energy

$241,080: The Cost to Raise a Kid

Posted on 08/16/2013 by |Money and Work | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsDear Adult Children, If you don’t appreciate your parents by now, perhaps this will change your mind: Raising a kid today costs $241,080 — and that doesn’t even count spiraling higher education expenses, according to a new government report. (By the way, you’re welcome Bloomberg’s Zara Kessler.) That figure represents an increase from the $219,500 (inflation adjusted) that we boomer parents shelled out to raise your generation (born around 1990), says Mark Lino, an economist who did the calculations for …

Get Cooking With a DIY Solar Oven

Posted on 08/5/2013 by |The Ultimate Cheapskate | Comments

Money & SavingsWith plenty of sunny days still ahead — but with summer vacation nearing its sunset for kids and grandkids — here’s a fun, inexpensive and educational project to do with the young people in your life during the dog days of summer.  Build a simple solar oven (aka a “solar cooker”) from repurposed household items. It will not only amaze and amuse kids of all ages, but it really works. And it will save you money and keep the heat out …

Who Pays Some of the Highest Gas and Electric Bills?

Posted on 06/14/2013 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

PoliticsMeet Paula Wood from Alabama. Retired, once married – now single, supporting herself on Social Security alone, Paula must make sacrifices to make ends meet. But, her electric bills have skyrocketed from $50 to $300 a month in six years. Paula has cut her budget in every possible way. She says, “I also have bronchial asthma, so I have to use power to be able to maintain breathing… If I didn’t have to eat and I didn’t have to breathe, …

3 Questions When Utility Companies Try to Raise Your Rates

Posted on 05/31/2013 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

PoliticsAcross the country, a number of gas and electric companies are looking to increase their customers’ bills. The cost of everything is going up, but sometimes utilities ask for too much. Here are 3 questions you should ask the next time your utility company tries to raise your rates: 1) When rates go up, will quality improve? Is the utility being held accountable for providing reliable service? 2) What impact do raised rates have on the company’s profit? Is the …

Other Earth-Friendly Days

Posted on 04/19/2013 by |The Ultimate Cheapskate | Comments

Home & Family | Money & SavingsDon’t get me wrong:  as a lifelong environmentalist, I think that Earth Day (April 22) serves an invaluable purpose both as a celebration of our wondrous planet and as an opportunity to draw attention to the many serious – literally “life threatening” – challenges facing our natural environment.  The only problem with Earth Day is that it’s a single day once a year, while our responsibility to the environment is 24/7, every day of the year. The good news is …

Lightbulb alert! Another one bites the dust.

Posted on 08/14/2012 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Personal HealthThe old joke, “How many (blonds, lawyers, etc.) does it take to screw in a lightbulb?” just got more complicated! The old  flourescent tubes that used to illuminate millions of homes, and still light up many garages, workrooms and office buildings, bid their final adieu on Saturday. If you have one of these old fixtures in your home, you’ll need to know your options when the lights go out. T12 bulbs, engineered in the 30′s and used for over 50 years, are …