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Posts tagged with: water heater

Living on Less is Harder Than it Looks…


At 4AM on Saturday morning, my husband’s cell phone blared loudly, shocking me awake from my sleep.

Here’s my deal about middle of the night phone calls, my husband and I both work two jobs and he attends night school on top of it. Unless someone is dead, don’t call at 4AM on a weekend, otherwise, it will be your funeral I’m planning.

Fortunately, no one was dead. It was my in-laws calling to ask my husband for help fixing their water heater that had sprung a leak and flooded their basement. The water had long since been turned off but I’m guessing since they had been up since 2AM cleaning the mess, 4AM seemed like a semi-decent hour.

My husband went over to help fix their pipes and uncovered some other problems with the gas line while he was at it. Having gas line problems while using industrial heaters and fans to dry out a flooded area seemed a bit on the dangerous side, so he fixed those as well. He ended up working on their plumbing until 3PM.

Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal but we had already promised to move my brother’s father-in-law’s stuff out of his condo in exchange for some much needed furniture. Unable to postpone the move since the property closed on Monday, we worked until 11PM (with some great help from my brother-in-law’s) before finally giving in to sleep.

My husband spent Sunday morning re-piping the neighbor’s bathroom in exchange for helping us finish moving the furniture. The neighbor’s plumbing had problems too (surprise surprise) so we didn’t get started again until about 3PM. We finally finished moving, vacuuming, and sweeping around 8PM and made our way back home. After unloading and rearranging the furniture, we didn’t to sleep until after 10PM.

Monday morning, as our alarm clocks chimed at 4:30AM, my husband whispered, ‘I changed my mind. I don’t want tools for Christmas, I want a weekend of sleep.’

Can’t say I blame him.

But the weekend of hard work paid off with some furniture we could never afford to buy ourselves.

Debt Update…


OK. Ready? Italy was unexpectedly tough on our finances.

We didn’t expect to have to pay a cover charge for each meal. We didn’t expect the exchange rate to be so poor. And we didn’t expect the high entrance fees to see the sights (and by high, I mean 50 euro – EACH).

The exchange rate surprised us the most. We made the majority of the plans in June – when the exchange rate hit its lowest. We traveled in October… the rate was nearly at its peak for the year.

I budgeted high thinking I would come home with extra money, money I could use to make a large debt payment.

That didn’t happen.

In fact, I had to stop by an ATM three times before returning home.

How bad was the damage? $500 out of our emergency fund. Eek.

Upon returning home, our water heater broke, taking out an additional $300 from the emergency fund plus another $35 for miscellaneous parts.

Add that to the $150 we had to spend on cleaning supplies and replacement curtains thanks to the stupendous house sitter.

Are you following my math?

We have $15 left in our emergency fund.

In the whole scheme of things, if this is the worst of the damage of an international vacation, it’s not bad. I just hate another month of no progress. Minimum payments this month so we can replace our emergency fund fully.

Here are the new numbers:

• Original Debt: $38,495.86
• Added Debt: $1,781.50
• Total Debt: $40,277.36
• Paid: $30,546.19
• Remaining: $9,731.17

• Broken Down
• Auto Loan 1: $0
• Credit Card: $0
• Student Loan: $8,781.17
• Auto Loan 2: $0
• Vet Loan: $950.00