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Bank Shopping

August 4th, 2010 at 10:45 am

After Monday's hysteria, and a lot of hand wringing on my part, I've decided to take your advice and move banks. Again.

I'm not excited about the work involved in switching, but I am happy that we'll have some new perks and benefit from the added convienience of more branches and ATMs, and better customer service.

I also kind of feel like switching lets us start over -we can take this opportunity to evaluate the things that are working (saving more) vs. the things that aren't working (buying more) and adjust accordingly.

I just hope that the switch goes smoothly.

The Stairs

July 28th, 2010 at 07:09 am

Just a quick post to show off the new stairs! Ok, now you guys owe me photos of your wallpaper!! Smile

Dishwasher's Revenge

September 2nd, 2009 at 09:13 pm

For those of you poor souls that followed me through the entire post about the death of the dishwasher -thanks! The follow up is just as thrilling.

In a recurring theme in our house, things with the dishwasher installation didn't go quite as planned....

I got home this evening to find my husband working to install the new dishwasher. He made one trip to the hardware store, which for us is not too bad. I'm feeling pretty good, when I notice a puddle of water in the entry to our dining room. I grab a towel. "Hey, what's with the water?" I say. Then I step on the kitchen floor and watch water spurt into the dining room. I am now feeling pretty suspicious.

Husband tosses over his shoulder: "Oh, I didn't know it made it all the way over there." And then, he says, as if this happens all the time, "I shut the water off last night when I took the old dishwasher out, but the water shut off leaked all night, soaked through the subfloor and into the basement. So, it looks like its soaked all the kitchen flooring."

Did I mention that this particular kitchen floor was installed by my husband and father in law at start of the summer? Parts of the installation haven't even been finished yet! (But that's another story) Depending on how bad my luck is, it would seem like we're likely to have to pull out the old one and replace the entire floor - but first it's got to dry out, which will take a couple weeks.

The bright spot is that the dishwasher appears to work fine.

Dishwashing Dilemna

September 2nd, 2009 at 09:15 am

Last Thursday, my husband pointed out that the Kenmore diswahswer light was blinking. Turns out that it had run a half cycle and died. Gritting my teeth, I found a repair place that would send someone to look at it for $50. (Sears wanted $123 to look at it, which included labor, but not parts). The repairman finally figured out that there was a short in the control board, which would cost $250 to replace.

Enter the dilemna. Repair or Replace? We bought the dishwasher in late 2005 after the old one that came with the house actually caught on fire. Consumer Reports had highly rated the Kenmore brand and we bought a highly rated middle of the road model on sale for about $350. Less than 4 years later, the dishwasher is broken, and the repairman helpfully adds that 1)he can't be sure that the shorting out of the control board didn't cause other problems or won't happen again and 2) in his experience, dishwashers only last 3 to 8 years.

So, trying not to think about the financial damage I'm inflicting, I decide to go with a new dishwasher. Besides the fact that it is broken, I have a couple of concerns about the unit that had surfaced in the last year or so (mold in unusual places, soap doesn't always dispense, occassional odd smells that disappear and re-appear with no discernable reason), and I suspect that this repair would have been the first of many. I decide to cut my losses.

Of course, Sears is having a promotion on dishwashers, but I'm not really inclined to buy another Kenmore, and we've had some bad experiences with Sears in the past couple years. I looked at Best Buy, Lowes, Home Depot, and a regional appliance place. I read Consumer Reports and all the consumer comments on every dishwasher model. I drove my husband crazy.

In a last-ditch Hail Mary effort, I called a very local appliance store -a no frills kind of place. They didn't have the model I'd settled on, but they had the next model up. The base price of both models was cheaper than anywhere else I'd looked. The salesman gave me a 5% discount, and the model came with a $50 factory rebate (they are switching to the new model year). The dishwasher is an Energy Saver, so we qualify for a $50 rebate from our town's utility department. We managed to get the old one into the SUV, so no delivery fees, and my husband is going to install the new one.

I ended up spending less on the better model than I had planned for my original choice -although in total about $200 more than the cost to repair the old one. The new model is more energy efficient and uses less water (which is good, since we have been running the dishwasher daily now that both kids are eating grown up food). It is quieter than the old one and has a better repair rating.

I still don't like the hit to the budget. We're in a position to pay for it (although it means a little belt tightening), but it feels like a move backwards for us. I've met my savings goals for three months and replaced the money in savings that we had spent on car repairs -but we're going to have a horrible financial weekend with this wedding (we have to pay for the tux rentals, wedding gift and hotel) and the dishwasher. Sigh.

Waking up Tired

August 11th, 2009 at 06:47 am

We all woke up tired in our house this morning. Our little one had a bad night, and kept me up to 1 a.m. His older brother was up as well(a side effect to sharing a room) and their father ended up sleeping on the couch downstairs. This would have been fine, but he left his alarm on, which woke me an hour and a half early, and I couldn't turn it off. I had some choice words about that... Then, hearing the interesting commotion, the 4 year old determined that it must be time to get up. I tried to have a reasonable conversation with him about why children don't need to get up at 5:30 a.m., but his confused face betrayed that he belived that I had gone crazy, and he went off looking for his father.

My entire being is crying out for a medium Dunkin' Donuts latte -but I've resisted so far. The coffee at work is free. Unappetizing, but free.

The other free thing at work is Advil. Which is good, because I have a piercing pain in my back, occassionally running down my right leg. This is how I know the baby has had a growth spurt. Every few months he puts on a ton of weight, and I throw out my back. I am going to take this as nature's way of reminding me to encourage his independent streak and stop picking him up, instead of kicking myself for not doing the strenghtening excercises my doctor suggested after the first one was born.

I am on day 3 of no spending -although my bad mood has made me terribly grouchy about it. I suspect I'll be slowly making my way to the CVS later to spend my Extra Bucks on some of those disposable heating pads.