Spending to Save?

As I posted about a few days ago, Haley and I added to our family a little over a week ago.  Clearly, we knew our first child was on the way for quite some time and we planned on saving as much money as we could so that we could pay cash for her hospital stay.  We did achieve our goal, but as always we ran into old Murphy’s Law and were forced to spend on some things now that should help us save money in the future.

The first thing that happened was my garage door opener (we have a split garage, so we have two) went out and needed to get replaced.  It took shorter than I expected to get it replaced and since Haley was already on her maternity leave we didn’t have to take time off work.  This is the one repair that happened that doesn’t directly translate into savings in the future.  We don’t benefit much from the change, except it’s a lot quieter and it works a lot better than our last one.  My fear is that this is an indicator that our other opener is on its last legs and may need to get replaced soon.  That being said, I’m so happy to have a garage door opener that isn’t so loud that it wakes up the entire neighborhood when it opens.  That is the other benefit since two rooms in our house are located directly over our garage.

The second thing we’ve done in the past couple of weeks is to refinance our house.  In all honesty, this is a no-brainer for us and we started it about a month ago, but it all culminated this week.  We refinanced to a 30 year fixed-rate mortgage that was at a considerably lower interest rate.  This lowers our monthly rate be a few hundred dollars and gives our budget a little more flexibility in the coming months with a new baby.  We wrapped most of our closing costs into the new mortgage and only had to pay a few hundred dollars, but we will get some money back from escrow and our old mortgage company.  This is going to be huge for us down the road because we will probably never see interest rates this low for a long time and our local bank and title company has been wonderfully accommodating since we have a newborn to schedule around.

The last thing that we’ve had to spend money on is we had to buy a new dryer.  Since we’ve moved into our house about two years ago our dryer has been spotty at best.  We have days that it works perfectly and days that it won’t dry a thing.  We reached our breaking point this week with it and ordered a new one.  Before this I tried everything to give it a last burst of usefulness.  I cleared the vent on the indoor and outdoor side with a nifty little brush, changed the basic dryer hose with a semi-rigid hose to promote air flow, and even took a leaf blower to the vent to clear it all out.  When all of this didn’t work we decided to have it replaced with a newer model.  This model is going to be more efficient and will no doubt dry clothes faster than our current one.  On top of that, we cleaned out the fire hazard that was our clogged venting, so this was a no brainer.

All these things were stressful decisions to make because we were eating into savings, but in the end they will for sure make living with an infant much easier and cost efficient.  I think sometimes I get caught up in the short term without thinking about the long-term implications.  Either that or I’m rationalizing the spending of a lot of money.  I think that these were the best decisions for my family both now and in the future.

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