How can a week have gone by already?
This week I had my 2007 car taken in and checked over. I had a "feeling" something wasn't right and we spent about $900 on a few fixes--most importantly a tie rod end that was shot. Because the tie rod ends affect steering I just feel lucky to have gotten the car looked at in time, avoiding an accident or any injury. In that sense the $900 spent saved us possible stress and heartache or being stranded in cold conditions, any number of grim possibilities. Having the unforeseen expense reminded me how important it is to keep vehicle repairs and maintenance in your budget. Truthfully, the car has never cost much besides insurance, fuel, oil changes and tires, so over the 9 years that I've owned it I haven't really factored it into my budget. Had I been putting, say, $30/month aside for repairs over the last 9 years I would have had the money for this repair saved even after buying tires and doing maintenance. We are lucky to have had the free cash, but it is a learning lesson for me to not take a reliable vehicle for granted. Even if the cash had never been needed it could go towards a down payment on a new vehicle when the time comes. Something for me to think about!
I took my boys in to have their eyes checked (free for kids here in Saskatchewan, probably all of Canada I'm not sure). They both have 20/20 vision so that was nice to hear. While at the eye doctor we walked to the nearest grocery store rather than drive (while my car was being worked on I was driving the old truck that we have. It's not like it's huge but I am more accustomed to a small car!). The store we walked to is so much more expensive than where we usually shop; it was lazy of me not to go back and get the truck and drive to the usual store. But alas, we bought pepperoni and cheese for a pizza party with friends, Greek yogurt which was reduced, and a 2 lb bag of clementines for $2.99. The total came to $22.50--this is probably what I would have spent at my regular store except that I would have ended up with almost double the amount of pepperoni and cheese for that price. Impulsively I redeemed $20 worth of free groceries because I have started collecting reward dollars rather than miles with my Air Miles card. I am not considering this a savings because I plan to save up the reward dollars and do a huge stockpile shop when things are on a great discount. I am not sure why I even redeemed the dollars except that I was giddy with having the option--must show more restraint! At any rate, it was $20 less out-of-pocket and we had a lovely visit and pizza with friends yesterday.
Husband brought me a wee bouquet of Gerber daisies and carnations on Valentine's Day. He knows I have a rather tainted view of made-up Hallmark occasions but he feels it is important to acknowledge the day. I appreciate the colours and the thought behind the flowers (forgot to get a nice picture before they wilted and got all splotchy!) and, frankly, I appreciate that he didn't cave to the pressure to go for red roses or a florist's bouquet. Am I that frugal that I just can't see the sense in in blowing $125 plus on flowers? I am just as happy with a potted rosemary or better yet with a few hours to write or read in peace. I remember Husband coming home with a $70 (!) tiny bowl of tulips for me one Valentine's. To be honest, and I wouldn't want this to hurt his feelings, it annoyed me to no end that so much money was spent on something that doesn't even register on my scale of important things. But two people in the flower shop knew us and he said he didn't want to appear to "cheap out" once he was in there LOL. It really highlights how easy it is to fall into "keeping up with the Jones's". Anyway, not meant to be a rant about Valentine's Day. If that's your thing, fill yer boots. Me, I'd rather have someone do the dishes for me ;)
Wherever you are, I hope you are having a restful weekend. I'm off for a walk in the snow :)