Online job postings and more: How the Internet can make and save you money
Online job postings put Craigslist on the map, but it's also a great way to sell items or to find a new housemate (question 1 from the Reader Mailbag). Want to make money off the Internet? Blog (question 8). Want to save money on cable? Download movies on Netflix (question 9).
What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question.Skip to next paragraph
The Simple Dollar is a blog for those of us who need both cents and sense: people fighting debt and bad spending habits while building a financially secure future and still affording a latte or two. Our busy lives are crazy enough without having to compare five hundred mutual funds – we just want simple ways to manage our finances and save a little money.
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1. How to find a housemate
2. Getting neighbors involved
3. Building credit from nothing
4. Charities and taxes
5. A 203(k) mortgage
6. Suggest some board games
7. Investing extra money
8. Writing online for money
9. Giving up cable for Netflix
10. Dealing with bad credit
Due to some medical results and the recommendations made to me because of them, I’ve been eating a plant-based diet for a month now (that’s right – no meat or animal products, at least as far as I could reasonably tell).
It’s actually been easier than I thought it would be. The first two weeks were the hardest. At this point, I’m not really bothered by it at all, though cheese still sounds really good. I really wonder if I’ll feel the same way in a few months.
Q1: How to find a housemate
I have thought about this for about a year and I think I am finally ready to rent out a spare room in my house. I have a 3 bedroom, 1 bath home near Pittsburgh PA. The house and room are great: can be fully furnished, lots of living space, large yard and ample off street parking. The problem I am having is how to go about finding a housemate. I have asked all my friends and family if they know of anyone looking for a place, unfortunately no one does. I put an advertisement up on craigslist. I put really nice pictures and tried to showcase how large the room was and hardwood floors. I had a few people interested, but no one ever showed to see the place. Do you have any suggestions on where I can list my room? Or should I just keep posting on craigslist? The room is 120 sq feet with a large closet and ALL utilities are included for $450 a month.
If the $450/month rate is comparable to what similar rooms are renting for in your area (and Craigslist can help you figure this out), then the problem is probably with your salesmanship.
If you say “you get a 120 square foot room,” that’s going to sound like a prison cell to some potential renters. What other amenities is the person going to have if they rent the room? Will they have bathroom access? What about a kitchen? How much is the square footage including the closet? Is there parking available? What other amenities are nearby?
If you want renters, accentuate every positive you can think of about the room and the area you’re in. You want to entice them to check your room out.
Q2: Getting neighbors involved
I live in a high-rise in suburban NJ — great building, nice neighbors, love my apartment — we’ve just been told that due to neglected maintenance, we’re being hit with a special assessment and the recent condo board meeting was not pleasant.
I’m very interested in frugality and going green, both for the planet and to save $$$$, but am stumped as to how to make this effort larger than just my one-bedroom.