This blog contains some simple tips and advice from two regular guys. We're not accountants, financial advisors, or brokers, so follow, ignore, or discuss our ideas as you see fit.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Catching up from holiday spending

Posted by Matt

Happy New Year, readers!

I hope everyone is ready to get back to Frugalizing in 2008 and that you didn't miss us TOO much as we took some time off for the holidays. Let me tell you, it was a bad time to be posting anyway. I think any advice I could have given for saving money last month would have felt hypocritical, as we had a huge spending month at our house. There were the usual gift expenditures, sure, but we are also still getting little small things here and there for the new house.

One small thing we still need: fireplace tools. We've had gas-only fireplaces in our last few houses, so we didn't think about them until our furnace went out on Christmas Day and we tried to tend to burning logs with our BBQ tools! We were trying to save on the furnace repair bill by not calling someone out on the holiday and paying triple-overtime, but if I had only known then what I know now, I could have saved even more (and not scuffed up our spatula).

Apparently there is a simple part called an ignitor in gas furnaces that burns out every three to four years. The furnace repairman that came December 26th spent about three minutes pulling out the old one and putting in a replacement (no tools and just one wire to disconnect). Total bill: $163. I might try to get the jump on it burning out again by picking up a spare ignitor at a local appliance parts store (the same one that sold me parts to side vent my dryer, incidentally) that sells them for $50 to $60.

That unexpected expense was actually more painful than a much larger one that we had planned for that same day. We finally got our attic and crawlspace insulation installed! I have a detailed write-up in the works, but I'm waiting to see how much incentive money we get back from Energy Trust. Stay tuned....just a little while longer!

Oh yeah, and our old house hasn't sold yet (RMLS#8000353, in case you know someone who is looking), so we're still making double mortgage payments. (Sigh) But, just like in 2007, we're still doing our best on a daily basis to try to save money on the things we do decide to buy, so keep reading. We'll share whatever tips we can!

1 comment:

S.B. said...

Great post - we had the same thing go on our heater last winter. Since then, we ordered a spare one through the local Grainger company store. It will save us money, and if the part goes again, we won't have to endure a chilly day or night waiting for the part.