- Personal Finance
Finding Money In Your Home
Throwing Away Your Future?
Are You Ready?
I don’t know if you are really ready to read this. Most people think they are prepared to do whatever it takes to create more income for themselves. Part of the problem that they don’t recognize is what I call programming. So many people are locked into it; they are in their little boxes and have no idea. Its programming they were raised with and programming from society.
However, if you are hungry for change, you have to set your mind to accept that real change may take you outside your comfort zone. However, it’s necessary, because doing what you are comfortable with has gotten you into the place you are in your life; a place where you may find that your American dream is no longer working and is no longer a viable option for you.
I know someone that is a millionaire. Actually, I know several millionaires. Whether they’ve materially achieved it yet or not is irrelevant. That’s simply a matter of external paper flow, and this is what I’m trying to illuminate for you right now. The point is that some of the millionaires I know, you would never know they are millionaires, because they live in such a way that you wouldn’t know they are millionaires.
They do things that you and I have not been willing to do, but it is the additional efforts that they make that put them into the position that they are in which most people envy so much. Most of us are too busy being caught up in our conveniences to really see the things we need to do to increase ourselves.
Half of the problem is the amount of money that is hemorrhaging out of our homes. However, there are things you can do to stop this from happening. I’m mindful of the fact that many of you are probably going to scrunch up your faces, and turn up your nose at the idea of some of these things; but if you are serious about retaining your money, and ending the giveaway to all the companies you are in hock to, then pay attention, and be willing to sacrifice to achieve your goals.
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Your First Home Business
The first thing you need to do is treat your home like a business. I had never thought of my home in this way, but it’s true. You have manage your home like a business.
One thing you can do is go through your home and find the things that you don’t use. If the item is still good, have a yard sale or post it on Ebay and sell it. If it is not in good enough condition or is too old, and scratched up (or clawed up if you have cats) to sell, check in your city for companies that recycle, and find out what their requirements are. Do they take things according to weight, or do they take by the piece? What do they pay?
For instance, look in your house for things that have metal in them; old TV’s, chairs with metal bases, file cabinets, bed frames etc. I know that you may be accustomed to just dumping these in front of your yard for your city to pick up on refuse day; but if you load your car, and take it to the scrap metal people yourself, you can get a few dollars to put gas in your car. Your city is not going to give you that gas money, but they’ll take it from you and make the money themselves.
Improvisation is the Key
Do you have a well with a pump in your yard? What about a rainwater catching system? Heck, get some large basins if you don’t have a rainwater catching system. Improvise! You can wash your clothes with this water. Yes, I know that sometimes well water has a yellow tint to it and even a smell. I’m not saying drink it. I’m saying use it. I water my yard with it.
Instead of letting your washer fill up with city water, take your hose and attach it to your pump, and take it in the back door to your washer and fill it up. Then put 5 drops of bleach per gallon, to take out any odor, and clean disinfect it. Put your clothes in with your detergent, and a little Fabuloso (my secret) to boost your cleaning power.
You can time the system, and refill it prior to your machine doing it. Turn off the machine when it’s time to rinse, and fill the machine yourself with well water. You would save gallons of water; between 5-12 gallons per wash, depending on how full a load you are washing, and how large your machine is. Additionally, you can use vinegar as a fabric softener. It’s really cheap to purchase, and costs far less than the regular fabric softener, if you buy a large bottle. Crimp your hose so you can turn on the pump and get the hose in and out of your wash room without flooding it.
First, you are saving water off your city utility bill, and secondly, you are using cold water, which means you are not utilizing your water heater, saving on your electric bill. Check your machine. The faster the washer spins, (RPM’s) the less energy you need to dry the clothes, if you are using the dryer. However, I suggest you put up a clothes line, and dry your clothes the old fashioned way.
I put up two lines, rigging them between a pipe attached to my house, and a limb on my neighbor’s tree that overhangs in my yard. I did, of course, ask his permission to tie the cords on his tree. Even though it’s hanging over in my yard, the section I wanted to attach to is right over the fence.
Additionally, I hang the clothes on hangers and then put the hangers on the line. If there is a good wind, they can blow off, so you clip your laundry pins to both the hanger and the line at the same time, to keep your hangers from flying away in the wind. This allows you to hang much more out on the line. I hang the large items outside, and put the socks and underthings in the dryer for 30 minutes.
Save the Money on Your Bill
I have cut my use of the dryer by more than 50%, but that alone won’t save the money on your bill. If the dryer is plugged in, you will still be getting charged. I was unplugging, but was continually having the problem of my son not doing this.
I have started going to the breakers and turning off switches. Most of the switches are off in my house. I tested the switches to find out what rooms are for what switches, and what plugs. Guess what I discovered? More than half of the switches were to plugs or places that we don’t ever use, or at least, not hardly.
I discovered that it was only one switch to power my room, my office and the living room. One switch powers my son’s room and the bathroom. That’s more than half the house powered by only two switches. So you see my point, right? Go through your place. Use a radio in plugs so you can see what switches power them and the lights for that room, and label your switch box.
Turn off the switch for your dryer. If your house is set up like mine, you may find that your washer is powered by the same line as your refrigerator, so unplug it when not in use, because you want to keep your refrigerator switch on. Turn off your range and the overhead fan/light when not in use. Turn off everything else that is not in use. When you leave your house to go out, shut off everything except the refrigerator.
Count the Cost
Now, I know what you’re going to say. You’ve been programmed to believe that if you turn off those panel switches, it’s going to blow your fuses. I was told that same lie too by my landlord, who, I’m sure, was told the lie by the electric company. But, guess what? Count the cost. Ask your electrician how much it costs to replace those fuses.
If you are like the lady I spoke to that told me about this; she said she is saving $1200 per year doing this. Her electrician told her that it costs $300 to replace the fuses, so she said I’ll pay the $300. She’s been doing this for the last 5 years, and her fuses have not blown yet. So think about how much money she saved in that time! About 6K! How many other bills could you pay down with that extra money? I know I’d have 2-3 of my student loans paid off!
During the summer, open your windows, and don’t run your ac during the day for your pets. Just be sure to leave them water. They can handle it. Or, if you are that worried, leave one fuse on that you can attach a fan to, and let it blow air around in the house if you are that worried about your pets. Turn on your ac only in the evening when you come home, and run it on low in conjunction with fans you may have at night, so you can sleep in comfort.
Conserving More Water
Let me go back to the water situation. Do you know that you don’t have to flush the toilet if you just sprinkle in it? (I’m trying to be delicate here. This does not apply to teenaged boys, because of the odor attached to their sprinkles.) For the ladies, put a plastic bag on the back of the door or in your bathroom can, and put your paper in that, only if you sprinkle. You don’t want an accumulation of paper in the toilet if you are not flushing immediately.
But, let me tell you another way to conserve water with the toilet. If you cannot afford to replace your tank, this method may help you. Most of the older toilets fill 5 gallons of water into those old deep tanks. That is too much water, and unnecessary for a flush.
The newer tanks are about 2.5 gallons. If you can’t replace your old tank, check your yard first, and then, if you don’t find these, go to your nearest hardware and garden store. What you are looking for are those large, rectangular flat stones, the type that are used to section off a garden. You could also get those half round, flat on the bottom stones. They will work as well, as long as the stones are flat.
Take the long stones, if you have those, and drop them on the ground to break them in half or in three. Put these stones in the sides of your toilet tank. Put three to five of these stones in there, so that they take up space in the tank without impairing the tank’s flushing mechanism. Because the stones are there, it will cut the volume of water that comes into the tank once you flush.
You will find that you have effectively cut your 5 gallon tank to a 2 or 2.5 gallon tank, and you will save a lot of money off of your water bill this way. If you have the round, flat bottom stones, you may need to put a few more than 3-5 in there to have the same effect; perhaps double or more depending on size. As long as it does not hinder the flushing mechanism, or is not against it, it should be fine.
If you really want to save money on your water bill, get a really large bucket, like 10-20 gallon - the type you can use to carry clothes in or whatever, that has big ropes on the side for lifting it. Take it to your pump or rainwater and fill it at least half way. Take that into your bathroom and put it in the front part of your tub, where your faucet is.
Take your largest pot and scoop water into it from the bucket, and heat it to a boil on your range. Then pour the water into the bucket when hot. Get one of those large containers, like the type you get a large soup in at the Chinese restaurant. Use that container to scoop your water and pour it on yourself. You can stand in the tub and bath just with that. It’s just like if you were camping. You can wash your hair and everything.
Steps Toward Progress
I know. Sandy, you say, you’ve gone too far with this. Ok. I can accept that you might not be ready to do this. However, think about it this way. Yes, you are exerting a lot more effort to get and bring this water into your house for your use. However, that effort is causing you to move, and is therefore, exercise; which is a much better alternative to your couch potato patterns of the past while you relied on your conveniences.
Just remember that everything old is new again. Also, keep in mind that back when people had to pump their own water, and do everything without all the conveniences, there weren't very many fat people around, now were there? All that hard work kept everyone in pretty good shape. That's something to think about as you debate my sanity on this issue.
One other thing you will want to do is to amass and store at least 5 five gallon containers of water. You can purchase these at your local grocery store, but it’s a good idea to have these, in case you need drinking water in an emergency. You don’t want to wait, unprepared, for the emergency to arise, when you may not have funds available or access to your funds to get these things. So even if you get them 1 bottle a pay period, at least you are taking steps towards progress. It’s better to do a little extra to cut costs, and save money now, then wait until you no longer have a choice.
I just wanted to let you all know what has happened since I have put this into practice. My electric bill was between$150-250/mth. I just got my electric bill for this month, and the bill was $43.39!!! That is a huge deduction from how much I was paying before. My electric bill has never been so low, except when I had no bill for the month, and could skip the month, and that has happened a few times previously, when I paid a bit extra per month.
Anyways, it's better to get the bill down low like this. Wow! I need to calculate this! My bill averages $150 for 6 months and about $250 for the other 6 months. So that's $900 + $1500 which is about $2400/yr! However, at $43 or let me round it out to $50 per month, because I'm taking ac into account...I will have a bill for about $600 for the year! I can save $1800!!! I love it! I think this is something you will want to do. Good luck!