I hate this thing.
Aside from the fact that it’s way down in the dark dirty basement, the thing is a relic.
Recently, looking to maybe buy some replacement parts and patch the thing up before we replace it, we discovered that it was most likely made in the 20’s (yes the 1920’s) and the company that manufactured them has been out of business since the 60’s. So in reality, its nothing short of a miracle that it even works at all. And though I don’t have any cold hard numbers, I imagine its not super green or efficient.
Note: The structure of our house was built in 1832 (as far as we can guess based upon the earliest paperwork we can find on it), but because it didn’t have plumbing, it wasn’t considered a proper dwelling and deeded until 1850.
Periodically it coughs itself awake for long enough to heat up enough water for a 7 minute shower (in the heart of winter its more like 3 minutes) or to fill up a bath for the kids. All other times, we get to treat ourselves to a room temperature shower or to a half an hour process of boiling water on the stove top and dumping it into the tub to wash the children.
For four. Long. Years.
Personally, I’ve had enough. Mama likes a hot shower in the winter.
Every year on New Years Eve we set financial goals for the year. This year we put “replace boiler” on the list. Obviously we could have done this at any point. We could have thrown it on the credit cards years ago. Or maybe taken out a small loan, used home equity. But that’s not what we’re all about anymore. Three years ago we resolved that all major purchases would be done with cash. Hence the budget etc etc.
So now that it’s almost October, the pressure is on to get this thing in. Its getting colder up here and I don’t know if I can do the whole take-a-bath-like-Laura-Ingalls-Wilder thing for another year.
But luckily, I have a plan. I call it Operation October. Mostly because Sam’s “favorite month” is October and he’s been talking about it for weeks.
Basically it entails zero spending. Nothing. Tightening up the belt so that nothing additional is spent all month, just the basic necessities. Utilities, mortgage, groceries. No take out, no special trips, no tokens or toys for the kids. I do plan on visiting Old Sturbridge Village this month because I take pictures of the kids there every year, but luckily its free admission for us because Jeff is a military veteran.
All month I plan on posting about how we’re doing, everything we’ve spent and tips to avoid spending, as some of us (this family included) might benefit immensely from using this “button down” technique for a month or more to help turn our finances around. Let’s go!