June 2008 Finance and Frugality Blog Carnivals

We would like to thank the following Blog Carnivals for featuring our posts.

(This list will be updated to include future inclusions for the month of June 2008.)

Descending chronologically by inclusion date

Economical Pet and Child Safe Ways to Repel and Kill Ants, Spiders and Other Insects

No Creeping Crawling Buzzing Sign Image by Madoline Hatter

With the charms of summer also come not-so-charming and unwelcome visitors. With consistent 100+ degree weather in the desert we call home, 6- and 8-legged visitors (or really more like trespassers) are almost a regular part of life. But we have discovered a few safe and relative effective ways to keep the trespasser traffic under control without endangering our health or that of our children/pets Ludwig and Wolfgang.

Ways to Safely Repel and Kill Ants

Ants are the largest problem for us. In this desert, there are more types of ants than we have seen anywhere else we’ve lived – there are tiny red ants, medium ants, and jumbo ants (luckily the jumbo ones don’t see fit to come inside).

Prevention is the Best Medicine

The most basic, safest and easiest way to keep the ant traffic down is simply keeping the kitchen as clean as possible.

  • Avoid leaving dirty dishes in the sink.
  • Wash pots and pans immediately if you cook anything with meat or a lot of oil.
  • Wipe the counters several times a day with soap. A minuscule crumb or little drop of something sweet can quickly bring a hoard of ants.
  • Take out the kitchen trash everyday. Take out trash immediately if it contains meat, bones, greasy paper towels and napkins, meat packaging and sweet things.
  • Avoid eating in bedrooms, and be careful of dropping crumbs in other rooms of the house.
  • I’ve also found that having the air conditioner on helps.

Creepy Fact: When you dispatch an ant on duty, you are in fact killing a “she” and not an “it” (or “he”). Worker ants are all female. The males are only used for breeding.

Ways to Safely Kill Ants

Sometimes keeping clean doesn’t keep them away completely (scouts sometimes explore squeaky clean counters), or if you miss a crumb or two. If you have children or pets as we do, the fewer poisons you use around the house the better. Even if you don’t have children or pets, it is best to avoid using toxins as they will affect your health.

  • Vinegar
    Vinegar is our preferred ant killer. It kills small ants almost immediately and is completely safe. Simply spray the ants and wipe them away.
  • Yeast and Sugar
    Mix some dry yeast and sugar and leave it out in a place ants frequent. The sugar will attract the ants to the yeast, which once brought back to the nest and consumed, will expand in their bellies and kill them. This method might cease to work after a few times as the ants might wise up and avoid the yeast. Caution: Make sure the yeast is in a location that can’t be reached by your pet(s). It’s not poisonous, but ingestion can be dangerous.
  • EcoSmart
    I recently discovered a natural and effective insecticide called EcoSmart, which is made of organic vanilla, cinnamon and rosemary oils. It kills ants and other insects on contact and smells nice while at it. It is also affordable at $3.87 per can at Walmart. This is the only commercial insect repellent and killer we use in our house.

Keep reading for tips on repelling and killing other insects (spiders, roaches, silverfish, etc.)

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Finance Fiesta No. 3: The Spanish Money Proverbs Edition

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¡Bienvenidos a la tercera edición de la Fiesta de Finanza!

Welcome to the 3rd edition of the Finance Fiesta. I’ve always enjoyed proverbs, and since Spanish is one of my favorite languages, our theme for this week’s fiesta is Spanish Money Proverbs. The following proverbs all come from A Polyglot of Foreign Proverbs for anyone who wants to know. Hope you enjoy them.

Editor’s Picks

“El dinero hace lo malo bueno.”
Money turns bad into good.

Megan presents Christmas already? posted at A Dollar a Day.

Editor’s Comment: Nice tips for saving money and staying healthy and sane when flying.

JoseDeJesus MD presents How to Prevent Identity Theft posted at Physician Entrepreneur.

Editor’s Comment: A nice simple guide for preventing identitity theft and what to do if you fall victim.

♦ Anand presents How to Master Money & Wealth: Intro posted at Anand Dhillon.com, saying, “A complete series that covers how to master money and wealth. The topics include increasing financial awareness, developing the right mindset, saving and money management.”

Editor’s Comment: Be sure to also check out the excellent post following this introduction: How to Master Money & Wealth: Raising Your Financial Awareness

♦ Erica Douglass presents When Should You Buy Real Estate — And When Is It Better to Rent? posted at erica.biz, saying, “By the time you’re done reading this, you’ll have an excellent idea of exactly when higher-priced houses will fall in price, and you’ll have an armload of data to assist you in determining when a house is priced correctly — no matter where it is or what its price.”

Editor’s Comment: Includes some good advice on investment options in lieu of real estate that might work better for you.

Master Your Card presents Credit and Debit Card Blocks at the Pump posted at Master Your Card.

Editor’s Comment: Beware of holds that could put your account into overdraft and incur fees when gas stations authorize your card for a fill-up.

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