Home Hair Coloring
My sister is a retired hairdresser. She told me to use a semi-permanent hair color. It gives the impression of natural highlights in my hair and doesn't look dyed. I only have to color it every six weeks or so. Since I do it at home, I save a bunch of money.
If you're an avid scrapbooker, you probably wear out your punches and scissors regularly. Here's a trick to keep them sharp. Fold aluminum foil three or four layers thick. Then punch or cut through the foil. You'll need to do it a few times, but before long, you'll get a clean punch or cut. Just like brand new!
We just had our wills updated. The lawyer told us that the beneficiary designation on our IRAs outranked our wills. It's a good thing that he mentioned it. We assumed that the will would be in control. Since it's possible that a big part of our estate will be in our IRAs, that could have messed up how we wanted to allocate our estate.
I got one of those step counters for Christmas. I use it to keep track of my fitness walks. One thing I do to keep motivated is to set aside $1 for each mile that I walk. It's adding up really fast! I haven't decided whether to use it on new clothes or for something special during my vacation. Either way I'm finding it much easier to get a walk in every day!
Collection? Or Clutter?
Recently, I was thinking that I needed another bookcase or cabinet to store my expanding angel collection. I have all kinds that I've collected over many years. But then I started thinking about it and realized that I don't do anything with them. That the thing I enjoy most is the hunt. So instead of buying something to hold more angels, I've developed a habit of selling one on eBay for each new one I collect. Not only does that keep the size of my collection the same, but it causes me to spend some time with them to decide which one gets sold. And the extra money that I get for the sale helps pay for my next find.
Dry Carpet Cleaners
A professional carpet cleaner in our area came to do my carpeting some time ago. I asked what he recommended as I too did not like wet carpet and his company uses a dry-chem powder method of cleaning. His response was simple. He said that the best cleaner for your carpet is club soda! This makes good sense to me. It is fizzy and would likely be very effective in “lifting” any stains when caught early and would not leave any odor.
Fortune Cookie Finances
I know that you don't often find wisdom in fortune cookies, but one quote has stuck with me. “Happiness isn't having what you want. It's wanting what you have.” Now when I want something, I consider the alternatives before I go shopping. Sometimes I find a substitute. Other times, I decide that the want was only a whim. I have no idea how much I've saved because of the saying, but I bet it's a lot!
Allergies and Line Dried Clothes
I like to line dry my clothes. It saves money, and the clothes smell so nice! But my son suffers with allergies and hanging his clothes outside almost always triggered an allergy attack. I found a solution. After his clothes are mostly dry on the line, I put them in the dryer for five minutes without a dryer sheet. That's just enough to remove the pollen. We have no more allergy attacks, and I get to use my clothesline!
Homemade Beef Marinades
The easiest, cheapest, and quickest beef marinade is also very delicious. Just use your leftover bottled salad dressing! You can add some aromatics like minced garlic or various herbs, but the dressing by itself will do a good job of tenderizing and flavoring the meat. I sometimes buy bottles of Italian dressing on sale just for this purpose, but using up whatever dressing you already have on hand works, too.
Building a Home?
Last year, we had a home built. We trusted the builder but wanted to make sure that it was well constructed. In our contract, we included a clause that we could have a home inspector inspect it before we took possession. When the house was done, the inspector said that everything was right. The job foreman knew that it would be inspected, and we think it helped encourage the workers to do a good job.
My family likes rice. Since it's cheap, we eat a lot. One problem was what to do with leftover rice. I hated to throw it away, but if I put it in the fridge and reheated it, the results weren't good. Finally I found a solution. I take any leftover rice and put it in the freezer. When I want some, I put it in a microwaveable bowl, add a few drops of water, and put a saucer on top of the bowl. Then I microwave it for just a half minute or so. It works great!
Flipping Short Sales
We've found a way to live for almost nothing. Two years ago, we bought a short sale home. The price was way under the neighborhood because the house needed some work. We did the essentials first and moved in. Over the next year, we gradually made repairs and upgrades. It was mostly DIY work. Once we felt that it was good, we started looking for another short sale to buy. Once we had a contract on one, we put our current home on the market. We expect to get about 30% more than we have into our home. It's almost like living rent or mortgage free!
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