Thursday, April 17, 2014

Don't Waste Your Left Over Brewed Coffee

Every Friday morning, it is my routine to clean up the coffee pots that I used for the Bible Study that is held in my house on Thursday nights. I usually get 10 to 15 women so I make sure that there is enough coffee for everybody. It is better to have more than less.

While I was pouring the left over coffee last week, it occurred to me that maybe I could use it to fertilize my plants instead of wasting it. I have been using used ground coffee for years, so why not the left over brewed coffee? I stopped what I was doing and started searching the internet. Voila! I found three helpful articles about it.

No more wasted leftover coffee from now on. I only need to dilute it then sprinkle my vegetable garden and flower garden with it. You can find the information on this link.

Monday, April 7, 2014

BIG HOUSE, Small House

I always enjoy talking with my neighbors, who are mostly retired, and listen to their stories growing up. Some of them grew up in our neighborhood and knew each other since they were little. One of them used to swim in our swimming pool (now covered with a redwood deck) in the summer when he was about seven or eight.

Back then people would buy a house and they would stay in it until it is paid off. Neighbors had time to know or befriend each other. Their children grew up or grew old together. Retirement was easier then because there were no mortgages to worry about.

It is very common these days that after building up a little equity, people would sell their house to acquire a bigger and fancier one. There is nothing wrong with doing that, IF you can afford it. If it will put your finances in jeopardy, DO NOT DO IT. 

There are so many things to consider before deciding whether buying a bigger house is the right thing to do. You have to ask yourself the following questions:  

  1. Do you have enough time and money to pay your mortgage off before you retire? 
  2. Can you afford to pay higher monthly mortgage?
  3. Are you prepared to pay higher property tax and home insurance?
  4. Can you afford the upkeep of a bigger house?

By staying in the same house they bought long time ago, my neighbors are still paying the property tax based on the original price of the house. The value of their house is also way up compare to the original price they paid. 

The same thing helped us kept upfloat after losing some of our investment income. Having no mortgage to worry about and having a very low property tax made it easier for us to adjust to our new budget. We would really be in trouble right now if we had a mortgage to pay.

If you ask my neighbors for tips on how to retire comfortably, they only have one thing to say; plan on paying off everything while you are still working. When you retire, the only bills you should have are the utility bills. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Are You Prepared?

The past few weeks, some areas in California were shaken by small earthquakes. They were not strong enough to create significant damage, but enough to touch our nerves. 

If a devastating earthquake hit your area today, are you prepared?

When preparing, the usual things that comes to mind are food, water, blanket, flashlight, photo albums, and first aid kit.

There are other things that we need to keep handy should we need them. Important documents such as birth certificate, marriage certificate, passport, home insurance, earthquake insurance, mortgage information, Social Security Card or even tax returns needs to be in a safe and accessible place. We may need some of these if we have to file damage claims or ask for assistance. 

I am aware that almost every document now can be accessed online, but remember, if we get hit so bad, we may lose electricity. Internet access will be impossible. Not having hard copies in hand will delay everything. 

This Red Cross list provides helpful information on what we need to prepare in case of emegency.