Showing posts from September, 2013


Five Action Steps to Cut heating costs Turn down your thermostat to 68 degrees. For every degree you lower your heat in the 60-degree to 70-degree range, you'll save up to 5 percent on heating costs. Wear warm clothing like a sweater and set your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower during the day and evening, health permitting. Set the thermostat back to 55 degrees or off at night or when leaving home for an extended time, saving 5-20 percent of your heating costs (heat pumps should only be set back 2 degrees to prevent unneeded use of backup strip heating). Replace or clean furnace filters once a month . Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy use. Now is also the time for a furnace "tune-up." Keeping your furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted will reduce energy use, saving up to 5 percent of heating costs. Reduce hot water temperature. Set your water heater to the "normal" setting or 120-degrees Fahrenheit, unless the owner's

More saving advice on using fridges and freezers

Refrigerators and freezers consume about a sixth of all electricity in a typical American home - using more electricity than any other single household appliance. Always keep in mind that appliances have two price tags. One tag is the purchase price on the equipment when you pick it out at the store. The other price is the operating cost paid out month after month, year after year, in the form of your electricity bill. Take a look at the new refrigerator you're thinking about buying. Consider how much it will cost each month to run it. Twenty years from now it should still be keeping food cold. But at the end of those 20 years, you may find that you spent much more money operating the refrigerator than you did buying it in the first place! That's why it's important to consider the operating costs as well as the purchase price when you make your buying decisions. And remember that purchasing an energy efficient unit really pays off in your utility bills. Refrigerator

Should you get rid of that old freezer/fridge?

Go to ENERGY STAR  government site (or ) to find out how much your refrigerator or freezer costs to operate and see if it would be cheaper to replace it with a new or newer old model. Here are some calculations I ran in trying to figure out how much a used 16.5 cubic feet fridge would cost me to run per year. If it was manufactured: Before 1980                   $300/year Between 1980 to 1989   $249 Between 1990 to 1992   $176 Between 1993 to 2000   $122 Between 2001 to 2008   $92 So you can see I can afford to pay $200 instead of accepting a free one made before 1980, as I well save more then that in electricity in just one year. If I kept using that "free" fridge for 6 years it would be costing cost me a $1,000 more then the buy a $200 newer used fridge. But I'm going to do even better then that because I'm going to use a used chest freezer made after 2001 as a fridge. As a freezer it's rated at $60/ year and by mod

Calculate how Obamacare will affect you

Here is a calculator and site to help answer some of your questions about the new health insurance. You can run different scenarios with different income amounts to see how it will affect different people. i.e I ran a scenario for a husband and wife age 60, living in Wisconsin, with no kids and it shows their insurance would be %100 subsidized if they earn less than $30,000

6 ways to live a little healthier on a budget

Here are some tips from Clark Howard on getting healthier food without breaking the bank. We extensively do all of them except for using coupons. Our priority is getting farm fresh and then organic if possible. We also work on creating a network of people who we can gift, trade, and barter with. These days, it’s getting easier and easier to adopt a healthy lifestyle. It used to be extremely difficult to find organic foods: the products and brands were limited and we were also limited to only shopping in season. With access more readily available, is it possible that this also makes it easier to save money while living healthier? 1. Shop the sales cycles and use coupons. 2. Look to shopping online to save on groceries and body care items. 3. Shop at the farmer’s markets and find local farmers in your area. 4. Buy in bulk. 5. Grow your own.  6. Make your own. Read the complete article here:  6 ways to live a little healthier on a budget | :

5 Social Security tips for couples

When deciding how you and your spouse should approach Social Security retirement benefits, there are a lot of approaches to consider. Unfortunately, many of them can result in you getting significantly less than what's available to you. "It's like a game of chess," says Mari Adam, a certified financial planner based in Boca Raton, Fla. Each decision you make as a couple can impact the monthly Social Security benefits you receive for the rest of your lives. Consequently, even small missteps can shave thousands from the cumulative benefits you receive as a couple. To prevent you and your partner from getting short-changed, consider these five tips for helping married couples maximize their Social Security benefits. 1. Understand the impact of timing-  deciding when to start your benefits is critical 2. Wait at least until full retirement age to claim benefits-  Simply waiting until full retirement age to claim benefits can have a significant impact 3. Delay Soc