Welcome to the weekly thread for sharing your finds, hauls, tips and tricks.
Whether actual thrift store finds, a haul from couponing, something you found and put to use, or just a life change you wanted to share, it belongs here.
EDIT: SHOUT OUT TO WHOMEVER THE FUCK JUST GAVE ME MY FIRST GOLD. YOURE THE REAL MVP.
So my story has ended - but I felt the need to log on and write yet another update to anyone who remembers any of my rather unpopular posts about my electric bill. Hi. For anyone who isn't about to click any of those links up top, I'll run you through my issue real quick. I live in a condo with my husband. The first two months being here were fine - it's an older building but had been vacant for a complete remodel before we moved in. First tenants in the actual building itself, we're pretty sure. More start moving in, we notice our electric bill skyrocket. Our bills went from $82 a month in the 90 degree temps of August to $230-279 a month. I called the electric provider more times than either of us could count but they stood their ground that there was nothing wrong on their end. Someone, after 8 months of dealing with this, finally said it looks like I'm paying for another area and to ask my landlord to bring an electrician out. I did just that (finally) and the electrician was able to admit that we were in fact paying for more than our own electric. My last post was asking advice as to what my next move should be. You guys answered, I did some research and here is the outcome:
In my latest update, I was relieved to find out that an electrician hired by our building did in fact notice we were paying for our own unit's electric (he said) in addition to either another tenant's or the common area (he wasn't able to specify for us). The property manager accompanied the electron to my unit and also admitted the wrong doing. He said we would hear from him within 5 days to decide how we were going to fix this issue. My husband and I waited a week, two weeks and finally started emailing and calling - all of which went ignored. On day 18, I sent an email to the manager asking him to please update me on the status of this. He responded immediately, letting me know the landlord is sorry and is willing to reimburse me $130 ("that's more than half of the high bill last month") to correct the issue. I responded and said it was insulting that they thought $130 would make this go away when they were aware we'd been dealing with this since we moved in.
I contacted the electric company. They opened a foreign load case against my landlord and the building - stating on the phone that they were so glad an electrician found what they did and that it's so illegal to have a tenant paying for electric other than their own. I called the Illinois Commerce Commission thanks to another Redditor's advice, they also opened a foreign load case with the building and assigned me a case manager. Next, I contacted 6 tenant/landlord lawyers for free consultations. Most were helpful, one was heaven sent. She took notes and said she'd email me the following morning. So, I email the manager again. I let them know that we are asking for full reimbursement because I had been reading and it seems that under the Rental Property Utility Service's Act, we were entitled to full reimbursement on all bills until the issue is resolved properly in terms of fixing the wiring. They responded in such a patronizing way, telling me how well thought out my email was, that I gave it a good try but that it was all over the place, and that they absolutely were not reimbursing us for this issue entirely, no way in hell.
Lo and behold, my lawyer emails me the following morning just like she said she would. She wanted to let me know that she found out not only did my building fail both electrical inspections by the city's building inspector before anyone moved in, but that my building had actually had their electrical permit pulled and suspended and had never passed a final inspection. Ever. With this being the case, if they wanted to take this to court, they now were not only liable for full reimbursement but 3x the amount because it's deemed as "willfully done". Since their last email mocked my "attempt at researching the laws" against them in such a condescending way, I couldn't wait to send over this info.
I did just that. I typed out an email ya'll would be proud to read - or at least I was way too proud to send. I started with stating that I was aware this building had the permit pulled. I was aware that it never passed that final inspection. I was aware under the law I previously cited, I was entitled to full reimbursement. This was their last chance to credit the $1600 to my rental account or they would be speaking to my lawyer *insert her name* from here on out - because in court, I'd be receiving triple. They emailed me back a couple of hours later, obviously fuming and making snide comments before ending the email with "the amount has been credited in full to your account". I reminded that that I am not stopping either foreign load case I've started because this issue obviously needs to be corrected (so it doesn't continue to fucking happen next month and the one after that, so on and so forth) and he answered saying he would have an electrician out here June 20 (today, yay!) to have a look and let me know the outcome. Great, I absolutely will not be taking the word of an electrician you hired to do this inspection so you can have them say it's fine and avoid rewiring this building properly.
All in all - I did my research as best as I could, I talked to all resources that Redditors suggested and here I am coming out on the up and up. This never happens to me and I'm usually the laid back one who doesn't put up a fight but this felt so good to figure out I wasn't wrong. Thanks Reddit, that's all.
PS - for anyone asking why we didn't just go to court knowing we would get triple, the cost of hiring the lawyer here in Chicago, paying court fees, investing the time, etc. just isn't realistic for us at the moment. We just wanted the bills paid and the issue fixed without having to go through all of that if they were going to cooperate. In the event that they try avoiding fixing the wiring, yes, I will be calling that lawyer back and we will be seeing it through.
In short, on the upper end it was $4k at the shop vs $2k by myself. The car itself is only worth $500 at this point, so maybe this is the last time I do any more repairs on the car.
So I own a 1999 corolla. It's a hunk of junk but I've been keeping it alive for a decade now. It has yet to develop a truly unfixable problem. It's all been either routine stuff that goes bad since its hitting 240k miles, or salt damage from new england winters. Once it dies, I'm definitely getting another corolla/camry. Not only because I think they're reliable, but since I've developed so much specific knowledge of this type of car I'd be a fool not to continue to leverage it in the future.
Anyways, one of the brake lines started leaking and it made it worthwhile to get to a lot of other random repairs that I had been putting off. So out of curiousity, this last batch of fairly major repairs I put into a spreadsheet. I know working on my car is super cheap from a cash paid perspective, but obviously I spend TONS of time doing it, so I thought it'd be cool taking the opportunity cost into account too.
So I used a site repairpal to get estimates of the jobs, with highs and lows. I have no idea how legit these estimates are, and they may be higher since getting multiple jobs done saves time with the same steps overlapping while the site probably is assuming a la carte.
Anyways, I also combine the cost of the parts that I actually paid with my estimate of time taken for a high cost. It's also important to notice that you're paying for repairs in post-tax dollars, therefore you also have to put in post-tax real hourly wages. And then my guess what it would take if I had to do it again (for a low cost). Since most of my time is taken up by research and just being stumped when things don't go the right way. Then I get a total cost for myself.
One thing I noticed with doing repairs on an old car is that it actually levels with you. IE even though you've amassed knowledge and tools, the things that break become more obscure and/or they are way harder due to more and more rust accumulating. It's extremely frustrating to know that the last time something took 1 hour, and this time you're bogged down with more and more specialized tools, torches, cutting etc... and are now 5 hours in trying to solve the puzzle.
One last thing I want to mention is that these repairs I would say are fairly advanced, and I do not recommend people to attempt all repairs like I do. Over time I found it more and more fun to do repairs. I put on a show in the background and I don't even realize the hours going by. But you're not saving money if you're miserable and increasing the chance of hurting yourself. The other thing is I'm not taking into account the accumulation of tools I've bought over the years. But those have lifetime warranties and I hope to use them for a long long time.
Some rando tips:
I drive an '09 Subaru Forester. The keyfob remote is good for locking, unlocking, and screaming bloody murder. That's it.
So you can imagine my surprise when I called the parts department of my local dealership to find out how much a new one would cost, they quoted me $167. For a fob that can un/lock my doors. Can't start it, can't open the trunk, doesn't have a key with a special chip, can't do the proximity thing that unlocks the car by being near it.
Seriously? I laughed in his face and popped over to amazon. Didn't like their offerings so I tried ebay and snagged a fob for $25. Got it programmed and works like a charm.
So I have 3 cats, and have had great results with the Seresto flea and tick collars. Living in New England the ticks have just gotten worse and worse the last few years and it's about time to re-up their collars. I am not looking to switch brands and these are working great for us.
They're about $55 on Amazon each, lasting 8 months once you open them and put them on the pet. I happened to just see some on Ebay for about $33 up per collar. From what I can gather these are the same product but branded for other countries. Am I crazy to consider this? I'd be saving a decent amount of money - the two sellers I saw had great reviews overall.
June 15th was my move-in date, but because of unexpected maintenance work (previous renter was there for 5 yrs) - it was postponed a week.
I got the keys today and the only thing done is carpet - which is bubbled and done poorly. Still waiting for them to replace cracked windows, fix the holes in the walls, paint, etc.
I’ve taken it upon myself to deep clean, scrub the grout, replace socket covers (what are they called?), etc etc.
I paid half a month’s rent to move-in, but I’m putting in a lot of elbow grease and time. I paid my deposit/rent in full. Is it too crazy of me to ask for my half month payment to go towards July? I’m doing THEIR job, and won’t actually have appropriate living quarters until another week.
Edit: I am a single mom with a 2 year old, or I wouldn’t care so much about broken windows and such.
Been thinking about getting one since i quite often buy meats then wrap in plastic wrap and freeze. Anyone using a vacuum sealer? Is it any better than plain cheap plastic wrap.
What I love about living in a small town is that I rent the upstairs of a lake house for $300 a month (soon to be $175 with a roomie), got my timing belt changed recently for $120, and never get parking tickets. Small towns usually have people who are supportive and community driven, so if I need to borrow tools people are generally happy to help.
Recently it struck me that for those like myself paying off student loans-- (IF you can find the right job) living in a small town might be a great way to get ahead.
Pros: Cheap rent. Cheaper services. People are relaxed and don't jump you for every mistake. Less daily travel time.
Cons: Few young people (if you're in your 20's) Sometimes it helps to have grown up in a small town to have really solid connections-- they can be cliquey and exclusive. Reputation matters-- could be a pro! Just don't be a jerk. Groceries may cost more.
Hi guys, I know this is a topic that comes up relatively frequently but i wanted to get some new input. So i have a 2012 Kia Optima with about 140,000 miles. It is a bit high and unfortunately I've been in few accidents. I recently had a $2,000 repair due to a leak in timing valve and got new set of brakes. Due to high mileage, i have some expensive maintenance that must also be done, been quoted about $1,000 but i can do most of them for about $200. Recently my vent mode actuator went to crap and I couldn't do the repair myself....
I'm at a point of debating if i should just trade this car in and get a new or lightly used car, or just limp it along.
I know I'll continue to have repairs coming up at this point, nothing major yet but i drive at least 20,000 miles per year and I'm not sure how to calculate which ia the better way to go?
I'm planning on buying a hybrid, either a Prius or Niro, so I'll also be saving gas.... i currently get 23-26mpg and i expect to get about 46 mpg on the new car. (My daily commute consists of city, then 80mph on the high way with periodic stop and go traffic.... so really crappy for mpg...) the will be a decent savings from burning half the gas as i currently do, so I'm personally leaning towards the trade in option....
Thanks for the help guys!!
Came on to post this and saw the other helpful trending thread about cleaning refrigerator and HVAC coils. Just had an HVAC tech out today for a tune up and it put me in mind of other maintenance tasks around the house:
Which tasks do you make part of your routine? How frequently? How easy is it to DIY vs should you have a professional out?
Some examples I can think of are changing your home air filters (the type in the ceiling... Are there more I should be aware of??), lubricating and doing safety checks on your garage doors every few months, stuff like running a clean cycle on your washing machine (anyone have input on this?) Or flushing the lint from your dryer outlet (how frequently do you all do this?)
Is buying premium air filters for the house worth it in your opinion? Random appliance maintenance that helps extend the life?
Throw me all your tips, please. Thanks!
So I was driving on the highway and the car in front ran over a big piece of tire, this cause said piece to pop up in the air and hit my bumper at like 75 mph.
It's left 4 quarter sized paint chips on the bumper. Car is white so they are pretty obvious, and the bumper looks a little bit miss aligned with the hood now.
Obvious options are:
1) Try to go through insurance: Deductible is $1000 on comprehensive, so this is not going to be a good idea
2) Pay for the fix myself: Could cost anywhere from 200-1000 I guess depending if the place just paints the bumper with cheap stuff or some better shop wants to make it look good as new.
3) Leave it as it is, it's purely cosmetic.
Car is a 2014 Subaru XV with 70k miles. I probably plan to own it either until it's worthless or some major life change happens that requires getting a different car (think kids or something)
The damage doesn't bother me but I do wonder what happens if I do have to sell the car? How bad is something like that going to effect the value?
Christmas is obviously a horrible time of year to travel, but I have just moved to the States from Melbourne (Aus) and would love to see my family for Christmas. Given the time zones, I would have to leave LAX on the 22nd to arrive on Xmas Eve, but my return date back is quite flexible.
Is it cheaper to: A) purchase flights as early as possible (like now) B) jump at an available seat last minute C) wait for a sale on some site
And additionally, are there apps/sites that send you notifications of flight sales for the city/route you want?
In short, what's the cheapest time of year to buy international Xmas flights, and from where?
My dad got me 6 big rolls of toilet paper from CostCo, and I bought 4 rolls of Angel Soft because I was desperate (I'm on one roll of Angle Soft right now)
Hey all - Moving to the city without a car, but in order to make it around to grocery stores, my gym, and anywhere else out of reach, I was planning to purchase a cheap bike. I know literally nothing about bikes, but does anyone have any advice on where to look and what to look for? I was setting my budget to $100, if possible.
I don't know how many gamers are on here but here is something for the frugal gamer. Been an avid gamer all my life. However, recently, through various moves, I found myself in a situation where I simply couldn't justify the upfront costs of gaming given how little time per week I am able to spend on the hobby (little in my opinion, pretty sure the average person thinks that I am an avid gamer) Even with the Xbox one going on sale I still couldn't justify such a large purchase. Having researched a bunch of alternative options (emulators, gaming on my android cellphone, and playing old games on my 2012 laptop), I simply couldn't satisfy my craving to finish playing The Witcher 3. Here is a solution that I found that I am very happy with and was ridiculously surprised that it is not more talked about. I've been into gaming and technology all my life and have never heard of anyone even remotely mentioning it. Granted, it's a fairly new option.
Cloud gaming - It's cheap (about .40 - .80 per hour), has no upfront costs (in Google's case they even give you a $300 credit), and requires nothing more than a decent internet connection and any average, old laptop (I haven't quite experimented with just how far down the specs list you can go). Here is a small rundown of the top three platforms that I found to be best bangs for your buck type of thing. Note: your internet should be 10 mbps or higher. Edit: Forgot mention that you pay for what you use per hour and, unless you setup through Parsec, you don't even pay the use time upfront but at the end of the month.
Google Cloud: cost - 5/5, setup - 2/5. This is by far the best deal money wise because Google gives you a $300 trial credit that is good for a year, which translates to a LOT of gaming hours. Unfortunately, Google's platform is the most difficult to setup out of the three. Don't get me wrong you don't need to be a technology wizard but it is a platform that is used mostly by very large companies with IT departments and a lot of software engineers, which means that their UI isn't exactly meant for the average consumer. Having said that, it is not all that difficult either:
- Open a free trial account
- Go to "Cloud Launcher", "Compute Engine", "Go To Compute Engine", "Create Instance"
- Under "Region", select USCentral, USEast, USWest, or Northamerica-northeast (at the time of this writing, UScentral and USEast are the only servers with GPU options). Then select any zone (not sure if there is a way to check to see where the zone is at since you want the one closest to you).
- Under "Machine Type", I recommend "4vCPU 15 GB Memory". Best bang for the bang in my opinion.
- Under "Boot Disk", select "Windows Server 2016 Datacenter". Make sure that you pick the one that says "Server with Desktop Experience" underneath. I chose 300 gb of space. Choose the amount that you think you'll need for your games.
- At this point you might notice that the "per month" estimates in the right hand corner are looking rather large. Don't panic. Those estimates are based on running the server 24/7. You'll only be using it when you game. Which brings me to a rather important point, DO NOT FORGET to turn your server off when you are done gaming (not your real pc, the actual virtual server that you created). Otherwise you'll run out of money rather quickly. You can also set it up to turn off automatically after a period of inactivity.
- Under "Machine Type", on the right hand side, click "customize" and then click "GPU". Under "Number of GPUs" select 1 and choose the NVIDEA Tesla K80 under "type".
- Click "create" on the bottom of the screen
- It will give you an error saying you don't have enough quota. Click on "Request Increase". Click on "Metric", "None", and then select "NVIDEA K80 GPU". On the list below find your location, click on the box on the left and click on "Edit Quota". Select 1 under what amount to increase it by and as for the reason, I just wrote "Need the GPU API for my virtual machine." I don't think that it really matters what you type.
- Now you just wait for them to approve it, which admittedly can take several days. After the setup, you have two choices of connecting your virtual machine: use remote SSH client like Terminal in Linux or Mac or SSH in Windows, or you can use the free Parsec client (my preference).
Paperspace: cost - 4/5, setup - 4/5. You can get a $10 credit to your Paperspace account by applying a code (there is a lot of them all of over the net) which will be good for about 25 hours or so of gaming. Paperspace has two options: one that costs .40 per hour and a .60 per hour. This is really just depends on if you want to run all your games on normal/high to ultra setting for AAA blockbusters. The setup is really quite simple with Paperspace as most of their virtual machines are preloaded for you.
- Create an account. On the website, click on "Billing" and enter one of the promo codes that you found online to get your $10. Next, click on your icon in the top right hand corner and select "Help/Support", click "Submit a Request" in the top right hand corner and fill out the former asking for the GPU options to be unlocked. I just wrote "Need a GPU for a cloud gaming setup." I got a reply within a couple of hours.
- Once you receive your confirmation that the GPU options have become unlocked, click on "Home", "Create a Cloud VM +", select your region (US west, US East, or Europe), select "Windows 10 Dataserver". Next, select "hourly" and choose between the P4000 or the P5000 (as I mentioned above it's the difference between high and ultra graphics).
- For storage, I selected 250 gb because I have quite a few large games that I didn't want to have to download/delete when I wanted to play something else but I think the 100 gb option would have been fine. I don't think that I would recommend the 50 gb option. Note: you can not change your storage later and if you want to upgrade or downgrade, you'll have to create a new virtual machine. Not a big deal, just something to keep in mind.
- Deselect "Autosnapshot", and click "Create Your Paperspace". You are Done. You can connect to your virtual machine through an SSH client like Terminal in Linux or Mac or SSH in Windows, or you can use the free Parsec client (my preference).
Parsec: cost - 3.5-4/5, setup 5/5. You don't get any freebies with this option but it is by far the easiest to setup. You can be up and running in minutes. Download the Parsec client from their website.
- Create an account, open the client, and click on "Play". Select the option that suits you best (I chose the Paperspace P4000 with 250 gb of storage).
- Load the account with 10 dollars, click play and connect to your machine. Done.
Honorable mention: Vortex. I haven't tried it myself, but Vortex looks like another viable option. It requires almost no setup on your part and costs $10 dollars per month. However, it is not a virtual machine and you can only the games that are in their library (100). A lot of the games you get for free through your subscription but other ones you have to buy through, their original client (like Steam). It's not a bad option but it wasn't for me because they didn't have a lot of the games that I was interested in playing.
You can use any controllers that you have with these systems and obviously, since these are virtual machine, you get your entire Steam library. You get to set it up just how you want to and all your games will get stored on the servers (no need to set them up every time), which allows you to game from virtually anywhere with an average connection and a working computer. Just really surprised that this isn't a more talked about option and I thought that maybe it was due to a lack of tutorials.
Edit: If anyone is interested in doing this but is struggling with the setup just PM me and I'll help you out.
I'm moving to queens. I have a car and I don't want to park it in the city as its hella expensive.
Anyone know a decent join I could leave it? Covered in a tarp probably, I'd prefer maybe even on the mta line north to Connecticut as I'd only drive it once in awhile in Ct.
Hello, I was wondering if anyone had any advice as to what would be more worth it between buying and leasing a car. My budget is ~$10k and I was thinking of buying a used car but I heard that leasing a car may be an even better option for saving money (and stress) in the long run. Any insight or advice would be appreciated!
I live in the Northeast and the climate in summer is around 80s-90s with high humidity. There is almost no wind where I live and I'm in a garden level apartment so windows aren't the best option.
Is a dehumidifier a good investment?
Get professional help if you don't know what you are doing.
TY in advance for the help!
I just had twins, and with a 2 year old on top, the Kia Soul and Hyundai Elantra my wife and I are driving no longer really fit us. The Soul we purchased after a lease with 48 months left on a 72 month loan; the Elantra is a lease with 11 payments left.
My parents gifted us a used SUV in great shape which we own outright. My thinking/goal now would be to trade in both of the smaller cars to purchase a larger. However, the balance of the lease has to be paid off and we're upside down on the Soul. I've found a couple dealers willing to take both cars and pay off the balance as well as to sell me a new 3rd row SUV. The current cheapest offer is $440/month with nothing down (on an 84 month loan), which is much more than I'm paying for one car alone but less than what I'm currently making on car payments.
Does this make financial sense? I dont really want to keep the Kia at this point and I won't buy the Elantra when the lease terminates. I don't have the cash on hand to make up the difference on the Kia to sell it outright to a dealer, and I'm moving cross country next week so putting it online and waiting to see if someone will bite at the total buyoff amount isn't feasible. I would prefer to not pay off the lease early just to turn the car in early (but Hyundai doesn't allow a lease transfer so I can't xfer it to a 3rd party).
I understand I'd be paying more per month and that I'd be paying more in interest (though the interest on the Soul plus the lease payments on the Hyundai would be more than the interest paid on the 84 month loan), but I'd end up owning a car that actually fits my family and that makes more sense to keep long term. Is this a reasonable solution or is there some other way to work this I'm not seeing?
To some, it may seem like a tall order. I'm interested in a frugal lifestyle, just not a cheap one. My emergency fund is good (needs a little more rounding out) and my husband and I both are seeking promotions right now (prospects are looking good)! Almost all of my husband's medical debt is gone ($700 left), and I'm almost finished with my bachelor's degree (no student loans!). Sooooo money is on the up and up but I don't really own any furniture. Just my bed, a coffee table, and my tv/consoles. What is the best way to buy quality furniture without breaking the bank? I know I'm looking at spending more now than I would with craigslist furniture, but I plan on using this furniture for a long time.
Frugality is the mental approach we each take when considering our resource allocations. It includes time, money, convenience, and many other factors.
Everyone has their own definition of frugality, and reason for being frugal. Discuss and debate, but don't fight over it, or be condescending to those who do not share your particular view on frugality.
Be informative. If posting a deal, haul or find, provide information detailing the location and nature of the deal, and how others can achieve the same result.
If you just want to show something off, please adhere to the guideline above, or save it for the weekly thread.
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