Everyday Cheapskate from Creators Syndicate https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Sat, 17 Nov 2018 01:07:17 -0800 https://www.creators.com/ http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Everyday Cheapskate from Creators Syndicate https://cdn.creators.com/features/everyday-cheapskate-thumb.jpg https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate 598dd8d0cc6345634fb1f2cda064f586 An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth Money in the Bank for 11/15/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/11/18/an-ounce-of-prevention-is-worth-money-in-the-bank Thu, 15 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Today's topic is not pretty, but unless you have $8,000 earmarked for dental care, it could prevent a lot of pain &#8212; both dental and financial.</p> <p>Periodontal disease is an infection that destroys the attachment fibers and supporting bones that hold the teeth in the jawbone and the jawbone itself.</p> <p>Bacteria get caught between the teeth and under the gum, forming a sticky substance called plaque that hardens to form tartar.<p>Updated: Thu Nov 15, 2018</p> ea79edc6fb8c02fb242098e08cbc5b26 Ask Me Anything: Cost of Ice, DIY Whipped Butter, Elderly Turkey, EC en Espanol for 11/14/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/11/18/ask-me-anything-cost-of-ice-diy-whipped-butter-elderly-turkey-ec-en-espanol Wed, 14 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Mary: My husband says that it costs more to make ice in the freezer than to buy it in bags. I find that hard to believe. Do you know the answer? &#8212; J.M.</p> <p>Dear J.M.: Let's say a 10-pound bag of ice at the store costs $2. Two dollars' worth of water from your tap would be nearly 350 gallons at the U.S. average price of about 0.0058 cents per gallon &#8212; enough to make a lot of ice. You are already keeping the freezer at zero degrees F, so it will take no more energy to make ice in it than you're spending now to freeze other stuff. </p> <p>Your husband's theory might hold water if he's talking about buying a separate ice-making machine that will be an additional appliance in your home and draw its own electricity. Otherwise, I think he's all wet.<p>Updated: Wed Nov 14, 2018</p> 72000939e08ce14e1db7fbe0c5ba060a How to Repair Your Credit and Improve Your Credit Score for 11/13/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/11/18/how-to-repair-your-credit-and-improve-your-credit-score Tue, 13 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Your credit score is a three-digit number between 300 and 850, generated by a mathematical algorithm (a mostly secret formula) based on information in your credit report compared with information on tens of millions of other people. The resulting number is said to be a highly accurate prediction of how likely you are to pay your bills.</p> <p>If it sounds boring and unimportant, you couldn't be more wrong. Credit scores are used extensively these days. <span class="column--highlighted-text">If you rent an apartment, get braces, buy a cellphone service, apply for a job or call to get utilities connected, there's a good chance your report and score will be pulled.</span><p>Updated: Tue Nov 13, 2018</p> d80c626b5c30f97297afb717a39dc1f3 The Secret for a Debt-Free Holiday Season in a Single Word for 11/12/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/11/18/the-secret-for-a-debt-free-holiday-season-in-a-single-word Mon, 12 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>It's not exactly a new word to me. But I'm pretty sure I'd never actually used the word "pre-determine" in a sentence until my pastor referred to it recently &#8212; and in a way that turned on a bright light in my noggin.</p> <p>To pre-determine is to make a decision in advance. That describes perfectly what it means to budget. You get your paycheck, and before you do anything with it, you pre-determine where every dollar will go. You give each dollar a job to do &#8212; in advance. You pre-determine!<p>Updated: Mon Nov 12, 2018</p> d0512f2117ae468a26f6f1e2ecf1f35b Even More Great Reader Tips for 11/08/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/11/18/even-more-great-reader-tips Thu, 08 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Planting a backyard vegetable garden is a terrific idea, but it can be a pricey &#8212; and time-consuming.</p> <p>Today's first reader has a great tip: Let the master gardeners foot the bill and do all the work while you have a laid-back summer. Then show up to get in on the harvest. It's all perfectly legal, and quite ethical, too.</p> <p>CHEAPER THAN A GARDEN<p>Updated: Thu Nov 08, 2018</p> 5321f09d9732d8f3dd319064630573ac Parents: Stop Taking out Parent Loans for Your Kids' College for 11/07/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/11/18/parents-stop-taking-out-parent-loans-for-your-kids-college Wed, 07 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>As a parent, you are responsible for taking care of your child, but you are also responsible for taking care of yourself. Taking out loans so that your child can enroll in the college of her dreams may sink your dreams of ever retiring. </p> <p>Contrary to the advice you will get from many financial aid officers, parents should not borrow money to pay for their kids' college educations.<p>Updated: Wed Nov 07, 2018</p> 54968bb24bc5f737f302b840c6b020ac 6 15-Minute Projects to Get Utility Bills to Rock Bottom for 11/06/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/11/18/6-15-minute-projects-to-get-utility-bills-to-rock-bottom Tue, 06 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Here's some good news: At least 120 utility companies have lowered electric, gas or water rates due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which cut the corporate rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. Utility companies are passing on the tax savings in the form of lower rates for customers.</p> <p>I hope your utility company is among that 120 and has let you know that your rates have gone down, or that they will be very soon. But don't assume there's nothing else you can do to stop spending so much of your hard-earned money on utility bills!<p>Updated: Tue Nov 06, 2018</p> ded49479dd6411d3e26a14ee339161b3 Get Organized to Put Money in Your Pocket and a Smile on Your Face for 11/05/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/11/18/get-organized-to-put-money-in-your-pocket-and-a-smile-on-your-face Mon, 05 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Has this ever happened to you? While searching for the Valentine's Day centerpiece, you stumble across the Christmas wrap you bought at the half-off-after-holiday sale two years ago. You still don't know where the centerpiece is.</p> <p>Or you discover six partially full peanut butter jars in the pantry while putting away the new one you just bought because you were just sure you were all out.<p>Updated: Mon Nov 05, 2018</p> 050b6b5f0958707ca3b49443daa7e824 The First Rule of Borrowing Money: Don't Be Stupid for 11/01/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/10/18/the-first-rule-of-borrowing-money-dont-be-stupid Thu, 01 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>It's true that "debt" is a four-letter word. I can count the letters in the word to prove it, or simply look to my dark financial past to conclude that debt can be most troubling.</p> <p>Still, <span class="column--highlighted-text">the truth remains that not all debt is created equal, nor is every type of loan hazardous to your wealth.</span> <p>Updated: Thu Nov 01, 2018</p> 383d1175966c3cbead8a630bad3c9cdc How to Stop Hating Your Carpet for 10/31/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/10/18/how-to-stop-hating-your-carpet Wed, 31 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>When we remodeled our home, we replaced some of the carpet with dark hardwood. What a revelation. Now I could see the dirt and dust, and, honestly, I couldn't believe what accumulated in such a short time on those wood floors. Of course I never saw it on the carpet, but now I know it was there all along.</p> <p>On the one hand, I love carpet for the warm, cozy way it can make a room feel, especially a bedroom. But the thought of what's in it gives me a slightly creepy feeling. I used to think that occasional vacuuming was sufficient. Now I know the truth.<p>Updated: Wed Oct 31, 2018</p> d46c440af9abb98bd21cb9acc9bd992c You Need an Allowance for 10/30/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/10/18/you-need-an-allowance Tue, 30 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>It used to be that when I felt broke, I used my bevy of credit cards to chase away the feeling. As long as I could spend money, it felt like I had money. </p> <p>My credit cards were my antidepressant. And I tell you reluctantly, they did the job &#8212; for a while, until the pleasant feeling vanished because I was broke again and needed another fix. <p>Updated: Tue Oct 30, 2018</p> 3f723e0a4f28c0a874f6e5a135713678 Best Coffee Hacks, Tips and Tricks for 10/29/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/10/18/best-coffee-hacks-tips-and-tricks Mon, 29 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Whenever I write about my love of coffee &#8212; which, admittedly, has turned me into a coffee snob &#8212; reader feedback is as enthusiastic as it is voluminous. I'm happy to know I'm not alone in my snobbery.</p> <p>Many of you bring up interesting points &#8212; and questions, too. What do you do with brewed coffee that is no longer ideally fresh but too good to throw down the drain? How do you make your own cappuccinos, lattes and even "steamers," made popular by Starbucks &#8212; which, surprisingly, contain no coffee at all.<p>Updated: Mon Oct 29, 2018</p> 953757882ca7d8f6a4ac5273c20cb4f5 3 Vacuum Cleaners I Use Almost Every Day and Wouldn't Want to Live Without for 10/25/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/10/18/3-vacuum-cleaners-i-use-almost-every-day-and-wouldnt-want-to-live-without Thu, 25 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>If you have hard flooring, carpet and/or flat surfaces in your home, which just about covers every possibility, there are three vacuum cleaners that deserve your attention: an upright, a cordless stick vac and a cordless handheld. These are the three worker bees that I own, love and don't want to live without.</p> <p>SHARK NAVIGATOR LIFT-AWAY PROFESSIONAL<p>Updated: Thu Oct 25, 2018</p> 62228cd19f085cbe2f25d79dba4095a9 9 More Super-Creative Ways to Stretch a Buck for 10/24/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/10/18/9-more-super-creative-ways-to-stretch-a-buck Wed, 24 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Sometimes the best way to stretch a buck is to look in the most unlikely places. I'm a huge fan of the fresh produce at 99 Cents Only stores. And milk, as compared with the price at my supermarket, is a bargain at the Walgreens across the street. <span class="column--highlighted-text">But who knew we could decorate our homes with items from places like Dollar General? </span>Our first reader discovered that, and I think her tactic is simply brilliant!</p> <p>ALTERNATIVE DECOR. <p>Updated: Wed Oct 24, 2018</p> 01859ce42bd4f62cae7b86e184f12602 The Case of the Insolvent Parents for 10/23/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/10/18/the-case-of-the-insolvent-parents Tue, 23 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The bumper sticker is pretty funny the first time you see it: "Get Even: Live Long Enough to Become a Problem to Your Kids." Ha-ha, right? Well, not really. Today's first question comes from a reader who feels like this is happening right now and her parents are not even that old.</p> <p>Dear Mary: My husband and I have been debt-free for three years. My father has recently been very ill, and my mother spilled the beans about their debt. They have two bank credit cards plus several store cards &#8212; all with large balances. They also have a mortgage, a home equity loan and a big car payment.<p>Updated: Tue Oct 23, 2018</p> 3841070f4c949741a0a9c65fcc1489b1 How to Make Your Own Homemade Glass Cleaner and Why You Should for 10/22/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/10/18/how-to-make-your-own-homemade-glass-cleaner-and-why-you-should Mon, 22 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>If there's one thing you can confidently never buy ever again, it's glass cleaner. You already have ingredients around the house that will clean glass, windows and mirrors &#8212; from vinegar to vodka (true!) to warm, soapy water. The problem is that these items have significant drawbacks when used as single ingredients. </p> <p>Vinegar will do a fairly decent job if your windows have water spots, but it's not that great if they have any kind of stubborn dirt and sticky residue. Used on its own, you'll end up with annoying streaks. <p>Updated: Mon Oct 22, 2018</p> e864a18f5c002574c5b9bd272a989c9f 9 Extremely Useful Home Repair Products to Fix Just About Anything for 10/18/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/10/18/9-extremely-useful-home-repair-products-to-fix-just-about-anything Thu, 18 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Maintenance and home repair are a never-ending reality for just about everyone &#8212; homeowners and renters alike. But it doesn't have to be painful or expensive. The secret to making it easy is to fix stuff as it happens &#8212; right away, not next month or some more convenient time in the future.</p> <p>The best way to ensure you'll actually perform quick home repairs is to have top-notch repair products on hand &#8212; in a handy place you will remember.<p>Updated: Thu Oct 18, 2018</p> acf95932b5f9fce5aaedd93a9a778a21 11 Ways to Use Baby Wipes That Don't Require a Baby for 10/17/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/10/18/11-ways-to-use-baby-wipes-that-dont-require-a-baby Wed, 17 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Recently, in my seemingly never-ending quest to organize my home, I came across the half-full case of baby wipes I'd purchased more than three years ago when our younger grandson was born.</p> <p>My first thought was that since Sam is potty trained now, I should find someone with a baby or take the wipes with me to church the following week and make a gift to the nursery &#8212; both good ideas provided those wipes were still good.</p> <p>That's when my mind flooded with all of the tips, tricks and clever ideas I've gathered over the years for the alternate use of handy-dandy baby wipes. I did a quick search to discover even more of them. Here are a few of my favorites &#8212; plus a bonus.<p>Updated: Wed Oct 17, 2018</p> 3414b992cc8356908ce240efbd51ec59 New Puppy? Woof! for 10/16/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/10/18/new-puppy-woof Tue, 16 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Whether a new puppy makes your dreams of the perfect family dog come true or turns into a total nightmare could well depend on how well you've prepared for those first critical days, weeks and months. </p> <p>Once you have decided on the kind of dog and size that is best for your lifestyle (the Dog Breed Selector on the Animal Planet website will help you find your match), you need to decide where to get the puppy.<p>Updated: Tue Oct 16, 2018</p> 15250814aacc671615072096060fc208 9 Ways to Use Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Soap to Make Your Own Cleaning Products for 10/15/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/10/18/9-ways-to-use-dr-bronners-pure-castile-soap-to-make-your-own-cleaning-products Mon, 15 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>From time to time, I hear from readers who have sensitivities or allergies to our beloved Blue Dawn dishwashing liquid: "Is there something else we can use that will not trigger these reactions but still work well?" There is, and it is Dr. Bronner's Pure-Castile Liquid Soap.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">While olive oil-based castile soap has been around for centuries, Dr. Bronner's Pure-Castile Liquid Soap, dating back to 1858, is making a big, glorious, all-natural comeback.</span><p>Updated: Mon Oct 15, 2018</p>