In trying to gather an idea together for a post I came to the conclusion that I really didn't have a lot to say one specific topic, but a little to say on a few. Thank you for understanding my winding post as I jump from one topic to another.
I am absolutely horrible at remembering things I need to follow up on unless I write it down somewhere and have it within eyesight every day. If I don't remind myself of this stuff I will lose money. Because of my horrible memory I am quite thankful that Google has added a feature in their gmail that allows me to keep track of a calendar of events.
For instance, I have an HBO special coming due with my cable company and I need to contact them about removing it once the promotion is done. I also have a rebate that I sent in for some tires I bought and I want to make sure I follow-up if I don't receive my money. Another is changing the battery in the smoke detector. These are all things I need to do or I will end up spending money or losing money.
There are certainly programs that will even email me notification but I try to keep my inbox cleaned out and don't like clutter, so once it is out of site, it is out of mind until I remember it again or need to search for it. I know this because I get emails from the library about books that I can pick up and I always forget about them and have to put them on hold again. Since I log into my email at least once a day I will always have that information there to remind me that I need to get it done and this has worked well for me for quite a few months.
I have finally switched all bills over to auto-pay or online payments and now I don't have to worry if I have enough stamps for the holidays. I haven't been the quickest person to move to an electronic payment system simply because I know things can go wrong and I see the disaster it leaves in it's wake. But I have slowly been moving my bills, from least worrisome to most worrisome, to some form of electronic payment.
At first it was some old credit cards that I never used, then it was the utility bills and now I have my rent automatically deducted from my account. Of course it can get hard to keep track of but that is why we have calendars and I keep a folder with all my bookmarks for these bills. Plus I don't think I could go more than two days without checking my bank account and checking what has and hasn't gone through.
Yes, my bank has a bill pay option but at the time I was setting these all up it did cost and I didn't want to spend a dime to pay a bill.
Plus, there is just something to be said about not having to sit down at the table with the envelopes and a check book and getting it all organized to pay. It just feels easier to handle and there is something to be said for not having a stack of bills sitting and waiting to be taken care of every two weeks and then waiting again for the check to get there and clear. (inspired from Out of Debt Again
I came across a great tip over at ThriftyFun about keeping old vacuum tools before tossing out the old broken vacuum. Most of them are interchangeable and with multiple extension wands I would be able to reach the corner of the ceiling or the fan to clean it. However there is one downside, since the new vacuum has places for the new tools I get - where do I put the old tools when they aren't in use?
I don't do much of anything to my car on my own, I don't even change the oil in it even though I know it would save me money beyond the initial investment. That is something I will be working on for a future endeavor. To me this frugal life is an ongoing process and involves jumping into some areas that may be a little frightening to me.
Anyway, I was reading the Orlando Sentinel's Frugal Force section and read that Autozone, the parts store, is loaning out tools for those DIYers who want to fix stuff on their own but don't want to plop down $100 for a tool that will be used once or twice.
Until that day comes I can do something beyond air in the tires, gas in the car and checking the oil, it is nice that there are places that loan out tools for those who are of the more advanced DIYer.
And finally, a bit of fun. I am fan of the creativity that goes into fixing something up when one doesn't have the means or even the desire to repair it to brand new. Because of this I am also a fan of the site: thereifixedit.com - Today's ingenuity comes to us from someone who has the idea that waste is bad and using an item for multiple uses is good
The Air Conditioner/ Plant Waterer - It may be an old idea, but I liked seeing it in action