Aug 02

Fiscal Geek made a Homemade Air Conditioner. Both frugal and practical, it came out of the combination of a heat wave and empty shelves at Home Depot where the air conditioners belong.

Still on the subject of Frugality, Moolanomy posted a list of Best Free Essential Software For Windows. On the list, OpenOffice.org gets my vote for best of the best. This open source (not to be confused with anything illegal or pirated) software is a Microsoft Office look alike, and works on Macs and Linux based computers as well.

Saving for Serenity takes a look at the Serenity Prayer (You know it – God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference) and offers a clever spin on the things he can and can’t change in his live regarding finances. I found his post to be more profound than perhaps he even realized, but that’s great. I hope he reads it again in a few weeks gives himself some credit.

Fiscal Geek was on a roll this week, (or maybe I need to get out more) his Debt Bait: 10 Methods to Credit Servitude was great reading, talking about the pitfalls of debt and the many ways to go down that path. I must admit, the first item on the list discussed the “Perk” cards, air miles, rebates, etc, hit a nerve with me. I agree with his conclusion that the banks are betting against me, and I maintain they will lose. But just like Dave Ramsey is speaking to a certain audience, I’ll read that first list item as “in any large enough group of people, most will lose this game, few will come ahead.” To add to his point, I came across a 2007 post on Poorer Than You, Do We Spend More When We Swipe Plastic? and the author, Stephanie concludes the answer is yes.

JD at Get Rich Slowly writes about “What We Wish We Knew When We Were Younger.” I have to give this more thought to come up with my own answers, but a post like this does get you thinking.

I wish you some good reading this coming week.
Joe

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Jul 31

This week, a few more things to consider that will save you money.

First, a water heater insulation blanket. Not a high tech item, this is just a layer of insulation you wrap around your hot water heater to prevent the heat from escaping through the tank exterior. A tank that’s warm on the outside is a good hint that the wrap will help. While you’re at it, go around your house and find any gaps around doors or windows that you can caulk or insulate. You should also check your wall outlets on external walls, you may find cold air leaking in through them in the winter, and the hardware store has insulation specifically designed for this application.

Rechargeable batteries – flashlights, kids’ toys, digital cameras, all these items use batteries, lots of them. The technology for NiMH (Nickel Metal Hidride) has improved dramatically over the last few years, and they can be recharged 1000 times before losing their ability to take a charge. Another case of doing the math and deciding if you can save money here.

Software – Moolanomy offered a great find, Winlibre which contains a full suite of software. One included title is OpenOffice which is a Microsoft Office substitute capable of opening and authoring MS Office compatible files.

Last, for today, I was at the deli counter the other day and could help but notice, the potato salad was $4,49 per pound, as was the cole slaw. This got me thinking. Learn to make you own side dishes. Some of the prepared foods at the grocery store aren’t too outrageous, but others are over five times what it would cost for you to make it from scratch.

Have a great weekend.
Joe

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