The W Family Chronicles

That was fast!

Posted on: February 7, 2008

I can’t believe we already got our NC refund.  We haven’t even received our federal refund yet, though I expect it tomorrow.  Yay for the NC DOR…I am impressed. 🙂

I have big plans for our federal refund.  First, I am paying off the remainder of J’s preschool tuition for the year, almost $400.  Then, I am going over to the hospital and asking them how much I need to write a check for to be all paid up.  That should be around $1200.  That won’t leave much, so it will be going directly to the loan we got to pay for C’s helmet.  Probably a good portion of our state refund will be going there, too.  Once all of these things are paid off, we’ll have about $250 freed up in our monthly budget.  Whichc will keep us from having to dip into savings every month, I hope.  With all of the other monthly bills I’ve been adjusting or finding better deals on (home phone, long distance, TV, insurance, etc.) we’re going to be in much better financial shape.   That’s been one of my “goals” (I hate resolutions!) for 2008, so it’s good to see it all coming to fruition.

One of our biggest expenses is electricity.  We average around $160/month for our 2000 square foot house.  WAY too much, in my opinion.  This goes along with one of my other goals…trying to be more green.  We waste a lot of electricity.  J hasn’t yet learned the rule of turning lights off when you leave a room.  It seems like our thermostat may be using the auxiliary/emergency heat too often.  We could use new insulation and a new attic fan.  New energy efficient doors and windows.  The list of things that could help us goes on and on.  And the great thing is that *some* of these items may qualify for a tax credit!  But where to start?  I would love to get a motion sensor installed on the bathroom light switch, since that’s the one J seems to always forget.  The problem is that the switch is in the hall…so every time somebody walks down there (to go into a bedroom, including all diaper changes and when the kids decide to run up and down the hall to play) the light in the bathroom would turn on.  Yeah, weird 1950s wiring!  So I’m not sure it would save much energy b/c it would constantly be going on and off.  I’d like to get a new thermostat, a programmable one.  But once I thought about it, I’m not sure it makes sense.  I’m home a lot during the day with the kids, so we need it to be comfortable in the house.  I can’t just set it to turn the heat or air off at 8AM when D leaves for work and have it kick back on at 5PM before he gets home.  We don’t like it to be too cold or warm at night b/c it affects the kid’s sleeping and they have a tendency to not stay under the covers if it’s cold.  So does it make sense for us?  Would a new thermostat keep the temp more constant and eliminate the need for the aux heat?  These are the things I wonder about.

As for insulation and doors and windows, these are all things we need *desperately* but just can’t invest in right now, even with the tax credit.  I’d love to do this someday, though.  Doors are a possibility if I can get D to install them quickly so they don’t sit in the carport forever and ever.  (That’s where my closet shelving system is right now.)  New appliances would be a dream come true, but will they really save us  a lot of money?  I just don’t know how to maximize our savings while minimizing the initial expense.  I’d love to go all solar, but there’s no way we could do that anytime soon!  Unless of course someone wants to hand us several thousand dollars to do it.  If so, just let me know and I’ll get some cost estimates for you. 😉

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1 Response to "That was fast!"

I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.

Allen Taylor

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W Family Players

D is the dad, the husband, and the breadwinner. All around nice guy and good at pretty much everything he does. It's disgusting, really. But makes him worth keeping around.

M is the mom, the wife, and the hopeless housekeeper. At least the kids' heads haven't fallen off yet. Beyond that, she sucks at the "stay at home" thing. Oh, and she's the blogger.

J is the big boy. Born October 11 2002, he is in kindergarten and loves it. Now 6 years old, and too smart for his own good. Talks a lot but extremely entertaining.

C is the little boy. Born June 26, 2006, he went through a lot in his first year but is doing just fine now. The only blond in the family, so his paternity is routinely questioned by rude strangers.

V is our baby girl. She is brand new and arrived in January 2009. So far everything is going well. We're thrilled to have added the final piece to our family puzzle. And yes, she WILL be the final piece!

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