New Home – We did it! *update*
Hey there- Just wanted to let this amazingly helpful and supportive community know that my girls & I are in our wonderful new home. I got really lucky with a couple of extra freelance jobs (designing my handyman's website and some data entry for an old boss). Between that and a couple weeks of blackbelt level belt tightening, we got all that we still needed for the rent and deposits. I learned and remembered a few things along the way that I'd like to share: - the power company figures your deposit by mulitplying the average utility bill for the property by two. For this place, that amount was $250!! However, I told the person at the power company that I do a lot of conserve energy: line drying, washing clothes in cold water, using the air conditioner sparingly, etc. I also asked her to look at the average monthly electric cost at my old place ($60 - 70 a month). She lowered the deposit to $175. And, if I can keep my average power bill lower than $87.50 a month, a portion of my deposit will be returned. The city will waive a deposit on water & sewage if you can produce a reference and a year's worth of paid-on-time utility bills. - I almost always line dry. If I do a load of laundry after it's dark, I use a drying rack in the laundry room, and then throw the laundry in the dryer for about 15 minutes if it's still damp in the morning. - I'd go completely without air conditioning, but most of the windows in my house were painted closed years ago. As it is, I keep the thermostat at 84, run household fans constantly, and close the vents in rooms that aren't being used. I also throw the front and back doors open in the mornings when it is cool. - check the thrift stores, dollar stores, freecycle and curbsides first when you are looking for stuff for the house. I curbscored a great rattan plant stand. If I'd been more on the ball, I could have hit some apartment dumpsters for some other stuff, but I was too busy with the move. I'll probably do it next month to fill in the last few things I didn't manage to find. - Food Not Bombs rocks, absolutely rocks. I went to help cook last night, and got two wonderful free meals for me and my girls. The people who cook usually wind up keeping a bit of what can't be used that night. - A grocery store, the library, a pharmacy and a few other places are within easy biking distance. I'm going to limit use of my car as much as possible. As a few of you already know and some others may have figured, my girls' father and I split up, and that's why I moved. I'm lucky, he's a great father, and will definitely be helping us out financially. However, I still am suddenly a single mom, and maintaining a household with just one adult is expensive, no two ways about it. So, I would definitely appreciate everybody's tips and suggestions on saving money as a single parent!