Pay Yourself First To Save Money And Enjoy Life

One of the best strategies I’ve heard as method to save money is to pay yourself first. With this approach, you address your savings goals as the first item in your budget, rather than the last.  The principle is that if you address savings as a goal on the bottom of your list (meaning you ‘pay yourself last’), you’ll always find other things to spend the money on and you’ll miss the opportunity to meet or stretch your savings goals.

The money approach.  Say your goal is to save 10% toward retirement.  If you use the ‘pay yourself last’ approach, you’ll address most or all of your budget items before you get to savings.  More often than not, you’ll have less than your stated goal available when you get to the end (and if you still do, then it’s probably time to increase your goals!)  Many times, there won’t be anything left at all, which is how so many people go years and years without saving a single dime for retirement.

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I Saved $62 Just By Asking

It never hurts to ask, right?

That’s never more true than with two examples in the past week that have saved me $62.

First stop: The vet

If you haven’t been able to tell, we’ve been getting good use out of our new (to us) camper over the summer.  We’ve taken ‘The Bird’ (as we affectionately have nicknamed it) for two trips over four days, and have one additional one planned later in the month.   In addition, we’re doing a weeklong trip with my in-laws around Labor Day to cap off the summer.

As any cat owner knows, cats generally don’t vacation well.  Dogs, you can take them on a trip and they’ll love it.  Not so much.  Add to this the fact that I have two old cats, both of whom need medicine and special food served to them at set intervals of the day, and leaving them home for more than a couple of days isn’t an option (and even then, we have to rely on the generosity of family or neighbors).  This means we have to board the cats.

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Planning For A New Roof

Our roof is around 13-14 years old depending on what period of the construction process in which it was installed.

In any case, it’s showing it’s wear and is probably not long for this world.

The deterioration of the roof has become apparent in three ways:

  1. Eroded valleys – This is a design flaw more than anything else.  Our house has two stories, and the second floor is a little smaller in the front of the house than is the first floor.  As such the downspout from the front portion of the second floor simply drains straight down into the valley that takes it the rest of the way.  All this extra run-off has rapidly deteriorated those valleys (there’s another around the garage area).  When I get the roof re-done, I’ll either have them install extensions to carry the water all the way to the lowest level of drainpipes, or have it doneafter the roofers are done.
  2. Shingle curling – The shingles are starting to curl along the edges, likely from all the exposure to the sun.  I had given thought over the last year or two to having the valleys patched to give it some time, but once I’ve seen the rapid pace at which the shingles are curling, that would likely be wasted money.
  3. Discoloration / mildew – The north facing side of the house typically doesn’t get as much sun, so the dew and rain don’t dry off as fast, which leads to many houses developing mildew.  We also have a few trees overhanging this, so this has reared its ugly head over the last couple of years, as the roof above our garage looks nasty.Had the shingles been in better shape I would consider power washing them to temporarily remove this discoloration, but as it stands, the power washing would likely just accelerate the deterioration of the already-wearing shingles, so it’s not even worth the bother.

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