83 Money Tips: Free Landscaping Supplies, Coolest Cars Under $18K, Life Lessons from the Rich

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Also, one series of insights has it that you should manage your money similarly to the way you golf—or rather, the way a good golfer golfs.
5 ways to save money on landscaping tools & supplies. Some towns just give out landscaping supplies—mulch, ready-to-plant trees, etc.—to residents, so long as those residents handle all the pickup and labor. Who knew?

At my old home, I was offered up to three free trees as long as I agreed to plant them on my own. I was more than happy to take advantage of this deal. After all, these trees would have cost me at least $60, if not more.

To find out what your town offers, call your local borough or township headquarters and ask if they offer anything for free. You may be surprised at what you can get this spring.

5 as-seen-on-TV gadgets that really work. Not like this is shocking news or anything, but studies show that most infomercial products are crap. What’s more shocking is that there are apparently as-seen-on-TV gadgets that are actually recommendable. For instance:

Gutter Rake ($9.95 plus $6.95 shipping and handling)
Cleaning gutters is a lot easier when you let the Gutter Rake do the dirty work for you. This T-shaped, plastic tool can extend your reach by more than 30 feet, which reduces the number of times you must climb and move tall ladders. Twist the Gutter Rake onto a broom handle, and pull gutter debris toward you with the rake’s straight end. Then, push gunk under gutter fasteners with its hooked end.

(MORE: 10 Less-Than-Miraculous Miracle Products)

7 life lessons from the very wealthy. Well, duh: “Having money is better than not having money.” You don’t need to be rich to know that. Here’s a less obvious and more important point, very much in line with J.D.’s post on money and happiness:

Don’t become “cash rich” and “time poor.”
Devoting all of your waking hours to making money is a problem, especially in professions with a partnership fast track. Lawyers, doctors, bankers and accountants can get so caught up in the competitive nature of their jobs that they lose touch with their family. Any semblance of a normal personal life disappears, and a very unhealthy balance between work and home can develop…

Remember: What you do with your time is far more meaningful than the goods you accumulate with your money.

7 tips for never-pay-retail home decorating. There’s more to home decorating on a budget than heading to IKEA. A lot more. Like:

Research Product Names. Not all shops make their own stuff, and most won’t readily share manufacturers’ details with you. After swooning over a nine-drawer mirrored chest at a Manhattan atelier, I typed the name of the piece (which was scribbled on the price tag) into Google. Up came the maker, along with the chest’s (lower) suggested retail price and other vendors.

7 ways to find and fight illegal charges on your phone bill. The most important way is avoid these illegal charges (known as “cramming”) is also the most basic:

-Read your bill—all of it. Identifying crammed charges is easy if you keep a close eye on your monthly phone expenses and spot any unwelcome additions. Another simple way to find cramming is to avoid charging anything to your phone and wireless bills (examples include charitable donations via text message, voting charges for reality shows, weekly horoscopes and ring-tone services). Then any charge that you didn’t authorize is likely a result of cramming.

7 biggest car-buying rip-offs. Leasing is certainly cheaper than buying—at first. But …

When you lease, all you’re paying for is the difference in the car’s value from the day you take it off the lot till the day you return it, plus interest and fees.

But, once the lease term is up, you’re back to having no car and you’ve got to start all over again.

(LIST: Top 10 Most Valuable Used Cars)

9 ways golf can help with money management. Both may occasionally cause you to want to throw something in frustration, and both are known to attract enthusiasts who dream of achieving the “Cinderella story” by hitting it big, either at Augusta or with a few smart stock picks. The point here is that a similar approach can work for golf and money management alike:

Golfers have to choose the right tool-you don’t use a sand wedge on a green. Managing your money requires you to pick the right tool to match your goal. You don’t put the grocery money in a risky investment.

10 coolest cars under $18,000. Number one on the list, from Kelley Blue Book, is the 2012 Fiat 500:

Regardless of what the Hello Kitty mafia would like to believe, cute isn’t cool. Not usually, anyway. But that’s because cute is rarely backed up by substance, as it is in the 2012 Fiat 500. It’s seven inches shorter than a Mini Cooper and positively adorable, but spend a day driving Fiat’s first U.S. offering in 28 years and you’ll discover a comfortable, livable, well-built sub-compact car that just happens to have 10 times the personality of some of its cookie-cutter competitors.

(LIST: Top 10 Diesel Cars)

10 reasons to shop online rather than in-store. Price comparison is quick and easy, the Internet never closes, and, oh yeah, you save on gas and time by shopping online because you don’t have to go anywhere. Also, there’s no need to clip coupons to get discounts:

Finding the coupons you want online is simple, and there is no cutting required! Simply find a coupon aggregator that you love, then search for your favorite merchant and use coupon codes online. All you have to do is click to save instantly at your favorite stores! There are many different coupons online that can save you tons of money, including ones for free shipping!

16 tips for saving money on summer utility bills. Eat corn-on-the-cob raw to save on cooking costs? Hmmm … Perhaps not all of these tips are practical or pleasant. But using a clothes line rather than a dryer makes total sense:

Make that summer heat work for you: dry your clothes on a clothes line. The idea of running a heater in your house in the middle of summer just seems downright goofy. Plus, those clothes dryers wear out your clothes about ten times faster. I once set up a clothes line and had some people that claimed to be “green” get upset because they felt it looked “trashy”. Here’s a news flash: those clothes on the clothes line are your eco flag! Wave it proudly!

(MORE: 139 Money Tips: Father’s Day Freebies, Designer Clothing on the Cheap, Most Annoying Bank Fees

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