With the end of the current house sitting job, I have three days before the next one begins. Since I’ve managed to not have to pay anything for lodging so far this month, I figured that I should try to make that the case for the entire month. The plan was to go to visit my sister (just to rub in how well I am doing on the minimum wage challenge thus far a little), but that was quickly changed when I got a message from my mom telling me that her TV wasn’t working.
I stopped watching TV awhile ago and anyone can as stop watching TV well if they want. The key phrase there being that they need to want to stop. I think that people would be a lot better off in most cases if they simply trashed their TV and found other ways to entertain themselves, but I also know that there are some people out there that absolutely love their TV. My mom is one of those people.
I spend a good portion of the morning trying to fix the TV to no avail. When it became apparent that I didn’t think I could fix it, I asked her how long she was willing to live without a TV. She looked at me like I was sentencing her to solitary confinement. (Sidenote: a good way to determine if something is a priority is to start listing the other things that you pay for that you would be willing to give up for whatever it is you are discussing. If you know that you would give up most everything else, you can be fairly certain it’s a priority in your life. This is how I know TV is a priority to my mom). We needed to get a TV and fairly quickly.
The problem, of course, is when things need to be done in a hurry, it’s difficult to get a good price. There isn’t time to look for deals going on or to look into used options. I explained that if we could wait a week, we could get a much better deal, but that also wasn’t an option. So I started to look online and for what deals were available at close-by stores. I was about to go out and make a purchase when I had one final idea come to me.
The problem was that we couldn’t get the TV to turn on. The remote didn’t work. I changed the batteries, it still didn’t work. I tried the on/off switch on the TV and nothing happened. I tried a bunch of other buttons, but they didn’t work either. The thing was that I knew the TV was getting power because the red light indicating that it was turned off could be seen. I wondered if I simply unplugged the TV it might reset (much like turning off a computer when it freezes). I did and thankfully, it worked. The TV now seems to be working fine.
While I did spend almost the entire day fooling around with the TV and then looking for the best price for a quick purchase, in the end I ended up saving my mom a couple hundred dollars. I wish I would have thought of that solution sooner, but it was better late than never. We’ll see if the TV has any more problems, but it seems to be working fine at the moment…
After the entire TV ordeal, I decided that I would go for a hike on the 24th. I headed to Big Basin which is one of my favorite places to hike fairly close to where my mom lives. It’s a wonderful area with large redwood trees and a nice waterfall hike:
In the afternoon, I did head to the coffee shop as I needed to meet with a person who is building an iPhone app for one of our sites. I ended up using my coffee card to pay for the drink (I still have enough on it to do a few more times) although I do need to begin thinking about the alternatives to save money when the card runs out. An interesting thought was that if the main purpose of going is to meet with someone about the blogs (as was the case here), then I could deduct the cost as a business expense and still spend time working there even after the meeting was over. I’m not sure how often that opportunity would come up, but it is another creative way to keep my spending lower that i might be able to leverage.
For the two days I had a total of $1.50 in spending for postcards for the girls. I will need to go to the post office to buy stamps for the increase in postage for postcards so I can use the rest of the stamps I still have. The car miles were all deductible since it was a state park and part of the national parks blog I write. I feel pretty confident that I will end the month of January in a really good financial position (knock on wood) unless there is a major repair that needs to be done with the clicking clutch on the car.
Yesterday’s & Today’s Spending
Next article: Day 25 & 26: Car Repair Failure & Golden Gate Bridge
(Photo courtesy of tvanhoosear)