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Nice Surprises

January 1st, 2013 at 02:34 am

**2012 was like the fastest year ever. Holy Cow!! I can not believe it is the 31st!

**I glanced at the stock market today, on my phone, but apparently didn't let it refresh. I was bummed to see numbers down.

So I was *shocked* when I updated Quicken and saw my stocks were up a bit. Woohoo!!

Net Worth $300k+ Official!!

**I stopped by my CU on the way home thinking I might be able to deposit my check and move things around today or tomorrow. Closed early. Not surprised, but BUMMER!

Wednesday I will add $1000 to ROTH (2013 contribution), pay off TV, and pay off AmEx balance. I would have done the pay offs today, otherwise. The ROTH would have waited, though I guess I could have scheduled it. I won't schedule anything until the money is in my account, to be on the safe side. So it all waits for Wednesday...

**I got the natural gas (heating) bill and cringed before I looked at it. It included about 5 solid days of extra heat for the snake. The bill was for 30% less usage than last year. HA!! I suppose I won't worry about it. I can look at our electric consumption mostly in real time. I don't see that Mr. Snake's heat lamp is utilizing any huge amount of energy. But we have been running the gas heat about 12-14 hours a day for him. We have had him for about 11 days, and have about 9 days left.

Why is gas 30% lower!?! I have just been cutting back on heat usage slowly every year. This year I suppose I am cutting back even more (None of the boys in my house use much heat - but they tend to run the AC more than I, in summer). I also think our new couch has a lot to do with it. It is my "relaxing" place, but is a colder area of the house - right by big windows. The windows have thermal drapes and all that, but I will turn the heat on far more on a lazy couch day than otherwise. I had no idea a couch could save us so much energy!! It's warm and cozy and I think is a large reason I have turned on the heat far less than usual.

I do not like programmable thermostats *at all.* So much of it seems to depend on so many varying circumstances. If the air is extra cold and I am extra sensitive to it, sometimes I turn on the heat to 70 or 72. Other days it will be 60 and I won't even be wearing slippers or socks. The thermostat never tells the whole story. I think the biggest change we have made over the years is to flip it on when we need it, and not to look at the numbers so much. Apparently we haven't hit bottom; still on a downward trend of less energy usage.

The lower bill was definitely a nice surprise!

**We've got about 4 hours until our medical deductible resets for the new year. I am holding my breath a bit! Would be the first year in 5 years(?) that we did not max out deductible? Yeah right - I will believe it when I see it. 4 more hours!! (Dh and the kids are doing dangerous activities - driving home 2 hours in the dark - they were with family while I was at work today. But they are going to try to be home on the early side, before the drunk drivers take over the roads. I think they probably should have just stayed, but dh really wants to be home. Driving home early was the compromise).

Secondarily, we are also on a "January surgery" streak. So if no one has surgery next month, we will definitely celebrate. Last year wasn't us, but MIL did have surgery in January. It's been a thing with us lately...

**The kids had a fun week. They spent a lot of time with their grandparents. The #1 thing I hear while the kids are gone is how they can EAT! I am well aware. Wink I am sure I am saving a fortune this week, on food. The kids went one at a time and were delighting in alone time with both us and with the grandparents. Dh drove to San Jose 4 or 5 times this month. Rolleyes Could have met half way, but other stuff was going on each time he drove down. I paid a fraction for gas all month (coupons), so we didn't go over the gas budget. I guess it works out. We generally don't drive down there much during tax season. Can rest the cars for a few months. Except I am going to San Francisco and San Jose next week, my self. But nothing planned after that?

5 Responses to “Nice Surprises”

  1. Amber Says:

    Happy new year. I understand, I too am waiting on a check to pay off 3 CCs . Hmmm interesting, I was thinking of a programmable thermostat, I heard you can save a ton of money.

    Also, enjoy your trip.

  2. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Happy New Year!

    Good news about the gas bill. Smile

  3. LuckyRobin Says:

    The only program we run on the thermostat is that it turns on to 70 at 5:45 to warm up the house. My daughter gets up for school at 6. I turn it back down as we are leaving for school because the house is usually warm by then and we can deal with 65.

  4. patientsaver.com Says:

    I think the programmable thermostat is very convenient, mainly because it will ensure that your home is warm shortly before you arrive there after work, and in the same way, the heat kicks on shortly before I have to get up in the a.m. for people who often forget to turn the heat down when they go out somewhere, a programmable thermostat also ensures you're not throwing away your money to heat an unoccupied house.

    so far, i haven't turned the heat above 63 this season. If it's chilly, i just throw on another sweater.

  5. MonkeyMama Says:

    I definitely see the benefits of a programmable thermostat if you are forgetful and leave the heat on a lot. I just always felt it was a huge money waster for us (we don't forget to turn it off when we leave). IT is always quoted as an energy saver - but having the heat on before you come home and before you wake up obviously does not save energy. It might be nice and luxurious, but is not saving energy. Unless your plan before was to leave the heat on 24/7 so you never get cold (or because forgetful).

    The programmable thermostat was a godsend when I lived with less responsible roommates. (One kept leaving the heat on all day though no one was home. Drove the rest of us nuts! Rolleyes Until technology saved the day. )

    P.S. Success!!! No hospital visits last night. Big Grin

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