I've noted before that I am devoting the money I save during the Pagan savings challenge to buying and installing a fireplace insert.  This week, my family was reminded that this is a really good idea.

We've had all manner of severe winter weather throughout the United States this season, including a cold snap and foot or more of snow in my area.  It was during the cold and dark of that heavy snowfall that my wife realized our heat was no longer on.  We tried hitting the reset button, but no dice.  We called our amazing heating guys, who talked me through several other troubleshooting steps, all which failed to solve or diagnose the problem.  He agreed to come out as soon as he confirmed that the parking lot of his shop had been plowed so he could get the work truck.

It hadn't, and it wasn't until the following morning.  Our fireplace, with some assistance from an electric mattress pad, was our only source of heat.  It was bright, cheery, and reassuringly warm, but it takes a lot of effort for a central fireplace to warm even a modest home.  The fire needed to be rekindled the following morning from cold ashes.  Our house is nearly a hundred years old, but its original primary heat source was a coal furnace, not the fireplace.

Paying over four hundred dollars to get the heat back on was worth every penny.  I can't imagine not knowing where I could go to get warm, and I pondered the struggles of the homeless that night as a result.  Being able to get the problem solved at all was an amazing gift, a gift that saved lives.

Unanticipated expenses always threaten savings plans.  This week, I was able to set aside my allotment anyway, and I am grateful to be reminded how important it is to have a backup heating system when living in a northern state.

My week six savings:  $21, 28.5% ($6.00) of which I added today.