Saturday, February 17th, 2007
We got a depressing gas bill in the mail this week. $298.54. That’s a $100 increase over the previous month and, more importantly, a $100 increase over the same month last year.
This winter we’ve kept the thermostat on a not-so-balmy 63 degrees, instead of the 59-60 (with the occasional splurge to 61) degrees we set it on last year.
The first half of the winter was unusually warm, so we’re only now seeing the impact of those few tiny degrees.
On top of this unexpected expense (which could only be unexpected to people flitting through life in blissful oblivion), my car insurance ($400) is due in early March. And Darwin wants to pay a whopping sum to a guy to take down a dead tree by our driveway.
Then we have to pay the plumbers (who have rescheduled approximately 50,000 times and are now planning to do the bathroom on March 5) their $500-700.
Last but not least, we have to buy a wildly expensive-but-fabulous faucet for the bathroom sink and an equally expensive-but-fabulous light to go over it. And one of those gorgeous pivoting mirrors from Restoration Hardware would be nice, too.
All that adds up to … a lot. I’m afraid to even calculate it.
Owning an old house is wonderful, but the things that make it so charming – the high ceilings, the multitude of huge windows, the wood siding, the quaint bathrooms – sure hurt the pocketbook.
And unlike a new or generic house, old houses inspire a feeling of protectiveness. We are its caretakers (though I hope we never go all Jack Nicholson in The Shining), and we want to give it the best we can.
It deserves a fabulous bathroom, right?
Or maybe this is my excuse to give in to the shopping disease. All I know is I’m very eager to receive my bonus check from work. Rumors in the office predict its arrival for early March.
But I’m not pinning any hopes on a tax refund. We’ve had to pay the last three years. We shouldn’t have to this year, but I’m putting off doing our taxes because I don’t want bad news.
The worst part about all this is that I thought we were about to catch up and start really saving. We both got raises in January, and I’ve reined in the spending on myself lately. I haven’t bought any clothes, shoes or accessories in a month. (Don’t laugh – that’s a long time for me.)
Then every expense hits at once, and all that extra I thought we’d have flies out the window. Guess this means my daydreams about becoming a frequent international traveler will have to wait.
We got a depressing gas bill in the mail last week. $298.54. That's a $100 increase over the previous month and, more importantly, a $100 increase over the same month last year.
This winter we've kept the thermostat on a not-so-balmy 63 degrees, instead of the 59-60 (with the occasional splurge to 61) that we set it on last year.
The first half of the winter was warm enough that we're only now seeing the impact of those few tiny degrees.