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Posts Tagged ‘Save’

Happy Feet

Yesterday, I returned home after 17 days volunteering in the North West Territories. My feet were in need of special attention.  Once again, I gave myself a pedicure. It really is quite simple and inexpensive.

 Follow these steps :

1). Soak your feet 10 minutes in Epsom salts. Remove old polish.

2). Exfoliate with a scrub – (there are many homemade recipes online)

3). Clean, trim and shape nails

4). Apply lotion

5) Optional – apply a few coats of polish (light pink looks clean and natural)

To keep it up – lather your feet with lotion before you go to bed.  Any lotion will do. Put on cotton socks and leave them on overnight.  If your feet are very dry and cracked add Vaseline to your lotion or use Vaseline by itself.   Each time you shower or bath, use a pumice stone on your heels and rough spots. You can exfoliate at this time also. Do not try to remove all dry skin at one time.

If you keep this up, you will have pretty feet year round.


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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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You know it is so much fun to find an old piece of furniture and give it new life. I found 4 chairs at a thrift store for 5.00 total. The local hardware store had few paint choices but we found suitable paint. My husband lightly sanded them and I painted them (royal blue).  In about 12 hours we had great looking chairs in our weekend place. The chairs can be used around  a kitchen table; in the corner of a bedroom; or anywhere extra seating is needed.  It is so simple to refinish things. Just give it a try.

(Chair as purchased at thrift store)

(Light sanding)

(Enamel paint)

( 4th coat of paint)

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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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I’ve been making and using my own laundry soap for two years now.  I thought it was a good time to give an update.  I am still very happy with the soap, it cleans very well; is quick to make; and my cost is under 15.00 per year.  Many of my friends have tried it and liked it.

If you are not making your own soap, I hope you give it a try.

Here is a link to my original post. https://flourishnow.wordpress.com/2010/02/12/homemade-laundry-soap/.

Ingredients

– 1 cup grated Sunlight bar soap – about 1/2 a bar (cost 2.00 for 2 bars)

– 2 cups boiling water

– 1 cup Arm & Hammer washing soda (cost for one box about 5.00)

– 1 cup Borax (cost for one box about 5.00)

– 1 gallon of warm water (16 cups or 4.55 litres)

Method

-grate 1 cup bar soap and melt in 2 cups boiling water, stir until melted

-once melted pour into big pot (I used a canning pot)

-add 1 cup washing soda and 1 cup Borax

-stir together – until dissolved

-add 1 gallon warm water (16 cups or 4.55 litres)

-stir until mixed well

-pour into empty laundry containers or a big pail

-use 1/4 cup per load – cold/warm/hot water

-shake or stir each time you use

One batch makes about 6 litres (roughly 1 1/2 US gallons) and costs about 2.00 per batch – maybe less.  You will have enough ingredients to make many batches. I filled a little more than 3 – 1.89 litre laundry jugs for less than a dollar per jug.  As you can see it is pennies per load. The batch may go gel like and clumpy, this is normal. Shake well with each use. Pre treat stains before washing.

–  sud less

– can be used in HE washer

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I can’t say enough about ‘ to do’ lists or ‘lists’ in general. That’s because I’m simply better organized, at home and at work, when I use one. I transfer things from my mind to a list.  I save time (and money) because with a list,  I’m not being pokey. Otherwise, I go from this to that and I don’t really accomplish much.  Lists help me prioritize too. My recent lists have included: Thanksgiving dinner, fall gardening,  and clients to contact this week. I keep a daily list too.  It’s for things that  I dont want to fall through the cracks like: meditation, exercise,  call a friend, or pick up library books.   Today I came across this amazing online tool called Wunderlist, maybe you’ve heard of it.  It’s very easy to use and it’s FREE.  Starting today, I’m managing my tasks from my home computer, office computer and my iPod Touch.  If you’re like me, always looking for ways to stay organized, give this a try.  I think you’ll like it. Have a nice day. Linda

                                                                                (Wunderlink screen)

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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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