There is a lot of good information on the internet along with a lot of bad. You have to somewhat discerning and figure out what might apply to your situation, but if you can do so, the internet holds a wealth of information that can allow you to do amazing things. There is information on how to retire early, how to invest in stocks and bonds and real estate and futures, how to start a blog, how to start a business, along with a ton of other financial information.
It turns out that my son came home late the other evening from practice and locked his keys in the car. He states that they fell out of his pocket as he was getting out. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be a big problem other than the fact that when we went looking for the spare on the hook, it wasn’t there. A frantic search of all the possible locations it might be failed to locate the extra key to the car. We were facing a rather grand dilemma at 10:30 on a Friday night. His equipment for the tennis match in the morning was locked in the car along with his homework for the weekend. We had to find a way into the vehicle.
Enter the internet! A quick search of car locksmiths revealed that it would likely cost at least $100 to have one come out close to 11 pm on a Friday night in the rain to unlock the car door in order to retrieve the set of keys. So I decided to see if there might be a DIY way to break into the car.
I found a great You Tube video that seemed promising on how to break into a car with a tennis ball. Looks interesting. How does this really work? Wait a minute. It says the video is a fake! On to the next one which looked promising. It was titled, “A Method How to Unlock Your Car in 10 Seconds.” Sounds too good to be true.
But I watched the video and it seemed quite real. You can check it out for yourself — Watch the video.
I showed my wife and we decided to try it. It was quite dark outside and I had a black shoelace against black interior so my wife held an umbrella and flashlight app on her cell phone so I could see what I was doing. The hardest part was getting the knot past the door and into the car with a decent size loop intact. The first time I got the loop around the lock, it slipped off. But the second time, it snugged tight and I was able to unlock the car.
It took me about 10 minutes, mainly trying to get the knot and loop into the car. I often pulled the loop out sliding it past the door. But once I got it in there with a decent loop, I was able to get it on the third try. It was quite satisfying to say the least. I showed the video to my son and explained what we did. Hopefully, he has learned to keep the keys in his hand before locking the door, but if not, at least he has an idea how to unlock a car door with a shoelace.
Here are some carnivals I have been in recently:
For the past few weeks, the toilet in the master bathroom has been running slightly. It was easy to get it to stop by jiggling the handle, so I put it off. Well last weekend while my wife was out of town, it got progressively worse to the point where I had to turn off the water or it would have kept me awake all night long, not to mention wasted a ton of water. It was a busy weekend so I couldn’t really do anything about it.
So Friday, I finally had the time and opportunity to get something done. It seemed that the toilet ballcock mechanism was the culprit, so I went to Lowe’s and picked up a new one for $9. Well, I got it in and hooked up the water supply line which didn’t want to seat quite right and ended up spraying water all over the place. I tried to make some adjustments and in the process broke the flush valve.
I spent some time watching a You Tube video and got a better sense of how the insides of the toilet tank worked before going to Lowe’s a second time and picking up a new water supply line, flush valve assembly, and a good adjustable wrench. I was trying to get this project done in between appointments so while at lunch with the youngest 2 kids, thought I should probably go to Lowe’s a third time and pick up some plumber’s tape. The second and third trips were actually on the way to various appointments so it really didn’t involve any extra gas.
Finally, after replacing all the hardware associated with a toilet tank, making 3 trips to Lowe’s and spending $36, I managed to stop the leak. Once I had everything together, it only took me about 20 minutes to replace all the pieces and put it back together. But figuring it all out and deciding what I needed to do did take a little bit of time. Nevertheless, it is a satisfying feeling knowing that it would have cost a minimum of $75 just to have a plumber come and look at the leak.
Have you ever saved money on DIY projects? How much have you saved? Or does it end in disaster and cost more than hiring a professional in the first place?
Here are some Carnival links that I need to share:
Perhaps you’re battling credit card debt or your lack of follow through on budgeting tips. Maybe you need to work on educational savings goals for your children, or your retirement savings. Whatever the case may be, you must find your method for meeting your financial goals and budgeting needs.
Choose Your Budgeting Style
One of the major elements is in respect to your budget. When you do this, you must consider some important aspects with you and your budget:
- How technological, or “un-technological,” must it be? Consider any devices that you have which could lead to an obvious choice in terms of convenience.
- What features do you need? From the basics that a notebook could take care of, to the advanced features that an advanced program on your notebook computer can demonstrate, there are many sides to this story.
- Do you need to keep multiple budgets?
- Identify any weaknesses you have with keeping a budget, or remembering to use it.
Some of these points will lead you to a certain direction. If you’re old school, you might prefer to stick with your pen and paper. A smartphone that you use every day could mean that an app is right. Take some time to consider how you currently keep a budget, as having something that works well for you is extremely important – how else will you pay off credit cards and save for your children’s education?
The Problem of Motivation
As we continue our casual look into financial methods, another incredibly important issue is brought up with motivation. In financial articles, it is perhaps not spoken of more often. After all, the best budgeting tips in the world will do no good if they are not followed, of course.
You have to take a deep, hard look at the ways needed to motivate yourself. For instance, some consumers needing to cut their expenses down or save more may find success of the following:
- Give yourself a goal. For instance, as part of your budgeting changes, you could invest a small amount into a savings account each month. With that money you could go on a small trip, thus giving you incentive. Or you could be saving for a deposit on your dream home.
- Put your budget in plain sight. You might “see no evil” if you ignore views of your budget. Let yourself see the debt you have on a regular basis; it might drive you to act upon it and remain disciplined.
- Inspiration. Do what it takes to follow through. Maybe you can have your household keep each other honest with spending money, or post reminders (i.e. notes around those high-priced restaurants’ phone numbers). Put a picture of your future trip via the first point.
Overall, there are many aspects that can impact your financial well-being that are not directly about money. The manner in which you keep your budget and motivate yourself with your budget can make a big difference. Approach these items carefully to make implementing your financial plan much easier on yourself. Sometimes you just have to do what it takes when it comes to your budget, and these examples can certainly help with execution and practice of good habits.
The preceding post is a guest post.