What You Should Be Doing Yourself (But Might Not Be)

Kelly Ann Butterbaugh
Category Advice

There are luxuries, but in bad economic times this isn't the time for luxuries. If you're looking to whittle down on your budget, be sure that you're not giving in to luxuries. These are things that you should be doing yourself if you're worried about your household budget.


Cut Your Own Lawn

Those who have paid lawn services have beautifully thick manicured lawns. However, their wallets might not be as thick. Maintaining your own lawn provides several benefits. Besides saving money, it provides free exercise, healthful fresh air, and a healthy dose of vitamin D. Don't forget about the pride it gives the person behind the mower when he or she sits and looks over the work.

If cutting your own lawn isn't an option for health reasons, look into promoting economic stimulus in your neighborhood. An amateur won't charge as much as the professional service, but he might appreciate it more. Hire a neighborhood pre-teen to cut the lawn for some extra cash or ask a newly retired neighbor if he's interested in a weekly walk through your lawn.


Do Your Own Taxes

Nothing surprised me more the day my husband and I entered a large chain tax preparation agency only to see them enter our information into the same computer program I had used the year before. The difference? The program costs us $20; the tax preparation costs $180.

Programs such as Turbo Tax help you to find deductions and prepare accurate claims. There isn't much to be overlooked when carefully moving through one of these programs. It may even tip you off for further deductions next year now that you know what you can claim.

Backup Your Own Data

Today a selling point for anti-virus software and other packges is data backup. Most offer a set amount of backup space with the option to buy more. Save your money and do your own data backups. Backing up data is essential; a hard drive crash could be devastating. However, backing up your information onto CDs or DVDs can be done at home.


CD burning software usually offers an option for archiving that can be done easily and regularly. This is also a good time to clean up your files and eliminate unneeded files. Manually dragging files into your data burning program doesn't take long, either. If you're worried about damage to your home in turn damaging your data, then store your CD backups in a fire safe box or at a trusted someone else's home.

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November 8, 20090 found this helpful

RE: "Hire a neighborhood pre-teen to cut the lawn for some extra cash."


search for : (your state) Child Labor Laws to avoid possible problems. Laws can vary state to state.There are also Federal Child Labor Laws.


Here's an example (2005 Montana Code Annotated) : "Lawn Care...Minors age 14 and 15 cannot operate power driven equipment such as lawn mowers and power driven string trimmers. They can perform other domestic garden and lawn care chores using hand-operated devices such as shovels, rakes, hoes etc. Minors 16 and 17 years of age can use power mowers and string trimmers. They cannot use chain saws and string trimmers equipped with brush and wood cutting blades"

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