Happy Fourth of July to our US contingent! I was trying to think of an extremely clever way to weave our nation’s independence into a post about financial independence (working title: The Fireworks of Financial Independence) but, well, that didn’t so much pan out. Although in honor of the day I do–of course–have this photo of Frugal Hound in her July 4th regalia (thanks goes to my mom and dad for her stunning little visor):
And now, I give you a summer-themed Woot with a companion Grumble on the oh-so-cool topic of: air-conditioning.
This week’s woot, as foreshadowed in our June expense report (I’m sure you’ve simply been on edge wondering if I would remember, right?!) is an ode to the AC; or rather, the absence of it. I am thrilled to announce that we made it to June 30th before turning on our AC unit! We only had one slightly-hot dinner party with friends and some excessive sweating, but we persevered!
Our submission to the AC machine is due largely to Princess Frugal Hound who decided this year to become rather heat sensitive. There was a lot of tongue-lolling panting and moping going on and we can’t stand to see her uncomfortable. I should add it to her tab… ;). Our last night sans AC was a steamy affair during which we all woke up multiple times from the heat. Turns out, 85-90 degrees inside is not so much conducive to getting a good night’s sleep. I’m quite pleased with our fortitude this year and am certain we pushed it as long as we could before succumbing.
Since I was on AC Alert this year (maybe I should have a badge made?), I was shocked at how many of our neighbors turned their units on in May, when it was still in the clement 60s and 70s. Mr. F-woods (can I make that abbreviation? not sure…) and I reflected that this seems like a prime example of unconscious spending and waste. I truly doubt anyone was HOT in their home in May and yet, ACs up and down the block blazed away day and night.
As we endeavor to bring greater focus and intention to every dollar we spend, I’ve started to notice the money drains folks fall victim to. I don’t even think it’s a conscious realization of the money they’re wasting. Rather, I think it may be behaviorally conditioned societal pressure and an assumption that since things have always been done a given way, there’s no need to change.
Ok I really have two Woots this week (I made the rules so I can break them):
Woot #2: Brief update on my personal bike boot camp (led by Mr. Frugalwoods)
We biked 4 miles in traffic yesterday, which is my farthest distance yet! I’m very pleased with myself and Mr. Frugalwoods is relieved that I didn’t capsize into a car. He said it was about 2/3 his normal biking speed, so I think I’m improving. I’m also thankful I have a patient husband (you’d have to be to stay married to me). Go bikes!
The only grumble with avoiding the AC for so long (other than sweaty dinner guests) is that one of our neighbors has two very spirited, very yappy little doggies. And, since we opened all our doors and windows every morning and evening to take advantage of the coolest parts of the day, we were incessantly serenaded by these charming little barkers. But, this is really just an aspect of life in the city.
The density is so great in our neighborhood that we’ve become accustomed to living on top of our neighbors. We are extremely fortunate (thanks to extensive research and a crazy dip in the market) that our house itself is larger than average for the area, so I don’t feel I can complain toooo much about the proximity of our neighbors. Maybe just a little bit.