April 2009 - Posts - Dollar Stretcher Guest Bloggers
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April 2009 - Posts

  • Laundry Tricks

    I have a high end front loading washing machine with many settings and options. There are many ways to save money with this type of machine. They use much less water that a conventional top loader.
    1. I discovered that using the "speed wash" setting gets the clothes just as clean in almost half the time. I also use cold water on darks and colors and only use hot water on white sheets and towels. My clothes are done faster so I spend less time in the laundry room too. This setting has a high speed spin as well so my clothes are nearly dry when I take them out. Less time in the washer and dryer = lower electric bill. Note: I do save the delicate items and do one delicate wash as this setting is a bit too aggressive for some items. But hang all these items to dry so there is some savings.
    2. I discovered that I only need to fill the soap tray to about a quarter of the "fill" line. I'm using much less soap and there is no residue. I also tear my dryer sheets in half and only use one if there are nylon/rayon items in the wash. Cotton clothes don't need dryer sheets.
    3. I use the standard setting on the dryer. If the clothes are not completely dry, I hang them up anyway and they will dry very quickly. If there is a sweatshirt or other item that needs more time, I lay it out on top of the dryer during the next load and the heat will dry it quickly. They only time I dry all the way is with towels.
    4. You can wear things more than once and hang towels between showers. If you shower at night then you may be able to use you PJ's more than once. Hanging up towels after a shower also saves money, time, water etc. I invested in a couple of the fancy stick up hooks. They were pricey to start with but have stayed up without damaging marble tiles and still look nice, definitely worth a few extra dollars.

     

    Try checking the settings on your appliances. See if there is a way to save money, use less water or electricity. Also try the half method on other things, fill the hand soap bottle half with water, use half the shampoo and anywhere else you might not have thought of before.
    Stacy B.
    Ramona, CA


    Posted Apr 29 2009, 01:31 PM by Gary with no comments
    Filed under:
  • Before You Get Married: The Money Talk

    You found that perfect person. Now you are getting married!  Sharing your life with someone is a wonderful, intimate experience. But are you intimate enough?  Have you had the money talk?

    Money talk? Yes, money talk.  Have you sat with your spouse-to-be and have a serious talk about our finances?

    Here are items to discuss in your money talk:

    Credit Card Debt - Let your partner know where you stand with your credit card debt.  Don’t be embarrassed.  You’re going to share your lives together and this includes your debt as well.  It’s better to get this out in the open now.

    What Credit Cards You Have - Discuss what credit accounts you both have open.  You may find that you have way too much credit between the two of you.  This also helps to improve trust in that you don’t have any secret credit cards the other doesn’t know about.

    Student Loans - Your partner has a right now they are possibly marrying into tens of thousands of dollars in student loans debt.

    Past Money Problems - Talk about past issues you’ve had with money.  It’s ok that you’ve had bad money experiences.  Talking about your past money issues will help your future spouse understand your emotions about money.

    Bills You Currently Pay - Show each other a list of everything you currently pay.  Again you should both get an idea of what bills are coming into the relationship.  You may be able to eliminate a lot or combine some (like cell phone accounts).

    How and Where You Save/Your Checking - Disclose your savings and checking accounts and your current savings plans.  Discuss how you want to handle these once you are married.  Put together a plan for both of you to save.  Will you keep separate accounts?  Will you combine them?  Talk about it!

    Retirement Saving - What type of accounts to you save for retirement in?  Get the paperwork prepared to add each other as beneficiaries on each other’s accounts.  Talk about how you both feel about retirement and how you will save for it.

    How Will You Handle Spending - Do you want to come home one day and find a huge flat screen TV?  Maybe you do but its got to be paid for doesn’t it?  Discuss how you will handle purchases.  Put together a plan for how you will go about purchases and what kind of purchases you’ll both discuss before making.

    Who Pays What - Who will be responsible for what bills?  Where will the money come from?  If you have two checking accounts which account will pay what?

    Credit Reports and Scores - Pull your credit report and credit scores and share them with your partner.  This is full disclosure with your partner about what accounts you have and black marks you have on your report.  It can also be a great surprise in finding out how great your credit has been!

    In order for you to start off right in your marriage you need to be honest and share yourself. Keeping secrets about money and finances from your partner is dishonesty.  I think you’ll find that when you talk to your partner you will build up your trust and this will lead to a greater, more intimate bond between you!

    Are you going to let money ruin your marriage?

     

    Courtesy of "Free From Broke: A personal finance blog for regular folks" <http://freefrombroke.com/> You'll find posts on  personal finance, money, frugality, saving, investing, college, kids as well as many others. Check out the archives page to see an overview of their articles.

    The Dollar Stretcher brings you guest bloggers to provide you with the widest variety of ideas to help you survive tough economic times.

     

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