It's been about 10 years since I mowed these 2 acres we live on. The land is basically flat with tough pasture grass and pines with large roots exposed in places. I did the weed eating and then did the main cutting with a 19.5 horsepower Craftsman mower. It's not fancy but it does get the job done quickly. Anyway, I was near the end of mowing when I heard a horrible clanging sound and the mower quit. Checking under the mower I found that I had bent one of the blades on a tree root. I had to get another set of blades and put them on. The moral of this story is to raise the mowing height when working around large roots and other exposed items on the surface. After the blade change I checked the belts and did a test cutting. All went well. By the end of the summer I will have saved enough money not hiring our former lawn guy to pay for the mower as well as the gass for this season. I think they call this 'sweat equity'.
On a similar note I have been doing what I can to economize. Finances here are going to be tight as most of my years of investments are in the toilet until the market rises again. I will get about 40% of my teaching salary and will supplement it with interest off of investments. For the next year or so the investments won't be much help so it is time to watch my pennies. I have been looking closer at coupons for grocery shopping and avoiding extravagant purchases. I also need in the next week to start switching invested funds to CDs and other stable sources. The problem right now is that the typical CD is now paying around 2% interest. Hopefully that wlll improve. Until the market improves I am pretty much holding on to my stock funds and bonds and just transferring money from bonds as they mature to other sources.