Monday, August 15, 2011

Laundry Costs

Of course, as soon as I post that I have nothing to write about, a ton of things come up.

For example, our cost of living decreased across the board after leaving NYC, with one exception: laundry. The laundry machines in our building cost $0.25 less per load than the ones at the laundromat in NYC, but they are single loaders, whereas before we were using double loaders. The dryers here run on a fixed $1.25 per load, but in NYC I could get by at $0.75 or $1 each load (and again, the machines were bigger).

Not only that, but I have sort of forgotten that the size of the machines are different here, and stuffed them too full once or twice, requiring a second run through to get them fully dry (I already line-dry a lot of stuff; this is for towels and things).

Lastly, doing laundry here requires more planning. The laundry room is open during certain hours and has only three washers and three dryers. One of the washers unbalances frequently and will stop working, so I don't use it. Two of the dryers go for an hour, or nearly, and one goes for just 45 minutes and generally doesn't seem to work as well, so I don't use that one either. That leaves me two options for both washer and dryer, to share with the entire building, during certain hours. So far I have had to pull people's clothes out only a few times, but it's a few more times than I ever had to do in NYC (I waited 45 minutes each time, and if you don't show up for TWO HOURS after putting your clothes in the dryer, you deserve wrinkled clothes sitting on top of it. And I'm not your mama, I don't fold your underwear.) And, on top of THAT, I have to plan way ahead and get quarters for the laundry here. In NYC, our laundromat had a change machine, so I could go with whatever cash I had on hand, and they would break large bills if I needed it. Here, we end up buying quarters at the bank or grocery store, but if we run out and can't scrounge up enough....we have to wait.

So these are reasons #318, #422, and number #67 why I want a house with my own washing machine. On the upside, however, I am only traipsing down (well, and up) four flights of stairs instead of walking three blocks outside to get to the laundry, so that's a bonus. (And I guess considering that we're paying like 60% of the rent we were paying in NYC, we're pretty close to breaking even!)

I just noticed this because there are certain essential things that I just hate paying for, and laundry is one of them. Others include service fees of almost any kind and feminine hygiene products. Just one of those line items that bugs me.

What are some products/services that you hate paying for, and why?

7 comments:

  1. I loathe paying for a landline! Here in Australia, the cheapest I have found is $24 per month and that's just for the privilege of having the darn thing, not for the calls. Sadly our mobile coverage isn't reliable enough to ditch the landline.

    But I don't pay for feminine hygiene products these days - hurrah for cloth pads. Sure there is an inital outlay but they last for 5-10 years so I calculate that they've paid for themselves after a year. Oh and I don't have to deal with the chemicals and eco-guilt that come with disposable products.

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  2. I LOATHE going to the laundromat. It's a must for me in any building.. it HAS to have a laundry area.. preferably inside the apartment itself :P

    Also, might I suggest the Diva Cup?

    I don't wear pads but if I did, I'd buy cloth ones.

    I used to wear tampons so I thought I was doomed to spend on tampons forever.

    I bought a Diva Cup and have never looked back. I never worry about running out, leakages or waste.

    http://www.fabulouslybroke.com/2009/04/review-diva-cup/

    It has paid itself back in no time. About $20-$30 depending on where you buy it, but tampons cost quite a bit for a box PER MONTH.

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  3. I actually don't mind going to the laundromat usually, it's quiet time and the rhythm of everything is soothing. I'm weird, what can I say?

    I don't know that there's an item I hate paying for, but yes, paying for feminine hygiene products is annoying!

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  4. I hate paying any sort of fees to banks. They are already using my money for profit so the extra charges to me is just taking advantage of people.

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  6. Do you not have a laundromat near your new place? Just because you have one in your building doesn't mean you have to use it. My apartment has laundry machines, but I went to the laundromat for years because it was cheaper and because our dryers hardly worked at all (1.50 for single load, and wouldn't even dry the few rags and socks from one load in one go), and also because I often saved up enough laundry to fill several machines at a time. Even if it is a bit of a drive, it might be worth it if it saves you enough money and hassle.

    Another option you may have is to buy an apartment set of machines. I did that recently, and love it. They stack on top of each other, just plug into a regular outlet, and the washer attaches to the faucet in my kitchen sink. You can either find a spot in the kitchen for them, or keep them in a storage room and roll the washer use it. Be sure to check with your apartment manager first. Some don't allow them, and ours said we had to get a special dryer vent to make it safe to use indoors (only about 15.00, not a big deal).

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  7. I have no idea where you are living now because you don't mention it at all in this post.

    However, since I did just move to NYC from having in-unit laundry in NJ, I have simply conceded to drop-off laundry service. The convenience is absolutely worth the price for me.

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Thanks for commenting!