COUCH Treasurer

Important People

Daniel Miller, NP Director

  • Facilitates most contact with us, including financial
  • Email: daniel@nasco.coop
  • Phone Number: +1 734-945-2424

Daniella Marinov, our accountant

  • Handles our taxes, maintains financial records for us. Has a key to our PO box.
  • Requires copies of our bank account statements, found on the FFSB website.
  • Email: daniellamarinov@gmail.com

Former treasurers to ask questions to:

  • Do people want their names listed on the wiki?

Budgeting

Vacancy Fund

Each month, if we are at full capacity and collecting all rents, we deposit $X into the vacancy fund (not sure exact amount, approximately one room’s rent for an expensive room). This money is held by NASCO Properties for us. They are always quick to emphasize that this is our money and there are no conditions on us using it.

If we have empty rooms, or decide to underpay NASCO Properties, we simply inform them of the amount of our underpayment when we pay our rent and the difference will be taken out of the vacancy fund.

In the current era (2015-2020), the vacancy fund has consistently had a few thousand dollars in it. It seems that our current contribution is enough to keep it stable through normal levels of vacancies. However, it’s always good to keep an eye on it, and don’t treat it as an infinite source of money!

Operating Expenses

Below are the current operating income and expenses for COUCH. The income from membership dues is the maximum possible, currently $8/month from each member. In practice, we usually have some empty rooms, so we have a healthy “buffer” between our annual income and expenses. All expenses are fixed except for lawyer fees: some years we do not need to consult a lawyer, some years it is necessary multiple times.

Type Income Expense
Membership Dues $3456
PO Box $70
Daniella Marinov, accountant $1500
Elections Food $200
Server (Digital Ocean) $60
Domain (Google Domains) $12
Lawyer Fees $175
TOTAL $3,456.00 | $2,017.00

Paying rent to NASCO Properties

NASCO Invoice

On the 1st of the month, Daniel Miller emails an invoice on behalf of NASCO Properties containing the lease charges for that month. This report is automatically generated by Quickbooks and has a breakdown of:

  • “Payments and credits” from the previous month (can be positive or negative)
  • COUCH Lease Monthly Lease that is updated every lease cycle (August)
  • NASCO Membership dues (~$80)
  • Vacancy fund contribution

The lease and membership dues have to be paid; the vacancy fund contribution is extra.

To pay

  1. Communicate with house-level finance coordinators to find out who has paid their COUCH rent, what vacancies exist (if any), and the corresponding amounts.

  2. Compute the “net vacancy contribution”:
    • Subtract the rent deficits or overpayments (from vacancies or payment plans) from the vacancy fund contribution.
    • If this number is greater than zero, we will still be contributing to the vacancy fund this amount this month
    • If this number is less than zero, we will be withdrawing from the vacancy fund this month.
  3. Add the net vacancy contribution from the previous step to the lease amount + membership dues. Write a check from the First Federal checking account for this amount.

    • Memo: [Month] Lease
    • Pay to the order of: NASCO Properties
  4. Mail to: NASCO Properties / 1100 W Cermak Rd, #514 / Chicago, IL 60608

  5. Transparency: spell out this calculation, and send the amounts to Daniel Miller, our accountant Daniella Marinov, and to the COUCH board.

    daniel@nasco.coop, daniellamarnov@gmail.com, couch-coops-board@googlegroups.com

Paying rent to Jonah (Randolph House)

Important: We have two different Cozy accounts, one for paying rent to Jonah, and one for collecting rent from the houses.

  1. Log into Cozy (https://home.cozy.co) using the couch-coops-board@googlegroups.com email address.
  2. Pay $2450 by the first of the month. You can schedule this to come out automatically but we’ve been doing it manually just in case.

Collecting rent via Cozy

Important: We have two different Cozy accounts, one for paying rent to Jonah, and one for collecting rent from the houses.

  1. Log into Cozy (https://home.cozy.co) using the couchcoopfinance@gmail.com email address. (ask past treasurers for password)
  2. Verification code will be sent to couchcoopfinance@gmail.com email. (ask past treasurers for password)
  3. On the home page, you will see the three properties (Brooks, Randolph, and Harvest). To edit or add new “units”, click on the relevant property and then either edit the unit or create a new one.
  4. If creating a new unit (adding a bedroom to Cozy that wasn’t paid via Cozy before):
    1. name the new “unit” by the room number, then click “Start Collecting Rent.”
    2. Enter the start and end date of the lease, usually August 15-August 14.
    3. Enter the tenant information including room rate. Set a recurring rent due on the 1st. You can collect pro-rated rent from before here if necessary.
    4. Do not turn on Automatic Late Fees.
    5. On the next page you can collect a security deposit if needed or other fees.
    6. The receiving account is X-3755-COUCH, this is the COUCH account at first federal and should be all set up already.
    7. Unclick the box asking tenants to share proof of renter’s insurance.
    8. Confirm and invite the person.

Once a month, on the main screen of Cozy hit the menu button, hit “export data”, and copy the last month’s worth of data over to the spreadsheet. (Ask past treasurers for the link.)

Share this spreadsheet with the house finance coordinators so they can see who has paid through Cozy. Alternatively, you can give them the login to Cozy directly.