Friday, 18 July 2008

Frugal Friday Ponderings

Picture from by Lisa Audit

It seems to be that things go along quite smoothly and then it all comes crashing down! I had to get my car serviced this week. It needs to be done on school holidays, as it's the only car I can take 3 kids in. Ouch. It always hurts. It's 8yo and has done 190,000km. Stuff needs fixing on it every single time. We own it though, outright, so it's worth keeping.

Yesterday the heater than I never take for granted has died....again. I'm about to call someone to come and have a look at it. The guy who came out last time (who is on his way to Adelaide as I type...darn it!) said the control panel probably needs replacing. The guy before that said the same thing. It will hurt! A lot!

I am grateful that I have an emergency fund for these things. I'm going to have to sit down with dh with a black and white reason why we need to be frugal and carefully replace the funds with have and will withdraw. That and I desperately....desperately want to be able to afford to put evaporative cooling in this summer. Desperately. When it's 40C outside and 35C inside life is not so fun! I'm tired of running away from home because it's too hot!

The Green Research Update
~Deep Breath~ I had a look at solar power yesterday. The kind of system we would need costs around $16,000. Oh, we'd be eligible for a $8,000 rebate. But my golly me. Eight grand is a huge amount of money. Last night as I was trying to keep my nose warm as I drifted off to sleep I was thinking about where we could put slimline water tanks.

Water tanks are between $500 and $1400 depending on the size you want. A lot more affordable I think. Something else to add to the budget discussion! It would certainly be fantastic to have at the very least a tank that would service the summer vegie garden. We have a tap timer thingy for when we're on summer holidays so the garden gets watered. With a tank we wouldn't be restricted to the allocated days & time slots.


Belinda said...

Hi Tracy,

I came to the same conclusion on solar power. Could I somehow manage to scrimp and save the money, probably. Is it worth the myriad other changes that I can make a lot more cheaply if I spend the money on less costly change, I think not.

If it comes to the point where grid electricity gets too expensive for us our household is gonna be black when the sun goes down to when it comes up again.

Right now I have swapped us to renewable source grid power and instituted as many behavioural changes within the house as I can to offset the cost.

Kind Regards

Tracy said...

I think that's the most effective way to deal with it at this point Belinda.

Left-Handed Housewife said...

Sorry to hear about your heater! That's the sort of thing I never expect to happen--the AC is eternal, right? As is the fridge, the oven, the washer and dryer ...--and when it does, you have to deal with it immediately, cost be damned. Headache-inducing.

Hope everything got fixed and that you're warm and cozy now. It's supposed be 92 degrees farenheit here today, so warm and cozy will not be a problem.

marjorie said...

I have costed solar and it is just as expensive here. I would love to have some panels. Dh dreams of a wind turbine. Guess we will have to buy lottery tickets and win for that to happen.
I hope you get the car fixed quickly Tracy. I am being faithful about keeping my four year old van on the road as long as possible. I take it back to the dealer regularly. Thankfully they are thorough, honest and trustworthy. Mine goes next week for repairs they pointed out to me at the last oil change. It has 242000 km on it. Ours was paid for when we bought it and I don't begrudge its repair costs, certainly cheaper than interest rates or buying a new one. Touch wood, it has not broken down once. This is important as the repair shop is 200 miles one way from me.