Budget Meetings

That’s a great point! I mean, the whole purpose of money is that it gives you choices, IMO.

4 Likes

I would argue that it is always ok to make any financially non-optimal choice, as long as you go into it knowing what the options are and the tradeoffs you are making, are ok with the tradeoffs, and you are able to afford it.

7 Likes

So do you have your sinking fund?

1 Like

No. We have had no budget meeting since the beginning of March. I started preparing for one a few days ago and Hubby got decidedly grumpy with me. It is coming. I am royally ticked and it has become, unfortunately, a battle of wills. He just doesn’t think things are “necessary” if they cost any money.

So the big old rotten trees (yes, that’s plural) on our property, between our house and the neighbour’s, are not a priority to prune or remove/maintain, because, well “If anything happens, that’s what insurance is for!”!!! It doesn’t help that the neighbour across the street got his back up by telling him there was one big old tree that cost $3000 to remove, just across the street. Hubby has decided no way is he paying that much for removing a tree. It also doesn’t help we have severe wind associated with post tropical storms and hurricanes here. At this point my main goal is to keep Hubby and the neighbour with the chainsaw from cutting all the good mid-sized trees out for firewood. I want them for replacement trees for the big rotten ones.

4 Likes

Good luck, I hope you can get him to see reason because his plan of oh the insurance will pay isn’t sound from my experience. Insurance on plants/trees/etc in the yard is a very murky area of homeowners insurance. I say this having just recently left the insurance industry after 6.5 years.

I always dreaded helping clients with yard plant/tree damage as they are always shocked/frustrated by what is and isn’t covered.
In most homeowners insurance I’ve seen very little is actually covered and there are usually special limits per item and total.

Also if it can be shown you knew the trees were rotten the insurance company can try not pay at all or pay significantly less than expected as it was a known condition and likely contributing factor to when the tree/s falls. Maintenance including removal of dead/dying trees is considered a responsibility of homeownership as part of your insurance agreement.

I’d recommend calling your insurance company/agent to discuss what is and is not covered. If he is so adamant against spending the money, maybe it would be good for him to call and hear what insurance will and won’t cover.

10 Likes

I agree! Also, and I truly don’t mean to be alarmist but, old rotten trees can be a serious hazard (and not just to property).

7 Likes

Seconding this–friend literally had a rotten tree come down at the end of last week that he was planning to take out anyway, and he got very lucky that it didn’t take out either his house or his neighbors’. And I wouldn’t assume insurance is going to cover everything, especially if something comes down in the rain (what probably contributed to this one) and you end up with water damage.

image

6 Likes

Exactly! I saw a rotten tree accident as a teenager, which unfortunately resulted in a casualty (of another teenager). The tree was totally rotten inside and a slight breeze took it down without warning. It wasn’t stormy at all! It was a very nice day and the tree looked ok from the outside. Not so! Granted this was a pretty freak accident and I know some people have huge properties where the trees are very far from people, so the threat may be lower, but it’s still worth mentioning. The weight of a rotten tree is still enough to do big damage!

10 Likes

Thanks everyone! I’m very concerned about the limitations of home insurance, and I’m 99.9% positive Hubby hasn’t even looked at ours to see the coverage. I am not even privvy to the fine print. I have no idea where the policy is or if we even have a hard copy!

I booked an appointment for a tree assessment and removal person to come take a look and give us a quote, hopefully this week. Sometimes I just have to take the lead here. Very frustrating. Hubby does know I’m looking into it and emailed them yesterday. But today I found them on Facebook and messaged them for an answer. I’m used to people responding within 24 hours. This firm seemed slow. But it was Mother’s Day yesterday and this is a busy time of year. Hopefully things will work in our favour and Hubby will understand the situation better after a “man to man” talk with the tree arborist!

6 Likes

Fair warning, it took me 4 tree companies before one replied. It wasn’t even after a big storm or anything. So, be persistent if necessary!

Husband works with home owners insurances a lot. It’s incredible how much they can, and do, deny.

3 Likes

A guy from the tree maintenance and removal company came by this evening to check the situation out. I don’t know. This isn’t the guy that is going to be doing the work. And he didn’t seem to know his trees very well. He’s sending a quote for pruning. Said nothing needed to be taken out just yet. Hmmm. The soonest they can get to us is the second half of June. Hmmm…that’s the beginning of the rainy season here.

3 Likes

Just an update. I posted on the gardening thread. I hired the arborist, and then fired him. Well, kinda. I changed my mind about using the firm. They didn’t know their trees, were only going to prune when we need culling, and couldn’t get to us until June.

6 Likes

That stinks. Hopefully you find a more knowledgeable firm soon!

1 Like

My boyfriend and I just had our first budget meeting about a week ago. We’re in our mid thirties and have been together for about 6.5 years and living together over 5. We split costs in a haphazard way and are just starting to save for a home together. I was in debt when the relationship started and I was ashamed to talk about specifics until I cleared that up — not the most mature choice but it mostly worked out ok and he certainly wasn’t pressing me to talk about things!

For the first meeting I tried to keep it pretty chill cause I wasn’t sure if he would get stressed. We filled each other in on the basic state of our financial affairs and worked out ways we can be more equitable about splitting costs (he tends to take on more expenses/offer to pay for more, and I was a bit more willing to allow that when I was working on aggressive debt repayment). We also agreed to not set a timeline for house saving yet, but we’ll check in in ~3 months and see how much progress we’ve made and if that gives us a better idea. We also identified that he needs to invest his retirement savings (I’ll be checking in sooner for progress on that!) and that now that I’m done with debt payoff I need to prioritize retirement savings more than I’m currently doing.

He said the meeting was helpful and not stressful, so I take that as a big win, as I can be kind of a pushy Virgo about things like this :sweat_smile:

17 Likes

Ooh, I should push for meetings like this! Maybe not right now about the actual balances, because I give him updates fairly regularly, and have it since the stock market started its latest decline. He knows it’s down, but I have a feeling he might become really worried if I tell him exactly how much it’s down!

We have started on a few things this summer, sat down with a local veteran services guy to sort out his veterans benefits better, and I have a referral from our legal insurance to a lawyer to work on estate planning a little more clearly; our wills and powers of attorney are over 10 years old at this point.

But our situation is about to be changing with him starting a full-time job, so we need to look at the money and plan where it will mostly go. Too many of our retirement funds are in my name since I’ve been working, and before that we lived on his and saved mine. So, we need to put most of his salary into retirement fundsSome of those things in his name.

10 Likes

Hi everyone. We had a beginning of June budget meetIng. Things went a bit better there. I discovered Hubby was planning on selling the house to pay for our health and dental care needs in old age. I pointed out to him there was a slight problem with his thinking. I’m 7 years younger than him, and if he dies before me, I will be left with very little to survive on. Not enough to pay rent and afford the basics, at the rate things are going.

I pointed out other options to him. We have a bit of money leftover from our last house sale. I suggested we put it towards turning the half bath in the basement into a full bath. Then whichever one of us left standing can bring in a boarder to help pay the bills.

Another option I laid out for him was having solar panels installed on our roof. Hubby has always been enamoured with them, but figured they weren’t worth it. Well the federal government of Canada currently offers a $5000 rebate for installing solar. Our house is small, so I’m guessing a $13,000 install cost. That leaves $8000 for us to pay. Our payback period is just over 7 years at that rate. Solar increases house value by 4-6%. Our home value, we conservatively estimate, at $350,000. Meaning, if we do the math, and sold the house in ten years, we would actually be making money on installing solar. Two caveats with solar: we would need to check our house insurance to see if it’s covered or an increase in costs, and our taxes might go up. We would have to check these out.

I also pointed out the benefits of gardening in a house, vs. the limited space in an apartment.

We also got talking about a sunroom addition off the dining area in our kitchen. It would be a second storey unit sitting on top of a deck, that also needs to be replaced. It would not be cheap, but as we grew older it would be an easy place to grow food. However, that is just in the germination stage and may never happen. For one thing, I have to get Hubby to understand the difference between a greenhouse and a sunroom. Then there’s all the different types of sunrooms and greenhouses! This is definitely for later.

Anyways, we’re thinking here.

9 Likes

I’m in the U.S. so I’m sure there’s some differences but we’re looking into solar now and it would add to our homeowners insurance but only a small amount per year.

2 Likes

Thank-you @meerkat . I suggested to Hubby that, if we are seriously thinking about doing it, we need to talk to our insurance broker before we commit to it.

Right now I’m just saving up money for that basement bathroom. But we’ll need a special contractor for that. We want a tiny bathroom, not a glamorous showroom monstrosity. We only have room for a shower…if that…besides the sink and toilet. And it will have to be small. The vanity needs to be replaced too. Possibly the cheap toilet too.

But most annoying is the concrete floor has to be jack hammered up to lay more drainage pipe. The plumber we had look at it last year wanted $7000 CAD to possibly have to go anywhere from 3 feet to 8 feet to tie into the drain. We felt that was outrageous and decided not to even attempt the project at that time.

1 Like

Oops! Posted in wrong thread.

We had already talked to one solar company who gave us an estimate for a $30,000 system and our insurance broker was able to give me a ballpark idea of the increase within like fifteen minutes. This was at a local office and not a call center so I wasn’t on hold for a call center queue, but overall it was one of the lesser annoying household administrivia things I’ve had to do recently.

3 Likes