- Personal Finance
Plumbing and Money: What is your bathroom telling you?
Money is like energy and ideas. It flows from one place to another, from one person to another. Sometimes my husband and I are very deliberate about where the money goes, but other times, it seems to leak out of our account without our notice.
Have you experienced this? One day your finances look fine, the next, half of your money seem to be unaccountably gone. Where did that money go? Were there any warning signs?
Studies suggest that there are.
How is your plumbing?
Are your drains and toilets in good working order? When you flush, does your toilet work efficiently and stop running as soon as the tank is full? Maybe the plunger is your best friend, as the commode is always plugged.
What about the sink and shower? Do the faucets shut off completely? Do the drains empty properly, or are they a bit slow?
How is the kitchen sink?
If you are having any plumbing problems, I suspect you are also experiencing financial difficulties.
Every Feng Shui book I have read has stressed the relationship between good plumbing and healthy finances. They claim that poorly functioning plumbing indicates a problem with finances. “Leaking water means your money is running out.” (Feng Shui Step by Step, by T. Raphael Simons)
Okay, common sense, right? After all wasted water means wasted money. Poor plumbing could lead to higher water bills and flood damage. So, look after it and keep it in check. That will keep it from affecting the wallet, right?
At first, I was skeptical. How could the plumbing possibly indicate financial troubles completely unrelated to it? However, after I came across this idea in many sources, I could no longer ignore it.
I love an experiment, so I decided to keep track of the plumbing in relation to our finances. In the beginning, if a toilet began to run extra or a faucet to drip, I made note of it in my accounting book. Then, as I paid the bills, I looked to see if they were consistent with the spending of previous months.
Without fail, when something was leaking there was extra spending. The most common problem was snack food on the credit card. I talked to my husband, and we decided to plug this leak in our budget (without touching the plumbing). Shortly after, we began to see an increase in medical bills. It seemed, the harder we tried to correct the finances, the faster the plumbing went bad and the more obscure unusual bills we had.
It had been about six months since I had begun my experiment when I took the evidence to my husband. He found it odd, but set to fixing the plumbing.
For a while all was well. We stayed on budget and even began to get ahead. I forgot about the experiment, as it no longer seemed relevant. Then the kitchen sink began to drip, and that next credit card bill had all sorts of unneeded purchases. We replaced the faucet, as there seemed to be no way to fix it.
While I had forgotten about the experiment, my husband had been observing the connection regularly. His work took him into the homes of many wealthy people, as well as businesses and ‘common’ homes. He saw that wealthy people will not tolerate poor plumbing. It is one of the things they insist on taking care of immediately. If a toilet was observed running, a plumber was called. My husband also saw that in the poorest homes, the bathroom was often a disaster.
We began to take pains to keep up with all leaks in our home. Then the toilets quit flushing properly, and the bathroom sinks began holding water. My first thought was, “Good, now we will be able to hold onto some money!” However, the reality was not so. Money came in and stayed. Getting the paycheck into our account was a slow process, and getting the bills paid on time became a hassle. Even when things were mailed out on time, they arrived none too soon. It seemed I had a late fee on one bill or another, every other month!
Clearing the Drain
There are many products on the market which promise to clean all the gunk from your drain and get it flowing correctly. You could hop in your car and speed -- not too fast now -- over to the hardware store for some dangerous concoction of chemicals, a pair of safety goggles and thick rubber gloves...
Or you could try looking in your kitchen cupboards. No, I'm not suggesting you keep dangerous chemicals there. Look for the vinegar.
Not the good stuff that reminds you of the Italian restaurant you visited on your honeymoon, but the big jug of white vinegar.
Found it? Okay. Get the baking soda out of the fridge and grab the tea kettle or a large pot. You are going to make your own drain cleaner, with products safe to eat!
Homemade Drain Cleaner
- Baking Soda
- White Vinegar
- Boiling Water
- A plug, rag or something heavy to cover the drain with.
- Pour 1/2 - 3/4 cup DRY baking soda sown the drain.
- Chase after it with 1 cup of vinegar and plug or cover the drain.
- Let sit for 30 minutes. While you are waiting, boil the water.
- Remove the plug and slowly pour the boiling water into the drain. It should work smoothly now.
Why this works:
Vinegar and baking soda react to each other, causing a mini volcano in your drain. This chemical reaction breaks loose the substances that are clogging the drain. Baking soda breaks down grease, while vinegar is tough on minerals and soap scum.
Before you go to all that work, stop and think, "What is the real problem?" Is it too much grease? Then the Homemade Drain Cleaner will do wonders (though it may take several applications, just like the 'professional' stuff). Is it full of hair? Or did your children stuff paper towels down the drain, along with toothpaste lids, Lego's, pencils and little bits of soap? In that case, grab the plunger, a sieve, paper towels and the trashcan!
For this job you will need one of the old fashioned suction-cup plungers. Run some water (assuming it is not already sitting in your sink) and plunge! It will suck up all sorts of gross things you didn't want to know were in your drain. Use the sieve to remove the chunks. Repeat the process until the sink will no longer hold water. If you pulled up gobs of foul smelling black stuff, flush with Homemade Drain Cleaner or bleach, to finish off any mold that is lurking down there.
Are you thinking that the simplest solution to all of this would be to get rid of indoor plumbing?
Let’s consider that a moment:
What does indoor plumbing represent?
What do you find in areas without proper sanitation?
This is not only true today, but historically as well. Throughout the ages, the wealthy have had indoor ‘plumbing’. True, it may have meant that their homes were built over a stream, but it was indoor plumbing. (I realize there are exceptions to every rule, such as the Amish, but they are not completely without plumbing either.)
Because we chose to take responsibility for our finances, we cleared every drain and had the septic pumped. We took a good look at our spending and updated our budget. We keep a close eye on both. We made some decisions about how we want to live, and began giving more to charities. Almost immediately, extra work became available and the plumbing problems have all but disappeared.
Currently work is drying up at the company my husband works for. Several people have been laid off. Will he be next? It is hard to know, but the bathroom looks (and smells) good. I think the money will continue to flow.
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