Archive for January 3, 2007

Can Walmart Help Americans Save Money?

Wal-Mart is encouraging 200 million shoppers to save energy, and thus money, through the purchase of energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs. In fact, Wal-Mart is determined to sell bulbs to at least 100 million homes. Currently fluorescent bulbs are only utilized by 6% of American homes. If Wal-Mart succeeds: total sales of bulbs in the US would increase by 50 percent, saving Americans $3 billion in electricity costs.

The pros of compact fluorescent bulbs: they last 10x longer, use 75% less electricity, save consumers $30 over the life of the bulb and produce less greenhouse gases from power plants (450 pounds less). The cons: they cost 8x more than incandescent bulbs and give off a harsher light. In addition, the bulbs contain mercury, which will be a problem if the bulbs eventually end up in landfills. But Wal-Mart is working with environmental groups to resolve the mercury issues, including the possibility of collecting and recycling the used bulbs.

Wal-Mart has a tough task ahead, they need to convince the American public that paying more for an item today, will help save a significant amount of money down the line.

To learn more check out the article in the New York Times.

January 3, 2007 at 5:57 PM 4 comments

Breaking Down and Tracking 2007 Expenses

My Two Dollars linked to a great article called the ‘Best Money Saving Ideas of All Time.’ After reading the article I’ve decided to take a stab at Money Tip #1: keep a daily log of everything you spend.

With the start of the new year I’ll track each and every purchase I make. I bought a tiny, (purse friendly), little notepad and pen for the purpose of writing down my daily expenses. I’m hoping I’ll write down my expenses for the whole year, but for now I’ll aim for thirty days, since that goal seems much more reachable.

My husband does a great job of tracking our credit card expenses. When the credit card statement arrives he categories each purchase so that we can determine exactly where our money goes. But since we have a joint credit card it is difficult to distinguish his purchases from my own. Also, I often make food purchases and other small item purchases, (less than $5), with cash. Obviously these aren’t accounted for in my husband’s spreadsheet so it’ll be nice to see just where all the money goes.

This year my New Year’s resolution is to spend at least 15 minutes a day doing something I truly enjoy. To ensure I remain true to myself, I’ll be documenting how I spend the 15 minutes each day. I bought a special little notebook to record my daily activities, so it seems fitting that now I’ll be tracking my daily expenses in it as well.

January 3, 2007 at 1:22 PM Leave a comment


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