We have one last home improvement project on our short-term list right now. We’re going to replace the doors in our upstairs hallway. There are four doors, and they’re all original to the house. They’re made of some sort of dark brown plastic material, molded to look like wood. Back when we started remodeling our kitchen in February, we found beautiful plain wood doors at Home Depot for $35 each, which have been sitting in our garage ever since, as we worked through all the other projects on our list. They’re just bare wood, so we have to stain and varnish them, cut holes for the door knobs, and attach the hinges. It will probably take us quite a while to get the first one done, and then we’ll know what we’re doing with the other three. I want to stain and varnish them outside, and leave them outside for a few days to get rid of the chemical smell before we put them in our house. My plan was to start on that tomorrow, but it’s looking like it might actually be a rainy weekend. Bummer that I can’t do the doors, but hooray for rain, since we’ve been in a drought pretty much all year long. I’m sure we’ll have lots more dry weekends when we can work on the doors!
So now I need to come up with indoor projects for the weekend. The computer that has our business finance tracking system on it hasn’t been working for the last few months, so I had reverted to old-school money tracking in a notebook. We got the computer working again this week, so now I need to sit down and update everything since May. That will take a while, but I’ll be glad to have everything back in a program where I can see totals as I go. Can’t believe I was still using just a notebook until the beginning of last year.
Another financial project… I am overdue to check my credit report. I usually check mine and my husband’s every four months (give or take a bit…), but having a baby this spring has thrown off a few of my routines. So now that I’ve remembered, it’s on my to-do list for the weekend. At the annual credit report website, you can pull a free report from each of the three credit reporting bureaus once a year – so you can get a different one every four months, and keep a pretty good eye on your credit. If you want your actual credit score, you’ll have to pay for it. Or you can use one of the many websites that offer free credit scores, but you’ll generally be enrolling in a credit monitoring service at the same time. Most of them have a free trial period, and you can cancel before the end of it to avoid getting charged. If you’re thinking about financing a major purchase, like a house or a car, knowing your credit score ahead of time could be a huge help. If it’s good, you’ve got bargaining power on your side. If it’s not so good, at least you’re not finding out when you’re sitting across from a guy in a fancy tie who’s telling you that you qualify – for a 13% interest rate. If your score turns out to be lower than you’d like, you might want to postpone the purchase and try to do some damage control on your credit first. Either way, seeing your credit report on a regular basis is a must, and knowing your credit score before you apply for a loan is a good idea. I haven’t seen our credit scores in years, but we’re not going to be applying for any loans anytime soon, so I’ll just stick with getting a free credit report, which I should have done about three months ago.
If it’s going to be rainy outside, I’m going to keep working on my indoor purging project. Living Cheap and Green has a reminder about how great Freecycle is, and I’m inspired to see how much stuff I can give away. I tend to donate it to my local Habitat for Humanity thrift store or put it on the free section of Craigs List, but Freecycle would be a good option too.
I need to alter some more of my son’s diapers. He weighs 16 pounds now, and the diapers that I didn’t alter last month need it now. There are only six of them, so it shouldn’t take long.
And just for fun, I want to make this wonderful-looking lemon cheesecake. I wish cashews weren’t so expensive. They seem to be in just about every raw dessert recipe. I usually substitute a cheaper nut like almonds or walnuts, but for a cheesecake texture they might be a necessity. But if I get all my other projects finished this weekend, I think a few scrapbook pages and a little cheesecake will be a perfect Sunday afternoon plan.