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Posts Tagged ‘Money’

I really like these time saving ideas that I came across this morning on Real Simple. Maybe you will too.


1. Send gift certificates for presents. Order online—no shopping, no wrapping, no exchanges.

2. Buy bagged salad greens and rotisserie chickens, two cornerstones of quick, healthy dinners. Add shredded chicken to casseroles, salads, soups, and pastas.

3. Ask for the earliest appointment. The later in the day you book a doctor’s visit, a haircut, or a meeting, the greater the chance it will be delayed.

4. Keep a stash of all-purpose birthday cards on hand, at home, and in the office.

5. Put a list of movies you want to rent and books you want to read in your wallet or smartphone.

6. Keep doubles and triples of things you use all the time (scissors, tape, reading glasses, cleaning supplies) in every corner of the house. This will prevent extra trips up and down the stairs for minor projects.

7. Get an electronic tag for your car if it is accepted at toll plazas in your area.

8. Invest in a wireless handheld e-mail device (such as a BlackBerry). Keep in touch with friends during unexpected downtime.

9. Sign up for automatic bill paying at your bank’s website.

10. Buy a case of your favorite olive oil or wine so you don’t have to make last-minute trips for hostess or birthday gifts.

11. Buy movie tickets in advance using Moviefone or Fandango to avoid wasting time on lines.

12. Whenever possible, double a recipe. Eat half right away, and freeze the rest for a future meal.

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One way I like to save money is by cutting down on spending. Sometimes it’s easier than trying to earn more money. I’d like to encourage you to take some time now and then to review what you’re spending your money on. Evaluate your needs and decide if you still need the services you’re paying for. Maybe there’s a better option. You might wish to reduce clutter &/consumption. I’ve been doing a bit of housekeeping in this area lately. I’ve made changes to the places our money goes. I’ve got less going out and more staying in my pocket – the difference is about 3700.00 per year. In the past 3 months, I’ve reviewed my home business expenses as well as my personal spending. Here’s what I’ve done and how much I’m saving per year per item.

  1. Discontinued Newspaper, I’m now reading news online. 204.00.
  2. Discontinue Cable TV, I’m now using Over the Air (antenna), Netflix; and the internet for programs. 670.00.
  3. Business Cell Phone Plan, removed long distance calling feature. I am now using Skype for long distance calls on the cell. I have a calling card as backup.  780.00.
  4. Business LAN line, changed supplier. 722.00.
  5. Fax line, changed supplier. 230.00.
  6. Installed Water Meter, I am now paying for the water we use in our home rather than a flat rate. 1116.00.

I hope I’ve inspired you to have a look at your spending/consumption. With a few changes maybe your retirement will grow faster;  or you can go on a vacation sooner; or you could donate the extra dollars to a charity.

I can’t say enough about Skype (or other online telecommunication services). It is so cheap – my plan is under 3.00 per month. I use it for my personal and business long distance calling. I have it installed on my iPod touch and my husband’s iPhone. I’ve installed it on every computer I own. Skype soon will be the only telecommunication service I have in our business office.

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I really like to pay attention to how I spend money and I encourage you to do the same.  I could spend a lot on decorating the home, if I were not careful. Over the years, I’ve begun to acquire a few furniture pieces through  consignment or second hand. For me, furniture consignment/ second hand shopping keeps the cost of upgrading down and therefore savings up. Read on to learn about a few successful purchases I have made.

While browsing around a furniture consignment store a few years ago  my husband and I found a brand new  ‘Snuggler’.  It was the perfect replacement for our existing well used love seat.  We located the same piece in the manufacturers store for much more. We saved about 1600.00.

With fewer of us around the table,  I began looking for a something smaller.  I found the perfect glass top bistro type table online for $20.00.  Were I to purchase this new, I would have paid over 100.00.

 If you are not furniture consignment/second hand shopping, I urge you to consider this. You will be amazed at the quality you can find at a good price. If you’re successful you’ll be able to keep your hard earned money for something else like: retirement savings; child’s education; or a vacation. A word of caution – you need to plan and have patience.

P.S. Consignment stores are a good place to find art and accessories for the home.

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Stepping Lightly – Simplicity for People and the Planet by Mark A Burch has been one of my favorite reads lately. When I finished reading the book the first time, I flipped back to page one and started all over again. I read the book a second time because it is such a thought provoking read. Although the book was published in 2000, it’s timeless.  The author has such a great way of describing the spiritual, soulful and planetary reasons for living a simple life. I first came across the book in the local library.  I’ve purchased two used copies  now. One I am keeping for myself and the other I lend out to friends. If you wish to simplify your life, this practical guide will give you good direction. I hope you consider reading it. Bye for now, Linda

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With lots of bugs in the air, I’ve been using disinfectant a little more lately. I really like the mixture below and I’ve been using it for sometime now. I make a larger batch and keep the extra on hand until I have the time to make more. I use it in the bathroom; kitchen; on door knobs and any other place that needs a good cleaning. It is so easy to make; cost effective; and leaves fixtures very shiny. Give it a try; I’m sure you will be happy with it.

1 TBSP liquid dish soap

½ cup vinegar

½ cup rubbing alcohol

½ c water

Mix and put in spray bottles

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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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