Sep 26 2010

Tidbits from a power outage


A strong storm blew through our area Wednesday evening and we lost electricity from about 4 p.m. until Friday evening. It could have been worse — the electric company said not to expect power until Sunday!

We were fortunate. We weren’t hurt and we didn’t have any property damage.

My neighbor wasn’t so lucky. A tree fell on her car, which was parked right next to mine.

A few things:

  • Our fridge and freezer weren’t that full, but I estimate we had to toss somewhere between $100 and $150 worth of stuff.
  • It was a good opportunity to scrub the inside of the fridge and freezer and prepare it for my upcoming freezer-cooking bonanza. Baby Girl is coming in December, ya know!
  • Two days without power means a lower electric bill.
  • But, we also went out to eat for most of our meals during that time…so it doesn’t balance out evenly.
  • I got sick of restaurants FAST and I’m inspired to try some new recipes now. I had been in a cooking rut forever, so maybe this will jump-start me out of it.
  • Even though our apartment is all-electric, for some reason our water heater held enough hot water for us to have FOUR total warm showers. Amazing!
  • We got to put some of our camping gear to use — lanterns, flashlights, our cooler.
  • The weather was pleasant and since we had been having the windows open anyway, it wasn’t a big deal.
  • It was tricky to fall asleep and stay asleep since we are so used to having fans on!
  • Out of laziness, Johnny was in a disposable diaper and I had just finished a load of clean cloth diapers. So I didn’t have any dirty cloth diapers sitting around. Whew!
  • It’s kind of nice to have some quiet. No TVs or computers. It made me realize they were on way too much around here. I had been praying about making better use of my time on the internet. So I can’t complain if it takes a power outage to make me reflect on it all!

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Sep 22 2010

Really low interest rates…a bummer or a blessing?


Now that I have a few dollars to rub together in my pocket, I want that money to earn interest. When I opened an account with ING Direct several years ago, it was paying more than 4% interest. In recent years, some banks offered 5% on savings accounts!

These days, ING is offering a puny 1.1%. Whoop-de-doo. Still, better than nothing, right? And it’s definitely better than paying 1.1% interest (or more) on a loan.

When the savings account interest rates were high, I don’t think I ever had more than a few hundred dollars in the bank at one time, so I never earned much interest anyway.

So on one hand, I’m sorta bummed that there’s no relatively safe place for my money to earn any respectable interest in the short-term.

But on the other hand…have you seen mortgage interest rates lately? They are fantastic. On Bankrate today, the site shows 15-year mortgages can be had for 3.84%. A 30-year is at 4.34% today. Wow.

These rates are comparable to what some savings accounts were earning just a short time ago.

It doesn’t appear that the Federal Reserve is poised to raise rates any time soon. Raising rates would mean more expensive mortgages, and more interest earned in our savings accounts.

I’m hoping that we are able to move in the early spring or summer of next year and buy a house shortly after. If we luck out, mortgage interest rates will still be low.

And once we get a house, then I’ll be happy if interest rates start to go up again. Gotta earn some money on that savings account!

What are your thoughts on the interest rates today? Ok or stinky?

Hey! I'm Kacie, wife and mother of 3. 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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