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Big Expenses; Learning New Tricks

August 25th, 2009 at 06:26 pm

Um, you learn something new every day? Friend was fan shopping and learned all fans spin in 2 directions. One setting is for winter and one for summer. NEVER heard of this.


Is it just me?

Dh checked, and wouldn't you know, since our home was built in the winter, all our ceiling fans were set to "winter" mode. & heck, they work much better in SUMMER MODE (during summer). Doh!

Not sure I will bother with winter mode, during winter. But I am a little curious to test it.

May our fans be more efficient, now... (We don't use them much at all, but maybe will with the better performance).


It will always amaze me what things we do out of habit. IT feels like there are infinite ways to become more efficient at things.

Dh was going to make some simple burritos last night and stopped by the store for the usual "burrito seasonings" packet that we have used for eternity.

He paused because the price was $2. $2?????? For a pack of spices??

Decided to improvise. We cook a lot and have ALL the spices. So he found a recipe online and whipped up his own burrito seasoning.

$2 saved!

I've actually always made my own teriyaki sauce. I don't know why. I just make a batch and keep it in the fridge. Taste better and is cheaper? I told dh he should whip up a few servings of the burrito mix, and just keep it on hand. (IT was a mix of like 10 spices). I am afraid I wouldn't have the patience for that every time I made "quick burritos." But he seemed happy with it.

I might whip up some of my own ready-made seasoning mix for the rare times I cook.

In other news, I got my vehicle back. YAY!!!!!!!!

Today is a busy driving day, so decided to take dh's car in tomorrow.

Grand total was $2200 -- new door and all. Ouch!

I would probably just transfer $2k from savings and send a payment to the credit card, and be done. But I will hold off in case dh's AC repair is also massive.

But, yeah. Ouch! I can literally only think of a small handful of items I ever shelled out more than $2k cash for!

I literally thought about it for hours and came up with this list. The list wasn't long so I brainstormed anything I paid $1k+ for, also:

$300k (2001) Current House
$260k (1999) Condo - sold for profit 2002
$12k Minivan (2006)
$ 8k Ford Subcompact (2002)
$ 6k Mustang Convertible (1999)
$ 5k Refi (2008) **only time paid points**
$ 2k Car Repair for stupidity!
$2k Dental Expenses for BM (2008)
$2k Fridge (2001)
$2k Closing costs (about 5 times?)
$1.5k Couch Sectional (2000)
$1.5k First TV (married) (2000)
$1.5k Various Electronics (pro-camcorder & a couple of projectors over the years) (2001-2005)
$ 1k My first Car (drove for 7 years) (1992)
$ 1k Per Semester of College (1990s)
$ 1k Wedding (2000) Our portion of the tab, anyway
$ 1k Wedding Ring (2000)
$ 1k Mattress on bed (2000)
$ 1k Per Semester of Grad School (2002)
$ 1k To Bird-Proof house (2003)
$ 1k Update Landscaping (2004)
$ 1k Washer/Dryer (2005)
$ 1k Wills/Trusts (2006)
$ 1k Big Screen HDTV (2007)
$ 1k Dh's high-end editing computer (2008)

Things forgotten but added:
$ 1k Wedding Ring (2000)
$ 1k Wills/Trusts (2006)
$10k Closing costs paid in cash over the years (estimating, but we bought twice and refied 3 times with cash. Around $2k/each). Worth every penny!! Current savings - $5k per year with 3.5% lower interest rate than the first mortgage we ever had.

Since everyone is adding homes:
$260k 1300 square feet, condo
$300k 2600 square feet, house

Since they are appreciating assets, overall, I didn't really count them. Everything else 100% LOSES MONEY. But sure, I will add them.

(& boy - I admit some of these are estimates. I doubt our fridge cost a full $2k, but I remember it being closer to $2k than $1k).

(Most our furniture is used or hand-me-down; or bought at deep discount for new, or gifted to us. The sectional is the only furniture we ever spent more than $1k on. & trust me -- our house is 5 bedrooms and FULLY furnished! Our vacations tend to be under the $1k range. Don't remember every spending more. Knock on wood, but we have literally never had more than a $1k auto repair before, old cars and all. I am sure I could have forgotten if we had though. This year is proving the exception -- as both our cars face large mechanical repairs).

& well, it's no surprise my dh loves TVs and movie projectors!

I am racking my brain wondering if I forgot something! I didn't include house purchase, for various reasons.

Let's face it, we have been bombarded with "stupid expenses" the last couple of years. There's not much in return for giving $2k to the dentist for fillings, or $2k spent because I hit a pole. It just sucks.

OR should I just feel lucky we haven't had more giant, unexpected expenses???


On the plus side, my van looks like a million bucks (gotta love body shops) AND whatever they did fixed the window too. (Power window only works intermittently).

8 Responses to “Big Expenses; Learning New Tricks”

  1. Broken Arrow Says:

    Well, I've installed several ceiling fans in my time, so I kind of knew about that one. However, I personally never noticed a difference either way. Maybe I don't have a big enough space to notice or something.

  2. monkeymama Says:

    Could be. Funny you say that, because apparently all along my dh was not happy with the quality of our fans. I just kind of rolled my eyes - they seemed fine. Like, does it make much difference?

    BUT I have noticed a difference, since. Our family room, dining/kitchen area is all one "Great Room" and I notice now that the family room fan cools the whole dining area pretty well. IT maybe makes more difference in a bigger space.

    For the bedroom? I usually only turn it on low and would probably prefer to leave it in winter mode. I don't like freezing at night - sometimes you just need a wee bit of circulation!

  3. whitestripe Says:

    i knew that from when my older sister cleaned it and accidently switched it to winter mode, and then we were all like 'why is it so hot???' and then my stepdad came home and goes 'did you switch the fan over???' hehe.

    my old flatmate used to buy the seasoning mix, and i always made it. he said to me one day 'why don't you just buy it?' and i said well, your stuff has preservatives and a lot of salt in it, and it costs more. that's why. he never made it himself though Frown can't teach some people!

  4. monkeymama Says:

    I didn't even think of the preservatives. Good point!

  5. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    How interesting your $1K list is. I'd like to draw up our list with DH.

  6. cptacek Says:

    Ok, you knew this was coming Smile At least I hope you did...

    How do you make teriyaki sauce? We use that to put on chicken when we grill all the time, but it is pretty expensive!

  7. whitestripe Says:

    joan has a good point, i might make up my own 1k list. probably won't be many items on there, but it will be interesting!

  8. monkeymama Says:

    I told dh tonight that we hardly spent $2k on anything before. He agreed. (Glad he still is forgiving and nice about the whole thing. Roles reversed? I'd be pissed! Hopefully I would be kind and forgiving too).

    cptacek - didn't think of it. I just got a recipe online. It is mostly soy sauce and sugar. Maybe garlic too? I will find the recipe for y'all!

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