Learning how to use what you have and save money is really very simple and I will outline examples that may help save some green.
Use at your own risk and common sense.† *Now I save so much I can't even calculate the savings!
***IMPORTANT WATER SAVING TIPS. What you can do that may help. All situations are different and these are only suggestions: turn faucet on at half power for washing hands and hard rinse only as needed, check toliet chain link flaps as they can kink and rub vaseline on the area to reduce kink if cannot afford or unable to replace toliet flush system, if not harmful to health replace showers with adult bathing wipes in severe droughts. For more ideas (skip down to item 6 and on)
IMPORTANT NOTE! You can save alot more when you fix your credit score. I have been informed that firms that claim to help bring down your credit and work with credits actually can do more harm than good and you still have to pay for them. Personally, I have worked with creditors directly by first going to get a credit report from Equifax. I was told they are free if you have a credit dispute. Work directly and work a pay down with the creditor that works for you. Get friends or family to help in exchange for you doing something to help them, like babysitting, yard work, or whatever you are able to do. If the debt is extremely large, seek a professional and get opinions from googling YELP and see who has a good history. I go a step farther by then typing in the firm name and the word complaints against firm to see if anyone has had any problems and if and how those were resolved. Others you trust who have been down this road are the best to talk to. Again, make sure their circumstances are simular to yours. Any further ideas again I go to Yahoo Answers and as for me, I seek the Lord for wisdom in matters before jumping into something. NEVER BE IN A HURRY as this can mess you up. Staying calm is tough but must happen for you to think clearly. The Stress section of this website can be of great help.
1. The hidden treasures in your home:† using things like EBay and Amazon as well as yard sales is a start.† Additionally little things to save money help as well. Example: I cannot wash a lot of dishes due to allergies so I relied on paper plates to feed the cats. Then I realized all those cereal boxes were going to waste in recycling without first being used as feed trays. Also, donít overfeed your pet. (Consult your vet about this as this is not only a money waster but bad for the pet). I make sure to use the shiny side of the box as rinsing should clean off wet food (never use the dull side as food can absorb in the porous paper and some recycling companies may not like that.) An alternative if you are concerned about getting cereal boxes clean enough is to use wax paper and rinse immediately after use so it can be recycled.
2. To save heat: I closed less frequently used rooms in the house and just focus on the main part of the home to heat it where most everyone is; i.e. living room, recreational room. I also have a screen door between rec room and living room to let in heat. Sometimes I open it on really cold mornings, up the heat some and turn on the ceiling fan clockwise on lowest setting.
3. Cutting drafts: I have used weather stripping. When I am delayed repairing some drafts, a temporary solution for me are to plug small drafts with a chamois cloths and push it in with a fork. Works wonders!
4. Adaptation to hot and cool settings: (Check with your doctor before doing any of this!): First, if it is summer, try getting stuff done early in the morning and plan your trips in a circular fashion so you consume less gas. (Example, PGE is on the way to the store and so the result is more done in less traveling thus avoiding unneeded extra use of the car. (Incidentally, using the expensive gas and keeping tank near full can potentially increase fuel efficiency and car wear and tear.) Stay hydrated and indoors if possible during the hottest parts of the day.† Thermal curtains and shutting unused rooms can help conserve cooling costs.† Now, if it is winter: slowly practice lowering temperature in your house and bundle up more. Use exercise and diet to increase metabolism and treat the cooler setting in the house like a relief by pretending its 108 degrees outside, thus fooling the body into enjoying the cooler temps that we tend to strive for during summer air conditioning time. Drink some hot beverage such as tea to help while keeping active till my body is "revved up" so to speak.
5. Get advice from your doctor before doing what I am about to explain. First, some donít like to pay for services such as Life Alert but then know there are some people who need to use this service. If you cannot afford Life Alert and insurance wonít cover, there is one of many ways to deal with this: now available is an Aqua-Quest 100% Waterproof Mini Cell Phone Protector (found this on Amazon). It looks promising but check around and see latest reviews to see how well it works. Place your cell phone with a speed dial option for 911.† Again, this is not as good as something like Life Alert but if you cannot afford the Life Alert or other similar programs, this is a last ditch alternative.
6. Reduce store travel.† Load up a lot during one month and then keep just enough to get by.† If you can grow your own food, work at it.† I even eat wild dandelion greens instead of wasting money on pesticide.† My yard needs less water if it has more biodiversity rather than those generic lawns that take lots of time and upkeep.† I get a wild salad being CERTAIN of the dandelion greens and save a bunch on salads which I mix with a variety of goodies.† Be sure you know or consult with an edibles plant expert as eating the wrong stuff can be fatal.† And never, ever pick wild mushrooms even if you ARE an expert.† Get the kits where you can grow the safe kind like at Safeway and make sure with an expert that these are safe.† Make sure you donít eat anything you may be allergic to.†
7. Some who have the guts to clean just about anything can to save money as well as environment can do this: grab some sanitary disposable gloves and with a disinfectant wipe clean off the inside of the garbage sack, spray a dash of air freshener and reuse until the bag gets worn. I am searching for biodegradable plastic garbage bags if they last a while. In addition, if it works for you throw the rotten food out in the side area of the yard and let it biodegrade.†† Saves on garbage cost.† I do not throw waste food directly on the best part of the lawn but off in a select area just to degrade.††
8. Drought: Global warming is a contributor to bad drought in some areas. I like to water my lawn at night when it is coolest and/or very early before sunrise if needed in summer.† I used to dig aquifers to store and water deeper soil, but now I learn after experimentation that water recovery is the best way to go. Iíll explain that it a moment. If you live in a desert, aquifers may be useful where a jug is placed under the ground with a hole and slowly waters soil. This depends on your soil and other conditions so test it to see if practical in your area.† Additionally, water recovery is no more complicated than placing a jug and a funnel under the dripping faucet after a shower.† (The shower faucet is supposed to drip a while because it took a lot of water pressure to get to the pipes.) Over tightening shut off shower valves wear down the valves and may need expensive repair later.† Take showers with less water pressure and use toilet friendly weights in the tank to reduce flush and fill.
9. Rain Barrels: (Be sure you keep all barrels behind a fence so not accessible to children at all!) Barrels made from organic or non-plastic are best but when you are on a budget, use plastic garbage/recycling containers. Place them around the house where the rain falls off the roof. Each container as a pole in the water as cats that may stray could fall into it and need to climb out. If you place a secured screen over the barrel, this is a better solution. This thing can go wrong; I have done both to be extra safe.
10. Save money by making your own litter sand if you live near a beach and the sand is clean enough (doesnít smell). Toss some small bit of baking soda to help.
11. Reduce battery consumption. Use a wind up flashlight instead of a flashlight that requires batteries. The light can be very bright when wound fast enough. With appliances that need batteries however, use rechargeable batteries to reduce continued cost of going to the store.† They are expensive so buy just a small amount and build the rechargeable surplus over time.
12.† I build small layers and (not so small) of dead straw and inedible or undesirable weeds in a big pile in my yard.† The soil that these piles degrades into is awesome for a cheap top soil and works well.
13.† If you break your tub see if covered under your homeowners policy and/or home warranty policy. If not and you cannot afford an expensive repair, try testing the adhesive that is used to cover truck beds by first testing on a small cracked plastic or material closest to what your tub is made of. Be sure to follow all directions with alot of ventilation. After drying test with warm water from a sink to mimick the pressure of a shower, fill it up and leave it to sit for about a couple of weeks. If it works, use it and place covering for your feet that will be secure as tub cover may be slick. I am uncertain if the tub cover emits any fumes or other effects and further research is needed on your part. If it were me I would use plenty of ventilation and any additional precautions as I am overy cautious. If you dont feel like doing this of course you can use bath wipes and see if friends or family can help you out in meantime or if you have a handyman you trust that has done plumbing work,see if they can help. There are risks to non licensed folks so again, I cannot advise the best course of action as each situation is unique, but google research and yahoo answers may have info on affordable pay down plans to make the tub fix affordable by a professional.
14.† I build small layers and (not so small) of dead straw and inedible or undesirable weeds in a big pile in my yard.† The soil that these piles degrades into is awesome for a cheap top soil and works well.
15.† When hit by a disaster you don't want to be conned by so-called
fix it quick companies that are not legit. Go only to trusted sources of official agencies and don't believe
someone that comes to your door or claims to be one of them through email. In either case contact
the company directly. If they wont leave you alone say you are not well and someone is coming over anyway
to take care of the matter and your prefer not to discuss it and shut the door. I don't even open doors to folks I don't
know, I just open my window a few inches and keep a bar on the bottom window frame as often as possible. Regarding emails
that ask for your personal information to help in a disaster, NEVER EVER tell them ANYTHING. Even if it looks like one of the
companies you deal with, just call the company or go to their official site you have used rather than clicking on the link. If you are
uncertain of the companies site, call the company directly for the most accurate info. Even with the best phishing programs not everyone
is caught so don't be a victim.
Best advice I have researched is to go to FEMA and up in the right corner of the page you should see a light rectangular area with words in light gray saying "What are you looking for?" and a magnifying
glass next to the rectangular area. Type in the word "scams" and press enter to see what latest and same old tricks
con artists are pulling on folks in disasters More
good tips are being researched so come back here every so often and remember,
for the moment the IRS can only tax on what
you earn, not what you save.(Check† periodically your local tax advisor as laws
are subject to change.)
Best advice I have researched is to go to FEMA and up in the right corner of the page you should see a light rectangular area with words in light gray saying "What are you looking for?" and a magnifying glass next to the rectangular area. Type in the word "scams" and press enter to see what latest and same old tricks con artists are pulling on folks in disasters
More good tips are being researched so come back here every so often and remember, for the moment the IRS can only tax on what you earn, not what you save.(Check† periodically your local tax advisor as laws are subject to change.)