One of the challenges of early retirement is learning to live within a (smaller than we were used to) fixed income. There isn’t a lot of wiggle room, and making a big purchase means the money has to come out of our investment savings. That’s okay… we’ve built in a buffer to cover the occasional larger expenditure. After all, houses do need occasional maintenance and repair. Appliances will eventually fail and need to be replaced. And, lets admit it, once in a while we’ll want to take a bigger vacation than simply traveling around the province in our camper. But when the possibility of a large expense comes up, we need to do a lot of research on it first. We can’t just order it and be done.
What “came up” was the hot summer weather versus the smoked glass ceiling on our covered deck! 27º in the yard sends temperatures on the deck soaring towards 40° (that’s pushing 100° for you Fahrenheit friends.) Unlivable. And it was heating the rest of the house up something terrible, as well!
Enter the need for a sunshade. Mr C went on-line and found a variety of sunshades. The cheapest he could come up with that would cover the entire deck was going to cost us $1,700. With tax & gas, that comes to $1,870+.
But wait! I had been at the thrift shop just the day before and purchased a couple of large, light grey sheets that I thought I could use for quilt backings or to work out the kinks on a dress pattern with. Sunshade cost breakdown (drum roll, please!)
Two thrift store sheets: $2.00
one roll of clothesline: $4.00
assorted hardware: $2.00
TOTAL SUNSHADE: $8.00
Money saved: $1,862. One thousand, eight hundred and sixty two dollars, folks!
We were back out on the deck eating supper and enjoying a nice glass of chilled white wine that very evening.