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 Mon, 09 Dec 2019 17:59:24 -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 600b0672e803ab86e98fb673a6ad6636 The Secret to Staying Out of the Red and in the Black for 12/09/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/12/19/the-secret-to-staying-out-of-the-red-and-in-the-black Mon, 09 Dec 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p>When I am not writing about personal finance and consumer debt, I knit. Something about the gentle rhythm of yarn and needle calms my spirit and unwinds my brain.</p> <p>I have managed to finish a few projects, not because I'm a great knitter but because I can "tink" almost as well as I knit (knit spelled backward is the process of undoing your stitches to fix a mistake).</p> <p>Because all knitters make mistakes, tinking is a required skill for those who take the craft seriously. It doesn't take too many oversized sweaters or undersized hats to figure out that the smallest error at the beginning of a project can produce disastrous results if not found and corrected.<p>Updated: Mon Dec 09, 2019</p> 1ee4dc40114547f8b27dc0eaa1c43b62 The Best Thing I Ever Bought for 12/05/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/12/19/the-best-thing-i-ever-bought-c612c Thu, 05 Dec 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Of all the columns I've written, the one on how to have perpetually clean carpet in my home has generated by far the most interest. Here it is again, updated. Enjoy!</p> <p>I bought my Hoover SteamVac on Dec. 7, 2008, and I only know that because there it is in my Amazon order history &#8212; $147 with free shipping. <span class="column--highlighted-text">All these years later, while still enjoying my spotlessly clean carpet, my Hoover is still performing flawlessly. </span>The current version is the Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Cleaner Machine.<p>Updated: Thu Dec 05, 2019</p> 7f0868ea05979004562154f2c304c72a How to Get Yellow-Stained Bed Pillows White Again for 12/04/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/12/19/how-to-get-yellow-stained-bed-pillows-white-again-695a6 Wed, 04 Dec 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Favorite bed pillows get a lot of use every night. We keep clean pillowcases on them and don't think much about the pillow inside until it's time to change the bed linens. Have you looked lately?</p> <p>WHAT ARE THOSE STAINS?<p>Updated: Wed Dec 04, 2019</p> 5c83877e95a5903c66bad44121061a27 9 Remarkable Ways to Reuse Coffee Grounds for 12/03/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/12/19/9-remarkable-ways-to-reuse-coffee-grounds Tue, 03 Dec 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p><span class="column--highlighted-text">If you love your morning cup of joe, there's a pretty good chance you're throwing out spent coffee grounds on a regular basis.</span> Take a look at this list, and you just might discover more than a few ways you can recycle and reuse old grounds so you can enjoy them over (and over) again!</p> <p>Not a coffee drinker? These days, local coffee shops offer their spent grounds for free. Find one near you, and stop by to pick up a bag or two.<p>Updated: Tue Dec 03, 2019</p> 434b8fd0387f422e56fabb44a2ba1ce3 11 Ways to Use Ordinary Pantry Items to Get Rid of Ants for 12/02/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/12/19/11-ways-to-use-ordinary-pantry-items-to-get-rid-of-ants Mon, 02 Dec 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Most ant problems &#8212; especially those teeny tiny sugar ants that are attracted to the sweets in your kitchen &#8212; can be quickly solved with ordinary items you have around the house. <span class="column--highlighted-text">Think of what follows as a kind of buffet to get rid of ants. You pick the solutions that meet your immediate need with items you have on hand.</span></p> <p>MOP AND VACUUM<p>Updated: Mon Dec 02, 2019</p> f56182d6e18c2faef941319de02a3855 Make Every Day Thanksgiving for 11/28/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/11/19/make-every-day-thanksgiving Thu, 28 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>I love Thanksgiving so much I would say it vies for first place in my favorite holiday lineup. I love and adore a classic turkey dinner with all the trimmings. I love the fall weather, which always accompanies the day. I love the fact that Thanksgiving ushers in the winter holidays, offering me a front-row seat on the very best time of the year.</p> <p>I love all of those things. What I don't love is the idea that Thanksgiving is the only day of the year that we give thanks. Gratitude is too important in our lives to be considered briefly en masse on the fourth Thursday of November.<p>Updated: Thu Nov 28, 2019</p> 1a7646e922a418f4a99d09aa86f53ca0 How to Help a Young Person Build a Good Credit Score for 11/27/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/11/19/how-to-help-a-young-person-build-a-good-credit-score Wed, 27 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>You can boost a young person's credit by taking advantage of a little-known authorized user provision, but credit issuer policies vary widely depending on the young person's age.</p> <p>Like it or not, ours has become a culture of credit. Good credit is necessary to get the best mortgage rates, a decent credit card, an apartment, a job or a phone. If you don't have good credit, you'll be denied that apartment, lose out on the job, pay outrageously high fees and be required to come up with a large deposit to secure a mobile plan. Credit is required to establish utility services like electricity, water and cable. Just about any time you need to borrow money or secure service, your credit is called into question.<p>Updated: Wed Nov 27, 2019</p> ef06fd6d00ba74c65c263616501c9764 6 Things You Should Never Plug Into a Power Strip for 11/26/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/11/19/6-things-you-should-never-plug-into-a-power-strip Tue, 26 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Whether you live in a house, apartment, condo, mobile home or dorm room, having enough electrical outlets to handle all of the accessories, appliances and tools you need can be a challenge. And that's when knowing how to safely use a power strip sure comes in handy.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">While one of these devices can offer a reasonable solution for too few outlets, it's a mistake to rely on power strips too much. </span>Or to use them incorrectly. For safety's sake, never plug these items into a power strip.<p>Updated: Tue Nov 26, 2019</p> 02cb64e5836c07cd14f212cdc9b7e3e9 10 Surprising Things a Coffee Maker Can Do Besides Brew Coffee for 11/25/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/11/19/10-surprising-things-a-coffee-maker-can-do-besides-brew-coffee Mon, 25 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>You might think your coffee maker is a one-trick pony &#8212; does anything smell more wonderful than a freshly brewed pot of coffee? But let's think about this for a moment. That appliance heats water to about 200 F and comes equipped with a hot plate to keep it at about 165 F. Whether you're traveling, living in a dorm room or just like the idea of a kitchen tool doing more than one thing, you're going to love knowing all the things your coffee maker can do besides brew coffee.</p> <p>MAKE SOUP<p>Updated: Mon Nov 25, 2019</p> 6687f3bd6c90e4b699ea977f01c67b9c 4 More Ways to Use a Slow Cooker That Have Nothing to Do With Food for 11/21/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/11/19/4-more-ways-to-use-a-slow-cooker-that-have-nothing-to-do-with-food Thu, 21 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>They're bulky and take up precious cabinet space, but we'll never get rid of our slow cookers. They can be lifesavers on days when time is scarce and we just want to make a big batch of something deliciously comforting to get us through.</p> <p>A slow cooker, aka Crock-Pot, is one awesome household appliance for hands-off cooking. If you have one (a recent study says at least 80% of Americans do) you may know what a great time- and money-saver it is. <span class="column--highlighted-text">Surprisingly, your slow cooker is good for other tasks that have nothing to do with eating.</span><p>Updated: Thu Nov 21, 2019</p> 2085d926728ab82b9f6532f4d69080cf How to Break the Acrylic Nail Habit and Help Your Nails Recover Beautifully for 11/20/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/11/19/how-to-break-the-acrylic-nail-habit-and-help-your-nails-recover-beautifully Wed, 20 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>For years, I was on the fake acrylic nails bandwagon. From the first time I gave that manicure option a try, I loved it. Polish lasts longer on acrylic nails; my nails were always uniform &#8212; shaped perfectly and just the right length. All I had to do was go to the nail salon every three weeks to have them maintained.</p> <p>The problem is it became addictive. I couldn't do the maintenance myself. And if I didn't go regularly to have them done, they looked horrible. I became a slave to my local nail salon and acrylic-applying nail technician. It was not cheap.<p>Updated: Wed Nov 20, 2019</p> bdb79c6264d2547c2d652af993cc8767 An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth Money in the Bank for 11/19/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/11/19/an-ounce-of-prevention-is-worth-money-in-the-bank-b94dc Tue, 19 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Today's topic isn't pretty, but unless you have $8,000 earmarked to treat periodontal disease, an ounce of good dental care 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 can destroy the bone itself. Bacteria gets caught between the teeth and also under the gums, forming a sticky substance called plaque, which hardens to form tartar.</p> <p>This leads to an infection known as gingivitis. As it spreads deeper into the bone, it begins to decay, and pus forms, which causes swelling, redness and bleeding. If not treated, the teeth will come loose and fall out.<p>Updated: Tue Nov 19, 2019</p> 28378df5dab700e7fb92eb0ac5be521e 9 Surprising Things You Can Clean With a Clothes Steamer for 11/18/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/11/19/9-surprising-things-you-can-clean-with-a-clothes-steamer Mon, 18 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>A compact clothes steamer is handy for removing wrinkles and stale odors from fabric, but is that all? <span class="column--highlighted-text">Just another single-purpose tool that sits on a shelf gathering dust? Don't be so sure! </span>I've been amazed to discover all the ways to use an ordinary clothes steamer to clean, sanitize, renew and refresh all around the house.</p> <p>BASICS<p>Updated: Mon Nov 18, 2019</p> a02cdfacf07e43582a9728fa93d6b83f Everything You Need to Know About Storing Coffee for 11/14/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/11/19/everything-you-need-to-know-about-storing-coffee Thu, 14 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Having reached the level of coffee snob some years ago, I don't think I'm quite to the level of coffee geek yet &#8212; but I continue to work on it. That's how much I love really good coffee!</p> <p>As you may recall from previous posts, I've been a home roaster for many years now. While my family and I seriously enjoy a good cup of coffee, the real reason I took up this hobby in the first place was not to achieve quality; it was to save money. Excellent quality, gourmet-level coffee does not have to be expensive if you import and roast your own beans.<p>Updated: Thu Nov 14, 2019</p> 248ca9019efb0828e680b0334a63c5fd How to Clean Baking Sheets so They Look New! for 11/13/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/11/19/how-to-clean-baking-sheets-so-they-look-new Wed, 13 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>They come in sizes big and small, rimmed or without sides. We use them to bake just about anything, but mostly cookies. And they can get super grungy with layers of baked- and burnt-on grease, resulting in ugly stains and residue buildup.</p> <p>Does any of this sound familiar to you? If so, I have good news. Your baking sheets can be cleaned and restored &#8212; even back to the way they looked when new.<p>Updated: Wed Nov 13, 2019</p> a6d3e7bff6cfb3f488865bb72531f8c3 How to Splurge on a Budget for 11/12/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/11/19/how-to-splurge-on-a-budget-9f993 Tue, 12 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>I got the biggest shock of my life the day I realized that living on a budget wasn't the straitjacket or rigid "diet" I assumed it would be. It was my life as a credit card junkie that put me in financial bondage.</p> <p>Living on a budget saved my life because it allowed me to get out of debt. It gave me my freedom. <span class="column--highlighted-text">Want to know my secret for staying on a budget for so many years? I splurge. Seriously. And I do not feel guilty. I love nice things, and I love to travel.</span><p>Updated: Tue Nov 12, 2019</p> a2b1953984513a6674403b8ccfb9ba3d Stop Wasting Money on Kitchen Tools That Do Only One Thing for 11/11/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/11/19/stop-wasting-money-on-kitchen-tools-that-do-only-one-thing Mon, 11 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Celebrity chef Alton Brown contends that a kitchen tool that does only one job is mostly useless. He calls anything like a pickle fork, garlic press, strawberry stem remover or hot dog steamer a "unitasker."</p> <p>His advice? <span class="column--highlighted-text">Don't waste your time and money on any kitchen tool if it is only good for one thing. It will just take up valuable space, eventually becoming clutter.</span><p>Updated: Mon Nov 11, 2019</p> 90762f95889bb6761ec4319192339600 How To Afford Big-Ticket Items for 11/07/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/11/19/how-to-afford-big-ticket-items-eba9a Thu, 07 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Finally, you have a couple of months where things are going well. The bills get paid on time, and you actually have money left at the end of the month. Then, pow! Without warning, the water heater bursts, the car breaks down, and the first half of the property tax bill is past due &#8212; and suddenly you're broke.</p> <p>How can you possibly plan or budget for life's big-ticket items? Many people believe it just can't be done, and they have no choice but to rely on their credit cards to cover the cost of emergencies &#8212; whether it's something they should have known was coming or not.<p>Updated: Thu Nov 07, 2019</p> 5df04d66e85c3f405aab2e9aac48ef89 5 Home-Buying Mistakes That Will Make You House Poor for 11/06/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/11/19/5-home-buying-mistakes-that-will-make-you-house-poor Wed, 06 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Buying a home is likely the largest purchase you will ever make. This is not the time to make mistakes that could easily plunge you into an unfavorable financial situation.</p> <p>During my 18-year career as a real estate broker, I learned a lot of things, but none was as valuable as what not to do! I didn't learn this in a seminar or while studying to pass the licensing exam. I witnessed real-life situations where buyers did really dumb things related to buying real estate &#8212; buyers who then went on to regret the decisions they'd made.<p>Updated: Wed Nov 06, 2019</p> 59f7a596466da3ef10156bc6171a3859 How To Live on a Budget and Love It for 11/05/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/11/19/how-to-live-on-a-budget-and-love-it-a8357 Tue, 05 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>For many years I wouldn't have anything to do with a budget because I couldn't stand the idea of anyone &#8212; or anything &#8212; telling me how to spend my money. And where did that get me? Into one big financial mess.</p> <p>Every month, when I ran out of money, I would turn to MasterCard and Visa for a bailout. To me, any available credit was the same as income. It was my money to do with as I found necessary. Really bad idea.<p>Updated: Tue Nov 05, 2019</p>