Expenses Tracker

Keep up with us as we track how much money we are spending on this lovely Tiny House venture!

Travel trailer: $3845 (will re-sell once Tiny House is complete, so it is not in the final total)

*Resold for $2000. I’m not quite sure it was worth living in it for six months during winter…

Incidental (Necessary Purchases: tools, etc.)

Composting Toilet: $65 (Lowes)

34′ Trailer frame for Tiny House: $1000 (Local man tearing down a trailer park)

Tires, wheels, lights: $315 (Local)

Grinder with wire brush attachment to sand surface rust, etc: $46 (Lowes)

Paint and primer for rust protection: $90 (Lowes)

Hardware: $80 (Lowes)

Corded Circular Saw and Drill and stapler: $55 (Yard Sale)

Belt Sander, refurbished and belts: $50 (Home Depot)

Bed= $200

Structural (Floor, Framing, Roof Joist)

Floor-joist Lumber and Sheathing: $100 (Craigslist)

Hardware for Subfloor and screws for framing: $120 (Home Depot/Local Hardware Store)

Floor Insulation, sheething, and hardware: $301 (Home Depot)

Lumber to finish framing walls: $445 (Home Depot)

Sheathing, .5″ OSB: $300 (Home Depot)

Loft flooring- pine tongue and groove: $25 (Craigslist)

Loft screws and muriatic acid for corrugated metal: $20s (DoIt Best)

Exterior Finishing (Siding, Roof, Windows)

9 Windows (varying shapes and sizes): $200 (Craigslist and Habitat for Humanity RE-Store)

Front Door: $125 (Craigslist)

Aluminum Flashing for underside of trailer: $200 (Lowes)

26 Gauge Galvanized Steel Roof: $220 (Local)

Decking (reclaimed redwood): $150 (Craigslist)

Siding (reclaimed fencing) and Uhaul trailer rental: $300 (Craigslist)

Weatherproofing (Rainguard) for Siding: $51 (Home Depot)

Drip Edge for Fascia Boards: $100 (Local Roofing Supplier)

Roof Insulation, polyiso foam board: $224 (Home Depot)

Tar Paper for roof: $165 (Home Depot)

House Wrap, Tyvek: $145 (Home Depot)

Metal pieces and nuts/bolts for Solar Mounting: $250 (Home Depot)

Utilities (Electrical, Plumbing)

Plumbing for sub-floor: $45 (Do-It Best)

Wiring, boxes, fixtures, etc.: $500 (Home Depot)

Outlet covers, light fixtures, light bulbs, etc.: $25 (ReStore)

Composting Toilet, Sun-Mar: $800 (Craigslist, new)

Tankless propane hot water heater: $285 (Amazon)

Fittings for plumbing and gas lines, wire, ducts: $320 (Home Depot)

Pressure Tank and plumbing parts: $310 (SupplyHouse.com)

Water Pump: $100 (eBay)

Appliances (range, fridge) = $400

Plumbing fixtures (sinks, drains) = $150

Interior Finishing (Walls, Flooring)

Engineered Maple Flooring (certified sustainable forestry), 155 sq ft: $75 (Craigslist)

Rough Sawn Barn wood for interior shelving: $0 (Craigslist)

Bathroom door and ceiling fan: $40 (ReStore)

Insulation for walls and ceiling- rock wool: $720 (Lowes)

Wall/ceiling/cabinets wood paneling- beetle kill pine: $635 (Local Lumberyard)

Paper backing for paneling, sand paper, misc. tools and fittings: $90 (Lowe’s)

Interior Furnishing

Propane fireplace, yacht style: $610 (eBay- used)

Washing Machine, used: $240 (Used Appliances Store)

Range Hood, fittings (plumbing, ducting, and washing machine), hole saws: $250

Shower Head, deck screws, misc.: $50

Organic futon mattress: $250

Futon cover: $30 (used off Ebay)


(for completed house)



3 thoughts on “Expenses Tracker

  1. hey there love your video and house. I want to go off grid with mine, but afraid it would be too hard to do. Where did you get your solar panels and learn how to do it? I could really learn alot from you guys. Thank you so much


    • Hi Herb,

      I learned all of this from internet research. This forum was extremely helpful to me: http://forum.solar-electric.com/forum. I would start by buying a kill-a-watt meter to measure the usage of your electronics and get a rough estimate for your total daily usage. We bought our panels directly from a distributor in Phoenix: http://sunelec.com/solar-panels. Remember that you should size your battery bank based on your usage and size your solar array based on the size of your battery bank and the average solar insolation: http://rredc.nrel.gov/solar/old_data/nsrdb/1961-1990/redbook/atlas/.

      Aside from panels and batteries you’ll need an inverter and charge controller. You’ll need a pure sine wave inverter and you will have to decide based on your habits what capacity you’ll require. Midnite Solar makes a great charge controller for a reasonable price and they have excellent customer service.

      There are many aspects to consider when starting out and a bit of a learning curve, but there are many knowledgeable people out there that are more than willing to help. Please be careful when working with DC as the shocks can be more hazardous that AC! (I haven’t managed to gain any firsthand experience.) I am more than happy to answer your questions to the best of my ability, but I am no expert and I would likely refer you to the forum above for specifics.

      Also remember the tax incentives from the state/feds. We were reimbursed 55% of our total cost.

      Let me know if I can help in any other way,



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