Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What Is Mom's Work Worth?

Every year Salary.com calculates the "worth" of typical American (and Canadian) moms, both stay-at-home and work-outside-the-home. 2008's figures are down from 2007, after taking into account the "size" of mom's business, but the figures are still staggering.

If you take the ten most popular "mom" functions and add up the compensation, it amounts to $116,805 for a stay-at-home mom and $85,938 for a working mom (in addition to whatever she earns as her regular salary).

What exactly are those top ten functions?

housekeeper (no shock there)
day care center teacher
cook
laundry machine operator (yes, this is a real job)
computer operator
psychologist
facilities manager
van driver
chief executive officer
janitor

Read the entire article

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Question: Pet Insurance

Does anyone have an opinion on whether pet insurance is a good thing to do? 

Answer the question in the forum and/or read other answers.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Recycle Newspaper Covers

Plastic newspaper covers make a great pair of gloves to check engine oil, battery, and brake fluid levels. Make sure engine is cold when using them. Also, they are great for picking up those "gifts" your dog deposits on the neighbors lawn.

Recycle Old Grill

My husband had a great idea....to recycle our old gas BBQ grill. He took off the cook top and lid and used the base to make a work table for our garden. He secured three wood planks on top, and left five inches to use as a handle to push the garden work table wherever we want to use it. I thought this was a great idea to recycle and it works beautiful to pot plants, etc.

Recycle instead of in the trash heap. Just wanted to share this with you. Eileen

Ants and Cornmeal

I have ant problems in FLA & here in NY ... after trying everything on that list through the years, short of an atom bomb, someone told me about corn meal on the window sill, counter, closet, wherever they visit.

WELL GLORY BE, it works ... seems they like it, take it back to their nests for the family and after eating it they swell up and die. I only had to do it ONCE and the army was defeated. Imagine that - plain old, inexpensive cornmeal.

Overlooked Gas Saving Tip

Dear Editor, I love the website, it's so helpful! I would like to give my input for something that helped me. I'm not sure if you mind but here goes...

In your tips for saving gasoline, you should add that the fuel injectors for should be changed every 75,000 miles. A lot of auto shops don't inform their customers to change these!

I had a little over 75K miles and purchased rebuilt injectors, my husband installed them really easily. When we turned the car on, I could tell it even sounded smoother. But better yet, we saved $10 a week on gas expenses from daily commuting to and from work. I just looked them up on google and ebay ads came up. The set only cost me a little under $125 for my Crown Victoria.

Leila M

Healthy Approach to Finances

If you've ever been in a relationship for very long, especially if you were married, it is almost a guarantee that you've had a money fight. One of the biggest causes of problems in relationships is differences in values and goals and habits when it comes to money, and especially communication about money issues.

Here's an article that will teach you how to talk about money and align your financial goals. If you can do those two things, you've done more than most couples, and you've done a lot to keep your relationship on solid ground.

Healthy Approach to Finances.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Are Your Savings Safe?

The FDIC – short for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation – is an independent agency of the United States government. The FDIC protects you against the loss of your deposits if an FDIC-insured bank or savings association fails.

But! There are limitations to the amount of your funds that you will be reimbursed if the bank fails. It's different for individual accounts and retirement accounts.

Not all banks are insured. Visit this government website to be informed on this topic so you can be sure your savings are as safe as possible.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Free Green Home Floor Plans

Think you can't afford an architect to design your green dream home? Now you can get Free Green Home Plans from FreeGreen.com. The eco-minded architects at FreeGreen are giving out free designs for green homes. Just hand them over to your builder and you're good to go. Visit their "green dream home" site and search for your plan.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Design A Baby Nursery

Decorating a baby nursery (aka baby room, or baby's bedroom) can be a somewhat daunting prospect, especially if this is your first child. There are so many decisions to make, but so little time. You feel a stress-attack coming on. Don't stress - it's not good for your baby. Relax instead. Take a deep breath. Baby nursery design can be fun, if you take it one step at a time.

Read the entire article

Friday, July 18, 2008

Stop Junk Mail - Save Birds

by Donna L. Watkins

There's not enough time in a day (or trees in the Boreal Forest) to put up with junk mail.

North America's Boreal Forest supports some of the largest populations of wildlife such as grizzly bears, Woodland Caribou and wolves, and provides vital breeding grounds for up to a third of North America's land birds and 40% of its waterfowl.

The majority of the wood cut in the boreal forest is used to make paper, including catalogs. Each year, catalog retailers mail out about 17 billion catalogs (59 for every man, woman, and child in the US). This means that every year almost eight million tons of trees go straight into catalogs that are often unread and discarded.

We decided 10 years ago that we didn't want to waste the time or trees for 80% of what came into our mailbox. It worked! Many people I mention this to think it doesn't make a difference. Ask anybody who's done it. It certainly does!

Although we get personal and business mail, we get very little. When we do get a catalog or advertisement, I quickly call the toll-free number and ask to be removed from their mailing list.

Catalogs are a temptation for those with credit card debt, so it's a great technique to eliminate adding to it. After all, you can find anything you want online when you really have a need ... and not just a want created by a pretty picture.

Take this tutorial to stop junk mail.

Read more about the Boreal Forest and wildlife.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Bottled Water Is Expensive

Take a moment to calculate the cost of a gallon. The cost of a countertop system even with annual replacement filters is so much less per gallon and you get to know that you truly have pure drinking and cooking water. About purity, when it comes to buying bottled water, you may be better off with your own tap water according to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

NRDC tested 1,000 bottled water samples from 103 brands, and found that one-third (1/3) contained contaminants that exceeded FDA- mandated levels. They found that one-forth (1/4) of bottled water is actually just tap water.

FDA rules allow bottlers to label their water "spring water" even though it may be treated with chemicals or mechanically pumped to the surface. There's no guarantee that the spring itself is a pure one. One brand of spring water traced to its source by the NRDC came from a spring that bubbled up into an industrial parking lot, adjacent to a hazardous waste site.

Besides the doubts on sources and contamination, it's a definite that bottled water has affected the environment. The production and transport of bottled water uses large amounts of fossil fuels. Fiji- brand water, for example, is transported to the US from Fiji, over 6,000 miles. The plastic water bottles that Americans alone use and toss in one year uses up more than 47 million gallons of oil, the equivalent of taking 100,000 cars off the road and removing 1 billion pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Sadly, 84% of these bottles are not even recycled. Pause and re-read those numbers for one year.

You can make a difference on oil prices when you make choices to use less plastic. Taking cloth bags when you shop makes a big difference even though it doesn't seem like it.

We have been purifying our own water since 1978. I'm not talking about a filter you put on the faucet that makes the water taste better but doesn't remove toxins. We wanted something that was going to take out the really bad stuff. We use a lot of water since it's our beverage of choice, so it's an important part of our health and family lifestyle to make sure we have pure water.

The best system you can get is reverse-osmosis (RO). You can search for information on optional methods and RO always comes up high.

More on the importance of drinking water.

Truth about bottled water at the NRDC site.

Consider this 4-stage reverse-osmosis unit: Nature's Spring.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Gas Expenses in Summer

Summertime, and the living is easy. The weather's nice and the kids are out of school, so there's plenty of opportunities to go to the beach or to the park and visit friends and family.

One not-so-teeny problem: Gas is so expensive you almost have to get a second mortgage on your house to pay for it. And given the current mortgage crisis … well, you get the idea. Times are hard. It feels a little like being grounded.

So with gas prices hovering around $4 a gallon in most parts of the country and approaching $5 in others, getting out of the house and into nature could take some creativity. Get some gas saving ideas here:

Read the entire article.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Make a Laptop Tote Bag

At its simplest, a laptop carrying case is little more than a padded tote bag. While it will require some careful cutting and thought out sewing procedures, it is a fairly easy project that a beginner could have success with.

Learn how at WikiHow
"Simplicity of living, if deliberately chosen, implies a compassionate approach to life. It means that we are choosing to live our daily lives with some degree of conscious appreciation of the condition of the rest of the world." Duane Elgin

"Do what is good with your own hands, so that you might earn something to give to the needy." Ephesians 4:28