energy http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1828/all en-US 8 Industries That Could Benefit From Climate Change http://www.wisebread.com/8-industries-that-could-benefit-from-climate-change <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-industries-that-could-benefit-from-climate-change" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/engineer_projecting.jpg" alt="Engineer projecting" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The recent devastation brought on by hurricanes in the U.S. and Puerto Rico has led to renewed conversations about the impact of climate change. Dangerous storms, rising sea levels, droughts, and heat waves are now more commonplace around the globe, and for better or for worse, there are many companies poised to cash in.</p> <p>Few companies will explicitly <em>try</em> to profit off climate change, but there are a number of industries that could see revenues rise if our planet continues to warm. Whether by harnessing new energy sources, building new infrastructure, or creating products to protect people's health, companies will step up and respond as our climate changes. Meanwhile, other firms will profit in unexpected ways.</p> <p>Here are some major industries that may benefit &mdash; rightly or wrongly &mdash; from climate change.</p> <h2>1. Renewable energy companies</h2> <p>Most scientists agree that the pace of global warming can be slowed by a shift toward green energy. Companies that produce solar energy and electricity from wind and other nonpolluting sources should see revenues grow as the energy economy shifts. The number of startups operating in this area is expected to increase, too.</p> <p>Here's why. Renewable energy sources comprised about 15 percent of U.S. electricity production in 2016, and that's likely to increase. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, solar energy accounted for 30 percent of all new sources of electricity in the first quarter of 2017. Renewable energy is expected to pass coal as an energy source within the next 12 years. We won't be switching entirely to green energy overnight, but the megawatts produced by environmentally friendly sources will continue to increase.</p> <h2>2. Established energy companies</h2> <p>While concern over climate change has led to a push for more renewable energy sources, traditional energy companies aren't going away tomorrow. In fact, as energy needs increase due to rising temperatures, it (ironically) may be established fossil fuel companies that meet those needs until renewable sources become more abundant and reliable. Some companies have also noted that melting ice in the Arctic could open up more areas for offshore oil drilling.</p> <h2>3. Construction companies</h2> <p>While many people are focused on preventing and slowing climate change, others are examining how to make our world more resilient to deal with the impacts. This means potentially building sea walls and other infrastructure to address rising sea levels. It could also mean bolstering major infrastructure such as railways, airports, and roads. Much of this work will be done by private companies, and could come sooner rather than later if lawmakers agree on a large increase in infrastructure spending.</p> <p>Companies such as Caterpillar, Bechtel, and Whiting-Turner are among those often involved in major construction projects. It's worth pointing out that many of these same companies are active in disaster relief efforts, as well.</p> <h2>4. Air conditioning suppliers</h2> <p>An increasing number of places in the world, including some densely populated regions, are dealing with temperatures that are virtually deadly unless citizens have access to air conditioning. This presents a huge opportunity for air conditioning suppliers such as Daikin Global and Fujitsu, provided that their potential customers have access to the electricity to run AC units.</p> <p>Of course, air conditioning is also a contributor to climate change due to the use of hydrofluorocarbons, which trap thousands of time more heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. As countries move to phase out the use of HFCs, companies that produce affordable and scalable air conditioning solutions that are better for the environment are the best poised to cash in.</p> <h2>5. Specialized clothing manufacturers</h2> <p>If an increasing number of people are facing extreme weather, that's an opportunity for clothing manufacturers who use technology to produce clothing that helps keep us safe and comfortable. Think of specialized apparel and gear that's designed to keep you cooler, block out the sun, protect against extreme rainfall, or respond to changes in temperature. Even sunglasses may become more technologically advanced.</p> <p>Climate change also presents an opportunity for companies committed to reducing their carbon footprints when sourcing and manufacturing their products.</p> <h2>6. Shipping companies</h2> <p>In August, a Russian tanker ship made headlines by becoming the first ship to cross the Northeast Passage from Europe to Asia without the use of an icebreaker. This is significant, because it suggests that companies can now ship goods much faster. For example, a trip through the Northeast Passage, which runs along the Arctic coast of Russia between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, takes 30 percent less time than the traditional route through the Suez Canal.</p> <p>The trip by the Russian tanker was made possible due to declining ice levels in the Arctic, presumably as a result of climate change. The reduction in ice could also mean more potential routes for vacation cruise ships, including more trips to the Arctic and Antarctic regions.</p> <h2>7. Defense and security firms</h2> <p>There is increasing concern that food shortages and other challenges caused by climate change could lead to civil unrest. In fact, the United Nations Food Programme last year said high food prices led to unrest in Morocco, Bangladesh, Tunisia, and Indonesia. Large defense companies, including Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and United Technologies, would indirectly profit if tensions escalated into armed conflicts, and many of those same companies are involved in carrying out the delivery of humanitarian aid.</p> <p>Moreover, climate change is often cited as a contributing factor to the refugee crisis in Syria and other parts of the Middle East. Continued mass migration could mean a greater need for border surveillance and security forces, which would also benefit security and defense firms.</p> <h2>8. Crop science companies</h2> <p>A number of forces are combining to drive prospects for crop science companies. The world's growing population is causing food demand to rise. Meanwhile, consumers are showing more interest in organic food products. This is all happening at a time when climate change is causing more droughts, floods, and unpredictable growing conditions.</p> <p>Companies that may benefit from these trends include new biotech firms, as well as established giants such as Monsanto and Bayer, which have invested billions of dollars in crops designed to be more resilient and produce higher yields with less water and soil.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-industries-that-could-benefit-from-climate-change&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Industries%2520That%2520Could%2520Benefit%2520From%2520Climate%2520Change.jpg&amp;description=8%20Industries%20That%20Could%20Benefit%20From%20Climate%20Change"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Industries%20That%20Could%20Benefit%20From%20Climate%20Change.jpg" alt="8 Industries That Could Benefit From Climate Change" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-industries-that-could-benefit-from-climate-change">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-climate-change-could-affect-your-money">6 Ways Climate Change Could Affect Your Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/welcome-to-container-city-how-shipping-containers-are-recycled-into-green-dwellings">Welcome to Container City - How Shipping Containers Are Recycled into Green Dwellings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-big-of-a-house-do-you-really-need">How Big of a House Do You Really Need?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/living-without-air-conditioning-can-save-big-bucks-this-summer">Living Without Air-Conditioning Can Save Big Bucks This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-ways-to-get-your-finances-fit-for-summer">10 Easy Ways to Get Your Finances Fit For Summer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Green Living air conditioning climate change construction defense energy global warming hurricane harvey renewables trade Fri, 13 Oct 2017 08:30:04 +0000 Tim Lemke 2035541 at http://www.wisebread.com 34 Smart Ways to Cut Your Electric Bill http://www.wisebread.com/34-smart-ways-to-cut-your-electric-bill <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/34-smart-ways-to-cut-your-electric-bill" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-531612106.jpg" alt="Finding smart ways to cut your electric bill" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I was pleasantly surprised to see that my February natural gas bill was only $65 &mdash; which isn't bad for heating an entire house during an Iowa winter. But my electric bill for the month was over $100. There must be some things I can do to use less electricity and lower my bill. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-youre-wasting-electricity-without-realizing-it?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways You're Wasting Electricity Without Realizing It</a>)</p> <p>One way to save money on your bill is to change your behavior and pay more attention to your usage of electricity &mdash; no investment required. Another way is to install some upgrades. These involve spending money on projects, and investments to improve the energy efficiency of your home and lower your utility bills every month. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-anyone-can-go-solar-and-save-on-energy?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Ways Anyone Can Go Solar and Save on Energy</a>)</p> <p>Here are some smart things you can do to use less electricity and start saving money on your electric bill.</p> <h2>1. Turn off auxiliary heating devices</h2> <p>I was using a space heater to keep some plants warm, but this ran up my electric bill. I'll use more efficient <a href="http://amzn.to/2otBRFM" target="_blank">heating pads</a> instead.</p> <h2>2. Enjoy some nonelectric evenings</h2> <p>Every once in awhile, switch off the circuit breaker and have an evening with no electricity. Break out the flashlights, candles, books, and board games. You don't have to wait for Earth Hour to turn out the lights and save money on electricity.</p> <h2>3. Dry clothes outside</h2> <p>Weather permitting, you can hang laundry outside to dry instead of running an energy-intensive dryer.</p> <h2>4. Turn up central A/C temperature</h2> <p>Turn up your thermostat a few degrees to run your central air conditioner less.</p> <h2>5. Use someone else's electricity</h2> <p>Turn off the lights, appliances, and air conditioning at your house and go somewhere else. You could go to the library or work at a coffee shop.</p> <h2>6. Use your ceiling fans correctly</h2> <p>Run ceiling fans to make rooms comfortable with less energy than running A/C. Set the ceiling fan direction for the correct season &mdash; in summer, a ceiling fan should rotate counterclockwise when viewed from below.</p> <h2>7. Use fans, open windows</h2> <p>Use box fans or oscillating fans to cool occupied spaces and run central A/C less on hot days. Open windows at night to take advantage of cool air. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-fans?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Best Fans</a>)</p> <h2>8. Turn off unused lights</h2> <p>Get in the habit of turning off lights when leaving a room. It's easy enough to turn the lights back on if they are needed again.</p> <h2>9. Turn off unused electronics</h2> <p>Turn off computers, game consoles, and TVs when no one is using them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hands-in-your-pocket-the-cost-of-standby-power-environmental-and-otherwise?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Cost of Standby Power</a>)</p> <h2>10. Run full loads</h2> <p>Run full loads in your dishwasher, clothes washer, and clothes dryer for maximum efficiency.</p> <h2>11. Use cold water</h2> <p>Reduce your use of hot water in your clothes washer, and select cold or warm water wash cycles instead whenever possible.</p> <h2>12. Run the clothes dryer at night</h2> <p>Run your clothes dryer and other energy intensive appliances at night if your electric utility provides an off-peak hours discount.</p> <h2>13. Clean lint trap on clothes dryer</h2> <p>Remove lint from the lint trap on your clothes dryer to maximize airflow and minimize energy use.</p> <h2>14. Turn off the dry cycle on your dishwasher</h2> <p>Instead of using a heated dry cycle, I simply open the dishwasher door and let dishes air dry.</p> <h2>15. Install LED light bulbs</h2> <p>I am replacing all of my incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs that provide great lighting and use a fraction of the electricity. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-energy-efficient-light-bulbs?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Energy Efficient Bulbs</a>)</p> <h2>16. Remove &quot;extra&quot; light bulbs</h2> <p>If a fixture has more light than you need, remove some of the bulbs so it will use less power.</p> <h2>17. Take advantage of water heater savings</h2> <p>Here are some ways to reduce electricity consumption for hot water:</p> <ul> <li>Lower the temperature setting on your hot water tank.</li> <li>Install an insulated jacket around the tank.</li> <li>Insulate the first six feet of hot water supply pipe.</li> </ul> <h2>18. Sleep outside</h2> <p>It gets cool outside at night, even during the summer. You can take advantage of this by turning off your air conditioning and sleeping outside in a tent or on a screened-in porch.</p> <h2>19. Remove underutilized appliances</h2> <p>If you have an extra freezer or refrigerator in your garage that doesn't have much in it, consider getting rid of it to save a few dollars worth of electricity every month.</p> <h2>20. Skip the blow dryer for your hair</h2> <p>Blow dryers are loud and use a lot of power. They also dry out your hair over time, so use a towel to dry your hair instead.</p> <h2>21. Use a toaster oven</h2> <p>Use a toaster oven to heat up small items such as a sandwich or slice of pizza instead of firing up the full-sized oven.</p> <h2>22. Choose a flashlight over a night light</h2> <p>I keep an LED flashlight next to my bed instead of trying to light large areas of the house with nightlights that use electricity all night long.</p> <h2>23. Charge your gadgets at work</h2> <p>If there are outlets handy at the office, you might as well charge your phone, tablet, and laptop there instead of at home. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-solar-chargers?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Solar Chargers</a>)</p> <h2>24. Use timers for holiday lights</h2> <p>I bought a digital timer to automatically turn my holiday lights off and on so they never run all night.</p> <h2>25. Change your furnace filter</h2> <p>You will get better airflow and spend less on central A/C if you change your furnace filter every few months.</p> <h2>26. Think broom, not vacuum cleaner</h2> <p>A broom is quiet and uses no electricity. I am trying to break my habit of reaching for the vacuum cleaner to clean up every mess in my shop.</p> <h2>27. Upgrade motion detectors</h2> <p>Install motion detectors on outside lights to prevent leaving lights on.</p> <h2>28. Install Energy Star appliances</h2> <p>Make energy efficiency a top criterion when selecting new appliances.</p> <h2>29. Choose a high efficiency A/C</h2> <p>If you have an older central A/C unit, you may be able to cut your cooling cost significantly by replacing it with a more energy efficient model.</p> <h2>30. Make sure you have insulated windows</h2> <p>Replace leaky or single pane windows with double or triple pane windows charged with inert gas to reduce A/C cost.</p> <h2>31. Install a programmable thermostat</h2> <p>You can install a <a href="http://amzn.to/2ovZP3h" target="_blank">programmable thermostat</a> to automatically adjust A/C temperature when no one is home.</p> <h2>32. Add solar panels</h2> <p>Install solar panels to generate your own electricity and drastically cut your electric bill. In some locations, you may even be able to sell any excess electricity that you generate. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cut-your-electric-bill-with-solar-panels?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Cut Your Electric Bill With Solar Panels</a>)</p> <h2>33. Install a skylight or light pipe</h2> <p>If the sun is shining outside, you can bring free light in from outside using a skylight or light pipe.</p> <h2>34. Bicycle generator</h2> <p>You can generate your own electricity to run electronic devices and even some appliances by using a bicycle generator.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/34-smart-ways-to-cut-your-electric-bill">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-home-and-houseware-upgrades-that-prove-youre-finally-a-grownup">11 Home and Houseware Upgrades That Prove You&#039;re Finally a Grownup</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-anyone-can-go-solar-and-save-on-energy">10 Ways Anyone Can Go Solar and Save on Energy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-green-living-habits-thatll-save-you-every-month">12 Green Living Habits That&#039;ll Save You Every Month</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-your-smartphone-saves-you-money">8 Ways Your Smartphone Saves You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tools-and-gadgets-your-smartphone-can-replace">7 Tools and Gadgets Your Smartphone Can Replace</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Technology appliances electric bill electricity energy green living saving money tech gadgets Wed, 12 Apr 2017 08:30:15 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1925857 at http://www.wisebread.com The High Cost of Keeping Warm http://www.wisebread.com/the-high-cost-of-keeping-warm <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-high-cost-of-keeping-warm" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-175238511.jpg" alt="Spend less to heat your home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Feeling chilly? You're not alone. As temperatures plummet across the United States and beyond, people are reaching for their scarves and sweaters, inching up their thermostats, and finding all sorts of other ways to keep warm. How much does it all cost? Here are a few numbers to mull over while you microwave your hot cocoa.</p> <h2>Cost of Keeping Warm</h2> <p>Let's start our look at the costs associated with keeping warm close to home &mdash; in fact this starts right at home.</p> <h3>The Price of Home Heating</h3> <p>Likely one of the biggest ticket items of all is heating your home. The state of Massachusetts, for example, released projections for <a href="http://www.mass.gov/eea/energy-utilities-clean-tech/misc/household-heating-costs.html" target="_blank">annual home heating costs</a> last year by fuel type. These numbers are staggering, but &mdash; surprisingly &mdash; are down an average of 22% from the previous year.</p> <ul> <li>$879 for natural gas;</li> <li>$2,248 for oil;</li> <li>$2,569 for propane;</li> <li>$697 for electric heating.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Note</strong>: How much you'll spend on heat depends on a number of factors, including how energy efficient your home is, as well as the condition of your furnace or other heating appliances.</p> <p>My husband and I learned the hard way that a new gas furnace and installation can set you back $4,000 or more. And it's not exactly one of those things you can put off until next season or even next week, especially if it dies when the temperatures are below zero and you have a newborn in the house.</p> <h3>The Price of Home Energy Efficiency</h3> <p>Many people choose to undertake big home projects to make their houses more energy efficient. Adding insulation to attics and walls is a popular choice to help keep heat inside. The average cost of installing blown-in insulation ranges from $875 to $1,897, according to HomeAdvisor.</p> <p>Other insulation price averages include:</p> <ul> <li>$1,000 for spray foam insulation;</li> <li>$300 to $500 for fiberglass batt;</li> <li>$675 to $1,075 for reflective or radiant barrier.</li> </ul> <p>Thankfully, this cost is most often a one-time thing. And increasing your home's insulation can help save up to $500 (spray foam) a year in heating/cooling costs. Plus, some states even offer weatherization rebates and tax credits. To see if you apply, visit <a href="http://energy.gov/savings" target="_blank">Energy.gov</a>.</p> <h3>Environmental Costs</h3> <p>Perhaps more important than money, heating homes taxes the Earth's resources. It burns fossil fuels that are in relatively short supply. Not only that, but there's also energy and expense involved in extracting the fuels, transporting them, and &mdash; in the end &mdash; waste that is left behind when the process is done.</p> <p>Currently, fossil fuels are used in the United States to power up to <a href="http://instituteforenergyresearch.org/topics/encyclopedia/fossil-fuels/" target="_blank">81% of our energy needs</a>. And when you're talking about global warming &mdash; a good chunk of that has to do with home heating as well. In 2014, the fossil fuels burned for heating made up <a href="https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions" target="_blank">12% of overall greenhouse gas emissions</a>.</p> <h2>Sustainable and Cost-Effective Ways to Cozy Up</h2> <p>There's good news here: You can tweak your routine slightly and still keep warm, all while not breaking the bank or harming the environment.</p> <h3>Layer Up</h3> <p>Before you crank up the heat, look at what you're wearing. Slip on a base layer of a moisture-wicking fabric, like polyester, and don't skimp on the hats and scarves. Yes, even indoors! The folks at The Old Farmer's Almanac remind us to <a href="http://www.almanac.com/blog/editors-musings/blog-keeping-warm-winter" target="_blank">cover our feet as well</a>. Consider buying an inexpensive pair of <a href="http://amzn.to/2hFI0ML" target="_blank">rubber-soled slippers</a> or warming feet with a bulky pair of <a href="http://amzn.to/2hO0TZQ" target="_blank">wool socks</a>.</p> <h3>Program Your Thermostat</h3> <p>You can save up to <a href="http://energy.gov/energysaver/thermostats" target="_blank">10% off your energy bill</a> by setting your thermostat seven to 10 degrees cooler in the eight hours when you're at work. Better yet, take your own forgetfulness out of the equation and install a <a href="http://amzn.to/2illZ23" target="_blank">programmable thermostat</a> that will automatically do the work for you.</p> <h3>Try the Fan Trick</h3> <p>Switch the direction of your ceiling fan so it will circulate warm air during the winter (usually clockwise). How it works: The air is sucked up by the fan in the center of the room and then pushed down around the edges. The result is a more even temperature throughout the room (and your whole house, if you're performing this trick in multiple rooms).</p> <h3>Fill in Cracks</h3> <p>You may want to take a walk around your home to do a mini energy audit. Basically, you're looking for drafts around windows, doors, and any other openings or cracks in your home. You can inexpensively add weather stripping to doors and windows.</p> <p>You may even want to use some plastic or bubble wrap for particularly drafty windows. To do this yourself, frame the window with double-sided tape, peel off backing, and apply bubble wrap. You may want to add another layer of tape and cover the bubble wrap with <a href="http://amzn.to/2gLzMRy" target="_blank">plastic film insulation</a>.</p> <h3>Use the Sun</h3> <p>Try opening your curtains and letting the sunlight indoors during the day. Alternatively, close the curtains at night to keep the warm air inside. You could also consider investing in some <a href="http://amzn.to/2gLD6ff" target="_blank">thermal curtains</a>. Some claim they can help you save up to 25% on your heating and cooling bills.</p> <h3>Rearrange Your Spaces</h3> <p>Give your rooms a new look and feel by moving furniture around so it won't block vents, radiators, and other heating elements. You don't want your couch hogging all the heat and making your system less efficient. If your floors are bare, add a rug that helps insulate your space and keeps your toes warmer.</p> <p>Oh, and if you have rooms you don't often use, close them up. This way, you're heating a smaller area. Just make sure you close the vents in these spaces.</p> <h3>Use Alternatives</h3> <p>There are other ways to heat your home that don't involve using a furnace or boiler. Wood heat is sustainable &mdash; if carbon intensive &mdash; because it utilizes a renewable resource. Modern woodstoves are much more efficient and produce less pollution than older models. Still, many environmentalists shy from wood because it does cause the most pollution of alternative heating sources. Pellet stoves, on the other hand, run on a similar idea, but they are friendlier to the planet.</p> <p>One of the cleanest alternatives? Harnessing the power of the sun. You may want to look into a solar hot air system to supplement your primary heating source. It involves collectors placed on southern-facing walls and fans to push the air indoors. If you're building a new home, look into passive solar design, which can supply <a href="http://www.motherearthnews.com/renewable-energy/energy-efficiency/home-heating-options-zm0z12djzsor?pageid=6#PageContent6" target="_blank">50% to 80% of your home's heat</a>.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-high-cost-of-keeping-warm">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-some-cash-with-these-6-clever-cleaning-hacks">Save Some Cash With These 6 Clever Cleaning Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/opt-out-of-the-wasteful-26-billion-phone-directory-industry">Opt-out of the wasteful $26 billion phone directory industry</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-industries-that-could-benefit-from-climate-change">8 Industries That Could Benefit From Climate Change</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips">14 Effective Grease and Oil Stain Removal Tips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-low-can-you-go-taking-the-no-heat-challenge">How Low Can You Go? Taking the No Heat Challenge</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Home cost-effective heating costs efficiency energy environment heating costs natural gas oil tricks Thu, 22 Dec 2016 11:00:10 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1859597 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Frugal Skills You Must Have to Survive Mondays http://www.wisebread.com/12-frugal-skills-you-must-have-to-survive-mondays <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-frugal-skills-you-must-have-to-survive-mondays" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_tired_work_90063805.jpg" alt="Woman learning frugal skills to survive the holidays" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Mondays are difficult for everyone. The beginning of a new workweek means you can't sleep in, you have to manage office politics again, and you need to deal with the stress of your day-to-day grind once again. However, we've come up with some frugal skills that can help you better survive Monday, that doesn't cost much or anything at all.</p> <h2>1. Become an Early Bird</h2> <p>It may seem crazy to wake up early on a Monday, but this can be the best way to get your day and week started on the right path. You'll feel more productive first thing in the morning, which can carry over into your workday. You can get your day started off right by taking some time to have coffee and catch up on the news, or have a relaxing stretch to wake up your body and mind. Get to bed early on Sunday night so that it's easier to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-morning-mantras-that-ll-help-keep-your-finances-on-track">wake up early</a> on Monday and to ensure you don't go to work feeling drowsy.</p> <h2>2. Don't Skip Breakfast (or Coffee)</h2> <p>Breakfast is an important part of every day, but that's especially true on Mondays. Going to work hungry will only make the workday more difficult. Having a balanced breakfast can help boost your metabolism, energy, and productivity.</p> <p>Coffee is another essential part of any Monday morning. It can make you more alert and productive, provide the much-needed energy you crave, and is just a fun way to enjoy the morning. On Mondays, consider dolling up your coffee a bit, with seasonal creamers, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-milk-frothers">frothy milk</a>, or a dollop of whipped cream.</p> <h2>3. Have a Plan, But Take It Easy</h2> <p>Fill in your calendar and to-do list over the weekend, so you can begin Monday with an organized mind. However, you don't want to add too much to your plate. Monday is already stressful enough, so take it easy on yourself and spread your tasks out throughout the week. If you feel stressed, move anything that you can from your Monday to-do list to your Tuesday to-do list. Make sure to also schedule any Monday meetings for after lunch, so you have some time to break into Monday.</p> <h2>4. Focus on the Positives</h2> <p>Over the weekend, focus on what's good about your job. This can put you in a positive frame of mind and will make you more grateful to return to work on Monday.</p> <h2>5. Embrace the Calming Power of Music</h2> <p>Listen to upbeat music that puts you in a good mood on your commute to work and/or while you get ready in the morning. It can boost your energy and put you in a positive frame of mind.</p> <h2>6. Wear What Makes You Happy</h2> <p>Consider wearing your favorite outfit or taking a few extra minutes on your morning skin care or hair routine so you feel more confident throughout the day. If you have a new outfit or accessory, wear it on Monday. If you don't have a new outfit to show off, consider breaking out your new pen or upgrading your office supplies on Monday.</p> <h2>7. Make Monday Your Splurge Day</h2> <p>If you've been good and eat at home for most meals, then you deserve a splurge day. Make Mondays your splurge days so you have something to look forward to. Whether that means going to favorite coffee shop for a latte and pastry or going out with friends for a once-a-week lunch outing, it can make your Monday more bearable (and maybe even fun).</p> <p>If you're trying to stay healthy and watch what you eat, then Mondays can be your splurge days, where you can have an indulgent dessert or treat yourself to fast food. Knowing that your splurge day is approaching on Monday can also help keep you on track over the weekend, and limit your overall restaurant spending if you keep it to one day per week.</p> <h2>8. Plan Fun Activities</h2> <p>One of the best things to do when tackling stressful situations like interviews, auditions, speeches, and stressful Monday mornings, is to plan something fun for that evening. It gives you incentive to get through the day and will keep you in a positive frame of mind. Knowing that you have something fun coming up can even make the day go by more quickly. Whether you plan a date night, meet with coworkers for happy hour, or simply plan a quiet and frugal home spa night (complete with a bath, facial mask, and calming music), make plans that you can look forward to throughout the day. If you consistently do this every week, you will actually look forward to Mondays before you know it.</p> <h2>9. Avoid Office Politics</h2> <p>Poisonous coworkers can make a stressful Monday morning even worse. Try avoiding office politics and any coworkers that might make your day more difficult. Politely let any coworkers know that you're very busy if they come around your workspace.</p> <p>If your boss tends to make Mondays even more stressful, stay calm and try not to let any negativity affect your attitude or productivity. Get your work done to the best of your abilities so that your boss has less incentive to visit your desk. You may even consider getting into the office five minutes earlier, so that you can get your coffee and settle in before the boss even gets there.</p> <h2>10. Take Your Breaks</h2> <p>Taking your daily breaks is especially important on a Monday, which can already be more stressful than the average workday. If you're having a particularly difficult Monday, consider getting some fresh air, or taking deep breaths during your daily break. You might even want to schedule a walk with a coworker during your lunch break to boost your mood and energy.</p> <h2>11. Don't Slack On Friday</h2> <p>If you leave most of your work for Monday morning, make a bigger effort to get more done on Friday. That way, you won't have as much to deal with when you return to the office on Monday. This can also make your weekend more relaxing because you won't have so much work hanging over your head.</p> <h2>12. Take Advantage of the Weekend</h2> <p>The weekend is usually reserved for having fun and getting things done, but it's also important to focus on relaxing and refreshing yourself for the upcoming week. Unplug for the weekend. Don't check your email or voicemail unless you need to, especially if you won't respond until Monday anyway.</p> <p>By getting enough sleep, exercising, and setting some time aside for yourself, you can enter the workweek more rested and ready to tackle the work at hand. Take a bath, take a nap, ask your spouse for a massage, and get in a good amount of exercise over the weekend; your body will thank you for it on Monday.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-frugal-skills-you-must-have-to-survive-mondays">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-45-life-lessons-youd-give-to-your-younger-self">Flashback Friday: 45 Life Lessons You&#039;d Give to Your Younger Self</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-smart-new-uses-for-hair-clips">15 Smart New Uses for Hair Clips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-and-frugal-uses-for-epsom-salt">10 Smart and Frugal Uses for Epsom Salt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-51-ways-to-organize-your-whole-life-in-2017">Flashback Friday: 51 Ways to Organize Your Whole Life in 2017</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-lower-water-heater-costs">7 Ways To Lower Water Heater Costs</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Life Hacks case of the Mondays coffee energy frugal living I hate Mondays life hacks Mondays sleep work Mon, 14 Nov 2016 10:30:27 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1830895 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Money Leaks You Need to Plug http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-leaks-you-need-to-plug <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-money-leaks-you-need-to-plug" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_empty_wallet_101494811.jpg" alt="Man finding money leaks he needs to plug" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Want to tighten your budget, but can't figure out where you can save money? Look for leaks in your budget &mdash; places where money is slowly but surely leaking out. Here are seven places to start:</p> <h2>1. Insurance on Old Vehicles</h2> <p>Have cars or trucks sitting in your garage, driveway, or backyard that rarely or never get road time? Or maybe you're paying insurance on other types of vehicles &mdash; like boats or motorcycles &mdash; that have become permanent fixtures on your landscape. If this situation sounds familiar and you're still carrying insurance on these vehicles, it's time to make a decision. Either cut the insurance and put a tarp over the machine(s) for preservation, or put it up for sale so you can make a few bucks.</p> <h2>2. Bank Fees and Out-of-Network ATMs</h2> <p>Many checking and savings accounts have maintenance fees related to a minimum balance, and if you don't keep that minimum in the account, you'll be charged the fee &mdash; and you may not even realize it. For instance, last year I upgraded my savings account to a higher-yield savings account that pays more interest, but I recently took out a large sum of that savings for a down payment on a home. Unbeknown to me, the new savings account charges a $12 monthly fee for not keeping a minimum balance of $10,000, which I was quick to flag, and I reverted back to my previous account until I've replenished my savings to accommodate the higher-year account's requirements. Now, $12 a month may not seem like a big deal, but if you let it go too long, it really adds up. It's worth calling your bank or sitting down with an in-bank representative to discuss your accounts' requirements and to ask about what types of accounts best suit your needs.</p> <p>Another way you can plug money leaks from your account is to avoid ATMs that charge a fee for use. I've seen service fees upward of $10 at some ATMs, and that's not counting the fee that your bank may also charge &mdash; my institution's is $2.50 per transaction &mdash; every time you use an out-of-network ATM. If you need quick cash (like for a night out, for example), try to remember to go to your home back earlier in the day or stop by a convenience store, like Rite-Aid or 7-11, and use the cash back option if you're on the go.</p> <h2>3. Unused Memberships and Subscriptions</h2> <p>Over the past several years, the availability of membership and subscription services has skyrocketed thanks to our increasing attachment to mobile devices. Services like Spotify, Netflix, Hulu, and more extract their monthly fees from our bank accounts, and that can be dangerous if the price is not justified by the amount we use a particular service. If you lost your interest in an existing subscription, cancel it. This also applies to traditional month-to-month memberships too, like your gym. If you're not using them on a consistent basis, put them on hold until you get back on track or end them so you're not paying for rather pricey services you're not receiving.</p> <h2>4. Credit Card Interest and Late Payments</h2> <p>Avoiding <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=internal">credit card interest</a> and late payments should be a top priority when you're trying to stop hemorrhaging cash. Maybe you can make up the difference by plugging up the other money leaks listed in this article. But, if that's not feasible or if you fall short, consider picking up a side gig, like pet sitting using services like Rover.com and Dog Vacay or becoming an independent taxi service with Uber or Lyft. I personally do both, and the money I've made from these &quot;extracurriculars&quot; has helped me pay off bills and put a substantial amount of money in my savings account.</p> <h2>5. Mobile Data Overages and Outdated Plans</h2> <p>Many of my friends complain about never having enough data and subsequently having to pay for overages. It's annoying for them because either they have to suck up the cost of going over, or cut back on their data usage, which becomes quite prohibitive after a while. In addition, if you've had the same mobile plan for a while, now is a good time to call your provider to see what savings are available. Last year, I called my mobile provider to inquire about my plan, which had remained the same for about 10 years, and I was happy to come off the call with about $8 in savings per month moving forward.</p> <h2>6. Wasted and Spoiled Groceries</h2> <p>I know far too many people who have pantries packed to the brim with boxed and canned goods that are many years old &mdash; and many years past their expiration dates &mdash; who continue to purchase even more boxed and canned goods every time they visit the supermarket. It's pure nonsense.</p> <p>First step, clean out your pantry! Throw out what's expired and the things you know you're not going to eat (or deliver the still-edible goods to a local food pantry), then bring whatever's left to the front of the pantry to be consumed immediately. Next, stop buying items for which you don't have specific plans; this also includes perishable foods. If you not sure when you're going to eat something, why are you buying it? Just in case? <em>Just in case</em> is how you spend way more than you need to at the supermarket. Make a list, check it twice, and stick to it when you next go grocery shopping.</p> <h2>7. Vampire Energy Consumption</h2> <p>Is your air conditioner constantly running &mdash; even when you're not home? Do you treat the heat the same way in the winter? TV left on? Dryer turned to high? Faucets dripping? Everything plugged into outlets even when they're not in use?</p> <p>Every time you quietly answered yes to those questions, it costs you money. To curb your energy consumption, make sure everything is off when you leave the house. Also, unplug non-daily-use electronics and appliances &mdash; like that nightstand lamp that you never use &mdash; so they're not eating up electricity for no reason. And for goodness sake, fix water and air leaks around the house so you're not almost literally throwing money out the window or down the drain. Be mindful of other ways you may be consuming more energy than you need to, like turning off porch lights, adjusting the temperature in your fridge and freezer, cleaning air filters, and using more efficient cycles on the dishwasher and washing machine if a lower setting will get the job done.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-money-leaks-you-need-to-plug&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Money%2520Leaks%2520You%2520Need%2520to%2520Plug.jpg&amp;description=7%20Money%20Leaks%20You%20Need%20to%20Plug"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Money%20Leaks%20You%20Need%20to%20Plug.jpg" alt="7 Money Leaks You Need to Plug" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-leaks-you-need-to-plug">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/welcome-to-container-city-how-shipping-containers-are-recycled-into-green-dwellings">Welcome to Container City - How Shipping Containers Are Recycled into Green Dwellings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-americans-spend-too-much-on">5 Things Americans Spend Too Much On</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids">Why is Gasoline So Cheap? A Cost Comparison of 40 Common Household Liquids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pets-old-cars-and-3-other-common-money-pits">Pets, Old Cars, and 3 Other Common Money Pits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/six-ways-to-stay-warm-and-reduce-the-heating-bill">Six Ways to Stay Warm and Reduce the Heating Bill</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living atms bank fees car insurance data energy food waste groceries late payments memberships money leaks subscriptions wasting money Thu, 15 Sep 2016 10:30:05 +0000 Mikey Rox 1793090 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Easy Ways to Get Your Finances Fit For Summer http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-ways-to-get-your-finances-fit-for-summer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-easy-ways-to-get-your-finances-fit-for-summer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_son_hammock_000084288399.jpg" alt="Woman getting her finances fit for summer" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Summer is just around the corner, and the warm weather and extra free time can put a big ding in your finances. Stay proactive about potential summertime overspending by implementing these smart strategies that'll have you headed into the season financially fit.</p> <h2>1. Review Your Current Budget</h2> <p>It's always a good idea to take stock of your current expenses to determine where you can save. This means reviewing your recurring expenses by taking a hard look at your debit and credit card activity. If you have memberships or subscriptions that you barely use and can live without it, ditch 'em. The more dead weight you can unload, the more extra &quot;free&quot; money you'll have to start your summer fund.</p> <h2>2. Establish a Summer-Activity Budget</h2> <p>I'm very much a planner, and as a result I generally know what my summer plans are well ahead of time. The great thing about planning ahead is that you can get a good picture of your upcoming expenses and start saving accordingly. It's easy to establish a summer activity budget that maps out all the fun things you plan to do along with their associated costs. And if your plans change, you can tweak it accordingly.</p> <h2>3. Compare Transportation and Lodging for Travel</h2> <p>One of the biggest mistakes I notice from self-proclaimed savvy spenders and savers is that they sometimes hop on a deal too quickly. Sure, they're using discount sites to score savings on lodging and transportation, but is it really the best deal available? I always recommend comparing prices between multiple sites, and don't just limit yourself to your go-to savings depots. In fact, I've gotten better deals going directly to the hotels or airlines' websites at times.</p> <p>And here's another tip: Pick up the phone! Very few of us dial our vacation service providers to see what promotions they may be offering, and it could pay off big. It's worth spending the 10 to 20 minutes scouting the best buys. A few extra dollars saved are a few extra dollars that you can use for a nicer meal or fun activity while you're on vacay.</p> <h2>4. Explore Low-Cost Kids' Activities</h2> <p>Child care &mdash; especially of the all-day variety during the summer months &mdash; can zap your budget quickly. But there are several ways you can minimize those costs. Patty Cathey, an investment advisor in Denver, Colo., offers a few ideas on child care alternatives.</p> <p>&quot;Look into summer camps through your city recreation department, community center, or YMCA. Many churches or religious groups also offer affordable camps. As far as amusement parks, the zoo, or museums go, hold out for promotional offers, which are frequent in the summer. LivingSocial and Groupon often is a good resource for lower admission. And many communities offer free or cheap things for kids and families to do in the summer. The local library has educational activities, and there are free or cheap outdoor summer concerts, parades, and town festivals to take advantage of as well.&quot;</p> <p>And let's not forget one of my favorite summertime promotions &mdash; <a href="http://www.kidsbowlfree.com/">free bowling for kids</a>. Registered kids receive two free games of bowling <em>per day </em>at participating locations.</p> <h2>5. Cut Your Energy Expenses</h2> <p>I'll be the first one to admit the my air conditioner goes on if it's above 60 degrees outside at bedtime. But, I do try to cut energy costs wherever I can. For one, I grill outside more often in the summer, which reduces the amount of dishes I'm using on a daily basis, thus extending the time between my dishwasher cycles. Lights are turned off in favor of natural sunlight, and curtains and blinds are closed to keep too much sun from coming in if it's particularly hot outside. I water plants from a watering can instead of letting the hose run nonstop, and drying clothes outside is a pocket-wise way to avoid using the dryer during the summer.</p> <p>Cathey has a few more tips.</p> <p>&quot;You could save close to $200 over the course of the year by installing a <a href="http://amzn.to/1UmaQOl">programmable thermostat</a> and setting the temperature back 10 to 15 degrees for the hours you're at work,&quot; she says.</p> <h2>6. Take Advantage of Seasonal Sales</h2> <p>There are lots of sales during the summer season that can help you score big savings if you strike while the iron is hot. Groceries can be especially taxing during the summer &mdash; all those BBQ meats and fresh fruits and veggies aren't cheap &mdash; but you'll get the most for your money by comparing circulars, locating the best deals in your area, and stacking your coupons and apps, like Cartwheel, Ibotta, and Checkout 51.</p> <p>Savings expert Jill Cataldo recommends <a href="https://flipp.com/">Flipp</a>, a free app that gathers all the store circulars in your area in one easy-to-use platform.</p> <p>&quot;Use Flipp to plan your weekly grocery trips, and you'll enjoy its coupon-matching feature, which automatically points out additional discounts available on what you're buying at the supermarket,&quot; she says. &quot;When you can seamlessly save 20% to 70% on items you're shopping for every week, that adds up to big savings throughout the year.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Harness the Power of Old and Discounted Gift Cards</h2> <p>I love going through my wallet at the beginning of the summer to see what gift cards I have leftover, so that I can use them to save on dining or shopping while on vacation. Another great way to use gift cards is to buy them at discount &mdash; the idea of which is to spend less for the actual amount on the card even though it retains its full value. <a href="https://www.raise.com/buy-gift-cards">Raise's</a> marketplace allows people to save money and afford all the things to do during summer in two ways:</p> <ul> <li>People that have old or unwanted gift cards can sell them and get cash back, which is a great way get extra money towards summer fun.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Outlet lovers can buy gift cards at a discount and use the money they would have spent on other things such as going on vacation, having BBQs, and more.</li> </ul> <p>With 4,000 different retailers' gift cards for sale, it's easy to trade on this great source of value.</p> <h2>8. Add a Side Hustle to Your Schedule</h2> <p>If you have summer plans that exceed your budget, all may not be lost. Perhaps it's time to start thinking about picking up a side hustle, like renting out a room in your home on Airbnb, dog sitting for locals through DogVacay, or driving for a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft. The social and sharing economy is thriving, and there's a place for you in it &mdash; guaranteed. I always advocate for the side hustle when you're strapped for cash, because in most cases it's relatively easy work. In other words, if you're complaining that you don't have enough money, there are options ready and waiting for you. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-unexpected-side-benefits-of-your-side-hustle?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Unexpected Side Benefits of Your Side Hustle</a>)</p> <h2>9. Rely on Cold, Hard Cash More Often</h2> <p>It's convenient to swipe your plastic wherever you go, but studies show that using cash as your currency of choice limits the amount you'll spend. In fact, a study conducted by Dun &amp; Bradstreet revealed that we spend 12% to 18% more when using debit or credit card opposed to dolla-dolla bills.</p> <p>Hard-money lending expert Elizabeth Jenkins details an idea on how to use cash to spend less.</p> <p>&quot;Allocate your cash budgets into weekly envelopes,&quot; she says. &quot;Have an envelope for weekly food, fun, gas, rent, etc., and make sure to close them. You'll find a feeling of guilt as you take money from an envelope to pay for something unrelated to that budget.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-comprehensive-guide-to-the-envelope-system?ref=seealso">A Comprehensive Guide to the Envelope System</a>)</p> <h2>10. Change the Way You View Spending</h2> <p>Retail therapy feels good &mdash; until it doesn't. To curb spending, it's important to start viewing it as a necessity opposed to a recreational activity. Instead, focus on more important activities that increase your well being, instead of adding more clutter to it with material things.</p> <p>&quot;Spending can be addictive,&quot; Jenkins warns. &quot;Work on spending 'time' on things rather than money. Pick up an exercise routine, start a hobby, work on your house, or any other number of time consuming projects. Transfer your energy into projects that may cost some amount money, but will help your job, home, or family in the long run.&quot;</p> <p><em>What are some ways you're getting your finances fit for summer? I'd love to hear your tips and suggestions in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-ways-to-get-your-finances-fit-for-summer">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-come-up-with-1000-in-the-next-30-days">How to Come Up With $1,000 in the Next 30 Days</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-one-vacation-day-and-save-thousands">How to Take One Vacation Day and Save Thousands</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youve-been-saving-money-all-wrong-heres-why">You&#039;ve Been Saving Money All Wrong. Here&#039;s Why</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-handle-a-sudden-loss-of-income">How to Handle a Sudden Loss of Income</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-determine-if-your-finances-are-ready-for-a-big-purchase">How to Determine If Your Finances Are Ready for a Big Purchase</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance budgeting cutting costs energy summer transportation travel warm weather Tue, 03 May 2016 10:00:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 1702381 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Surprising Ways Cheap Oil Impacts Your Wallet http://www.wisebread.com/8-surprising-ways-cheap-oil-impacts-your-wallet <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-surprising-ways-cheap-oil-impacts-your-wallet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_getting_gas_000019298644.jpg" alt="Learning ways cheap oil impacts your wallet" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When it comes to oil prices, there just doesn't seem to be a bottom these days. Crude oil is selling for about $30 a barrel, and that's having a major impact on both the global economy and Americans' pocketbooks.</p> <p>How are low oil prices affecting your finances?</p> <h2>1. You're Saving on Fuel and Energy Costs</h2> <p>It's simple: Low oil prices mean you pay less to fill up your car, or to heat and cool your home. IHS Global Insight predicted that Americans would save more than $100 billion, or $750 per household, due to low oil prices in 2015 &mdash; and savings are expected to continue this year. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-the-high-cost-of-cheap-gas-hurts-you?ref=seealso">This Is How the High Cost of Cheap Gas Hurts You</a>)</p> <h2>2. Oil Stocks Have Been Hammered</h2> <p>In case you didn't notice, any stock or mutual fund associated with the oil industry has been getting creamed for quite a while. I bought shares of the iShares Oil and Gas ETF last year, believing they were bottoming out and would go up in value in short order. I was wrong. Shares are down 25% in the last 12 months, and 43% in the last two years. If you have a 401K or IRA with energy stocks, you may have seen your portfolio drop quite a bit over the last year or so.</p> <h2>3. You're Saving Everywhere Else, Too</h2> <p>In America, we're currently in a period of low inflation, and the low price of oil has a lot to do with that. Low oil prices mean it's costing less to ship goods, or for plastics manufacturers to make their products. In fact, low oil prices have a ripple effect on the price of almost everything. As evidence, the consumer price index declined 0.1% in December, after rising just 0.2% in November. The CPI is up just 0.7% in the last year. (On average, it's gone up about 2% annually over the last decade.)</p> <h2>4. Recycling Isn't a Cash Cow Anymore</h2> <p>Petroleum is the key ingredient in plastics, and with oil so cheap, there's less demand for recycled plastics. After all, why buy used when new is cheaper? After decades of effort and investment, localities across the country <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/13/business/energy-environment/skid-in-oil-prices-pulls-the-recycling-industry-down-with-it.html?_r=0">have seen recycling rates rise</a>, along with revenue to local coffers. For example, in 2015 the city of Washington, DC paid its waste management contractor $1.37M to take its plastics and other recyclable materials off its hands, but as recently as 2011, the city earned $550K for its reusable trash. &quot;A real fear now,&quot; Michael Taylor of the Society of the Plastics Industry told the New York Times, &quot;is that recycling rates might go down. That would be a horrible situation.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Fuel Taxes Could Go Up</h2> <p>Many lawmakers and even some business groups have been urging for an increase in federal and state gas taxes as a way of funding infrastructure improvements. And they say the time may be right for an increase, because a gallon of gasoline is selling for its lowest price in years. (Gas taxes are a harder sell when it's already expensive to fuel up.) President Obama recently proposed a $10 per barrel tax on oil in his latest budget, and Alabama, Alaska, and Indiana are among the states discussing a gas tax hike.</p> <h2>6. You're Traveling and Eating Out More</h2> <p>If you're paying less for gas, there's more money in your pocket. That means it's less of a financial challenge to take the family to a restaurant or on a vacation. The Wall Street Journal reported that spending on food and accommodations last summer was up 8% over 2014. Many tourists sites, including National Parks, saw good upticks in attendance last year and expect solid performances in 2016.</p> <h2>7. Life Is Harder if You Live in West Texas or North Dakota</h2> <p>For several years, places like North Dakota or Midland, TX were enjoying super-low unemployment and a migration of people looking to take advantage of the oil boom. But things aren't nearly as active there now. The state economy grew by only 1% last year, compared to 6% the year prior, according to Kiplinger's. North Dakota's governor recently presented a plan of budget cuts brought on by lower oil revenues. This has also impacted the budgets of other oil-dependent states, including Alaska and Louisiana.</p> <h2>8. The Ruble and Other Currencies Are Down</h2> <p>If you're Russian, or invest in currencies, you may have noticed that the value of a ruble against the euro and dollar has been sliding. Journalists reported in January that Russia was looking to cut 10% off its federal budget, which was originally made with $50 per barrel oil prices in mind.</p> <p>Russia is one of many countries that relies heavily on oil exports to drive their economy, so low prices can have a severe impact on economic growth. Low oil prices have also impacted the Canadian dollar and Mexican peso (both down about 20% in the last two years), and the Norwegian krone (down about 25%.) The one plus side for Americans is that the U.S. dollar has remained strong, and it's now relatively cheap to travel to some of these countries or consume their exports.</p> <p><em>Have you noticed any surprising effects of cheap oil? Lets us know in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-surprising-ways-cheap-oil-impacts-your-wallet">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-build-an-emergency-fund-from-0">7 Easy Ways to Build an Emergency Fund From $0</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-industries-that-could-benefit-from-climate-change">8 Industries That Could Benefit From Climate Change</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-social-security-just-a-grand-ponzi-scheme">Is Social Security Just A Grand Ponzi Scheme?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-yourself-financially-during-a-divorce-or-separation">How to Protect Yourself Financially During a Divorce or Separation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-reasons-why-an-accountant-is-worth-the-money">14 Reasons Why an Accountant Is Worth the Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance currencies driving energy gas prices inflation oil prices taxes Mon, 22 Feb 2016 11:30:05 +0000 Tim Lemke 1658152 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Energy Secrets for 9-to-5ers http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-energy-secrets-for-9-to-5ers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-energy-secrets-for-9-to-5ers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/sleepy_work_000050603034.jpg" alt="Group sleepy at work" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on energy secrets for nine-to-fivers, life skills you develop by traveling the world, and ways to stay relevant in your career.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.dumblittleman.com/2015/04/8-powerhouse-energy-secrets-every-nine-fiver-know.html">8 Powerhouse Energy Secrets Every Nine-to-Fiver Should Know</a> &mdash; Use your lunch hour to eat and socialize with friends. Your body needs the food and the endorphins from a fun, relaxing lunch. [Dumb Little Man]</p> <p><a href="http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/6-indispensable-life-skills-develop-globe-trotter/">6 Indispensable Life Skills You Develop As a Globe Trotter</a> &mdash; The more traveling you do, the more you learn to appreciate other people's stories and perspectives. [Pick The Brain]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thadthoughts.com/2015/04/5-ways-to-stay-relevant-in-your-career">5 Ways to Stay Relevant in Your Career</a> &mdash; You can internalize what you've learned by teaching it to someone else&hellip;so spread the knowledge! [Thad Thoughts]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Lower-Monthly-Expenses-20441848">13 Things That Are Causing Your Bills to Skyrocket</a> &mdash; Always check your receipts, bills, and statements for mistakes and unexpected fees. The sooner you catch them, the better chances you'll have of getting your money back! [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2015/0329/Six-credit-card-myths-debunked">Six credit card myths debunked</a> &mdash; There's a belief that opening many credit card accounts will help raise your credit score.&nbsp;In reality, applying for credit cards will result in hard inquiries on your credit &mdash; and having too many hard inquiries will actually lower your score. [The Monitor]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/perfect-credit-score-waste-time/">Why Obsessing for a Perfect Credit Score Is a Waste of Your Time</a> &mdash; Most high-scoring consumers are already at an acceptable level of credit risk. Lenders can't give you lower rates than they're offering regardless of how high your credit score is. [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/time-year-travel-determines-find-cheapest-airline-tickets.html">When you want to travel determines when you&rsquo;ll find the cheapest airline tickets</a> &mdash; If you're planning to travel by plane this summer, book your flight about 76 days before your travel date. [Bargaineering]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/better-yourself/have-you-considered-the-true-cost-of-minimalism/">Have You Considered the True Cost of Minimalism?</a> &mdash; Embracing a life of minimalism can cost you time in unexpected ways.</p> <p><a href="http://abacuswealth.com/can-you-afford-to-change-jobs/">Can You Afford to Change Jobs?</a> &mdash; Create a &quot;dream job budget&quot; based on your current one. How will your budget change to reflect your new estimated income? [Abacus Wealth]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/5-habits-of-stressed-out-parents-and-how-to-break-em">5 Habits of Stressed Out Parents - and How to Break 'em</a> &mdash; Parents who are stressed out may take it out on their partners sometimes. The key is to remember you're partners! Offer to help each other out when stress levels are on the rise. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-energy-secrets-for-9-to-5ers">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-stress-free-ways-to-stay-productive-on-vacation">7 Stress-Free Ways to Stay Productive on Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-industries-that-could-benefit-from-climate-change">8 Industries That Could Benefit From Climate Change</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-get-motivated-today">25 Ways to Get Motivated Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-reasons-you-cant-focus-and-how-to-fix-it-now">12 Reasons You Can&#039;t Focus — And How to Fix It Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Productivity best money tips energy Tue, 07 Apr 2015 19:00:09 +0000 Amy Lu 1376389 at http://www.wisebread.com Cheap Oil is Hurting These People -- Will It Hurt You, Too? http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-oil-is-hurting-these-people-will-it-hurt-you-too <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/cheap-oil-is-hurting-these-people-will-it-hurt-you-too" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/gas-station-pump-Dollarphotoclub_37447291.jpg" alt="gas station pump" title="gas station pump" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The economic effects of the precipitous decline in oil prices could mean tough times for some Americans. The last time the U.S. was hit this hard by an oil crisis was in the mid-80s; a five month period referred to as the 1980s Oil Glut that left oil prices staggering to recover for nearly two decades. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/profit-on-the-oil-bust-with-these-10-cheap-energy-stocks?ref=seealso">Profit on the Oil Bust With These 10 Cheap Energy Stocks</a>)</p> <p>For now, most Americans are happy to save at the pump and to heat their homes more affordably. But some of us will feel the pain of lower oil prices.</p> <h2>1. Locals in Oil Rich Cities and Regions</h2> <p>The economic forecast looks grim for residents of oil-centric cities if oil prices continue to hover around $50 a barrel. Places like Houston, Dallas, Tulsa, Odessa, and Baton Rouge could feel spillover effects in their local economies. Towns in Wyoming and the Dakotas could also feel the pinch. Since oil is such an important part of these cities' economies, you don't have to personally work in the energy industry to feel the pain. Slowing construction, layoffs, and sluggish growth could impact these towns' broader economies.</p> <h2>2. Oil and Gas Industry Executives and Laborers</h2> <p>Already, major oil and gas companies have announced capital spending cuts leading to layoffs and the closing of plant facilities and oil rigs this year. Analysts say as many as <a href="http://fuelfix.com/blog/2014/12/17/more-than-500-rigs-may-shut-down-as-oil-slides-analysts-say/">550 oil rigs could close</a> in 2015. General Electric [GE], Halliburton [HAL], Apache Corp. [APA], Baker Hughes [BHI], and Civeo [CEVO], among others, have already announced significant job cuts. Thousands more are expected to lose jobs in Texas, alone.</p> <h2>3. Home Builders and Landlords</h2> <p>One effect of oil-related layoffs is a slow down in the housing market. Credit Suisse forecasts a 20% decline in the construction of new homes in Texas, and many of the largest homebuilders, like Lennar [LEN], are heavily vested in Texas cities. Sales for these companies are expected to drop. Analysts also predict higher-than-usual vacancy rates as workers move away due to job losses, which can pose a problem for rental properties.</p> <h2>4. Investors</h2> <p>Some investment banks have slapped a <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2015/01/23/investing/oil-texas-housing-houston/">&quot;sell&quot; rating</a> on home builder funds with high exposure to oil markets. But, before having a knee-jerk reaction and pulling your money out of the market, work with your financial advisor to devise a plan to weather the storm. Some analysts predict oil will trade at $70-$80 a barrel by year end. Now may be the right time to buy, rather than sell.</p> <p><em>How have you been impacted by falling oil prices?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/qiana-chavaia">Qiana Chavaia</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-oil-is-hurting-these-people-will-it-hurt-you-too">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-industries-that-could-benefit-from-climate-change">8 Industries That Could Benefit From Climate Change</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-smart-about-money-with-these-18-free-online-courses">Get Smart About Money With These 18 Free Online Courses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-online-forums-thatll-help-you-reach-your-financial-goals">9 Online Forums That&#039;ll Help You Reach Your Financial Goals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-millennials-have-changed-money-so-far">6 Ways Millennials Have Changed Money (So Far)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-fantasy-football-teaches-us-about-personal-finance">What Fantasy Football Teaches Us About Personal Finance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance cheap gas cheap oil energy investing oil oil bust Fri, 27 Feb 2015 14:00:14 +0000 Qiana Chavaia 1309101 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Stress-Free Ways to Stay Productive on Vacation http://www.wisebread.com/7-stress-free-ways-to-stay-productive-on-vacation <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-stress-free-ways-to-stay-productive-on-vacation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000023308689_Large.jpg" alt="man pool suit" title="man pool suit" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Vacation is a time to relax and let loose &mdash; and you've earned every minute of it. But while it's healthy to slow down every once in a while to enjoy some of life's finer things, taking a much-needed break doesn't give you full credence to be lazy (unless that's what you want, of course; hey, it's your vacation). Fact is, you can still have fun &mdash; and stay productive &mdash; with bit of concerted effort. Here's how.</p> <h2>1. Tie Up Loose Ends Before Vacation Commences</h2> <p>There's nothing worse than having an open-ended project hanging over your head that you wished you'd have finished before your vacation started. Whatever the reason you didn't complete it &mdash; maybe you were rushed, maybe you just didn't feel like bothering with it &mdash; your lack of follow-through will nag you for the duration of your holiday, and that's no way to spend what should be an otherwise fun time. Do yourself a favor and be a trooper &mdash; work through the night if you have to &mdash; to check these tasks off your list so there's one less thing to worry about when it's time to kick your feet up. You'll likely find that with this burden lifted, you'll be more motivated to work leisurely on something else at your own pace &mdash; if you'd like.</p> <h2>2. Schedule Small Tasks to Accomplish in Short Bursts</h2> <p>Instead of scheduling large, daunting tasks to complete over vacation &mdash; let's use cleaning the house as a blanket goal &mdash; try fitting in smaller, more manageable projects into your schedule. For instance, if you have free time one afternoon, tackle cleaning your pantry; the next day clear out your medicine cabinet. By working in short bursts to accomplish small tasks, you'll avoid becoming overwhelmed but still enjoy the feeling of staying somewhat productive.</p> <h2>3. Engage in Activities That Stimulate Your Brain</h2> <p>Studies show that playing games, eating certain foods, and exercising can&nbsp;<a href="http://www.prevention.com/health/brain-games/games-make-you-think">boost your brainpower</a>, the result of which is a conduit for productivity. If you're feeling a bit sluggish on vacation &mdash; like you just want to binge-watch every available season of House of Cards on Netflix instead of getting something worthwhile done &mdash; play a videogame,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/best-foods-your-brain?s=5">have a piece of chocolate</a> (legit!), or go for a walk to help get you shake off the lazies and spend your time more wisely.</p> <h2>4. Reflect on Positive Things You've Accomplished Recently</h2> <p>When my business is lagging, or I haven't accomplished anything of which I can be proud lately, I like to reflect on some of the positive things that I've done in the recent past to help me remember why I do what I do. If you're in a similar rut on vacation, think back to one of your rockstar moments to help provide a boost of motivation to get moving.</p> <h2>5. Schedule Time to Exercise</h2> <p>There's a direct correlation between&nbsp;<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-pozen/exercise-productivity_b_2005463.html">exercise and productivity</a>, so it's not a bad idea to schedule time to work out even when you're on vacation. I know, I know &mdash; who wants to break a sweat when there are free-flowing frozen margaritas at the pool bar? Very few of us. But I can tell you from experience that when I drag myself to the treadmill and commit to at least 20 minutes of non-stop exercise, my day is immediately much better. I feel healthier, my confidence gets a boost, and I walk away with more energy to do more than just tip a glass back (even though it's not completely off the schedule).</p> <h2>6. Limit Your Food and Drink Indulgences</h2> <p>Speaking of the sweet nectar of delicious drinks that seem to be omnipresent when you're on vacation, it's important to not overdo it. We all know what happens when we drink too much &mdash; we get a one-way ticket to Hangover City that sucks the fun right out of our getaway &mdash; but overeating also can be a detriment to your productivity. Indulging too much can make us feel nauseous, tired, and bloated &mdash; which ultimately will ruin our mood and kill our motivation.</p> <h2>7. Sleep In &mdash; But Not Too Long</h2> <p>Getting a good night's rest is&nbsp;<a href="http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/physical-side-effects-oversleeping">critical to staying productive</a> &mdash; and having the stamina to keep going &mdash; and there's no better time than vacation to catch a few extra Zs. But, mind you, there's a fine line between sleeping in and oversleeping. You want to get enough sleep that you wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the day opposed to rising lethargic and down in the dumps. A good way to handle this is to let yourself sleep one more hour than your normal schedule allows. That's a reasonable amount of time to get in a few more winks without wasting your vacation.</p> <p><em>How do you stay productive on vacation? Let us know in the comments below.</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-stress-free-ways-to-stay-productive-on-vacation&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%20Stress-Free%20Ways%20to%20Stay%20Productive%20on%20Vacation.jpg&amp;description=7%20Stress-Free%20Ways%20to%20Stay%20Productive%20on%20Vacation" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Stress-Free%20Ways%20to%20Stay%20Productive%20on%20Vacation.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-stress-free-ways-to-stay-productive-on-vacation">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-protect-your-luggage-on-your-next-trip">9 Ways to Protect Your Luggage on Your Next Trip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-websites-for-last-minute-airfare-deals">7 Best Websites for Last-Minute Airfare Deals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-flight-booking-hacks-to-save-you-hundreds">10 Flight Booking Hacks to Save You Hundreds</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beyond-disney-8-affordable-family-destinations-in-the-us">Beyond Disney: 8 Affordable Family Destinations in the US</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-do-9-popular-bucket-list-items-on-a-budget">Where to Do 9 Popular Bucket List Items on a Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Productivity Travel energy goals vacation Thu, 15 Jan 2015 12:00:05 +0000 Mikey Rox 1279974 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Times You're Wasting Mental Energy Without Realizing It http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-youre-wasting-mental-energy-without-realizing-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-times-youre-wasting-mental-energy-without-realizing-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/worker-post-it-notes-451846923-small.jpg" alt="worker post it notes" title="worker post it notes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Adulthood is exhausting. With the responsibilities of work, family, friendships and more, we are expending a lot of energy and are even limiting the amount of rest we can get to replenish it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-free-or-really-cheap-ways-to-relieve-stress?ref=seealso">20 Free (or Really Cheap) Ways to Relieve Stress</a>)</p> <p>At this point in my life, I figure I should save as much of my energy as I possibly can for the important things. These are some ways I've found that I was wasting energy and I didn't even know it.</p> <h2>1. Allowing Background Noise</h2> <p>Background noise raises <a href="http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ask-the-brains-background-noise/">stress levels</a>, making it harder for us to focus on concentrate. When we continually require ourselves to perform tasks with noise &mdash; even if it's just a droning air conditioner &mdash; we are using more energy than we need to.</p> <p>While it might not be possible to eliminate all background noise, especially in our loud world, you can almost always do something to make it quieter. Buy some noise cancelling headphones and wear them without listening to anything, use earplugs, or turn off the TV to save your energy.</p> <h2>2. Giving Away Your Power</h2> <p>There are so many ways to give away your power. The basic idea, though, is that you give away your power when you say or perceive that someone or something else is in charge of your life (or an aspect of it), rather than you. This can be as simple as always waiting for directions before you take action, or more complex like blaming your genes for a medical condition that limits you.</p> <p>When you give away your power, you give away your ability to make choices that will make your life better. For instance, you may not be able to do anything about an inherited medical condition, but you can still choose to live life to the full with that condition. Doing this will energize you.</p> <h2>3. Keeping Lists in Your Head</h2> <p>Sometimes, I find myself exhausted because I'm trying to remember so many things. When I take a moment to write them down, my mind can relax because I know I won't forget anything important.</p> <p>The simple act of writing things down saves me energy now, but it also saves it later. If I insist on keeping all my lists in my head, I almost invariably forget something. That causes all sorts of stress and wastes so much mental energy later, when I have to scramble to pull something together or apologize profusely for missing an event.</p> <h2>4. Checking Email More Than Twice a Day</h2> <p>Most people really only need to <a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/3030999/work-smart/what-i-learned-from-checking-email-only-twice-a-day">check email twice a day</a>. Most of your messages aren't urgent and, if someone has something that you really need to know right now, they can always call, text, or come find you themselves.</p> <p>When you check email all the time, you're distracted all the time. Sometimes, you're even trying to check your email while you're doing something else. However, multitasking doesn't really work. You're actually switching rapidly between tasks, not doing several things at once. All of this switching takes energy, which you wouldn't have to spend if you could focus on each task alone.</p> <h2>5. Trying to Control the Uncontrollable</h2> <p>I like to be in control, even when that isn't possible. In the past, I've wasted a lot of energy trying to control people and situations that it simply was not within my grasp to control. When I can let go of those things, I find that I have more energy to spend on the things that it is within my power to change.</p> <p>Letting go of the desire to control usually comes from places deep inside of us, and you probably won't be able to let it go overnight. Start by figuring out what you're afraid of that causes you to need so much control, and begin to work with the idea of letting go from there.</p> <h2>6. Working Long Hours</h2> <p>Working longer hours doesn't necessarily make you more productive. In fact, <a href="http://lifehacker.com/more-productivity-myths-debunked-by-science-and-commo-514253858">productivity tends to drop significantly</a> the more hours you make yourself work.</p> <p>When you're working long hours, you're wasting your energy. That energy would be better spent finding a way to rest and to rejuvenate, so that you can come back to your task later, at optimum levels of productivity. Even if you don't get every second of rest that you need, a short break will help you focus again, without expending so much energy just to keep yourself on task.</p> <h2>7. Being a Perfectionist</h2> <p><a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/inside-out/201311/4-difficulties-being-perfectionist">Perfectionists tend to be exhausted</a>, and that makes sense. They are putting a lot of time and energy into getting every detail just right. Being that detail-oriented can, in and of itself, make you pretty tired. When you add into that the fact that perfectionists tend to forego rest when or struggle to achieve it when everything is not just so, it makes sense that they're tired.</p> <p>It's good to want to do a good job, but it's impossible to be perfect. When you accept this, you'll find out where &quot;good enough&quot; is and you'll be able to stop working and rest once you've achieved that. This will save you all of the mental energy spent pouring over details, and you might sleep better, too.</p> <h2>Energy Saved</h2> <p>Most of these are little changes that save little pieces of your energy. When you add that energy up over days, weeks, months, and years, though, you're likely to find that you have more of yourself to give to the things you really care about.</p> <p><em>So think about it. What will you do with the energy you save? What would you love to invest yourself in but have been too tired to even look at?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-youre-wasting-mental-energy-without-realizing-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-nervous-tics-you-need-to-stop-right-now">6 Nervous Tics You Need to Stop Right Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/banish-stress-easy-ways-to-get-calm-now-and-forever">Banish Stress: Easy Ways to Get Calm Now and Forever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-free-or-really-cheap-ways-to-relieve-stress">20 Free (or Really Cheap) Ways to Relieve Stress</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-you-can-go-easier-on-yourself">12 Ways You Can Go Easier on Yourself</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-common-pieces-of-emotional-baggage-and-how-to-ditch-them">8 Common Pieces of Emotional Baggage (and How to Ditch Them)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development energy exhaustion mental energy stress Tue, 04 Nov 2014 11:00:05 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1250591 at http://www.wisebread.com Shrink Your Utility Bill by Plugging These Surprising Home Energy Leaks http://www.wisebread.com/shrink-your-utility-bill-by-plugging-these-surprising-home-energy-leaks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/shrink-your-utility-bill-by-plugging-these-surprising-home-energy-leaks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/chores-5318992-small.jpg" alt="washing dishes" title="washing dishes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average family <a href="http://www.greenprintdenver.org/getinvolved/save-energy/">spends more than $1,600 annually on utility bills</a>. This breaks down to about $133 a month. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-americans-can-learn-from-how-the-rest-of-the-world-saves-energy">How The Rest of the World Saves Energy</a>)</p> <p>After a close evaluation of your utility bills, you may discover that your annual energy costs are higher than the average. There&#39;s plenty you can do to lower your costs. And while you probably know the benefits of buying Energy Star appliances and replacing incandescent light bulbs with CFL bulbs, you may be unaware of these surprising routines that drain energy and ultimately increase energy costs.</p> <h2>1. Icemaker</h2> <p>I didn&#39;t know this was possible until recently, but you can turn off the automatic icemaker on your refrigerator. Having the icemaker on is certainly&nbsp; convenient, because you don&#39;t have to fill ice trays. And if you&#39;re entertaining guests, an icemaker ensures a generous supply of ice. Yet, there&#39;s a price to convenience.</p> <p>Automatic ice machines work around the clock, constantly draining energy, and they can increase your refrigerator&#39;s energy use by 14% to 20%, says <a href="http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=refrig.pr_refrigerators">Energy Star</a>. But if you turn off your icemaker feature and make your ice the old-fashioned way (with an ice tray), that&#39;s extra cash in your pocket.</p> <p>Look for an on/off switch on the front of the icemaker, or check your manual for specific instructions.</p> <h2>2. Hand Washing vs. Dishwasher</h2> <p>Hand washing may clean your dishes better, but if you&#39;re looking for ways to conserve energy, you better learn to love your dishwasher. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-dishwashers">Top 5 Dishwashers</a>)</p> <p>You need hot water to clean dishes. And since it takes energy to heat water, it only makes sense that the more hot water you use, the higher your energy costs.</p> <p>Maybe you feel it&#39;s greener and more cost-effective to give your dishwasher a rest and hand wash your cups, forks, plates, etc. But at the end of the day, it&#39;s all about consumption. And since the <a href="http://www.treehugger.com/kitchen-design/built-in-dishwashers-vs-hand-washing-which-is-greener.html">average dishwasher uses only about 4 to 6 gallons of water per cycle</a>, and the average faucet outputs 2 gallons of water per minute, running your dishwasher can save time and money.</p> <h2>3. Electric Ovens</h2> <p>Large electric ovens require a lot of energy, and if you use your stove every day of the week, this will drive up your energy costs. Of course, you have to eat. If you do the math, cooking your own food is probably cheaper than grabbing a bite to eat. So even though the oven is one of the biggest energy drains in your house, you really don&#39;t have much of a choice, right? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-tips-to-cut-costs-by-using-your-oven-efficiently">19 Tips for Efficient Oven Use</a>)</p> <p>Well, not exactly. There is no rule that says you have to use your oven when preparing meals. Several vegetable and meat dishes can be prepared with smaller appliances, such as a slow cooker, a microwave, or an electric grill. You can use a toaster oven for meals you would normally cook in the oven, or maybe a rice cooker or steamer for items you usually prepare on the stovetop. Switch to <a href="http://www.unitedpower.com/mainNav/yourEnergyOptions/energyTips.aspx">smaller appliances, and you can use about 75% less energy</a>.</p> <h2>4. Taking a Bath</h2> <p>Maybe you prefer a nice hot bath instead of a shower? Sure, baths take longer, considering you have to wait for the tub to fill with water. But what better way to relax and recharge after a long day? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-have-energy-after-work">Easy Ways to Have Energy After Work</a>)</p> <p>An occasional bath isn&#39;t going to skyrocket your utility bills. However, if this becomes your nightly routine, expect your energy costs to be slightly higher than the average household.</p> <p>Just like running your dishwasher, the cost of taking a bath all boils down to water consumption and the energy it takes to heat the water. Water constantly flows while showering, and like many others, you may feel that baths use less water and energy. But when you compare the average water usage for showers and baths, the facts might comes as a surprise.</p> <p>The average bath requires <a href="http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/myths/shower_vs_bath.html">30 to 50 gallons of water</a> &mdash; a major energy drain, especially when a four-minute shower with a low-flow head only uses about 10 gallons of water. Not bad considering how a family of four can each take a quick shower and use less water than a single bath.</p> <h2>5. Empty Fridge and Freezer</h2> <p>If you grocery shop every Saturday and only buy enough for a week, you may not have a stockpile of food in your fridge or freezer. You&#39;re probably thinking&nbsp;&mdash; what does my shopping routine have to do with home energy?</p> <p>Well, there&#39;s a connection. The less you buy, the less items inside your refrigerator &mdash; and empty space doesn&#39;t exactly save energy. Emptiness provides just enough space for warm air to circulate &mdash; an energy killer.</p> <p>The temperature in your kitchen is obviously warmer than the temperature inside your refrigerator. When you open the door, warm air rushes inside; the fridge then works extra hard to maintain a cool temperature. But when you keep your fridge and freezer fully stocked, this doesn&#39;t leave much room for warm air. The cooler your fridge stays, the less energy it uses.</p> <p><em>Do you know of other surprising energy drains not listed here? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shrink-your-utility-bill-by-plugging-these-surprising-home-energy-leaks">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-industries-that-could-benefit-from-climate-change">8 Industries That Could Benefit From Climate Change</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-youre-wasting-electricity-without-realizing-it">8 Ways You&#039;re Wasting Electricity Without Realizing It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youre-washing-your-clothes-too-often-what-to-do-instead">You&#039;re Washing Your Clothes Too Often! (What to Do Instead)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/welcome-to-container-city-how-shipping-containers-are-recycled-into-green-dwellings">Welcome to Container City - How Shipping Containers Are Recycled into Green Dwellings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-low-can-you-go-taking-the-no-heat-challenge">How Low Can You Go? Taking the No Heat Challenge</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living conservation energy energy consumption utilities Thu, 24 Oct 2013 14:21:06 +0000 Mikey Rox 1044964 at http://www.wisebread.com All the Caffeine of a Cup of Joe in a Convenient... Spray-On? http://www.wisebread.com/all-the-caffeine-of-a-cup-of-joe-in-a-convenient-spray-on <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/all-the-caffeine-of-a-cup-of-joe-in-a-convenient-spray-on" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/coffee-5276855-small.jpg" alt="man pouring coffee" title="man pouring coffee" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A cup of joe has long been the preferred delivery mechanism for caffeine, the stimulant that energized the <a href="http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xhofkn_steven-johnson-on-coffee-and-the-age-of-enlightenment_tech">revolutions of the Enlightenment</a>, and today keeps cubicles humming through the afternoon. Caffeinated sweet sodas and energy drinks fortified with <a href="http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11/supplement-guide-ginseng">ginseng</a> and <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/ginkgo-biloba/NS_patient-ginkgo">ginkgo biloba</a> and other stuff have made inroads in recent years, but they haven't changed how we get our caffeine. Which is to say, we're still drinking it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-caffeine-is-in-that">How Much Caffeine Is in That?</a>)</p> <p>But a revolution is brewing in the world of caffeine stimulation. Beginning this November, you'll be able to <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2013/09/11/221364843/coming-soon-a-jolt-of-caffeine-you-can-spray-on-your-skin?sc=ipad&amp;f=1007">spray a dose of caffeine</a> directly on your skin. Who would buy such a product? Anybody who would like the benefit of a caffeine boost, but would rather avoid a bitter cup of coffee or a too sweet bottle of pop. And, as its inventor explained to NPR, caffeine taken through the skin doesn't result in energy spikes and crashes:</p> <blockquote><p>Caffeine is really a nasty molecule, and pure caffeine is terrible,&quot; Yu says. &quot;We used it for the stimulative effect, and this culture has evolved around it where it's not about the effect, and just about enjoying the ritual aspects. For those people, they can keep drinking their coffee. But for everyone who wants the functional aspect of the caffeine, this is a much better delivery mechanism because of the steady rate. You could have decaf coffee and then spray yourself on the side.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Each $15 bottle of Sprayable Energy will contain about 40 spray on doses, each dose the caffeine equivalent of a cup of coffee. The product is unscented. For now.</p> <p>(Note that If a spray is not your thing, there's always the <a href="http://spotonenergy.com/">caffeinated dermal patch</a>.)</p> <p><em>Would you rather spray on your caffeine?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lars-peterson">Lars Peterson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/all-the-caffeine-of-a-cup-of-joe-in-a-convenient-spray-on">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-save-money-on-your-cup-of-coffee">9 Ways to Save Money on Your Cup of Coffee</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/34-smart-ways-to-cut-your-electric-bill">34 Smart Ways to Cut Your Electric Bill</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-to-drink-coffee">5 Reasons to Drink Coffee</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-frugal-skills-you-must-have-to-survive-mondays">12 Frugal Skills You Must Have to Survive Mondays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-caffeine-is-in-that">How Much Caffeine is in That?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Technology caffeine coffee energy energy boost innovation Thu, 12 Sep 2013 23:42:21 +0000 Lars Peterson 982671 at http://www.wisebread.com What Americans Can Learn From How the Rest of the World Saves Energy http://www.wisebread.com/what-americans-can-learn-from-how-the-rest-of-the-world-saves-energy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-americans-can-learn-from-how-the-rest-of-the-world-saves-energy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3362778812_c00bd81329_z.jpg" alt="water tank" title="water tank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most Americans aren't as devoted as <a href="http://www.edbegley.com/environment/">Ed Begley, Jr.</a> to conserving energy that they'll ride a bike to create energy to run a <a href="http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/living-with-ed/ed-begley-bicycle-generators.html">toaster</a>. But travel abroad to Europe, Australia, or any other developed country, and you'll see that much of the rest of the world is serious about saving energy and the world's resources.</p> <p>The United States is known for doing a poor job at being energy efficient. In a <a href="http://www.aceee.org/portal/national-policy/international-scorecard">report</a> about a dozen countries with the biggest economies, the United States' energy efficiency efforts were only ahead of Brazil, Canada, and Russia, according to the nonprofit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, or ACEEE. The United Kingdom ranked first, followed by Germany, Italy, Japan, and France.</p> <p>While not everyone can live near an efficient public transportation system, such as Sydney's <a href="http://www.cityrail.info/">rail</a> service, or can afford to rebuild their home with solar power, there are some things that much of the rest of the world does that Americans either don't do, or if they do, don't do in great numbers. Here are a few. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-save-water-energy-money-the-world-in-one-afternoon">5 Ways to Save Water, Energy, Money, and the World All in One Afternoon</a>)</p> <h2>Use Clotheslines</h2> <p>While these are a common way in America to avoid running wet clothes in a dryer, they don't seem to be as common as they are in Europe or elsewhere. Clothes dryers are often small in other parts of the world &mdash; to save money and space &mdash; and thus encourage people to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kilowatts-a-killer-tips-for-air-drying-clothes">hang clothes out to dry</a>.</p> <h2>Pay Higher Gas Prices</h2> <p>While not as cheap as Venezuela, gasoline in America is relatively cheap when compared to other countries. A $4 gallon in the U.S. can cost <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/slideshow/2012-08-13/highest-cheapest-gas-prices-by-country.html#slide1">double</a> in Europe, due partly to higher taxes. Paying more for gas can have two positive results: You'll either walk or take public transportation to get anywhere, or it will make buying a car with better gas mileage look like a deal. If a U.S. company can make cars for Europe that get <a href="http://gas2.org/2009/12/03/european-legislation-creates-62-mpg-gas-carsfrom-ford/">62 miles per gallon</a>, it can do the same for Americans.</p> <h2>Make Buying Solar Power Easy</h2> <p>On a recent trip to Australia, I noticed a mom-and-pop store on a corner selling <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-power">home solar power</a> kits. It wasn't a huge warehouse with miles of supplies, and it didn't have professional looking signs, just a simple window sign offering solar panels for the home. While <a href="http://content.usatoday.com/communities/greenhouse/post/2009/12/home-depot-lowes-sell-do-it-yourself-solar-panels-/1#.UEd5eVQjTRw">Home Depot</a> once sold do-it-yourself solar panels (that were geared more toward contractors than DIYers), installation and sales is often done in the U.S. by professionals who sell to the masses. You don't see small stores on American street corners selling solar power kits.</p> <h2>Practice Rain Water Collection</h2> <p>Collecting rain water and saving it for watering plants or pumping it inside a home to flush toilets or wash clothes is a great idea in dry climates, but can also be used in the U.S. as a way to save water. Large tanks that hold at least 10,000 gallons are common outside Australian homes.</p> <h2>Automatically Turn Off Lights</h2> <p>While staying in a hotel for a week on a recent trip overseas, each time I wanted any of the lights on in the suite, I had to put the door card key into a slot just inside the door that would let the power turn on. It required me to be in the room to turn on any lights, and all of the lights turned off when I removed the card key and left the room. It was a simple way to turn off every light without having to remember to do it or go around to every light and switch it off. About a month later I stayed at a hotel in America. While I didn't expect to find the same device, there was nothing to prevent me from leaving every light on before going out for the evening.</p> <h2>Use Smaller Refrigerators</h2> <p>Everything is bigger in America: homes, cars, kitchens, bedrooms, and even everyday appliances such as dryers and refrigerators. Whether it's because their homes are smaller or they like to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buy-your-groceries-european-style">shop more often for fresh groceries</a>, Europeans typically have smaller refrigerators. After air conditioners, refrigerators are the <a href="http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/refrigerators.html">second-biggest</a> users of electricity.</p> <p>Beyond tougher regulations and fewer resources, the rest of the world may also have a leg up on America in saving energy because they live in smaller communities and smaller populations. America is such an expansive land that even with <a href="http://www.census.gov/main/www/popclock.html">314 million</a> people, there's room to stretch out and forget about the millions of people you share the country with. Europe has more than double the population, but it's split among many <a href="http://exploredia.com/population-of-europe-2011/">countries</a>, giving a feeling of intimacy in a smaller geographic area and possibly the incentive not to waste energy because you care about taking care of your neighbors.</p> <p>During my trip to Australia this summer, I noticed a small benefit of going to a city park in Brisbane, a park similar to one you might find in America. Free gas grills are available for the public to use at these city parks, with a nearby sign asking users to clean up after themselves and keep the grills clean for the next user.</p> <p>I never saw a dirty grill while there, leaving me to conjecture that no one wanted to leave a mess for the next person to clean. Americans may keep public barbecues clean for the next user in some parts of the country, but I haven't seen it happen where I've been.&nbsp;It's not that Americans don't care for others, but that taking the little steps to take care of the environment because it will help you and your neighbor isn't as common in the U.S. as it is elsewhere. It's a small step to leave something in the same (or better) condition than you found it. It's only an example, but cleaning up after yourself at a public park can carry over to energy consumption and other aspects of life.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/aaron-crowe">Aaron Crowe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-americans-can-learn-from-how-the-rest-of-the-world-saves-energy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-awesome-uses-for-milk-crates">20 Awesome Uses for Milk Crates</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-home-diy-projects-you-can-do-in-one-day">10 Home DIY Projects You Can Do in One Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fall-cleaning-101-the-spic-and-span-basics-of-making-your-home-sparkle">Fall Cleaning 101: The Spic-and-Span Basics of Making Your Home Sparkle</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-own-eco-friendly-dryer-sheets">Make Your Own Eco-Friendly Dryer Sheets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Home Lifestyle Australia dryer energy Europe savings solar solar power washer Thu, 06 Sep 2012 10:36:42 +0000 Aaron Crowe 954325 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways to Boost Your Energy and Get More Done http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-boost-your-energy-and-get-more-done <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-to-boost-your-energy-and-get-more-done" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/leaping_couple.jpg" alt="Couple jumping" title="Couple jumping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're feeling sluggish and can't seem to get anything done, perhaps it's time to work on your internal store of energy. By reinvigorating yourself, you'll be able to get more things done and have an easier time completing tasks. Here are changes you can make in your lifestyle to increase your energy.</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Alternative-Treatments-Relaxation-18941471">RELATED:&nbsp;Alternative Treatments for Relaxation</a></p> <h2>Get Better Sleep</h2> <p>Sleep is key when it comes to fatigue. It's a time when your body rests and regenerates itself for yet another day. If you're having problems with sleep, get a physical to first see if there's something off with your body healthwise. Perhaps you aren't getting enough iron, or maybe there's a deeper health issue that needs to be rectified like thyroid problems. Start practicing good sleep habits like going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, making sure you're only exposed to dim lighting when it's close to bedtime, and experimenting to find your sleep sweet spot to make sure you're not sleeping too much or too little. Here are more suggestions on <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Tips-Fall-Asleep-22072102">how to improve your sleep</a>.</p> <h2>Move Around More</h2> <p>Even though it may seem like exercising will make you more tired, the truth is, engaging in physical activity will increase your energy. Set a regular schedule and try to work out at least three times a week. And if you're feeling like you're stuck in a slump at work, even a brisk 10-minute walk will energize you. Challenge yourself by taking the stairs and investing in a <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/Omron-HJ-112-Digital-Pocket-Pedometer/dp/B0000U1OCI/ref=sr_1_2?s=sporting-goods&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1346176524&amp;sr=1-2">pedometer</a> ($22, originally $32) to motivate you. A pedometer is basically a gadget that measures how much you walk a day. The recommended amount of steps for an active lifestyle is <a target="_blank" href="http://www.3fatchicks.com/pedometer-facts-how-many-steps-to-lose-weight/">10,000 a day</a>.</p> <h2>Clean Your Home</h2> <p>Your home is a place for you to unwind and relax, so having a cluttered home can make you antsy. Gazing upon a mound of clothing instead of open, clean space is enough to make anyone stressed out. Having an untidy home is like facing a visible, never-ending to-do list all the time. Give yourself a break and start tackling the clutter in your home. If it seems overwhelming, start by resolving to dispose of one type of item a day. Here's <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/List-Things-Dispose-24575006">a list</a> to get you started.</p> <h2>Eat and Drink Right</h2> <p>You are what you eat, and what you ingest can definitely have a big impact on your energy. What you drink is also important; being dehydrated can make you feel fatigued. Drinking too much coffee can lead you to crash after the effect wears off. Too much sugar can also spike your blood sugar, which, although it can give you a boost of energy, will quickly drop and leave you feeling more tired than ever. Watch what you eat and what you drink. Drinking coffee or alcohol too close to bedtime can also affect your sleep.</p> <h2>Have Some &quot;Me&quot; Time</h2> <p>Take a moment to yourself to relax after a long day. It's important to manage your stress levels because stress can definitely sap your energy. Read a favorite book or watch a funny YouTube video to kick back and relax. Be sure to pick an activity that won't stress you out even further. For example, watching reality TV can possibly put someone in a more negative frame of mind.</p> <h2>Meditate</h2> <p>Pick up the fine art of meditation; it can work wonders for your brain and even help you bounce back better from stress. In fact, <a target="_blank" href="http://psychcentral.com/news/2011/01/24/brain-structure-changes-after-meditation/22859.html">scientists have found</a> that people who have trained in meditation have different brain activity than those who haven't trained. They respond better to situations that would cause us to lose emotional control.</p> <h2>Take a Break</h2> <p>Perhaps what you really need is a break from work. Go on a vacation to relieve your stress and renew your energy.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-ways-to-boost-your-energy-and-get-more-done&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Ways%2520to%2520Boost%2520Your%2520Energy%2520and%2520Get%2520More%2520Done.jpg&amp;description=7%20Ways%20to%20Boost%20Your%20Energy%20and%20Get%20More%20Done"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Ways%20to%20Boost%20Your%20Energy%20and%20Get%20More%20Done.jpg" alt="7 Ways to Boost Your Energy and Get More Done" width="250" height="374" /></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> If you&#039;re sleepy, sluggish, or feeling sapped, don&#039;t just sit there — try these tricks to get your energy back up. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a style="border:none;" href="http://www.savvysugar.com"><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/savvysugar-300-small.jpg" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>SavvySugar</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Taking-Breaks-Increase-Productivity-24324484">The Key to&nbsp;Doing More in&nbsp;Less Time</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Sleep-Affects-Productivity-24031442">How Sleep Affects Productivity</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Useful-Cleaning-Products-24479766">9 Cleaning&nbsp;Products That Will&nbsp;Change You&nbsp;Life</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-boost-your-energy-and-get-more-done">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/talking-trash-is-your-messy-mind-the-cause-of-your-messy-house">Talking Trash: Is Your Messy Mind the Cause of Your Messy House?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-youre-wasting-mental-energy-without-realizing-it">7 Times You&#039;re Wasting Mental Energy Without Realizing It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/feeling-stuck-100-ways-to-change-your-life">Feeling Stuck? 100 Ways to Change Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-industries-that-could-benefit-from-climate-change">8 Industries That Could Benefit From Climate Change</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-fun-games-that-make-you-smarter-too">11 Fun Games That Make You Smarter, Too</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development alert decluttering energy sleep well Mon, 03 Sep 2012 10:36:42 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 952467 at http://www.wisebread.com