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  • Nickle and dime

    As I knelt down to change my newsest additions diaper, I realized I should turn on the light already. And I thought how the little things about winter that make it more expensive. It isn't just the high heating bill. It is rock salt, and extra lights, and outdoor lights, and much more. More hot water for much needed showers (and it costs more to get hot). More electricity for all the seasonal baking (or was that to keep the kitchen warm?) More laundry due to more layers to keep warm.

    All sorts of little things that one at a time don't mean much alone, but do make for a lot of extra money all added up. I keep the house pretty cold and luck out living in a realativly mild winter state, so I honestly think that the 'nickle and dime' stuff for winter is about the same amount as the heating bill!

    Then I thought about my new washer, Friday night my washer died in the middle of spinning out a load of whites. Ever wring out a load of socks for a family of 5? Really makes you appriciate the luxury of a washing machine! We found out the repair would be about $300 for parts, for a couple more hundred we could get a new one. I was thinking how glad I am we have an emergency fund and can just go buy the machine. I thought $500 out of the check book, no big deal. But then the nickle and dime issues of replacing a washer started cropping up. Extra use of the dryer for the emergency load of darks so DH has something to wear to work, extra loads to get the towels used to sop up all the yucky water that fell out when switching washers. (not to mention the disposal fee for the old one, and delivery fee for the new one.......) Now the nickle and dime stuff didn't add up to the cost of the washer, but it sure is a big chunk of my grocery bill.

    Speaking of my grocery bill, this is Thanksgiving week. We are hosting, which means we HAVE to have the good stuff, chocolate for fudge, pumpkin for pie and bread. Whipping cream for same. Cranberries for sauce, corn to feed 12. All the works. Nothing to expensive by itself, but it all adds up to the most expensive two months of the year, without figuring in Christmas gifts!

    I also thought about how the 'nickle and dime' stuff is ignored in most financial advice articles or books. Some people ignore it because a nickle here and a dime there takes a looooong time to pay off a $8000 credit card bill. Which is a point, doing 5 new small frugal things makes one feel wrung dry, same as 5 large things, but the large ones make a bigger dent and therefor have a bigger reward. But I keep noticing I have no big things left, so I have to nickle and dime my way out of this debt!

    So anyone know where (else) to pinch a few nickles?

  • #2
    Re: Nickle and dime

    While I agree with all that you said, why would a new washer cost over 500 dollars???? I mean I know they have them out there I have seen them but I refuse to spend more than $300. and I try to buy used if I can find a good one. We bought a brand new dryer last year at home depot on sale I admit for $220. Back to the original subject though, I think that as a whole we cook more inside in the winter and that also adds up with electricity and water to clean up the mess instead of throwing away the plates.

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    • #3
      Re: Nickle and dime

      I agree... Ignoring the nickle-and-dime stuff is a big mistake.

      You mentioned diapers. Are you getting the best deal on diapers? We never pay full price. For example, we'll get a $5 off coupon at Babies R Us, and even then wait for the diapers to go on sale before using the coupon.

      I agree with cicy33 that $500 for a new washer seems high. Even a new one should be less if you wait for a sale and/or use a coupon. I used to get extended warranties on things like washers, but I found I never use them (and in fact I'd lose the paperwork anyway), so now I don't waste my money.

      Do you use a rewards credit card? For all the things you have to spend money on, at least you can get some cash back. You can get up to 5% cash back on certain purchases. Also if you plan on opening a college savings account, MBNA and Fidelity have a card that credits ALL purchases 2% towards a 529 account.

      As far as other baby items, do you know others who have small children? Perhaps they can lend you certain items. For example, our son is too big for his bouncer. We may use it again for another child (God willing), but in the meantime we can lend it to someone else who could use it.

      I'll think of other ideas....

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      • #4
        Re: Nickle and dime

        Nickels and dimes add up over the long run. Heck, I even pick up pennies off the ground when I see them. Turn off lights not in use. Hang out in a central area like the kitchen or the living room.

        I have had my washer fixed twice. Both time it was a pump problem. In the end it was cheaper for a fix rather than a replacement. I am going to run it untill it is not practical to fix.

        Hopefully I won't have a full load to wring out when it goes!

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        • #5
          Re: Nickle and dime

          priceplus, I thought I was the only one who still picked up pennies I am always amazed at how many people walk right by them...I mean, it's free money!!!!

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          • #6
            Re: Nickle and dime

            priceplus and jodi m I get really disappointed if I don't find a least a penny a day while I am out. Last week I went to fill my car up for gas and I looked on the ground and saw .40 cents. I thought I had hit the jackpot. My eyes just scan the ground looking for change. My thought is it;s money that Uncle Sam didn't tax me on. People may laugh at us, but all the change that I saved this year bought me a couch. Had 50% sale at the thrift store I go to and I needed a couch drastically. After the 50% off and taxes I bought a couch for $119. So don't let anybody tell you that saving change and picking up change isn't worth it. The couch I bought is just like brand new. Not one stain and not one rip. So keep on picking up that change!

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            • #7
              Re: Nickle and dime

              They do add up! My hubby doesn't realize it though. He thinks it is a waste to save nickels and dimes.

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              • #8
                Re: Nickle and dime

                Originally posted by PrincessPerky
                Friday night my washer died in the middle of spinning out a load of whites. Ever wring out a load of socks for a family of 5? Really makes you appriciate the luxury of a washing machine! We found out the repair would be about $300 for parts, for a couple more hundred we could get a new one.
                I agree, it was much cheaper for me to get a new waher than to fix the old one. Something I didn't count on though, the new washer is much bigger than the old one. Which means more work on the old dryer...

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                • #9
                  Re: Nickle and dime

                  I'll admit it. I splurged and paid $800 for a washer. I wanted a front loader - less water, easier on the clothes, less energy.

                  It was without a doubt, the environmental choice.

                  It was a true splurge, I had 2 working washers. One washer (the one I was using) did have a problem with ripping clothes (I felt around and around for something sharp, was very careful in loading and still had at least one item ripped every 3 loads) but the other washer was fine.

                  I donated both other washers. It was such a simple thing to do, made me feel so good.

                  Also, I no longer pick up change. There are so many people here who are below the poverty level. We're talking people who live in houses with no plumbing and no electricity. I feel they need the extra change much more than I do. It's passive charity. But it's one that allows them to keep as much dignity as possible. Sure, I could pick it up and then donate it, but that would require a person to accept charity.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Nickle and dime

                    It's more than nickel and dime here in the winter, we just had to turn on the water heaters in all three barns, that'll more than double the barn electric bill. Then there's the fact that hubby is using the shop lights every evening, and the lights during evening chores.


                    I do pick up and save change, in fact have started an anniversary fund for a big vacation on our 20th, it's 8 years away so we should have a good amount put back by then.

                    KJ

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                    • #11
                      Re: Nickle and dime

                      The diapers are generic so never a coupon, I am planning on switching to cloth soonish. But not without a washer!

                      The washer was a 'gotta have it purchase' never the best price when that happens .

                      We don't have a reward card, and haven't had an offer, I have been considering researching asking for one.... but I am afraid to use a CC, my willpower ain't that great.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Nickle and dime

                        I'm with Tree0164...My husband thinks I'm nuts (and really cheap) when I start harping about things that only save a few cents. My reply to him:

                        I ask him if he's ever been bitten by an elephant (of course the answer is no). Then I ask him if he's ever been bitten by a mosquito (of course, yes). Then I remind him that it's the little things that get you.

                        Like Princess Perky I've pretty much exhausted all of my big hits...I've refinanced my mortgage, changed auto insurance companies, etc. Now I have to concentrate on the little things. And it's a lot easier coming up with 100 ways to save a dollar than 1 way to save $100!

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                        • #13
                          Re: Nickle and dime

                          Does you supermarket offer babybucks? I have got name brand diapers for $5 or even FREE. You can also sign up for coupons on their websites.

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