Monday, October 19, 2009

Credit Cards To Charge Good Behavior Fees

In what could ultimately be a game-changer in the credit card industry, it appears credit card companies are considering charging customers a new sort of annual fee – for paying off your balance each month. The information is coming slow, but I did find a good article by USA Today, Latest Bank Fee is for Paying Off Credit Card On Time Every Month, that runs down a few of the cards and their new tactics.

Credit card companies, and their defenders, will of course point to the new Credit CARD Act, which will limit ... Read the entire article.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

10 Non-Secrets About Grocery Shopping

Last Sunday I went grocery shopping, one of the best tips I got from my mother was to take a calculator with me. There are two reasons, one, to keep myself on budget and two, for figuring out cost per… whatever. As I walk around the store and pick up items I enter them into my calculator and round up to the nearest dollar when I do (I’d rather be over than under). Secret #2 is to make sure that I jot down on a piece a paper (back of a junk mail envelope) a list of food that I need to buy. I also include junk food as well and exactly what I am going to buy so that I don't get carried away. Did you know that shopping without a list can cost you up to 40% more with the ... Read the entire article.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

When Should You Fire Your Real Estate Agent?

Lately several couples I know have been trying to purchase real estate, and it seems that none of them are too happy with their real estate agents. Some of them have been working with their agents for months without any positive outcome. The fact is that some of these poorly performing agents should have been fired long ago. Here are some signs that you should fire your real estate agent.

1. You know the agent is being unethical.

One person reported that his agent sent multiple buyers to the same houses, and subtlely encouraged the buyers to bid against each other. This agent is basically pitting his own clients against each other and that is not in the interest of any of the clients. If you suspect your agent of being unethical then it is probably best to cut off that relationship because these agents could bring you more trouble down the road.

2. The agent seems to have no basic knowledge of the local real estate market.

A good buyer's agent should know the general condition and trends of the real estate market he or she works in and provide some advice to buyers as to how much money to ... Read the entire article.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Get Rebate Checks - Shop Thru eBates

Since we work from home, we do much of my shopping online. Years ago we signed up for eBates to get rebate checks for shopping through the eBates website. Since March 2008 we've earned $321.86 in rebate checks. It's free. No commitments. Signup and shop through it. Your rebate percentages will accrue and you can cash those checks to spend for a special family day. Check it out.

What Is a “Good Job”?

During my senior year of high school, after I had learned that I had received enough scholarships to attend a major university, I sat down and studied all of the majors that were available to me. Two of them really stood out, due to my personal interests: English and mathematics.

Unfortunately, as soon as I told anyone about my goals, they’d almost always tell me the same thing. “You’ll never get a good job with an English degree.” “A math degree? The only way you’ll get good work with that is with a Ph. D.”

And I believed them. Instead of paying attention to my natural interests, I started focusing instead on which majors offered high paying jobs and, from there, I picked a major in the hard sciences that seemed to interest me the most. It was a ... Read what a "good job" consists of.

Some Thoughts on Moods and Spending

For me, September is the unhappiest month of the year.

Sarah, after being off all summer, returns to work at the end of August, leaving me alone at home many days with my thoughts and my work. This also means that the children’s daycare attendance increases as well.

The house goes from noisy and happy to empty and quiet. Even as I attempt to fill it with music and NPR, it still feels somehow vacant and still. The liveliness is gone – no more children’s laughter floating up the stairs to cheer me while I’m working and no more occasional interruptions by Sarah just to let me know she’s ... Read the entire article.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Got Powdery Mildew? Get Milk!

Less than 3 years ago, researchers in South America discovered a new alternative to controlling powdery mildew. Wagner Bettiol, a scientist from Brazil, found that weekly sprays of milk controlled powdery mildew in zucchini just as effectively as synthetic fungicides such as fenarimol or benomyl. Not only was milk found to be effective at controlling the disease, it also acted as a foliar fertilizer, boosting the plant's immune system.

Powdery mildew in the cucurbit family is caused by the organism Sphaerotheca fuliginea. It is a serious disease that occurs worldwide. For decades, organic gardeners had to rely on making a spray from baking soda to control the disease. Now, instead of measuring out the baking soda and combining it with a surfactant (a 'sticking' substance) of either oil or soap, gardeners need only head for their refrigerators.

In his experiments with zucchini plants, Bettiol found that a weekly spray of milk at a concentration of at least 10% (1 part milk to 9 parts water) significantly reduced the severity of powdery mildew infection on the plants by 90%. While some gardeners may be tempted to increase the concentration of milk for more control, Bettiol found that once concentrations rose above 30%, an innoccuous fungus began ... Read more about how milk helps with mildew.

Energy Tax Credits

Planning on changing out some windows and doors, hot water heater, HVAC system? Check out the government website that will tell you about tax credits, so you make the right choice for savings on your purchase. Energy Tax Credits.

Local Yard Sale Mapping

Yard Sale Treasure Map (YSTM) allows you to search for yard sales in your area. There are countless websites today that claim to be the “place to go” on the web to find and post garage sales. But let’s be honest … there is only one globally accepted online source for garage sale ads … Craigslist!

Not only is Craigslist a wonderful resource, it is also absolutely free! So honestly, why bother posting your ad anywhere else online? Craigslist ads feed into YSTM so you can see where the sales are on the map. Visit Now.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Essentials For Stocking Up Your Pantry

When you’re trying to come up with a meal in a hurry, there’s nothing like having a fully-stocked pantry. There’s no limit to the things I can whip up when my pantry is full. If you’re new to the idea of stocking a pantry, though, you may be a little overwhelmed trying to decide what things are essential to have. Grocery stores are full of things that look good, but may not work well as stock items.

To be honest, no one can tell you exactly which items you should include in your pantry stockpile. Some of these choices have to be made based upon what your family eats. If you’re into pasta, for instance, you’ll definitely want to include some different types of pasta. On the other hand, if your family likes sweets, you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of baking supplies on hand.

Although you have to decide for yourself what things you have to have in your pantry, I thought I’d tell you about the things we keep in our pantry. This list should get your mind working to help you create your own list. Read the entire article.

Stop Drinking Bottled Water

From "The Good" Website

It is a common misconception for many people that bottled water is safer than tap, plastic bottles get recycled, and no harm is being done to the environment in the bottling process. Unfortunately, that could not be further from the truth!

So in case you either needed more reasons to stop drinking bottled water, or a few extra talking points when discussing with your friends, I have assembled 12 solid reasons to kick the bottled water habit.

Trim Fat From The Family Budget

Small changes have reduced electrical charges in my home. On a year-over-year basis, we have used 20 percent less electricity due to two minor adjustments. We have switched most of the light bulbs to compact florescent bulbs (CFLs), an energy-saving option. Additionally, during the day and vacations, we turn off the water heater, a move that generates cool savings.

Those are just a few of the ways of finding additional space in a tight budget, according to the Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) of Palm Beach County, Fla., and the Treasure Coast. How do you cut the fat if your budget is already lean? A reality check will help you write smaller checks for household bills, according to the folks at CCCS.

'Successful saving starts with a realistic look at how you are spending money now and what changes you can realistically make,' said Jessica Cecere, president of CCCS.

For example, consumers can cut electric bills by $50 or more by washing clothes in cold water, using energy-efficient bulbs and installing a programmable thermostat, Cecere said. Here are other recommended changes: Read the entire article.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Nasal Vaccine Has Live Swine Flu

The first doses of the H1N1 swine flu vaccine are NOW arriving at clinics around the United States, and many people are lining up to get their vaccine. Is the media accurately informing the public what they are taking?

Most Americans do not realize that the early batches of the H1N1 swine flu nasal vaccine contain live swine flu. If you are trying to avoid the swine flu do you really think that it is a good idea to have live swine flu injected up your nose?

Many health experts are expressing a great concern about the safety of FluMist, and many hospitals are rejecting this nasal spray vaccine all together. Several Denver area hospitals are rejecting the FluMist swine flu vaccine because "they don’t want to endanger patients".

The media reports that the live swine flu within the vaccines has been "weakened", but according according to Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, between 10 million and 100 million swine flu viral particles will be forcefully injected into the nostrils when FluMist is administered to a patient. Read the entire article

Our proven defense against viruses is Silver Shield, EPA approved as non-toxic with patented technology.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Getting Your Yard Ready For Winter

Fall typically means cooler temperatures, more dependable rains, fewer pests and disease problems and an amazing burst of foliage color.

If you're lucky enough to live in an area where fall color can be spectacular, you get to watch how deciduous plants can go from solid green to an amazing array of yellows, oranges and reds.

Keep in mind that a plant's ability to produce vibrant fall color depends largely on genetics. Weather plays a minor role, but unless a plant is genetically hard-wired to produce color, there's nothing you can do to change that.

So enjoy the color for as long as it lasts, knowing that as fall turns to winter, more changes will take place. Here are some tips on getting your yard ready for the chilly season.

How to Weather Strip Your Home

Weather stripping and caulking your home will not only keep the elements out, but it will help reduce your energy costs. Here's the best advice and instruction for weatherproofing your home. Read the entire article. Get step-by-step instructions.

How to Recycle Tennis Balls

Do you know that this year over 557 million tennis balls will be manufactured globally. And do you know what happens to these tennis balls when you are finished with them? Not much!

The majority end up being dumped in landfills. To date very little recycling of tennis balls has been done, but now you can discover the many ways you can recycle tennis balls and help your environment.

If you love tennis then find out how you can recycle your tennis balls easily and efficiently. Visit

Friday, October 2, 2009

10 Life and Money Lessons Learned

My parents were both born in Southern Italy where unemployment is high and quality of life is superb. My mother, Annunziata, made it to the 7th grade and my father, Tommaso, has the equivalent of a technical high school diploma. Both of my parents immigrated to the US in 1975 and are currently debt free, own their own two-family home, and have plenty of cash in savings. They are, in many ways, leading the American dream – by not adopting the principles of American consumerism.

My parents have taught me many lessons about saving money and leading a high quality life via being practical, but the following ten lessons were most influential in shaping how I lead my life as a thirty-something today. Some of the lessons are what would be described as old school and some may be overly ... Read the 10 money lessons.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Free Music Online

Looking for free music that you can listen to online or download to your MP3 player? Here are several great sites to check out, starting with the best:

Enter a favorite artist, song or composer; and the site will create a custom radio station featuring your favorite music, plus other music like it. You can create up to 100 radio ... Read about the other 7 sites.
"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