Bruce’s Poor Man Recession Bulletin
A Digest of urban survival resources
In This Issue:
1. To serve man, tax campaign contributions
2. Making Money or Saving Money?
3. How to resolve customer disputes-greasing the squeaky wheel
4. 9 Unusual uses for beer
5. Frugal resources site, more cool free garden resources
6. Finding a used bomb shelter
"We used to be a free people. Now we are hedged in by millions of laws. Harassed by a plague of opportunistic lawyers. Harmed by regulations meant for our protection. Unnecessarily taxed to pay for a suffocating bureaucracy. Drowning in petty paperwork. Stifled by “rights” that rarely benefit anyone."
-- Joan Beck, Columnist
The Squeaky wheel usually gets the grease
Most of us have reason to complain from time to time. Defective products, poor service, or items which never arrive seem to top the list. Auto repair and online rip-offs always rank among the most complaints received at the Better Business Bureau.
Over the past few months we’ve experienced a ton of outages from our ISP. I have their customer hotline on speed dial. The reps who answer (all based in America) have all been pleasant and helpful. In fact, they’ve provided nearly two weeks worth of credits to us and they just sent me a freebie, six months worth of Showtime without cost or obligation. (in the past we avoided cable TV but reception is poor here and our digital antenna was destroyed by a careless worker).
Here are a few suggestions for voicing complaints which result in action.
>Complain by phone first; ask to speak with a supervisor if necessary. Keep a diary of all the actions you have taken and who you spoke with and the date.
>If that doesn’t work, write a formal letter, addressing it to the top person whenever possible.
>If you don’t get action within three weeks, call again. If you are still not satisfied with the outcome, contact the Better Business Bureau and/or your local newspaper or TV consumer affairs reporter.
>The last action to consider is contacting the office of the Attorney General in the state where you live. They have a process for filing a formal complaint which can be found on their website. You’ll find a link to nearly all of the 50 states at the PoorManSurvival.com site – click on the Consumer Help tab.
For further help and insights, check these sites which offer advice and samples of complaint letters:
www.PlanetFeedback.com or www.My3Cents.com
Get rid of gum your kids stuck to the carpet or chair by spraying WD-40 over the spot. Wait 10 minutes and then wipe it away with a clean cloth. This handy stuff will also get rid of scuff marks on floors!
Poor Man’s “Betty Shocker” Compendium of Useful Stuff
Lower Cost DIY Solar Energy projects
Here's a very inexpensive way to capture free solar energy and save on your gas or electric bills.
Some time back, I wrote about a program called Earth 4 Energy. It's a downloadable, do-it-yourself guide with plans for building inexpensive solar panels and wind turbines to capture free electricity
SimpleHeaters.com claims that you can build your own solar hot water system for as little as $70. That's for what they call a "batch heater" built with an old oil drum.
Need to measure something & don’t have a ruler? Use a dollar bill. It measures 6 inches.
Learn more about genetically modified foods - not pretty
Inst. For Responsible Technology - www.responsibletechnology.org
Welcome to Tipnut, an online guide that offers creative DIY tips, how-to’s, and projects for homemakers.
Nine surprising uses for beer
Beer. It refreshes and relaxes, it fuels sociability and cools the burn of spicy food. It is the most-widely consumed alcoholic beverage in the world, and the third most common beverage overall. It is the oldest alcoholic beverage produced -- and in fact, the oldest known code of laws (the Code of Hammurabi ca 1750 B.C.) called for the death penalty for drinking-house proprietors found guilty of watering down their beer. (Those Babylonians took their suds seriously.) But aside from the numero uno use for beer-Read more at:
Hey guys, here’s a freebie site just for you!
How to Create a Home First Aid Kit
While there are a number of first aid kits available for purchase, they often lack some supplies you need or have extras you do not need. Instead of buying the prepackaged version, you can save money and ensure that your kit includes everything you need by creating your own.…keep reading
New Website from our friend Steve - you might make some dough with this!
For years I've been selling a ebook on renting rooms - room rentals paid off my first mortgage almost twenty years ago. You may have seen it advertised here. Now I've stopped selling it and put all the pages on a new website where you can read through it at your leisure. The site is...
Frugal Living Resources
With the results of recession hitting everyone’s life badly, frugal living has been the need of the hour and people look for all means to save those few extra dollars that they can in every small way. There are still thousands of people who are yet to recover from the after effects of recession. This has led people to reconsider the ways of buying and also the things that they buy. Add this frugal living resource to your collection.
More Free Garden Helpers…
Design your garden in minutes – www.GardenPuzzle.com and www.SmallBluePrinter.com
Get a personalized growing calendar at: www.SproutRobot.com
Fend off pests & find the solution by using the free Pest & Disease Detective app at:
Spray your lawn and deck floor with Listerine to get rid of bugs.
Don't spray directly on a wood
door (like your front door), but spray around the frame. Spray around the window
frames, and even inside the dog house.
Old time septic tank revitalizer. Into a quart of water, mix 1 lb. of brown sugar and one envelope of dried yeast. Pour down your toilet and flush. Promotes anerobic bacteria action – works!
Making money or saving money – Which should get more importance
With the economy in the dumper and bleak job market, many people are facing problems with their finances. Only saving money too is not serving the whole purpose. Thus, it is better to both make and save money. Both of these will help you in debt reduction and better money management. However, it is also important for you to be a responsible person if you want to make and save money.
Making extra money
As the job market is still not looking up, many people are without jobs and even those who are earning are unable to earn good money in comparison to the time before the recession. So, the ways in which you can make extra money are:
Selling things online or offline – You can sell some items both offline or online. If you have a tendency to make new things like food items or craft materials, you can sell them in your neighborhood or online. With time, your popularity will increase and thus your earnings will increase too.
Tutoring – You can also offer tutoring online or offline for the students. Online tutorials have become very much popular nowadays and so if you have a knack to teach, you can submit your questions and answers for the help of the students. For this, you will get paid.
Freelancing or blogging – You can also make money through freelancing or blogging. If you think that you have a unique writing style and if you are original, if you have a flair for writing then both freelancing and blogging are great ways to make money.
Try investing money – Another great way to generate extra income is investing your money in the different investment vehicles. There are various such investment vehicles through which you may be able to earn some extra money. For example, stock investment, forex investment, gold investment, real estate investment and so on. You will have to invest your money in any of these options, the one that you think is more comfortable for you.
Participate in market research surveys – If you think that you have some opinion on the things that are happening, you can get paid for voicing it. There are many such companies who pay you for voicing your ideas. So, this is an option to make good money. Different companies depending on the services, offer maximum or minimum payments. So, you need to find out the payment details before starting with a company.
Some of the ways in which you can save money are:
Lowering cell phone bills – In order to save money you will have to try and lower your cell phone bills. In addition, you can even try to lower your electricity bills. Lots of dollars get wasted on high electricity and phone bills.
Lowering usage of credit cards – You will also have to lower the usage of credit cards in order to save more money and work towards debt reduction. Credit cards are mainly for emergency purposes and so it is better to keep your plastic money for that purpose. In order to lower usage of credit cards you will have to try and lower your expenditures and use cash that you have in your hands to make your everyday expenses.
Budgeting – Budgeting helps you to lower your expenditures. So, you will have to prepare a budget and if required you can use an online budgeting tool.
Using discount coupons – Another way to save money is using discount coupons in order to buy the items that you need the most and that too in large amount.
Other than the above, you should also open a a savings account and put money into it each month. Both, earning more money and saving more money will help you in debt reduction in times of financial stress. So, you will have to do both at the same time.
Contributed by debtcc community.
Want to buy a used doomsday bunker--nicely appointed?
In the opening scene of a Twilight Zone episode called "The Shelter" a suburban doctor tells his neighbors he's been constructing a fallout shelter in his basement. He's greeted with laughter and raised eyebrows. "They all thought he was crazy," says Robert Vicino, 57, a California property developer who features the episode on his website. "Then they heard sirens go off and heard news of an imminent nuclear attack." Soon the skeptical neighbors are begging to be saved.
The Nanny State Updates:
Amish Milk: The Latest Target of the Obama Regulatory State
Milk might do a body good, but if it’s unpasteurized milk sold by an Amish farmer across state lines, it’s a whole other story… or at least according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Washington Times reports:
A yearlong sting operation, including aliases, a 5 a.m. surprise inspection and surreptitious purchases from an Amish farm in Pennsylvania, culminated in the federal government announcing this week that it has gone to court to stop Rainbow Acres Farm from selling its contraband to willing customers in the Washington area.
The product in question: unpasteurized milk.
It’s a battle that’s been going on behind the scenes for years, with natural foods advocates arguing that raw milk, as it’s also known, is healthier than the pasteurized product, while the Food and Drug Administration says raw milk can carry harmful bacteria such as salmonella, E. coli and listeria.
Hotels, restaurants, airlines and other businesses open to the public need to make some adjustments soon. The federal government says they must accommodate the animals that help the blind and others with disabilities.
Dogs? No, miniature horses.
This may sound like a joke, but it isn’t. According to new guidelines issued under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), businesses have to modify their “policies, practices or procedures” so that the pygmy ponies can be used as service animals.
Interesting news site addressing folly of Congress - destruction of economy
Find the cheapest products without skimping on quality at:
Parting thoughts…To Serve Man
The recent capture and killing of Osama certainly elevated the public mood and helped the stock market. However, it seems to me the public has developed a sense of detachment to our economy, other than fuel and grocery woes, no one seems much concerned about the downward economic spiral our country is taking.
I do believe it might be a case of Americans losing faith in their political system, but it’s tempered with a why worry, there’s nothing I can do about it, attitude.
The federal government continues its policies of eroding our Bill of Rights and the Constitution, but few seem to care. Apparently, as long as the Nanny State continues to hand out ‘benefits,’ we’re all cool and choose to ignore our plight. It reminds of an old Twilight Zone episode - To Serve Man.
The Kanamits, a race of nine-foot-tall aliens, land on Earth. One of them addresses the United Nations, vowing that his race's motive in coming to Earth is solely to be helpful to humanity. Initially wary of the intentions of an alien race who came "quite uninvited," even skeptical international leaders begin to be persuaded of the aliens' benevolence when the Kanamits share their advanced technology, quickly putting an end to many of Earth's greatest woes, including hunger; energy becomes very cheap; nuclear weapons are rendered harmless. The aliens even morph deserts into big, blooming fields. Trust in the Kanamits seems to be justified when Patty, one of a staff of US government cryptographers led by Mr. Chambers, cracks the title of a Kanamit book the spokesman left behind at the UN. Its title, she reveals, is To Serve Man.
If you’ve seen the episode, you already know it’s a cookbook (how to cook humans).
When it finally dawns on mainstream America that the dependability of our dollar and economy is an illusion, that our economy is actually worse than Portugal’s, what will we do?
Many of us feel the same way about Washington…Hello, I’m from the government and I’m here to help you!
Finally, here’s a good idea I heard on talk radio this week. We should begin taxing the campaign contributions politicians receive! My how that might change the campaign picture…less ads, perhaps less corruption. What do you think?
Here to serve…the Poor Man Survivor!
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