Having A Baby Can Be A Good Excuse To Simplify And Declutter

For the past few months we’ve been preparing ourselves for the exciting event of becoming parents for the second time.  We’ve been having baby showers, buying all the baby related items we needed and just stocking up.

Through all this we realized that even before we started buying all of this baby stuff that we were starting to run out of room, and we really had a lot of stuff in the house that we no longer needed.

While we certainly aren’t hoarders (1.4 million Americans DO suffer from chronic hoarding & clutter.), and we weren’t trapped and killed by our piles of stuff like this unfortunate fellow, we didn’t want to have our home stuffed to the gills with things we didn’t want or need.

We decided to simplify, and to declutter.

clutter free home

clutter free home

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10 Reasons To Get Rid Of Your Stuff“.

Our Criteria For Getting Rid Of Stuff

  • Are we currently using this item?
  • Are we likely to use it in the future?
  • Is it sentimental?
  • Even if we’re using it, does it take up more space than it is worth?

More often than not we’re not really using the item anymore, and in many cases we’re not even sure why we saved it.  Old shoes, old magazines and CDs we hadn’t listened to in years went out the door.  Old computer motherboards and computer cables? Gone.

Of course there are the exceptions – things that I will always refuse to get rid of – like my guitars and my old baseball card collection.

How To Get Rid Of Things When You Declutter

There are a lot of ways to get rid of things when you declutter your house.   You can sell it, donate it, give it away or  junk it.

Sell The Item

When we’re deciding what we’re going to do with an item we go through a mental inventory to decide on if the item is actually worth anything.  If it is, we try to sell the item.  Our favorite places to sell things are online.  They include:

We recently sold a couple of old rugs, and some old electronics we had in storage on Craigslist.  In the end we made a couple of hundred dollars on the items. Money for baby stuff!

My wife has found she has a knack for selling things like old baby clothes and accessories on Facebook via mommy pages and garage sale groups for our local area.  Usually she’ll list more popular items on there and we can have the items sold within a few days.  We sold our son’s old baby clothes that we had been saving for several hundred dollars that way.

We’ve also sold old technology items using electronics buying sites.  We recently had an old Samsung Galaxy phone to get rid of.  We checked prices at a variety of sites, including the ones listed above, and ended up finding the best price with Decluttr.com.  We were able to make some money on a phone we weren’t using, and someone else will get a like new Galaxy phone for a low price.

If selling our stuff online doesn’t work, and if we have enough items, we will sometimes have a garage sale.

The problem with garage sales is that far too often you put in more effort to have the garage sale than you actually make in selling the items.   Another alternative is to ask family or friends if they’re having a garage sale anytime soon.  If they are, ask them if you can bring your items over to sell.  We did this last year and sold several larger ticket items – and had fun hanging out with friends all day!

Donate The Item

If we don’t believe we’ll get enough money for the item to make selling it worth our while, quite often we’ll donate the item to a local charity.  We have a goodwill store pretty close to our house, and quite often we end up donating the items there.  Remember, you can often get a tax deduction if you donate items!

Some options for donating items:

For some more options on places to donate your things, check out this great post: Where To Donate All Your Unwanted Stuff.

Give The Item Away

If you can’t sell the item, and charities don’t take your item as a donation, you can always give the item away for free.  Place a free ad on Craigslist offering the item for free – or leave a post on a site like Freecycle.org.  Usually you can find a taker for just about any item you’re getting rid of.

Junk The Item

If no one will take your items, even for free, you can always just dump them.    If the items are too big to throw in your own garbage receptacle, you can use one of these options:

  • 1800GotJunk.com
  • Your local dump
  • Some communities have a “large trash item” day once a year where they’ll pick up your larger items.

Get Rid Of Your Excess Items – You’ll Be Glad You Did

When we started getting rid of things from our house, at first it was a bit painful.  We were both coming up with excuses about how we would use items in the future, about how certain items meant so much to us, and how we could continue to store items because we wouldn’t want to re-buy them again in the future.

In the end we realized that we were making a lot of rationalizations, and that things we weren’t currently using were probably going to remain unused for the foreseeable future.  It just made sense to get rid of all these things that were weighing us down.

After we started getting rid of things it felt really good to be rid of all the excess baggage.  It was a like a weight lifted off of our shoulders, and we felt so much more free!  We have free space in the house!

So if you’re thinking about getting rid of your things – just do it!   It may be hard at first, but it will get easier, and the freedom you’ll feel by having de-clutterfied will be priceless!

Have you recently tried decluttering your house?  Was it hard to get rid of things – even the things you weren’t using anymore?  Why do you think that “things” are able to get such a hold on our lives?

Source: biblemoneymatters.com

Swagbucks Review: What Is It, How Does It Work And What Can You Win?

Have you heard of Swagbucks?

Many people have, but don’t know exactly what it is or how it works.

Now that Swagbucks just celebrated their tenth birthday, more and more people are learning about this reputable company (which has earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau) that helps you earn free gift cards, cash and prizes.

swagbucks-600x100

swagbucks-600x100

Chances are, when you learn more about this company, you’ll become a Swagbucks enthusiast like me!

Open Your FREE Swagbucks Account Now!

Use our link to get a $5 signup bonus, and use promo code “BMONEYMATTERS” when you register you’ll get an extra 70 points called SB

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swagbucks-3

swagbucks-3

If you do nothing more than search the Internet a few times a day (and don’t we all do that?), you could easily earn 7 to 10 points called SB a day.

Earn 300 SB (which is possible in 3 to 5 weeks with minimal effort), and you could redeem your points for a $3 Amazon gift card.

In general, every 100 SB earns you a $1 toward an Amazon gift card. 300 SB for $3 Amazon gift card, or 500 SB for a $5 Amazon gift card.  However, you can earn a $25 Amazon gift card for just 2,200 SB points!

How To Sign Up For Swagbucks

Swagbucks Review - Is It A Scam?

Swagbucks Review - Is It A Scam?

Signing up for Swagbucks is simple.

Simply go to the Swagbuck’s page and either sign in with Facebook, or fill out a simple form with your e-mail address and a password that you choose for your Swagbucks account.

Open Your FREE Swagbucks Account Now!

Registration is free, and right now you’ll eligible to get a $5 bonus for signing up!

Once you are signed up, make sure you stay signed in so you can use Swagbucks to search the Internet and earn points.

How To Earn SB

There are many ways to earn SB.  If you use it to search the Internet, you will randomly earn points.  I have earned anywhere from 7 to 79 points at one time. Those points continue to accrue until you redeem them for your rewards.

Swagbucks Review

Swagbucks Review

In addition to searching the Internet, there are many other ways to earn points:

  • Watch television programming.  Like to find new recipes?  Watch the Food Network videos.  Or watch videos streamed right from Hulu as well as clips on news (regular and celebrity), tech, etc. on Swagbucks and earn SB points.  (They have many quick two to three minute shows that you can watch to earn points.)
  • Encourage your friends to join.  If your friends sign up for Swagbucks with your referral link, you will get 10% of their Swagbucks earning for life!  This can be a great way to watch your balance grow with minimal effort on your part, especially if you have several friends join.
  • Use coupons.  If you routinely print coupons off the Internet, print them from Swagbucks.  For every coupon you redeem at the grocery store, you earn 10 SB
  • Take a poll.  There are usually short, one question polls that you can answer.  This takes less than 10 seconds, and you can earn a SB point.
  • Meet your daily Swagbucks goal.  Every day, Swagbucks sets an earning goal for you.  For instance, they may set a goal of earning 30 SB.  If you’re able to do that, say for 7 days in a row, you’ll earn an additional 25 SB.
  • Play games. You can play a variety of games in the games section to earn SB.
  • Use the special offers section.  This section isn’t something I’d use just to get SB (though some people do), but it can be a great way to earn SB points on something you were already going to do.  For instance, if you were going to sign up for a Target Red Debit or Credit Card anyway, why not do it through Swagbucks and earn 215 SB points?

This section is Swagbucks highest earning vertical.  There are plenty of special offers to choose from.

These are just a few ways to earn rewards; there are many more, some more labor intensive than others.

I usually just have time for the polls and searching the Internet, and I still earned enough in a year to redeem for Amazon gift cards and get a few presents for my kids at Christmas.

Swagbucks Browser Extension

Swagbucks has a browser extension that you can install in your browser as well.

Swagbucks review browser extension

Swagbucks review browser extension

In my Chrome browser I have it installed and it will notify you when there is cash back available for a store you’re shopping at. Just click on the button that pops up to activate the cash back, and a short while after you complete your purchase the SB will be added to your account.

It also will tell you when there are coupon codes available at a certain store and apply them for you, saving you additional money!

What it comes down to is adding the extension will likely save you quite a bit of money! It takes the work out of remembering to go to a cash back site – it does it for you automatically.

Swagbucks Hack To Triple Your Savings

Her’s a hack that I have started using in order to triple my savings when shopping online. I use Swagbucks in conjunction with two other providers, Honey and Gift Card Granny.

Here’s how it works.

  1. Activate Swagbucks cash back: First, go to the shopping site where you want to save money.  Activate your Swabgucks cash back via your browser extension. It should pop up automatically if you have it installed and ask you to “activate cash back”.
  2. Use Honey to get a coupon code: After you find the item you wanted to buy, add it to your cart and begin the checkout process. On the checkout page where they have a space for coupon codes, use the Honey browser extension to search for available coupon codes, to save you more money!
  3. Buy a discounted gift card from Gift Card Granny: Figure out your order’s total, and then buy a gift card at Gift Card Granny to cover the cost. You can often find gift cards for popular retailers at a big discount. For example, a $100 gift card for $85. Purchase the gift card and use it when checking out.

When you do these three things, you’ll save using Swagbucks cash back, by using a Honey coupon code, and by getting a discount on a gift card to pay for your order.  Triple the savings!

How Much Can You Earn With Swagbucks?

Once you’ve earned enough points you can redeem your SB for an Amazon gift card, but there are hundreds of other ways to also redeem your points.  Choose from a wide range of retailers—Amazon, Target, Lands End, Chili’s, Starbucks, Whole Foods, Walmart, Sears, and many more.

There are hundreds of prizes to choose from, and if you want to make your SB points stretch further, look for the sale category where they temporarily discount how many SB certain items can be redeemed for.

They say that nothing in life is free, but if you search the Internet using Swagbucks, utilize the cash back tools and engage on their site you will earn enough SB points to redeem for some nice free gifts.

Have you used Swagbucks?  If so, what have you earned?

If you use promo code “BMONEYMATTERS” when you register you’ll get an extra 70 SB.

Get Your Free 70 SB When You Open Swagbucks Account Now!

Similar Programs

Swagbucks Review

FREE

Swagbucks Review

Rating

9.2/10

Pros

  • Lots of reward options including PayPal
  • Great cash back options
  • Browser extension works great
  • In store cash back
  • Lots of ways to earn points

Cons

  • Some offers require a lot to get SB

Source: biblemoneymatters.com

8 Tips for Improving HVAC Efficiency

By properly maintaining your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, you can improve its efficiency and reduce heating and cooling costs dramatically.

By

Tiffany Rowe, Seek Visibility (Partner)
October 25, 2018

reduce your heating and cooling costs by up to 20 percent.

2. Consider a Home Warranty

If you’ve ever wondered how to compare home warranty vs. home insurance, now is your chance to learn. Home warranties guarantee the systems of your home, like your HVAC, against the ravages of time. If your HVAC breaks down for any reason, you can contact your home warranty provider, who will send an HVAC specialist to diagnose and fix the problem for a low, flat fee around $70. Though a home warranty won’t keep your HVAC in tip-top shape, it will secure you against total HVAC failure.

3. Calibrate Your Thermostat

You shouldn’t just trust that your thermostat knows what temperature it is in your home. It is easy for thermostats to be anywhere from a percent of a degree to five whole degrees off from the true temperature, and that seemingly small difference will cost you over time. To be certain your thermostat is reading true, you need to purchase a trustworthy thermometer and keep it on the wall a few inches from your thermostat. Then, using that tool, you can calibrate your thermostat appropriately.

4. Check Your Economizer

Economizers are machines attached to your HVAC to ensure high efficiency, but they don’t always work as expected. Often, economizers slip their links or contain faulty controls—or else someone in the past tinkered with them improperly. You should pay a visit to your HVAC economizer and give it a once-over; look specifically for open dampers (which should be kept closed) and any signs of quick fixes, like string or unfinished wood, that could indicate issues.

5. Control Your VFD

A variable frequency drive (VFD) controls the speed of the motor in your HVAC unit, providing energy savings proportional to the rotations per minute. However, like economizers, VFDs can malfunction and/or can be interfered with, causing efficiency-related problems. You should peer into your VFD and ensure that it isn’t running on bypass mode, so you can reap appropriate energy savings.

6. Cut out Your BAS

A building automation system (BAS) provides centralized control of HVAC as well as lighting and other systems. Such systems usually only exist in larger structures with more complex energy and control needs, but if your home is in an apartment or condo building, you might be subject to a BAS. You should either try to remove a BAS that is impeding the proper use of your HVAC or else contact your building manager to express concern over the BAS functionality.

7. Clean Your Coils

On the same day you clean your refrigerator coils, you should also clean your HVAC coils. Because HVAC units are typically placed in out-of-the-way areas that are rarely cleaned – like your roof, your basement, your attic or a corner of your yard – it doesn’t take long for them to accumulate dirt and grime. Debris on your HVAC coils forces the machine to work harder to produce the same effects, and it can reduce indoor air quality. Thus, you should schedule a coil cleaning at least once per year.

8. Connect Timers

There is no sense in heating or cooling an empty home. When you are away – at work or on vacation – you should consider setting a more lenient temperature on your thermostat, so it doesn’t need to work so hard for no benefit. You can also connect timer switches to your most energy-hungry devices, like gaming consoles, desktop computers and appliances, for a similar effect.

Over time, your HVAC will become less efficient—unless you do something about it. By participating in preventative maintenance, you can reduce your home energy costs and avoid the high expense of repairing or replacing your equipment.