In January 2013 we paid $1351.12 to heat our 2800 square foot home.
- January 4 the oil company filled our tank for $470.70 – significant, but not out of the norm for the middle of winter.
- January 15 they made a service call which was free, but the oil burner needed work to the tune of $315.00. So now we had two bills to be paid on February 1. Still not a big deal.
- January 30, I came home from work and found the yellow door tag letting me know they had filled the tank – again. $565.42.
So, within one pay period we owed them $1351.12 to heat a house with zero warmth, literally and figuratively. We were still cold and the house brought me no joy.
How did we end up here?
When our kiddos were born we lived in a wonderful 2000 square foot townhouse. It was perfectly sized for a family of 4 and we loved our almost zero maintenance living. Saturday mornings we pondered beach vs. the park as we snickered at the neighbors mowing their lawns and pulling weeds. In 2011 our son and daughter turned 6 and 8. Although we loved the townhouse and did not feel cramped we had the nagging feeling that since we had the means to go bigger and better, shouldn’t we? Isn’t that what society tells us to do?
We moved one town over to a 2800 square foot colonial. My husband fell in love at first sight. I wasn’t so smitten. The house and the yard were big, but it was 27 years old and needed a lot of cosmetic work (think raspberry colored toilet and tub in the master bedroom, powder blue in the family bath.) I was mildly concerned that we would be spending way more on fixing it up than we wanted to but we ran the numbers and it worked. I envisioned weekend after weekend of home depot trips, but my husband assured me we could manage this. Where I saw projects, he saw potential.
We lived there for 2.5 years and the house drained much of our time and a huge amount of cash.
Mowing the lawn, maintaining the landscaping, fixing rotted window sills, fixing the roof, insulating the addition the previous owners put on and more- it seemed never ending.
The expensive upkeep and crazy oil bills weren’t even the worst part. We hardly saw each other anymore. After school and work and on the weekends, the kids retreated to their huge bedrooms or the basement playroom, my husband (who really rose to the occasion of loving house projects!) worked around the house and then retreated to the office. I puttered around the kitchen until bed. We almost had to make plans to see each other (“okay, tonight after dinner, the 4 of us ARE playing a game of Risk, no excuses!”)
One family member commented that we must have bitten off more than we could chew when we bought the house but that is not exactly true. We were spending more than we expected but we could afford it.
We didn’t bite off more than we could chew. It just didn’t taste as good as we thought it would.
So, fast forward to January 2013 and the $1351.12 in heating expenses. I knew ‘the big house’ and I were totally over. Completely. Now, I just needed to let my husband know how I was feeling and see if he might consider …umm… selling and moving. Again.
Follow my blog to find out his reaction to my confession and how Pinterest saved my marriage.