chores http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4111/all en-US 4 Ways Outsourcing Chores Can Save You Time and Money http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-outsourcing-chores-can-save-you-time-and-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-outsourcing-chores-can-save-you-time-and-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping_000022890952.jpg" alt="Woman outsourcing chores and saving time and money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We're busy people, with lives filled by family, work, errands, chores, and tons of other tasks that pull us in a million directions. Add all of this on top of being a self-employed business owner, and there are times when I find myself sacrificing sleep, or skipping meals, as a way to get more things checked off my list.</p> <p>Two years ago I quit my day job to freelance full-time and have been in time-crunch mode ever since. As a way to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/give-yourself-a-break-the-productivity-secret-thatll-change-the-way-you-work">become more productive</a>, I've learned how to outsource work I don't have time for, or don't know how to do.</p> <p>What if you delegated household chores so you could regain control? Here's how to outsource your life so you have more time and money.</p> <h2>1. Avoid Grocery Shopping</h2> <p>Grocery shopping is one of my least favorite chores to do each week. Unless you're a personal chef (like my husband), you probably hate <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-100s-next-month-with-these-10-grocery-shopping-tips">going to the grocery store</a>, too. Instead of wasting your time on this chore, why not have your groceries delivered? If you live in a big city, check out services like <a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-10782119-1406910980000">Peapod</a> or <a href="https://fresh.amazon.com/">AmazonFresh's</a> food service.</p> <p>Just order your regular grocery items that you purchase every week, such as milk, bread, toilet paper, and other consumables, and get them delivered right to your door. No driving through traffic, or weaving in-and-out of the busy produce section.</p> <p>The great thing about these services is that you can find the best prices, use coupons, and take advantage of weekly discounts, just as you would if you were going the traditional grocery shopping route.</p> <p><strong>Time saved per week</strong>: One hour or more (depending on how long you usually take to meal plan and drive to your local store).</p> <p><strong>Average monthly cost</strong>: Cost of groceries plus delivery and tip (plus $99 a year for Amazon Prime).</p> <h2>2. Look Stylish on a Budget</h2> <p>Retail therapy is a great way to unwind, score some fashionable finds, and hang out with friends, but it's not always great for your budget. Limit your regular shopping trips by outsourcing your clothing needs using services like <a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-11713107-1413249375000">Stitch Fix</a> or <a href="http://www.shoedazzle.com/">ShoeDazzle</a>.</p> <p>A box is delivered straight to your front door that includes styles based on your personal taste. You only pay for the items you like and want to keep, otherwise you simply return any unworn clothing or shoes.</p> <p>The upside is you get customized picks, from designers and professional stylists, without ever leaving the house. You'll also be able to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-stores-trick-us-into-impulse-buys-and-how-to-resist">avoid any impulse buys</a> or unwanted purchases simply by choosing the bare essentials.</p> <p><strong>Time saved per week</strong>: One hour or more (depending on how long you usually shop).</p> <p><strong>Average monthly cost</strong>: $55 for clothing and shoes (plus $20 processing fee applied to purchase).</p> <h2>3. Get Help With Daily Errands</h2> <p>Odd jobs around the house constantly seem to stack up. From cleaning the car, to mowing the yard, to cleaning out the gutters, a resource like <a href="https://www.taskrabbit.com/">Task Rabbit</a> can help. No task is too big or too small.</p> <p>If you need a ride to the airport, furniture delivered on a certain day, help walking the dog, or deep housecleaning, you can use this service to find the right person. You can even pay someone to stand in line for you at the DMV! This service is currently available in 19 cities and counting, so save yourself time by outsourcing your daily errands.</p> <p><strong>Time saved per week</strong>: Two hours or more (depending on chore).</p> <p><strong>Average monthly cost</strong>: Cost of errand billed hourly.</p> <h2>4. Hire a Bookkeeper or Household Manager</h2> <p>As the breadwinner for my small family, I don't always have time to prepare reports, pay taxes, and manage the affairs of our household. If you're in the same position, you know the importance of these tasks, and how vital it is that the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-simple-ways-to-save-money-by-tracking-your-receipts">bills are paid on time</a>, but you also want to spend your time with your family and friends.</p> <p>One way to solve this is to hire a part-time bookkeeper or household manager. For $125 a month I work with a virtual bookkeeper who helps manage my bills, bank accounts, schedules appointments, and deals with other household projects. This allows me to spend my time at a yoga class, or going on a date with my husband.</p> <p><strong>Time saved per week</strong>: Two hours or more (depending on chore).</p> <p><strong>Average monthly cost</strong>: $100 or more depending on tasks.</p> <h2>You Really Can Save Time and Money With Outsourcing</h2> <p>Life's too short to spend a lot of time on doing household chores or trying to DIY tasks that are too complicated. Thanks to a rise in outsourcing services, you can delegate any kind of chore you don't have time to do. This will allow you time to do more important things, like spending quality time with your kids, or enjoying a weekend with friends.</p> <p><em>Have you tried outsourcing chores? What's another way to save time and money each week?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-smith">Carrie Smith</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-outsourcing-chores-can-save-you-time-and-money">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-7"> <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/the-8-shopping-apps-thatll-actually-save-you-money-in-2016">The 8 Shopping Apps That&#039;ll Actually Save You Money in 2016</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/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-groceries">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries</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/the-best-and-worst-times-to-go-grocery-shopping">The Best and Worst Times to Go Grocery Shopping</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/breaking-the-bread-code-how-to-get-the-freshest-loaf">Breaking the Bread Code: How to Get the Freshest Loaf</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-organic-grocery-items-that-arent-worth-it">10 Organic Grocery Items That Aren&#039;t Worth It</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Productivity Shopping chores errands groceries Help outsourcing Wed, 26 Aug 2015 11:00:20 +0000 Carrie Smith 1533307 at http://www.wisebread.com The Zeigarnik Effect and 7 Other Ways to Beat the Housekeeping Blahs http://www.wisebread.com/the-zeigarnik-effect-and-7-other-ways-to-beat-the-housekeeping-blahs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-zeigarnik-effect-and-7-other-ways-to-beat-the-housekeeping-blahs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_housekeeping_000025263928.jpg" alt="Woman learning tips to avoid housekeeping burnout" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We hear about burnout at work all the time, but what about burnout at home? Keeping a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-in-your-house-youre-forgetting-to-clean">clean home</a> is a never-ending uphill battle, and it's very easy to completely get the blahs about housekeeping when every time you turn around you have to do the exact same task again.</p> <p>But housekeeping does not have to be a dreaded, frenzied chore you only take care of when the in-laws are on their way. Here are eight sanity-saving tips for avoiding housekeeping burnout.</p> <h2>1. Lower Your Expectations</h2> <p>This argument never worked on my mother when I was trying to get out of housekeeping chores as a child, but there is actually something to this. If your vision of a clean house is based on Pinterest photos and HGTV shows, then you might have your sights set a little too high.</p> <p>For instance, just pulling your quilt up over the sheets when you get up in the morning may not result in a made bed that you can bounce a quarter off of, but it will certainly look neater than leaving a tousled mess of sheets and blankets. Remember, a job worth doing is not only worth doing well, it's also worth doing poorly &mdash; because it will at least be done.</p> <h2>2. Start Where You Are</h2> <p>This is advice touted by the famous house cleaning guru <a href="http://www.flylady.net/">FlyLady</a>. She suggests &quot;jumping in where you are&quot; so you don't overthink your cleaning chores.</p> <p>I often fall victim to housekeeping overthinking, which I call the &quot;while I'm at its.&quot; For example, if I were to find my kids had tracked in mud, I'd start thinking that I ought to sweep and mop the whole house, since it wouldn't make sense for me to get out the mop for just one spot on the floor. And while I'm at it, maybe I should move the furniture and clean underneath, too. Three hours later, I'll find myself exhausted and still battling the dust bunnies that roam wild under the guest bed, while the muddy footprints have meanwhile hardened in place.</p> <p>It's a better idea to just start with whatever is in front of you, and don't allow scope creep. When my kids track in mud, I should just grab a paper towel to clean up the footprints and move on &mdash; ask them to do it instead. You track it, you clean it.</p> <h2>3. Keep a Clean Sanctuary</h2> <p>It's easy to become burned out when you find yourself thinking there is a huge amount of work between you and relaxation in an orderly and clean space. But your entire home doesn't need to be spotless for you to enjoy that relaxation &mdash; just one room needs to be tidy. So identify what room you can easily make as a sanctuary of cleanliness where you can retreat if you're feeling overwhelmed. Once you've relaxed in your nice, tidy space, you'll often feel recharged enough to tackle other areas of the house.</p> <h2>4. Set a Timer</h2> <p>We have a very difficult time estimating <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-why-your-projects-always-take-longer-than-you-expect">how long things will take</a>. With large projects, we tend to underestimate the time commitment, but with small tasks, like unloading a dishwasher or mopping a floor, we tend to completely overestimate how long it will take.</p> <p>So rather than avoid dreaded chores because &quot;they'll take soooooo long,&quot; set a five-minute timer for yourself to complete the task. Knowing that you can stop when the timer goes off helps you to get started. Once you're in the middle of putting away the laundry or washing the dishes, a cognitive bias known as the <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/here-there-and-everywhere/201403/why-we-hate-not-finishing-what-we-start">Zeigarnik Effect</a> will often keep you going until you finish. That's because our brains very much prefer that we finish tasks we start, so just starting them can be enough to get them done.</p> <h2>5. Use Down Time</h2> <p>What do you do while you're waiting for your frozen burrito to heat up in the microwave? Most of us just stand and watch the food rotate &mdash; but that two minutes and 30 seconds is actually quite a bit of time when it comes to tidying up your kitchen. If you commit to doing whatever cleaning needs to be done nearby whenever you have some downtime, there will be less to do when you actually set aside time for scheduled housekeeping.</p> <h2>6. Listen to Your Workout Playlist While You Clean</h2> <p>While you have certainly felt the effect of a motivating song in the middle of a run or dance class, you might not have ever tried listening to those tunes while cleaning house. Music is uniquely motivating and mood-altering, and it can make even the most hated housekeeping chores more palatable &mdash; and potentially even fun.</p> <p>According to Dr. Nina Kraus of the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern University, &quot;Humans and songbirds are the only creatures that automatically <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201212/the-neuroscience-music-mindset-and-motivation">feel the beat of a song</a>. The human heart wants to synchronize to music, the legs want to swing, metronomically, to a beat. Our bodies are made to be moved by music and move to it.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Outsource the Tasks You Hate the Most</h2> <p>We all have at least one hated housekeeping chore. The one that is so awful that you'd rather face unmedicated dental surgery. For those tasks, why not hire an occasional cleaning service, housekeeper, or local enterprising teenager?</p> <p>While few of us have the kind of money necessary to afford a regular cleaning service, farming out one or two hated tasks on an occasional basis does not have to be expensive, and having that item off your plate can make the rest of your housekeeping chores seem like a breeze.</p> <h2>8. Purge Regularly</h2> <p>Often, what seems to be a housecleaning problem is really a clutter problem. An uncluttered room will always look cleaner and tidier than one filled to the brim with stuff. Make a habit of purging unneeded items once a week. Just taking 15&ndash;20 minutes per week to identify and donate items you no longer want can make an enormous difference in the look of your home &mdash; and no &quot;cleaning&quot; is required.</p> <h2>You Can Enjoy Housekeeping</h2> <p>Keeping your space spic and span might be an endless task, but that doesn't mean it has to be drudgery. With a little tweaking to your routines and your attitude, you can have an orderly home without going crazy.</p> <p><em>How do you keep motivated in your never ending battle with clutter and grime? </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-zeigarnik-effect-and-7-other-ways-to-beat-the-housekeeping-blahs">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-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</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-homemade-stain-removers-that-actually-work">5 Homemade Stain Removers That Actually Work</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-to-deal-when-your-spouse-is-suffering-from-burnout">How to Deal When Your Spouse is Suffering From Burnout</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/13-wonderful-household-uses-for-essential-oils">13 Wonderful Household Uses for Essential Oils</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/12-bathroom-hacks-you-cant-live-without">12 Bathroom Hacks You Can&#039;t Live Without!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks burnout chores cleaning housekeeping Wed, 15 Jul 2015 15:00:10 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1484703 at http://www.wisebread.com The Easy Way to Set an Allowance That Won't Ruin Your Kid http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-set-an-allowance-that-wont-ruin-your-kid <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-easy-way-to-set-an-allowance-that-wont-ruin-your-kid" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family-money-80406902-small.jpg" alt="allowance" title="allowance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Like many kids, when I was young, my parents gave me an allowance each week. Even as an adult, I continue to cut myself a break in our budget for a monthly amount that's just mine to spend however I like.</p> <p>But how much is enough for kids? And what should the rules surrounding cash be so that they learn to respect and value money? Let's examine this issue from all angles, shall we?</p> <h2>Age</h2> <p>As soon as your child appears to have an understanding of what money is, you can start him or her on an allowance. For some, this might be as soon as ages three or four. For others, waiting until grade school might be more appropriate. Young kids can learn the basics of money by counting dollars or even using these <a href="http://www.classroomfreebies.com/2013/02/coin-popsicle-stick-puppets.html">coin popsicle stick puppets</a>. And so many of us adults use credit and debit cards for most purchases, but I'm starting to pay for more stuff in cash so my daughter can observe the exchange. Interestingly enough, she's already started asking questions.</p> <h2>Amount</h2> <p>There are a number of ways you can figure exactly how much to give your child. Most of my friends follow the guideline of $1 a year per week. So, for example, a seven-year-old kid would get $7 a week to spend or save. But you need to choose a number that works for you and your overall budget, too. Factor in how much money you generally spend on your child each week (add in anything and everything), and see if you can portion any of that into an allowance to shift the financial responsibility.</p> <p>If you're totally stuck, you can use this <a href="http://pediatrics.about.com/od/toolsandcalculators/l/bl_allcalc.htm">handy calculator</a> to help calculate an appropriate amount. Personally? I like the idea of doling out an allowance <a href="http://www.montessoriworksblog.com/2014/06/24/montessori-approach-allowance/">monthly versus weekly</a>. My daughter is three-years-old, which would mean she would get $12 a month using the standard system. However, $8 sounds more appropriate for my family's budget and how much I feel she needs at this stage. You see how quickly you can make the decisions versus following standard practices. In other words: there's really no right or wrong answer to this question.</p> <h2>Work</h2> <p>You decide if your child has to work (or not) to earn the weekly wage. Experts are still <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/good-thinking/201309/should-you-give-your-kids-allowance">split on this issue</a>. However, as adults, we know that money doesn't fall out of the sky. And most of us aren't handed cash on a regular basis just because. In my opinion, part of the whole allowance thing should involve at least <em>some</em> type of chores or other work.</p> <p>While not all helping should be rewarded with money, combining the two can be empowering for kids and positively inform their work ethic early on. Consider setting chores that are simply part of everyday life and garner no monetary reward. For earning an allowance, you can set some that are additional &mdash; above an beyond household responsibilities.</p> <p>Here are some ideas to organize yourself.</p> <h3>Chore Cards</h3> <p>This system can work for <a href="http://www.theidearoom.net/2009/09/chore-charts.html">younger kids</a> and <a href="http://www.theidearoom.net/2012/06/chore-cards.html">older teens</a> alike. On each card, you write a task and define what it entails. Your child performs multiple tasks and, therefore, earns his or her allowance.</p> <h3>Chore Chart</h3> <p>With a different approach, this <a href="http://www.moritzfineblogdesigns.com/2014/03/instant-gratification-chore-charts/#_a5y_p=1411842">chore chart</a> gives kids instant gratification for the work they do. On Monday through Friday, kids earn $1 a day for completing all assigned tasks and get to see this money grow each day.</p> <h3>Jar System</h3> <p>Give your child a glass or plastic jar with her or her name written on it. Stash <a href="http://thepalettemuse.com/family-economics/">popsicle sticks</a> inside with chores written on them. You can even define dollar amounts for each associated task.</p> <h2>Save and Share</h2> <p>Encourage your child to put away some allowance money into savings each week. This doesn't have to mean opening an account at the bank just yet. Instead, set a designated jar or stash money into a piggy bank. A clear container works well because it allows kids to watch their money grow. And while you're at it, use small bills, so it's more obvious as it piles up. Visual cues are powerful in this regard.</p> <p>Some families even have their children stow away a portion of their cash for <a href="http://letslassothemoon.com/2014/03/08/kids-learning-money/">charity and donations</a>. How you approach an allowance is ultimately up to you and influenced your family's unique situation and values. You are in control and can help set the tone for how your child approaches money in life.</p> <h2>Reward</h2> <p>As far as what kids can spend their money on, it should really be up to them after all the saving and sharing portions have been taken out. This is the part where there's a lot of learning and trial and error involved. If you give out allowances weekly and your child spends it all on the first day, don't cave and buy whatever trinket he's clamoring for later in the week. In a way, you're teaching your child to slowly learn from <a href="http://www.practicalmoneyskills.com/personalfinance/experts/practicalmoneymatters/columns/allowances_020907.php">his or her own mistakes</a>.</p> <p>You can always help guide the process by introducing basic budgeting techniques toward a certain toy or item. Regardless, be prepared for missteps and disappointments. It's all part of learning about money and gaining that fundamental understanding that we can't have everything we want.</p> <p><em>Do you give your child an allowance? What's your approach? Please share in comments!</em></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-easy-way-to-set-an-allowance-that-wont-ruin-your-kid">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/how-to-have-a-good-roommate-relationship">How to Have a Good Roommate Relationship</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-much-should-your-kids-know-about-your-finances">How Much Should Your Kids Know About Your Finances?</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-ways-having-kids-makes-you-more-frugal">8 Ways Having Kids Makes You More Frugal</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/10-investing-lessons-you-must-teach-your-kids">10 Investing Lessons You Must Teach Your Kids</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/downsizing-with-kids">Downsizing With Kids</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle allowance chores kids money lessons for kids Mon, 06 Oct 2014 15:00:06 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1226904 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: Do Your Kids Have Chores? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-your-kids-have-chores <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-do-your-kids-have-chores" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/6129972778_a8457a4956_z_0.jpg" alt="Do Your Kids Have Chores?" title="Do Your Kids Have Chores?" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-your-kids-have-chores#comment-573547"><em>Heather</em></a><em>, abby, and Christie for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>It's safe to say most of us had to do our fair share of chores growing up. Whether it was taking out the trash, cleaning our rooms, or taking the dog for a walk, we had our responsibilities around the house. Most of us probably have (or plan to have) our kids do chores either to pull their weight at home or to earn an allowance. However, some parents may not plan to have their kids do chores due to the increasingly heavy school and recreational loads kids have these days.</p> <p><b>Do your kids have chores? </b>What chores do they have? Do you give them an allowance for completing chores? Why or why not? If you don't have kids, do you plan on having your kids do chores? Will you give them an allowance or not?</p> <p>Tell us if your kids have chores and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win!</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:&nbsp;</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</li> </ul> <h3>For extra entries:</h3> <ul> <li>You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:</li> <a id="rc-79857d8" class="rafl" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857d8/">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a> <script src="//d12vno17mo87cx.cloudfront.net/embed/rafl/cptr.js"></script> <p><strong>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</strong></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, December 10th at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after December 10th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> </ul> <p>Also, don't miss our <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bestdeals/today">Best Deals</a> giveaway! Every Sunday for the next five weeks, we will be giving away a $50 Amazon gift card, two copies of our book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/160239704X/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=160239704X&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=dealswb-20">10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget</a>, and a Wise Bread tote! We will also be giving away a $100 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner who fills out our Best Deals survey. For details, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/win-over-350-in-prizes-in-our-best-deals-holiday-giveaway">click here</a>!</p> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p><div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us if your kids have chores and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-your-kids-have-chores">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/ask-the-readers-should-kids-get-paid-for-doing-chores">Ask The Readers: Should Kids Get Paid For Doing Chores?</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/ask-the-readers-200-giveaway-would-you-ding-your-credit-to-get-out-of-debt">Ask the Readers $200 Giveaway: Would You Ding Your Credit to Get Out of Debt?</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/the-easy-way-to-set-an-allowance-that-wont-ruin-your-kid">The Easy Way to Set an Allowance That Won&#039;t Ruin Your Kid</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/ask-the-readers-who-are-your-favorite-personal-finance-gurus">Ask The Readers: Who Are Your Favorite Personal Finance Gurus?</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/ask-the-readers-would-people-be-shocked-by-what-you-earn">Ask the Readers: Would People Be Shocked By What You Earn?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Giveaways Ask the Readers chores kids Tue, 04 Dec 2012 11:36:38 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 959569 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Have a Good Roommate Relationship http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-a-good-roommate-relationship <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-have-a-good-roommate-relationship" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3218131407_f4c5b40ae9_z.jpg" alt="roommates" title="roommates" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="176" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Over the years I&rsquo;ve had my fair share of roommates &mdash; and not all of them were ideal.</p> <p>I&rsquo;ve had roommates who have eaten my food and failed to pick up after themselves, and I&rsquo;ve had roommates who never paid a dime toward household cleaning products or toilet paper even. It may seem like these are insignificant issues that one can overlook (and maybe you can the first time), but trust me, they breed feelings of resentment after a while, and that ultimately turns the living arrangement sour.</p> <p>Want to know what it takes to be a good roommate? Consider these tips from someone who has lived and learned. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-benefits-of-having-a-roommate-besides-saving-on-rent">The&nbsp;Benefits of Having a Roommate</a>)</p> <h3>Establish Expectations From the Beginning</h3> <p>Whether you&rsquo;re moving into someone&rsquo;s existing situation or you&rsquo;re welcoming a new roommate into yours, it&rsquo;s good practice to set the ground rules and establish expectations from the start. Do you hate dishes in the sink like I do? Then express that to your roommate so they&rsquo;re conscious of washing their dishes after each use. Let your roommate know your schedule so they know when quiet times should be observed, and decide on how you&rsquo;ll split expenses on food (if you plan to share it) and other household necessities. When everyone is on the same page at the beginning, it&rsquo;s easier to get along later on.</p> <h3>Give Your Roommate Space</h3> <p>Not all roommates like each other, so even if you&rsquo;re living under the same roof, you don&rsquo;t have to be besties. If your roommate isn&rsquo;t particularly fond of you, don&rsquo;t push the boundaries in hopes that they&rsquo;ll learn to like you; doing so will only make you seem like a psycho. On the other hand, if you have a roommate who is smothering you, let them know that you need a little privacy now and then. Maybe you can do like the boss does and open the bedroom door when you&rsquo;re available and close it when you want to be alone.</p> <h3>Invite Your Roommate Out With You</h3> <p>I know this point may seem contradictory to the one before it, but inviting your roommate out to dinner in your neighborhood is not the same thing as following them around the house half the day. That said, roommates need time to form a bond and the best way to do that &mdash; that I&rsquo;ve found, at least &mdash; is to engage in an activity that you both enjoy. For instance, my former roommates and I used to play trivia at a local bar on Wednesday nights. This gave us ample time to talk (sometimes about things going on around the house) and to learn more about each other, both of which enhanced the roommate dynamic.</p> <h3>Mind Your Manners</h3> <p>This suggestion relates to other guests that you may invite into the house, specifically the overnight kind. When that happens, there are two things you should keep in mind: 1) They&rsquo;re your guests, and you are responsible for them, and 2) you share this home with someone else who probably doesn&rsquo;t want to see or hear you doing youknowwhat. I once lived with a guy who was doing youknowwhat right there in the living room with some girl he met at a bar. I found it rude, unsanitary, and completely appalling &mdash; and I never sat on that filthy couch again.</p> <h3>Keep Common Areas Clean</h3> <p>Anybody who has ever lived with me &mdash; several of my friends and my husband included &mdash; knows that I&rsquo;m a neat freak. Everything has its place in my world, and I can&rsquo;t live in a house full of chaos. What you do in your own area is your business as far as I&rsquo;m concerned, but common areas should be kept clean. Nobody wants to wash someone else's dishes, or wipe someone else&rsquo;s syrup up from the counter, or clean someone else&rsquo;s whiskers out of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-%E2%80%9Cyuck%E2%80%9D-to-yes">bathroom sink</a>. It&rsquo;s each roommate&rsquo;s responsibility to keep common areas tidy so everyone can enjoy them all the same.</p> <h3>Don&rsquo;t Eat Your Roommate&rsquo;s Food</h3> <p>If you and your roommates keep separate food, you know how annoying it is when someone else eats yours. I don&rsquo;t particularly mind it when I have a full bag or box of something &ndash; I know how to share &ndash; but I get rather angry when I have a craving for something I bought only to find out that it&rsquo;s gone when I go to grab it. Roommates shouldn&rsquo;t have to keep food under lock and key. If you generally keep your hands off &mdash; buying your own food helps in this context &mdash; you&rsquo;ll be fine. If you have a roommate, however, who doesn&rsquo;t follow that rule, it might be time for a lesson in cohabitating etiquette.</p> <h3>Contribute Equally to Joint Costs</h3> <p>I&rsquo;m proactive about keeping common supplies stocked &mdash; which led one of my former roommates to take advantage. He never bought a single thing for the house &mdash; no dish soap, no propane for the grill, no toilet paper &mdash; but he didn&rsquo;t have a problem using the items he didn&rsquo;t pay for. I confronted him a couple times about chipping in toward the costs of these items, and he said he would but never handed over any cash. After a while I started hiding my TP in my bedroom, forcing him to buy his own, too. I didn&rsquo;t want to have to do that because it made me feel petty, but I didn&rsquo;t want to share supplies with someone who didn&rsquo;t pitch in. Everyone should pitch in for common items &mdash; no if, ands, or buts.</p> <h3>Split Chores Equitably</h3> <p>This is another point of contention that can turn an amicable roommate relationship into a war zone. While each roommate should do their individual part to keep the common areas tidy at all times, they should also be mindful of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chore-time-allowances-for-adults">distribution of chores</a>. If you notice your roommate emptying the dishwasher, you should do it next time. Same goes for taking out the garbage, cleaning the toilet and tub, mopping the floor, and other chores that nobody wants to do but that have to get done.</p> <p>While all of these tips can preemptively ward off a potential problem, when an issue among roommates is brewing the best way to handle the situation is to talk about it. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-communicate-better-today">Open lines of communication</a> and a genuine sense of accountability are the keys to having a good roommate relationship. Of course, that&rsquo;s not always possible &mdash; some people are real pieces of work &mdash; and in those cases, cut your losses and move on.</p> <p>Now it&rsquo;s your turn. I&rsquo;d love to hear some of your roommate horror stories and suggestions on how to have a good roommate relationship. Let me know in the comments below.</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/how-to-have-a-good-roommate-relationship">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/chore-time-allowances-for-adults">Chore Time: Allowances for Adults</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/cooking-for-beginners-10-recipes-for-kitchen-newbies">Cooking for Beginners: 10 Recipes for Kitchen Newbies</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/confessions-of-a-minimalist-9-reasons-i-miss-my-stuff">Confessions of a Minimalist: 9 Reasons I Miss My Stuff</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/avoid-these-7-things-when-living-with-roommates">Avoid These 7 Things When Living With Roommates</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/give-household-products-new-use-clever-cleaning-tips-from-the-motherland">Give Household Products New Use: Clever Cleaning Tips From the Motherland</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Lifestyle chores communication roommates sharing expenses Wed, 11 Jul 2012 10:24:22 +0000 Mikey Rox 941397 at http://www.wisebread.com Chore Time: Allowances for Adults http://www.wisebread.com/chore-time-allowances-for-adults <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/chore-time-allowances-for-adults" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2158620794_24f218d329_z.jpg" alt="washing dishes" title="washing dishes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The concept of an allowance has been around for decades, usually as a means to motivate kids to do their chores without complaining or forgetting altogether. Although allowances are commonly used for children, they can also be applied to adults. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-jobs-for-children">Five &quot;Jobs&quot; for Children</a>)</p> <h2>&ldquo;Pay Yourself First&rdquo;</h2> <p>As the old adage goes, you need to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pay-yourself-first-what-it-means-and-how-to-do-it">pay yourself first</a>. And this doesn&rsquo;t just mean allocating your biweekly or monthly income in a budget spreadsheet to account for expenses; you need some cash for non-necessities too. This is what your &ldquo;allowance&rdquo; is for. It can either be a fixed amount (say, 10% of your income for a given pay period) or it can fluctuate based on how much of an income surplus you have beyond your budget for necessities.</p> <p>What you choose to do with your allowance is entirely up to you. Just like how some kids prefer to save up their allowance for an expensive toy or gaming system, you can choose to sock your own allowance away in a savings account for something such as a new car or down payment on a house. Or, like the kids who blow their entire allowance on movies, candy, games, etc. every week, you can put this money towards drinking nights with friends or a day at the spa (basically anything you haven&rsquo;t accounted for in a short-term fixed budget).</p> <p>There&rsquo;s no right way to go about managing your allowance, but it is a crucial remedy to the monotony of living on a strict budget.</p> <h2>A Rewards System for Housework</h2> <p>So, how do you go about setting up an allowance system for the adults in your family?</p> <p>First off, this goes both ways for spouses &mdash; each one receives a monetary reward for work completed around the house (for single-income families with a stay-at-home spouse/parent, this method might need some modifying). With kids&rsquo; allowances, they receive money based on work they do around the house. Likewise, you can build a system of monetary rewards using housework (vacuuming, washing the dishes, etc.) and yard work (mowing the lawn, cleaning the pool, etc.) as the means for increasing your own allowance.</p> <p>There are also consequences in this set-up. For example, if hubby forgets to do the dishes a few nights, then he receives a reduction in his &quot;allowance&quot; that would&rsquo;ve been used for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-save-money-at-the-bars">going drinking</a> with the buddies that weekend. The rewards/penalties will vary from family to family, but the concept of allowances themselves ensures that everyone does their share of work and receives a fair stipend of &quot;fun money&quot; in return.</p> <p>The allowance system won&rsquo;t work for everyone, but it is a simple way to set aside funds for non-budgetary needs. It is also helpful in tracking just how much you (and your partner or spouse) are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/easy-ways-to-rein-in-your-spending-without-sacrificing-fun">spending on entertainment</a> each month.</p> <p><em> What about you? Any fresh ideas on keeping your non-necessity expenses in check? Tell us 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/kelly-kehoe">Kelly Kehoe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chore-time-allowances-for-adults">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-5"> <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-have-a-good-roommate-relationship">How to Have a Good Roommate Relationship</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/4-things-to-consider-before-hiring-household-help">4 Things to Consider Before Hiring Household Help</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/the-limits-to-just-not-buying">The Limits to Just Not Buying</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-keep-peer-pressure-from-destroying-your-finances">How to Keep Peer Pressure From Destroying Your Finances</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-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Home Lifestyle allowances chores discretionary spending Wed, 27 Jun 2012 09:48:19 +0000 Kelly Kehoe 935838 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Ways to Have a Clean Place Without Cleaning http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-have-a-clean-place-without-cleaning <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-ways-to-have-a-clean-place-without-cleaning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bigstock-Young-Woman-Cleaning-Kitchen-15067109.jpg" alt="Woman cleaning a kitchen" title="Woman cleaning a kitchen" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="173" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you don't enjoy cleaning, tidying up your place may feel like a time-consuming and mind-numbing task. However, there are little tricks you can do to lessen your load and expend less effort toward cleaning yet still have a sparkling clean residence. Here are some ways to have a clean place without cleaning.</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Common-Places-People-Forget-Clean-22457639">RELATED:&nbsp;8&nbsp;Common&nbsp;Cleaning Spots People Most Often&nbsp;Miss</a></p> <h3>Everything Has Its Place</h3> <p>Remember that every item has its place in your home, and if it doesn't, find a spot for it. Organize your things and make sure that every time you take something from its rightful place, you're always returning it to where it belongs when you're done using it. You'll prevent clutter from building.</p> <h3>Reduce Your Stuff</h3> <p>If you have less possessions, you'll have less clutter to deal with. Check out our recommendations of <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Things-Throw-Away-21653157">things you should throw away</a> today. Be mindful when shopping and don't buy things you don't need, even if you're tempted to.</p> <h3>Take Off Your Shoes</h3> <p>Taking off your shoes before going into your home may feel strange, but it actually helps minimize cleaning time. You won't have to vacuum up and mop away all the dirt and grime that you've been stepping on all day. It goes without saying that you should also clean your pet's paws before letting them enter your home as well.</p> <h3>Have a Welcome Mat</h3> <p>Get a welcome mat so people can wipe their shoes on it before entering. Even if they are planning on taking off their shoes before coming in, you'll have less to clean if everyone is wiping their shoes off before placing them in your entryway.</p> <h3>Don't Leave Your Windows Open for Too Long</h3> <p>When airing your room, make sure that you're not leaving your windows open for too long or dust will start to collect.</p> <h3>Invest in a Hand Vacuum</h3> <p>This handy cleaning equipment will help cut down on cleaning time. Have a few stray hairs lying around or spilled some glitter from your <a href="http://www.casasugar.com/DIY" title="Latest photos and news for DIY">DIY</a> project? Just suck them up with a hand vacuum, and the mess will be clean in a few seconds. The hand vacuum is an investment that will pay itself off over time.</p> <h3>Cover Your Furniture</h3> <p>You can protect your furniture with some covers so that it'll be protected from any spills or dirt on your clothing. For example, find a nice waterproof tablecloth for your table or invest in a slipcover for your couch that will be easy to throw in the wash.</p> <h3>Buy Disinfectant Wipes</h3> <p>Buy some disinfectant wipes so you can quickly clean up spills or maintain the cleanliness of an area. Using these wipes won't feel like you're cleaning because it takes very minimal effort to do so.</p> <h3>Eat in the Rightful Place</h3> <p>Don't eat snacks all around the house, or you'll find yourself with crumbs and smears on your bed, sofa, or floor. Eat your meal properly while sitting at a table. Don't try to multitask when you're eating, or you'll end up spilling stuff on your clothes.</p> <h3>Carefully Consider Pets</h3> <p>Before you jump into a long-term commitment to a furry friend, make sure that you're accounting for all the messes you'll have to clean up. If you're not keen on continually vacuuming up fur, perhaps consider breeds that don't shed much or ones that are hairless. You could also opt for a lower-maintenance pet such as a fish.</p> <h3>Split Up Chores</h3> <p>Dislike cleaning? Try to trade or split up chores with your roommate or partner. Perhaps you can do the cooking instead of doing the dishes, or grocery shopping instead of vacuuming. Offer to take up other household duties in exchange for getting off scot-free when it comes to cleaning obligations.</p> <p>Do you have any other tricks that help you lessen your cleaning time? Share them in the comments!</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Hate cleaning? Don&#039;t do it! OK, you&#039;ll never be able to avoid cleaning entirely, but if you follow these tips, you can drastically reduce your scrubbing time. </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 href="http://www.savvysugar.com" style="border:none;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/savvysugar-300-small.jpg" alt="" /></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/Make-Household-Appliances-More-Efficient-22556863">6 Ways to Reduce Your Energy Bill While Cleaning</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Cleaning-Schedule-Apartments-22425976">Cleaning Schedule for Apartment Dwellers</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Clean-Closet-22346903">How to Clean Our Your Closet</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/11-ways-to-have-a-clean-place-without-cleaning">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-6"> <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/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</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-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</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/dishwasher-smells-bad-heres-how-to-fix-it">Dishwasher Smells Bad? Here&#039;s How to Fix It</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/101-little-things-you-can-fix-right-now">101 Little Things You Can Fix Right 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/the-militarys-four-step-plan-to-keeping-your-place-clean">The Military&#039;s Four-Step Plan to Keeping Your Place Clean</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips chores cleaning save time Mon, 16 Apr 2012 10:24:08 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 918818 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Things to Consider Before Hiring Household Help http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-to-consider-before-hiring-household-help <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-things-to-consider-before-hiring-household-help" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/picking_up_leaves.jpg" alt="Woman picking up leaves" title="Woman picking up leaves" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="134" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Hiring someone to walk our dogs felt a little weird.</p> <p>But our hectic schedules and dwindling free time made it a health necessity for our Australian shepherds. We were lucky enough to find a great guy on the next block via our neighborhood Facebook group. The dogs get exercise. Tommy the Dog Walker gets paid. Our guilt gets assuaged.</p> <p>All in all, it's proved a great investment.</p> <p>We're not quite ready to solicit a cleaning crew, but there's something to be said for the efficiency and financial efficacy of hiring help when the math makes sense. Hiring someone to clean your house, mow your lawn, or watch your kids can help you maximize your time and balance needs and budgetary concerns. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-lawn-mowers">The 6 Best Lawn Mowers</a>)</p> <p>For some consumers, considering the opportunity costs can make the concept of hiring help not just palatable, but a sound investment. Even if you&rsquo;re off the clock, your time certainly has value. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/that-age-old-conundrum-time-vs-money">That Age-Old Conundrum: Time vs. Money</a>)</p> <p>Here are four things to consider when it comes to outsourcing your more domestic demands.</p> <h3>1. Figure Out What Your Time's Worth</h3> <p>This isn&rsquo;t just a question for entrepreneurs and others who could be making money, crafting a business plan, or otherwise turning their time into future returns instead of scrubbing dishes. What is an hour of your time worth when you&rsquo;re at home? If you can find someone to work for less than your self-styled rate, outsourcing some of your chores might be a sound investment, even if the return is simply quiet time for family, relaxation, and recharging.</p> <p>Consider whether your time could be better spent making money, improving your work-life balance, or otherwise tilting the scale.</p> <h3>2. Budget and Prioritize</h3> <p>Obviously, affordability has to be a consideration, too. Subsisting on tomato soup in order to retain your housecleaner probably isn&rsquo;t the savviest investment, for your wallet or your mental and physical well being. But if the idea of hiring help sounds appealing, consider going over your current expenditures with an eagle eye. Look for needless expenses and ways to curb frivolities.</p> <p>You can also consider honing in on the most-hated chore. Maybe it&rsquo;s cleaning the bathroom, walking the dogs, or maintaining the lawn. Depending on where you live and the size of your home, none of these services may break the bank each week, especially if you&rsquo;re using only one.</p> <h3>3. Forget the Stigma</h3> <p>Deciding to spend money on domestic help or a personal assistant might inspire blank stares or derision from colleagues and even family and friends. There&rsquo;s no reason to feel guilty, even when someone offers a tactless response along the lines of &ldquo;Must be nice.&rdquo; That said, start bragging about your new laundry-folding assistant, and you get what you deserve.</p> <p>I don&rsquo;t think hiring a dog walker signifies we&rsquo;re living on Easy Street, but you can never really gauge reactions.</p> <h3>4. Find Legit Help</h3> <p>Utilize reputable sites and resources or rely on word-of-mouth when it comes to hiring help. Ask for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-great-job-references">references</a> and, when applicable, insurance and <a href="http://www.suretybonds.com">surety bond information</a> to ensure you&rsquo;re protected against damages or loss. There can also be <a href="http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=97877,00.html">tax considerations</a> depending on how much you&rsquo;re paying an individual each year, so check with the IRS or a tax professional. Be sure to set duties and expectations at the outset and evaluate results on a regular basis.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chris-birk">Chris Birk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-to-consider-before-hiring-household-help">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-7"> <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/chore-time-allowances-for-adults">Chore Time: Allowances for Adults</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-monthly-bills-you-can-slash">10 Monthly Bills You Can Slash</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/7-easy-ways-to-lower-winter-energy-costs">7 Easy Ways to Lower Winter Energy Costs</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-have-a-good-roommate-relationship">How to Have a Good Roommate Relationship</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-ways-to-do-less-laundry">10 Ways to Do Less Laundry</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Home chores hiring household help time vs. money Fri, 21 Oct 2011 16:18:50 +0000 Chris Birk 757702 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask The Readers: Should Kids Get Paid For Doing Chores? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-should-kids-get-paid-for-doing-chores <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-should-kids-get-paid-for-doing-chores" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/paid-for-chores.jpg" alt="Girl washing plate" title="Girl washing plate" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-should-kids-get-paid-for-doing-chores#comment-499982"><em>Staycee</em></a><em>, </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-should-kids-get-paid-for-doing-chores#comment-500080"><em>TrishB</em></a><em>, and </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-should-kids-get-paid-for-doing-chores#comment-500596"><em>Julie</em></a><em> for winning this week's contest!&nbsp;</em></p> <p>Simple chores like doing dishes and taking out the trash can teach kids invaluable life lessons. While most parents agree on the value of chores, they are somewhat divided on whether kids should be paid for helping around the house.</p> <p><b>Do you think kids should be paid for doing household chores? </b>Is it a good way to teach kids the value of work? Or are you bribing kids to pull their own weight? What did your parents do?</p> <p>Share your opinion, and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card and a copy of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1936214431/?tag=hubp045c-20">Blacklisted from the PTA</a>.</p> <p><b>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</b></p> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; one for random comments, one for random Facebook &quot;Likes,&quot; and another one for random tweets.</p> <p>The three winners will each get a $20 Amazon Gift Card and their very own copy of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1936214431/?tag=hubp045c-20">Blacklisted from the PTA</a>.</p> <p><b>Extra Prize This Week: Black Listed from the PTA</b></p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1936214431/?tag=hubp045c-20">Blacklisted from the PTA</a> is an exciting new book by Lela Davidson, the editor of our sister blog Parenting Squad. Filled with hilarious and irreverent stories of motherhood, the book is a great read for any parent looking for a belly laugh and sanity.&nbsp;It is already getting rave reviews!</p> <blockquote> <p>Blacklisted from the PTA is a hilarious and honest take on motherhood. With her laugh out loud funny writing style and her laser focus attention to detail, Davidson will crack moms up and make them say, &ldquo;Yes, that&rsquo;s exactly what I was thinking. A truly entertaining read for any exhausted mom or mom-to-be.&rdquo;&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.ivillage.com/about-kelly-wallace/1-a-256166">Kelly Wallace</a>, Chief Correspondent, iVillage/NBC Universal</p> </blockquote> <div align="center"> <h3><a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1936214431/?tag=hubp045c-20"><img width="220" height="282" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/blacklisted-from-the-pta-shadow-cover.png" /></a></h3> </div> <h3>Mandatory Entry:&nbsp;</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below&nbsp;</li> </ul> <h3>For extra entries (1 per action):</h3> <ul> <li>Go to our <a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wise-Bread/26830741467?ref=ts">Facebook page</a>, &quot;Like&quot; us, and leave a comment telling us you did, or</li> <li><a href="http://www.twitter.com/">Tweet</a> your answer. You have to be a follower of our <a href="http://twitter.com/wisebread">@wisebread account</a>. Include both &quot;@wisebread&quot; and &quot;#WBAsk&quot; in your tweet so we'll see it and count it. Leave a link to your tweet (click the timestamp for the individual URL) in a separate comment.</li> </ul> <p><strong>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</strong></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, July 18th at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after July 18th on the original post and via Twitter. Winners will also be contacted via email, Facebook, and Twitter Direct Message.</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p>Note: Due to recent changes in Facebook's promotions guidelines, we have restructured the entry format of our giveaways.</p> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-should-kids-get-paid-for-doing-chores">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-8"> <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/ask-the-readers-share-your-best-parenting-tips-stories-100-prize">Ask the Readers: What&#039;s Your Favorite Childhood Memory? (Win $100)</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/ask-the-readers-200-giveaway-would-you-ding-your-credit-to-get-out-of-debt">Ask the Readers $200 Giveaway: Would You Ding Your Credit to Get Out of Debt?</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/the-easy-way-to-set-an-allowance-that-wont-ruin-your-kid">The Easy Way to Set an Allowance That Won&#039;t Ruin Your Kid</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/having-a-baby-nine-financial-considerations-for-new-parents">Having a baby? Nine financial considerations for new parents</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/ask-the-readers-would-you-relocate-for-the-perfect-job-chance-to-win">Ask the Readers: Would You Relocate for the Perfect Job? (Chance to win!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Giveaways Ask the Readers chores kids parenting Tue, 12 Jul 2011 10:36:12 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 619030 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Do Less Laundry http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-do-less-laundry <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-do-less-laundry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4306096236_663ff32b8e.jpg" alt="Smelly clothes" title="Smelly clothes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Let's be realistic. Doing less laundry means wearing clothing more than once. It does not mean buying a new wardrobe and donating the dirty clothes to Goodwill. Sparing clothes from the wash for as long as possible means clothing will last longer, and you will have more time to devote to your favorite hobby. Here are ways to keep your laundry out of the washing machine for as long as humanly possible. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-clothes-last-longer-without-spending-big">16 Ways to Make Your Clothes Last Longer</a>)</p> <h3>1. Spot Check</h3> <p>Carry around a good spot detergent (like the Tide pen, which happens to work magically) and troubleshoot as you go. If you don't have a fancy Tide pen, you can always use regular detergent or even dish soap. Make sure to rub liberally and rinse out as well. Use warm water, as cold can set the stain.</p> <h3>2. Smell Check</h3> <p>If it doesn't smell funky, hang it back up and re-wear it. If it smells and you still want to wear it, do the rest of us a favor and Febreeze it. Thank you.</p> <h3>3. Freeze Jeans</h3> <p>The theory behind this is that the frozen temperature kills any bacteria that causes smells. You can spot treat for any specific stains beforehand. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/clean-jeans-right-without-going-to-the-dry-cleaner">CLean Jeans Without Going to the Dry Cleaner</a>)</p> <h3>4. Hang Clothes</h3> <p>Sometimes you can end up washing clean clothes because no one can remember if they were worn and thrown on the floor, or just thrown on the floor. Keep clean clothes off the floor.</p> <h3>5. Designate Everyday Wear</h3> <p>Have a house outfit. Wear the same thing around the house for your chores. Change when you go out in public. Make it something comfortable, but you may also want to make sure it's relatively acceptable, in case you need to sign for a package or have an unexpected visitor.</p> <h3>6. Wear an Apron</h3> <p>This will save your shirt. Have an apron for cooking and cleaning that only gets washed, or wiped down, every week or two. Think of all the spaghetti sauce stains and bleach spills that can be avoided with one simple apron. Hang it in the kitchen, and use it daily.</p> <h3>7. Handwash Clothes</h3> <p>Things like bras and panties are great hand-washed in a small basin in your bath tub or sink. You can be fancy and use something like Woolite, or dish soap. I've washed a lot of unmentionables in Dawn. Just don't mention it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kilowatts-a-killer-tips-for-air-drying-clothes">Tips for Air-Drying Clothes</a>)</p> <h3>8. Don't Wash Towels</h3> <p>There's no reason to wash a towel that was only used to dry off your clean body. Think about it. Towels can be hung and dried and washed less than once a week. Just make sure they are hung so that they don't mold.</p> <h3>9. Shower Before Bed</h3> <p>If you shower before bed, instead of in the morning, your sheets will last longer.</p> <h3>10. Have Outside Clothes</h3> <p>Have a gardening outfit, or other dirty-job outfit, that stays by the door and gets washed minimally.</p> <p>Stretching your laundry means stretching the life of your clothes. Stretching your clothes means stretching your dollar &mdash; and we could all use a little more flexibility in our finances these days.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Step away from the spin cycle! Here are ways to keep your laundry out of the washing machine for as long as humanly possible. </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><em>This is post by Sonja Stewart from our sister blog, </em><a href="http://www.parentingsquad.com/"><em>Parenting Squad</em></a><em>. Visit Parenting Squad for more parenting tips and news:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/homemade-playdough-recipes-and-how-to-survive-the-clean-up"><em>Homemade Playdough Recipes, and How to Survive the Clean-Up</em></a></li> <li><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/13-fun-baby-shower-decorating-ideas"><em>13 Fun Baby Shower Decorating Ideas</em></a></li> <li><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/3-good-reasons-to-have-a-c-section"><em>3 Good Reasons to Have a C-Section</em></a></li> <li><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-to-combat-speech-delays"><em>How to Combat Speech Delays</em></a></li> <li><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/over-the-counter-cold-flue-medicine-what-is-safe"><em>Over-the-Counter Cold and Flu Medicine: What is Safe?</em></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/parenting-squad">Parenting Squad</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-do-less-laundry">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-9"> <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/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kilowatts-a-killer-tips-for-air-drying-clothes">Kilowatts a Killer? Tips for Air-Drying Clothes</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/the-5-best-laundry-detergents">The 5 Best Laundry Detergents</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/the-5-best-laundry-stain-removers">The 5 Best Laundry Stain Removers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home chores clothing laundry Mon, 18 Apr 2011 10:24:06 +0000 Parenting Squad 525499 at http://www.wisebread.com Germ Killin' Machine http://www.wisebread.com/germ-killin-machine <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/sinksponge.jpg" alt=" " width="325" height="185" /></p> <p>Guarding against germs doesn&#39;t have to be a chemical-filled experience. To get rid of <a href="http://news.ufl.edu/2007/01/24/microwave-sponges-2/">germs in your kitchen sponge</a> (and there ARE germs in you kitchen sponge), do the following:</p> <ol> <li>Soak the sponge with water (this is <strong>key</strong> - not doing so poses a <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory?id=2822160http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory?id=2822160">significant fire risk</a>).</li> <li>Place the sponge on a microwave-safe plate.</li> <li>Stick it in the microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes.</li> <li>Don&#39;t even TRY to pick it up with your fingers. Use a pair of tongs to remove it from the microwave and leave it to cool or soak it in cold water before using.</li> </ol> <p>*Make sure the sponge doesn&#39;t contain metal, even though lots of modern microwaves don&#39;t mind metal.*</p> <p>If nuking the sponge kind of creeps you out or creates so nasty smells (if it does, stop the heating immediately), try boiling it in a little clean water instead. I don&#39;t keep a sponge for more than three weeks anyway, but I boil it at least twice a week to kill germs. </p> <p>AND I use a different sponge for my dogs&#39; dishes. </p> <p>(Photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/dalasie/">dalasie</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/germ-killin-machine">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/the-many-uses-for-empty-plastic-bottles">The many uses for empty plastic bottles</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/germs-dirt-bacteria-infection-immune-system-antibiotics-disease">Are we too clean for our own good?</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/the-zeigarnik-effect-and-7-other-ways-to-beat-the-housekeeping-blahs">The Zeigarnik Effect and 7 Other Ways to Beat the Housekeeping Blahs</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/7-new-ways-to-use-your-microwave">7 New Ways to Use Your Microwave</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/flashback-friday-wise-breads-88-best-food-hacks-ever">Flashback Friday: Wise Bread&#039;s 88 Best Food Hacks Ever</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks bacteria chores disinfect environmentally friendly germs housework microwave nuke sponge Tue, 17 Apr 2007 22:33:11 +0000 Andrea Karim 522 at http://www.wisebread.com