Monday, February 22, 2010

Spring Time Watering

I know that it's hard to think about Spring time, especially in the MD-DC-VA area when all you see is snow and cold weather but I read about this new concept and thought it is better to share it early rather than getting it to you too late.

This concept is for a "smart" sprinkler system called Cyber Rain.

Instead of using a manual adjuster for your sprinkler system, Cyber Rain lets you do the programming on your computer. It gets weather reports off the Web, then transmits that information to the controller in your garage or basement plus it helps you to save 30-70% on your water bill...not bad, right?

Your water amount gets adjusted automatically, so you know for sure that you are watering only when your lawn and garden really need its.

I think it's something worth trying, plus the idea of saving money monthly sounds really good to me. 

Enjoy your day everyone!


Monday, February 15, 2010

Best Deals for February

Here are some items that can be found at great prices for the month of February.
  • Valentine's is over but check out what they have for next year
  • Christmas ornaments and decorations should be even cheaper now for next year
  • Bicycles
  • MP3 players
  • DVD players
  • Cameras
  • Perfumes and colognes
  • Outdoor grills
  • Luggage
  • Air Conditioning Units
  • Humidifiers
Have a great week!


Monday, February 8, 2010

Help in the Snow

With all this snow that we have received in the Maryland-DC-VA area, I hope that this blog will come in handy.

When going out in the snow, make sure to keep the following with you in your car (you never know when you might need it):
  • Sand or cat litter- to help create some resistance on your tires when you are stuck
  • Floor mats - these also help you get unstuck and give you traction (use the rubber side)
  • Shovel - to help dig you out of a snow ditch
  • Car Wax - put on your headlights so that snow and salt can't stick to it
  • Vinegar and water - 3 parts vinegar to one part water sprayed on your windows will help prevent your windows from freezing overnight
  • Cooking spray - spray it around your car doors so they don't feeze
  • Shaving cream - spraying it on your windows and wiping it off with a paper towel, helps it from fogging up your windows
  • Rubbing alcohol - use a cloth and wipe this on  your windshiled wipers; this prevents them from squeaking and creating streaks on your windows
  • Hand sanitizer - this helps with de-icing your lock in seconds (make sure it contains at least 60% alcohol, otherwise it might not work)
  • Gloves - keep an extra pair in your car, you don't want to be stuck in the cold without them
Also, just for fun...for those of you that have kids but don't want them out in all the snow, grab some snow from outside and bring it indoors.  Have the kids make snowmen on a plate inside your house and get creative with the face and clothes.

Have some hot chocolate and stay warm everyone!


Monday, February 1, 2010

Limit Your Spending in the New Year (Get out of Debt)

Every year, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling counsels close to two million American households nationwide. Whether they seek financial advice or choose to enroll in a debt-repayment plan, many of these families or individuals carry thousands of dollars in debt, often more than their annual income. Check with them first if you just don't know where to turn.

Credit Card Debt
  • Limit the amount of cards you use. If you are really scared to use them, cut most of them up and keep one stashed away and keep one in your wallet/purse. It's best to only keep your debit card with you, so when the urge arises, you know that you can only spend so much from your bank account.
  • It's best not to close all your cards, since you still need to keep your credit looking good, and in order to have it look good you do have to spend and use your cards; just pay them off in full when you get the chance.
  • Transfer your balance from a high rate card to a low rate card.
  • Try to negotiate a lower rate. This is certainly possibe if you have good credit.
  • Vist Credit Card Nation, this site estimates the time it will take to pay off your credit card debt.
Home Debt

  • Contact your bank or financial planner to discuss your situation and options. They maybe able to help you with money management issues.
  • Refinance. It seems harder right now to do, but if you have an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), it doesn't hurt to find out if you can refinance it to a fixed-rate mortgage.
  • If you are in danger of foreclosure, research to see if you have any alternatives. You may be tempted to cut your losses and move on, but visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s  site to research other options.
Handle Student Loans
  • Consolidate your student loans. Try to lock in a reduced interest rate to make your monthly payments more manageable.
Budget your finances. This might seem obvious but it's a tough thing to do. You may have to be strict for a while; but being strict for a short while might be all the difference in the world to improve your life for the better in the long term.
  • Do you have to go out to eat every day/week? Pack a lunch instead.
  • Limit shopping sprees to once every few months, except for your essentials (i.e. groceries, paper products, medicines, etc).
  • Instead of spending money on going out, stay in and rent a movie.
  • Instead of formal family pictures at a studio, set up your camera in your home and send it to picture developing site; it's a lot cheaper and more relaxing (trust me!).
There are many ways to eliminate unnecessary spending. Think of what is essential and what is extra and then eliminate/reduce the extra to 1-3 times a month/year.

Please also note that with all of the scams out there, be very careful with whom you deal with. Do your research before signing up and giving money to anyone. Go with your gut instinct and to be safe, go with a reputable (well known) bank or lender.

Here's to a wealthy 2010 for us all!


Whatever It Takes