10 Tools That You Can Share With Your Neighbors To Save Money

Sharing Tools with Neighbors to Save Money

My family is very fortunate to live where we do. Not only do we have several neighbors who we enjoy spending time with, but we know that we have friends nearby that we can always turn to for help. The people who live on our street have no issues asking for a cup of sugar or an extra set of hands during home renovation projects. However, sometimes these projects require tools we don’t have. If you have a good relationship with those in your neighborhood, here are 10 tools you can share with your neighbors to save money.

10 Tools You Can Share With Your Neighbors to Save Money

Working in construction, my husband has collected quite a few tools over the years. However, they don’t come cheap. Quality items run anywhere from $100 – $1,000, depending on what you need. And if he only needs them for a single job, it doesn’t make sense to buy them new.

Many people feel the same way which is why they are creating neighborhood networks and tool libraries to share resources and save money. If no one in your neighborhood has access to what they need, here are 10 tools you can share with your neighbors to save money.

1. Lawn Mower

One of the most demanding responsibilities for homeowners is lawn care. And if you have an HOA, they may have strict rules about the appearance of your lawn. Hiring these services can be expensive, but so is buying a new lawn mower. With prices ranging from $150 – $2,000, a new mower may not be in your budget. Therefore, it may make more financial sense to pool your resources and get one to share among your neighbors.

2. Leaf Blower

Having a leaf blower can make yard cleanup a breeze. Unfortunately, these time-saving tools cost an average of $150 each. So if you prefer to skip the back-breaking chores and the extra cost, splitting the expense will make it more affordable.

3. Chainsaw

There will be times when you need a chainsaw to maintain your trees and clear away debris. Although it may be the best tool for the job, it does come at a price. Cheaper electric models start around $80, but sturdier gas-powered models could run you $350. So, if it isn’t something you will use regularly, this could be one of the tools to share with neighbors to help you save.

4. Gardening Tools

Although I’m not an avid gardener, I understand that gardening tools are essential for planting, maintaining, and cultivating. Without the right tools, it could damage your plants and add hours of unnecessary effort. But if you aren’t ready to invest in your own, sharing these tools could save you a lot of time and money.

5. Pressure Washer

Over time, mold, mildew, and grime will grow and cling to the exterior surfaces of your home and vehicles. Pressure washing not only keeps things looking new, but it will also help you maintain a cleaner, healthier home. However, it doesn’t make sense to spend hundreds of dollars for something you may only use once a year. Instead, talk to your neighbors to see if anyone would be willing to pitch in to reduce the cost of owning one.

6. Snow Blower

The winter months can be brutal in colder climates, especially if you don’t have a snow blower. Unfortunately, they aren’t an option for everyone since the average cost is around $950 for a new one. But if your neighbors are willing to share the cost and responsibility for snow removal, a snow blower could make this winter a little more bearable.

7. Extension Ladder

Most of us have the standard 6 ft ladder to assist with jobs around the house. On the other hand, people usually don’t have the need or space for extension ladders in their garages. But for those times when you need one to reach high places, buying an extension ladder for the neighborhood will make life easier.

8. Drills

Drills are one of the most commonly used tools around the house. Therefore, people usually own a cordless drill to help them with small projects. But if you need something to drill through tougher materials, you will probably need a drill with more power. Rather than renting them out every time you need them, you could purchase these tools to share with neighbors.

9. Saws

Although you may have a few saws, it’s important to know their specific purposes. While some are suitable for bigger jobs, others are more effective for detailed work and awkward maneuvers. However, if you don’t have the saw you need, it’s better to talk to your neighbors before spending money on a new one that you may only use once.

10. Air Compressor

Air compressors are highly versatile. They can be used for anything from inflating tires and powering tools to cleaning up after messy jobs. But even a portable one will set you back at least $100. And if you need a larger tank for bigger jobs, you could spend thousands. Depending on the models you are looking at, dividing the cost could be beneficial for everyone.

Considerations Before You Share Tools With Your Neighbor

Starting a neighborhood tool share makes environmental and economic sense. But before you jump in and start buying expensive equipment, here are a few considerations to keep in mind.

  • Is it better to buy or borrow? Sometimes, it’s more cost-effective to borrow or rent tools for one-time jobs. But if you will use it often and have the room to store it, it’s probably better to buy what you need.
  • Are there safety concerns? The person borrowing the tool is ultimately responsible for using them safely and properly. However, you should make sure they know how to use the tool and to wear proper safety gear.
  • Are there terms and expectations for borrowing? To ensure no one abuses the system, you may want to set time limits and expectations for borrowing the tools. Although a verbal agreement should be enough, you can create a simple contract with the details.
  • Who is responsible for damage or loss? It should be common sense that the person borrowing the tool is responsible for its care and safe return. If you are at fault, it’s in your best interests to replace it, no matter the cost. Although it will be an expensive lesson, you need to think about your relationships. Since you live next to them, shirking responsibility could impact the entire neighborhood.

Sharing tools can be a great way to save money and get the help you need for bigger jobs. If you aren’t sure if tool sharing is the right choice for your neighborhood, host a get-together. This will give everyone a chance to meet, gauge interest, and determine if it’s the right option for your neighbors.

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7 Perfect Jobs If You Love to Read

7 Perfect Jobs If You Love to Read

Reading has always been one of my favorite pastimes. It has also been one of the most important skills that have helped me advance my education and career. However, if you are looking to turn this passion into profit, here are 7 jobs for those who love to read.

7 Perfect Jobs for Those Who Love to Read

1. Library or Bookstore Staff

When I was a kid, it was my dream to live in the library. Sadly, I had to settle for volunteering during summer vacation. Although it was a chore for some, it was heaven for me. Not only did I have unlimited access to all the books in the city, but I also got the first chance to borrow the latest ones as soon as they hit the shelves.

While many pursue a degree in library and information science, it is still possible to find other jobs that revolve around books. If you want to work in the library, they hire assistants to help guests, restock shelves, create promotional material for events, and lead story hours for children. The other alternative would be to look for vacancies at local bookstores. Although it can provide employment opportunities and access to books, you’ll have to be careful not to spend your entire paycheck.

2. Audiobook Narrator

Becoming an audiobook narrator is another idea for those who love reading. Audiobooks have increased in popularity in the last decade because they allow us to multitask. People can easily enjoy their favorite books while they do chores, run errands, exercise, or go about other daily activities.

But, did you know that they pay people to narrate? Although some famous personalities have made a name for themselves, they also hire regular people with excellent narration skills. You could have the opportunity to work with new authors by recording chapters or entire audiobooks. Just keep in mind that you will need quality recording equipment to get the most lucrative contracts.

3. Book Reviewer

If you already love reading, you could work as a book reviewer to share your insights and opinions with others. Those who are interested in this position can find jobs through freelance websites, online magazines, and other publishers in the industry.

And if you can’t land an official contract, you could create your own site for book reviews. This option offers more control over the content and subject matter as well. You could keep it purely for reviews, or make it a regular newsletter that focuses on new releases, best sellers, or specific genres.

If you decide to host your own blog or podcast, you could build a large following by sharing your opinions, scheduling interviews with authors, and promoting new books. However, your greatest chance of financial success is through advertising and paid subscribers. Social media presents many new opportunities. And, you never know…hosting your own site could open the door for other partnerships and sponsorships.

4. Proofreader

Once the author finishes writing, books must then go through edits, fact-checking, and proofreading. There are thousands of manuscripts submitted every day. So if you have a strong grasp of the grammar rules of the English language and an eye for detail, proofreading is one of the best jobs for people who love to read.

You could earn a decent living helping people perfect their work. This includes looking for grammatical, typographical, punctuation, formatting, and other errors as you read. Some publishers and authors will also pay extra to have it converted to e-book formatting as well.

If you’re looking for these jobs, you can start by contacting publishing houses, posting your services through freelance marketplaces, or advertising directly to the writers. Not only can you make it a full-time career, but you also get to sneak peek at material even before it’s available to the general public.

5. Tutor

For those who want to share their passion for reading, tutoring offers many benefits.  In addition to helping others improve their comprehension, you also help students develop their analytical skills and gain a real appreciation for the written word. And since it is such a fundamental skill, you can choose subjects that interest you and have more say about who you work with.

Reading is a crucial component of a good education.  Therefore, there are many ways to find tutoring positions. Many people will post in the online forums. But, you can also search for tutoring agencies that find students for you. And course, there’s always the old-fashioned way of asking around for references. For those committed to continuing their learning while helping others, tutoring jobs are a great way to bring in extra income.

6. Book Club Moderator

I’ve been a member of many book clubs over the years. They were usually informal meetings, which meant attendance and participation were inconsistent. But after doing some research, I’ve learned that there are more serious book clubs and jobs if you love to read. These clubs are a fun and interactive way to find other bibliophiles. And, members have more incentive to attend discussions since they are paying for it.

If you can find a job as a paid moderator, you would be responsible for researching new books, keeping notes, writing discussion questions, and leading in-person or online discussions. Your main priority is to ensure that there are always interesting topics and insights to discuss. Plus, you may be able to sell the content as course material when you are done.

7. Writer

Many avid readers dream of becoming an author someday. You probably already know dozens of people with pet projects and half-finished manuscripts. But thanks to the internet, it has become much easier to get published.

There are always opportunities for talented writers to turn their ideas into publishing deals. However, if it was easy, then everyone would be doing it. Therefore, you need to know the market you’re getting into, research the industry, and practice your craft every day to keep your skills sharp.

Most authors will tell you that the most important thing is to find your voice, then find your niche. Don’t be afraid to ask others to read your work and help you determine what can make you a stand-out author. Although it may not have been the career path you set out on, it could help you make a living by doing what you love.

Bonus Job: Flip Vintage Comics Books 

The biggest comic book fans today don’t even read comic books. While it helps to know something about comic book culture to flip comic books, you don’t have to be an expert.

The collectibles market experiences temporary surges whenever a new superhero film is announced.  You still need to make connections and know which auction and social media marketplace site to use for your benefit. But there is a demand for old comic books that you can take advantage of as comic book film hype continues.

Regularly check the market value of your comics for free on an online comic book price guide. Then, you can hustle to sell them.

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Should Couples Keep Separate Bank Accounts?

Should Couples Keep Separate Bank Accounts?

Managing your finances is one of the most important decisions you will make as a couple. The traditional view is that couples should join their assets. Combining your resources is a concrete way to show that you are joining your lives together. However, there has been more room for discussion recently. As women become more financially independent and people marry later in life, this may not be the best decision. If you are in a serious relationship, you should discuss with your partner if it is better for couples to keep separate bank accounts.

The Reasons for Separate Bank Accounts

When confronted with this question, I was very uncomfortable with the idea of opening a joint bank account. Having my own accounts gave me autonomy since I had full control of my finances. Furthermore, I was not responsible for paying down my partner’s debts or support payments. I did not like anyone else having access to my funds without permission. Separate accounts also mean that no one can track or question your expenditures.

Some have told me this is a very cynical outlook. On the contrary, I feel it is a way to protect yourself and your assets. Statistics show that nearly half of marriages fail. Often times, finances are a huge contributing factor to marital problems. In my experience, there were fewer arguments about money. At the end of the day, couples who keep separate bank accounts will have more security yet less paperwork and bitter fighting over assets if they split up.

The Reasons for Joint Bank Accounts

Over time, I came to understand that pooling your resources builds trust with your partner. Not only do you have a shared goal for your future, there is less suspicion when you have transparency. In addition, it provides a clearer picture of your financial situation. With a joint account, there are few opportunities for surprises such as hidden accounts or debts.

There are also practical reasons for opening a joint account with your partner. In case of an emergency, it removes obstacles if your spouse needs to access the money. If you are unavailable or unable to allow access, it could create unnecessary headaches and frustration. Joint accounts also streamline the process of transferring funds to your partner after death. There is a significant amount of red tape if you maintain separate accounts.

The Right Decision for You

In the end, only you and your partner know what is best for your situation. In my case, I chose to retain my private accounts while opening one joint account to pay bills. I still had full control over my own finances. However, we also shared responsibility for our monthly expenses. The sense of equal partnership and accountability created shared goals without giving up my financial independence. It also created balance since one partner did not need to ask for an allowance or permission to spend money.

I also feel that having our own spending cash prevented a lot of conflict. As long as our bills were paid, we were free to use our personal funds any way we saw fit. I was able to splurge occasionally without someone watching my every move. It allowed breathing room in the relationship and eliminated anxiety.  Money matters can be difficult to navigate as you intertwine you life with someone else. The only way to determine what is best for you is through open communication. Carefully consider all the pros and cons before you make a decision that will affect the course of your financial future.

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