With all of us spending more time at home than ever before, there are some new realities we are facing. Many of us are still working remotely while the kids do non-traditional education options. Let’s take a few minutes this weekend to get prepared for the week ahead and make sure we’re ready for whatever gets thrown at us! Here are a few common sense things that don’t take a lot of time but could save us some money, time and sanity.
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10 Weekend Tasks to Help us Prepare for the Week
Check the batteries:
When is the last time you needed a flashlight or camera, but when you turned it on the batteries were either dead or too weak to do the job? Do yourself a favor and check the batteries today before you get to a place where you need it.
Stash some Bandages:
Whether you have kids, pets or live alone, you never know when you will need a bandage. No need to tote a full size first aid kit, but some bandages and first aid ointment are essential items that everyone should have. Keep a few in your glove box, office drawer or in the zip pocket of your purse.
Sometimes family stories become legends and remind us of the importance of being prepared. My Grandma was a very practical woman who thought things through as evidenced by this story of the first time she went out to trim the hedges.
Check your [digital] memory:
Recently I was at a graduation when the Mother of the graduate had a moment of panic because her camera gave her the message “Camera card is full!” She ran the risk of missing the once in a lifetime pictures because she had to spend time deleting photos in a rush. Take some time today to back up the pictures on your card so you can free up some space and be ready for the next event.
We use a portable back up harddrive so we can dump all our pictures on an external drive periodically. This is a great way to make sure we don’t have a problem with full memory on our phone!
Keep spare change in your vehicle:
It never hurts to have spare change in your vehicle or at the bottom of your purse. You never know when you are going to need to feed a parking meter, rent a cart at Aldi, buy a newspaper or a snack at a vending machine or pay a toll while you travel. Save yourself a headache and always keep spare change in your car for last minute emergencies.
Never run out of Crayons:
Even if you don’t have kids, everyone should have a box of crayons in their home or office. Someone may end up with a last minute art project or you may need to entertain a co-worker’s child at the last minute. Crayons don’t take up any space and can occasionally save the day.
Return your Grocery Cart:
It only takes an extra minute to return the grocery cart to the designated place in the parking lot. If everyone would remember this simple thing, there would be less dints and scratches and the parking lots would be less cluttered. If you have small children, then just plan to park as close to the grocery return spot so you will be able to return the cart and still keep your children safe.
Never go below Half Tank:
If you always treat the half empty mark as the lowest possible marking on your vehicle, you will never accidentally run out of gas.
Tip: Sign up for gas rewards and save moeny when you fill up! We like our Kroger fuel points and Shell Rewards: Save .05 at the pump when you sign up for a Shell Rewards card.
Send your referral link to friends and family so they can join the Fuel Rewards program. Then, the first time a friend uses the program by earning a reward or using their card at a participating Shell station, you will instantly earn 25¢/gal. There’s no limit to how many friends you invite or how many times you earn.
Pay your bills as soon as you get them:
Save money by never paying a late fee again. As soon as you get a bill in the mail, pay it!
Tip: Always ask for a discount when you are paying the full amount of a medical bill before the due date! Sometimes you may get as much as 20% off your bill!
Always Balance your Checkbook
Even though most of us do our checking online, it’s still important to balance our checkbook each month. Knowing the exact amount in our account and making sure that number matches what the bank has on record is important to a healthy financial situation.
Pack a Power Strip:
If you are heading to a conference, take along a power strip or recharageable battery pack. There may be limited outlets and multiple laptops or mobile devices that need to be charged. Share the power and keep everyone connected.
What common sense tips do you know but often forget? I’d love to hear!