Cambridge Fire 2016

Rental Insurance and Holy Shit, Cambridge Fire

Last Saturday there was a ten alarm fire in Cambridge, MA, the largest fire in the area since the 80s. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured, but still – holy shit. Eleven buildings, over 60 people affected, multiple fire departments on the scene, and now that area looks unrecognizable.

It started scarily close to Fergus’s grad school apartment, making me even more thankful nothing similar happened to that fire trap of a house he lived in for years. Seriously – an electrician came by once to fix a problem and basically said “This house would be up in flames instantly if there was a fire,” which unfortunately is not that uncommon with the older homes in Cambridge. And of course those living in these fire traps are often lower income, students, or immigrants – people who don’t have a choice.

We know at least one family that’s been displaced. Apartment, car, all material possessions – gone during one awful day. And no rental insurance. Like many others, they took to crowd funding (we contributed), but not everyone can rely on that.

What does rental insurance cover?

Rental Insurance covers a few different things, the core being (more detail below):

  1. Cost to replace personal possessions
  2. Costs related to loss of use of insured location
  3. Personal liability
  4. Medical payments to others

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Be Lazy, Eat In: Frugal Kitchen Breakfast Edition

I am spoiled. Fergus is in charge of cooking, and for good reason: his food is delicious (plus he enjoys cooking). Some mornings I literally wake up to the offer of breakfast in bed.

Yet as I write this Fergus, is away on a business trip. And I can’t cook. And I hate cleaning the kitchen. What’s a frugally minded, culinarily-impaired engineer to do? Since we only go to restaurants rarely (and they have to be special, not just a convenience purchase), eating out is not an option. That would be weak.

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Never Buy Rags (Mini Frugal Tip)

You know that T-shirt from college that is literally falling apart at the seams? The one with the stain of unknown origin? Perfectly good rag material.

Fluffster with rag

Ragdoll dog, alternatively, “Why, Mom, why?!”

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Lil Fixes (Mini Frugal Tip)

I drink a lot of loose leaf tea. It’s cheap and yummy.

However, my tea strainer/tea infuser/mesh tea ball/whatever you want to call it started to develop what others called an “overbite.”

I was definitely contemplating buying a new, probably novelty tea strainer when it hit me: “Umm, you are an engineer. Why don’t you, I don’t know, solve this problem yourself and fix it?” Great idea, me!

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