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Saving money

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.

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What are prices like at estate sales?

I’ve long advocated shopping at estate sales as a way to save a lot of money. I frequently get lots of questions about them, for that reason, so I thought I’d try to share some insight. Most importantly, I’ll answer a key question: What are prices like at estate sales?

After all, it’s not uncommon to see a couple hundred people lined up in front of a house to get into an estate sale on Saturday morning. They aren’t standing in line expecting to get ripped off. Some are buying for themselves. Some buy to resell. I have some tips on finding estate sales if this sounds intriguing.

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What qualifies as media mail? What is considered media mail by the USPS?

Media mail is just about the least expensive shipping method the US Postal Service offers. But many people abuse it, sometimes intentionally, and sometimes unintentionally. So how do you get media mail rates, and more importantly, what qualifies as media mail? What is considered media mail by the USPS?

Generally speaking, for things to qualify as media mail, remember two rules. If you wouldn’t find it in a public library or university library, it probably doesn’t qualify. And if it contains advertising, even very old ads that are no longer valid, it almost certainly doesn’t qualify. If it’s a book or a sound recording with only incidental announcements, it’s OK. Anything beyond that is only OK if it meets very specific criteria.

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What are thermal curtains?

What are thermal curtains? Thermal curtains are thick curtains with multiple layers of fabric and a layer of foam to help block the flow of heat. This helps you save energy, while also having sound dampening effects.

Thermal curtains work similarly to blackout curtains. But since their intended purposes are slightly different, a thermal curtain might have some shortcomings as a blackout curtain, and vice versa. If you want a curtain to do both, make sure it actually states that it does both. Otherwise, I recommend getting dark-colored thermal curtains. A blackout curtain may not block as much heat as you would like. Similarly, a light-colored thermal curtain might let in more light than you like.

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Living mortgage free for a better life

Living mortgage free isn’t a pipe dream, and it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to live in a hovel to achieve it. Ordinary people on ordinary incomes in ordinary homes can generally achieve it in less than seven years. I know, because my wife and I did it. Twice.

My wife and I live in a middle-class suburb in a good school district. By some standards our 1,600-sqft house is small, but we can live there comfortably as a family of four. It took sacrifices to pay off, but I wouldn’t call it extraordinary sacrifice.

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