neighbors http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8338/all en-US Ask the Readers: What's the Nicest Frugal Thing You've Done for a Neighbor? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-whats-the-nicest-frugal-thing-youve-done-for-a-neighbor <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-whats-the-nicest-frugal-thing-youve-done-for-a-neighbor" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_crock_pot_000084913297.jpg" alt="Woman doing nice frugal thing for neighbor" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-whats-the-nicest-frugal-thing-youve-done-for-a-neighbor#comment-792297">Trish</a>, Ana, and Pam for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>Some people have <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-youre-being-a-terrible-neighbor">terrible neighbors</a> &mdash; the kind of neighbors that you wish had moved across the country yesterday. Some people have great neighbors, the ones you don't mind helping even if it's a little out of your way. From afternoon babysitting to sharing garden tools, or using your handyman skills to do minor repairs, neighborly help often translates to real savings for the folks next door.</p> <p><strong>What's the nicest frugal thing you've done for a neighbor?</strong> Have your neighbors helped <em>you</em> save money in any way?</p> <p>Tell us about the nicest frugal thing you've done for a neighbor 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:</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will be randomly selected to 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> </ul> <p><a class="rcptr" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857dfa247/" rel="nofollow" data-raflid="79857dfa247" data-theme="classic" data-template="" id="rcwidget_k5x4s3eq">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a> </p> <script src="https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script></p> <p>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.</p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, June 6th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after June 6th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us about the nicest frugal thing you&#039;ve done for a neighbor 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-whats-the-nicest-frugal-thing-youve-done-for-a-neighbor">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/10-types-of-neighbors-that-are-costing-you-money">10 Types of Neighbors That Are Costing You 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/an-important-financial-lesson-from-fight-club">The financial wisdom of Fight Club</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/ask-the-readers-how-do-you-care-for-your-pet-affordably">Ask the Readers: How Do You Care For Your Pet Affordably?</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-save-0-54-per-gallon-on-gas">How to save $0.54 per gallon on gas</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/stop-paying-for-cable-television-but-keep-up-with-your-favorite-shows">Stop Paying For Cable Television But Keep Up With Your Favorite Shows</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Ask the Readers neighbors Tue, 31 May 2016 10:00:12 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1718404 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Types of Neighbors That Are Costing You Money http://www.wisebread.com/10-types-of-neighbors-that-are-costing-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-types-of-neighbors-that-are-costing-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-neighbors-166193544-small.jpg" alt="couple neighbors" title="couple neighbors" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I really like my nextdoor neighbor, Dave. He's quiet, friendly, and always willing to lend me his leaf blower. He also keeps his property in good shape. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-it-pays-to-be-friendly-with-your-neighbors?ref=seealso">6 Ways It Pays to Be Friendly With Your Neighbors</a>)</p> <p>Not everyone is so fortunate to have great neighbors like him. And that's a shame, because bad neighbors can not only make your life uncomfortable, they can cost you money.</p> <p>For your sake, I hope that none of your neighbors fit these descriptions.</p> <h2>The Slob</h2> <p>The grass and weeds are up to your knees. The house hasn't been painted in decades. There are rusted out cars on the front yard and trash all over the place. These types of neighbors can make your house less valuable, potentially costing you tens of thousands of dollars when the time comes to sell your home.</p> <h2>The Bad Borrower</h2> <p>It's certainly neighborly to let a person borrow your casserole dish or a pair of hedge clippers from time to time. But it's important to not let the borrowing become too one-sided. It's tough living next door to the people who are always asking for stuff, but rarely offering. It's also problematic when a neighbor returns items in bad condition &mdash; or not at all.</p> <h2>The HOA Cop</h2> <p>Many neighborhoods have rules that govern everything from the color of your balcony railing to whether you can hang laundry on a clothesline. Often, these rules are enforced by a homeowner's association or zoning department that can levy fines.</p> <p>You should always try your best to keep your house and yard up to code, but no one wants a neighbor that rats you out every time your grass gets a millimeter too high or some leaves fill up your gutters, costing you money in the form of fines and repairs.</p> <h2>Mr. and Mrs. Litigious</h2> <p>Everyone has a right to protect themselves if they believe their legal or civil rights have been violated by a neighbor. But no one wants to live next to the person who calls up a lawyer every time a tree branch falls from your yard to theirs.</p> <p>Unless there's truly illegal activity going on, the best neighbors try to resolve disputes by talking things out first. Maybe your dog chewed up your neighbor's flower beds. Maybe their faulty downspout led to a stream of water flooding into your backyard. Stuff happens, and more often than not these issues can be resolved without much rancor or legal fees involved.</p> <h2>The Party Animal</h2> <p>There are parties every weekend, often with a live band or loud stereo blasting. Guests arrive in droves and leave inebriated. If this neighbor doesn't cost you money, he is definitely costing you sleep and your sanity.</p> <h2>The Criminal</h2> <p>Sometimes you get stuck with neighbor that's simply a bad apple. He or she might be running a drug enterprise, or hoarding stolen items. They might have &quot;friends&quot; stopping by at odd hours, attracting frequent visits from the police. In addition to making you feel unsafe, these types of neighbors can depress the value of your home, since crime records are often public. The last thing you want to see is your street name in the local police blotter. And the worst thing is that once a neighborhood gets a reputation as being crime-filled, it can take years for those sentiments to go away.</p> <h2>The Kids-Roam-Free Family</h2> <p>I love kids. I have a couple myself. But if you have a neighbor that lets his kids run wild, situations may arise that could hit you in the wallet. For instance, it you have a pool and one of the kids falls in and gets hurt, you could be held liable. This is true even if the young person is technically trespassing when it happens.</p> <h2>The Overachiever</h2> <p>The lawn and flower beds always look immaculate. The house always seems freshly painted. The landscaping is phenomenal. In some ways, this is a dream neighbor. But this guy may end up costing you money if you feel pressure to keep up. You could easily find yourself paying for professional landscaping services, lawn services, and other work just to keep up with the guy next door.</p> <h2>The Lousy Dog Owner</h2> <p>Dogs are great to have, but they can cause problems if owners aren't responsible. Canines who aren't trained or supervised correctly can destroy a neighbor's property, or even cause injury. Dogs <a href="http://www.mercurynews.com/animal-life/ci_26039455/barking-dogs-disrupting-neighborhood-harmony">that bark incessantly</a> can also be a nuisance, and may even make homes on the market less attractive to buyers.</p> <h2>The Golf Course</h2> <p>It may seem like a dream to be able to walk out your back door and tee off. But living on or near a golf course can be a mixed bag, especially financially. You might pay a premium to buy the house in the first place, and then be on the hook for considerable community fees. A house on a golf course will likely mean you'll have higher-than-normal rates for homeowners insurance. And be prepared to pay for repairs to your yard and house from damage due to errant golf balls.</p> <p>There's a twist to this, as well. A <a href="http://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/os-eastwood-golf-course-beth-kassab-20141107-column.html">softening of the golf market</a> is causing some golf courses to close, potentially leading to a less-than-welcome change to some homeowners' backyards.</p> <p><em>Do you have these or other types of costly neighbors? Let's gossip about them 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/10-types-of-neighbors-that-are-costing-you-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-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-life-is-wonderful-when-you-swap-your-car-for-a-bike">9 Ways Life Is Wonderful When You Swap Your Car for a Bike</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/five-reasons-why-i-love-public-transportation">Five Reasons Why I Love Public Transportation</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-things-football-teaches-us-about-money">9 Things Football Teaches Us About Money</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/9-smart-money-moves-to-make-before-the-holiday-season-begins">9 Smart Money Moves to Make Before the Holiday Season Begins</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/13-ways-to-save-money-that-go-too-far">13 Ways to Save Money That Go Too Far</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living disputes lawyers neighbors saving Mon, 24 Nov 2014 23:00:08 +0000 Tim Lemke 1258685 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways It Pays to Be Friendly With Your Neighbors http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-it-pays-to-be-friendly-with-your-neighbors <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-it-pays-to-be-friendly-with-your-neighbors" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/neighbors-E000352-small.jpg" alt="neighbors " title="neighbors" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Our communities just don't have the same bonds they used to. Think about it: Of all the people you've lived next door to, how many of their names do you know? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-deal-with-a-rude-neighbor?ref=seealso">How to Deal With a Rude Neighbor</a>)</p> <p>This is a problem, given the tangible, material benefits of having neighbors you know better than, say, the receptionist at your dentist's office. Don't believe it? Then check out these six ways it pays to be friendly with your neighbors.</p> <h2>1. Splitting Chores</h2> <p>Some chores impact more than just one house in a neighborhood. For example, if you share a common driveway, you can all pitch in when it comes to repaving it. It's not just about communal chores, though. Doing small favors can encourage a mini sharing economy. Help your neighbor plant a garden, he helps you change the transmission on your car. Start saving a mint based on the things that you couldn't do yourself, but can do with a spare set of hands.</p> <h2>2. Sharing the Cost of Big Equipment</h2> <p>Just like there are some chores that are impossible alone, so are there pieces of big equipment one person might not want to buy, but a neighborhood can go in on together. Think of things like wood chippers, cherry pickers, or power washers. Particularly if you're not going to be using them a lot, the price can be cost prohibitive. However, once you start splitting the cost three or four ways, the investment starts making a lot more sense.</p> <h2>3. Splitting Entertainment Costs</h2> <p>Especially for the sports fan, the ability to split entertainment costs can be a big deal. Maybe you don't want to shell out for the next UFC fight, WWE pay-per-view, or a season of NFL game day on your own. However, with the help of a neighbor or two you can make the cost of an expensive paid cable event no more than a couple of lattes. What's more, you might also be able to get package deals on vacations if you all coordinate your time away from home. Once you get there you don't have to be joined at the hip, though hey &mdash; if you guys are close, why not?</p> <h2>4. Learning New Skills</h2> <p>Chances are good that you have skills your neighbor wants and vice versa. So why not go about trading those talents? Not only can you learn them without paying any money, you can also save money over the long run by applying the skills you learn. Maybe it's auto repair. Maybe it's bread baking. Maybe it's interior painting. Whatever it is, when you learn how to do things for yourself, you don't have to pay someone else to do it for you.</p> <h2>5. Tolerating Your Big Bash</h2> <p>Having a party? Making any amount of racket? Get ready for a noise complaint and the charges that come along with it. Making friends with your neighbors not only makes them a little more tolerant of things like watering your garden on the day that you're not supposed to, but it also makes them more likely to talk to you directly about the problem rather than going straight through more official channels. No one wants angry neighbors, but if you're going to have them they can be angry in the neighborly way or the expensive way.</p> <h2>6. Networking</h2> <p>Networking is more important than ever. Looking for the best plumber in town? Your neighbor might be a friend. Trying to find a marriage counselor? Maybe your neighbors recently got through a rough patch with the help of a family therapist. Is your nephew looking for his first job in publishing? Talk to your neighbors and see if they know anyone who can help. Knowing more people is always helpful, starting with the people who live just down the street.</p> <p><em>Are you neighborly with your neighbors? How has it paid off for you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nicholas-pell">Nicholas Pell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-it-pays-to-be-friendly-with-your-neighbors">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/25-reasons-why-its-good-to-know-your-neighbors">25 Reasons Why It&#039;s Good to Know Your Neighbors</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/why-dont-people-share-more">Why don&#039;t people share more?</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/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> <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/the-best-10-items-to-borrow">The Best 10 Items to Borrow</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/20-awesome-uses-for-milk-crates">20 Awesome Uses for Milk Crates</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Lifestyle neighbors networking real estate sharing sharing economy Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:00:05 +0000 Nicholas Pell 1241737 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 People You Should Have in Your "Personal Emergency Kit" http://www.wisebread.com/5-people-you-should-have-in-your-personal-emergency-kit <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-people-you-should-have-in-your-personal-emergency-kit" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/emergency-152973680.jpg" alt="emergency call" title="emergency call" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>They say it takes a village to raise a kid, but the truth is, it takes a village to get through life in general whether you have kids or not. And to exist in a relatively peaceful village, you have to ensure that you're surrounding yourself with the right people &mdash; especially for emergency situations.</p> <p>I'm sure you can think of plenty of folks in your own life who lend a helping hand when you need it. That's great; keep them around. If you don't have these people, however, it's time you let your guard down and let some new folks in; you never know when you're gonna need them, but when you do, you'll be glad you found each other.</p> <p>To help you evaluate who's missing from your &quot;personal emergency kit,&quot; here are five types of people who can make your life easier in times of crises &mdash; plus a bonus guy who may be the most important of them all. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-emergency-situations-you-must-prepare-for-and-5-you-can-ignore?ref=seealso">Emergencies to Prepare For</a>)</p> <h2>1. A Neighbor Who Will Alert You When There's Trouble at Your House</h2> <p>&quot;Roseanne&quot; is one of my favorite shows, and I love the episode when Roseanne thinks her uppity neighbor, Kathy Bowman, is giving all her high-end furniture and housewares to charity while Kathy and her family are on vacation. A truck, presumably from a Salvation Army-type establishment, pulls up to Kathy's house and empties it while Roseanne looks on in disbelief at her neighbor's frivolous &quot;goodwill.&quot; Roseanne &mdash; spotting something in transit from house to truck that she deems too good for &quot;charity&quot; &mdash; goes over to the moving guys and pays them $20 for a tacky ceramic dog. Long story short, Kathy returns and tells Roseanne that she's been robbed blind, much to Roseanne's surprise. Excellent episode; that lady still cracks me up 20+ years later.</p> <p>The moral of that anecdote is that good neighbors are hard to come by these days, so when you find one, hang on to them tight. This neighbor will help you rest easier while you're on vacation because you know they're looking over your home well, but they'll also keep a watchful eye even when you're away for just a few hours. This neighbor can collect your mail for you if you're taking an extended vacation, and call the cops if they spot strangers lurking about.</p> <p>If you don't have a neighbor like this, get in one's good graces soon. You don't want to regret it later.</p> <h2>2. Someone Who Can Watch Over Your Kids at Moment's Notice</h2> <p>Those of you with kids know that there are times when you might need to put your kids in the care of someone responsible at a moment's notice to deal with any number of issues. Maybe you need to rush your spouse to the hospital in the middle of the night; maybe you just want to go to the supermarket in peace. Whatever the case, it's not a bad idea to create a relationship &mdash; preferably with another parent so you can trade off and establish an equitable rapport &mdash; who can serve as your go-to lifesaver when you need to pawn off your kids in an instant.</p> <h2>3. A Local Handyperson Friend Who Will Give Your Issue Priority</h2> <p>Picture it: Sicily, 1922.</p> <p>Just kidding. That's the famous catchphrase of the &quot;Golden Girls'&quot; Sophia Petrillo &ndash; I watch <em>a lot</em> of TV Land, you guys.</p> <p>Picture this instead: It's 4 a.m. and your toilet is overflowing, so much that water and other toilet-esque things are seeping into your carpet and hardwood floors, and you need this stopped <em>now</em>. Who ya' gonna call?</p> <p>Hopefully your friendly neighborhood handyperson, whom you've treated very well over the years and sufficiently compensated for his or her time and expertise, will be on the case in a flash. Hopefully.</p> <p>If this person isn't currently in your life, make him or her part of it immediately and be the best friend you can be. Unless, of course, you like the idea of trying to stop the rush of gushing you-know-what with your bare hands in the middle of the night. Diff'rent strokes, I suppose. (See what I did there? Too much TV Land!)</p> <h2>4. That Friend Who Will Drop Everything to Help You Out</h2> <p>You know how when you're moving and you need help carrying those heavy boxes of books up four flights of stairs and everyone on your contact list is suddenly busy? You can still consider those folks friends, I guess (albeit very loosely), but if they can't help you schlep your junk around town just for the heck of it, don't be surprised when they let you down many other times.</p> <p>Instead, keep close that one friend who's there for you no matter what, no matter when you need them. This is the guy or girl who's spending an otherwise lonely Friday night with you; the person whose shoulder you can cry on; the one who will never judge you; who will pick you up on the side of the road when your car breaks down at 2 a.m.; the bestie who will bring you soup when you're sick; the amigo who will, in the same day, trash talk your lousy significant other with you then embrace him with open arms when you inevitably take him back for the fifth time; and above all, this is the confidant who will keep your darkest, dirtiest secrets safe and sound forever and ever &mdash; no matter how much somebody is willing to pay for them.</p> <p>As you know, these kind of friends are hard to find and even harder to keep. You're extremely lucky to have this person in your life &mdash; and don't you soon forget it.</p> <h2>5. A Co-Worker Who Will Cover for You When You Can't Get to the Office</h2> <p>Late for work because you overslept? Can't make it in until noon because your kid accidentally tried to burn down the house this morning? Life happens, and these situations will go over much smoother &mdash; perhaps even under the radar altogether &mdash; if you've made a pact with an influential co-worker to cover each other when one of you can't make it to work on time or at all on a particular day. This person can bring your important documents to you from the office or help you finish up a few things while you're handling your emergency.</p> <h2>Bonus: That Dude Down the Block Who's Building His Apocalyptic Hideaway</h2> <p>You've seen him bringing in large buckets of rice and gallons upon gallons of water, lots of ammunition and firearms, tactical gear, and enough wood and concrete to build a bunker (which he is definitely doing); and you probably think he's crazy. That will all change when the zombie apocalypse comes, <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/nasafunded-study-warns-of-collapse-of-civilisation-in-coming-decades-9195668.html">which just got kind of real</a> by the way, and he's basically your last hope for survival. When that day arrives, he'll probably forget your name and leave you to fend for yourself, but it's not a bad idea to invite this dude over for dinner tonight, get to know him, befriend him, and eventually ask him to legally adopt you so you can have at least a little peace of mind when the ish hits the fan. This impending end-of-the-world scenario is hypothetical of course, but so was space travel at one point. Ponder that.</p> <p><em>Do you have other people that we should have in our &quot;personal emergency kits?&quot; 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/5-people-you-should-have-in-your-personal-emergency-kit">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/25-easy-ways-to-make-someone-happy-today">25 Easy Ways to Make Someone Happy Today</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-be-charming">How to be charming</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-second-best-way-to-make-your-household-more-secure">The Second-Best Way to Make your Household More Secure</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/take-amazing-party-pictures">Take amazing party pictures</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/giving-is-better-than-blogging-or-is-it">Giving is Better Than Blogging... or IS it?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks emergencies friends Help neighbors Thu, 01 May 2014 09:00:26 +0000 Mikey Rox 1137580 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Gifts to Give the Neighbor You Like http://www.wisebread.com/9-holiday-gifts-to-give-the-neighbor-you-like <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-holiday-gifts-to-give-the-neighbor-you-like" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends-dv056085d.jpg" alt="friends toasting" title="friends toasting" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Finding gifts for neighbors is notoriously difficult. First, you have to decide if you're giving neighbors a gift. If so, which neighbors will you give a gift to? Then you have to decide what to get them. I can't help you decide the first two questions &mdash; those are personal to you. But if you're looking for gift ideas, here are some of my favorite gifts for neighbors. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-gifts-you-can-make-today?ref=seealso">25 Gifts You Can Make Today</a>)</p> <h2>Hot Cocoa and Mugs</h2> <p>Nothing says winter like sipping hot cocoa in front of the fireplace. Pick out two festive mugs and pair them with your favorite hot chocolate. If you really like your neighbor, splurge on some <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000GH6UQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0000GH6UQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">Mexican hot chocolate</a> or <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CREXWSO/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00CREXWSO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">European sipping chocolate</a>. If your neighbors aren't big hot cocoa drinkers, you can substitute coffee or tea for hot cocoa.</p> <h2>Cookie Mix in a Mason Jar</h2> <p>If a handmade gift is more your style &mdash; or you're low on cash &mdash; cookie mix in a mason jar is a budget gift option that still says &quot;thoughtful.&quot; Simply layer the ingredients in a jar, then add a ribbon and a note, and you have a creative, attractive, and delicious gift. <a href="http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Gingerbread-Cookie-Mix-in-a-Jar">Gingerbread cookies in a jar</a> add a seasonal flair, but <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/julias-best-ever-chocolate-chip-cookies-in-a-jar/">chocolate chip cookies</a> are the classic choice. You can buy 12 mason <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004YVOS0Y/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004YVOS0Y&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">jars for $10 on Amazon</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-unique-holiday-gifts-you-can-bake?ref=seealso">15 Delicious Gifts You Can Bake</a>)</p> <h2>Houseplant</h2> <p>When the leaves have fallen from the trees and snow covers the ground, a pretty houseplant can add a splash of life to an otherwise dreary winter backdrop. A poinsettia is a popular holiday choice, but you can also opt for plant that will last through the winter, like a ficus or an orchid, or a plant <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-cheap-plants-for-improving-indoor-air-quality">that's especially good at improving indoor air quality</a>.</p> <h2>Gift Certificates to a Local Restaurant</h2> <p>If you know your neighbor likes to dine out and you have some cash to spend, a gift certificate to their favorite local restaurant is a great gift. <a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-5674461">Restaurant.com</a> always has great deals on dining certificates (though theirs usually come with restrictions and other terms).</p> <h2>Bottle of Wine</h2> <p>A decent bottle of wine is a stalwart option in the holiday gift lineup. Pick a bottle with a festive label and tie a ribbon around it for a gift that is sure to please your favorite neighbor. And you don't have to spend a fortune &mdash; you can <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/150-best-15-dollar-and-under-wines">get recommendations on good wines under $15</a>.</p> <h2>Date Night Gift Pack</h2> <p>If you're friends with your neighbors and they have young kids (and you like said kids), one of the best gifts you can give them is a couple of hours of free babysitting. Your neighbors get to go on a date, you get to spend a couple hours playing with their kids. Trust me, as a parent of a two-year-old, I would love this gift even more than cookies or wine.</p> <h2>Kindle Gift Card</h2> <p>There's something about winter that makes curling up with a good book very appealing. If you don't know your neighbor's taste in books well enough to pick one out, but know he loves to read, a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;docId=1000645851&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">Kindle gift card</a> is the perfect gift.</p> <h2>Scarf</h2> <p>If you're a knitter, consider making your favorite neighbor a scarf. Unlike consumable gifts, a scarf will last forever and remind your neighbors of your generosity for a long time to come. A scarf is the perfect knitwear for a gift because, unlike with a hat or mittens, you can approximate size and be confident it will fit. If knitting isn't your thing, <a href="https://www.etsy.com/search/handmade/knitting/scarf?q=scarf&amp;order=most_relevant&amp;view_type=gallery&amp;ship_to=US&amp;min=&amp;max=29">there are hundreds of scarves on Etsy for under $30</a>.</p> <h2>Homebrew</h2> <p>If you happen to brew your own beer (or have a friend who will let you borrow her equipment), homebrew is a personal, inexpensive gift for your neighbors. Depending on which <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001BCFUBU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001BCFUBU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">beer kit you buy</a>, the price ends up being about $0.50/bottle, or $3.00 for a six pack. Name your brew and design your own labels for a memorable gift. I gave my neighbors homebrew one year &mdash; complete with a label featuring my dogs &mdash; <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/homebrewed-beer-make-your-own-and-save-money">and it was a big hit</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-homemade-liqueurs-to-bottle-now-for-tasty-holiday-gifts?ref=seealso">10 Homemade Liqueurs to Bottle for Tasty Gifts</a>)</p> <p><em>What have you given to (or received from) neighbors?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/elizabeth-lang">Elizabeth Lang</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-holiday-gifts-to-give-the-neighbor-you-like">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/12-gift-ideas-for-crafters">12 Gift Ideas for Crafters</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-holiday-stocking-stuffers-for-techies">10 Holiday Stocking Stuffers for Techies</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-great-gift-ideas-for-geeky-fanboys-and-fangirls">10 Great Gift Ideas for Geeky Fanboys and Fangirls</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/holiday-gifts-for-your-co-workers">20 Gift Ideas for Your Co-Workers</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/ultimate-gift-guide-thoughtful-ideas-for-every-list-and-every-budget">Ultimate Gift Guide: Thoughtful Ideas for Every List and Every Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Buying Guides buying guide gifts holiday gift guide holiday gifts neighbors product reviews Fri, 22 Nov 2013 11:24:05 +0000 Elizabeth Lang 1098645 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Reasons Why You Should Take a Walk http://www.wisebread.com/25-reasons-why-you-should-take-a-walk <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-reasons-why-you-should-take-a-walk" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/pet-3847512-small_0.jpg" alt="walk" title="walk" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I'm always a little amazed when people drive across town to the gym, hunt around for a place to park, change their clothes, sign up for a treadmill, and wait in line to use it, all just to take a nice 30 minute walk. Not that there's anything wrong with walking. Walking's great. But I have a theory that making such a big production of it makes it more work than fun, more exercise than pleasure. Plus, the best thing about walking is that it's so simple. Why <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fitness-for-people-who-hate-exercise" target="_blank">complicate it</a>? Here are 25 of the best reasons you should head out for a hike. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun" target="_blank">50+ Ways to Have Free Outdoor Fun</a>)</p> <h2>1. It's a Great Way to&nbsp;Enjoy the Weather</h2> <p>I live in Northern Canada, where summers are short and oh so sweet. I just can't wait to get outside, and while I haven't figured out how to be able to spend all day on a blanket at the park, walking somewhere gives me a great excuse <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-the-most-out-of-warm-weather-weekdays" target="_blank">to savor a few sweet moments of sunshine</a>. I have nothing against the other seasons. I love rainy spring walks, and crisp fall walks. I even love bundling up for an icy winter walk, especially late at night. Every season (and day, for that matter) has its moments. Walking gives you a chance to soak them up.</p> <h2>2. It's Free</h2> <p>Walking is as close to free as it gets. You don't need fancy shoes, or clothes, or equipment. If you head straight out your front door, a walk will only cost you some time and a little rubber off the bottom of your shoes.</p> <h2>3. It's Good for Your Blood Sugar</h2> <p>In terms of the health benefits, even a little walk goes a long way. <a href="http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/24/really-the-claim-taking-a-walk-after-a-meal-aids-digestion/" target="_blank">Several studies</a> over the past few years have found that as little as 15 minutes of walking after a meal will improve digestion and even out blood sugar levels.</p> <h2>4. And Your Back</h2> <p>A study by researchers at Tel Aviv University found that walking for <a href="http://www.aftau.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&amp;id=18129" target="_blank">20-40 minutes at a moderate pace was as effective at reducing chronic back pain</a> as the sorts of strengthening exercises that are often prescribed by physical therapists.</p> <h2>5. And Your Brain</h2> <p>A brief walk can <a href="http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/27/easing-brain-fatigue-with-a-walk-in-the-park/" target="_blank">melt mental fatigue</a>, <a href="http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-07-15/walking-resistance-training-may-improve-memory-in-study" target="_blank">improve memory</a>, and even help <a href="http://daol.aol.com/articles/walking-boosts-the-brain" target="_blank">stave off the progress of Alzheimer's disease</a>. We often spend much of the day thinking and worrying. Taking a walk is a way to leave it all behind.</p> <h2>6. And Your Creativity</h2> <p>English wordsmith William Wordsworth is said to have spent much of his life on foot, walking. Henry David Thoreau often walked up to 20 miles at a time before he put pen to paper (he even wrote a whole <a href="http://thoreau.eserver.org/walking1.html" target="_blank">essay</a> about it). Virginia Woolf was a regular walker. So were Robert Louis Stevenson and James Joyce. In fact, there's a very long list of writers who considered walking part of their craft. If you're a creative type, the walking path might just lead to enlightenment.</p> <h2>7. And Your Weight</h2> <p>A major meta-analysis conducted by the researchers at the University of Michigan and published in &quot;The Annals of Family Medicine&quot; in 2008 compiled the results of nine different studies to conclude that <a href="http://www.annfammed.org/content/6/1/69.abstract" target="_blank">pedometer-based walking programs resulted in weight loss</a>. The longer participants kept a regular walking schedule going, the more weight they were likely to lose. It's easy to assume that being &quot;fit&quot; has to involve super-intense &quot;boot camp&quot; classes or marathon training, but the reality is that high intensity isn't for everyone, and it definitely isn't for all the time.</p> <h2>8. And Your Heart</h2> <p>Walking's good for your heart, too. In fact, the American Heart Association calls it the simplest lifestyle change you can make for heart health. It positively impacts <a href="http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/news/20070815/a-little-walking-cuts-blood-pressure">blood pressure</a>, <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17215608">triglycerides</a>, and overall heart fitness. I'd venture to guess that its ability to reduce stress also has heart-healthy benefits.</p> <h2>9. And Your Bones</h2> <p>A 1994 study by researchers at Tufts University found that women with a high risk for osteoporosis who <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8304358" target="_blank">walked at least 7.5 miles per week had higher bone density</a> &mdash; not just in their legs, but in their whole bodies &mdash; than women who walked less than a mile per week. Your bones respond to weight-bearing activity. Walking seems almost too easy, but it fits the bill.</p> <h2>10. Not to Mention Your Relationships</h2> <p>I read somewhere that if you're going to argue with a man, it's best to do it walking. (Apparently, they see being looked in the eye as a challenge.) I can't say for sure if that's true, but I did find some evidence that couples who walk together tend to have better relationships. When you walk with someone, you're both going in the same direction, looking ahead, and moving in sync. Those are principles that help move a relationship forward, too.</p> <h2>11. And Your Dog (Kids, Significant Other)</h2> <p>Forget toys and treats; dogs are happiest when they're moving. If you don't have a dog, remember that kids and spouses need walking, too.</p> <h2>12. And the Environment</h2> <p>Every trip (however short) you take on foot is one you aren't taking in your car. That's good for you, and it's good for the environment.</p> <h2>13. You Get to Explore</h2> <p>When you're on foot, you notice all kinds of things you'd never notice in a car. Use your walk as an opportunity to explore your neighborhood, admire the scenery, or just make fun of the stupid-looking addition your neighbors are building.</p> <h2>14. And You Get to Know Your Neighbors</h2> <p>Speaking of neighbors, walking is a great way to meet a few of them. If you do it regularly, you'll find yourself greeting the same people time and again, which is kind of nice.</p> <h2>15. And Find Cool New Businesses in Your Area</h2> <p>There's nothing I love more than stumbling across a new bookstore or coffee shop within walking distance (so you know where my loyalties lie). If I didn't walk, all my neighborhood's hidden gems would still be&hellip; hidden.</p> <h2>16. It's an Excuse to Get Some Ice Cream or Coffee</h2> <p>Walking is a great excuse to pick up a cup of coffee or ice cream cone to enjoy along the way. At least you're burning some of those calories, right?</p> <h2>17. And to Get New Shoes</h2> <p>My dress shoes (read: shoes that are too uncomfortable to walk more than a few steps in) never wear out, which means they pile up in the closet as a reminder that I shouldn't buy anymore. Wearing out my walking shoes means I get to buy a new pair once in a while.</p> <h2>18. And Some Vitamin D</h2> <p>You've probably heard all about the importance of vitamin D to overall health. The best source? <a href="http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Summerhealth/Pages/vitamin-D-sunlight.aspx">A few minutes of sunlight on your face and hands</a>. A short afternoon walk should do the trick.</p> <h2>19. You Can Listen to Music</h2> <p>A walk is a great excuse to listen &mdash; really listen &mdash; to a great album. You can even walk to the beat.</p> <h2>20. Or Just Talk</h2> <p>Walking seems to stimulate conversation. There are no clocks and no distractions. Don't come home until you've run out of things to say.</p> <h2>21. Or Spend Some Time Reflecting</h2> <p>We often think of meditation as something that happens when you're sitting still, but in reality, that's very hard to do. The washing machine will chime. The phone will ring. Your kids will find you. If you walk, your brain will be able to do its quiet wandering with less distraction.</p> <h2>22. You Can Work Really Hard</h2> <p>In terms of exercise, walking doesn't have to be a cakewalk. If you want to sweat, try walking uphill, or up stairs, or adding in some lunges. It can be as hard as you want it to be.</p> <h2>23. Or Just Take a Stroll</h2> <p>It can also be as easy as you want it to be. After all, sometimes the exercise we need is the restorative kind.</p> <h2>24. And You Can Do It Any Time</h2> <p>Sometimes I walk first thing in the morning. Sometimes I do it in the afternoon or before dinner. I also love walking late at night. And when I'm up late and can't sleep, I inevitably see some guy walking his dog at 3 a.m. (I guess I'm not the only insomniac in the neighborhood.) The point is that there's really no excuse not to walk because you can do it any time at all.</p> <h2>25. The Best Part? You Never Know Where It'll Take You</h2> <p>It's while I'm walking that I notice the frost on the grass, or a rabbit hiding behind a tree, or the moon peeking out from behind the clouds. It's when I'm walking that I get a great idea, or realize that the one I thought was great is actually pretty lame. I've explored the neighborhood where I live, and admired and fantasized about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-into-a-good-school-district-for-less">the ones I'd like to move to</a>. I guess that's why walking is such a well-worn metaphor for life. You might not know where you're headed. All you've got to do is keep putting one foot in front of the other.</p> <p><em>Why do you like to walk?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tara-struyk">Tara Struyk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-reasons-why-you-should-take-a-walk">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/walk-walk-walk-walk-walk">Walk, walk, walk, walk, walk</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-ultimate-green-workout">The Ultimate &quot;Green&quot; Workout</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-exercises-to-do-at-work-that-dont-make-you-look-silly">10 Exercises to Do at Work That Don&#039;t Make You Look Silly</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-apps-that-pay-you-to-workout">6 Apps That Pay You to Workout</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/5-most-affordable-gym-memberships">5 Most Affordable Gym Memberships</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Health and Beauty exercise fitness neighbors outdoor living walking Wed, 17 Jul 2013 10:36:30 +0000 Tara Struyk 980597 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Evaluate a Neighborhood Before You Buy http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-evaluate-a-neighborhood-before-you-buy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-evaluate-a-neighborhood-before-you-buy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fence-194025-small.jpg" alt="neighbor" title="neighbor" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="185" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When it comes to buying a home, the old real estate saying holds true. It's all about &quot;location, location, location.&quot;</p> <p>The neighborhood you live in can make a big difference in whether or not you enjoy your home. You can have a great house, but if you don't like the neighborhood, living there can be unpleasant. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/think-you-can-afford-more-house-in-the-exurbs-think-again">Think You Can Afford More House in the Exurbs? Think Again</a>)</p> <p>Our next door neighbors are finding this out for themselves. When they moved in three years ago, they liked the house and the large yard. However, they are an older couple, and our neighborhood is full of starter families and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-big-of-a-house-do-you-really-need">starter homes</a>. They were annoyed with all of the young children running around and the frequent family events and get-togethers. They've moved out, and the house hasn't even sold yet.</p> <p>Before you move in, take the time to evaluate the neighborhood, getting an idea of whether or not you will feel comfortable there. Here are some things to consider as you choose a location.</p> <h2>Schools</h2> <p>This is one of the biggest concerns that many homebuyers have. And why not? Do you want your child to attend a good school? One of the things I like about my son's school is that the test scores are great, and there is a lot of funding for at-risk children. The result is that his class sizes are small for our area, and there is a great enrichment program for him.</p> <p>Even if you don't have children, or if you decide to homeschool your children, it can still be a plus to have good schools nearby if you are looking for resale value. Chances are that whoever buys the house from you will want to know about the schools.</p> <p>You can evaluate schools by checking <a href="http://www.greatschools.org/">GreatSchools.org</a>, and even by visiting the school. If you are really serious about it, attend a PTA meeting, or meet with the school's principal for a tour. Most of the time, this can be arranged, and you can see what resources are available, as well as what kind of parental support you see in the schools.</p> <p>If you are unsatisfied with the more traditional school, you can find out about nearby charter schools and private schools.</p> <h2>Strike Up a Conversation</h2> <p>Nothing gives you the feel of a neighborhood like talking to your potential neighbors. If you see someone outside while you are looking at the house, don't be afraid to ask questions. You don't even need to get into an in-depth conversation. Wave and say, &quot;hi,&quot; and see if the neighbors wave back.</p> <p>Spend a few minutes observing the people and talking to a few of the residents. Are there children for your kids to play with? Does it look like the neighbors get along with each other?</p> <p>You'll get a good idea of what to expect and a feel for whether or not you &quot;belong.&quot; While I don't always feel like I belong in my neighborhood, everyone is nice, and my son has friends to play with &mdash; one of them is exactly his age and right across the street.</p> <h2>Watch for Negative Signs, Too</h2> <p>Pay attention to signs that the neighborhood could be headed for trouble. While there are one or two houses in my neighborhood that have unkempt yards, most of the homes are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/home-improvements-that-pay-off">neat and well-cared for</a>. The grass is trimmed, flower beds are attractive, and most of the neighbors clear their sidewalks during the winter. These are signs that your potential neighbors take pride in their area and that they care for their things.</p> <p>Also, watch for an abundance of &quot;For Sale&quot; signs. A <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/quick-tip-how-to-sell-your-home-when-your-neighbors-are-too">lot of For Sale signs</a> can be an indication that the neighborhood is struggling. However, it's not the end of the world if there are a lot of homes for sale. Since I live in a starter neighborhood, there are several homes on the market as families, after five or six years, have decided to upgrade. You can look for indications that the home is well-cared for, even though it is for sale. A foreclosure/real estate owned property is likely to look a little shabby. If there are a lot of foreclosure properties in the neighborhood, that's a real red flag.</p> <h2>What's Nearby?</h2> <p>Don't forget to consider nearby amenities. Consider what you value in your lifestyle. Do you like to walk? If so, look for a neighborhood near shopping and restaurants. My husband likes privacy, so we looked for a neighborhood a little outside of the main part of the town with reasonably large yards and a quieter feel.</p> <p>Others, though, prefer to be right in the middle of it all, close to dining, shopping, and entertainment. We like to go out enough that we didn't want to go full-on rural. Instead, we are in a semi-rural neighborhood that is about 15 minutes from the things we like to do. It makes sense for us, and, even though I wish there was better public transportation near our house, we're reasonably happy with the location.</p> <p>You can use tools like <a href="http://www.walkscore.com/">WalkScore</a> to get an idea of what is close to your potential neighborhood. WalkScore helps you figure out what's close in terms of schools, activities, dining, shopping, and entertainment. You can see whether it makes sense to bike or walk, and whether there is public transportation nearby.</p> <p>I am painfully aware that the WalkScore for my neighborhood is 8. That's the one thing I'd change about my neighborhood; I'd like a little better access to amenities.</p> <h2>Bottom Line</h2> <p>Currently, I'm faced with the possibility of moving in the next 12 months or so. I've been thinking about what I want in a neighborhood and how to evaluate what I find. Before you buy, think about the things that would make a neighborhood a pleasant place for you to live. Then, do a little research on communities in your target location.</p> <p>Finally, take the time to visit neighborhoods in the area. All the data in the world can't replace the actual gut feeling you get when you drive through a neighborhood and receive a first impression about how you might function as part of the community.</p> <p><em>Did you research your neighborhood before you bought or rented there? What tools or resources did you use?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/miranda-marquit">Miranda Marquit</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-evaluate-a-neighborhood-before-you-buy">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/quiz-am-i-really-ready-to-buy-a-home">Quiz: Am I Really Ready to Buy a Home?</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/buy-a-home-you-can-afford-with-the-mortgage-suitcase-trick">Buy a Home You Can Afford With the Mortgage Suitcase Trick</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-house-hunting-red-flags-you-cant-ignore">12 House-Hunting Red Flags You Can&#039;t Ignore</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-to-boost-your-neighborhood-and-your-homes-value">8 Ways to Boost Your Neighborhood and Your Home&#039;s Value</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/renting-is-cheaper">Renting is cheaper</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing buying a house first time home buyer neighborhoods neighbors Wed, 29 May 2013 10:24:31 +0000 Miranda Marquit 976251 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Reasons Why It's Good to Know Your Neighbors http://www.wisebread.com/25-reasons-why-its-good-to-know-your-neighbors <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-reasons-why-its-good-to-know-your-neighbors" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/492693696_c1566581a5_z.jpg" alt="neighbors" title="neighbors" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="170" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are you the kind of person who passes by the neighbors without so much as a wave or nod? Be warned, you may regret it when you need a helping hand. To help convince you to be a better neighbor &mdash; and go out of way to be nice to yours, even &mdash; here are 25 reasons why it&rsquo;s good to know the folks who live next door, down the street, and around the corner. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-deal-with-a-rude-neighbor">How to Deal With a Rude Neighbor</a>)</p> <h3>1. So You Don&rsquo;t Have to Run to the Store When You Just Need One Egg</h3> <p>Nobody wants to drive to the supermarket in the middle of making brunch for one egg or a cup of sugar. But if you know your neighbor, they&rsquo;ll most likely be more than happy to let you borrow an ingredient or two here and there &mdash; so long as you return the favor, of course.</p> <h3>2. They&rsquo;ll Watch Your House When You Go Away</h3> <p>Your neighbor can keep an eye on your place while you&rsquo;re away. Much cheaper than hiring a house sitter who&rsquo;ll eat all your food and leave a sink full of dirty dishes for you to wash upon your return.</p> <h3>3. They&rsquo;ll Collect Your Mail When It Accumulates</h3> <p>Your neighbor can fetch your mail so your box doesn&rsquo;t overflow while you&rsquo;re away.</p> <h3>4. They&rsquo;ll Shovel Your Snow and Mow Your Lawn</h3> <p>Many neighbors mow each other&rsquo;s lawn or shovel each other&rsquo;s snow from to time. If you&rsquo;re physically unable to return the favor, be sure to send at least a small thank-you gift to let them know that you appreciate the thought and effort.</p> <h3>5. So You Have Someone to Gossip With About All the Other Neighbors</h3> <p>In this case, it&rsquo;s best to know the neighbor who has been on the block the longest; he or she will have the dirt on everybody.</p> <h3>6. They&rsquo;ll Lend You a Tool That You Don&rsquo;t Have</h3> <p>When you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-10-items-to-borrow">don&rsquo;t want to buy an expensive tool</a> for one-time use, neighbors are a good resource.</p> <h3>7. They&rsquo;ll Give You a Break If One of Your Parties Gets a Little Loud</h3> <p>They&rsquo;ll let your summer bash slide if it gets too loud. Just make sure it doesn&rsquo;t happen often and that the neighbors are invited.</p> <h3>8. They&rsquo;ll Invite You to Their Parties and BBQs</h3> <p>Free food! Free booze!</p> <h3>9. If They Have a Pool, They Might Let You Swim in It</h3> <p>Why spend $15,000 on a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-places-to-go-to-beat-the-summer-heat">swimming pool</a> of your own when you&rsquo;ve got a perfectly clean one next door?</p> <h3>10. They&rsquo;ll Pet Sit for You</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s an expensive service otherwise, plus, if you know your neighbor, then so do Fluffy and Fido, which makes your absence a little easier on them.</p> <h3>11. They Can Recommend Service Providers You Might Need</h3> <p>Sure, you can find a plumber on Craigslist, but without references, you don&rsquo;t know what you&rsquo;re going to get. Your neighbors can provide solid recommendations for everything you&rsquo;ll need since there&rsquo;s a good chance they&rsquo;ve needed it before in the past.</p> <h3>12. It Makes Your Neighborhood Safer</h3> <p>Neighborhood crime is less likely to occur if the neighbors are friendly and look out for each other.</p> <h3>13. They&rsquo;ll Accept Your Packages When You&rsquo;re Not Home</h3> <p>You won&rsquo;t have to worry about your packages being jacked from your doorstep; your neighbor will keep them safe and sound until you get home.</p> <h3>14. They&rsquo;ll Bring You Food During Hard Times</h3> <p>When there&rsquo;s a death in the family or you&rsquo;re ill, your friendly neighbor will bring you sustenance to get your through the hard times.</p> <h3>15. They Can Let You in When You Get Locked Out</h3> <p>Probably the best reason to know your neighbors. If you give them a spare key, not only can they let you in if you forget or lose your keys, but if you forget to turn something off while you&rsquo;re at work or on vacation, your neighbor can take care of it.</p> <h3>16. Because It Never Hurts to Have Another Friend</h3> <p>Anybody who thinks otherwise should stay out of my neighborhood.</p> <h3>17. They Are a Good Source for Networking Opportunities</h3> <p>Your neighbors know a whole different set of people than you do. When you need a job, they might just be the folks who have the lead you&rsquo;re looking for.</p> <h3>18. They May Be Willing to Watch Your Kids</h3> <p>Drop the little buggers off and have yourself a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-5-to-30-date-ideas-for-every-budget">date night</a>.</p> <h3>19. You Have Someone to Share Coffee, Tea, or Wine With</h3> <p>Lonely? Invite over a neighborhood, and it&rsquo;s all good.</p> <h3>20. You May Be Able to Carpool Places Together</h3> <p>Maybe not to work, but you might be able to go to the grocery store or mall together.</p> <h3>21. They Can Give You a Jump If Your Car Battery Is Dead</h3> <p>Think about the alternatives if you didn&rsquo;t know your neighbors. It would be a costly hassle without your neighbor&rsquo;s help.</p> <h3>22. You&rsquo;ll Get Changes Made to the Neighborhood Faster</h3> <p>If you want to make neighborhood improvements, it&rsquo;ll be easier to implement them with neighbors on your side.</p> <h3>23. They Might Offer Produce From Their Garden</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s just one of those things that good neighbors do. Enjoy the tomatoes, and say thank you.</p> <h3>24. The Holidays Will Be Tastier</h3> <p>Friendly neighbors love to bring by cookies, cakes, pies, and wine during the holidays. It&rsquo;s not a bad circle to be involved in.</p> <h3>25. Life Is Just Easier This Way</h3> <p>Neighbors who dislike or mistrust each other often resort to childish, petty acts to make each other uncomfortable. Sometimes it can go so far as to make people feel like hostages in their own homes. You don&rsquo;t want or need that nonsense. Being nice to your neighbors just makes life easier.</p> <p><em>Do you have even more reasons it&rsquo;s good to know your neighbors? 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/25-reasons-why-its-good-to-know-your-neighbors">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/why-dont-people-share-more">Why don&#039;t people share more?</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/6-ways-it-pays-to-be-friendly-with-your-neighbors">6 Ways It Pays to Be Friendly With Your Neighbors</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/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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-evaluate-a-neighborhood-before-you-buy">How to Evaluate a Neighborhood Before You Buy</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/mcmansion-to-mccottage-why-smaller-houses-are-smarter">McMansion to McCottage: Why Smaller Houses Are Smarter</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Lifestyle build community neighborhoods neighbors Mon, 21 Jan 2013 11:24:33 +0000 Mikey Rox 963740 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Deal With a Rude Neighbor http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-deal-with-a-rude-neighbor <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-deal-with-a-rude-neighbor" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2569291711_6a3dd4d482_z.jpg" alt="men arguing" title="men arguing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There&rsquo;s a bad apple in every neighborhood.</p> <p>Whether it&rsquo;s someone who leaves their pet&rsquo;s mess for you to find, steals your paper, or is just plain nosy, rude neighbors are a part of life.</p> <p>While some rude neighbors can&rsquo;t be reasoned with, most of them will change their tune once they&rsquo;ve seen the error of their ways. But you have to go about it tactfully; crazy is as crazy does, and you&rsquo;ll get nowhere if you stoop to their level.</p> <p>Instead, take the high road and handle your next-door menace with these helpful tips. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-communicate-better-today">25 Ways to&nbsp;Communicate Better Today</a>)</p> <h2>Check the Laws</h2> <p>My husband and I live in a two-bedroom condo, and we <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-steps-to-market-your-extra-space-as-a-vacation-rental">rent the guest bedroom</a> to tourists on a regular basis through Airbnb. Some of our neighbors don&rsquo;t like that we host these guests, and one in particular was very rude in his approach regarding the matter. He showed up on our doorstep and told us that &ldquo;this was going to stop!&rdquo; He referenced a bill that was on the verge on becoming a law that would prevent most New Yorkers from renting out their extra space to short-term tenants. What he failed to read, however, was that New York City homeowners who live in their domiciles full-time could continue to rent on a short-term basis. He handled the situation in a poor manner with his attitude, and in the end he didn&rsquo;t have the facts correct. If he had come to us in a polite manner, we could have discussed the situation like adults and tried to find a way to make it work for everyone involved. He&rsquo;s a prime example of what not to do when you have an issue to raise with a neighbor.</p> <h2>Gently Remind Them of Policies</h2> <p>In a hypothetical situation, if we were renting our guest bedroom illegally, our neighbor would have had a case to make. And in his defense, he did the right thing by mentioning the law when he confronted us rather than simply saying that we had to stop because he didn&rsquo;t like what we&rsquo;re doing. If you&rsquo;re neighbor is in violation of your neighborhood/board policies, politely remind them. They may not even know they&rsquo;re doing something, but if they are, your reminder will let them know that someone&rsquo;s watching.</p> <h2>Pick Your Battles</h2> <p>Just because you don&rsquo;t like something that your neighbor does doesn&rsquo;t mean that you have the right to complain. If something is bothering you, talk it over with your partner or a friend to get their take on it. While the issue may tick you off, you need to ensure that it&rsquo;s a reasonable issue to raise. There&rsquo;s a difference between keeping the peace and being pushy.</p> <h2>Confront the Situation Head On</h2> <p>Nobody wants to have to confront their neighbor on an issue that they probably won&rsquo;t agree on, but sometimes it has to be done. Don&rsquo;t beat around the bush if there&rsquo;s a problem. Gently present your complaint to the neighbor before the situation gets out of hand. You don&rsquo;t want to keep it inside until you explode and burn that neighborly bridge all together.</p> <h2>Be Friendly but Stern</h2> <p>Don&rsquo;t show up on your neighbor&rsquo;s doorstep fuming mad &mdash; that will only complicate the situation further. Rather, be friendly and let your neighbor know that there&rsquo;s no harm no foul if you can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-agree-without-compromise">come to an agreement</a>. Just make sure your friendliness doesn&rsquo;t cause you to be a pushover. In these situations, the best option for the entire neighborhood is the correct one &mdash; not the option from the person with the biggest personality. Also, remember to keep your calm if your neighbor cops an attitude. Be the bigger person, and more people will be on your side.</p> <h2>Contact Your Homeowners&rsquo; Association</h2> <p>If your neighbor continues to do whatever it is that is annoying you after you&rsquo;ve confronted the situation, it may be time to contact the homeowners&rsquo; association or other authorities. Some people are rude to the core &mdash; and they won&rsquo;t give a darn what your problem is with them. That tune may change, however, when you involve a higher power &mdash; especially one that can impose fines.</p> <p><em>Have any more tips on how to deal with a rude neighbor? I&rsquo;d love to hear your crazy-neighbor stories, too. Comment 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/how-to-deal-with-a-rude-neighbor">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/5-ways-to-say-no-to-friends-and-family">5 Ways to Say &quot;No&quot; to Friends and Family</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-personal-issues-no-one-at-work-needs-to-hear">10 Personal Issues No One at Work Needs to Hear</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-express-condolences-without-saying-something-stupid">How to Express Condolences Without Saying Something Stupid</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/get-the-response-you-want-with-friendly-professional-email">Get the Response You Want With Friendly, Professional Email</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-tips-to-up-your-chances-of-getting-an-email-response">10 Tips to Up Your Chances of Getting an Email Response</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips communication community neighbors Fri, 27 Apr 2012 09:48:12 +0000 Mikey Rox 925306 at http://www.wisebread.com The Second-Best Way to Make your Household More Secure http://www.wisebread.com/the-second-best-way-to-make-your-household-more-secure <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-second-best-way-to-make-your-household-more-secure" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/neighborhood-event-2.jpg" alt="Crowd at Neighborhood Event" title="Crowd at Neighborhood Event" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="143" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You already know the best way to make your household finances more secure: emergency fund, insurance, diversified investment portfolio, marketable skills. But once you're doing those things, you've got a choice to make: Do additional resources go toward more of the same, or do you opt instead to do something different?</p> <p>I vote for something different.</p> <p>The current conventional wisdom on household financial security is about two or three generations old. That list above would have made sense to someone back until about the 1920s or so. Before that, it would have seemed like a very weird list indeed. Ask someone from an earlier time what makes a household more secure and you'd have gotten a completely different answer.</p> <p>From the dawn of man until at least the industrial revolution, the best way to make your own household more secure would have been to <strong>boost the security of others around you</strong>. Even after the money economy came to dominate &mdash; even after the organizational structures of tribe and clan gave way to more modern structures &mdash; everyone would have understood that boosting the security of family members and friends in nearby households, would boost your own security.</p> <p>It would be your friends, neighbors, and relatives who would help out if a hailstorm ruined your crops, if a fire destroyed your home, if a relative got sick, if technological change made your job obsolete, if you got hurt and couldn't work, or if someone rich and powerful took a disliking to you.</p> <p>That's not so true any more. Although people would be pleased to have friends and relatives who would help out, most people figure that they'd better arrange things so that they're relying on formal, rather than informal structures: insurance companies, banks, brokerage firms, a college degree, the rule of law.</p> <p>In fact, people go beyond just preferring these structures &mdash; they look down on people who don't make use of them. And not just a little: Someone who has failed to avail themselves of these ordinary tools is scorned &mdash; treated as not worthy of support &mdash; because they haven't taken the ordinary, minimal steps to protect themselves.</p> <p>I see this a lot, reading the comments to my posts here. Many people, having made difficult sacrifices to provide security to their families, are bitter and put out when friends and relations who failed to do so need their support. Some commenters say they provide it and others say they won't (refusing to be enablers of their loved-one's self-destructive behaviors), but they're all pretty unhappy to be put in that position.</p> <p>Even so, after thinking about it a bit, I've about decided that the old ways have a lot to recommend them.</p> <p>That's not to say that people shouldn't buy insurance, establish an emergency fund, and avoid debt &mdash; that's just ordinary good sense. But at some point &mdash; a point that's reached pretty quickly once you take those basics steps &mdash; you add more security to your household by helping your friends and relations than you do by shoveling another few thousand dollars into your 401(k).</p> <p>There are two big reasons.</p> <p>First, it's yet <strong>another form of diversification</strong>. During hard times, when people are defaulting on their formal obligations, sometimes they can still make good on their informal ones.</p> <p>Second, <strong>legal obligations end at the boundary of your household</strong>. Your losses in a disaster &mdash; natural disaster, illness, stock market crash, job loss, disabling injury, lawsuit &mdash; are essentially unlimited. No amount of insurance can guarantee that you won't lose everything you own in a lawsuit. But no matter how far your assets fall short of covering what you owe, the court won't go after your friends, neighbors, or relatives to make up the difference.</p> <p>That means that a network of related households &mdash; parents, children, siblings, cousins &mdash; is much more secure than any single household, no matter how wealthy or well-insured.</p> <p>Of course, the nay-sayers aren't completely wrong when they worry that being too ready to support your relatives runs the risk of enabling improvident behavior, but that can be managed simply by paying attention. (Of course, this is easy for me to say, since my relatives are all doing pretty well.)</p> <p>This is not to say that spreading cash around your neighborhood is the place to start. Rather, start by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-dont-people-share-more">sharing stuff</a> that you don't use all the time or that you have more of than you need. If that works well, carry on by coordinating purchases of items that you'll be able to share going forward.</p> <p>Help out directly &mdash; carpool, run errands for one another, watch one another's kids.</p> <p>Set a good example of frugal, sustainable living.</p> <p>One of the most powerful ways to help &mdash; teaching one another skills &mdash; has largely fallen by the wayside, because everybody is too busy earning a living to be able to pick a new hobby. But learning how to garden, how to make stuff, how to fix things around the house makes everyone's household more stable. The more the skills spread among the people close to you, the more likely they'll be able to help you when you need help, and the less likely they'll be to need your help.</p> <p>Over the last few decades the conventional wisdom has turned against this sort of direct help. Instead, every adult has tended to shift into the paid labor market &mdash; meaning that there's no one home at your neighbor's to help you or to be helped. Paid work brings in money which lets people boost their security, but it's a brittle form of security. The older forms of extra security &mdash; friends and relations who care about your success and will help out when you need it &mdash; are much more resilient.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-second-best-way-to-make-your-household-more-secure">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/dissecting-gift-guilt-when-does-receiving-a-gift-make-you-feel-bad">Dissecting &quot;Gift Guilt&quot; - When Does Receiving a Gift Make You Feel Bad?</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/when-should-you-say-no-to-those-who-want-to-borrow-money-from-you">When Should You Say No to Those Who Want to Borrow Money from You?</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/a-simple-guide-to-planning-for-a-loved-ones-long-term-care">A Simple Guide to Planning For a Loved One&#039;s Long-Term Care</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-nice-ways-to-tell-your-spendy-friends-youre-staying-on-budget">7 Nice Ways to Tell Your Spendy Friends You&#039;re Staying on Budget</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-types-of-friends-who-are-costing-you-money">10 Types of Friends Who Are Costing You Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance friends household neighbors relatives security Mon, 03 May 2010 13:00:04 +0000 Philip Brewer 56733 at http://www.wisebread.com Why don't people share more? http://www.wisebread.com/why-dont-people-share-more <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-dont-people-share-more" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tools-in-garage.jpg" alt="Tools in garage" title="Tools In Garage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="333" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><a name="jump" title="jump"></a>I saw an article recently suggesting that neighbors share a garbage service. One neighbor hires the service, the other kicks in to cover half the bill, and both bring their stuff to the same spot on the curb on garbage day. The standard deal with a hauling service will take away a lot more garbage than a small household produces (or even a large household, if they compost and recycle). It&#39;s a good idea, and not just for garbage. Why don&#39;t we see more of that?</p> <p>It used to be normal for people to share stuff. From small-scale sharing, like neighbors sharing tools and kitchen supplies, to large-scale sharing, like villages with communal bread ovens, where housewives would make their bread dough in their own kitchens, but all bring it to a central oven for baking.</p> <p>There&#39;s huge opportunities for that to happen still. Look in any suburban garage and you&#39;ll see a bunch of stuff that only gets used for a few hours a year--tools, garden implements, a snow shovel, a lawn mower, a BBQ grill. Look in the garage next door, and you&#39;ll see a very similar collection, give or take a leaf- or snow- blower. Surely there&#39;s a more efficient way for people to tend their lawns and gardens than for every family to invest thousands of dollars in stuff that spends 99% of its time sitting idle.</p> <p>Of course, there are a lot of reasons people want to own their own stuff.</p> <p>One good one is that some things all want to be used at the same time. Outdoor Christmas lights, for example, spend 11 months a year in storage, but the few weeks a year that they&#39;re up are the same few weeks for everyone. </p> <p>People want their own because they want a particular one. That&#39;s fair. There&#39;s a market out there for stainless steel BBQ grills whose prices put me in mind of Pentagon procurement scandals. I wouldn&#39;t buy one, but that&#39;s what the free market is all about. </p> <p>People want their own because it&#39;s convenient. If you just have your own, you can do stuff on a whim, without planning ahead. Also, if you do plan ahead, you don&#39;t have to coordinate your plans with anyone else (or deal with the conflicts when plans don&#39;t mesh). </p> <p>People want their own because they want the item to be treated well. In college I lent my typewriter to a girl in the dorm and it came back with white-out all over the bit of clear plastic cover that had (until then) let me see the letters I&#39;d just typed. (I&#39;m no longer bitter about that.) There are lots of things that can stand up to heavy use, but need a certain minimum amount of maintenance--shovels need sharpening--and it&#39;s human nature to be a bit more casual with stuff that isn&#39;t theirs. </p> <p>Contrariwise, people also want their own because they don&#39;t want to have to worry abut taking good care of it. I know a guy who has never changed the oil in his lawn mower. His dad harped on him a few too many times about taking care of his stuff, so now he doesn&#39;t. He figures he&#39;ll just use it until it grinds to a stop, and then buy a new one. Last time I talked to him, the lawn mower was still going strong, long after he&#39;d expected it to have failed.</p> <p>Having said all that, I think the real reason a lot of people want their own comes down to being estranged from their neighbors. The social structures that used to let people <strong>expect</strong> to borrow from their neighbor and <strong>expect</strong> their neighbor borrow from them simply don&#39;t exist any more. In many neighborhoods, unless they have children the same age, people don&#39;t even know their neighbor&#39;s names, let alone know them well enough to ask to borrow the lawn mower. </p> <p>And being estranged to that extent makes people&#39;s fastidiousness kick in. If you don&#39;t even know your neighbor well enough to borrow their lawn mower, you&#39;d certainly feel uncomfortable if they asked to run a load of laundry in your washing machine. Think of the cooties! </p> <p>The only way we see much sharing nowadays, except within families, is when an institution supports it. I share washers and driers with my neighbors, but none of us own them--the apartment complex has them in every building. I don&#39;t own a grill--the apartment complex has charcoal grills scattered about in the common areas. I do own a lot of books, but I read a lot of books I don&#39;t own--they&#39;re owned by the public library.</p> <p>Basically, sharing has been institutionalized.</p> <p>The fact is, though, that sharing doesn&#39;t just depend on neighborliness, it <strong>creates</strong> neighborliness. Neighbors who depend on one another for small things gradually learn that they can depend on one another for big things.</p> <p>Sharing is frugal, but it&#39;s also part of the adhesive that holds society together. </p> <p>Over the past couple hundred years, we&#39;ve become so wealthy that everybody can afford to have their own everything. I think that&#39;s likely to change, as energy gets more expensive, and as people come to realize that externalized costs (like environmental damage and climate change) are still costs--people will find themselves less wealthy and will turn to their neighbors for support. The social structures that make neighborhoods work will come back.</p> <p>People who can get ahead of the curve, and share things with their neighbors before it&#39;s cool again, will have a leg up on the rest.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-dont-people-share-more">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/25-reasons-why-its-good-to-know-your-neighbors">25 Reasons Why It&#039;s Good to Know Your Neighbors</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-best-10-items-to-borrow">The Best 10 Items to Borrow</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/6-ways-it-pays-to-be-friendly-with-your-neighbors">6 Ways It Pays to Be Friendly With Your Neighbors</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/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun">50+ Ways to Have Free Outdoor Fun</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/turn-your-backyard-into-a-wildlife-refuge-for-under-40">Turn Your Backyard Into a Wildlife Refuge for Under $40</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Lifestyle garbage neighborhoods neighbors sharing tools Tue, 18 Dec 2007 14:02:26 +0000 Philip Brewer 1510 at http://www.wisebread.com