This is only my first apartment, so obviously I’m no expert, but these are the things I do to keep down my utility bills and save money:
- Use as much natural light as possible. I have three windows in my apartment and unless I’m naked, I keep the blinds open and the lights off. Besides, natural light is prettier.
- I turn off any lights I’m not using.
- Turn down/off the heat at night and when I leave the apartment. No point in heating an empty apartment and at night I load up on blankets and clothes to keep me warm. Plus my heater heats up the room so quickly that it’s better to just throw off a blanket if I get hot than to get up 5 times during the night to fiddle with the thermostat.
- I keep most of the kitchen appliances unplugged since I only use them every few days.
- Reach for a sweater before you reach for the thermostat. I opt for warmer clothes before changing the settings on my heater.
- I use the dishwasher over hand washing dishes. It actually uses only a few gallons of water. I put it on the energy saver dry setting so the dishes will air dry.
My electricity bill is usually between $40-$50 in the winter. The last one was $18 (used almost no heat). I think that’s pretty good. The power company has quoted me bills in this apartment and others during winter as much as $150! The water and gas bills are pretty constant. Now I’m researching how to keep down AC bills as the Hotlanta summer comes. Got any tips?
Hi there. I took an impromptu blogging vacation. I started a new waitressing job on the weekends and it’s taken some time to get used to my new schedule. Here’s what I did while away:
- Started a garden! I planted onions, garlic, lettuces, and spinach. The lettuce seedlings and one garlic are beginning to sprout, but no action yet from the other plants. I plan to add herbs, tomatoes, potatoes, and maybe a few flowers in hanging baskets. I’m really excited to turn my back porch into a green garden.
- I modeled for my first and second sculptures. They look awesome. I’ve been working with artist Basil Watson for a while now and I really like his work. I also have been modeling for some painters and one student let me have his oil painting of me!
- Read The Hunger Games series. OMG. I haven’t been so absorbed in a story for a long time. I love stories about future dystopias and how they work, so thee novels were right up my alley. I’m tempted to read them over again because they are that good. Thanks so much to Kelly for recommending it and to the Dragon*Con librarians who told her about it.
- I did karaoke for the first time at a friend’s 40th birthday party. It’s a lot more fun than I expected and not as embarrassing. We had a crazy mix of songs from Johnny Cash to Kanye West to Iron Maiden. It was one of the best parties ever. It makes me really pumped for my 21st birthday next month!
- I’ve been playing Miss Moderator for the Atlas Shrugged Reading Group for ATLOS. It’s been going well and another ASRG has sprung up. So my group will now be ASRG 1. I really look forward to getting farther into the novel and digging into deeper discussions about the characters’ psychology and overarching themes of the novel.
- I completed teaching my second session at the local homeschool co-op. ASL class has been fabulous and I’m constantly surprised by the kids memory and ability to catch onto the language. Each class is energizing and fun. We have a great little group going. Next year I plan to break up the class into ASL 1 and 2, so I’ll spend the summer doing a lot of research on teaching higher level ASL.
- Had an awesome idea that relates to the blog and might turn a profit in the long run. More on that later.
I stumbled across these videos last night. It’s from my senior year when 7 senior boys decided to challenge each other to eat a Whopper with 14 patties on it. And at least 50 people showed up to watch, myself included, to cover it for the school paper. Oh. My. God. Talk about small town, huh?
None of it is edited, so it’s really not worth watching both all the way through. But see if you can spot high school me walking around.
2010 was a great year. Time to do even better.
- Become financially stable: I need a steady job. Figure modeling is great, but not always reliable. I at least need a reliable part-time job that I can fall back on if babysitting or modeling is light. And it needs to be a job I enjoy, because I obviously can’t stand working even a mildly bad job for too long. So it’s back to waitressing! As soon as I get back in town I’ll be applying like hell for serving gigs, as well as trying to book up January with modeling. Once I’m stable I won’t have to panic about money and I can start saving up for future purchases and a rainy day fund.
- Get back to good eating: I’ve completely fallen off the wagon eating paleo. Especially over the holidays, I’ve looked at sugary, grainy confections and thought “Just this one exception.” But I’m making exceptions almost every day. I’ve been getting caught in sugar cycles and the cravings are coming back. Need to reel it in and get back to more meats and veggies. I plan to download more recipes, cook more at home, and do stricter shopping. I plan to update more about food on the blog too, which is incentive to keep eating well.
- Enroll in a dance class: I miss dance. A lot. Also, I could do with some more exercise in my life since I’m no longer walking everywhere like I did in college. And it will make me a better model. I’d like to do a few different classes: definitely a ballet class for classical training and a fun class, something like jazz, swing, hip-hop, or burlesque. I definitely want to pick a class where I can perform again. As soon as I get financially stable, dance classes will be one of my first investments.
- Get more involved with Atlanta Objectivist Society: I like socializing with the local Objectivists and I’d like to work more with them more to promote my values. So I plan to do as much as I can to promote and organize ATLOSCON and I’m considering moderating an Atlas Shrugged discussion group. (I really enjoyed the breakout groups to discuss Atlas at the Clemson Summer Conference.)
- Make my apartment feel like home: I want my apartment to be my own space. I want it to reflect my personality, be a place to bring friends and family, and be a safe haven for me to work and relax. Through thrift store shopping, lots of DIY, and borrowing concepts from the Not So Big House series, I plan to slowly cultivate my apartment into a place of my very own. I also plan to phase out the cardboard furniture and plastic cutlery with real tables and silverware. It’s a dream I’ve had since high school and I’m very excited to bring it to reality.
- See more of Atlanta: I want to get to know the city better. See the sights. I definitely want to explore Little Five Points more. And a better understanding of Atlanta roads would be nice. It’s also important to explore new museums and galleries in the city to meet new artists and build clients.
There’s more I want to do and I’m sure new goals will come up as my life changes, but I’m more likely to stick to this list if it’s short and sweet. What are your plans for the new year?
My brother and sister are weirdos. But I love them. And I miss them.
P.S. We need a picture of all of us when I come home.
While I was away from my blog I was having a spectacular time. Here are some highlights from my break:
- Travis and Colleen’s wedding! There was dancing, amazing food, new people to meet, and all my friends were all prettied up! It was a beautiful event with a view of the skyline. After the reception we all went to a nearby bar and celebrated Jenn’s 40th birthday at midnight!
- My boyfriend visited from Texas. It was great to get some quality time with him. We watched a ton of movies, cooked, hung out with friends, and generally lounged about.
- I got to show off my apartment to my friends and we toasted with champagne. I can’t wait to whip the place into shape for more socializing. Game night!
- I cooked a paleo(ish) Thanksgiving dinner all by myself! I made duck, roasted grape tomatoes, and potatoes cooked in duck fat with Ben and Jerry’s for dessert. It was a nice little meal, given that it was just for two and I am working with limited kitchen ware. We ate everything in one go and I made stock with the leftover bones.
- Kelly had a small read aloud at her house. It was so much fun! There was a fire and drinks and I felt like we were in a modern day salon! I didn’t read, but Morgan and I did perform “Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer” in sign language. I hope to do it again soon.
- I got started on Christmas decorations. I love Christmas. It’s so sparkly and benevolent. I’m making my own decorations out of paper, yarn, and a few knick-knacks from the craft store. I’ll be sure to post more about that later.
I’m really excited about everything going on in my life at the moment. I’ve finally gotten past most of the yuckiness of trying secure a job and roof over my head. I’m back on my feet and working towards new goals for the future. (That’s another post to come.) All in all I am super happy and plan to continue kicking ass.
Hooray for me! I am FINALLY in my apartment. It took a lot of bouncing around to get here, but it’s all been worth it to get my own place. Thank you so much to everyone who’s given me support. A BIG thanks to Michael and Jessica Stone, who took me in for a month and a half after my nanny gig. Without they’re help and generosity I’d be back in Kentucky for sure.
My place isn’t much yet. No real furniture or anything. Just bare walls and a pile of boxes in the corner. I’ve gone thrift store shopping for some kitchen ware, but not much else. Hopefully I can get my stuff moved down from Kentucky soon and it will start to feel more home-like. And then maybe I can have a house-warming party.
So far my biggest excitements have been grocery shopping and the subsequent cooking. I really look forward to cooking m own meals and experimenting. I’m also excited for the challenge of trying to make delicious food on a shoestring budget.
I really want to get this place in shape by Thanksgiving. We’ll see if my budget will allow. Stay tuned for updates.
Not that I have the budget for much of any of this at the moment, but I do look longingly at these home decorations and imagine them in my own apartment. Someday I’ll get this place together.
I move into my very first apartment on Monday! It’s an itty bitty little studio in a cute apartment complex. I really like and I’m SO looking forward to living on my own. After bouncing around from dorms to home to living with my boss to living with friends, the chance to have my own place sounds like paradise (despite not having my furniture and TV for a few weeks).
I can’t wait to go shopping for kitchen stuff and start decorating the place. My life in Atlanta is FINALLY coming together. Yay!