Wednesday 26 November 2014

Comfort Costs Cash

It is a simple formula; that cozy sweater, that thick coat, those warm boots; all of those things to make your life more comfortable, costs you money. So too will it cost you more when you turn up that thermostat. Each time that furnace kicks in, it is burning fuel of some kind and therefore, you are spending money, the same is true for me.

I just switched my propane tank over last night and had a mild heart attack, as I had just bought propane on Friday. I wondered how and why I could have gone through so much propane in so short a time. Then I remembered, yes I bought propane on Friday but I switched over my tanks mid-week. I know that the really cold weather is settling in and so I am using more fuel. Still, heating Wanda in winter is not as bad as that townhouse . . . yowza (I still shudder when I remember those winter utility bills).

I tried an experiment last night as it was a mild night, just a bit below zero, if that. I plugged in my electric heater and turned the furnace off. Okay so I had my furnace had been going from 5 pm till 8pm when I turned it off. At that time the temp inside Wanda was between 15 – 20C, by the time I woke up it was at 10C. 

All in all, that electric heater did not bad. Keep in mind that it was on the lower 750 Watt setting, if I was to turn it onto the 1250 watt setting it would be fine, but I never wanted to risk tripping the breaker in the middle of the night. That would mean, putting on clothes, trudging around to the front of work and search for the breaker box and the tripped breaker, and hope it didn’t trip again.

It is nice to know that the electric heater does help out. I know that I need to dress warmer and turn that thermostat down to 15 C again. I had turned it up to 20C for my comfort, but I need to conserve propane and thereby cash. 

I will be plugging in each night during this cold snap and again, I am not scared of it, as I have lived through it and made it. I know what to do and what to expect. The weekends will be the most expensive as I am in Wanda more with the furnace running.  

I am in Wanda more so Sunday when I have to wait till noon to get into the library and use someone else’s heat. I will have to see about hanging out in shopping malls to use someone else’s heat, hmm that might work. 

To encourage me I checked online for the balance of that second card and was delighted to see that the payment went through, it was now at $4224.39. I was tempted to put a bit on the card to knock it down to below that $4000.00 mark. Which of course would be silly, as that would put me in my overdraft; doing so is just trading one debt for another. 

I will put that money on the card when I get paid on the 7th, and then on the 22nd I will knock it down to below $3000.00. That is the really exciting thing, to finally see big chunks of that card go down.  

If I can manage to maintain that pace then I will be on target to get that card done BEFORE April 1. If I can then keep up the pace of $1500.00 per month on that final card I will be able to get it done BEFORE August 1. (A full month early).

After that, after August 1 and that final credit card is finally dead, I will be in unknown and virgin territory . . . ‘savings’.  As I understand it ‘savings’ is when you put money into an account and not touch it, it is what you do with ‘extra money.’ Again, the concept of ‘extra money’ is a bit of a new thing for me and I am looking forward to having some.

Looking at what I have done and what I am planning to do keeps me motivated to keep doing this. If I were to pack it in and give up now I would be in a worse state than before, I would have extra debt and still maxed out cards. I just have to stick it out a few more cold months and then I am back into the warmth and the home stretch. 

If anyone was to do something like this, I encourage you to look back and look forward now and again. Look back and the positive things that you have done and then where you are going to go. That will keep you going through the tough times, that I can assure you. I am excited to see winter approach as each day I stay in Wanda, is one day, one step closer to debt freedom! 

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