When the polar vortex brought single-digit temperatures to St. Louis, our kitchen pipes froze. They didn’t burst, but we had to go without a kitchen sink until I could thaw the pipes. Our kitchen is partially on an overhang, which makes it colder than the rest of the house in winter and warmer than the rest of the house in summer. I finally did something about it. Here’s how to insulate an overhang properly.
Buying cull lumber at Home Depot is a great way to save money on your projects. If you aren’t familiar with cull lumber, here’s where to find it, what you can expect from it, and how much money you can expect to save. It’s less work than salvaging lumber from palettes and you can get greater variety.
Cull lumber is damaged or scrap lumber that the store marks down at a steep discount to make room after it receives a shipment of new lumber. Cull lumber always has problems that kept it from selling at full price. Sometimes the flaws are minor. Sometimes they’re significant. But if you can live with the flaws, cull lumber offers you significant opportunity for savings.
The Internet changed the estate sale business dramatically over the last 20 years, but I’ll argue it’s mostly for the better. Let’s look at how to find estate sales, but perhaps more importantly, how to find the right estate sales.
Where you look for estate sales in your area makes a difference. Estate sales are a great place to find bargains, but that doesn’t help you if you can’t find the sales first.
When money is tight, life gets more difficult all around. When I was young and didn’t make much, I couldn’t find much advice on scraping by. I have some now. So here’s how to save money fast on a low income.
I’ve had high speed Internet for about as long as anyone in my ZIP code–as soon as DSL was available, I signed up and paid through the nose for it. It took a while for fiber optics to become an option, but I switched once I did. I’ve been a Southwestern Bell/AT&T customer for a good 17 years. Over the years I weighed AT&T vs Spectrum Internet. And for a while, I switched.
I switched to Spectrum in 2016, then back to AT&T in 2018. There are pros and cons to each of them, so I thought going through them might be helpful. Keep in mind Spectrum encompasses several legacy companies. Charter Communications started re-branding itself as Spectrum soon before it acquired Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. Of the three, only Bright House Networks had a good reputation. Hence the use of the new name.
Sometimes you have a Paypal balance and would rather spend it somewhere other than Ebay. You’d also rather spend it without having to bounce the money into a bank account first. Here’s how to pay with Paypal on Amazon. Or anywhere else that doesn’t directly take Paypal.
A surprising number of merchants, including brick-and-mortar shops, take Paypal. And that number is increasing. But some regard Paypal as a competitor. Some competitors, such as Google, accept Paypal anyway, either out of antitrust concerns or concern that not taking Paypal is bad for their business. Amazon did not make the same decision. So in those cases like Amazon, you have to use a trick to spend money out of your Paypal balance there without taking intermediate steps. So I’ll tell you the trick, and how to set it up.
If you get paid every two weeks, calculating your monthly income can be tricky. You can fake it by just adding the two paychecks together, but you short yourself a couple of paychecks by doing that. That difference can be the difference between qualifying or not qualifying for a loan or a lease. So here’s how to calculate monthly income from biweekly paycheck.
Getting the math right on this is important. Adding two paychecks together is fine for a quick estimate, but it’s very easy to under-state your monthly income by 28 percent by making two simple mistakes. As you can imagine, that 28 percent can be more than enough to keep you from getting the loan or the lease you want. To do the math right, make sure you have your pay stub or pay statement handy, not just your bank statement.
How much should your mortgage be? One school of thought says it should be as much as possible. I belong to the other school of thought. There is a proven formula for housing costs. I recommend following the formula.
The formula helps you keep your housing costs in line with your salary and with a typical lifestyle balance. The key to financial decisions is keeping a balance while living within your means.
Figuring out the best time to buy computer parts is tricky. It’s not quite like saying the best time to buy a TV is right around the Super Bowl. But there are some tips you can follow to help you find the best deals.
Good timing won’t make building a PC cheaper than buying one, but it can at least narrow the gap, if you have the patience to buy when you find a deal rather than buying all your parts in one shot.
An important financial decision we all make, especially when it comes to cars, is lease vs own. I received some poor advice on this when I was young. Since I don’t want people to repeat the same mistakes I made, let’s go over the two options and what makes more sense.