A chic friend of mine recently tagged me for a little bloggy game. The point is to go back in time and pull up a picture from your sixth post then share it [and make fun of the poor quality].
So here's the weird thing: The day she tagged me for the game was the same day that I posted about a grocery store carnation hater. Remember?
So, I went from writing about my love for carnations to writing about someone mocking them seven months later... did I just have one of those "full circle moments" that Oprah keeps going on about? Does anyone still watch Oprah?
To make things a bit more interesting, I'm going to target a few more bloggers for this game:
The Newlywed's Paradise
If You Ask Me
Twenty-Six To Life
The Design Thief
k&b adventures in renovating
Tall Glass of Water
one lucky couple
Hip House Girl
All Things Jenny
Nuestra Vida Dulce
k&b adventures in renovating
How much would you pay to convert to an over-the-range microwave? Do you think there's a way I could make my existing microwave work better in the space?
*Oh, and the cabinets have moved up on the to-do list. With all of the other new features, their old sloppy paint job sticks out like a sore thumb. Look for a complete makeover soon!
Spectating: $0/ year
Austin doesn't have any major professional teams and buying tickets to any UT games costs more than I want to spend now that I'm not enrolled in any classes. For now, I'm sticking to cheering for the local marathon and triathlons then watching other sports on TV.
Exercise/ Training: $450/ year
If I started running, swimming, and cycling from scratch, I'm sure I'd be spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars collecting everything I need ($800 bicycle, $50 helmet, $75 cycling shoes, $150+ clothes for running/ cycling, $50 swimsuit... wow!) Now that I've been participating in those sports for a few years, there are only a few pieces of new gear that I need to pick up each year:
Thankfully, many of the races I participate in include technical running shirts with the entry fee. Having an ever-growing collection of shirts makes it so that I don't have to spend anything on tops. Honestly, my sock, sports bra and short collection is pretty set as well.
Running shoes: $350
Buying new shoes every 300-400 miles is a MUST for any runner wanting to prevent injury (and awful blisters). Usually my Brooks shoes cost around $100 after the coupons that I use at my local running store. If I luck out and find my favorite shoe on sale, I'll always buy more than one pair (my dad uses online stores to buy all of his shoes on sale).
I'll usually buy a new swimsuit and pair of goggles each year.
Pool fees: $40
During the summer I can swim in the public pools for free, but I usually have to spend around $40 in pool entry fees during the off-season so that I can keep in triathlon shape.
Cycling gear: $0
I'm so thankful that I've already bought these things! Jerseys can cost $50-100 and shorts go for around the same. Don't even get me started on Nate's gear (somebody has a $2,000 bike!).
What can I say, it really motivates me to have a race to train for! Nate and I keep ourselves busy by running races all winter then competing in triathlons in the summer. I never feel guilty about participating because I know that most of the money goes to charity. Here's a breakdown of where that money went in the past year(April 2009- March 2010):
May: $50 sprint tri (promotional price)
June: $45 70 mile bike ride
July: $85 sprint tri
Oct: $30 10k
Sept: $30 marathon relay
Nov: $23 5 mile; $50 10 mile
Dec: $50 1/2 marathon
Jan: $55 1/2 marathon; $50 20 mile
Feb: $125 marathon
March: $30 10k
I said that we keep busy...
Grand total: $1,128/ year or $94/ month
Now you know what I do with the money I save on groceries!
How much do you spend on your sports? Anyone have season tickets for an NFL team? Do you participate in a really expensive sport like horseback riding or yacht racing?
PS What music do you like to listen to while you run? I have a 5k in a week and I'd like to download a few new songs.
As promised, I'm back with a budget breakdown for that big table and chair project:
Yesterday felt strange. I wrote about my semi-fancy new appliances and, while I saved over $1,000 on the purchases, I did spend a very good chunk of change. As the opportunity to replace my energy-guzzling half broken refrigerator came up, I could have made the choice to simply swap out the old version for a newer, more efficient model. Instead, I decided to replace my entire set of major kitchen appliances. I could have gone with the least expensive dishwasher and stove with the fewest number of features, but I didn't.
Still, I consider all of my decisions to have been thrifty ones. Why?
*I bought the appliances with the maximum usability (for my lifestyle). With the refrigerator, I knew that we would be happiest with a bottom freezer combination. With Nate's height (6'3"), having all of our day-to-day foods at eye level will really cut down on the strain he has to go through to get food out. I actually didn't know this until last week, but he hasn't even been using the crisper on the old fridge! Obviously, the energy savings also played a big role in the decision making, but having a quiet dishwasher will allow us to run it at more convenient times. As for the stove, I decided the jump to self-cleaning, convection, and 5 burners was worth a couple hundred extra dollars (especially since I would be getting a $100 rebate by going with Whirlpool Gold). I love baking and Nate's quite the cook so the convection feature and five-burner range will get plenty of love.
*That fridge is going to pay for itself, remember?
*I could afford it. I have the cash to pay for the appliances without dipping into my emergency savings. Because I saved so much on the dishwasher and refrigerator, I could afford to buy a nicer range than I had originally planned.
To summarize, I believe that thrifty is...
making smart decisions with the money that I have.
"Thrifty" looks different in every home and culture. What does the word thrifty mean to you? How would you expect a "thrifty" person to spend her money?
Extra thrifty bonus... I'll save around $40 per year with the new dishwasher so it should pay for itself in 9 years. Okay, not as impressive, but still a good buy. I think the fact that we won't have to go upstairs to get away from the loud noises when it's running will make up for the difference :).
In store cost with 8.25% sales tax: $855.09
Install: +$200 (this includes a $75 gas line safety upgrade that I might not need)
Whirlpool Gold bulk rebate: -$100
Adjusted total cost for range: $955.09 (I splurge too sometimes, but don't worry... I promise I'll use that convection oven's even cooking for all it's worth!)
Total appliance savings:
*This number doesn't include all of the savings from pricing out all of the stores. I would have paid much more by going through a different store.
In my opinion, upgrading appliances can be a very thrifty choice if:
*You're faced with large money-saving incentives or deals.
*The upgrade ends up paying for itself.
*The upgrade will help to sell your home.
*You'll make a significant impact on the environment.
*The purchase benefits charity.
Are you on the hunt for new appliances? What features do you look for in your appliance purchases?
PS I'm linking up to one of my favorite blog parties:
As you read this, I'm out shopping for my new kitchen appliances! Remember that old, ugly, semi-dead, off-white refrigerator? Well, it's scheduled to be on its way out tomorrow. Thanks to a little federal stimulus program along with six hours of hard work, I've earned myself rebates towards a new refrigerator and dishwasher.
If you know me at all, you won't be surprised that I'm not waltzing into the nearest Sears or Home Depot to grab the first appliance that catches my eye! Since reserving the rebates, I've spent the past two weeks researching stores to find the best possible deals. I knew I needed to get my facts together quickly because there is only a small window in which I can use my rebates (April 16-25). By going into all of the major stores in my area (Home Depot, Lowe's, Sears, Fry's, Best Buy) and speaking face-to-face with the employees, I've received a ton of useful and honest information. Let's look at what I've learned along the way!
There are five major questions that you need to ask when buying an appliance:
1. Is it what I want/ an upgrade for my space? Well, duh. Make a list of requirements for your appliance and stick to them no matter what special deals and rebates you are offered. [My refrigerator list includes: freezer bottom, drawer without wires, ice maker included in freezer, stainless or stainless look, no black on exterior, final price under $1,000. My dishwasher list includes: stainless or stainless look, integrated controls preferred, handle preferred, options for storage of larger items, under $500.]
How much? Watch out for those tricky extras!
2. Installation? Refrigerators are usually free, but dishwashers, ovens, and over-the-range microwaves all usually have extra fees. I came across a range of prices for dishwasher installation during my research: $99 Lowe's/ $80 Fry's/ $120 Best Buy/ $130-180 Sears/ $99 Home Depot.
3. Delivery? Another range of prices: $0 Lowe's (with promotion)/ $60 Fry's/ $30 Best Buy/ $0 (with $65 rebate) Sears/ $0 Home Depot. Most places charge one delivery fee per home, but make sure to ask when you're buying more than one item.
4. Parts? There will usually be small add-ons for water valves or installation kits. These extra part kits can range between $12-30 and the stores are required to sell them to you so that the installation is up to code. The Lowe's employee told me that I could use the one I have (if up to code) and return the one I'm required to buy.
5. What is the total and how much would it be at another store*? I was excited to hear that Sears was having 30% off of Energy Star appliances during the rebate period... but not so excited when I started looking closely at the prices!
Dishwasher X at Sears: $800 with 30% off= $560 + $150 install +$10 parts= $720
Dishwasher X at Lowe's: $580 with 10% off= $522 + $99 install +$11 parts= $632
Lowe's might have the smaller sale, but started with a lower price on the product and lower additional fees. I think you can see which store I quickly crossed off of my list!
*Don't forget to pit those stores against each other when they offer to do a price match!
PS Make sure that you're working with a well-informed sales associate when you do ask these questions; I definitely got mixed messages from a few people.