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The Frugal Life News – 02/26/05


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The Frugal Life News
February 26, 2005 Edition
The Frugal Life

A Note From Randal


Hello Everyone,

Welcome everyone we hope you are enjoying The Frugal Life News. We have provided 2 new sections on the website and corresponding areas on the forum too. The two new sections are “Clutter/Organizing” and “Decorating”. Our website already has some great content and the forum is set up and waiting for your input too. So, go ahead and visit the forum and share your thoughts in these new categories.

As always, we appreciate all of your sharing of our ezines and websites with your family and friends.

Frugally yours,


Frugal Finances

Squeeze Your Taxes and Grow Your Wealth

For U.S. citizens, it’s ‘Show Me Your Money’ time… also known as income tax season. To immediately increase your wealth, legally redirect as much of your income from taxes to debt payoff as possible.

If you’ve already filed your 2004 tax return and have received or are expecting a REFUND, remember… don’t save it! This is a conventional financial blunder. If you have known emergency expenses, set enough aside to pay for these and put the rest to work immediately paying off or punching a good-sized hole into you #1 Priority debt.

“We just got our tax return and instead of going out shopping,
we paid off my car (a year early) along with two other debts.
It was a FANTASTIC feeling. Once you get your head
around it, its really mind blowing to see how quickly your life
can change from feeling powerless to feeling in control.”
— R. Francis, NY

If you haven’t filed your taxes but want an estimate of whether you can expect a refund, use this free federal income tax estimator

For those of you receiving a refund, take steps today to ensure this doesn’t happen again. Overpaying your taxes when you could be overpaying your debts is NOT a good thing. Use this Paycheck Calculator and Form W-4 Assistant to create a new W-4, adjusting your withholdings such that you receive next year’s refund in the form of increased take-home pay in your 2005 paychecks. Take your new W-4 to your HR department and send your extra take-home pay to your #1 Priority Creditor.

If you had a High Deductible Health Plan in 2004, you have up to the time you file your taxes or April 15 — whichever is earlier — to setup a Health Savings Account and deduct your contributions– up to $5,150 for family policies. Note: This is an Expense Account for
anticipated medical expenses. It’s not a ‘Savings’ account.

For 2004 and 2005, if you itemize your taxes, you may choose to deduct state and local sales taxes instead of state and local income taxes. States like Texas and Florida have no state income tax, so this is a nice break

Educators still have their $250 — deductible for expenses paid for purchases of books and classroom supplies

Charitable contributions made for tsunami relief before the end of January 2005 can be used as 2004 deductions

If your company matches your 401K contributions, contribute enough in 2005 to receive their maximum match. Don’t contribute more than they will match Instead, send any extra money to your #1 Priority Creditor.

Squeezing your taxes is an efficient way to increase your wealth, as long as you use what would have been lost to taxes to terminate your debt.

Greg Moore is the Architect of the Debt Freedom System,
“DebtIntoWealth — Lessons from My Journey to Debt Freedom.”

Free Lesson #1 – Debt Freedom Course

Pay off all of your debt in 5-7 years using the money you already make. Find out why financial guru and best-selling author, Suze Orman, is advising her millions of followers to “Pay Everything Off as Fast As Possible!


Frugal Family

Cheaper Than Weekly Vocal Lessons

My wife, Donna, decided to take vocal lessons since a teacher was only a mile away. The weekly half-hour visits left her frustrated with not getting enough out of the lesson. She began to think about how many dollars could be invested in this “project” and looked online to find out if there were any quality singing/vocal courses online. She wasn’t interested in a professional career, but wanted to improve her voice to simply enjoy singing more.

There was a lot there, but the one she decided to order was Brett Manning’s Singing Success course. She’s really been enjoying it and is able to practice several times a week for as long as her vocal chords can tolerate. She’s been very excited. She had saved gift money from my parents for birthday and Christmas and was able to purchase this personally rewarding gift and share the excitement with them. They were thrilled that she chose a gift that could make a difference in her life.

If you’ve got somebody in your family that wants to learn more about singing, this course offers methods that she had never seen or heard of elsewhere. She has increased her vocal range greatly in only one month with the exercises given on the CD’s.

Read more about Brett Manning and his incredible Singing Success course

Frugal How-To Give and Get Stuff Free

ABC Free

A place to find what you’re looking for without having to buy it. Or, if you want to give something away to somebody that really needs it, this is the place to post it. The site lets users give and get all kinds of stuff
for free.
It’s still growing, but get on board and bookmark it for future use. Recycling is good but reuse is better!

Make Your Own Home And Beauty Products
Bath, Beauty, Perfumes, Cleaning and Air Freshener/Deodorizer

Essential oil kits allow you to make your own safe non-chemical home and beauty products. You’ll save a lot and feel better about making your home less toxic for yourself, children and pets. The Starter Pack has a Recipe Guide with tons of ideas.
Make Your Own Home and Beauty Products

Frugal Decorating

Deodorize While You Kill Bacteria and Viruses

Essential oils will make your home smell wonderful without the dangerous air freshener chemicals that have been in the news. The big bonus is that you also get the anti-microbial properties of essential plant oils so you can kill germs throughout your home without bleach and toxic cleaning products.

The AromaBall is a handy plug-in appliance with a ceramic plate that holds a small pad on which you add essential oils. Easy-to-use as a night light.

Get more info and/or purchase here:
AromaBall for Deodorizer and Anti-Microbial Home Defense

Frugal Pets

Herbal Heartworm Program and Prevention

Robin Sockness works with pet owners with an individualized program and has currently worked with over 500 dogs. Herbs are safer and less expensive so it’s a win-win situation for all. Prevention programs are available also.

Read more about it here:
Herbal Heartworm Program & Prevention
Free Information, Free Ecards, and Pet Foods Too!

Healthy Pet Corner provides lots of information and links for birds, cats, dogs, horses, rabbits, and reptiles.
Healthy Pet Corner – Your Pet Portal

Frugal Tips From Our Subscribers

Make Your Clothes Dryer Last Longer

“I was looking at
this morning when I saw an article that made me wonder. It stated the need to take the filter out of your clothes dryer and wash it. This did not seem right to me, but in reading on I found out that if you use dryer sheets that the chemical action that makes your clothes come out smelling good and being cling free also puts a thin coat of the chemical on your filter and that is one reason that dryers don’t last any longer than they do.

Well I don’t use dryer sheets, but may have in the past, and my wife may have used dryer sheets while she was alive. This morning I took my filter out and shook the lint off of it and looked at it and decided that I thought it was very clean. Decided to test it any how.

I put it under the faucet on my sink and water ran through it but I did notice that it also ran across it. I thought that this was normal, but decided to wash it any how. I used some dishwashing liquid and a soft brush and washed it. After rinsing the soap off, I again put it under the faucet and the water ran straight through without running across it. It does pay to wash it. They recommend that you wash your filter at least once every six months. Hope this helps you have a long dryer life.” From Dusty Rhodes

Editor’s Note: We have had our dryer since January 1979 (over 26 years) and
we have never used dryer sheets.

What’s Going On In The Forum

Maybe you can help these folks out with a few suggestions? Or post some of your own questions. LOG-IN TO POST Here’s the link:

Questions Needing Answers At The Forum

Cleaning Forum
1. I like using the Swiffer type cleaners on my floor, between waxing times.  However, has anyone figured out how to make their own solution and refill the bottle (the lid doesn’t come off). Mountaindarlin
I pulled the following from 2001 Frugal Life Newsletter–GREAT ideas!!
“If you use the Swiffer type of floor cleaners, their cloths can be reversed to be reused, then washed in the washer, & air dried for reuse.  When they have to be thrown out, I replaced mine with the cheapest fabric softener
sheet and work just as well.  Suz”

2. I forgot to turn off the blower on my wood burning stove… fire smoldered…was away 16 hours…came home to a house that smelled like we had a three alarm fire in it. I’ve tried freezing the family (keeping the windows open) ,  burning candles, incense, placing pine-sol around the house. The smell is gross!!! I had to wash all clothing and curtains. Please Help Me…..I cant stand this awful smell. Thanks, Cindi

Finance Forum
1. Has anyone ever tried a CD from “Recovery Consultant”?  I found an ad in the paper and it cost $13 to try their method, which is on the CD.  Apparently, one uses the software to collect the names of those who have not received their overnight packages as promised.  Then I, somehow, contact UPS/FedEx or the customer and negotiate the $17 refund, half of which I receive.
Has anyone done this?

Gardening Forum
1. Hi!  I wonder if anyone can help me out with a problem.  I wanted to preserve a bouquet of flowers and put it in a frame.  I just don’t know exactly how I’m going to do that.  I inquired with flower preservations but I can’t afford their prices.  Besides the fact that I am in the Philippines and there isn’t much flower preservation society to choose from.  So I decided to make my own.  Can someone here help me with this?  Thanks!

Recycle/Reuse Forum
1. Hello Everyone!
I am searching for the instructions and/or web page on how to make window valances out of old blue jeans. There is mention of window valances and throw pillows on the Blue Jeans part II page, but no instructions on how to make them. Thanks for your help!!! Also, if anyone has a purse or vest pattern out of old jeans I would love to see those links also!!! Shelby

Home Based Business Ideas

Home Spa Party Plan – Make Bath and Body Products

Have you noticed how popular bath and pampering products have become? The HomeSpa Party Plan taps into that craze. Guests at HomeSpa parties will learn how to make bath salts, personalized perfumes, body spritzers and more using essential oils, while you make a nice income from Nature’s Sunshine.
Home Spa Party

Flint River Ranch – Oven Baked Pet Foods

If you have pets, they’ll love Flint River and you can make an income providing good pet foods and other pet products to friends, neighbors and your family. Pets keep eating, so customers keep buying. If you love animals, this is a very rewarding home-based business. With only $100.00 volume a month you can earn 19% on all sales. Websites are not yet available.
Flint River Ranch

Nature’s Sunshine Products – Herbs and Supplement

If you’ve been a natural health nut, you have a lot of information to share. Earn an income selling over 500 natural health products, beverages, essential oils, skin care systems, water filters, and more. Websites are also available for $15.95/month (plus an initial $19.95 set-up fee).
Nature’s Sunshine Products

Life’s Abundance Foods and Supplements

Life’s Abundance products by Dr. Jane Bicks and Dr. Barry Sears who developed the Zone Diet for Overweight Dogs. Besides dog, cat and horse products, they have a non-toxic line of cleaning products – safe for pets and children. Websites are available for $8.50/month (plus an initial $20 set-up fee).
Healthy Pet Net

ZoneNet Health Products

ZoneNet products are distributed by the same company that produces Healthy Pet Net. ZoneNet products are backed by the research and wisdom of Dr. Barry Sears one of America’s most trusted health and wellness experts. Their mission is to to develop superior functional food products that help people achieve long-term wellness. Websites are available for $8.50/month (plus an initial $20 set-up fee).

Check out his unique products at
ZoneNet Health Products

Legal Disclaimer
Information in The Frugal Life News (TFL) has been derived from sources believed accurate and reliable. In no event shall *The Frugal Life,* Randal Watkins, or the TFL staff be liable for any damages whatsoever resulting from any action arising in connection with the use of information herein.

TFL does not knowingly accept ads from advertisers deemed detrimental to TFL’s readers, however, publication of an ad in TFL does not constitute an endorsement for such product or service.

There is no remuneration for suggestions, tips, or ideas submitted by readers. All suggestions, tips, and ideas, submitted for publication in The Frugal Life, become the property of The Frugal Life, notwithstanding similar rights of the reader submitting such suggestions, tips, or ideas. TFL publishes readers’ names with their suggestions, tips, and ideas unless a reader requests otherwise at the time of the submission.

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