Friday, July 27, 2012

Do’s and Don`ts For A Mortgage

From Not Made of Money

Applying for a mortgage is confusing for most people, even those that have purchased a home in the past and already gone through the process. There is always some hidden term or unspoken rule that can drastically reduce the chances of getting the best mortgage possible, so always do your research before going house hunting. Read the entire article.

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How To Sell On Craigslist

From PT Money

We’re in the middle of getting rid of stuff on craigslist that we don’t want to move into our new house next month.

If you’ve never done this, I can tell you this is a great exercise in intentional living and intentional spending because you can make money from selling things you no longer use and use the funds to pay off debt or purchase things you will use.

To sell on craigslist, or to advertise your garage sale there, you will need to create an account, navigate to your city, and create a new posting. Here are a few tips ....

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Adjust Home Temperatures Seasonally

The bigger the difference between the external temperature and the internal temperature of your home, the more work your air conditioning or furnace is going to have to do. It doesn’t matter how much insulation or how well air sealed your home is, it’s going to happen. Given enough time, your home is going to adopt the temperature of the outdoors, and the further away the temperatures are, the faster the change is going to be (at first).

Here in Iowa where I live, temperatures can range from as high as 105 F in the peak of summer to as low as -15 F in the harshest part of winter. The reality of losing heat in the winter and gaining heat in the summer is a pretty serious reality for us. Read the entire article.

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Friday, July 20, 2012

10 Cost-Effective Ways to Make Bookshelves

From Wise Bread

One of the many benefits of DIY is saving money on items that would otherwise cost a pretty penny. One such item is shelving. If you’re an avid book lover, then learning how to make your own bookshelves is a skill that can shave serious dollars off the cost of settling in to a new place. Here are ten money-saving ways to do just that. Read the entire article.

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Best Place to Buy Used Furniture: Estate Sales

From PT Money

We’re moving into a new home with more space. One of the things we need is a kitchen table.

Knowing this, my wife, Mrs. PT, has been scouting out kitchen tables for weeks now. She found a nice table listed online.

Except, it wasn’t available in an online store for purchase. Nor was it on craigslist. It was only going to be available for purchase from 10am on Thursday morning till 5pm on Saturday. Yes, it’s an estate sale purchase! I think estate sales are possibly the best place to buy furniture. Read the entire article.

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7 Ways To Save On A Car Rental

Highlights
• The average rate for a weekly rental from an airport is up $100 from last year.
• Use the Web, but be sure online cost comparisons include taxes and fees.
• Consider renting from a local or regional agency.

Getting a good deal on a car rental this summer may take some doing.

Rates on car rentals are up and in some cases way up from a year ago, according to Abrams Consulting Group, based in Purchase, N.Y., which tracks car rental rates.

The biggest rate hikes are on vehicles rented from airport locations.

In early July, the average rate for a one-day rental of a midsized car booked a week in advance from an airport location was $99.81, up from $75.96 a year ago.

That extra $23.85 per day ... Read the entire article.

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Friday, July 13, 2012

Wash Your Hair Without Buying Shampoo

From One Green Generation

I had heard of “no ‘poo” methods of washing your hair, but I was scared of the “transition periods” people wrote about, and the nebulous “just use vinegar and baking soda” methodology. I had a tough time finding concise instructions, and I was happy with my own shampoo. Plus my skin is extremely sensitive, my hair gets greasy pretty quickly and is extremely straight (which is a bad combination).

So… I put it off, I made excuses, and life got in the way.

But now the economy isn’t doing well and we’re trying to tighten our belts a bit. My favorite online store stopped selling my favorite shampoo and I’m trying to buy locally. Plus, since I researched all those crazy chemicals in shampoos, I’ve been leery of getting them near my body.

So despite any reservations, about 3 months ago I decided to try the “No ‘Poo” method. Read the entire article.

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Make Time for Household Maintenance

From Frugal Dad

With the economy in a seemingly endless state of turmoil and uncertainty, it only makes sense to save money wherever it is possible. If you are like most people, the source of your greatest expense is your most expensive possession: your home.

A home takes thousands of dollars to maintain on an annual basis and, sometimes, several thousand in a single month. However, when you make time for routine household maintenance, you will save money by increasing the longevity of your home and the various appliances that are an indispensable part of your home.  Get the tips.

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Hidden Costs of Vacations and How to Minimize Them | Enemy of Debt: Where Behavior Meets Reality

From Enemy of Debt

Recently I went on an amazing vacation ... A large portion of it was a gift from a friend but I was still responsible for some expenses and I set a budget early to deal with them. However, I realized very quickly that there were a number of expenses that I did not account for when I was making plans.

Most of us budget for vacations and we plan for travel expenses, hotels, food, entertainment and souvenirs. But there are so many other things that need to be worked into the budget. If they aren’t, these extra expenses can add up and end up on your credit cards. Read the entire article.

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Friday, July 6, 2012

Keep Rabbits & Other Animals Out Of Your Garden

From One Green Generation

My sister Lori wrote me last year asking for advice about her new vegetable garden in St. Louis. They have loads of little bunnies. Apparently they’re extremely persistent and have been known to eat even jalapeno peppers! She was worried they will eat her yummy new lettuces, carrots, radishes – and considering their track record, even her tomatoes.

We had jackrabbits at our Northern California home. Have you ever seen one? They’re not your little St. Louis bunny: they are amazingly fast, and they are much bigger than our dog! They eat grass and clover, and presumably they would find our carrots and lettuce absolutely delightful…. but guess what? They were everywhere in our yard EXCEPT in our vegetable garden. I never saw – or found evidence of – a single nibble.

It could be luck, but considering that the rabbits regularly hopped within inches of the vegetable garden, I think it may have to do with a few other things. So I wrote this post to help Lori and all the rest of you who have bunny problems.

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Delicious, Nutritious Smoothie Recipes


Chris Frazier, Manager of Insurance Benefits & Wellness, coordinates the Shake-it-Up program. She says: “We thought we’d introduce a great, new way for employees to try products that they may not have tried. We offer a free smoothie lunch on Wednesdays. Employees love getting a smoothie made with Nature's Sunshine products, fruits and other healthful ingredients.

Strawberry Banana SmartMeal Smoothie

1 cup skim milk
½ cup of strawberry Greek yogurt
1 banana
½ cup frozen strawberries
½ cup ice

Nature’s Harvest Tropical Smoothie

2 scoops of Nature’s Harvest
1 banana
1 cup of pineapple juice
1 cup of ice

Start your own Shake it Up! Try it with your family. Invite friends and neighbors to check out healthful Nature's Sunshine products like SmartMealNutri-BurnNature’s Harvest, and Love and Peas.


Here’s what a few employees say:

“My smoothie was awesome! It gave me lasting energy to be productive and it tasted great! I love the new Shake-it-Up program!” —Aaron Wengert, Retail Sales Manager

“I had never tried a Nature's Sunshine smoothie with milk and yogurt! I thought it was great!” —Brian Dearden, Network Marketing Sales Manager

“It was really delicious. I love getting ideas on how to use the products and knowing that it’s a healthy way to go.” —Maria Zelaya, Events Planner

“The shake was great and healthier than the soda I usually have at lunch time.” —Jim Hansen, IT

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Create Your Will for Free

From AARP

Do you have a will? If you’re like nearly two-thirds of Americans, you don’t.

But you do need one. Even if your assets are small, a will can help loved ones avoid squabbling over what little there is and carry out other important decisions you’ve made.

If you die without a valid will, you risk having very personal questions settled by a third party administrator, usually appointed by a probate court.

Is getting a will expensive? It can be, but there are also numerous free resources to help you draw up a new will or update an old one. Read the entire article.

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"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