Last week I hoped things would start to grow soon here in Canada. Of course we’re still a little ways away from seeing green things sprout from the ground, but, that doesn’t stop me from thinking green, or eco, or sustainable. It’s a frame of mind which leads to a lifestyle that we truly believe in and enjoy. As such, articles with a green or sustainable slant do catch my eye and I like to bring them to Mrs. SPF’s attention as well as all of you, our readers.
Miss T at Prairie Eco Thrifter sure does practice what she preaches. Not that she is preachy! But she leads by example and that is an admirable trait. This week Miss T wrote about their Green & Money Savvy Path by outlining the plethora of lifestyle choices she and her husband have consciously made to be more green while saving money. As this is exactly what we like to discuss here at Sustainable Personal Finance it was an eye opener to see ALL of the things a family can do to be eco friendly while saving money. We have never thought about putting together such a list but we are inspired to do so now!
Anyone who drives has their own driving habits which includes our perspectives on maintaining our vehicles. One important vehicle maintenance item is our Gassing Up Patterns. Young and Thrifty took a look at this topic this week and pointed out that common advice is to never run on close to empty. We’re guilty of driving on less than a quarter tank, but as I commented, the reason is that we use our Subaru Outback so infrequently it is easy to forget we are low on gas. So the good is that we don’t buy much gas but the bad is we’re not as efficient as we should be. That will change – thanks Y&T.
If you have ever cleaned an oven with a commercial chemical cleaner you’ve suffered. There is no other way to describe the experience other than call it suffering. The fumes are toxic – they hurt your eyes, nose and lungs. This can’t be good for you. Well, Frugal Babe has a great suggestion for a Non Toxic Oven Cleaner. We’ve yet to try this method but would love to hear if anyone else has tested it to see if it works. We don’t ever want to clean an oven with that toxic garbage that you buy at the grocery store again.
Not everyone is blessed with a large lot of land to live on. Let’s face it – millions of people live in urban settings where they have very little space let alone an area to put down a garden plot. Treehugger gives us five suggestions on Super Simple Ways to Get Your Urban Garden Going. Some pretty cool ideas here. I particularly like is the eaves trough gardens which can be hung on a wall or fence. I do question some of the plastic based gardens due to potential seepage issues. Read the article for a great idea on how to reduce how much dirt you need to use. Here’s a hint: you’ll finally have a use for the socks the dryer didn’t eat.
This past July we bought a new (old) house. We moved stuff into the new place through to September and one thing that was obvious was that our new place didn’t have central air conditioning. With the house all sealed up (we weren’t living there yet) each load I brought into the house was uncomfortable due to the heat. Now the house did come with a few window A/C units but these aren’t very efficient so we’ll be looking to Prepare in Advance to Lower Our Heating Costs and Go Green in the summer of 2011.
We’re a Personal Finance blog and we think about investing. As such we try to look at green investments. We also loathe MER so ETFs are our desired investment vehicle aside from individual stocks. Seeking Alpha discussed Why Alt Energy Investors are buying these 7 Green Stocks. Good information for those who prefer to invest in companies that are green.
Here are some more articles I found interesting, sorted by category.
Boomer & Echo doesn’t want to see a tax refund this year and looks at why Tax Refunds are a Bad Thing. B&E make a good point here. I’m sure the government isn’t interested in giving us an interest free loan so why do so many people love to do so for the government?
Being debt free. Ahhh, a dream. My Journey to Millions wants us to know about his Favourite Thing About Paying Off Debt. While we want to invest a lot this year we also want to pay off a chunk of debt. Knowing you aren’t paying out each month in after tax dollars is highly appealing.
Will we pay for everything via phones in the future? Will physical money disappear? Invest It Wisely thinks Bitcoin is the Digitial Currency of the Future. Only time will tell …
Professional Athletes. Who can predict what in the world they’re going to do. There are certified head cases in the world of sports, prima donnas, very violent people and cheaters. So when we hear about athletes who are known as “good people” doing odd things, our ears perk up. A while back Sweating the Big Stuff pointed out that Gil Meche, an injured pitcher for the Kansas City Royals decided to retire. But STBS asked, would you turn down 12 million dollars? This is what Meche did as he was hurt and felt he couldn’t honour his end of his contract. A rare move in any profession. More recently, Squirrelers pointed out that because he valued glory over money, Mike Bibby walked away from over 6 million dollars in salary for 2011/2012. Bibby has earned over $100 million in career earnings, but still … it makes you wonder what you might do if you were in the position of these mega rich athletes. Try to reach the pinnacle of your profession? Follow your ethical compass?
I was happy to stumble across My Two Dollars this week! Why? Well, Helping Good Neighbors – 10 Communal Items to Share and Save Money is a great start! I hope to try to set up a communal tool/equipment sharing network in my new neighbourhood in the spring so the information in this article is very valuable.
If you can build your own dream house, for less than $200,000 – that has to be appealing. Little House has discovered some Dreamy Cottage House Plans and hopes to build one. We got introduced to Little House this week via a mutual friend and we’re glad to be reading Little House articles regularly!
So there are skills in this world not every man (or woman) learns. We are so urban focused that a lot of the core survival skills our grandparents called second nature are disappearing. Well, The Art of Manliness is helping me learn, and I appreciate it. So something I didn’t really know how to do, I learned this week: How to Fell a Tree. I’ve seen buddies do this but they always put me on the guide ropes so I never saw what they did. Now I know.
Who can’t find Andrew Hallam’s investing success intriguing? Not me – especially when he discusses how to Beat the Pants off of Investment Professionals in Just 4 Minutes a Month. If Andrew was, well, me – i’d never read this article but Hallam has clout behind what he writes, so check it out.
Anyone who reads Beating The Index (and you should!) knows he Invests in Oil and has a Bias Toward Canadian Oil Producers. One phrase: Middle East Turmoil/Unpredictable Politics/Conflict. For that matter, there are a lot of oil producers that seem a lot less stable than the Canadian companies.
Not the first time i’ve participated in SRI discussions at Intelligent Speculator (or TDGB or other places!) but IS asks us Where Do You Draw the Line in Investing in Unethical Companies? Lets just say you’ll never read SPF investing in the likes of Walmart or companies like JNJ or PG (great dividend aristocrats … that still test on animals).
He did it again. Using popular media culture – this time Lord of The Rings (and yea, i’m a big LoTR nerd), The Dividend Guy Blog uses characters from this classic trilogy to take a look at what your Investor Profile might be. Great read, as always.
I don’t know many people who don’t have a computer. My 90 year old Grandpa doesn’t, but then, my 90 year old Nana has been emailing for 15 years! As such, we all seem to do Home Computing on a Budget and Canadian Finance Blog gives us some good ideas on how to handle such a budget.
I used to brew my own beer. It did save a lot of money as a pint was about $0.75 (not including minimal costs for sugar to carbonate and equipment sterilization + caps). So when You Have More Money Than You Think gives us 10 Frugal Ways to Save Big on Booze, it’s worth a read.
It’s tax time. Suba @ Wealth Informatics posted a TON of Blogger Tax Deductions this week and any fellow blogger reading this Weekend Reading will find useful.
Our pal over at Blogthority discussed Answering Reading Questions and Balancing Your Time. We get some questions from readers via email, but not a ton. I can only imagine what Blogthority gets on his other blogs – i’m pretty sure we’d have to take the same approach if our readership ever reached the levels he has.