Xeriscape Landscaping Ideas & Sustainable Gardening Tips to Conserve Water

xeriscaping yardDid you know that according to NASA’s investigation of satellite images, the U.S. grows enough residential grass to equal the state of New York? That’s 53,000 square miles…of grass.

The water all this grass requires to stay alive is astronomical. One-third of all residential water use is dumped on the lawn, where it picks up any pesticides and fertilizers you’ve laid down and then trickles down into your local watershed.

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Buffettology: Warren Buffett Quotes & Value Investment Strategy for Stock Picks

warren buffettWhile it may be tempting to throw yourself into the dramatic highs and lows of investing in the stock market in search of instant gratification, it’s not necessarily the most profitable choice. Warren Buffet has spent his career watching investors pounce on “hot” companies, only to flounder when the market takes a plunge. All the while, he’s been steadily accumulating wealth by taking an entirely different approach.

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Modern Home Office Furniture Design Ideas on a Budget – Desks, Chairs, Storage & Shelving

home office kitchenWith an estimated 4.34 million people working from home full time in the U.S., and an additional 11.33 million doing so part time, it’s not surprising that retailers are zeroing in on the home office crowd.

Everyone from office supply stores to home furnishing manufacturers are gearing up to take advantage of this growing homepreneur market. Unfortunately, as demand increases, so do price tags. I was appalled at what I found during a recent Internet search for home office options. When all is said and done, the products these companies are encouraging you to purchase can add up to the cost of a small fuel-efficient car!

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How Long Does It Take to Get My IRS Tax Refund? – Status & Tracking

mailbox moneyThere are times even better than Christmas – like the day that you get your tax refund check. But unlike Christmas, you never know when that exact day will come.

The good news is that the speed of getting one’s tax refund has increased exponentially since the early 1990’s. Back when I was in college, I remember filing my taxes in March or April and then not seeing my paper check refund until as late as June. Plus, there was no real indication of the status of that refund. Information from the IRS was difficult to get in the days before the Internet.

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Equity-Indexed Annuities Pros and Cons

stock market indexWhen you’re buying a new home, you have two basic choices for a loan – a fixed rate or adjustable rate mortgage. But what if there was a third option that wasn’t as risky as an adjustable rate, but could still beat the interest rates of a fixed?

The turbulence in the markets over the past several years has left many annuity investors facing a similar dilemma: either settle for the relatively low rates offered by fixed contracts, or else endure the volatility of the debt and equity markets in a variable annuity.

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How to Use a Credit Card & Rewards Wisely – 6 Tricks to Outsmart Credit Card Companies

credit card manDue to the recent economic recession, people have become more and more displeased with their banks. High interest rates, credit card fees, and poor customer service have left them clamoring for change and better treatment. The recent Credit CARD Act of 2009 is a step in the right direction, but it’s not an all encompassing fix.

Luckily, there is minority of people who have found ways to outsmart their credit card issuers and make the system, flaws and all, work for them. As one of those knowledgeable few, allow me to share a few credit card tricks I’ve learned along the way.

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Investing in Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) Bonds – Protection from Inflation

tips money inflationIn nightly news coverage, local stories about prices, and talk radio monologues, rumblings about our nation’s debt crisis are starting to expose fears about massive inflation.

There’s no way to know for sure if incredible price hikes are in store, but if the cost of living is going up, you can use various investment risk management strategies to protect your portfolio from the effects of inflation.

One of these strategies is purchasing securities from the U.S. Treasury called Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities, otherwise known as TIPS.

How Do TIPS Work?

TIPS fluctuate in value in direct relation to the consumer price index (CPI), which measures our rate of inflation.

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How to Evict a Tenant – Step-by-Step Guide & Tenant Eviction Process for Landlords

judge houseDespite your best efforts to build a good relationship with your tenant, sometimes the relationship goes sour. Even if you’re a good landlord, you’ll probably have to go through the eviction process at least once in your career.

Maybe a tenant didn’t pay the rent, maybe he’s disrupting the other tenants, or maybe she’s damaged your rental property.

To end the lease agreement early, you must follow the proper legal procedure. If you stray from the set process, you’ll not only lose your eviction case, you may also land in civil court and earn a reputation as a slumlord.

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Top 10 Most Fuel Efficient Cars – Small & Cheap

plugin carAs turmoil continues to erupt and longstanding regimes are falling in the Middle East and North Africa, the global community is feeling the economic effects of trouble in and around crucial oil-producing nations.

While the unrest may seem distant and foreign, instability abroad quickly affects us at home, especially when it comes to oil prices. Crude oil prices have already soared to over $100 a barrel, causing significant pain at the pump and rising gas prices. Gas prices in some parts of the United States have already reached $4 a gallon, and rates will keep climbing.

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Credit Karma Review – Get Free Credit Score Improvement Tools

credit karma logoIf you’ve made any big purchases in your life – including a car or a house – you know all too well the importance of having a good credit score. Or perhaps you’ve even experienced the negative effects of a bad credit score.

Unfortunately, there are far too many companies that want to charge you money to find out what your credit score is and help you improve it. While I remain steadfast in the fact that I absolutely refuse to pay for what I believe I have a right to know, these companies continue to prey on those who are unaware of the channels available to them to obtain this information.

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