Personal Finance Roundup

7 Tips to Conserve Heat and Money This Winter [Money Talks News] “Here’s more quick info on things you do to winterize your home.”

DIY? 4 Times It’s Cheaper to Pay a Professional [Money Watch] “Doing things on our own always sounds like a good idea. But the truth is that we often end up spending more money and time.”

8 College Fees You Didn’t Plan For [Smart Money] “Here are eight hidden fees to look for — and what you can expect to pay.”

The End of the 4% Rule? [Wise Bread] “That rule is starting to look kind of iffy.”

7 things you should know about Groupons [Smart Spending] “Here’s how to make the most of deals at the site, plus some interesting trivia.”



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  1. KillerBee says:

    I don’t know where this person is changing her oil, but minimum cost for a pro to change the oil around where I live is around $40. More if you drive a truck or SUV.

    And has she not heard that pretty much any auto parts store will recycle the oil for you for free?

    After an initial purchase of a $5 filter wrench and $50 for wheel ramps (not even necessary for my SUV) I can change my own oil for about $15.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      When we got our car, we paid for a care plan that gave us some free services, including oil changes. The free oil changes alone have more than paid for the cost of the care plan, not to mention the fact that we can’t do our own oil changes since we live in an apartment.

    • idx says:

      I’ve been changing my own oil for years. I use the best stuff, and one time I didn’t have time to change my oil and I was about to drive across 3 states so I popped in to one of those 5 minute oil change places. To get the same oil and the same filter I normally use it would have cost $120. It costs me $30 to do it at home.

      I made time to change my oil.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      The article seemed to suggest you can’t dump your oil for free and legally. Plenty of auto parts shops allow you to dump your oil for free. Many will not charge you.

  2. Macgyver says:

    How can a programmable thermostat save you money?
    I keep mine at 70, so it would still come on at 70 or below, and still go off at anything above 70, just like a programmable one.

    • Willie Derp says:

      you set it lower for the times you’re not at home or overnight when you’re covered by blankets anyway.

      • Macgyver says:

        So people can’t manually adjust it themselves manually.
        When I go to sleep, and when I’m not home I turn it down myself manually.

        The only thing they are good for, is if you have more then one zone, so you can set each one individually.

        • RandomHookup says:

          How about when you forget or when you want to start raising the temp an hour before you get up?

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Honestly, sometimes I think you say these things on purpose…

    • evnmorlo says:

      I think it’s mostly a myth invented by the manufacturers. Most people were perfectly capable of manually adjusting their thermostats.

    • RandomHookup says:

      You realize that you can drop the temp when you are asleep or not home? That’s a lot of wasted energy. You can even have the thermostat start heating the house an hour before you get home so it just the way you liked it.

      I’ve saved a ton with my programmable…best free thing the gas company ever gave to me.

  3. Bativac says:

    About the “hiring a professional” thing. Sometimes it’s a crapshoot. I’ve hired pros to do work and ended up having to fix it after-the-fact. In the house I just bought, there are places where professional work was done that I’m having to re-do. So pros aren’t always the way to go.

    Lots of professionals are trying to knock the work out and move on to the next job. They have no personal stake in what they’re doing and, if the job will be covered by paint or drywall, they figure you’ll never see it anyway. If you do it yourself, yeah, it may take awhile, but you’ll take the time to correct mistakes and do it right.

  4. Willie Derp says:

    The “plant trees to shade your house in the summer” trick might save you on A/C costs but what about in the winter when your house gets less sun and your heating costs go up?

    • hotdogsunrise says:

      If you live in a place like central New York, you don’t have to worry about potential heat you could gain in the winter by not having trees around your house. There is no sun in the winter.

      But having trees around the house if there is a heavy snowfall or ice storm could be potentially damaging to your house. Unless you want a tree in your living room.

  5. cheezfri says:

    The author who suggested we go to the quick lube places obviously did not read the recent myriad of comments regarding how awful those places are, and in fact can cost you more when they screw up your oil change or hard sell you all the little extra stuff.