I can live without these..but I chose not to- Money well spent!

We are strong believers of spending money on making memories instead of spending money on products. So we usually plan couple of fun vacations with our kids every year. This, we think, is money spent well.

However, every now and then we come across some products or services that we can totally do without but they add so much value to your every day life.

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Traveling with Kids? Do these to take the hassle away

Traveling with kids is not easy and it gets worse when it is a long haul international flight. Over the past 5 years, my wife and I have had 10 trips which includes 11 countries with our now 12 and 7 year old children. Obviously from these number of trips, it is evident that we love traveling. My kids love them as well and are always look forward to the next trip.

 

Among all this, there was (emphasis on the “was”) something they hated. It was the plane ride, the waits at the airports for security check ins, at the gates before and at the time of boarding and finally immigration when they get back. I could not disagree with them as I hated these too but being an adult, but I was not in a position to complain.

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Lending Club Review – My 2 year Investing experience

Having been using Lending Club as an investing platform, here is my experience….

I had been reading a lot on generating passive income. Few of the blogs mentioned peer-to-peer lending as a way to diversify investment portfolio. Lending Club and Prosper were the two popular vehicles. Not having tried this platform, I decided to start small.

Today I wanted to bring up my experience after two years of investing on Lending Club.

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Is cooking the new sewing?

I enjoy cooking . Of course there are some days that I feel a little lazy to cook but they are very rare. But lately I keep hearing more and more frequently from friends and family they do not cook, they get take outs and ready to eat food. I think within the past 1-2 years I am hearing this more and more frequently.

 

Recently I while listening to one of Mark Hyman’s podcasts I heard a nutritionist mention that cooking has become like sewing. This comment got me thinking. Maybe one or two generations back it was common or normal for the mom or grandmom to sew all the clothes for the family. Then with the ready made clothing industry and fashion industry booming, less and less people were making their own clothing. Now sewing has become more like a hobby which you do just for the fun of it.

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A little gadget that drastically changed my driving habits

UPDATEIn August 2019 Automatic made a decision to move to an optional subscription model of $5/month to get all the features explained in this post. At the same time they decided to expire the existing hardware from the time of writing this original post and replace with another model. I was disappointed,  at the least to say, of this change making my OBD hardware obsolete and having to not only buy new hardware but also enroll in a subscription plan to get the benefits. I have since then decided to stop using the product.

I have left the original post as it did impact my driving habits and it has sustained even to this day.

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Connected cars were one of the big highlights at the 2018 LA Auto Show in November last year. Almost every brand had their own version, showcasing the unique features they had to offer. One of the features that interested me was the Mercedes mbrace service wherein a customer specialist at Mercedes is notified in the event of an accident or collision. Now, this is not a new concept, similar services are offered by On-Star. The part I did not like was the monthly subscription fees for the service.

 

One day, I accidentally, stumbled upon a social media ad of Automatic Car Adapter. It was $69.99 for a unit at that time and there were no subscription fees for the accident notification service. I decided to give it run.

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3 Pillars of a minimalist Skincare

We all know for beautiful skin a clean diet and drinking plenty of water is essential. But the products you use on your skin is also very important. Especially once you are in your 30s or older a regular skincare regimen is very crucial for maintaining a healthy glow and ageing gracefully.

Walking into a department store or your local drug store skin care aisle can be very intimidating. There is always a newer better product on the shelf that promises ageless skin. The thing is, a lot of these products are good quality and they work pretty well. But if you are not following a few basic skin care rules even the most expensive and great quality product will not give you the best results.  For example say you bought a very expensive great quality cream such  Creme de Lamer costing over $300 but you are not using good sun protection during the day, you still will end up with crappy skin.

So here I list the 3 pillars of skincare. Whether you use only these 3 products or decide to add other products of your choice, these 3 products will ensure a good healthy glow to your skin.

 

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4 things a home owner should do immediately to save on energy costs

With energy costs on the rise, every home owner should be looking into ways to cut energy usage thereby saving costs and reducing carbon footprint. When we had bought our new home in 2014, the house came installed with all the standard fittings such as CFL lights, programmable thermostats, energy star appliances, etc which are considered energy efficient systems.

 

Here are 4 simple things to save energy consumption.

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Save $30 or more per month on your phone costs

I, personally, feel landlines are a thing of the past.  We’ve had a landline phone connection through our Comcast subscription. Due to constant sales calls, we started ignoring it and in some case led us to missing some important calls like from our kids school. Monthly we were paying $30 for a service that was not providing a value to us.

 

Since we both had our cellphones with us almost all the time. It was time to eliminate land phone service, but then we ran into issues where we needed to provide a “home” telephone number. So I started to check on other free options or even a low cost option. Continue reading “Save $30 or more per month on your phone costs”

The Dynamic duo of Grocery stores – How we reduced our grocery bills in half

Food always has been a large part of our monthly expense. We enjoy cooking and eating food as a family. Cutting down on our weekly groceries seemed like a very hard task. We shop mostly at a local large chain supermarket which is very close to home. On an average our monthly expense on groceries were around $800-$1000. Which is not too bad for a family of four, who mostly eat at home and also try to stick to quality food products. But I still wanted to see if there is way to reduce the grocery expense without affecting the quality of food we ate. We tend to eat mostly “real food” instead of prepackaged processed food. We also choose mostly organic produce. That’s when I started using the 2 grocery store combination and saw that I was able to significantly reduce our grocery bills and at the same time eat quality home made food. These two are None other than Costco and Aldi

 

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7 ways to reduce plastic use

Our family has been making several changes so we can reduce the use of plastic in our household. Plastic debris is  slowly snowballing and  taking up our environment causing direct and indirect harm to humans as well as animals.

 

Few plastic manufactures are making innovative changes to make their plastic biodegradable. But these are a minority. Majority of the plastic products are still filling up landfills and our oceans. So we decided we will do our part in minimizing our contribution to this crisis. Here are few of the many changes we made in our daily life

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