Smart FI Ranch: Week 4

We have lived in our house since it first received its certificate of occupancy. In other words, we bought all 2,300 square feet of our home, brand new. The clean paint lines, new carpet smell, and white, high gloss, crown molding had us pulling out our checkbooks only minutes into our first showing.

Did You miss Smart FI Ranch: Week 3?

Home DIY Repair

Eleven years later, there are holes in the wall, stains on the carpet and appliances are nearing the end of their lifecycle. Mostly out of stubbornness, but partly out of frugality, when something breaks, I try to fix it myself before calling a pro.

I fancy myself as a homegrown DIY’er with an army of friends on YouTube. I have painted a house inside and out, built a fence, fixed a washing machine, replaced a garbage disposal and countless other home repairs with no more help than watching a 20 minute YouTube video. When I need a lifeline, the first place I turn is Youtube.

After months of my wife asking me to fix a 12-inch by 12-inch hole in our wall, I headed to Home Depot for supplies. $40 later, I had all the tools I needed to patch the hole. A product of my son trying to parkour off of 1/2 inch drywall, our hole was an eyesore that needed repair.

It is clear a child’s brain is not fully developed at age 13 because using the wall as leverage to touch the ceiling was not wise. I think laughed until I cried when I first saw the hole several months ago. I couldn’t get the image of Mario (from Nintendo) using the wall to jump higher. It’s one of those things that works in a video game but not in real life.

If you follow this blog, you know I am a Registered Nurse, not a carpenter. I have been working for days on patching this and other smaller holes. Several coats of drywall mud and sanding in between takes time. But I can safely say I am nearing the end and almost ready to texture and paint the walls.

I could have paid a paint crew to come into our home to fix the walls. They would have probably been done the same day. Now, I have no idea what it would have cost, but I do know that the satisfaction I get out of fixing something myself is worth more. 

I have added one more skill to my virtual tool bag, drywall repairer. Next time I see a hole in the wall, I won’t wait months to fix it. Partly because I have invested in the tools required and partly because I learned the skill from doing it.

Next time you have a home repair project, your first stop should be Youtube and then to the hardware store. Don’t let the fear of not knowing how to repair your house cause you to spend money that you could be saving.

Frugal-ish movies

In other news, I am now seeing our sucky weather as something of a blessing. As I type this, there are ominous clouds building in the sky and the rain has been falling steadily all day. The blessing, 68 degrees, rainy weather, looks pretty damn nice compared to the rest of the country that is baking in a heatwave.

While I know we won’t melt in the rain, it is slightly less appealing for our two kids to want to go for a hike in the mountains when a torrential downpour could occur at a moments notice.

This week to keep our kids entertained we found $6 movie tickets. We paid for a friend to join our two kids at the movies, thinking three brains are better than two. By that I mean, my wife and I were going on a lunch date while the kids were at the movies. Between three of those little brains, one of them should know right from wrong and keep our little clan safe.

Well, it worked. While they were eating buckets of fake buttered popcorn and gallon-sized sodas,  while my wife and I had our day date. We hit a local book store and then grocery shopped at Trader Joes, where I feel like they almost invite you to drink an untold number of those tiny cups of coffee. Nonetheless, we enjoyed our alone time and they enjoyed the movies. $30 well spent in my book.

For the record, any time alone together counts as a date when your children are young. So coffee and grocery shopping, yep, that’s a date.

summer budget fight

Naturally, my kids have an insatiable appetite for consumerism. When we fetched our kids from the theatre, they bounded into the car and asked, “what are we doing now?” They seem unamused by our answer, “go home and cook dinner.” Oh, summers are expensive!

Nurse Camp

I was blessed with the opportunity this week to volunteer my time at Nurse Camp 2019. What is Nurse Camp you ask? It is a week-long day camp sponsored by my employer (hospital) that puts high school students inside the hospital to see what a career in nursing is all about.

Nurse Camp is a unique opportunity for students, age 15-18 to be placed in various departments of the hospital. Each student is matched with a skilled nurse for a  brief job shadow period. The nurse camp experience aims to inspire, encourage, and support high school students with an interest in becoming a healthcare professional.

While my time with these highschool students was unpaid, there is a reward.  Knowing that I have helped guide a future generation of nurses, is time well spent. Though my time with these aspiring nurses was short, I was sure to inform them of the most cost-effective route to a nursing degree. Somebody should tell them, right!

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