How do you manage your budget?

Discussion in 'Chez Ziggy' started by Monique, Jul 24, 2018.

  1. Thread Starter
    TS
    Monique

    Monique bounceswoosh Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Posts:
    9,554
    Location:
    Colorado
    Or try to time appetizers at happy hour? I'm lucky - I'm not crazy about alcohol, can take it or leave it, so that helps considerably.
     
    surfsnowgirl likes this.
  2. surfsnowgirl

    surfsnowgirl Instructor Skier

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    Posts:
    4,055
    Location:
    Londonderry, VT
    Good idea. Yeah sometimes they'll get fries or something if they are starving. The booze adds up. One of our friends at the condo has been known to walk down to the bar with a cozy thing around her beer if she wants to hang and watch the band. There are also plastic cups you can buy in the gift shop so you can make your cocktail at the condo and walk down into the bar and they think you bought it there. We will bring a cooler sometimes too. Main thing is we need to start eating our meals in the condo like our friends do.
     
    Monique likes this.
  3. Thread Starter
    TS
    Monique

    Monique bounceswoosh Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Posts:
    9,554
    Location:
    Colorado
    Honestly, I was always so tired and cold after skiing that the idea of eating in the condo was far preferable to walking five minutes in the cold, cruel dark to get to the brewery. That being said ... if you don't have the groceries at hand and nothing is prepped and you're tired and hungry, it's real hard to motivate. So prepping is key. Instant rice is great in a pinch, and it's fast even at altitude. Consider cooking noodles ahead of time if you don't mind the change in texture. Mix up a big batch of meat sauce (Prego, ground beef, and I like to add some chopped up veggies - bell peppers etc) that you can eat all weekend. (But not every weekend - I did that for three day weekends for a winter, and by the end I was about to vomit if I saw any more of it.) Stews and such are easy to reheat. Precooked brats! Keep some canned soup on hand so that worst to worst, you don't *have* to leave the condo for a hot meal. And you can treat yourself to some expensive stuff, like fancy cheese, because it'll still be cheaper than going out.

    Stews etc - in the summer, I'll make green chili (sooo many tomatillos to use up), stews, etc, and pack them in flattened zip lock bags so that it's all there for ski season, when I'm too busy to cook.

    (not that you asked - but because I'm so averse to leaving the house after skiing, I got pretty good at this :) )
     
  4. surfsnowgirl

    surfsnowgirl Instructor Skier

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    Posts:
    4,055
    Location:
    Londonderry, VT
    It's definitely appreciated. I'm culinary challenged but I'm sure I can pull off the things you mentioned. Great ideas for winter and summer. Agree prep is key because after a day of skiing I don't want to walk in the front door and have to do big cooking. We did the slow cooker thing once and that was spectacular.
     
  5. EricG

    EricG Waiting for snow! Skier

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2018
    Posts:
    620
    Location:
    VT
    Yeah. With our mountain condos we both an HOA fee & resort fee. On top of that we have been hit for a ‘special assessment’ to replace an elevator in our building. The board decided to do a special assessment in addition to taking some (not all) funds from the reserves account to cover the cost. I brought it for you to make sure you have a complete picture as I was caught off guard the first time it happened. We have a few owners in the building that now have a lien on their property for failure to pay the special assements.
     
    Sibhusky likes this.


  6. EricG

    EricG Waiting for snow! Skier

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2018
    Posts:
    620
    Location:
    VT
    My wife prepares and freezes a lot of things for us to cook in the crock pot (use the liner bags for no cleanup after) when we’re at the condo. It makes it much easier with two 3 year old boys. If we are feeling excessively lazy I call and get food delivered, but it’s not usually worth the cost.
     
    surfsnowgirl likes this.
  7. Thread Starter
    TS
    Monique

    Monique bounceswoosh Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Posts:
    9,554
    Location:
    Colorado

    Ah, yeah. I didn't recognize the term, but I know about them. Realistically, they're just maintenance and repair costs, but of course you don't get to make the choice about whether to delay a year or choose a different vendor, etc. Or something stupid, like my landlords having to pay for new railings because the people with bigger units wanted them to look nicer. Or the heated sidewalks that you don't even use for their condo ....
     
  8. EricG

    EricG Waiting for snow! Skier

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2018
    Posts:
    620
    Location:
    VT
    It's usually for something big that is beyond what the HOA fee's and the HOA reserves can cover/previously budgeted for. I think the project we got the special assessment for was ~$200k and the 25 unit owners were given the assessment to cover the bill. If I recall correctly we had 3-4 months to pay the assessment.

    Regular maintenance and repairs are covered under the HOA bill. Our regular HOA and resort fee are about $14k/yr. The special assessment was an extra ~$8k that year.
     
  9. Thread Starter
    TS
    Monique

    Monique bounceswoosh Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Posts:
    9,554
    Location:
    Colorado
    Yeah. I have heard of one as much as $24k. Ouch! How many people can scrounge that even in a year?

    I have decided to live condo-free for a year and see how much I miss it before plunking down for one. My life has changed in a lot of ways, and it seems less necessary right now. Also, while I was completely absorbed in the flexibility that having my own condo allowed me - once I decided I'd rather hold off, I realized that there are so many other forms of flexibility.

    Having your own condo (that is not rented out to others):
    • Can drive up at any moment and know that you can stay; also, stay extra days
    • Can bring dogs
    • Have all your stuff there, from ski stuff to condiments to cooking/baking staples
    • Have the furniture and storage solutions and kitchen things that you like - not some crappy assortment of leftover melted ladles and half a set of measuring cups or whatever.
    Not having a condo:
    • No feelings of conflict / wasted money if you don't spend as much time in the mountains as you planned (ie, for me, always)
    • Flexibility to spend the money in other ways
    • Less inertia against visiting other mountains
    • Have all your ski gear at home in case you want to ski somewhere else and drive up with a friend that morning
    • No maintenance / upkeep - you can stay in a hotel and not look around thinking, "Ugh, I really need to clean the bathroom and vacuum and ..."
    • No surprise costs! All the same "known unknowns" that I have with my house
    Now, if there's a real estate crash and short sales are as abundant as they were 8 or 9 years ago, the calculus could change. But that's a whole different story, and also of course depends on how secure I think my job is.
     
    EricG and surfsnowgirl like this.
  10. Thread Starter
    TS
    Monique

    Monique bounceswoosh Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Posts:
    9,554
    Location:
    Colorado
    ^ Oh, also, retiring earlier :)
     
    socalgal and surfsnowgirl like this.
  11. surfsnowgirl

    surfsnowgirl Instructor Skier

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    Posts:
    4,055
    Location:
    Londonderry, VT
    That too and part of our driving force. I will be working forever but can do it wherever. When DH decides he's had enough of the rat race we have a condo go to live in full time that's paid for and has nominal HOA fees and taxes. I'm looking forward to the day when we can lose the housing expenses we currently have in CT. Of course then this brings the debate of where do we put the cat box. My SO isn't happy about a little box hanging out but I've assured him they make all kinds of cool furniture type things that cover the box and you'd never know it was there.

    We are lucky our HOA dues are nominal and there's no resort fee or anything like that. Dues aren't cheap but they cover stuff so I feel like it's a set fee that covers expenses. Not sure if this common since it's our first condo but our dues cover heat, hot water, electric and all outside maintenance. We even have friends who managed to get their dishwasher replaced by the association, this confused me because it's an item on the inside but hey I wouldn't argue :)

    I like your condo free for year idea. This way you can truly know what's right for you. Good luck.
     
  12. EricG

    EricG Waiting for snow! Skier

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2018
    Posts:
    620
    Location:
    VT

    This part of your list is more important than the other part.

    We have been think about your first 4 bullets a lot this past year.
     
    Monique likes this.
  13. Wilhelmson

    Wilhelmson Out on the slopes Skier

    Joined:
    May 2, 2017
    Posts:
    1,438
    Our plan for a condo or home is not to be bound to a home mountain. For the kids' vacation weeks we can rent it out for more than it costs at lower priced areas like Sugarloaf or Tremblant. We like to get around. Aside from the initial outlay it would actually be less expensive annually then what we paid in lodging this year, and we don't rent in premier locations. If you're taking out a big mortgage that's a whole different story.
     
    surfsnowgirl likes this.
  14. Thread Starter
    TS
    Monique

    Monique bounceswoosh Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Posts:
    9,554
    Location:
    Colorado
    Is it? There's an opportunity cost in the initial outlay.
     
  15. surfsnowgirl

    surfsnowgirl Instructor Skier

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    Posts:
    4,055
    Location:
    Londonderry, VT
    That was a huge draw for us for where we bought because Londonderry is right smack in the middle of quite a good number of ski areas, a few of which we ski. We still spend a chuck of time in CT as that's where we work so we needed something affordable that we can buy for cheap that would allow us to still pay rent and work in CT. Even though we don't do much hopping around it's nice to be on a mountain and very close to a bunch of other ones so there are lots of choices and it's appealing to a prospective renter. Our condo is located trailside in a very low key place and is not a resort. There's no food delivery and only 2 restaurants within walking distance. There are no ski shops on our local road and it's a very sleepy place and we like that. That said we're only 40 minutes to Okemo or Stratton/Mount Snow if you are looking for ski shops, etc. Lots of plus factors and it's in a great location as far as mountain accessibility. On an aside it's cheaper for us to have the condo because of what we pay for in HOA fees and taxes is easily less than having to pay for lodging every weekend for 6 months out of the year. Plus now we can spend more time in the summer as well. Added bonus is a cheap place to live when we retire.
     
  16. Sibhusky

    Sibhusky Making fresh tracks Skier

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2016
    Posts:
    2,302
    Location:
    Whitefish
    We had the condo association from Hell when we had a unit at Camelback. The builder had kept the fees artificially low while he was still involved. Then it got turned over to the homeowners with no reserves built up and a lot of shoddy construction. We had to completely rebuild the community center. HUGE assessments for several years as it, plus the roads, then a lot of condo foundations were shored up. Retaining walls replaced, roofs, siding, fire breaks, on and on. So many units were under water that a lot of people just walked on them, then it was an issue of going after banks. Meanwhile the rest of us are covering the shortages. Owners meetings would go on for 12 hours. And have hundreds of people all screaming at each other. By the time we sold, though, we had professional management, good reserves, and our selling price finally covered all the special assessments and our purchase price.

    We'd been so lucky with our first condo, we just hadn't realized how really bad it could be.
     
    surfsnowgirl and EricG like this.
  17. EricG

    EricG Waiting for snow! Skier

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2018
    Posts:
    620
    Location:
    VT
    Very much so. Many units don't qualify for mortgages so you need to pay cash. Then once you buy It your going to want to change stuff. Our VT place was purchased cash then we dumped another $90k into renovations. We initially planned on $20-25k in renovations, but you never know till you open up a wall.. Our CO place was almost new when acquired, so that one was mostly cosmetic improvements. But it has the damn elevator and underground parking (people keep running into the door..)

    You need to read about how VT taxes retirement income... When we retire, we will be claiming another state as a primary residence (assuming nothing changes between now & then)..
     
  18. surfsnowgirl

    surfsnowgirl Instructor Skier

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    Posts:
    4,055
    Location:
    Londonderry, VT
    We have and it was never Michael's first choice for that reason. I am never retiring. Michael loves vermont so much along with me that he's cool with calling the green mountain state full time home one day.
     
  19. EricG

    EricG Waiting for snow! Skier

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2018
    Posts:
    620
    Location:
    VT
    You can still live here full-time. You just need to be creative with residency. This is where a good attorney can save you $$ every year.
     
    surfsnowgirl likes this.
  20. Thread Starter
    TS
    Monique

    Monique bounceswoosh Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Posts:
    9,554
    Location:
    Colorado
    OMG. DISLIKE and scary.

    Hm. I guess my point is, whether you have a mortgage or are paying outright, you could be investing the money instead. You said
    ... But the initial outlay *does* matter for budgeting/retirement purposes.
     
    Sibhusky likes this.

Share This Page


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice