We Paid Cash! Our a/c unit

We paid CASH.  Cold hard cash.  Well, actually it wasn’t cold or hard, it was rather papery and room temperature.  But it was CASH.  No credit, no loan from the bank, but CASH.  Cash we had saved and counted, and saved and counted, and saved and counted some more.  Like a kid with their piggy bank, I’d count through that slowly growing pile of cash, just to make sure I’d counted right.  And finally the day came that there was enough.  Enough to pay for our central a/c unit.

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There is just no way to completely describe how it felt to pay cash for a high dollar item.  Cash that we had accumulated ourselves over a 2 year period, carefully stashing it away, so we could pay for it upfront instead of borrowing or using credit.  I dislike using credit cards.  There are times I can’t get around it, but I cut mine up over 2 years ago and I’ve never missed it.  I should have done it years ago.  My hubby still has one for the things we have to use one for, things we don’t want to use a debit card for, but it’s not riding around in my purse and it’s not at my fingertips to use when I see a ‘great deal’ that I just can’t pass up.

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So we paid cash.  If you have done the same you know what I mean about the almost giddy feeling it creates.  Just knowing it is paid for and there won’t be a monthly payment is so freeing and liberating.  I don’t like those monthly bills very well.  Some we’ll always have of course, as long as we want electric and running water and internet and phones.  But the mortgage and credit lines and credit card bills don’t have to be.  Debt free has such a sweet ring to it.

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I had a bit of fun playing with the money before we paid the guy who installed our a/c unit.  I’ve never had that many $100 bills before!  And it was fun to compare the different styles of money represented in our stash.

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 Seeing this monster of a machine sitting outside my house was such a dream-come-true.  If you are raising your eyebrows in disbelief or shaking your head of such a silly dream then I can assure you that you have never lived for 15+ years,  in a house that is approaching 150 years old that had no insulation, no a/c, and very little heat. 😀

The duct work (and insulation) was a work-in-progress project that spanned several years.  My husband put in some of it as we would gut and redo a room.  When we did our living room/bathroom/bedroom remodel we hired a company to come in and get about half the houses ducts put in.

The fall of 2012 we were finally ready to have the rest of the ducts installed and get a furnace working in this place.  6,000+ to do that.  Another 4,000+ for the a/c.  We didn’t have 10,000 just laying around.  So we went to the bank.  No problem getting a secondary loan.  But we only financed the furnace.  We just couldn’t bring ourselves to borrow that much more money.  I suggested that we try to save the additional 4,000+ and have the a/c installed the following Spring.

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Due to a nice tax refund and some other saving we had done we did indeed have the money saved by the Spring of 2013.  But then we received a letter from the Village.  Did you know that when you live in town you are responsible for paying for the sidewalks in front of your house when they need replaced or repaired??  Well at least here in Ohio you are.  Now in all fairness, we did know this.  And we were well aware that our walk in front needed replaced.  It needed it badly!  But that wasn’t what I had saved all that cash for!  Still, the letter said if we didn’t have it replaced by May 1st the Village would have their contractor do it and we would get a bill.  We didn’t want them doing it, we wanted to pick our own contractor.  So we did.  And we paid cash for that.  And we were very thankful that we had the cash to pay for it.  It took roughly half our cash stash.

And we tried very hard to be thankful for that lovely new front walk as we cleaned and installed 3 window units once again.  We made it – the summer wasn’t terribly hot, and turning the heat on again in the fall was so lovely.

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In God we trust.

We slowly added to our cash stash here and there, and when tax time rolled around again that sealed the deal.  We now had enough cash to pay for our a/c unit.  Instead of hiring the heating and air company again we went through a private contractor we found through a cousin of mine.  We saved a lot by doing this and my husband ran the wiring needed and helped out where he could.  It went very smoothly, it was a very satisfying experience, and WE PAID CASH!!!

Can I say it one more time?  WE PAID CASH!  If you’ve never saved for a high dollar item till you had the cash to pay for it I recommend you try it on the next big purchase you need to make if you can.  It is very fulfilling and satisfying.  The smug smile on your face will fell so good 😀

Playing with the money before you hand it over is optional but it is rather fun and satisfying too!

And if you need an a/c guy let me know and I’ll get you a name and number.

Have a wonderful day and go pay cash for something!


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  1. says

    Hi Jill,
    I can relate to the liberating feeling of not being in debt. It’s sad that so many people have found themselves in that position. Life is too short to be stressing over such things. Congratulations on your new a/c and empowering yourself by living within your means.
    Pieced Pastimes

    • says

      Thanks Suzanne! It feels so good to know that a/c unit purring away out there is PAID FOR! Financing the furnace was the best choice for us because it was saving us so much in heating bills and keeping us warmer. And it’s almost paid off now too. The house mortgage is dwindling and I’m so excited abut debt-free being so close for us!

  2. says

    And proud you should be. It is hard to hideaway money! Something always wants it.! My Hubby and I are in the process of becoming debt free….If we want to ever retire we will have to be. Not only are you talented but pretty smart. Thanks for the inspiration. Sheryl

  3. Hope Williams says

    So so SO happy for you!!! Know the feelings first hand and they are AWESOME!!! Happy day for y’all!

  4. says

    I had no idea that you didn’t already have A/C in your house! We can’t live without here in GA! It’s in the 90’s most of the summer. That’s wonderful that you were able to pay for it in full without having to go in debt over it. That’s hard to do sometimes. We try not to use credit much these days either. We did the same thing back in January and paid cash for our septic system expansion. Not a very fun thing to spend a lot of money on but very necessary! That’s what allowed us to finally get our back yard in better shape. No more septic issues getting in our way. I know you will enjoy your cooler house now!

    • says

      Well, we did use window units and they helped a lot – made the upstairs liveable. But when it was really hot and humid the window units just couldn’t keep up with the humidity. Now it’s no problem! In fact the girls and I can get cold! If we aren’t working on anything we have to bump the temp up to 73 or 74. If we watch a movie we all wrap up in blankets! But it’s so nice to keep the humidity and heat outside. Much better for everyone allergy wise too. We are loving it!

  5. Pam Ballard says

    Well done Jill. What an accomplishment. I am trying to take care of some debt right now. It feels good! Have a great day!

    • says

      Thanks Pam! It is such a good feeling to get things paid off! We dont’ have a lot left on the loan we took out to get the furnace installed – that loan was worth it because of the savings in heating cost and the fact that we now have a really warm house in the winter! And the mortgage – it’s really whittling down too – so ready to be totally debt free.

  6. JaneEllen says

    CONGRATULATIONS. Awesome, incredible, wonderful, spectacular. You have a right to be extremely proud of yourselves. BRAVO Not an easy thing you did, that’s why you have right to be proud of yourselves. Too many people in this country have gotten themselves in trouble, ( know because we did when we lived in Ca), with credit. That goal to meet to pay for something that big is worth any sacrifice you’d have to make. Not easy for me to say, been there. The hitch of having to pay for sidewalk was a test to see how determined you were, again BRAVO. Hey I’m not your Mom, but your friend, but proud of you as all get out. Glad for tax refunds to help you out a little. You all have a huge right to enjoy that cool in summer and heat in winter. Not easy to put up with humidity and heat. Makes you wonder how people did it when there were no ac’s or furnaces.
    You and your hubs deserve a big CONGRATS, enjoy your ac.
    Many people here have evaporative coolers, as in AZ and other dry climate areas. Our daughters home has a/c but they don’t use it unless it’s very hot, their house is so well insulated, plus it faces north and back south so not as bad as us with our back in hottest afternoon sun facing west. We have to shut curtains, shades to help keep it cool through out house. Have ceiling fans in many of our rooms which helps immensely. I have a portable fan in kitchen blowing on me when I’m working on island, (which is also portable). I had good practice after living in Tucson for 20 yrs. how to keep windows open little to draw cool air to rooms. San Diego inland is pretty darned hot also.
    Better let you go, enjoy your summer days with your wonderful family.

  7. says

    In a time when total, instant gratification seems to rule our country, good on you for doing it the smart way!!! I use my credit cards all the time, but I was taught that when the bill comes, I have to pay to whole thing off, no matter how much it hurts! That makes me think about purchases a bit more. However, sticking to cash is even better, if you can do it…really makes you consider every purchase! Being debt free is such a blessing – so freeing!!! I love that being debt free really changes my choices, removes the limits on what I can do. Dave Ramsey is such a proponent of living debt free and has great books that will help with the steps to truly being free financially – not affiliated, just totally agree with his philosophy towards money because I’ve had to live on the emergency fund before! So very happy with the excellent example you have set for others about the satisfaction gained with delayed gratification and the WOOOHOOOO you get with saving up and paying cash for something you want!!! AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • says

      Thanks so much Susan! It’s taken me several years to overcome the battle with ‘instant gratification’! And I can still feel it sometimes! So many awesome things out there to make us want them and we think we must have them NOW! And yet it’s so much more fun and enjoyable if you wait and work for it.

  8. says

    Congrats, Jill! You’re right, it’s the best feeling to be debt free!! I grew up in a house without air (my parents still live there without air!) so I can relate…you’re gonna love that unit! :)

    • says

      We do love it Susan! I can’t imagine living without air – we’ve always at least had window units that helped some. Sleeping in the upstairs of a house with no a/c is miserable in the summertime!

  9. Tammie Greenwell says

    I have an old house and new house addition. The addition we put central air in many years back. I know the joy! The 1930s section we still have a window unit to put in when it gets crazy hot. It stays shaded and the plaster walls are cooler. Ice and Air are the two luxury’s I want in life. Guess what- My ice machine keeps breaking!!!!!

    • says

      central a/c is amazing! The past couple days the humidity has been so high it’s almost liquid air outside! It feels so good to come inside to a controlled climate! Bummer about the ice machine – I love having lots of ice too. Our ice and water dispensers in the door of the freezer quit, which is a pain but at least the ice maker still works!

    • says

      We are loving it! It’s a two stage unit which basically means it will run when the weather is not all that hot out and run efficiently – for those times when the humidity is bad even if the heat is not and/or allergies are bugging us so much we don’t want the windows open. My husband works for a company that develops and produces a/c units for commercial use and now also for residential so he made sure he got the best thing going! It runs really affordable too – and it’s a heat pump so we can go to that for heat if natural gas prices sky rocket above electric prices. It’s been a very satisfying experience even thought we waited a year longer than we wanted to :)

  10. says

    Dave Ramsey would be proud of you! We just got air last year right before the Black Forest Fires. We have new neighbors who make a lot of noise beside and across (houses are 10 Ft apart) so we are so glad! Good job!!

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