Even at my subarctic hovel, summer must come. By then I’d saved some scratch to install a furnace. At my leisure. No hurry at all. Cash. How cool is that?
Then the septic system went all third world on me. City dwellers might not realize this but people in the hinterlands have to pay to install their own personal septic system. “This is my septic tank, there are many like it but this one is mine…” It’s a lot like buying a good used car and then burying it. On the other hand we don’t pay monthly water or sewer bills because that would be Communist. We take a horrific financial body blow every few decades just to crap indoors. No wonder we listen to country music.
I was faced with a choice; spend money on the furnace or spend money on the septic. Given the choice I’d rather shit in the cold. I chose to ignore the furnace and put in a massive septic system which can flush a Buick. It was completed on the Fourth of July and while the excavator was there I put in a cement base for my flag pole. God bless America! Every time I flush I think of Old Glory and am happy that I live in this great nation of freedom!
Since I blew my money on the septic tank, I backed off on buying a replacement furnace. That was the choice I had made. It met with disapproval from practically every person I know. Americans, like politicians, have lost the ability to make choices. When they can’t afford to buy both A and B simultaneously they consider their options carefully and then BUY BOTH RIGHT NOW.
Meanwhile I’d made a big discovery. If you do not have a furnace you don’t need to buy fuel. If you don’t buy fuel you have more money in your pocket. How much more? A whole lot! (Which helped pay for the septic.)
I was delighted. We may have saved as much as two grand or more. I tried to explain my good fortune and got nowhere. Which leads me to a Curmudgeonly Gem of Insight:
“If you don’t spend money. You still have it.”
If you spend less than you normally would, you’ve improved the household bottom line. This is true even if it’s savings over several months. I know this. Everyone else lacks that level of mathematical reasoning and is busy reading People Magazine. In fact, Americans only recognize savings if you amass all the money at once, put it in a steel box, and beat them to death with it.
I didn’t care. I was on a roll.