Act 323

Do a little DIY

Our thoughts have turned to Christmas. We’re expecting the visit of some of our favourite people.

Our home is comfy, cozy and small. It’s also in dire need of more storage space

So with two sheets of plywood, some two by fours, a talented and patient husband and a lick of paint, we’re well into the conversion of our upstairs storage area into a proper bedroom. We’ll hide all the storage under the bed platform and improve the look of our home.

It doesn’t have to be a major reno to have a major impact. Many years ago, we added a small deck to our backyard. It added ┬ásignificant value to our home.

You just need a simple plan. Our minor reno will cost less (and look much nicer) than the stack of not so neatly piled tupperware bins that pass for storage now). And our guests will have a special spot crafted just for them.


Act 311

Check your deductibles

I renewed my car insurance today. The agent suggested I drop the deductible from $500 to $300. Because my car is over ten years old, the saving of having a higher deductible is only $20. It would be more if my car were newer. So I’ll pay the extra $20 per year for the lower deductible. It’s a gamble I’ll take.

Same goes for home insurance. They are savings to be had if you up your deductible from $500 to $1,000.

Talk to your broker and explore as many options you can to get the coverage you need at a price you can afford on your assets, not your liabilities. Which means, never ever get credit card or mortgage insurance if you can avoid it. You’re paying to protect your creditors from you. That should be illegal if you ask me.

And while we’re on the topic of insurance, think twice about extended warranty packages. Studies have shown that, statistically speaking, they are not worth the expense. But again, if you’re making a large purchase such as a television, computer or appliance, check the facts, and ask if there’s a limited warranty as part of your purchase decision.

Insurance, in my view, is a necessary evil. It’s a major, and mostly useless expense in our personal budget. So when I do have to deal with it, I insist on good service and ask many questions because I don’t want to get a nasty surprise if I ever do have to make a claim.