Thursday, September 4, 2008

Finances-God Provides!

I'm usually good natured about finances, so long as we're living within our means. I'm always looking for ways to save money though, and do a decent job of it most of the time. We've had quite the spending spell these last few weeks though and it's driving me crazy.

It all started about two weeks ago when we bought a woodstove off of ebay for our home. We had a woodstove in our previous home and loved it and can't seem to keep this one warm enough for us in the winter. We bought a corn stove and used it the last 2 winters, but wouldn't you know they started making Ethanol and the corn prices went nutso!

We started thinking about our alternatives, and now that I'm a SAHM we decided it might benefit us to see about a woodstove again. We were given one to try from an old friend that had purchased a new one but after looking at it we realized it would be too small for us and would probably just frustrate us to no end having one that wasn't sufficiant to do the job. Hubby started looking online and found one he liked and did a quick search on ebay and wouldn't you know it ... there it was! We ended up paying about 60% ($1800) of it's retail price for it... for those of you that know woodstoves it's a Hearthstone Heritage Soapstone Stove in Brown Enamel finish. It's beautiful!!

Then we have to purchase all of the supplies to install it. We have an old chimney but will need to purchase a flexible liner and all of the pieces and parts for it (between $400-$650) to protect the chimney because of its age, and we'll need to build a hearth (that's my job... how fun!)

Wouldn't you know hubby found someone selling oak firewood and he couldn't resist. He purchased about half of what he thinks we will need for the winter from him... a good chunk of change at $270. We already have some wood we split this spring that's been aging, so hopefully between the two efforts there's enough.

You say, "Why bother?"

Well, we live in an old farmhouse that has decent insulation as far as we can tell, but it's always cool. Summer or winter the kitchen is never warm (except for the days when I can or bake a lot) and we don't use the air-conditioning except for those really humid days. No matter the heat source so far, gas-forced or corn stove, we can't keep it comfortably warm within a reasonable budget. Plus... I have to admit, we could both use the exercise that cutting wood brings.

I grew up with wood heat used primarily and always loved coming in the house in the winter after playing outside and standing next to the woodstove until I couldn't take any more heat. The direct heat is so nice. Anytime you're cold you just stand up next to it and soak up the heat. Nothing else like it.

Well, I started talking about finances and have to tell you that the one that really breaks the bank for me is the car. It's ten years old and, I know, I know, I should expect some things to need repair once and awhile, but ... The breaks started squeaking a few weeks ago and hubby got to looking into it this week thinking he could just replace the pads and maybe the rotors and be done with minimal expense. Couldn't be that easy... the rotors wouldn't come off and then he realized that a boot and the calipers needed replaced as well. He called a mechanic friend of ours and found out that it will cost us $400+ on top of the parts we've already purchased.

I have to let you in on the good in all of this. Hubby has been able to do some overtime during all of this so the good Lord provides!

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