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Heather Levin
Heather Levin is a freelance writer based in Detroit, MI. She's passionately committed to living green, saving money, and helping others do the same in their life.

How to Go Paperless at Home – 11 Tips & Solutions

By Heather Levin

paper filing manBefore I became a full-time writer, I owned a professional organizing business. Clients often complained about the constant influx of paper into their homes. Credit card offers, catalogs, bills, insurance forms, charity solicitations, and more show up in your mailbox daily. In addition, you have a lot of other paper you have to review and keep, including medical records, receipts, coupons, articles, and magazines. Paper has a way of piling up into insidious piles just minutes after you’ve sorted and filed everything away. It’s maddening, and it never seems to end.

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Top 10 Superfoods for a Healthy & Active Lifestyle

By Heather Levin

family healthy eatingYou’ve probably heard the saying “you are what you eat” more than a few times. And when you think about it, it’s true. The food you put into your body in large part determines the kind of life you live. Eating healthy foods, along with sneaking a workout routine into your day, means you have better health, more energy, and a brighter outlook on life.

These decisions, in turn, help you to save money because you drastically decrease your healthcare costs. In addition, these foods are mostly inexpensive, which can also impact your spending and saving goals. Following a healthier lifestyle also gives you more of the energy and focus you need to be more productive at work.

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8 Bathroom Design & Remodeling Ideas on a Budget

By Heather Levin

bathroom redesign blueSo you’re ready to redecorate and redesign your bathroom. But dropping $20,000 on a deluxe spa retreat is light years away from what you can afford to spend. Here’s the good news: You don’t need mega-bucks to transform your bathroom into a relaxing, cool space. There are plenty of ways to renovate and redesign on a budget.

According to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value report, an average bathroom remodel costs around $10,500 while an upscale remodel is going to run you a hefty $26,000. However, if you do the work yourself and get creative, This Old House estimates that you can do a remodel for $1,000 to $3,000, or even less, depending on how much you want to change.

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Electronic Waste (E-Waste) Recycling and Disposal – Facts, Statistics & Solutions

By Heather Levin

old electronics trashHow often do you buy a new cell phone, laptop, or TV? In these gadget-driven days, you probably upgrade your electronics fairly often. Most people don’t think twice about buying the “latest and greatest” technology. After all, companies and their marketing teams spend a great deal of money to make sure that we’re hungry for the next iPad, Xbox 360 Kinect, or LED TV.

While our hunger for electronics and technology keeps growing, what happens to our old stuff? The statistics and trends are startling:

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  • According to Wirefly.org, the average cell phone user gets a new cell phone every 18 months.

Vertical-Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT) – A New Type of Wind Power from Sauer Energy

By Heather Levin

This post brought to you by Sauer Energy. All opinions are 100% mine.

sauer windWind power is the world’s fastest growing source of renewable energy, and it’s easy to see why it’s so appealing. According to CleanEnergy.org, a single megawatt of wind capacity can generate enough energy to power 300 homes. Off the coast of South Carolina alone, there are over 130,000 MW of wind resources just waiting to be taken advantage of.

And, that energy is 100% clean and 100% renewable. A few turbines set up in a strategic location can power entire cities.

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9 Important Questions to Ask When Buying a Condo

By Heather Levin

condo buildingHave you been thinking about buying a condo? Perhaps the condo is in an up and coming neighborhood, and you want to buy before prices start to skyrocket. Or perhaps you’re tired of not being able to paint the walls of your apartment, and you’re ready to take the next step towards home ownership. Or, maybe you’re just ready to downsize your home.

Whatever the reason, many people very much enjoy condo living. You often get a pool and fitness center, as well as a security team and the opportunity to own a home without having to worry about all the caretaking responsibilities.

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How to Spot an Up-and-Coming Neighborhood Before It’s Popular

By Heather Levin

soho new york artHere’s the situation: You want to live downtown, but all the neighborhoods you’ve looked at are way out your price range. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could spot the next “hot” neighborhood before it’s hot? You’d get a great property for cheap, and end up living in one of the most desirable spots in town.

This is exactly what happened to New York City’s SoHo. Back in the 1970s, SoHo was little more than a warehouse district. Then, artists moved in because the rent was so cheap, and they got bargain prices. Now? It’s one of New York’s trendiest neighborhoods.

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Pros & Cons of Buying a Condo – Is It Worth It?

By Heather Levin

condo interiorIf you’re thinking about purchasing a home, buying a condo might look pretty appealing. After all, you don’t have to worry about exterior maintenance, you get a pool you don’t have to pay for or keep clean, and you get an awesome fitness center (which saves money on your gym membership).

It’s like an apartment that you own. What’s not to love?

Like everything in life, there are pros and cons to buying a condo. Before you sign on the dotted line, it’s important to weigh these important factors, and remember some key questions to ask when buying a condo.

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Pros & Cons of Leasing a Car vs. Buying a Car

By Heather Levin

girl yellow carYou’ve probably heard more than once that car leasing is a bad deal. And in many cases, it definitely makes more sense to buy a car outright. But this doesn’t mean leasing a car is a bad move for everyone. Like any issue, there are pros and cons to leasing a car.

Around 20% of all new car transactions are leases, so it’s clear that there are definitely people out there who love the thought of always driving around in a new car.

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5 Bedroom Interior Design Ideas on a Budget

By Heather Levin

bedroom design redWhen you think about your bedroom, what comes to mind? Is it a serene oasis, a place where you can escape and relax after a hectic day? Or is a jumbled mess of clothes, generic posters, and boring furniture?

Of all the areas in the home, the bedroom is usually the room that gets the least amount of attention. After all, guests rarely set foot there and most of your own time there is spent sleeping.

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18 Side Business Ideas You Can Start Today

By Heather Levin

woman walking dogs businessWhen you’re on the path of frugality, you’ve basically got two options when it comes to padding your bank account: you can either trim expenses to save more money, or you can try to earn more money. Doing both will, of course, greatly increase the chance you’ll achieve your long-term financial goals, whether that’s to pay back your student loans or save up for your dream vacation.

Coming up with a side business is a great way to earn extra money. I’ve started several businesses in the past, from a successful blog to a professional organizing business, and can tell you first hand that not only is becoming an entrepreneur incredibly rewarding, but it can also be very lucrative.

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What to Feed Your Dog – Cheap, Healthy Dog Food Brands & Recipes

By Heather Levin

dog food puppyDo you have a dog? I have two, and if you’re the proud owner of a canine yourself, then you don’t need me to tell you just how expensive feeding these guys can be (i.e. how much a dog really costs).

This is why it’s so important that you look out for cheap, healthy dog food. You need to make sure your pets don’t break your budget, while at the same time helping your pets stay healthy by eating high quality food.

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22 Unique First Date Ideas – What to Do on a Budget

By Heather Levin

guy gives girl flowerWhen I think back to the first date I had with my husband, what surprises me is how ordinary it was. We simply met at his house, and talked from our hearts for an entire rainy afternoon.

If, that is, you could call that a date at all. Some might contest the term. However, some version of that conversation has been going on for 13 years now, and that first date ended up leading to the rest of my life. Who knew?

What Makes a Great First Date?

So what makes a great first date? Is it what you do that counts? Who you’re with? What you talk about? How you act?

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Baking Soda Health Benefits & Remedies

By Heather Levin

This article is part of the Money Crashers Natural Medicine Cabinet Series, outlining 20 of the top natural home remedies and treatment.

baking soda waterI’ve written about the many uses of baking soda, and I’m a huge fan. When I buy it, I get it in the jumbo, 13.5 lb. bag from Costco, and I use the stuff for everything.

Although a lot of people use baking soda for cooking and cleaning, most don’t know that baking soda is a powerful healer as well. In fact, Reader’s Digest classifies baking soda as a Top 20 Household Healer in their book 1,801 Home Remedies: Trustworthy Treatments for Everyday Health Problems. Entire books have been written about baking soda because it’s considered by many to be a miracle product.

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How to Start a Home Vegetable Garden – Benefits & Saving Money

By Heather Levin

couple vegetable gardeningI love gardening. Every spring I start dreaming of all the veggies I’m going to plant, and I love going to my local farmers’ market and picking out tomatoes, cucumbers, and field peas to plant.

Have you ever thought about starting a home garden?

With food prices rising and more people trying to save money due to the economy, home gardening has taken off in a big way in recent years. Many vegetable seed companies report sales have shot up 30-50%, which is a clear indicator that more people are putting on their gardening gloves and getting to work.

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