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I was in the waiting area of a car service station and the mechanic was telling a lady that another service station had ripped her off! They hadn't performed the work she paid for and she didn't know it. I've never heard a woman say she hated being a woman! I had to ask her why does she feel this way. The lady replied, "It's so hard being a woman! This world is ran by men for men! Men are always taking advantage of women when they're alone." I understand how she felt. Working in a male dominated field you're use to men being in charge but you can't let that stop you. Her feelings were valid; that's her experience. I wish I could've changed her perspective. But in that moment she just needed someone to hear her.

Negotiating and working with men can be difficult. I'm not saying there aren't men that will try to take advantage of you. The best thing to do is to educate youself as much as you can before you make a purchase. Utilize the search engines like Google or Bing. Watch youtube videos to see demonstrations of of what you need done. You can also have a male friend or relative go with you to the mechanic, auto dealership, etc. to help negotiate deals and review charges. I know I fully capable of negotiating and gathering information on what I need. But if taking a man with me will give me an advantage, I will. 

This post was hard to write. By no means am I a male basher! I want to talk about "real" issues that women go through every day! My goal is not to be "independent" but "interdependent". We all need each other!




10 Ways To Reduce Your Cooling Costs This Summer

I love Spring! The outside temperatures aren't too high or too low. I don't use my HVAC system much at all. My goal is always to keep my home's envelope as tight as possible. The home envelope is the combination of materials that surround the interior space you live in including walls, floors, ceiling, roof, windows, and doors. The quality and integrity of your home's envelope greatly affects the comfort and cost to operate your home. A well-sealed envelope, along with the right amount of insulation, can make a real difference on your utility bills. Here are a few things that will help you:

1. Use ceiling fans to keep air circulating in your rooms.

2.  Install insulation in your attic, basement, and crawl space. 

3. Seal all leaks around doors, windows, and light switch/receptacle boxes.

4. Keep or install plastic on windows that are not rated energy efficient by energystar.gov.

5. Grill outside, instead of using your stove. If you need to use the stove, use it during the cooler times of the day.

6. Operate the clothes dryer during the cooler times of the day; morning or evening. 

7. Use insulated curtains to block sunlight in the rooms you're not using at the time. 

8. Have your AC unit serviced and your filters changed every 3 months. 

9. Use a programmable thermostat and keep the temperature consistent. 

10. Limit the times you raise your windows to let fresh air in. Don't allow anyone to have windows open when you're trying to cool your home.

If you can't do everything, do one or two. The goal is to make changes to save money and energy. Any changes you make will make a difference!



10 Easy Home Weatherization Tips

If you look at the picture above, you can see how air can leak in and out of your home. Have you every walked by a door, a window, or the fireplace and felt a draft? Well of course you have! Every time you feel that draft you're losing money. Your heat or your AC is escaping through the cracks in your home. There are several things you can do to limit the amount of energy you lose. Here are a few easy tips that will make a huge impact on lowering your energy costs.

1. Get your Heat Pump (electric) or Furnace (Gas) service by a licensed HVAC contractor annually.

2. Install weather strips all around the exterior doors to eliminate drafts.

3. Switch your ceiling fans to counterclockwise (reverse) to circulate the heat.

4. Purchase a window insulation kit and install plastic on your windows.

5. Use caulking and weather-stripping to seal the gaps around windows.

6. Make sure your attic floor and basement/crawl space ceiling have adequate insulation.

7. Insulate your water pipes to keep them from freezing and wrap your water heater with insulation.

8. Have your licensed contractor to check your duct system and seal any holes.

9. Install a programmable thermostat and set it at lower temps when you're not home.

10. Turn your water heater from the average 140 degrees down to 120 degrees to save energy.


Ladies, I'd rather spend my money buying more shoes than giving it to the utility companies.  Every little bit of money saved is worth it!