The purpose of the Sideco Blog is to provide you with practical information that can help you save money by making well informed decisions in regard to maintaining and improving what is probably your largest investment. We will be adding new topics on a regular basis and archiving each article so you can come back to them at any time. These are not intended to be detailed 'how to' instructions for the do it yourselfer, but rather answers to the questions that the responsible and conscientious homeowner faces every day, month and year.
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Have you ever noticed that it seems to 'always be something'? You fix one thing and another breaks. You save to get a little ahead and some disaster takes it all away. Some of this is just the way life is, but much of it can be avoided.
Light bulbs and batteries always seem to go out at the worst possible time. Sometimes it seems like I'm spending half of my time changing batteries, and it keeps getting worse now that everything in my house depends of some form of battery. I have developed a tried and proven plan to simplify at least one small part of my life. Follow this simple plan and I promise your life will be at least a little easier and you will eliminate those 'worst possible time' moments.
We all want to get the very most from our money and that included getting the most use from the things we purchase. That's why I was surprised when my brother pulled into an auto store and told me it was time to buy a new battery. I was shocked since his current battery was functioning perfectly. When questioned, he explained that the expiration date was in two months. When I reminded him that the battery could operate for months beyond that, he smiled and agreed that it could, and then purchased the new battery.
Out of curiosity, I checked the date on my battery and it had four months remaining on its warranty. No problem. Three months later, after coming out of Kroger at 8 PM my car wouldn't start. What luck. Since I had frozen food I called my wife to come get me and just left the car. At least it wasn't raining. The next morning we returned with some jumper cables and got my car started (of course, it WAS raining). I took my car to the auto shop and had to leave it running until they could get to it, knowing that once I shut it off it wouldn't start again. I proudly pointed out to the salesman that my battery was still under warranty. He readily agreed with a smile and put a new battery on my car. On the invoice, I noticed the pro-rated warranty deduction- 76 cents!
I had been stranded out at night, worked on the car in the rain and had to drop everything to wait on a new battery for a grand total of 76 cents? Suddenly my brother seemed a bit smarter. Thus, step one of my new battery plan: check date on battery and change it out 3 months early.
So many things in a household operate on batteries. We can run around after them when they decide to fail or take a proactive approach and eleminate the stress. Make a quick list of all the devices that use batteries with number and kind of batteries they need. Keep your list handy and take a couple of days to complete it so you list them all. Be sure and remember the backup battery in your alarm clocks, the batteries in wall clocks, flash lights, remote controls (even my office window air conditioner has a remote). Does your auto have a remote door lock, do you have a remote for your garage door.
When you have completed your list, purchase at least two complete changes of batteries. Modern batteries remain like new for up to 5 years and if you can save just one emergency trip to the store you've made it all worth while. Then pick two days a year, I use the spring forward and fall back time change days because it's easy to remember and I have to mess with all of the clocks anyway. Go through and change all the batteries. You'll never have them quit on you again.
Your life just got much simplier and much more predictable. no more aggravation of a remote not working in the middle of the big game or your most important clock stopping for several days until you can get batteries and change them. Yes, you might be changing a few of the batteries while they have an ounce of life remaining, but I can't help but question the pro-rated value of a AA battery compared to the potential benefits.
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