Home » Saving money » Page 3

Saving money

Buying Cull Lumber at Home Depot

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. 

Read More »Buying Cull Lumber at Home Depot

How to find estate sales

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.

Read More »How to find estate sales

AT&T Internet vs Spectrum Internet

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 20 years. Over the years I weighed AT&T Internet 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, but Bright House had low name recognition. Hence the use of the new name.

Read More »AT&T Internet vs Spectrum Internet

How to pay with Paypal on Amazon

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.

Read More »How to pay with Paypal on Amazon

How to calculate monthly income from biweekly paycheck

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.

Read More »How to calculate monthly income from biweekly paycheck

How much should your mortgage be?

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.

Read More »How much should your mortgage be?

Best time to buy computer parts

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.

Read More »Best time to buy computer parts

What is a reseller?

When you see a for sale ad, you may see phrases like “great for resellers” or “reseller ready” or “resellers welcome.” So what is a reseller? And why does someone selling something want to attract one?

I’ll answer those questions. And if you think you might want to be a reseller but don’t know where to start, I have some tips for that too.

Read More »What is a reseller?