Driving my Nephew to Work Today

IMG20170206WA0001There are not a lot of opportunities to spend time with your grown up nieces and nephews, so I jump at whatever ones I can get.  Today would be the perfect example.

Jaxon has been working as a tech doing Water Damage Restoration Calabasas for the last couple of years and he loves it.  Instead of going to college right after high school, he decided that he would work for a year and that was a little more than two years ago now.  He loves what he does, and I think that he will make a career at it.

Anyway, today I had the opportunity to drive him to his work site as his car was in the garage.  I’ve only driven him a handful of times, but since his parents are out of town on holidays, I was able to step up and help him out.

I really liked it.

We had a good talk on the way over, and I loved getting to see the project he was working on – they were restoring a house that had suffered water damage.  I had no idea what kind of trouble water could cause, and seeing it first hand really made me appreciate how lucky I have been in my life in terms of water issues.

I will be driving him to work tomorrow – it is nice that we have been able to spend some time together as it has been a long time.

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Productive Morning of Shopping

I love being thrifty.  I suppose that I get my “thriftiness” from my mother’s side of the family, and while I don’t clip coupons like she did, I do get excited every time that I find a good deal.  Paying less for everything from some new groomers aprons to getting some fresh vegetables at half price puts a smile on my face and in many ways I make a game of it.

I always try to get as much as I can for every dollar that I spend.

I know that some of you skeptics out there will argue that my time is wasted while I hunt for these deals, but I look at it as an investment: the more I look, the more I save, and the more that I will have tucked away for a rainy day.

It just makes good financial sense to me.

This morning was one of those productive days where I came home with a number of deals tucked away safely in my reusable shopping bags.  I only visited a handful of stores and was able to bring home some steak for supper, some new clothes and even a baby outfit for my good friend Jill.

I couldn’t help but smile – I still had money in my wallet.

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Cutting Down on Energy Costs

One of my New Year’s resolutions this year was to work on reducing our expenses in order to increase our savings rate.  I was hoping to be able to put away about 25% of the money that I bring home this year, but it is going to take some work to change how we spend our money.  Instead of getting another job or starting a new business, I felt that cutting costs would be the first place to start where I might be able to get some traction.

In our case, our biggest expenditure is power.  Every year our electricity bill has climbed up and there are days when I look at the bill and I cannot believe that we use so much electricity.  I suppose that living in air conditioned comfort comes at a cost, but I figured there were some opportunities for us to reduce our consumption or reduce the amount that we need to use the AC on a daily basis.

I went and spoke with a company that specialized in energy saving Los Angeles to get some tips and tricks as to what I could change to make a real difference on our monthly bills.  I wanted to learn from the experts and that is exactly what I did.

We are going to replace the remainder of our old windows with new energy efficient ones and spend some money on a programmable thermostat.  I am going to monitor our monthly bills for the next few months to measure the savings.

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