This past week has been a bit expensive at The Grounded Engineer household. We purchased some furniture so we can actually use our basement. I also made a fresh purchase – a new, battery-powered lawn mower. In this week’s post, I’ll explain how we use Mint to budget for our new house expenses, and I write a review on the Ego Power+ lawnmower.

A quick note on how we use Mint to budget for new house expenses

To budget for items we needed in our new house, we used part of the profit we made on our townhouse.

Related: How I Saved $500 by Building a Farmhouse Table

We made good money on our townhouse, and we set aside money for closing costs, a down payment, and upgrades/fixes for the new place. Once we got into our house, we examined what needed to be fixed knowing that we had a set amount of money to spend. Mint is the budgeting tool we use to track where we spend our money.

I’ve been tagging each purchase for the new house under “Home Improvement.” In Mint, you can tag each expense under a category that you specify. If they do not have a category you want, you can easily add one. Another nice feature is that you can tag expenses from one store to automatically go into a particular budget category. For example, each time I go to Home Depot it is tagged to my Home Improvement budget.

Mint enables us to easily track how much money we’ve spent and where we’ve spent it (mainly Home Depot.) We’ve had to make a few big purchases – lawn mower, washer/dryer, and dishwasher – but surprisingly the little things you need are the ones that add up quickly.

For next year, we are planning to set a budget for the year on house items. We will balance planning ahead for things we want to do, but we will also add buffer into the budget because we know things will pop up.

Now on to the lawn mower review!

Review of the Ego Power+

Being a technology nerd/enthusiast, I had to see what was available for lawn mower options. I grew up mowing the lawn, but I haven’t had to mow for about 10 years.

So, I went to Amazon and started reading reviews on different push mowers – my lawn isn’t big enough to justify a riding lawn mower. I came across electric, battery-powered lawn mowers. Knowing quite a bit about battery technology from my day job, I knew that the technology was making great strides.

If you haven’t heard, Tesla is going all in and is building a HUGE battery manufacturing plant. Here is a link to a cool read I found if you want to learn more about their factory.

The great thing about Amazon is the reviews. I probably read a hundred reviews on this battery because my main concern was wondering if the battery would last. Another problem I had was that I haven’t had to mow my lawn. Therefore, I had to guess how long I thought it would take.

Eventually, I came to the Ego Power+ because it had great reviews on Amazon and Home Depot. The Ego uses a 56V lithium ion battery and the estimated duration of the battery during a mow was 90 minutes. I knew I could mow the lawn in less than 90 minutes!

Here are the two main cons in the reviews I read:

  • Mulching isn’t great for long grass. Many people complained that it didn’t cut evenly or that it missed some grass. The lack of mulching ability appeared to happen for the most part with tall, thick grass.
  • Difficult to keep up with the mower – goes too fast and it is a little difficult to maneuver.

My first mow – it was awesome!

The mower was easy-to-use, quiet, and it did a great job cutting the grass! AND, I didn’t have to recharge the battery. My lawn took about 50 minutes to mow. The Ego has a LED that turns red when the battery reaches 15%, and this light has NOT come on yet. Here are some other thoughts:

  • I would recommend the self-propelled version if you have steep hills. Otherwise, save the $100 because the Ego lawn mower is lightweight and easy to push. Please note I only used the self-propulsion on hills. I have steep hills, and it climbed the hills no problem.
  • Assembly out of the box is easy and straight forward. The only assembly you need to do is insert the battery and add the bag for collecting the grass.
  • The handle folds down for easy, compact storage.
  • The mower has a feature where you can turn off the mower but still use the self-propulsion to move around.
  • $550 is the cost for the Ego Power+ ($450 without self-propulsion.) I found this price to be a bit more than similar gas-power mowers. However, if you want a nice Honda that is quiet and durable, the Ego Power+ is at price parity with Honda.

So far, I don’t have any knocks on this mower!

EGO 21″ 56-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Self Propelled Lawn Mower

Finally, a battery-powered mower is better for the environment. I don’t have to mess around with oil and gas – I would spill gas when I was a kid filling up the lawn mower (sorry dad!) Instead, I charge my battery, plug it in, and hit the lawn 🙂

How did you budget for items in your new home?

Have you thought about a battery-powered lawn mower?