If you do not have the means to splurge on decorating your living room, you can still make it the most beautiful room in your home. After you know exactly how much money you are willing to spend on improving your living room, you can begin to explore the options that can change this space for the better.
The Clutter Must Go
Before you even begin to clean, you must get rid of all of the clutter in your living room. First, remove anything that does not belong there. Toys, clothes, magazines and other items that do not add to the ambiance of the living room should be moved to another location. When all of the unnecessary miscellaneous items are removed, clean the space. After cleaning, you will able to notice what areas look dull, what touches need to be added and what items should remain the same.
Gardening tends to be one of those hobbies that can go either way. Either you save yourself money by growing your own produce, making your own compost, and collecting your own seeds, or on the flip side, you can fall pretty deep into the money pit once you start looking around at all the beautiful plants and fun garden accessories you’d like to buy. Thankfully, a few creative tips can help you to beautify your garden on a budget
in no time.
No matter if you enjoy flower gardening, vegetable gardening, or simply growing herbs and spices, you can find a wealth of ways to save money while also enhancing the look and function of your gardening spaces. Here are a few fun and clever ways to get the most out of your garden on a budget.1. Try your luck with container gardening or raised beds.
You can plant herbs, strawberries, and various veggies in containers that you already have, simply drilling holes in the bottoms for drainage. Set up your container garden on a patio or off to the side where you can arrange each pot how you like, paying attention to which plants need sun, shade, or a bit of both. If your soil is less than ideal, you can make your own garden beds using 2x4 lumber and a couple of nails or similar materials. Put some tarp underneath to prevent the weeds from coming up and fill each frame with soil. Have fun growing your favorite veggies!
Saving money can sometimes be harder than it seems. Often times, the very things that you think are saving you money often come back to haunt you. Listed below are 15 common money saving mistakes that you should avoid if you want to really put cash back
into your pocket. Use these tips to save money successfully.
- Going to the Dollar General. Some dollar stores stay true to their name by offering low priced items. Others, however, are simply using the name as a way to attract customers. Be cautious that the dollar store you visit isn’t actually marking up the price on some items in an effort to make a profit.
- Not paying attention to interest rates when borrowing money. From time to time you may need to borrow money or finance things like cars and furniture. To truly save money, you must ensure that the interest rate is as low as it can possibly be. Don’t accept loans with high interest rates or your will pay more than double what it is worth.
- Having a “general idea” of how much money you have in the bank. Do you know how much money you have in the bank? One money saving mistake that people make is assuming they have money in the bank when they really don’t.
- Buying poor quality products that you have to use more of. The quality of products does matter. Buying the cheaper option may not always be best.
- Making “saving” the focus of your life. While saving money should certainly be a part of life, it shouldn’t consume you. There are times to just sit back and enjoy life.
- Not having a savings plan. The other extreme is not saving any money at all. You will need to have money saved when you retire.
- Buying things on credit card with the intentions paying the card off. While you may think you will pay it off when the bill comes in, this can quickly cause your debt to add up.
- Not searching for the best deals. When saving money, you should always shop around for the best deals before you make a large purchase such as a car. Shopping around can lead you to significant savings.
- Falling for gimmicky sales tricks. Sales trick such as buy one get one free often trick customers. This is the same as saying “we are selling for 50% off.” Watch catchy wording so that you can truly save money.
- Buying things just because they are on sale. Be sure that if you are going to buy something, you will use it. People tend to buy things just because they are “on sale.”
- Using coupons on things that you don’t really need. Similarly, people tend to buy things that they have coupons for when in reality the item is still more expensive than the competitor’s brand.
- Shopping without a list. A list can help you save money each and every time you go to the store. Make a list each time you go to the store and don’t waver from it.
- Opening lines of credit just to get a discount. Learn to say “no” when the cashier asks you to open a line of credit at the store. Not only does this encourage you to spend more money, opening a line of credit at every store you purchase from increases the likelihood that someone may steal your personal information.
- Not believing that you CAN save money. Have the attitude that you can save money and you will. Just like anyone else, you must believe that you have the ability to save.
- Having the “get it now” attitude. If you truly want to save money, you want to show patience. Many people fail in saving because they have the “get it now” attitude. Save and be patient for the things you want to buy. It will probably go on sale and you can save even more money.
Are you falling victim to any of the mistakes listed above? Do your best to save money without
falling into these traps.
---by Sarah WoodSarah Wood writes for JuteRugShop.com an online store that offers a large range of high quality and
eco-friendly jute rug.
Yes, Eneloop rechargeable batteries are worth it.
Today, I'd like to take a look at three different types of AAA size battery - non-rechargeable, NiMH rechargeable, and Sanyo Eneloop NiMH rechargeable - to see how Eneloop stands out and why it is the bargain among the three.
I did some searches on INeedABargain.com
(INAB) using keyword 'AAA.' I also used keyword 'eneloop' to search and spot eneloop battery offers. Among all battery deals
, I was able to find one deal in each of the three categories:
- 20 Duracell non-rechargeable AAA $7 shipped ($0.35/cell)
- 4 Duracell Rechargeable AAA $7.97 shipped ($1.99/cell)
- 4 Sanyo Eneloop Rechargeable AAA $9 shipped ($2.25/cell)
Although non-rechargeable AAA has the best unit price of $0.35 per cell, the disadvantage is that it is not rechargeable for reuse. By comparison, Duracell rechargeable is about $1.99 per cell, which means that after you reuse each AAA cell for roughly 5 times, the total cost will then be lower than using a non-rechargeable battery.
Using regular NiHM rechargeable might lower your cost, by a lot, especially after 5 times of recharges. However, the biggest obstacle you may have experienced using regular rechargeable is its high self-discharge. The experience of installing a rechargeable battery that you charged up a month ago may not be too pleasant because of it's likely to run low pretty soon. Why? Because regular NiHM battery self-discharges over time. But how fast does it self-discharge? According to this excellent review
, the charge loss is about 83.8% after six months. In other words, a Duracell NiHM battery has a mere 16.2% charge retention rate six months after it sits on the shelf. No wonder many users are disappointed and dislike rechargeable batteries and switch back to regular batteries after trying NiHM rechargeables.
Before you totally give up on rechargeable batteries, you must try Sanyo Eneloop. Eneloop is only 15% more expensive than other types of NiHM rechargeable batteries (e.g. Duracell, Energizer, Gold Peak). But there's a big difference in charge retention rate as Eneloop is claimed by SANYO to keep 85% of their charge after sitting on a shelf for one year. In the same 3rd party review I mentioned earlier
, Eneloop has charge loss of only 29.8% (vs. 83.8% of other NiMH) about after six months sitting on a shelf. Even after one year, the Eneloops would still have half their capacity, whereas a regular NiMH battery would be virtually dead.
I conclude that SANYO Eneloop cells are worth every penny. The cost benefit exceeds non-rechargeable batteries after you reuse a Eneloop 6 times or more. Besides, SANYO Eneloop can be charged in any normal slow or fast charger designed for regular NiMH cells.
---by Charles Gwa
How does cooking and charging go together? A small company, BioLite, has been working on a small and durable camp stove that combines cooking with charging.
The most impressive feature of this cooking device is that it can cut the emissions by 90%, compared to you burn woods directly. By cutting emissions, it also cuts down the threat from the emissions thus saves lives by being eco friendly. It also has the ability to convert a fraction of the excess heat into electricity to charge your gadgets (mobile phones, LED lights, GPS, etc.) via one USB port. Thus, similar to solar powered devices
, the StoveCamp saves energy.
BioLite team explains:"Half the planet cooks on open fires, leading to 2 million premature deaths each year and contributing to global warming. We're using the same technology inside the CampStove to bring clean, safe energy access to families across the developing world."
BioLIte CampStove is now in manufacture and is ready to go to the market. It is expected to hit the market this summer (2012 camp season). It uses nothing else but woods. Campers and hikers can reserve one
at BioLiteStove.com today.
(MUO) is one of my favorite sources for knowing cool websites and tips. Recently, it rolled out a new monthly column on games. Every month, they said they'll be featuring some best free iPad
games. The first month they featured games in the puzzle category - Arcs Free
, Blocks Free
, Clockwork Brain
, Doodle Fit Lite
, Moonlight Mahjong Lite
, and my favorite Cut the Rope
It is important to exercise your brain once in a while and have some fun at the same time. Check out MakeUseOf's free iPad games puzzle 2012 Feb edition
After viewing this video if you're still not convinced to sign up at Dollar Shave Club
, at least you'll enjoy the swagger and sight gags.
Today, Google introduces Google Play
, a digital entertainment destination. It is more of a rebranding of several existing separated Google services - online books, music, video, android apps - now all under one single umbrella named Google Play. Google Play allows users to watch movies, play music, and read books on different Android devices or in Chrome browsers. The content is streamed from the 'cloud' so you'll always have the access from any place with Internet connection.
This is a great news for movie lovers. Since the Blockbusters around the corner were shut down several months ago, I've changed my ways of looking for movie rentals. Renting from Blockbuster has never been a bargain for me in most cases. There was just too much of a hassle of driving back and forth and I had to remember to return the rentals on time. Same applies to Redbox; I still have to find and drive to a Redbox. But Redbox is a cheaper option, and often time Redbox offers free rentals
. I thought Redbox was going to be my ultimate option of renting cheap movies
for a while. These days, I think I'll start switching to renting from online places like Google Play, or subscribing to Netflix.
At first launch of Google Play, there is a 99 cents section of movie rentals available. When you're there at Google Play
, look for this banner (see left) that will take you to access 99 cents bargain movie rentals.
---by Charles Gwa
If you're not saving enough and I tell you to start saving today, you're not going to do it. Instead, if I tell you not to save more today, but to start saving more only when you get your pay raise in the future, you'll probably take my advise.
Only a third of people actually formally save money, like having a 401(k) account or something. For many people, save more today is just not an option. I can understand that and you can too, if you know a bit of behavioral finance.
Behavioral finance is a combination of psychology and economics. Understand behavior finance helps you know money mistakes that people make, so that you can turn money challenges into solutions. My understanding of behavioral finance is that to start saving, people are likely to face 2 major obstacles - lack of self-control and inertia - because save now is so painful and it's natural to have loss aversion. The solution must overcome these two major obstacles, and the solution must be easy enough to carry out with the least effort.
What can you do to start saving in the near future? Next time you get a pay raise you've got to set aside your pay increase as your saving so you won't have too much of loss aversion. Hopefully, you won't feel as bad as a money which feels bad when someone takes an apple away from it when it has two apples. Review the percentage of your 401(k) contribution as a percentage of your salary and stick with it or raise a percentage or two will help in the long run. If you're still young and can afford a higher percentage, then maximize it. For the rest of you to whom 401(k) doesn't apply, know the concept of behavioral finance on steroids may only be a plus. For that, watch this TED session
presented by Shlomo Benartzi who studies behavioral finance with a special interest in personal finance.
---by Charles Gwa