Sep 29 2007

"Are you as frugal as you should be?" and other odds and ends

Some things on my to-do list for the upcoming week:

My husband’s car has a flat tire. GRR! And not just any flat tire–it’s punctured on the side wall, so it can’t be patched. Lucky for us, he takes the bus to work, so it’s not causing transportation problems. But, it still means we need to get a new tire or four.

I’ll be shopping for tire deals and I’ll report back what I find. Anyone have tips?

Second, I want to reduce our electric bill. Of three bills, the first two were about $76, but this month’s is $86. I don’t really understand what’s going on. I’m going to unplug every unnecessary thing, make sure the windows are open more often … and whatever else I can come up with. We’ll want to winterize it soon, too, by taping the windows and possibly buying some air vent covers. Covering vents in unused rooms is supposed to reroute the air to affect the rooms you’re using. Anyone know how well this works?
Here’s a link to a story about programmable thermostats. We have one, but hadn’t bothered to program it to change temperatures at different times. We just changed it manually whenever we felt like it. So, programming that contraption is absolutely on my list of things to do.

Finally, I don’t know if this will work, but I’m going to check with our leasing office to see if there’s anything I can do to reduce our rent. In past apartments, I delivered the apartment newsletter (what a waste of paper!) and in university housing, I was a vice president of the council. That earned me $150 and $200/month off my rent, respectively. Quite a chunk! Since it’s a rent reduction and not a paycheck, there’s no tax to mess with.

Anyone have ideas I can pitch to the leasing office? I was thinking I’d offer to deliver the newsletter thing, volunteer my apartment to be a “model” to show to prospective new tenants.

Oh, and here’s a link to a quiz on iVillage called “Are you as frugal as you should be?” It’s a fun little test to see where you stand, and to give you ideas on how to improve.

4 Responses to “"Are you as frugal as you should be?" and other odds and ends”

  1. Hi Kacie,
    Thanks for stopping by.
    And isn’t pink the best?

  2. I took the quiz and apparently I am a frugal queen. My hubby would laugh if her hear that, he doesn’t think I am really as frugal as I claim to be. Anyway, I had to laugh at the question about energy bills which said something about keeping a thermostat set on 65 in the winter. 65? 65! That would be balmy compared to our house at 62 when we are there and 59 when we’re not!

  3. Hmm, it said I was a frugal queen, but I’m sure I’m not! I don’t even think I answered the questions with the most frugal answer!

  4. Good ideas! Your electric bill may have gone up with no change (or even a change to less usage) in your habits thanks to seasonal billing practices. In California, they allot each home less electricity starting October 1 (um, guess they figure we don’t need to see at night during fall&winter seasons? Actually, I think it’s due to mandated allowances for running the AC during summer months.) It’s frustrating–September is a month with both cooler days and long days, but my bill is never any different from August when I’m running the AC 24 hours a day. Good luck with your money saving efforts!

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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