Sunday, July 28, 2013

DIY Gone Amazing!!! (a.k.a. "thanks guys!")

#tile floors
#day off

The only thing better than your friends coming over to throw a "do-it-yourself party", is when Dad stops by when you are at work and then texts you, "Nice job on floor."

YES! YES! I knew it was good, but now it's... GOOD! This may be the family girl in me, but if Dad is on board, I am re-modeling the kitchen, by myself- you know, until I can't anymore.

It's been a hard two weeks of "can't", and then suddenly more friends showed up and did a little tweak here and there. Suddenly I had faith again.
I was so proud of myself for what I did alone. I was also proud of myself for what my friends did while I stood and watched. This is new for me. I like it.

Friends, family, empowerment...

Just three more reasons trying to save money is awesome! 

I love this town. I love being willing to try new adventures, to learn new things, to accept help when I need it- sometimes.

Now on to the kitchen, where I have been trying to figure the best way to rip up linoleum for the last 2 weeks....


Lights Out Savings

It's official, the electric bill is in...

My "Lights Out Challenge" was successful! I saved $15.15 last month on electricity. It was $47, two bucks shy of my goal.

That's a pound of cocoa butter, or almost a pair of decent flip flops, ingredients for a nice home cooked meal, or just 15 bucks I still have earning interest in my savings account. If you don't believe me, put on your cheaters and lean into the screen, check out the kWh chart above. If you did this every month you could end up with an extra $181 at the end of the year.

 I love saving money. I almost reached my goal, and I will admit after the first few days I wasn't always trying as hard to keep the lights off during the day. Plus- I am having a hard time breaking my little guy of his phantom "turner- onner" habits. And it's been a dark and rainy June, which required some daytime lighting after our search for the sun didn't work out.

Most of you may be wondering at this point why I am so elated over cutting back by 15 dollars? Here are a few motivating reasons:
- Empowerment. I did it myself. I took a system we all take for granted and scaled it back. No more free- flowing kWh's at my house.
-Savings. It saved me money. They even graphed it out for me on my bill. Free comparison to last year at this time.
-Respect. That $15 adds up in my busy household bringing in a small income. It represents so many other nickles and dimes, dollars and cents, and straight-up moments when we could all use a mini financial slap across the face. Makes ya think.
-Motivation. This was a small push to remind me to be more conscious of my consumption habits. Which make want to look for ways to save more cash in my daily doings.

Believe me or not. That's your business. However, if you want to get ahead making the most of your money, you need to remember this, "A penny saved is a penny earned". Ben Franklin couldn't have  said it any better. Corny, but so true.

This just motivates me to take it to the next level. I am going for a $20 savings next month, and I think I can do it. Did anyone out there join in on the Lights Out Challenge? I would love to hear about your savings experience!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

To DIY or Not? (May contain negativity, foul language, and "TMI". Proceed with caution.)

I have been busy. 

Learning, growing, and experiencing the gifts life has to offer first hand. Getting things done all by myself.

Thanks to my friends who brought me tiles, tools, and their amazing know- how, I have taken on the task of home improvement, a.k.a. tiling my bathroom floor. It's fun, and easy, and makes me feel like I could tile the world.

So far I have spent $60 and almost have two new floors. This is huge since all I had before was some sub floor and a sloppy peel-and-stick vinyl job. That was before. Now I am willing to invest a minimum amount of cash and a maximum amount of stress and free time to achieve amazing results. 

Flash forward to reality...

Crapping in the woods on a rainy morning. This includes trekking across the yard in my slippers with a shovel in my hand at 7:30am (like clockwork) so I can drop my daily duty in a hole and bury it. 
All in the name of saving money. 

The issue is that my tile skills do not extend into the realm of toilets, valves, and water containment. My water has been turned off for a week because of the little valve on the hose that supplies the toilet with water. Mine is broken. I need to fix it. Now.

This morning, as the tip of my shovel pierced that first slice of earth, I gave my new ritual a name.
The Trek of Shame. With shame being that I am almost ready to admit maybe this project is a bit over my head. Soon I may do the unthinkable... which is to just call a plumber and pay. Paying for a job I could rig myself is one thing I hate to do. Balancing over a hole while trying not to drop the t.p. roll in the morning dew is now on my list of things I hate to do as well. I am experiencing a true dilemma. 

I have put off writing about this because when we started the project I was pumped! Learning how to use a power tool, hanging with friends, feeling the love of group labor- I never thought things would slowly turn on me. I never thought my negativity would almost take over after everyone went home and it was just me and the wet saw. I never thought I would be on day 9 of burying my shit in the woods, swatting mosquitoes from my behind, boiling water for cleaning dishes, filling gallon jugs at work, and fantasizing about flushing. 

It's not my fault.
I didn't know about the valves.

Today I am on a mission. If you see me, hints and encouragement are welcome. I can do this.