Cleaning radiators?

I know this is the last thing that some of you down south want to discuss but I’m still on the quest for lowering my heating bill and don’t want to wait until there is snow on the ground take the necessary steps.

My question for today relates to radiators. Does anyone know if cleaning the insides of the radiators will help with efficiency? If so, does anyone know the best way to do so? I’m planning on having my boiler cleaned and service next month and am hoping that this will make a big difference.

I am spending $1200 a year on my natural gas bill and would like to decrease it to less then $900. I’m going to be putting plastic on the windows and I know that this will help a lot. Also for ceiling fans, I forget if it is clockwise in the winter or counterclockwise? We have them through our whole house but have never used them in the winter.

I’m also having an energy/gas audit done for free by the local electric company where they will install up to $30 worth of energy savers in your home and give you tips on how to conserve.

I just wanted to let everyone know since maybe your local company has the same programs.

I will share any tips that I get from them with you I’m sure some things that will help for heat will also help to keep you houses cooler in the summer.

My aunt is a florist

Well my aunt is a florist so she did the flowers as a gift, my brother sings at weddings so that was free,one of my best friends is an organist and she decided she would rather play than be in the wedding. My parents slaughtered a cow for the reception for meatballs and friends and family made the rest of the food. My parents paid their Sunday School class @$100 to serve the food. MY dad and 3 three brothers are foremen so the hall was free., For photos I just used this local guy and our pictures turned out wonderful. He also let us make payments so we sent what we could every week for a year.I think we paid a couple of hundred dollars.

As I said before my gown was only $200 and we bought nice but inexpensive gifts for the wedding party. My hubby’s uncle is a pastor and he married us as our gift. We did the same with our honeymoon hotel(the yikes $250 a night one) so it was taken care of ahead of time. Of course once we got tho the honeymoon we decided for some reason we were allowed to buy whatever we wanted with credit cards because we would never do it again(no kidding I am probably still paying for it). We had a friend play Christian music that we had taped at hte reception so that was free.This is possible the only thing I would have changed.

People thought that was kind of lame and I felt like people left early because of it. It could have all been my imagination though as the night just seemed to fly by. All the people were gone and me and hubby were still there. We stayed to help clean up then went home and took a swim before leaving for our hotel (i think we were both a little nervous about leaving) We only drove about an hour to a little town called Baskerville to a Days Inn then went on to spend our lives into debt. What happened???? We started so frugally.

I’ve been lurking for a while

…but I thought I could help ya with this one: about three years ago we were in dire straits because of credit card debt (approaching $20k=over half our annual income) and went finally to Consumer Credit Counseling Services. First words out of their mouth once we reviewed the numbers was “Have you considered bankruptcy?”..ick. They were unwilling to work with us because they saw no way we could make payments that the cc companies would accept.

Well, we went back to the drawing board, reworked the numbers and then went back a few months later to a different counselor who didn’t have our records from the first visit: we excluded finite debts with no interest, i.e. M.D., dental bills, from our debts that we showed them, and just BARELY squeaked into the program after they suggested I pick up some sort of at home work (I’m SAHM). We now are still paying almost a third of our income to CCCS. They in turn negotiated with the cc companies, and First USA and Discover agreed to no interest paybacks, Household Finance/Mastercard lowered their interest, our credit union lowered its interest after a year, Nations was the only one that wouldn’t lower their interest and they at least agreed to a payment schedule.

I can tell you two things: unless both of you come they won’t work with you to set up a plan and if you ever, ever miss a payment (1 late is OK)- you’re out and on your own. You also cannot assume any new debts, ie NO credit cards while in the program. We have payments automatically transferred to CCCS from our account around payday and since I use Quicken, and prelist this I never am under the illusion we have the money (I’ve also contemplated a blind checking account with an automatic deposit from my husband’s paycheck). We have about a year and a half to go. YEA!.

We have virtually no Christmases, no vacations (except to visit Grandparents), my husband works -at least- 50 hrs a week, but I’m home with the kids and its working. Also-You’ve GOT to check on your credit status. Ours is still a bit murky. If yours is as bad as you think, then I have no idea how your husband got another card; also I would write to all the credit card companies and tell them that they need to CUT you off (even the newest one he got), that your husband is incurring these debts without your knowledge (I think they cannot extend credit once you notify them..).

Also, CCCS might be able to provide some counseling about how to protect your own credit; and, depending on where you live they frequently hold classes on a variety of topics – Being in debt is a sickening and terrifying feeling, as you know, and all I can say is protect yourself. If that means taking over the finances DO IT NOW, if it means getting counseling DO IT NOW; you don’t deserve to feel this way for another minute. DO IT before this weekend!!! I have other tips, things we’ve done to survive, but you need to deal with the big issue first.

I called some of the photographers

I called some of the photographers from the free city paper as well as from the local university (Indiana University) and got a great photographer for cheap. One other thing I forgot to mention was that I didn’t want per-recorded music at our outside ceremony and i had my heart set on a string quartet. I called the local university’s music department and was put in touch with several students who sent us tapes to “audition”.

We were able to provide beautiful music for around one hundred dollars. Since we didn’t pay to reserve the amphitheater and needed virtually no decoration/flowers for it this is basically all the ceremony cost and the music was just so beautiful out in the middle of the forest overlooking the valley that it really did make the ceremony.

We did the same thing

…..but in defense of “elopements” everywhere, I do want to say that I remember my wedding fondly. A lovely family who’s daughter was married before us took a handful of “wedding pictures” for us on our disposable camera (the humorous part was that they did not speak English and we did not speak Spanish but the moment didn’t really need any words.) The courthouse was a beautiful old building and the court chambers were marble and wood with vaulted ceilings and windows. Very awe-inspiring.

We “eloped” on purpose; families were not overjoyed but neither of us wanted all the fuss. We viewed it as a personal ceremony between the two of us and the symbolic start of our life’s partnership. Kind of a “leave and cleave” thing.

Although, maybe Dh would be better about remembering our anniversary if it had come with more “pomp and circumstance”.

I am sure that you did what you could at the time! But I would like to bring up this point. My stepson got married really young, about 19 and he was in the navy. They got married in a big navy chapel, but it was undergoing construction and they had a personal friend take the pictures. I tried to tactifully bring up these points, but no one listened and that is OK. However, I still get haunted everytime his wife says, “I wish we had some decent pictures of out wedding”.

She is such a wonderful DIL and they have a great marraiage and she has been the most wonderful mother, documenting everything of their lives, but this is a void that no one can fill. Their wedding pictures are a joke, the background looks like a subdivision going up and the pictures were awful – and yet she was the most beautiful bride. This is a moment that she can not recapture. When I got married, we didn’t have videos, but we did pay for a professional photographer. This was money well-spent, but very hard to come by. I think he had our pictures for 3 years before we finally got all of them!

What you may consider cute and thrifty now, may not be the issue later when you wish that you had meaningful pictures. I thank the Lord everyday for the pictures that I had taken with my grandmothers. My DIL had a grandmother come over from Italy, at a great financial sacrifice, to not even be included in the pictures. All I am saying is, make a list of the pxs you want and make sure that your friend realizes the importance. These moments can not be captured again.

BTW, I am in no way connected to a photographer!!! LOL But every time I go to a friend’s open house at Christmas, I am GREEN WITH ENVY that I didn’t take a px of my son in his little choir robe when he was 4 or 5, during the Christmas programs. Her pxs of her children during different Christmas activities ARE PART of her decorations and they are so precious!!!!precious!!!!

My DH and I eloped and thought it was wonderful. I bought a new dress at the Penney’s outlet store for $20, new shoes for $10. He wore his dress whites. We snuck off to Laverne’s Wedding Parlor over the state line, got married by a Baptist minister, I had a bouquet of silk flowers and they took our picture for us as part of the package and we spent about $100 for all of our clothes, licenses, picture and minister.

My DH can quote the vows word for word to this day and even after 11 years, I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night to find him tracing figures 8’s on my back because the vows had a part about interlocking circles like the figure 8.

We laughingly went to the 7-11 after the ceremony and bought Twinkies for wedding cake along with a bottle of Spumonti and stayed overnight at the local Super 8. It was wonderful for us. I’m very glad we eloped but I do understand some people have always dreamed of a large wedding. It’s all a matter of personal preference.

I had a really frugal wedding

It was a suprise wedding!

My dh and I called our parents and told them we were getting married and where, and if they wanted to be there they were welcome to come.

I bought a street length dress for about $25 or so. Hubby wore his nice suit. We had called the church and talked to the pastor about him marrying us in his office. I also spent about $30 on flowers.

When we got to the church, they had planned a whole fancy wedding. My aunt had made a viel, they had flowers, candles, a pianist…. the whole works..

Another aunt brought a cake…. Since this was my husbands church I didn’t know anyone but my family that came.

My family gave us a honeymoon, paying for the hotel room and giving us cash to sight see. We also recieved money as gifts, so we started out our married life debt free.

Another thing about our wedding, the photos were taken by a friend and that was their wedding gift to us, which I thought was wonderful. Family members video taped it also and the musicians during the wedding ceremony were my cousins so no charges there either.

Sometimes you just gotta laugh…

Okay, I knew you guys could appreciate this story…LOL A few weeks ago, our van broke down. We think it needs a new transmission, and who can afford THAT? not us! So it is sitting, dead, at my sister’s house. In the meantime, we have all been piling into dh’s car…the two of us, a very long-legged 13 year old, a very sturdy 10 year old, and the baby in his car seat. 🙂 So far, so good.

THEN, dh comes to the new soap studio today to pick me up and says, “You aren’t gonna believe it. The alternator on the car is going out.” So…we drive the car (which is going progressively slower) to my friend Liz’s house, who luckily lives nearby, and borrow her Isuzu Pup for a couple of days until we can get the car fixed. Drop the car off at the garage, and here is where I start laughing hysterically…imagine fitting a good-sized car seat (you know how BULKY those thing are!), an irritable, car-less man, and a fairly pregnant woman into the tiny little seat of a Pup, which of course is also a stick shift, so not only do I have to squish way up against the car seat, the stick is also hitting me in the rear every time he shifts into 2nd or 4th gear. On a hot day, and with a bunch of groceries which were either on the WIC list or from the bargain bread store.

Halfway home, while I was *trying* valiantly NOT to just burst into semi-hysterical giggles, DH says, “Well, now I *really* feel low-income…I’m driving an Isuzu Pup with 2 seat belts, a floor full of WIC and day old bread stuff, AND you’re pregnant!!” I just lost it…haven’t laughed so hard in ages. And I didn’t tell him that the plates were expired on the truck! LOLOL Ah well, I am blaming it all on hormones and my refusal to give up in the face of these circumstances. 🙂 It just struck me as so funny…I kept thinking of the old television shows, where the trucks are piled high with kids and dogs and chickens and all….lololol…

I need to go lay down, methinks!