For the first time since getting my finances in order, I’m facing a real test of nerves. It’s not that I’m spending frivolously or doing anything dumb. We’re having some electrical work done, and I’m finding the spending almost physically painful.
When we bought this hundred-year-old house in 2004, it had no insulation. We spent $2,400 to have blown-in insulation put in the attic. Now we’ve saved enough to have our 80-year-old knob-and-tube wiring replaced. This itself will be expensive, but the costs are compounded because in order to get at the wiring, the contractor needs to remove all of the blown-in insulation. It’s a nasty job, and adds another $1,500 to the bill. Then, of course, we’ll need to have the insulation replaced. (Note: We like our contractor — this isn’t a complaint about him, but about the money involved.)
This makes me very tense.
In fact, it makes me so tense that I’m going to stop writing about it. I’ll point you to other personal finance articles instead:
I’ve written before that recurring monthly expenses can tear a huge hole in your budget. Ramit at I Will Teach You to Be Rich has a solution. Use psychology against yourself to save money, he says, by going with the a la carte method. Instead of subscribing to magazines, to Netflix, to cable television, instead of paying for a gym membership that you never use, cancel your subscriptions and pay for these things only as you need them. The important thing (whatever you choose to do) is to be conscious of your spending.
Meanwhile, there’s a great article about Five Cent Nickel exploring the parallels between fitness and finance. Like me, Nickel has been focusing on fitness recently, and he’s discovered there are some very real similarities between a healthy physical lifestyle and a healthy financial lifestyle.
Finally, several people have sent me articles about people who grow their own food. Some of them include:
- MSNBC: As food prices rise, more people grow their now
- Epicurious: Seasonal ingredient map
- ABC News: Grow it yourself and save
- Minneapolis STar Tribune: Homegrown heats up
We’re finally picking strawberries and peas! But if the sun doesn’t get here, we won’t get much else this year…
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This article is about Spare Change