Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Here's your daily dose of confidence

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Facts about the Internet

Or interwebz as I lovingly refer to it as:








Interesting huh?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I've learned...

Quotes from around the interwebz...

I’ve learned…
that you can do something in an instant
that will give you heartache for life.

I’ve learned…
that you should always leave loved
ones with loving words.
It may be the last time you see them.

I’ve learned…
that we are responsible for what we do,
no matter how we feel.

I’ve learned…
that either you control your
attitude or it controls you.

I’ve learned…
that heroes are the people who do what has
to be done when it needs to be done,
regardless of the consequences.

I’ve learned…
that my best friend and I can do anything
or nothing and have the best time.

I’ve learned…
that sometimes the people you expect to
kick you when you’re down will be the
ones to help you get back up.

I’ve learned…
that true friendship continues to grow,
even over the longest distance.

I’ve learned…
that just because someone doesn’t love you
the way you want them to doesn’t mean they
don’t love you with all they have.

I’ve learned…
that maturity has more to do with what types
of experiences you’ve had and what you’ve
learned from them and less to do with how
many birthdays you’ve celebrated.

I’ve learned…
that no matter how good a friend is, they’re
going to hurt you every once in a while and
you must forgive them for that.

I’ve learned…
that it isn’t always enough to be forgiven by
others, Sometimes you have to learn to forgive

I’ve learned…
that our background and circumstances may
have influenced who we are, but we are
responsible for who we become.

I’ve learned…
that just because two people argue, it doesn’t
mean they don’t love each other. And just
because they don’t argue, it doesn’t mean
they do.

I’ve learned…
that we don’t have to change friends
if we understand that friends change.

I’ve learned…
that two people can look at the exact same
thing and see something totally different.

I’ve learned…
that even when you think you have no more
to give, when a friend cries out to you,
you will find the strength to help.

I’ve learned…
that credentials on the wall do not
make you a decent human being.

I’ve learned…
that the people you care about most
in life are taken from you too soon.

I’ve learned…
that family and friends are what make
us who we are today, and without them
we would never be complete.

I’ve learned…
that you cannot make someone love you.
All you can do is stalk them and hope they panic and give in.

I’ve learned…
that it is not what you wear; it is how you take it off.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Few odd/weird/interesting and gross videos to waste time...

Hibiki Kono had a dream — he wanted to be like his hero, Spiderman. Most little kids would have their parents buy them a costume that they could wear to school. Not Kono — the 13 year-old set to work making his dream a reality. He’s used two 1,400-watt recycled vacuum cleaners and a little bit of elbow grease to make a machine that allows him to scale walls — just like his spindly hero!

This DIY genius was shunned at first. When he announced his plans his teachers and parents were doubtful that he’d succeed. Kono’s design technology teacher, Angus Gent, told reporters, “I’m hugely proud of him. When he came to me with the idea at the beginning I had my doubts.” But to the surprise and delight of his community, the 13 year-old’s design was successful and Kono says he completely trusts the machine to hold him up on any wall.

However, his mom’s not so sure, she won’t let him climb the walls in his bedroom for fear that he, “may pull down the ceiling.” Kono thinks that the machine could be helpful for window washers, and in some of his demonstrations shows how one could easily use one hand to support themselves on his DIY machine and the other to clean the surface they’re climbing. Kono showed his nifty technology off to a school assembly, but unlike Spiderman, Spiderboy has limitations. His mom won’t let him climb higher than the vacuum cleaner power chords will let him. You see, he’s got to keep his machine plugged in to work.

Dancing Baby Doing The Samba In Brazil


An MMA fighter won his fight, then he tried to celebrate by doing a back flip, but he landed on his head.

Um, ouch!
Van sinks while trying to load jet ski
Some genius backed his van into a lake, opened the back doors, and tried to drive his Jet Ski straight into it. But the added weight pulled the whole van into the water.
Oh my...


Parody about BP execs spilling coffee.

The Upright Citizens Brigade sketch-comedy group did a parody about the BP oil executives spilling their coffee, and coming up with stupid ways to clean it up.


Dead goat bagpipe? Ewww

Some guy in Australia turned a dead goat into a BAGPIPE. When he holds it, it looks like he's just got a goat sitting on his lap. And when he plays it, it just looks WRONG.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The pareto principle (Pareto's law)

The pareto principle (Pareto's law)

Known by various names, including The Pareto Principle, The Pareto Law, Pareto's Law, The 80/20 Rule, The 80:20 Rule, Pareto Theory, The Principle of Least Effort (a term coined by George Zipf in 1949 based on Pareto's theory), The Principle of Imbalance, The 80-20 Principle.

The principle is extremely helpful in bringing swift and easy clarity to complex situations and problems, especially when deciding where to focus effort and resources.

The Pareto Principle (at a simple level) suggests that where two related data sets or groups exist (typically cause and effect, or input and output):

"80 percent of output is produced by 20 percent of input."

or alternatively

"80 percent of outcomes are from 20 percent of causes"

or alternatively

"80 percent of contribution comes from 20 percent of the potential contribution available"

There is no definitive Pareto 'quote' as such - the above are my own simplified interpretations of Pareto's 80-20 Rule. The Pareto Principle is a model or theory, and an extremely useful model at that. It has endless applications - in management, social study and demographics, all types of distribution analysis, and business and financial planning and evaluation.

In actual fact the Pareto Principle does not say that the 80:20 ratio applies to every situation, and neither is the model based on a ratio in which the two figures must add to make 100.

And even where a situation does contain a 80:20 correlation other ratios might be more significant, for example:

* 99:22 (illustrating that even greater concentration than 80:20 and therefore significance at the 'top-end') or
* 5:50 (ie, just 5% results or benefit coming from 50% of the input or causes or contributors, obviously indicating an enormous amount of ineffectual activity or content).

The reasons why 80:20 has become the 'standard' are:

* the 80-20 correlation was the first to be discovered
* 80-20 remains the most striking and commonly occurring ratio
* and since its discovery, the 80:20 ratio has always been used as the name and basic illustration of the Pareto theory.

Here are some examples of Pareto's Law as it applies to various situations. According to the Pareto Principle, it will generally the case (broadly - remember it's a guide not a scientific certainty), that within any given scenario or system or organisation:

* 80 percent of results come from 20 percent of efforts
* 80 percent of activity will require 20 percent of resources
* 80 percent of usage is by 20 percent of users
* 80 percent of the difficulty in achieving something lies in 20 percent of the challenge
* 80 percent of revenue comes from 20 percent of customers
* 80 percent of problems come from 20 percent of causes
* 80 percent of profit comes from 20 percent of the product range
* 80 percent of complaints come from 20 percent of customers
* 80 percent of sales will come from 20 percent of sales people
* 80 percent of corporate pollution comes from 20 percent of corporations
* 80 percent of work absence is due to 20 percent of staff
* 80 percent of road traffic accidents are cause by 20 percent of drivers
* 80 percent of a restaurant's turnover comes from 20 percent of its menu
* 80 percent of your time spent on this website will be spent on 20 percent of this website
* and so on..

Remember for any particular situation the precise ratio can and probably will be different to 80:20, but the principle will apply nevertheless, and in many cases the actual ratio will not be far away from the 80:20 general rule.

Such a principle is extremely useful in planning, analysis, trouble-shooting, problem-solving and decision-making, and change management, especially when broad initial judgements have to be made, and especially when propositions need checking. Many complex business disasters could easily have been averted if the instigators had thought to refer to the Pareto Principle as a 'sanity check' early on. Pareto's Law is a tremendously powerful model, all the more effective because it's so simple and easy.

For example, consider an organisation which persists in directing its activities equally across its entire product range when perhaps 95% of its profits derive from just 10% of the products, and/or perhaps a mere 2% of its profits come from 60% of its product range. Imagine the wasted effort... Instead, by carrying out a quick simple 'Pareto analysis' and discovering these statistics, the decision-makers could see at a glance clearly where to direct their efforts, and probably too could see a whole lot of products that could be discontinued. The same effect can be seen in markets, services, product content, resources, etc; indeed any situation where an 'output:input' or 'effect:cause' relationship exists.

Pareto's Principle is named after the man who first discovered and described the '80:20' phenomenon, Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923), an Italian economist and sociologist. Pareto was born in Paris, and became Professor of Political Economy at Lausanne, Switzerland in 1893. An academic, Pareto was fascinated by social and political statistics and trends, and the mathematical interpretation of socio-economic systems.

Vilfredo Pareto first observed the 80/20 principle when researching and analysing wealth and income distribution trends in nineteenth-century England (some people suggest this was Italy; I say England, or Britain), in which, broadly he noted that 20 percent of the people owned 80 percent of the wealth. Beyond this he also noted that this 'predictable imbalance' could be extrapolated (extended) to illustrate that, for example, 10 per cent would have 65 percent of the wealth, and 5 percent of people would own 50 percent of the wealth. Again these other ratios are what Pareto found in this particular study - they are not scientific absolutes that can be transferred reliably to other situations.

Pareto then tested his 80-20 principle (including related numerical correlations) on other countries, and all sorts of other distribution scenarios, by which he was able to confirm that the 80:20 Principle, and similarly imbalanced numerical correlations, could be used reliably as a model to predict and measure and manage all kinds of effects and situations.

Thus while the very first application of the Pareto Principle, or 80-20 Rule, was originally in Pareto's suggestion that "Eighty percent of the wealth is held by twenty percent of the people," the principle was and can be extended to apply to almost all other distribution scenarios as well.

As a mathematical political and sociological innovator, Pareto developed other theories, for instance his 1916 book The Mind and Society predicted the growth of Fascism in Europe, but his most famous discovery was the '80/20' statistical rule that bears his name. Regrettably Pareto didn't live to see the general appreciation and wide adoption of his principle; he seems to not have been particularly effective at explaining and promoting the theory beyond academic circles, and it was left to other experts such as George Zipf and Joseph Juran to develop and refine Pareto's theories to make them usable and popular in business and management later towards the middle of the 20th century.

Italy or Britain?... Some people say Pareto's initial discovery of predictably unbalanced wealth distribution was based on Italy's data. I say it was England.

My chief source for stating England rather than Italy is an excellent book called The 80/20 Principle, by Richard Koch, 1997, 1998. Published by Nicholas Brealey. (A good book is generally more reliable than several websites, which are prone to copying content). Koch states (page 6 in the explanation of Pareto's first discovery of wealth distribution imbalance) that Pareto was "...looking at patterns of wealth and income on nineteenth-century England..." Koch continues, (also on page 6 in the explanation of Pareto's discovery) that Pareto also found that, "...this pattern of imbalance (the predictably unbalanced distribution of wealth across the population) was repeated consistently whenever he looked at data referring to different time periods or different countries. Whether he looked at England in earlier times, or whatever data were available from other countries in his own time or earlier, he (Pareto) found the same pattern repeating itself..." I also found these supporting texts on the web: "...The second is Pareto's law of income distribution. This law, which Pareto derived from British data on income, showed a linear relationship between each income level and the number of people who received more than that income. Pareto found similar results for Prussia, Saxony, Paris, and some Italian cities...." (Source: And the Wikipedia entry also seems to support the case for England/Britain rather than Italy:

The original Pareto source book is Cours d'Économie Politique (1896, 1897) - see

Thursday, June 10, 2010

To buy new or used? That is the question

Things You Should Never Buy New

If you're looking to get the most value for your dollar, it would do your wallet good to check out secondhand options. Many used goods still have plenty of life left in them even years after the original purchase, and they're usually resold at a fraction of the retail price, at that. Here's a list of a few things that make for a better deal when you buy them used.

DVDs and CDs: Used DVDs and CDs will play like new if they were well taken care of. Even if you wind up with a scratched disc and you don't want to bother with a return, there are ways to remove the scratches and make the DVD or CD playable again.

Books: You can buy used books at significant discounts from online sellers and brick-and-mortar used book stores. The condition of the books may vary, but they usually range from good to like-new. And of course, check out your local library for free reading material.

Video Games: Kids get tired of video games rather quickly. You can easily find used video games from online sellers at sites like Amazon and eBay a few months after the release date. Most video game store outlets will feature a used game shelf, as well. And if you're not the patient type, you can rent or borrow from a friend first to see if it's worth the purchase.

Special Occasion and Holiday Clothing: Sometimes you'll need to buy formal clothing for special occasions, such as weddings or prom. Most people will take good care of formal clothing but will only wear it once or twice. Their closet castouts are your savings: Thrift stores, yard sales, online sellers and even some dress shops offer fantastic buys on used formalwear.

Jewelry: Depreciation hits hard when you try to sell used jewelry, but as a buyer you can take advantage of the markdown to save a bundle. This is especially true for diamonds, which has ridiculously low resale value. Check out estate sales and reputable pawn shops to find great deals on unique pieces. Even if you decide to resell the jewelry later, the depreciation won't hurt as much.

Ikea Furniture: Why bother assembling your own when you can pick it up for free (or nearly free) on Craigslist and Freecycle? Summer is the best time to hunt for Ikea furniture--that's when college students are changing apartments and tossing out their goodies.

Games and Toys: How long do games and toys remain your child's favorite before they're left forgotten under the bed or in the closet? You can find used children's toys in great condition at moving sales or on Craigslist, or you can ask your neighbors, friends, and family to trade used toys. Just make sure to give them a good wash before letting junior play.

Maternity and Baby Clothes: Compared to everyday outfits that you can wear any time, maternity clothes don't get much wear outside the few months of pregnancy when they fit. The same goes for baby clothes that are quickly outgrown. You'll save a small fortune by purchasing gently used maternity clothes and baby clothes at yard sales and thrift stores. Like children's games and toys, friends and family may have baby or maternity clothing that they'll be happy to let you take off their hands.

Musical Instruments: Purchasing new musical instruments for a beginner musician is rarely a good idea. (Are you ready to pay $60 an hour for piano lessons?) For your little dear who wants to learn to play an instrument, you should see how long his or her interest lasts by acquiring a rented or used instrument to practice with first. Unless you're a professional musician or your junior prodigy is seriously committed to music, a brand new instrument may not be the best investment.

Pets: If you buy a puppy (or kitty) from a professional breeder or a pet store outlet, it can set you back anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. On top of this, you'll need to anticipate additional fees and vet bills, too. Instead, adopt a pre-owned pet from your local animal shelter and get a new family member, fees, and vaccines at a substantially lower cost.

Home Accent: Pieces Home decorating pieces and artwork are rarely handled on a day-to-day basis, so they're generally still in good condition even after being resold multiple times. If you like the worn-out look of some decor pieces, you can be sure you didn't pay extra for something that comes naturally with time. And don't forget, for most of us, discovering a true gem at a garage sale is 90% of the fun!

Craft Supplies: If you're into crafting, you probably have a variety of different supplies left over from prior projects. If you require some additional supplies for your upcoming project, then you can join a craft swap where you'll find other crafty people to trade supplies with. If you have leftovers, be sure to donate them to your local schools.

Houses: You're typically able to get better and more features for your dollar when you purchase an older home rather than building new. Older houses were often constructed on bigger corner lots, and you also get architectural variety in your neighborhood if the houses were built or remodeled in different eras.

Office Furniture: Good office furniture is built to withstand heavy use and handling. Really solid pieces will last a lifetime, long after they're resold the first or second time. A great used desk or file cabinet will work as well as (or better than) a new one, but for a fraction of the cost. With the recession shutting down so many businesses, you can easily find lots of great office furniture deals.

Cars: You've probably heard this before: Cars depreciate the second you drive them off of the dealership's lot. In buying a used car, you save money on both the initial cost and the insurance. It also helps to know a trusty mechanic who can check it over first. This way, you'll be aware of any potential problems before you make the purchase.

Hand Tools: Simple tools with few moving parts, like hammers, hoes and wrenches, will keep for decades so long as they are well-made to begin with and are well-maintained. These are fairly easy to find at neighborhood yard or garage sales. If you don't need to use hand tools very often, an even better deal is to rent a set of tools or borrow them from a friend.

Sports Equipment: Most people buy sports equipment planning to use it until it drops, but this rarely happens. So when sports equipment ends up on the resale market, they tend to still be in excellent condition. Look into buying used sporting gear through Craigslist and at yard sales or sports equipment stores.

Consumer Electronics: I know most folks like shiny new toys, but refurbished electronic goods are a much sweeter deal. Consumer electronics are returned to the manufacturer for different reasons, but generally, they'll be inspected for damaged parts, fixed, tested, then resold at a lower price. Just make sure you get a good warranty along with your purchase.

Gardening Supplies: This is an easy way for you to save money, and all you need to do is be observant. Take a look outdoors and you'll likely find such gardening supplies as mulch, wood, and even stones for free or vastly reduced prices. Used garden equipment and tools are also common goods at yard sales.

Timeshares: Buying timeshares isn't for everyone, but if you decide that it suits your lifestyle, purchasing the property as a resale would be a better deal than buying it brand new: on average, you'll save 67 percent on the price for a comparable new timeshare. If you're new to timeshare ownership, give it a test run first by renting short term.

Recreational Items: It's fairly easy to find high ticket recreational items like campers, boats, and jet skis being resold. Oftentimes, they're barely used at all. As long as they're in safe, working condition, they'll make for a better value when purchased used than new.

Things You Should Never Buy Used

Every computer savvy person now a days looks to Craigslist and Ebay to score great deals, but many second-hand purchases are actually terrible purchases. Stay clear of these used items that will end up costing you money, or even endanger your health.

Cribs and children’s furniture: If there’s any chance that you’ll put your children at risk by buying used, just buy new. Used children’s furniture, especially cribs, can be a safety hazard because you can’t be certain of a potential recall or if the crib was installed correctly.

Car seats: Even if a used car seat looks OK, damaged car seats aren’t uncommon. Considering that safety technology improves every year -- and the fact that car seats can go for as little as $50 -- buying new is usually the better option.

Bicycle helmets: Usually, a crash would only crush the foam inside the helmet casing, so the damage to the helmet may not be visible. However, since helmets are meant to protect against one accident only, buying new would be a safer bet.

Tires: Sometimes it’s hard to tell if used tires were once part of a totaled wreck. If they have been in an accident, they’re bound to be unstable and unreliable. Putting your safety at risk for the sake of saving a few bucks just doesn’t add up.

Laptops: Because of their portability, laptops are prone to all sorts of abuse and problems. When you buy a used laptop, unless it’s refurbished, you have no idea what it’s been through or when important parts will die on you. You also don’t get the warranties and tech support that come with buying new.

Software: Most software comes with a serial number that you register with the company when you activate the software on your computer. If the serial number on your use software has already been registered, you can’t use it again.

Plasma and HDTVs: The cost for fixing or replacing the parts on plasma or HDTVs is high. Sometimes, it costs as much as buying a new TV. Considering the repair costs, you’d want to get an extended warranty, but that isn’t an option if you buy your TV used.

DVD players: While it’s smart to buy used DVDs, this doesn’t apply to DVD players. DVD players have lasers that will eventually wear out. The cost to repair or replace may cost more than the player is worth.

Digital and video cameras: Like laptops, used digital and video cameras are likely to have been dropped and banged around. It may not be obvious, but once the damage kicks in, it’ll be expensive to repair. If you know what to look for in a digital camera, you can get a great new camera without breaking the bank.

Speakers and microphones: Speakers and microphones are sensitive audio equipment that don’t stand up well to blasting and mishandling. Like laptops and cameras, the damage may not be obvious, but their performance would be severely compromised.

Camera lenses: An SLR camera lens is the most expensive part of a camera. It also directly affects the quality of your images. Any damage to the lens, however slight, will show up in your photos.

Photo light bulbs: Not the ordinary light bulbs you use at home. We’re talking about the light bulbs used with photography equipment. They’re relatively expensive, but their life span is short enough that you likely won’t get much use out of them if you buy second-hand.

Mattresses and bedding: Just think: You may be sleeping with other people’s mold, mites, bacteria, and bodily fluids. Besides, even the really good mattresses are only supposed to last eight to 10 years, and it’s hard know for sure how old a used mattress may be.

Swimsuits and undergarments: This is probably a no-brainer, but it needs to be said: Do not, do not, do not buy used swimsuits or undergarments. They’re worn too close to the body -- someone else’s body -- to consider buying used.

Wet suits: Wet suits lose the ability to keep you warm over time. If you’re a scuba diver, or the last owner was one, the constant change in water pressure will eventually wear out the wet suit and make it more likely to tear.

Shoes: If you get used footwear, it’s likely they’re already molded to the last owner’s feet. Poor-fitting shoes are not only uncomfortable but can cause all sorts of health problems, as well.

Hats: Hats are likely not cleaned before they’re resold or donated. If you buy a used hat, you don’t know if you’re also getting skin infections, old sweat stains, hair products, and other cringe-worthy remnants. Now that’s a deal you don’t want.

Makeup: A good thing to remember about used makeup is that it’s a breeding ground for bacteria and a number of contagious diseases. The great deal you found may come with pink eye and cold sores. Instead of buying used, consider making your own beauty products (it's easier than you think) or skip makeup altogether.

Pet supplies: Old stains and odors continue to ferment even if used pet supplies are sitting around in storage. If cleanliness is ever an issue, just say no.

Vacuum cleaners: Vacuums are among the heavy-duty household appliances that tend to get a lot of use and abuse. They can also cost more to fix than if you bought them new right from the start.

More Ways to Save

Check out some of these sites: A few of my favorite websites for saving money include: The best coupons, deals and bargains to save you money! Coupon codes and discounts for 50,000 stores! This is a work from home site but has a section for free stuff. Tips and downloads for getting things done. Before you waste money check out this site full of consumer reviews of online businesses and website

Did you know that popular sites such as ebay, myspace and Facebook now also offer free classifieds as well? So next time you can't find something on Craigslist, or your post isn't getting much attention also check and post to these sites.

Clothing swaps: Friends have been meeting, mingling, and exchanging their unwanted duds for decades, but many of today’s clothing swaps are more sophisticated meetups organized by self-professed “swapaholics.” Sites that organize local swaps include and

You don’t have to climb into a garbage bin. You don’t even have to get your hands dirty. Instead of buying clay pots for your container garden, ask your local nursery for its unwanted plastic ones. Day trip to the woods—or park—to forage for fresh herbs, or check sites like, where gardeners offer up their surplus.

Crowd buying: The concept: Local businesses offer their products or services at a huge discount—think $25 for $50 worth of salon services—but the deal is only good if enough people snap it up. The most well-known of the sites is, which lists daily deals in more than 40 metro markets

Keep a grocery stash: By stockpiling groceries, you'll not only be able to purchase more items when they're on sale and save them for later (just stick meat and bread in the freezer), but you'll also be able to make use of Leamy's other big idea: Skip shopping trips. She says that many people can get by on the food they already have for a week, so why not skip shopping once a month or once a quarter? If you're used to shopping very week and spending $7,500 a year, then skipping the trip once a month could save you $1,800, or 24 percent of your annual grocery bill.

Enjoy home-cooked meals: Busy people seek convenience, which, when it comes to meals, is prepackaged and shrink wrapped. But convenience has its price, too—prepared meals, whether at restaurants or boxed, bagged, or frozen at the grocery store, cost much more than the ingredients for a home-cooked meal and come loaded with salt and preservatives.
Check out my personal favorite and remember Packing a lunch of leftovers can save you more than $100 each month.

While youre at it, eat your veggies: Using meat as a side dish or accent will help you save money at the grocery store and present numerous health benefits. According to the Department of Agriculture, the average American eats nearly 200 pounds of meat each year—an amount that has not been good for our nation’s waistlines.

Make your own coffee: Everyone seems to have heard of the latte factor. Even though the author may have overestimated the savings from skipping a latte at Starbucks, don’t underestimate the ding it puts in your pocket in the long run. You don’t have to entirely ban drinking coffee, but skip it as often as possible unless you make it at home.

Bottle your own water: Drinking water is good for your health. I always make it a habit to keep some at my desk at all times. Bottled water is the most convenient since it can provide protection against accidental spills. That said, buy bottled water only once in a while, and then reuse that bottle to fill your own water. If you are not happy with tap water, invest in a Brita Filter – in the long run it can save a lot of money.

Buy in bulk whenever possible: When it comes to non-perishable items, buy in bulk whenever you find something on sale. The items I usually stock up on are, cereals, tinned goods, rice, beans, pasta, coke, toothpaste, body wash, shampoo, toilet paper etc. For such items, shopping at warehouse stores like Costco, Sam’s Club etc can save you quite a bit of money, provided you stick strictly to your shopping list when you shop at these places.

Use grocery store bags to line trash cans: This may not work if you use a massive trash can but we use a small sized one for which the grocery bags are a perfect fit. This not only helps us save some money, but reduces our environmental foot print and avoids the kitchen from stinking from a huge overflowing trash can.

Avoid ATM fees: Be aware of the ATM withdrawal fees charged by your bank. While some banks waive fees for all ATM transactions on any ATM machine, most don’t. So be sure to use only those ATM machines where your bank will not charge the fees, or withdraw directly at your bank.

Flip the switch: If you shiver or sweat at the sight of your monthly utility bill, make some quick energy-saving adjustments to your house. Most of them won’t even cost any money. For example, when you’re not going to be at home, turn your thermostat up a few degrees in warm months and down a few degrees in cold months. Remember to turn off lights when you leave the room, and put appliances on an energy-saving extension cord, or unplug them when they’re not in use

Get paid to recycle: Through with your obsolete gadgets? Don’t pitch them: You could be throwing money away. Old phones, printers, monitors, iPods, and personal digital assistants—stashed in drawers and closets when they kick the bucket—are valuable to companies that refurbish, resell, and recycle them, and they’ll reimburse you in cash. The money is an important motivating factor. Because most communities don’t offer curbside electronics recycling, these devices end up in landfills where they can leach toxic chemicals into groundwater.

Don't buy it, rent it: Savvy entrepreneurs have launched businesses that allow anyone to rent an item—from a car to a designer handbag—for short-term use and big-time savings, both carbon and financial. Car-sharing organization Zipcar is the best example, but specialized sites like couture-lending Rent the Runway and Avelle, formerly known as Bag Borrow or Steal, are rapidly expanding. Some cities, including Washington, have even adopted bike-sharing.

Avoid impulse buying: Make it a habit to avoid impulse buying. Many of the things you want to buy do not seem all that necessary, if you only you wait for a day or two. Also, waiting means you will be able to check prices and make an informed decision to buy it at the best possible price.

Avoid the vending machines: Almost everything that is dispensed via vending machines has a huge markup (and is rarely healthy). However, if you suffer from snack attacks at work, consider creating a secret stash of snacks. If you like drinking soda and have a fridge at the workplace, save a refrigerator pack in the fridge with a post-it with your name on it. If you have a long commute, consider a stash for the car as well and avoid a quick drive-thru visit.

If you like watching movies at the theater, go before 6:00 pm: This is one of our soft spots when it comes to spending. We really like watching movies in the theater with the big screen and the great sound effects. But instead of paying ~$10 a pop for the ticket, we usually go before 6:00pm when the tickets are a little less expensive. Also, for movies that we don’t absolutely want to watch right away, we just wait until it screens on the discount theater where the tickets are $2 a pop. We avoid the temptation to buy snacks, by usually going for a theater some time soon after our lunch or sometimes sneaking in our own snacks in the purse.

Check out: 10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget @
(Even available used!)