The expenses of working at paid employment

As followers of Your Money or Your Life, Chris and I have always done a good job of evaluating the cost of our paid employment.  We factor in clothes, fuel, travel time and snacks and eating out. 

Since I’ve been working as a contract bookeeper, I’ve also been keeping my eye on these expenses, especially as I have several clients in Kamloops, which is a 180 km round trip.  With the latest spike at the pump, my round trip now costs $20.59.  And, I spend two hours of my day on travel.  Clothes haven’t been a huge cost; both companies are fairly casual.  I’ve spent about $130 in the last 6 weeks on some classier-than-farm clothes (i.e. clean jeans and tops/sweaters that actually belong to this milleniums fashion trends).  I’ve purchased about half of these clothes from thrift stores and the other half from the sale racks of major department stores.

All my trips to Kamloops have doubled up as errand runs; supplies, groceries and parts.  There have been a few days where I’ve had to dash in, only spent 4 hours working and dash back. But these have been rare.

The first week I bought a few lunches, but as I’ve settled in I’ve found time to pack a lunch. And since stopping coffee cold turkey, even the urge to buy a coffee is gone. 

The fuel bothers me; the cost and the amount I’m using.  While we pursue the WVO option I’ve been thinking a lot about Chris’ motorcycle (I sold mine to my brother Tom, in my 20’s and haven’t ever replaced it).  Tonight I went to our storage shed and checked it out. It hasn’t been licenced since 1998 when we moved back to B.C. and Chris rode it periodically the first summer we were here. 

There’s no faring.  We thought there was.  I suppose an hour’s drive won’t be too bad, as long as it doesn’t rain hard (in which case I’d probably take the car anyway as I’ve never enjoyed rain riding).  The back tire looks great, but the front tire looks worn.  I found the keys in our dresser, but don’t know where the registration is.  I have a few places to look.

If we pursue this option a few other things have to happen.  I have to reduce what I carry.  Right now I have a briefcase in which I have a container with my “portable” office.  I also use my laptop at one on my client’s offices and I like to carry my Quickbooks reference manual as this is the newest accounting program for me  (I can operate Simply Accounting with my eyes closed!)  I’ve also been introduced to CUC Accounting at yet another client’s, but have no manual.  Anything I take with me has to be either stuffed into the tank bag or on the back seat

I have a few hesitations with the motorcycle.  The first is the craziness of the traffic on Hwy 5 between Darfield and Kamloops. Between the May long weekend and Labour Day, insanity seems to rule on the roads.  I’m not as agressive on a motorcycle as I was when I was 17 so that’s probably a good thing!  Arriving at work with vibrated bones is also a concern…the car is simply more comfortable than a Yamaha 650. 

I’d have built in airconditioning…that’s a bonus.  Insuring the motorcycle would be far less than putting the truck on the road and I’d be able to leave Chris and the kids with the car in case they needed to get out of Dodge.

Lots to think about.

Updated Expenses as of December 30, 2010

It’s been a while since I updated expenses.  Note that the rocket mass heater expenses included approximately $1,500.00 for  CSA approved chimney materials.  There’s a bit of debate about whether insulated pipe is required for the exit flue, since temperatures are ususally no more than 200 degrees F.  However, as previously mentioned by Chris, we wanted to make the design as easy as possible and to meet with as little resistance as we could.  The time for innovation may be on the next one!  :)  Also note that we were charged for a permit.  It was actually $150, but I messed up and wrote the cheque from the Christmas account instead of the earthship account…boing!  I don’t do that very often….

We are now about $6,000 over our anticipated budget as we weren’t budgeting for a rocket mass heater.  We are not too worried about this as our contingency fund is fairly healthy.  I expect that as we get into more of the systems (Chris and the electrician have started that component and we are next moving into plumbing) that our budget will continue to experience over runs, simply because we haven’t anticipated every detail.  C’est la vie!

PERMITS    
HPO Homeowner Exemption Permit $425.00  
Building Permit $1,504.00  
Septic Approval $157.50  
Solid fuel burning permit $165.00  
    $2,251.50
PREP COSTS    
Excavation $6,365.00  
    $6,365.00
MATERIALS    
Tire Walls (inc. poly, Metal Lath + portland cement) $573.04  
Perimeter drain (inc. PVC pipe and fittings, filter cloth) $528.46  
Thermal Wrap (inc. poly, rigid insulation, tuck tape) $3,781.10  
Nails/other fasteners $28.09  
Tires $0.00  
Dirt $0.00  
Tire press $0.00  
Cardboard $0.00  
Portland cement for bond beam & pop can form $341.71  
Plumbing general $78.10  
Rebar bond beam $180.35  
Sill gasket – bond beam $68.99  
Misc plumbing for rough septic/greywater overflow $91.91  
Framing materials $44.46  
Wood stain $1,059.69  
Electrical $1,125.65  
Misc $618.91  
Roof $13,376.16  
End walls $217.16  
South wall $14,391.06  
Equipment $156.28  
Rocket Heater $1,919.41  
    $38,580.53
     
Total   $47,197.03

Updated expenses

It’s been a while since I updated expenses.  I’ve been waiting for the window invoice and it came today.  We are about $4,000 over the budget we anticipated when we started 16 months ago.  This represents the aluminum glazing that we hadn’t planned for, but felt added a tremendous amount to the overall goal of having windows that didn’t weep water all over the wood and plaster inside.

PERMITS    
HPO Homeowner Exemption Permit $425.00  
Building Permit $1,504.00  
Septic Approval $157.50  
    $2,086.50
PREP COSTS    
Excavation $6,365.00  
    $6,365.00
MATERIALS    
Tire Walls (inc. poly, Metal Lath + portland cement) $573.04  
Perimeter drain (inc. PVC pipe and fittings, filter cloth) $528.46  
Thermal Wrap (inc. poly, rigid insulation, tuck tape) $3,781.10  
Nails/other fasteners $28.09  
Tires $0.00  
Dirt $0.00  
Tire press $0.00  
Cardboard $0.00  
Portland cement for bond beam & pop can form $341.71  
Plumbing general $78.10  
Rebar bond beam $180.35  
Sill gasket – bond beam $68.99  
Misc plumbing for rough septic/greywater overflow $91.91  
Framing materials $44.46  
Wood stain $1,659.11  
Electrical $1,125.65  
Misc $163.98  
Roof $13,376.16  
End walls $217.16  
South wall $13,717.81  
Equipment $83.99  
    $36,060.07
     
Total   $44,511.57