ranch built in the early 80's but with newer (2007?) windows and a newer roof, so I'm assuming it's fairly well insulated.  I think heat pumps are southern things, lol...We live in CT, so the poor little baseboard heaters are working pretty hard this time of year.  And we used way too much A/C (window A/Cs) last summer because my husband has a sleep disorder and we live near a busy road -- he can't take any traffic noise AT ALL without waking up so open windows were a no go :(  And now his disabilities have gotten so bad that he can't work, so he's home all the time, with the heat/lighting/electronics on.  We just bought the house (our first!) a year ago in January and I have to say we have a little bit of buyer's remorse -- definitely should have opened the windows so we could hear how loud the big street was :/ 

The people who owned the house before us had a budget amount of like $400/month so I thought we were doing pretty darn good, lol!

You live in CONNECTICUT and have electric resistance heat? Awful! Heat pumps are used all over PA, so I'm sure they're in CT too. Assuming you have a basement, forced air wouldn't be impossible to put in a 1-story house. You should seriously look into the payback of gas heat.

Lol! We don't have natural gas available, so we'd have to switch to propane or oil.  We're considering it but this is a short term house for us (like we'll just barely be here 5 years) so we're not sure it's worth it.  If we had natural gas available I'd have switched before we moved in if only because I CANNOT STAND MY STUPID FLAT TOP ELECTRIC STOVE. 

Edit: Although I wouldn't have known that before we moved in so, there's that.  Lol.

I'd have to check back in my spreadsheets, but before we had our attic insulation redone and the 'envelope' of the house sealed up, we would occasionally have $400~$600 electric bills in the winter, and the house was still 'to cold' for my wife.   

We have no basement (on a concrete slab), all electric baseboard, electric water heater (in the garage, which has a 'baseboard' heater on the wall to keep the garage above freezing so the pipes don't freeze), Electric range and everything.. No natural gas in my neighborhood. 

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3057
  • Location: Emmaus, PA
Re: New Budgetary Tool: "Save Spending!"
« Reply #24 on: February 04, 2015, 07:28:27 AM »
How does someone even use $300 in electricity per month?  Are they running an illegal marijuana grow operation out of their house or something?

My electric bill is on a budget plan for $285/month but I'm expecting it to go up with the new rate increases... :(

But my entire house is electric - heat, hot water, stove, everything.

Oh wow!!! do you have a really high $/kwh rate? Our house is all electric too, air source heat pump, practically uninsulated, and original 1918 windows (well, original except for the ones where the panes have been replaced with plexiglass... not even kidding, LOL) and we average $150. That really sucks!!

Um it's around .10 cents/kwh I believe.  And I do shop around for the cheapest provider.  We have a ~1500 sq ft ranch built in the early 80's but with newer (2007?) windows and a newer roof, so I'm assuming it's fairly well insulated.  I think heat pumps are southern things, lol...We live in CT, so the poor little baseboard heaters are working pretty hard this time of year.  And we used way too much A/C (window A/Cs) last summer because my husband has a sleep disorder and we live near a busy road -- he can't take any traffic noise AT ALL without waking up so open windows were a no go :(  And now his disabilities have gotten so bad that he can't work, so he's home all the time, with the heat/lighting/electronics on.  We just bought the house (our first!) a year ago in January and I have to say we have a little bit of buyer's remorse -- definitely should have opened the windows so we could hear how loud the big street was :/ 

The people who owned the house before us had a budget amount of like $400/month so I thought we were doing pretty darn good, lol!

You live in CONNECTICUT and have electric resistance heat? Awful! Heat pumps are used all over PA, so I'm sure they're in CT too. Assuming you have a basement, forced air wouldn't be impossible to put in a 1-story house. You should seriously look into the payback of gas heat.

Lol! We don't have natural gas available, so we'd have to switch to propane or oil.  We're considering it but this is a short term house for us (like we'll just barely be here 5 years) so we're not sure it's worth it.  If we had natural gas available I'd have switched before we moved in if only because I CANNOT STAND MY STUPID FLAT TOP ELECTRIC STOVE. 

Edit: Although I wouldn't have known that before we moved in so, there's that.  Lol.

You might want to look in to a heat pump. I know around me houses with only electric heat take much longer to sell, because nobody who's had a house in the North before wants to deal with that.

Also, it would likely be substantially cheaper than your window units (it's basically a central AC unit that runs in reverse in winter).

greenmimama

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 718
Re: New Budgetary Tool: "Save Spending!"
« Reply #25 on: February 04, 2015, 08:48:35 AM »
Yeah we have crazy high electric bills too, but our house is huge and we have a heat pump, so we use the electricity to heat the house until it gets below 32 and it does quite a bit.

In the summertime our bills are more like $150, and we do use AC.

I can't wait to get a smaller more efficient home to heat and cool.

So to answer your question how do you pay that much in electric, by having a big house and running lots of stuff :)

We don't even use a lot other than heating our home, we also have a pellet stove that uses electricity for the fan of course.

I'm not proud of that number, it's embarrassing for sure.

caliq

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 675
Re: New Budgetary Tool: "Save Spending!"
« Reply #26 on: February 04, 2015, 02:14:32 PM »
How does someone even use $300 in electricity per month?  Are they running an illegal marijuana grow operation out of their house or something?

My electric bill is on a budget plan for $285/month but I'm expecting it to go up with the new rate increases... :(

But my entire house is electric - heat, hot water, stove, everything.

Oh wow!!! do you have a really high $/kwh rate? Our house is all electric too, air source heat pump, practically uninsulated, and original 1918 windows (well, original except for the ones where the panes have been replaced with plexiglass... not even kidding, LOL) and we average $150. That really sucks!!

Um it's around .10 cents/kwh I believe.  And I do shop around for the cheapest provider.  We have a ~1500 sq ft ranch built in the early 80's but with newer (2007?) windows and a newer roof, so I'm assuming it's fairly well insulated.  I think heat pumps are southern things, lol...We live in CT, so the poor little baseboard heaters are working pretty hard this time of year.  And we used way too much A/C (window A/Cs) last summer because my husband has a sleep disorder and we live near a busy road -- he can't take any traffic noise AT ALL without waking up so open windows were a no go :(  And now his disabilities have gotten so bad that he can't work, so he's home all the time, with the heat/lighting/electronics on.  We just bought the house (our first!) a year ago in January and I have to say we have a little bit of buyer's remorse -- definitely should have opened the windows so we could hear how loud the big street was :/ 

The people who owned the house before us had a budget amount of like $400/month so I thought we were doing pretty darn good, lol!

You live in CONNECTICUT and have electric resistance heat? Awful! Heat pumps are used all over PA, so I'm sure they're in CT too. Assuming you have a basement, forced air wouldn't be impossible to put in a 1-story house. You should seriously look into the payback of gas heat.

Lol! We don't have natural gas available, so we'd have to switch to propane or oil.  We're considering it but this is a short term house for us (like we'll just barely be here 5 years) so we're not sure it's worth it.  If we had natural gas available I'd have switched before we moved in if only because I CANNOT STAND MY STUPID FLAT TOP ELECTRIC STOVE. 

Edit: Although I wouldn't have known that before we moved in so, there's that.  Lol.

You might want to look in to a heat pump. I know around me houses with only electric heat take much longer to sell, because nobody who's had a house in the North before wants to deal with that.

Also, it would likely be substantially cheaper than your window units (it's basically a central AC unit that runs in reverse in winter).

Well I looked into it -- I'm reading that they lose effectiveness below 40 degrees?  I was excited to see 37 today and we're below 40 24/7, from at least the end of November to beginning of March.  And a couple articles say they turn off completely below 15-17 degrees; we've been below that basically every night for two months straight.  If these numbers are accurate, I don't think a heat pump would do much.  We already avoid turning the heat on at all until late October/mid November so we're not using it much when temperatures are above 40.  I think it must be significantly colder here than it is where you're at :P 

You guys have inspired me to look into other options though, like harassing my local natural gas provider (who has lines in my town but not on my street which, like I said, is right next to a major state road!) and forced air systems with various heat sources.  Radiant floor heat would be super cool...but sooo expensive and therefore sooo not happening!  We have a gas line that goes into the basement from outside (assuming it's from an old propane tank) so it might be relatively painless to put in a propane stove...there are already vents cut through the basement ceiling/bedroom floors that would allow the heat to spread.  I don't think I would do a vent-free though, so we'd have to put in some sort of chimney system :/

And maybe I should look into getting the attic insulation redone.  We have a vaulted ceiling in the kitchen/dining/living room though so that will probably be tough.  Come to think of it, that room's always coldest :(


Thanks for the ideas!

rocksinmyhead

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1491
  • Location: Oklahoma
Re: New Budgetary Tool: "Save Spending!"
« Reply #27 on: February 04, 2015, 02:25:36 PM »
Well I looked into it -- I'm reading that they lose effectiveness below 40 degrees?  I was excited to see 37 today and we're below 40 24/7, from at least the end of November to beginning of March.  And a couple articles say they turn off completely below 15-17 degrees; we've been below that basically every night for two months straight.  If these numbers are accurate, I don't think a heat pump would do much.  We already avoid turning the heat on at all until late October/mid November so we're not using it much when temperatures are above 40.  I think it must be significantly colder here than it is where you're at :P 

yes this is true of air-source heat pumps, at least from what I've read. I'm not sure why people were recommending them for your climate as the only reason I mentioned it in my post is that I'd heard they are a crappy/inefficient way to heat in cooler climates, and not ideal even in my climate (not as cold as up north), and thus at least partly explains my high electricity bill :)

Emilyngh

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 892
Re: New Budgetary Tool: "Save Spending!"
« Reply #28 on: February 04, 2015, 05:33:58 PM »
Well I looked into it -- I'm reading that they lose effectiveness below 40 degrees?  I was excited to see 37 today and we're below 40 24/7, from at least the end of November to beginning of March.  And a couple articles say they turn off completely below 15-17 degrees; we've been below that basically every night for two months straight.  If these numbers are accurate, I don't think a heat pump would do much.  We already avoid turning the heat on at all until late October/mid November so we're not using it much when temperatures are above 40.  I think it must be significantly colder here than it is where you're at :P 

yes this is true of air-source heat pumps, at least from what I've read. I'm not sure why people were recommending them for your climate as the only reason I mentioned it in my post is that I'd heard they are a crappy/inefficient way to heat in cooler climates, and not ideal even in my climate (not as cold as up north), and thus at least partly explains my high electricity bill :)

I live in the SE (few hours from DC) and our heatpump has been wonderful.   It uses the backup heating (ours is electric) when you get below 30 or so, but even then it's far more efficient than just the backup without the heat pump.    "Losing efficiency" at lower temps is kind of irrelevant when overall it's still *more* efficient than the alternative.  Our heat pump has saved us several thousand dollars in the last 3 years (very close to having paid for itself, if hasn't already).   I'm not sure why anti-heatpump myths seems to circulate, but I suspect that they're based on the technology of the past.

"Once an expensive add-on that did not work well in cold climates like New Englandís, heat pumps have gotten a technological makeover. The new generation of machines can keep a backwoods home warm even in extreme conditions ó some to as low as 20 degrees below zero. And though they are powered by electricity, which is usually a very expensive way to heat a home, the new heat pumps are so efficient that they cost much less to run than a conventional oil heat system."
http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2014/10/05/new-heat-pump-technology-can-warm-homes-even-cold-new-england-winters/JgABf7wNFqRcYI6YVN6nsI/story.html

caliq

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 675
Re: New Budgetary Tool: "Save Spending!"
« Reply #29 on: February 05, 2015, 10:29:44 AM »
Well I looked into it -- I'm reading that they lose effectiveness below 40 degrees?  I was excited to see 37 today and we're below 40 24/7, from at least the end of November to beginning of March.  And a couple articles say they turn off completely below 15-17 degrees; we've been below that basically every night for two months straight.  If these numbers are accurate, I don't think a heat pump would do much.  We already avoid turning the heat on at all until late October/mid November so we're not using it much when temperatures are above 40.  I think it must be significantly colder here than it is where you're at :P 

yes this is true of air-source heat pumps, at least from what I've read. I'm not sure why people were recommending them for your climate as the only reason I mentioned it in my post is that I'd heard they are a crappy/inefficient way to heat in cooler climates, and not ideal even in my climate (not as cold as up north), and thus at least partly explains my high electricity bill :)

I live in the SE (few hours from DC) and our heatpump has been wonderful.   It uses the backup heating (ours is electric) when you get below 30 or so, but even then it's far more efficient than just the backup without the heat pump.    "Losing efficiency" at lower temps is kind of irrelevant when overall it's still *more* efficient than the alternative.  Our heat pump has saved us several thousand dollars in the last 3 years (very close to having paid for itself, if hasn't already).   I'm not sure why anti-heatpump myths seems to circulate, but I suspect that they're based on the technology of the past.

"Once an expensive add-on that did not work well in cold climates like New Englandís, heat pumps have gotten a technological makeover. The new generation of machines can keep a backwoods home warm even in extreme conditions ó some to as low as 20 degrees below zero. And though they are powered by electricity, which is usually a very expensive way to heat a home, the new heat pumps are so efficient that they cost much less to run than a conventional oil heat system."
http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2014/10/05/new-heat-pump-technology-can-warm-homes-even-cold-new-england-winters/JgABf7wNFqRcYI6YVN6nsI/story.html

Is your heat pump one of the ductless systems with the big unit on the wall?  That's the focus of that article and I know it's kind of silly but I think those things are so ugly and I really wouldn't want to install them in my house.  I have enough of a problem with the ugly electric baseboard heaters :/ 

And again, you're in the south east.  That's an entirely different ball game than it is up here -- it's great that a heat pump can save you money but if my goal is to install the absolute most efficient system in my house, then it probably won't be a heat pump.  The ones that are rated to work at -20 degrees are a lot more expensive and still lose significant efficiency at low temperatures.  And considering there's at least one day in the next week or so that we're forecasted to have temps down to -9, the truth is that a heat pump installed here would be operating at sub-optimal temperatures for a significant portion of it's use. 

Why would I not focus on other options that are efficient at any temperature and don't require a back up system?

Emilyngh

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 892
Re: New Budgetary Tool: "Save Spending!"
« Reply #30 on: February 14, 2015, 02:41:18 PM »
No, ours is not ductless, and still has been super efficient for us.

Quote

... but if my goal is to install the absolute most efficient system in my house, then it probably won't be a heat pump.  The ones that are rated to work at -20 degrees are a lot more expensive and still lose significant efficiency at low temperatures.  And considering there's at least one day in the next week or so that we're forecasted to have temps down to -9, the truth is that a heat pump installed here would be operating at sub-optimal temperatures for a significant portion of it's use. 

Why would I not focus on other options that are efficient at any temperature and don't require a back up system?

The recommendation is simply to make sure to double check one's assumptions prior to ruling out heat pumps.   "Losing significant efficiency at low temperatures" is meaningless if the overall efficiency vs cost for operation is still better than that of other heating systems.   The article I posted challenges the base assumption that heat pumps can not be the best option in colder climates.

KD

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 239
  • "Waste is a resource out of place."-Coors Mfg.
Re: New Budgetary Tool: "Save Spending!"
« Reply #31 on: February 15, 2015, 02:37:56 PM »
This house has a heat pump.  First house I've ever had with one.  HATE IT!!!  Never again.  Once it blows up I'm replacing w/central heat/air.  It circulates cold air and yes the ambient temp does get the house up to temp but did I mention it circulates cold air in the winter.  Who the heckles wants cold air blowing on them inside their house while there is snow on the ground????

Add me in as a 'pots and bucket's saver. 
« Last Edit: February 15, 2015, 02:41:00 PM by KD »

rocksinmyhead

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1491
  • Location: Oklahoma
Re: New Budgetary Tool: "Save Spending!"
« Reply #32 on: February 16, 2015, 10:32:55 AM »
Who the heckles wants cold air blowing on them inside their house while there is snow on the ground????

Bahhh this was happening to me this morning (first cold day in a while) until the aux heat kicked on! Total dislike! :P

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3057
  • Location: Emmaus, PA
Re: New Budgetary Tool: "Save Spending!"
« Reply #33 on: February 16, 2015, 11:06:24 AM »
It's warmer than your house air, but because it's cooler than you it feels cold when you're right in the path.