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Ways I Save Money: Be Proactive (at least that’s what I call it)


This one is a funny one in our household. It is probably the biggest difference between my husband and I and we butt heads on this one a lot.

When I say “Be Proactive,” I am meaning that one should try to anticipate expenses that can be prevented and take steps to prevent the events occuring that would create those expenses. Hmm, I think I confused myself with that explanation – LOL.

Here’s a few examples….

A heavy thunderstorm is moving towards our area. The news reports are claiming that there has been damaging hail with the storm. Meanwhile, our car is parked in the yard and not in the garage. I want to move the car in the garage – just in case. My husband is more along the lines of leaving it out there because we have insurance. Yes, we have insurance, but there is still a deductible to pay. My way of thinking is that a few minutes now can save money later.

Here’s another one (which makes my husband moan EVERY time I do it but I STILL do it EVERY time ;)). It’s lightening out, and I go around the house and unplug every major appliance except for the fridge, stove and freezer. That means no computers and no TV during a lightning storm. Why risk having lightning fry our electronics? Again, my husband says that insurance will cover it. My thought is just unplug everything so we wouldn’t have to worry about it.

Lastly, I keep my car doors locked all the time even though we live in a very safe neighborhood. Why even give someone the “go ahead” to get in our car and root around? My husband is amazed at my zealousness with making sure the doors are locked. He would keep them unlocked if it was up to him.

As I read what I wrote, my husband sounds pretty bad. But really he isn’t. I sound pretty bad as well, perhaps a little neurotic when it comes to protecting material posessions. But I think we end up balancing each other out so it works for us.

I just think being a little proactive protects the things you have already spent money on, and can save you from having to spend money to replace them.


  • Reply mapgirl |

    You sound normal. Your husband sounds normal. Neither behavior sounds extreme.

    I just buy surge protectors for my sensitive electronics and try not to worry about it. After all, my little alarm clock has been around for 15 years during lots of power outages. (especially in the past 3 years in DC)

    Though I think I’d move the car into the garage too if I had one. I make a point of *not* parking under the trees in my parking lot during storm weather. It’s a farther walk from the spots away from the trees, but the extra 30 seconds is worth it. I’d rather not be inconvenienced by having to fix/replace the car. Time is money too.

  • Reply D |

    I had to share a chuckle on this one. I spent a great period of my youth in a large city. My husband has been in our town his whole life. Everyone leaves their house unlocked and cars too. Dare I say they even leave the keys in the cars.

    This is one of the big things we disagree on. I am always going out to save my car. I hate the car sitting open and keys in it. I lock everything! I have even had his mom look at me like I was crazy, when she couldn’t just walk in our house one night. I don’t think I could ever…not if we are married a million years…get used to the doors unlocked on my car or house.

  • Reply Maggie |

    When I read the Mars & Venus books it amused me to discover that in money situations, men tend to think of ways to earn or get more money, whereas women tend to think of ways to stretch what they have. Although that’s only a generalization, I’ve seen that theory in action a few times. It seems to apply here as well. Although I don’t unplug things during a storm (I have surge protectors) I do lock my cars and definitely agree about putting the car in the garage during a hailstorm! πŸ™‚

  • Reply freedumb |

    I lock my doors…I wouldn’t say my neighborhood is bad, but there are problems…And I’d definitely drive my truck in the garage…I wash/wax every week…

  • Reply Tricia |

    Wow. Some interesting things here…

    1.) Even if something is on a surge protector, I unplug it.

    2.) I am from the country and my husband is from the city! If anyone should be keeping things unlocked it is me but even during the day I prefer to have the door locked.

    Man, I sound REALLY bad. Let’s change the subject and get back to the debt – LOL.

  • Reply Mom2fur |

    I also live in a nice neighborhood. And we learned recently to lock our cars at night, after several neighbors had their cars broken into. (Maybe my 8-year-old Durango looks too pathetic for anyone to think there’s something valuable in there?) I can’t remember who it was, but there was a robber who would go into the rich, ‘safe’ neighborhoods to steal things. He was asked why and said, “that’s where the money is.” It isn’t the locals you have to worry about…it’s some guy from the next town over. Yep, I’ll keep locking my car doors.

  • Reply Nancy |

    I remember a lesson I learned:
    2003: power failure in our neighbourhoood
    The electricity came back 30 minutes later but with a power surge which ruined a circuit board in my heating system!
    Pro-active: power failure? pull the plugs on as many appliances as you can!

  • Reply Tricia |

    Mom2fur – We do have a college nearby, and usually every year some freshman is caught stealing things. It’s sad that some new people to the area take advantage of it’s trust. Because overall, a lot of people leave their homes and cars unlocked.

    Nancy – great point Nancy about the power surge that can occur when power comes back on. I didn’t even think of that (luckily it’s never happened to us).

    Thanks to you both for sharing your experiences πŸ™‚

  • Reply Algo |

    Surge protectors are not always enough. Sure they protect against surges, but electricity does not always flow at the exact same voltage. Inside computers the parts are sensitive. Should the power go out a brown out (power loss) can cause problems. That happened to me on a monitor many years ago. Also my desktop computer a few times. You can do 2 things to avoid that: 1) unplug the computer and monitor 2) buy a Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS). I got one for free from a network admin I know, but still it’s all a calculated risk.

    And insurance can be a pain to deal with anyways! Surge protectors only protect up to a certain voltage depending on the make/model. A strong lightning strike could still mess it up! That’s why they have warranty’s, but what are you gonna do for the weeks/months it takes to prove it was the surge protector’s failure and to get a replacement?

  • Reply KIM |

    I am huge on locking cars, even in the garage. (what if someone broke in) At some point, 11 years ago ( you’d think I’d get over it) my husband did not lock his doors and three times, things where stolen out of his car — fishing equipment, his music collection and finally the registration and other info out of the glove box. Why let someone else have what I have worked to own. A customer of mine had his car stolen once. He was asked if his keys were in it. He said that they were so that he didn’t have to worry about his window being broke. I feel that if his doors were locked, they would have looked for an easier car to take.

  • Reply crazyliblady |

    My husband and I are definitely not ‘rich folks’ and we live in a relatively small town. We have a 1995 Pontiac Grand Am and a 1990 Chevy Blazer. The stereo in the Blazer was relatively new, but not expensive (less than $100 installed at Best Buy). The doors on the Blazer do not lock, but we had never worried about it, because we thought our neighborhood was okay. One Saturday morning, I went to the Blazer to go shopping and someone had stolen the stereo from the Blazer. We have not replaced it, as I cannot really justify it.

So, what do you think ?