Every now and then I look around and realize that I need to make some changes. (CLEAN ALL THE THINGS, as it were.) Now that I finally have my home office mostly cleaned out, the things that have been plaguing me the most are mostly financial.
In the interest of getting my budget under control, I recently refinanced my mortgage. Now it's down to 15 years and 4% interest. Woohoo! Best of all, the payments are pretty much the same as they were when I still had 23 years left at 5.75%.
Today I'm taking the first step toward addressing the atrociously high electric bills we had all summer. I'm having a home energy audit done by my friend Mary's company, Small Step Energy Solutions. I'm looking forward to pinpointing the worst sources of energy loss in our house so I can start fixing them in a logical order.
As part of the audit, I printed out my gas and electric bills for the past couple of years and was dismayed (but not surprised) to see that in the last 12 months I've paid $800 more for electricity than I did in the previous 12 months. And it's not just that the rates are higher; we're using more electricity for some reason. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we can determine why.
Finally, I was proud of myself over the weekend because I managed to replace a headlight bulb on my car all by myself. I say "managed" because I couldn't figure out how to do it on my first try. The next day I tried again in better light and succeeded in loosening the clip that was giving me trouble the first time around.
I'm always inclined toward do-it-yourself projects, but I sometimes overlook some of the obvious ones. Heck, maybe I'll even insulate my own attic after the energy audit results come back. Maybe.
Photo credit: Darren Hester