Friday, June 13, 2008


Last night I ran into my ex - who generously gifted me with the trash bill. You know, I've been living in an apartment too long - I didn't even think to calculate trash into my budget.

So, now I had to decide what to do. The trash bill was $152 a year or $40 a quarter. Paying for a full year only saved me $8. Considering the fact that we are well into June here, the added expense was not at all welcome and $40 sounded like a pretty good deal but, then I thought about it more. I am a firm believer that "out of pennies, dollars are made," and I would be happy if I sold one of my books for $8. Plus, this month is really just a trial run. See, the mortgage on the house for June has already been paid by my ex - this month I only had to pay rent on the apartment. That's a huge difference and it means that I have a little extra money to play with.

Most of that extra money will all be going towards creating a cushion for next year. (I am sure there will be months where it will be hard to make my goal.) So, ultimately I decided to pay the bill in full. It just made sense. Now I don't have to worry about it being in my budget - it is already paid for the year. I save the money and it isn't something that will sneak up on me four months from now.

Speaking of trash, and therefor recycling.... I am about to admit something embarrassing:

I don't bring my cans and bottles to the store to recycle them.

Now, before treehuggers everywhere come after me - I do recycle them. It is just that rather than taking them back to the store, I put them in recycling containers. Now why would I do this since I live in a state with cash refunds for bottles?

Simple - because usually I don't have enough of them to matter. I don't usually drink things that come in returnable bottles at home - I rarely have beer or pop in the house. On the rare occasion that I have a returnable in the house it is usually from a friend leaving a bottle of pop or something like that. I have 2-3 a month at best. It hardly seems worth it to bring back one pop can when I go to the store, so I put them in recycling bins instead.

However, as of late I seemed to have accumulated a number of them, so for the first time in quite awhile, I saved cans. I ended up with a half of bag full of cans and bottles so yesterday I decided to bring them back to the store. As I walked down the back steps I noticed one PBR and one Coke can in the recycling bin - apparently I am not the only one who feels this way.

Laughing at myself the whole time, I walked over and fished them out. How's that for frugal?

This fantastic photo is by bucklava


David Kolenda said...

You can get a smaller trash cart and save $20 or so

Ralph said...

I would have grabbed the cans too! lol. It's like the old saying "one man's trach is another man's treasure".

Can money aside, I think you made the right choice by paying your trash bill in full. Part of the reward of frugality is how those small decisions that add small dollar amounts add up.

I wish our trash company had a discount for paying yearly.

passivefamilyincome said...

Dawn - As a former Michigan resident, I know the value of the .10 bottle deposit. My in-laws never liked taking theirs back, so every few months they would tell us to come clean out the garage and we could return the cans if we wanted. We usually came away with enough for dinner!

cdreher said...

My returnables money is my mad money. Oh sure, it's only a few dollars here and there, but I put it in a jar and after a while I have enough to treat myself to something that I normally wouldn't, completely guilt free.

Dawn said...

Hi David - thanks for the scoop on that link!! I know I have a slightly larger can - but there is an apartment in the house and I am not sure how much trash will be generated weekly. I saw that I can change the size of my cart once a year without penalty, so I thought I would see how it went for a few months. If it looks like it isn't full, I will definitely choose the smaller one!

And on returnables - I had to laugh, I swiped 3 more PBR cans out of the recycling bin this morning and thought of all of you!!