The big news in Alaska today is that Permanent Fund recipients will get their money early this year. All people that are approved and signed up for direct deposit will receive the money on September 12. Mailed checks will be sent on the 30th. Right now the estimate is that the total amount will be about $3,300. That’s five times the amount of the federal stimulus check if you qualified for the higher amount of $600. So we’re getting a bumber crop amount and early (so that people can actually use it for fuel oil before it is too late – some bush communities can’t get fuel after the rivers freeze over.
All this and our governor isn’t up for reelection!
Here are links to .pdf files so that you can print your own
These used to be hosted by Hasbro but for some reason they changed the link and I can no longer find them on their site. These could be great to use as original graphic files to make your own money for games. Easier to print of a few hundred dollars in custom money than to get your own custom poker chips! Of course, if you want to get your hands on real replacement Monopoly money you can get it here for $16.
I went and played bingo at the Sons of Norway hall tonight. I could have won one of the games but I somehow missed one of the squares. When I say “somehow” I mean “was so dumb i…”
I saw a string of photos that someone had made using toys, postcards, and money in the foreground of photos of famous places. I’m imitating that with a few pictures in D.C. and also did it one time in Cambodia at Angkor Wat.
In our quest toward financial freedom we’re doing a number of practical exercises to reducing expenses. But in brainstorming ways to save money we’ve also thought of some methods we’ll be skipping. Here’s my list of ridiculously frugal ways to save money.
- Dumpster dive. For food. There are quite a few people that do this because we know that perfectly good food is thrown away. And i’m not above pulling perfectly good things out of the trash. But there’s something that makes me a little squeamish about eating meat, vegetables or baked goods from the trash. Potential savings – hundreds to over a thousand.
- Cancel all your unnecessary bills. All of them. No internet or Netflix (use the library). No cable or satellite TV. No cell phone or land line. Just get down to electricity and water bills. If you have things in storage sell them all – you are not using them if they are in storage. Cancel the gym membership (if you can without penalty) or sell it to someone else. If mass transit is available or you can walk or ride your bike, cancel your insurance and park your car. Do all this and your potential annual savings will easily be thousands of dollars.
- Get all of your toiletries from free sources. Prowl the freebies websites for sample products. Gather all the soap, shampoo, and other stuff from hotels during work trips (or friend’s work trips). Many hotels offer complimentary toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, and the like for travelers that “forgot” theirs. Perhaps watch the front desk for a shift change and ask again. You could save up to a hundred dollars by being this cheap.
- Eat rice and a multivitamin when #1 fails you. Don’t complain. There are starving people in Sudan that wish they could have that multi-vitamin. If you can pull this off you’ll save thousands a year.
- Go to the bathroom at work or in public restrooms. Then you don’t have to pay for the water, sewer (sewer fees tend to be tied to water consumption because there is no such thing as a sewer meter) or toilet paper. If you must, pee in the tub and just give a quick shot of water from the shower to rinse it down. A toilet flush uses 1-5 gallons depending on how old your toilet is. A 2.5 GPM shower head run for 10 seconds uses less than a half gallon. If your body can manage this then you might save over a hundred dollars depending on your taste in toilet paper.
- Shower as infrequently as possible. Even just dropping to every other day will halve your bathing water consumption. Your hot water heater will not need to make as much hot water (hopefully you have an on-demand unit for the maximum savings). When you do shower, adjust the water flow so that it isn’t using the full flow of water. These might save a hundred dollars or more annually.
- Just drink water. You don’t need anything else. Coffee and colas are not good for you anyway. If you go to one of those trendy coffee shops for a drink twice a day you’re spending more than $2,000 fueling your addiction. People that smoke a pack a day are spending about that much. You could save as little as a few hundred dollars annually to tens of thousands of dollars on future dental bills for cleanings and cavities.
- Unplug appliances that are not used. Definitely unplug any wall warts (the black boxes that make it difficult to plug anything next to them on a power strip). Also unplug anything with a LED on it, or a clock (microwave, VCR, etc.), and any computer equipment or televisions. These draw electricity even when turned “off.” For convenience you can plug a set of equipment into a power strip and then just unplug it. Wait, if you cancel your internet service and shut off your TV provider then you shouldn’t need this stuff often anyway. Just unplug it all until you come home from the library with a foreign film that isn’t available as a book. If you’re doing the rice, vitamins, and water meal then you can unplug your refrigerator too. Easily hundreds of dollars in savings available here.