How To Spend $10,000 In 3 Days

Monday was Memorial Day, which as we all know, is the traditional American holiday to purchase a new mattress. Since our mattress is about 15 years old and decidedly saggy, we decided to take advantage of the sales and splurge on a brand new, not saggy mattress and box spring. Are we fancy or what?

When we first moved into our home, our queen-sized box spring would not fit up the stairs, so we had to get rid of it. Consequently, we have been sleeping on the mattress by itself, supported by 2 X 10s on the bed frame. Over the years, without the support of the box spring, it has gotten rather lumpy and uncomfortable. I frequently wake up with pretty uncomfortable lower back pain. We have been wanting to replace our bed for a while, but frankly just couldn’t afford it.

However, recent events conspired to make our dream of a new, non-back-ache-inducing bed a reality. I was recently contacted by our mortgage company with an offer to refinance our mortgage into a lower interest rate loan. Additionally, because we have been exemplary customers, they would pay all the closing costs. We will save $150 on our mortgage payment, pay nothing out of pocket, and cut two years off the loan, as we are refinancing into a shorter term loan. Done and done!

Since the closing will be sometime the middle of June, the mortgage broker (or whatever those guys are called) told us that we would not have a July mortgage payment, and would only pay half the June payment (it made sense when he explained it to me, I swear). We quickly decided that we would use the windfall to purchase a new bed, and get the air conditioning fixed in the car (that’s right, we have no air conditioning in our car – sigh).

However, since all the big sales were Memorial Day weekend, we decided to go ahead and purchase the bed to take advantage of the sale prices. We chose the same brand, since we have been happy with it, with a split queen box spring which will fit up the stairs, and a new, non-squeaky bed frame. My husband also got one of those nifty cooling pillows to replace the horrifyingly old dust mite colony that he currently uses for a pillow. Altogether, it came to around $1400. However, since our current mattress lasted 15 years, I figure it’s a pretty good deal in spite of the price tag. (Also, when did mattresses start costing $4000?! I got total sticker shock in the showroom.)

The new mattress will be delivered next week, the short delay due to the special order for the box springs. After we left the mattress store, I decided that I would like a new pillow as well (I have had the same one for something like 8 years, so I am due). We swung by one of those bed, bath, kitchen, marshmallow shooter stores, where I found just what I was looking for.

Skip ahead to yesterday. I had scheduled our semi-annual heat / AC maintenance to coincide with my vacation. I like to be here when the guys come. In case they do any repairs, I like to watch and pick up tips. We have been having a problem with our upstairs unit for a couple of years. It works fine, but it doesn’t drain properly, and the unit gets pretty saturated with water whenever we use the A/C, particularly in the kind of hot, humid weather that we have been having. When the fellow looked at it yesterday, he was extremely concerned as all the wires and control boards were soaked with water. Also, the blower motor was leaking oil badly. He estimated repairs would cost around $2500. Oh, and in it’s current state, it is a total fire hazard, so he had to disable it completely or our house will catch fire.

Since the unit is about 14 or 15 years old, I asked the fellow, “How much to just replace it?” The answer, “Between $6000 and $8500, depending on what you get”. Oh, and that includes a 10 year parts warranty and 2 year labor warranty from our heat and air company, not to mention the 5 year warranty from the manufacturer. Done and done!

So, the first guy called another guy, who came out to the house, and priced out the unit for us. Equipment, installation, and everything else, minus our customer loyalty discount brought it to just over $7500. The new unit will be substantially more efficient that the old one, saving us money each month, and will be better able to handle humidity. Also, they will be replacing the drip pan and drain lines, so no more issues there.

Of course, since it only got really hot within the last two weeks, the AC company is swamped and cannot install the new unit until next week. Since it is supposed to be in the 90s this weekend, we hit the Home Depot and purchased an inexpensive window AC unit (we selected a small LG model priced at $139). The installation instructions called for installing a platform and screwing all kinds of brackets and stuff into the window frame. However, we paid a cr@pload of money several years ago for super nice windows, and there is no way on God’s green earth that I am going to punch them full of screw holes for an AC unit that we will only use for two weeks.

So instead, we improvised. We placed some old bed slats on the sill to make it level, then installed the window unit as securely as possible. As you can see, we used a towel on one side to compensate for the fact that I refused to attach the AC curtain to the window frame. And take note of the high-tech “curtain length restrictors” which prevent the curtains from hanging in front of the unit (clothespins). And yes, that is a stuffed cow pillow on a chair in front of the unit. Little Fifi wuvs her cow pillow!

Soooo, that is how you spend $10,000 in 3 days. Look at me, I’m a fricking princess with my fancy non-sagging mattress and air conditioning system that won’t burn my house down.

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