A New Tank

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Our property is in a semi-rural area and we do not have access to town water.  This is not a problem as we have 2 large rainwater tanks.  The combined capacity is almost 100,000 litres and since we live in a high rainfall area we have never even gone close to running out of water.  However, we have also lived in a low rainfall area as well as in the city when there was a significant drought so we know what it is like to be careful with every precious drop of water.

Well, you can never have too much rainwater storage so today we bought another tank.  I discovered that a work colleague wanted to sell a rainwater tank due to new landscaping plans.  I checked out the details and found that it would be perfect for our plan to have another small tank under the verandah.  We will use this for watering out vegetable garden which is close by.  This will be much easier than dragging the hose all the way from the main tap which is at the other end of the house.  Additionally, a tank which is close to the house will give us the option of being able to access water relatively easily if we are without power.

It is unlikely that we will be completely without power now that we have the battery system for our solar panels but is will be good to have a back up just in case.

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Without power for the pump or a tank close to the house, it is a long trek to the main tanks to get water.  You can read about it in an old post from 2013.

Back to the new tank.  We collected it today and it was loaded into the ute with the help of the seller and a couple of his mates.  After a reasonably cautious drive home it was time to unload.

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This is the area we had chosen to position the tank.  In fact, the concreting was only done about 6 months ago with a view to getting the tank this year.

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With a bit of careful planning GMan and I were able to manoeuvre it into position.

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The next step will be to organise the plumber and electrician to get it all set up.  In the interests of efficiency we need to plan several plumbing and electrical jobs all to be done at the same time.

A Frugal Mindset – 1

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As promised yesterday, I plan to address the points from the link I posted one by one.

The first point is:

1. Frugal people plan ahead. Planning ahead may not, at first, seem like it has anything to do with money, but it really does. Frugal people plan ahead in many ways. They do things like plan out their meals for the week to save money at the grocery store, or more long term planning like knowing that they’ll need a new roof on the house in several years, and to begin saving for this expense now.

Frugal people live by the mantra that failure to plan is planning to fail. They’ve learned that taking steps now for anticipated future events helps make those future events easier to deal with. And typically those plans make it both easier in both time spent, and in money saved.

Question to ask yourself: What can I do today to make tomorrow and the future easier to deal with?

If you really want use this strategy to its fullest potential don’t just make those plans in your mind. Write them down!

I regard planning as one of my strengths and there is no doubt in my mind that it saves money.  It also saves time and my sanity which are equally important to me.

I plan our meals, plan to combine errands in a single trip, plan what I will wear to work, plan what to pack for a holiday, plan future projects at home – there is no end to what we plan.

An example of long-term planning was when we began looking for our current home.  This was over 10 years ago and I was still in my forties but one of the things that we considered was that it would have to have at least one point of ground-level access or be able to be relatively easily adapted to meet this requirement.  Although we have numerous stairs to reach the verandah we know that this can be altered if required – we have a plan.

We are also changing and adapting our large garden to reduce the level of maintenance which will be required as we age.  Putting in the effort now will reap rewards in years to come.

As a result of ensuring that we have sufficient rainwater storage as well as the installation of solar panels means that we are pretty well self-sufficient for water and electricity which minimises the ongoing costs of running our home.

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As GMan regularly quotes from Baldrick in Blackadder, “I have a cunning plan”.  The difference between Baldrick’s plans and ours is that ours are realistic and generally achievable.  Even if things do not go quite according to plan you have a framework with which to start again.

 

Silent Green Giants – An Update

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In March last year, during the first couple of weeks of this blog, I posted this entry about our ‘big 3’ – the solar panels, solar hot water and rainwater tanks.

Today I finally received our statement from our electricity company for the meter reading which was done back at the end of November.  This means that we now have the statistics for a full 12 month period of having solar panels and exporting generated power, which is excess to our requirements, back to the grid.

In one year of having our solar panels connected to the grid we will receive a refund of $1,244.33 as well as having $0 in power bills.  This represents a total turnaround of costs over 12 months of $2,392.17.  I am really pleased with the result as it was achieved despite one of the wettest summers on record (and next to no sunshine) in the first 3 months after the installation of the panels.

We have a 3.7kW system which cost nearly $14,000 after the rebates.  We anticipated that we would recover our costs (in refunds and no bills) within about 5 years.  We will go close to achieving this and my goal for the next year is to reduce our electricity consumption even further by being more vigilant in monitoring our usage.  I will also endeavour to make sure that more of our necessary consumption is at night, thereby maximising the power being exported to the grid.

I am pleased that we can minimise our costs as well as making a positive contribution to reducing our carbon footprint.