Archive for the ‘Budgeting & Finances’ Category

Reminders on how to stop pesky cold calls

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 2:50 Comments Off on Reminders on how to stop pesky cold calls

It seems that the economy is making companies cold call even more these days while they are trying to drum up every possible business they can.  Since a friend of mine got six cold calls in the same day and asked what to do about it, I thought it might be good to give everyone a refresher on how to stop getting them – and what to do if they are still contacting you.

Get your name on the Do Not Call Registry.
Sign up for the registry here.  The results aren’t instantaneous, but within 31 days you should stop receiving telemarking calls.  Don’t forget to register your cell phone numbers as well and your kid’s phone if they have a seperate phone line.  You can also confirm if your number is on the list or not if you have forgotten or if you have a recycled phone number, although recycled numbers should be automatically removed from the list.

Report companies who phone you if your name is on the registry
Part of it is making sure you report companies who flout the rules – and unfortunately some do.  Don’t forget that political parties and legitimate charities are excluded from the Do Not Call Registry rules, so if you are contacted by any of those, you will need to tell them directly to remove you from the list if they phone.  And companies you have a previous business relationship are permitted to phone you for 18 months after your last purchase.  Click here to file a complaint.

Don’t let telemarketers lead you on
It is a talent that telemarketers have to keep you on the phone as long as possible by trying to skew their conversation in such a way it isn’t easy for you to cut in and say you aren’t interested.  Don’t worry about being blunt, if you aren’t interested, state this and then end the conversation.

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This was posted under category: Budgeting & Finances

Are you paying for wireless internet when you don’t need to?

Thursday, November 20, 2008 1:31 1 Comment

Do you know that there might be a city-operated wireless WiFi network where you live?  So you could be paying for internet access when you have perfectly good internet access available for free?

The first way to check is to turn on your wireless on your laptop and see what networks you have available.  Most city-operated WiFi networks use an obviously named WiFi network name, so it should be easy for you to identify if there is one available.  It will also give you an idea if you have neighbors with an unprotected wireless network (although you shouldn’t connect to those and leech their WiFi for free!)

There are also several websites you can go to and see if there is a municipal or city operated WiFi network, as many of the larger cities are covered with free WiFi.  WiFinder is one and JIWire is another.

Note that depending on the wireless strength and how many people are using the service that it might not be quick enough to do things such as streaming television shows online, although watching YouTube videos should be fine (although you might have to wait for it to download first before viewing, which can be seen on the video you are viewing by the bar under the video).  But if you are using it for email and random web surfing, it should be fine.

This also means that you can take your laptop along with you to the park or to your daughter’s dance practice, and get connected to the internet while you wait!

This was posted under category: Budgeting & Finances, Saving Money

Is your toilet leaking and costing you money?

Saturday, November 8, 2008 4:13 Comments Off on Is your toilet leaking and costing you money?

If your toilet was slowly leaking, would you know it?  And that if it was, it could cost you an extra $400 or so dollars a year?  I am probably guessing you can think of a lot of things you’d rather do with that $400 than pour it into your toilet!

Fortunately, it will cost you next to nothing to check and see if your toilet has a leak, because remember, you can’t hear all leaks (such as if the toilet is “running”).

First, you need to have clean, clear water, if you use a toilet cleaning solution that leaves the water in the bowl green, it will be very hard to to tell if there is a leak.  After flushing the toilet, and it has completely stopped running, put about 4-5 drops of food coloring into the toilet tank.  Leave it for 15 minutes and come back.  Can you see any of the dye in the bowl of the toilet, or did all the color remain in the tank?  If you see dye in the bowl, you have a slow leak and should get it fixed by a plumber, so you don’t keep sending all that extra water down the toilet.

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This was posted under category: Budgeting & Finances, Home Repair Tags: , , ,

Recycling envelopes for mailing letters

Tuesday, November 4, 2008 2:51 Comments Off on Recycling envelopes for mailing letters

Here is a tip from Dear Abby the other day that you might have missed – and that could end up costing you money.  If you recycle envelopes that companies give you for bill payments, you might think just crossing out the company’s mailing address on the front is enough, but it isn’t.  You could inadventantly be sending your mail to that company, even with the address crossed out – and if you used it to send bill payments, this could mean late fees or charges.

Next time you recycle one of these envelopes, cross out the address AND the bar code that is printed on the bottom.  This has specially coded information that the postal sorting machines can read, and will automatically send that envelope off to the company originally listed on the envelope.

Unfortunately, using a blue ball point pen usually won’t cut it.  Instead grab a black marker or sharpie and cover it completely, or use a white sticky label to cover it.  Then your mail won’t inadvertantly get sent off the the wrong place.

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This was posted under category: Budgeting & Finances Tags: , , ,

Do you get time off to vote?

Monday, November 3, 2008 13:35 1 Comment

Since some employers, either deliberately or unintentionally, aren’t giving their employees time off to vote, it is up to you to know the law.  You could be given several hours – with pay – to go vote on election day.

Don’t know what the laws are in regards to your time to get paid to vote?  Here is the state-by-state list that gives you the specific details for each state.

So make sure you take time to vote on election day, November 4, 2008!

This was posted under category: Budgeting & Finances Tags: ,