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Tag: saving money

Changed our minds… again

So, remember when we went apartment hunting in the city? It was kind of a disaster. After that the idea of moving into Chicago kind of overwhelmed me. What with the lack of storage space, the parking problems, the higher cost of living, the commute… it all started to seem really irresponsible.

I haven’t been working for just about a year now. My furlough started September 1st. I didn’t start job hunting right away because honestly, I was kind of burnt out. I wanted to wait until the holidays were over. Then, once I started looking for work it wasn’t nearly as easy to find something as I expected it would be. I even had an interview and didn’t get hired. That had never happened to me before.

Anyway, all that to say we haven’t had my income for way too long. We also still have credit card debt from paying for our wedding completely ourselves and then going kind of crazy on concert tickets several times. Without my income there’s very little left over to make any serious dents.

So… we decided that the grown up thing to do was to stay close to Joel’s work. We kept saying, hey we need to go out and look for a place and we kept putting it off. It felt like we had so much time. Then today we realized we have two weeks until our lease is up. Yipes! We looked at another apartment complex right down the road before so we just decided to do it.

We drove over there, asked about availability, saw the place and put in an application. Bam. That fast. It’s just down the street and even with a garage we’ll be saving about $100 a month in rent from what we’re paying now. We’re going to have a garage! Also, as a bonus we got a free Sam’s Club membership for signing. That will save us even more money. Score!*

Sometimes it sucks to be responsible but this is probably the best option for us right now. It’s less than 10 minutes from the job I start at the end of the month. It will be good and hopefully we’ll be able to get ourselves out of debt and start some savings for the future. It will be good. We’ll still get up to the city and hopefully the next time we move it’s to a place we really want to be and not just out of practicality.

*As long as we’re approved for the apartment of course.

How to Save a Quarter

I’ve got a crap ton of laundry that needs to be done. I’m pretty sure I haven’t done a load since before Christmas. This either means that we have a lot of clothes or we wear dirty clothes a lot. Probably more the latter than the former since even when my clothes are all clean I have nothing to wear.

Anyway, I’ve been putting off doing laundry for about two weeks now and we’re pretty much out of things to wear. There aren’t even very many things that aren’t that dirty. I don’t know why I put it off. If I do laundry once a week we never run low on clean underwear, and there’s a manageable amount. Usually about four loads including sheets and towels. But when it’s only been a week I can easily talk myself out of doing it because we have plenty of clean clothes left. Then the next week there’s twice as much to do and it’s overwhelming. Generally I just suck it up and do it then but last week something came up. Which brings us to this week and there is very little left to wear and I’m completely overwhelmed.

It would be much easier if we actually had a washer and dryer in our apartment. The community one is right down the hall so it’s not so bad. It’s not like I have to haul it all to a laundromat and it’s almost always open so I don’t have to fight with anyone for it. The thing is, I have to have a very strict system when I’m doing laundry to maximize dryer time. See if you can keep up with my thought process. It costs $1.25 to wash one load, that’s a given, there’s no fudging it. The dryer is a whole different story. It also costs $1.25 for the initial time of 45 minutes. Unfortunately the dryer sucks and it usually takes a good 60-90 minutes at least to dry a load. If there is still time on the dryer you get an extra 15 minutes of dry time for every quarter. I figured out if I made sure never to let the time run out and switch loads it costs me $2.00 for the first load but every additional load only costs $1.50. Saves me at least .50 a load which adds up over time.

Typing that paragraph made me realize how ridiculous I am. Wow. I didn’t even get into my rules for what goes into the actual loads or how they’re washed/dried. That’s a whole other post though. Or not because you’d probably die of boredom (if you haven’t already from this post.)

Anyway, if I’m going to save my $2.00 or so a week I have to be on top of things. This requires a very big part of my day to be strictly dedicated to laundry. Timers have to be set and loads checked and changed right on schedule or the time runs out and I have to pay a whole $1.25 again which, while not the end of the world, kind of pisses me off. Maybe it’s the competitiveness in me. I need to win over “the man” who tries to dictate how much my laundry is going to cost. I don’t like giving the laundry dudes a quarter more than I have to. You know Friends? I’m Monica.

So, staring at four giant mountains of laundry in front of me (that don’t have a prayer of fitting into only four loads) I realize it’s probably going to have to be put off for one more day. Being on furlough has turned my posts from “What I did on my exciting layover” to “A day in the life of laundry” and it’s made saving a quarter or two really important. Jealous?

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