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:
Is there anything better than saving money? Is there anything better than protecting the environment? Believe it or not, there are some steps you can take in your life to do both at the same time. As you continue to make the following changes, you will feel better about what you are doing for the environment. And of course, you will fall in love with the fact that you are saving money.
1. Use fans instead of air conditioners during summer months. This is easier said than done in some cases, but once you get in the swing of things everything will work out. Believe it or not, running two fans instead of a single room air conditioner could save you $300+ per year.
2. Take a shorter shower. Are you the type of person who spends hours on end in the shower? Cut back two minutes on every shower and you will find yourself saving water and money.
3. Why continue to deal with that leaky faucet? Not only is the dripping-sound annoying, but you are throwing money down the drain.
4. Wash your clothes in cold water. This is one of the most overlooked tips. For somebody who does two loads of wash per week, switching to the cold/cold setting will save approximately $100.
5. Air dry your dishes. If you have the option to avoid heat drying on your dishwasher, take advantage of this. There is nothing wrong with air drying. It will conserve energy and save you money.
6. Buy Energy Star appliances. There is no denying that you will spend a lot of money on these upfront. Over time, though, you will begin to make your money back. And most importantly, you are conserving energy.
7. Recycle! If you have the option to recycle in your area (and even if you don’t) you should take full advantage. This is as simple as getting another trash can in your home.
8. Purchase compact fluorescent light bulbs. These use one fourth the energy of more traditional bulbs. Imagine how much energy you could save by swapping out all the bulbs in your home.
9. Use power strips. Even when things are turned off, such as your computer, it is still using energy. With a power strip, you can ensure that turned off means turned off!
10. Complete a home energy audit. By walking around your home, inside and out, and looking for potential problems, you may find several areas in which you can save energy.
These 10 cost saving energy tips can be taken advantage of by almost everybody. Even if you only implement a few of these into your life, you are doing your part in protecting the environment. If that is not benefit enough, consider the fact that you are going to save a lot of money. Combine these benefits and you will find yourself wanting to follow these tips in the near future.
10 Cost Saving Energy Tips is a guest post by Chris at Health Insurance Comparison.
There is no doubt that cash flow is one of the most important aspects to managing personal finances and building long term wealth. It is only when one spends less than one earns can the excess cash be put to good use and be used to make additional income. If you are constantly spending more than you make, then it becomes impossible to begin to build wealth.
It took me a while to realize the importance of cash flow, but now that I am trying to focus on this aspect of personal finance, I feel that I am beginning to turn the corner and will see marked improvements over the next several years. Cash flow is much different than net worth. It is possible to have many assets that do not yield much cash and to even have a positive net worth and be in danger of bankruptcy if those assets cannot be sold in a timely fashion.
Two Ways to Improve Cash Flow
The concept of improving cash flow is simple and yet can be difficult to implement. You can either make more money, spend less money, or work on a combination of the two. I am working on a combination of the two simultaneously.
First, I am saving money by using extra cash flow to pay off debt. I have managed to pay off a business credit card and a business credit line in the past 6 months. This freed up almost $200 per month minimum that I no longer am obligated to pay each month. I am now working on paying off my Discover Card. My goal is to get it paid off by the end of the year at the latest freeing up another $200 per month out of my spending plan.
Just these small moves make it possible to restructure some of my debt to create a reasonable plan for becoming debt free over the next 6-10 years. That may seem like a long time, but I do have a lot of debt so I would be pleased to have it done in that time frame. The net impact to my monthly cash flow will be negligible and easy to manage while relieving a large debt burden off my shoulders.
Earning More Money
I am also trying to pick up extra shifts at work when possible and using my blogging income solely for debt repayment. There is a limit to how much I can work, but there is plenty of room for income growth from blogging. The longer I am online, the more traffic and earnings that become possible. As debt payments are made each month, more goes to principal. There is a virtuous cycle that is created as I mentioned above.
I have other debts that will be paid off naturally over the next few years which will only continue to improve monthly cash flow. I have been paying close attention to the debt balances and the minimum monthly payments. Each month, they are declining leaving more room in the budget although I am committed to paying more than the minimums and creating more and more breathing room.
Looking for More Ways to Improve Cash Flow
There are other places that I could be saving money so I will be constantly reviewing these areas as well. Looking at costs for insurance, trying to get lower interest rates for debts, eating out less and more frugally when we do are just some of the ways to save money. I am also doing what I can to grow my online earnings through expansion of blogging opportunities.
I am trying to increase my focus on dividend stocks, but that doesn’t help me in the near term because they are in retirement accounts. However, the experience and knowledge gained is invaluable for when debts have been retired and cash producing assets could be purchased.
Blogging has provided a great opportunity to focus the mind and to actually accomplish tasks. The accountability is awesome. When I started this blog, I had just come to the conclusion that cash flow was one of the most important priorities on which I needed to focus for a while. Hence, the name of the blog. Focusing on cash flow has been a great idea, and I will continue to do so documenting my progress as I move forward.
Thanks for reading and joining me on this journey.
Categories: Earning, Spending Tags: Discover Card, Free Cash Flow, Money, blogging, cash flow, debt, earning money, make more money, monthly budget, net worth, paying off debt, saving money, spending plan