The Best Recycling Websites

The tiki torch gas cans, the old paint canisters, that unused TV, and the ancient computer… they are all sitting in my garage needing to be disposed. So why are they still sitting there?

Like many other people, I am not quite sure how to dispose them. But I finally got tired of them taking up space in my garage. So, I took it upon myself to find the proper ways to dispose of these items and lending a hand to keeping them out of the landfills.

Like that old TV, I found a place that takes them, fixes them up, and resells ‘em. The old computer… the drop location was at my local thrift store. So, I was able to bring those bags of clothing, too.

Learn how you can reduce, reuse, and recycle with these best recycling websites:

Earth’s 911
Earth911.com is your one-stop shop for all you need to know about reducing your impact, reusing what you’ve got and recycling your trash. With their recycling database, they can help you find over 100,000 recycling locations across the country. With information provided by local governments, industry insiders, organizations and everyday consumers, you can recycle hundreds of products from packing peanuts to computers. Earth 911 knows where you need to go to get things done.

EPA Wastes
Each year, Americans generate millions of tons of waste in our homes and communities. EPA is challenging all citizens to conserve our natural resources by committing to reduce, reuse, and recycle at home, in your community, and at the office. Learn what you can do to make a difference.

1-800-Recycling

1-800-Recycling.com is a dynamic recycling and green living-focused website that makes recycling, conserving, reusing and living wisely easy. The site features comprehensive recycling location database that gives the user the ability to easily assemble a recycling to-do list. The database is location based, and aims to make your recycling needs as easy as possible, whether you’re clearing out the house during spring cleaning or simply looking to recycle a few shopping bags.

Money Funk’s Pick: The 1-800-Recycling website makes it very easy to find out how to recycle items; it really is a dynamic recycling website!

One Man’s trash is another Man’s Treasure:

Try reusing and exchanging

FreeCycle
The Freecycle Network is made up of 4,793 groups with 7,208,000 members across the globe. It’s a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of the people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills.

Thred UP
You don’t wear 25% of the clothes in your closet. Join thredUP and start exchanging them for some that you will! And now there is ThredUP for kids clothes – the way America’s busies families conveniently exchange kids clothing online.

Recycle Unwanted Electronics

For Money

Gazelle
Gazelle wants to change the world – one cell phone, one laptop, one iPod at a time. It is their purpose – and their promise – to provide a practical, rewarding way for people to finally rid themselves of all those old cell phones, digital cameras, and gaming systems that they no longer use, but can’t seem to find a way to let go of.

For items that they can’t offer any money for or don’t currently accept online, check out their Recycle Network Directory. It’s a a network of local recyclers to help you recycle those items.

Costco.com Trade-In Program
*Costco Member Exclusive
Trade-in your electronics and receive Costco Cash Cards! Costco has teamed up with Gazelle, the industry leader in electronics trade-in, to offer this program. Costco’s Trade-In Program now puts more money in your wallet. Trade-in electronic gadgets in more than 15 categories (such as laptops, cell phones, LCD monitors, digital cameras, MP3 players, gaming systems & more) for Costco Cash good for anything in Costco warehouses or at Costco.com.

Non-Monetary

You could also recycle electronics at Best Buy, Office Depot, and Staples.

Do you know of a great way to recycle or reuse an item? Or know of another great recycling website to add to this list? Please share in the comment section below.

Example: Beer/Soda tabs make great picture hangers for frames (yes, if you look at the many frames hanging on my walls, you will see I use tabs specifically for this use. Please, don’t drop the frame when you come over to check it out. ;))

Sunday Edition: Write your Budget Down

A budget is an important commodity to have in your journey towards a debt-free life. It’s even more important to write that budget down with a pencil and paper to ‘mentally engrave’ the figures in your brain.

I use pencil and paper myself to scibe down my budget (see Tools of Success). And I have an excel spreadsheet to back up that data. Then yesterday, I imported all the figures into Mint.com‘s Personal Finance Website. I do love the layout and how easy it process all my figures. I only wish Mint allowed you to budget for a single Cash Account; as I only use one account for budgeting. The other is my bill pay account and then I have a summer savings account.

Enjoy today’s articles where you can dream about the jobs you would do for free, how to deal with a financial catastrophe, preparing for a yard sale, save money on purchasing a home, inspiration for getting out of debt and writing a budget.

Financial Samurai: The List of Jobs I’d Do For Free Baby! I’d have to content with Sam, the Food critic for Michelin and English Teacher in a non-English speaking country would be nice. At one time, I actually contemplated the latter. Why, come to think of it Austin from Foreigner’s Finance is doing just that!

Eliminate the Muda!: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Dealing with Financial Catastrophe has sound advice, especially with “Commit Yourself”. Commit to your financial responsibility to make it out of the catastrophe.

WiseBread: 7 Mistakes that Can Ruin your Yard Sale offers advice how to optimize your yard sale. I always have stuff to get rid of, but not enough to want to host a yard sale. How to fix my dilemma? Pair up with the neighbors! Oh ya, and make a killer Yard Sale sign that one can read as they are driving by!

Don’t forget Garage Sale Tracker is having their iPhone giveaway. Be sure to stop on over to enter!

Little House in the Valley: Recycled Houses…Alternative Living features 3 different ways to save money on purchasing a home. I love watching HGTV feature a house that was built with recycled materials; like using wood from an old barn.

Consumerism Commentary: Smithee Debt Update, Mid-May 2010… I enjoy Smithee’s journey towards debt-freedom and building Net Worth. Its a great read for inspiration.

Deliver Away Debt: Wrote about Stop using a Credit Card, Write a Budget. I couldn’t agree more. If you are not financially savvy, get away from the credit card habit and write your budget down with pencil and paper. The process actually works to make a solid mental note about what needs to be done. Don’t rely on the computer. That’s only back up.

Low APR Credit Cards

Low APR credit cards feature the lowest interest rates on the market. Designed for customers with excellent credit, these cards are great for debt consolidation.

When choosing a low APR credit card there are several other factors to consider, like: balance transfer fees, credit ratings necessary to apply for a card, introductory rates, rewards incentives, and easy online account access.

Here are four credit cards that ranked highest overall in these factors:

Simmons First Visa Platinum

Excellent Required – applicants that do not have excellent credit will not be approved. Low 7.25% variable standard purchase APR and platinum benefits. No balance transfer for balances transferred in response to this online offer. No Annual Fee.

“Excellent credit required” I like that feature. A responsible credit user necessary to obtain the card. Platinum status I would assume means the travel insurance, car rental loss/damage waiver, and Emergency Cash & Credit card replacement services. With a $0 annual fee, no balance transfer fee during response to online offer, and low APR this is a good choice card. [Click to find our more about Simmons First Visa Platinum].

Simmons First Visa Platinum Rewards

Excellent credit required – applicants that do not have excellent credit will not be approved. Low 9.25% variable standard purchase APR and platinum benefits. Choose any U.S. based airline or ticket class. No blackout dates or seating restrictions. Other travel related options are hotels, cruises, vacation packages, car rental, and restaurants.

Again, excellent credit required. Nice. The APR is higher. Hmmm… Does this help the bank offset the Travel Rewards program? Cardholders who enroll in the program receive one point per net dollar spend. And the Platinum services describe in the previous card apply here, too.

If you’re consistant about paying off your card in full every month, this may be a rather good choice. But, from my knowledge, I believe you do not receive the ‘no balance transfer fee’ like the first choice. [Click to find our more about Simmons First Visa Platinum Rewards].

Orchard Bank Classic MasterCard

Acceptance at millions of locations worldwide, including website purchases and reservations. Your account information is updated and at your fingertips 24/7 so you can manage it your way. Email and text messages to remind you of your upcoming payment due date with online enrollment. On-call customer service representatives to assist you with questions or concerns. Various credit scores accepted for consideration.

On-call customer services reps, yes! I love a live person. Plus, the Orchard Bank MasterCard is offered by HSBC Bank. Reputable. But the Annual Fee… not so sure about that. Especially if I can’t rack up rewards. [Click to find our more about Orchard Bank Classic Mastercard].

Orchard Bank Visa Card

Acceptance at millions of locations including website purchases and reservations. Your account information is updated and at your fingertips 24/7 so you can manage it your way. Email and text messages to remind you of your upcoming payment due date with online enrollment. On-call customer service representatives to assist you with questions or concerns.

Live Customer service. Check. Low APR. Check. Annual Fee. Sigh. Again, no rewards. But with HSBC bank backing up the card, it is a psychological secure feeling. [Click to find our more about Orchard Bank Visa Card].

Conclusion: Credit Cards should only be used by financially savvy consumers. If you retain an excellent credit score and pay your credit card bills in full each month, then please consider these cards. If you need credit cards to buy things you cannot afford or use them to pay your bills, then please consider cutting them up and starting a journey to get out of debt.

Blendtec Total Blender obliterates an iPad

The iPad I am becoming accustomed to (thank you, MoneyCrashers.com), has become a great tool for reading recipes on the countertop to playing Guitar Hero or learning to mix a new drink. However, I still think its a ‘spoiled toy for adults that have nothing better to do with their money’. ;)

It seems Blendtech founder Tom Dickson has found another use for it. You can see what happens when you take a $400 Blendtec Total Blender TB-631-20 and combine it with an iPad in this YouTube video.

After 6-million views, I can’t believe I am just now seeing this video! (With grinding capabilities like that, I’m kind of cravin’ a green fruit smoothie right now)
 

The Mother’s Day Edition

Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there!

Today, I am going to tell you why I am proud of my mom.

Yesterday, I was told by my mom that she is following my blog religiously. And because of the content written on this blog, she was inspired to save a $4000 emergency fund within the last 4 months! Wow! She said that the feeling of being financially secure is an awesome feeling.

Dang, woman! Now I better make sure to keep up my end of the financial savvy bargain. I’d like to also add that recently my mother also increased her 401K contributions at work. This woman is on fire!

For all you bloggers out there, content is king. Practice what you preach also comes to mind. ;)

To My Mom

Mom, I am so over-thrilled with your financial accomplishments and speechless, at the same time, that my writings could have such effect. I know I write this blog to hold myself accountable for my financial journey and do hope I can help others to take that step towards a better financial life. But to know I am actually helping someone.. to find out someone so close to me is being rightfully affected – amazing!

I know this financial journey is a learned journey for both of us. We’ve come a far way. And because our family is full of stubborn women, we will push on to become successful at whatever we put our hard work into… We will continue to succeed in our financial path to become the independent financially savvy women we chose to be. Thank you, Mom. Thank you for instilling that stubbornness within my soul. :) Happy Mother’s Day!

Featured Links

Evan, did you see the comment from Brandy on my post Would you Take a Lottery Lump Sum Payout?. They won a few hundred thousand and used it to pay off debt. Woo Hoo! Success story!

Money Reasons: Is your Family History Holding you Back? <–There is no reason it has to hold you back. Take a step forward.

Ultimate Money Blog: Why It’s Frugal to Live in California <–still contemplating its frugalness. ;)

MoneyCrush: Do it Now <–Seems to be a popular message, right now in the blog-o-sphere. I like it!

Financial Samurai: Pretend You Have Arrived So You Can Become <–Donald Trump played this way when he was young, even though he lived in a small studio apartment in a not so pimped out neighborhood.

Planting Dollars: 3 Reasons why Cockroaches Would Make Excellent Entrepreneurs <–”Ewww” to cockroaches, but its a good analogy.

Clarifinancial: Fresh Perspective Interview with Christine McCarthy <–Me, the dinosaur leaf eater. ;) Thank you, Aaron for the opportunity to chat.

Giveaway & Cool Resource

Garage Sales Tracker is a site that offers individuals the ability to advertise garage sales on the internet. They strive to make advertising yard sales as effective and efficient as possible. By featuring tools that allow prospective buyers to more easily find garage sales, the site will give you great exposure for your yard sale.

Well GST is having aa Free iPhone Giveaway running from May 6th to June 4th! Be sure to enter for your chance to win!

Cool Resources

I just learned about Discover Bank High Yield Savings Account with a 1.35% APR. They are rated 5-star for Safe & Sound by Bankrate.com. Required minimum deposit of $500 to open. I’ve added them to the Best Savings Account Page as they contend with Ally Bank and EverBank.

Would you take a Lottery Lump Sum Payout?

The multi-state Mega Millions lottery game holds at $266,000,000 (at the time of writing this post). If you became the lucky recipient of the Mega Millions (or Powerball), would you take an annuity payment or a lottery lump sum payout?

If you take an annuity payment, for the next 26 years you’re looking at about $39,500 for every million dollars won.

If you take a lump sum payout, payment varies state to state. For the sake of this article, we will consider taking a lump sum payout.

Because according to Craig Wallace, a senior funding officer who buys annuities for lump sum payments, states that its a better choice:

“People are far better off taking a lump sum and investing it than taking the annuity. It’s bad for my business, but it is definitely the way to go.

“If you choose the annuity, what you’re choosing is a fixed amount of money a year for 20, 25, even 30 years down the road. In some states the money will escalate somewhat. For example, in Colorado, the money grows at 3.7 percent a year on a 25-year payout. In Florida, the payments are stretched out for 30 years, that’s the worst in the country,” he says.

“You are subject to a change in the tax rate. You know what the tax consequences are now, but you don’t know how it will change. The value of your money decreases over time. I wouldn’t take that bet.”

“Take the lump sum. That’s definitely the way to go. You’re better off investing the money and taking charge of your own destiny.”

You’re the Winner

If you take a lottery lump sum payout, you are looking at a cash value of $165,200,00 (for this particular drawing in the state of CA).

*Woosh* That’s an overwhelming amount of responsibility. Do you know how you would handle that amount?

Don’t end up like these winners

  • Suzanne Mullins won $4.2 million in the Virginia lottery in 1993. Now she’s deeply in debt to a company that lent her money using the winnings as collateral.
  • “Winning the lottery isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be,” says Evelyn Adams, who won the New Jersey lottery not just once but twice (1985, 1986) to the tune of $5.4 million. Today, the money is gone and Adams lives in a trailer.
  • Ken Proxmire was a machinist when he won $1 million in the Michigan lottery. He moved to California, went into the car business with his brothers and within five years, Ken had filed for bankruptcy.
  • William “Bud” Post won $16.2 million in the Pennsylvania lottery in 1988 but now lives on his Social Security.

Play it Smart

As a personal finance blogger or reader, you are hopefully implementing the steps to become a financially independent person:

  • Not Spending on Impulse
  • Paying down debt
  • Building an emergency fund to cover 6 month’s worth of expenses
  • Investing in your 401K or Roth IRA
  • etc…

Those things don’t stop if your win a large sum of money. If you decided to take the lump sum payout then you may also need to consider hiring a Certified Financial Planner to help you manage such money.

What to spend it on

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know it drives me bonkers that my husband spends $10 per week on lottery tickets. And we had that discussion again this morning. I ranted that for, ‘someone who thinks they are financially saavy… you could make a lot more saving and investing that $10 per week’. His response, ‘there is no gaurantee that a business is a safe investment either. Especially in this economy.’

It’s his little bit of joy to dream upon in life. I just chose to give him a hard time about it. ;)

And he has his ongoing list of how the money would be spent: a ranch house, a big European vacation for his wife, a truck & bass fishing boat, and to help certain family members.

What would you do?

So as the lucky recipient of Mega Millions lottery winnings, would you take annuity payments or a lottery lump sum payout? And what dreams would you secure with your winning?

[Source]
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Book Giveaway – Your Money Ratios: 8 Simple Tools for Financial Security

Your Money Ratios: 8 Simple Tools for Financial Security

by Charles Farrell, J.D., LL.M., Avery

“Best Financial Formula Book of 2009” – The Wall Street Journal
“Best of 2009 Business Book” – Reuters

According to the 2009 Retirement Confidence Survey, only 13% of workers were “very confident” about saving enough money for a comfortable retirement—down from 27% in 2007. But they need not worry anymore.

Your Money Ratios: 8 Simple Tools for Financial Security (by Charles Farrell, J.D., LL.M., Avery, on sale now) is THE definitive guide to achieving financial independence and a secure retirement. As we all know, the economy is a fickle creature but by implementing Farrell’s ratios, people of every age and tax bracket will have an integrated, proven approach to successfully managing their personal finance.

Unlike needlessly complicated guides, Your Money Ratios demystifies personal finance, providing readers with incredibly practical ratios for creating a healthy financial present and future and helps answer the basic questions of personal finance:

  • How much should I be saving each year?
  • How much should I have saved at my age?
  • How much debt should I carry?
  • How do I invest my savings?
  • What insurance do I need?

Ultimately, Your Money Ratios is not about getting rich quick. Rather, it’s about developing a long-term plan for prudently managing your finances, steadily building your assets, and last but not least, setting yourself up for a secure retirement.

This is an essential book for anyone who does not want to worry about money when they retire.

P.S. There is also a free online retirement calculator that goes along with Your Money Ratios on www.yourmoneyratios.com.

More from Amazon: Your Money Ratios: 8 Simple Tools for Financial Security

To Enter:

Leave a Comment and answer me this: Do you fear saving enough for retirement? What steps do you feel you need to implement or have implemented to secure funding for your retirement?

Contest will close Saturday, May 8th at Midnight (same as this Presidential Coin giveaway). Winner will be contacted via email.

This giveaway is closed. The winner will be notified by email. Thank you for entering! :) <--Congratulations to Jim!

Future Endeavors and a Giveaway

Money Funk is experiencing Growth. And in order to keep up with the growth, we’re doing a bit of work behind the scenes. Enjoy the video for further explanation. :)

Sunday 0502 from Money Funk on Vimeo.

Notes:
if I’d stop tweeking my posts I wouldn’t have crawl errors (like changing categories, deletion of older posts, etc…). LOL.
That whining in the back ground is my cat yawning. Dorky cat. ;)

This Week’s Highlight

Whether your blogging or not, if there is a goal you want to reach… Erica and James’ post offer some great advice.

Giveaway

How about a 2010 Presidential $1 Coin Uncirculated Set???

The 2010 Presidential $1 Coin Uncirculated Set™ contains all of the Presidential $1 Coins issued in 2010. You will receive Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan and Abraham Lincoln $1 Coins, from both the United States Mint facilities at Philadelphia and Denver – a total of eight coins.


This set is presented in a folder with biographical sketches, notable quotes and portraits of each President. Each coin is mounted in an individual protective, rotatable blister; edge-incused inscriptions on the coins are fully visible. An image of the President appears on each obverse of the coins and the common reverse features a striking rendition of the Statue of Liberty. These coins also feature edge-incused inscriptions of the year, E PLURIBUS UNUM, and the mint mark. The size, weight and metal composition of the Presidential $1 Coins are identical to that of the Native American $1 Coin.

These four coins will be struck for a limited time only, making this set not only a great gift but also an enduring reminder of our Nation’s history!

Enjoy this giveaway brought to you by Snubbr.com!

Snubbr.com is sorta like Yahoo Answers for shopping advice. Let’s say you want to buy a new money clip, or looking for a new gadget, you’ll just head over to snubbr.com, and ask the experts your question. They will do all the research for you and recommend things for you to buy, saving you loads of time and stress. It’s like a personal shopper.

To Enter

Leave a comment below. One Entry per Person. Giveaway will close Saturday, May 8th at Midnight. Happy Entering!

This giveaway is closed. The winner will be notified by email. Thank you for entering! :) <--Congratulations, Susan!