#151 Send Postcards

You can save a little money too! Sending a postcard only costs $.35 today compared the the $.50 of a regular stamped card/envelope.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#151

Send Postcards

Remember when people would go on vacation and send us a postcard with the sentiment “wish you were here?” You’d get a little envious or jealous or just happy that someone you care about was in a place that looked amazing.

Today, with social media, the need for postcards is practically obsolete yet, they still adorn racks near the cashier of retail establishments in those places that are considered tourist attractions and exist mostly for the benefit of collections.

I’ve written about sending snail mail before and the cheer that it brings to most of us when we actually receive something significant in the mailbox. A postcard from a place you’ve been, a place that is meaningful to you, or a place that you may want to share with someone would be a great treat as well.

Postcards can be used as thinking of you cards’, ‘get well cards’, or even to send birthday wishes. In this age of image bombardment – the picture focus of Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest, the photo element of a postcard seems apropos.

No matter where you are, there’s likely to be a place that offers at least a small collection of postcards to choose from. Even in non-descript places off a major interstate may offer some depicting the best features of the state you’re travelling through.

You can save a little money too! Sending a postcard only costs $.35 today compared the the $.50 of a regular stamped card/envelope. The savings of $.15 adds up over time and those little cost savings is how the rich get richer!

The next time you’re at the shore, the lake, in the mountains, or on vacation… maybe even the next time you stop in a Cracker Barrel restaurant… pick up a few postcards and surprise your friends and family with a little mailbox treat! I’ve written extensively in this series about the benefits of doing nice things, surprising someone, and the effect of receiving good will. In each case, there is a shot of dopamine for both you and the receiver… increasing your happiness level just a tad with the quick and easy effort of…

Sending a postcard.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below

#175 Convert your Light Bulbs to LED

They dim on demand, change color as bedtime approaches to increase melatonin production, and can even notify you if a message is pending.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#175

Convert your light bulbs to LED

If you haven’t been introduced to LED lighting in recent years you probably haven’t left the house or turned on the television. We’ve been inundated with information about the energy savings available by using LED as well as products that utilize the technology for at least a decade now. Yet, I’ve noticed that incandescent lighting is still the preferred choice for many simply by noticing what’s available in the grocery/home store isles.

Cost Effective

The Department of Energy states that “Residential LED’s – especially ENERGY STAR rated products – use at least 75% less energy, and last 25 times longer than incandescent lighting.” They are more cost effective over time than any other method of producing light. This chart offers a nice comparison of the various options available to us. Even though a LED bulb costs more initially, you won’t be buying another light bulb for years!

Out with the Old

Overall, incandescent lighting is being phased out in most consumer products. This suggestion is meant to encourage you to begin phasing them out in your home. It’s true that it can be expensive to make a decision for an entire overhaul in one sweep. Instead, replace two bulbs each time you go to the grocery store!  Begin with the lamps/lights that you use most often; those kitchen lights, the bathroom and Den.

Smart Technology

You might also consider using ‘smart’ bulbs. This is new technology that integrates with smart home systems like Alexa, Siri, and Cortana. They dim on demand, change color as bedtime approaches to increase melatonin production, and can even notify you if a message is pending. Of course, it’s controlled via a smartphone app which, means it is at your fingertips whether you are at home or not. These bulbs are reported to last 20 years or more! (I imagine the technology will change before the light bulb wears out.)

For now at least, you can immediately start saving money and energy with the simple task of …

Converting your light bulbs to LED.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below

#192 Sew Something

Similar to knowing the basics with a hammer and saw… this is a basic skill that comes in handy more than you’ll realize.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#192

Sew something

Can you sew on a button? Are you a dressmaker? Or perhaps your ability lies with making curtains which mostly requires sewing a straight line. Most of us have been introduced to a sewing machine at some point – at least in our school years depending how old you are. By the 1980’s children in the U.S. were exposed to wood shop and Home economics regardless of gender. Introductions to the tools in both arenas were made. Yet, for many people – that was the first and last time they held a needle and thread.

Basics

A client came in not long ago and asked if I had a stapler… when I offered it to her she bent down and promptly stabled the hem of her skirt back into place and we proceeded to speak about this very topic. She didn’t know who to fix the hem and needed a temporary solution until she could drop her skirt by the tailor shop. Truthfully, a hem stitch, a seam stitch, and a button stitch are all pretty basic and will save both time and money.

Cost Benefit

I’m not sure there’s great value these days in sewing clothing unless you are hard to fit. Fabric is expensive and clothes are cheap (relatively speaking) so it doesn’t make sense to make your own bluejeans. However, if you are tall and it’s difficult to find things long enough – knowing how to put together a skirt or a pair of slacks is really beneficial. Knowing how to hem or take a tuck in a dress is great if your shape isn’t perfectly hourglass.

For the Home

Perhaps the greatest benefit is in knowing how to create products for your home. Curtains are super expensive and crazy simple to sew. Knowing how to run a few straight seams across a length of fabric means you can have almost any kind of curtain you desire. I’ve seen people make valances and drapes from the most unusual fabric source… old bedspreads, flower sacks, and even tee shirts. Pinterest is full of creative ideas and once again, YouTube will have a video showing you how to manifest the notion.

With a few simple swipes of the sewing machine and a couple of hand stitches, you can have new throw pillows on your sofa or bed. Even pajama bottoms are quick and easy… for years everyone in the family had matching ones each Christmas.

Similar to knowing the basics with a hammer and saw… this is a basic skill that comes in handy more than you’ll realize. Dust off your sewing machine or pick up a needle and thread, grab some practice fabric, turn on YouTube and …

Sew something.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below

#266 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

Many of us spend five dollars without blinking an eye. We drive through Starbucks and spend more than that on a Venti Latte or at Dunkin Donuts where at least we can get a couple of glazed to go with the coffee.

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#266

Save $5 A Day

Who doesn’t love a sale?? We used to say that you could mark a price UP – add a ‘sale’ sign and my mom wouldn’t even notice. She loved the ‘idea’ of getting a bargain yet often spent money she didn’t have on things she didn’t need just because ‘they were on sale’.  Today…. I am suggesting that you make an effort to save FIVE dollars as you move through the day – spending what you would ordinarily spend. This isn’t a suggestion to buy something you don’t want or need for the mere fact it would save you money ‘in the long run’.

Why $5? It’s a relatively small amount that adds up quickly and over just a little time – it’s big money. In fact, it totals $35 a week and over the course of a year – with consistency – it amounts to $1800 !! What would you do with that much money? A trip to Europe? (I checked this morning and a RT ticket to Barcelona, Spain from Newark, NJ in October is only $396) What about a cruise? Perhaps you’re thinking something more practical… pay off a credit card… buy a new fridge… new carpet perhaps? How about a Christmas fund? Potentially better… how about putting that money in a savings account for emergencies or a longer term savings goal?

Many of us spend five dollars without blinking an eye. We drive through Starbucks and spend more than that on a Venti Latte or at Dunkin Donuts where at least we can get a couple of glazed to go with the coffee. If you are buying lunch every day (instead of grabbing leftovers from your home fridge), you’re spending $7 or more dollars – and perhaps throwing away those dinner remnants. With gas prices at the $3/gal mark, we might be spending five bucks just by driving without considering the most efficient route. Is there a toll road you can bypass? What about using coupons? Extreme savers buy two newspapers to double up on the coupon opportunities but we can print them from our computers too.

If you can’t save $5 – try making it. Use yard sale sites on Facebook or apps like LetGo to sell something that you no longer use. With the snap of a photo, you can transfer ownership of clothes, household goods, tools, etc… very easily. Whether you use this method or focus on saving, you’ll be amazed at how quickly to begin to accumulate funds. Financial security fosters well-being… money in savings reduces anxiety… life satisfaction increases when you stopped to consider how you can …

Save $5 A Day.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

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