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Archive for the ‘Money – Saving & Using’ Category

One component of budgeting that has worked really well for us  is the envelop system.  As our lives change  – our envelops change.  At present, the envelops include: groceries, gas, recreation, gifts, and vacation home. These are areas where we could easily overspend if we were not paying with cash. We’ve had other envelops but with life changes; online banking; and pre approved bank withdrawals we’ve cut back on the quantity of envelops. Here is how we use envelops: At the beginning of the month, after we review our budget, we put the allocated cash amounts into envelops. We spend only what is in the envelop. This keeps us from overindulging and we make better decisions about using our money.   No matter how much money is available (or not) we stick to our budget and this system.  It has allowed us to build savings and better use money – for over 20 years now.

Other envelop categories we have used over the years have included: dog expenses; school fees; recreation; hair cuts; etc.

When our girls each turned 12 years old, we put them on this system to teach them how to use money.  We gave them a monthly allowance and set them up with envelops. The categories were recreation, saving, charity, & clothing.  They put 10 % each into savings and charity. The other amounts depended on the circumstances. We allowed them to ‘rob’ from any envelop but not savings or charity. For example, if they needed extra clothing they were permitted to take from recreation. Once our girls started to earn their own money, they each wandered from this system. They’re now returning to it as they mature and have more financial responsibilities.

This system is so easy to use, I hope you give it a try. Linda

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I’m wondering if you’re making your own general purpose cleaner.  I’ve been using this mixture for sometime now and I really like it. I like to keep bottles in the kitchen, bathroom and shower.  It’s inexpensive; easy to make; smells nice; and cleans wonderfully. I think you’ll like it if you give it a try.

½ tsp baking soda

2 tsp Borax

½ tsp liquid dish soap

2 cups hot water

Mix and put in spray bottles

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As I was cleaning out my garden the other day, I was reminded of a perennial exchange I had with girlfriends last fall. After we divided our plants and bulbs, we got together and exchanged the extras. This is a great way to beautify your yard and your neighborhood – for free. Maybe this is something you’d like to do, it’s alot of fun.

This year I’ve collected a few seeds from plants like this Painted Daisy. I’m going to enclose the seeds in cards I send to friends – as a little surprise.  Have a wonderful day,  Linda

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I really enjoy cleaning the glass and mirrors in my home weekly. I feel the house looks so much brighter with the added shine.  I also use glass cleaner on fixtures in the bathrooms for a nice sparkle.  I have made my own glass cleaner for many years. It is so simple; convenient; and inexpensive. Here is what you need:

¼ tsp of liquid detergent

3 tablespoons of vinegar

2 cups of water

Mix and pour into spray bottle

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Ladies, it is so easy to have your jewelry looking nice all the time. Just soak it in jewelry cleaner for a few minutes; scrub with a very soft toothbrush; rinse with cold water; and dry with a soft clothe. Jewelry looks so much nicer when it is clean .  Here is a recipe that I have been using for over 20 years. Use it on gold, silver and costume jewelry. I have been told not to put gemstones in homemade cleaner.  I make a new batch about once a year. Give this cleaner and try, I am sure you will like it.  Shine on. Linda

2 TBSP liquid dish soap

½ tsp ammonia

1 cup water

Mix and store.

Once a year, at Christmas time,  I take my wedding rings to the jewelers for a professional cleaning – it a free service.

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Just over a year ago, I bought a floor steamer/sanitizer mop.  I have to say, this is one of the best home purchases I’ve made.   For about 18 months now, I have been cleaning my floors (linoleum and hardwood) with water only. The very first time I used the steamer/sanitizer; my youngest daughter came in the house and said ‘wow, the floors look great mom’. In the beginning, I found it difficult to push the mop back and forth. The pads  seemed to grip the floor.  In time, and after about 4 uses, the pads were not so dirty and the mop was far easier to push – because the build up of residue was finally removed. Since using this steamer/sanitizer, I wash my floors less often as they stay cleaner longer. Ladies, consider making the switch to a floor steamer/ sanitizer. Not only is it environmentally friendly, but you will save money by not buying floor cleaners  and your will save time by cleaning your floors less often. Have a great day. Linda


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Ladies, are you using dryer balls? If not, I am sure you will like the results if you begin. When I use my electric dryer, I have found that dryer balls reduce drying time, soften fabrics and reduce wrinkles. They work by lifting and separating clothes/towels/sheets….allowing air to flow more efficiently. Dryer balls reduce the amount of energy used and therefore save money on the energy bill.  Some contain PVC and others do not. They are a little noisy, so beware.  I use them during the day when I will not bother anyone in my family. Give them a try; I am sure will be happy.

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