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What kind of light bulbs are your using?

Energy for lighting accounts for about 10% of your electric bill. Examine the wattage size of the light bulbs in your house. You may have 100-watt (or larger) bulbs where 60 or 75 watts would do. You should also consider compact fluorescent lamps for areas where lights are on for hours at a time. Your electric utility may offer rebates or other incentives for purchasing energy-efficient lamps.

Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) combine the energy efficiency of fluorescent lighting with the convenience and popularity of incandescent fixtures.
CFLs can replace incandescents that are roughly 3–4 times their wattage, saving up to 75% of the initial lighting energy. Although CFLs cost 3–10 times more than comparable incandescent bulbs, they last 6–15 times as long (6,000–15,000 hours). See How CFLs Compare with Incandescents for more information.

Compared to incandescent lamps, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), when used properly have the following advantages:
  • Last up to 10 times longer
  • Use about one-fourth the energy
  • Produce 90% less heat, while producing more light per watt.
  • Can light for up to 10,000 hours

How They Work

CFLs work much like standard fluorescent lamps. They consist of two parts: a gas-filled tube, and a magnetic or electronic ballast. The gas in the tube glows with ultraviolet light when electricity from the ballast flows through it. This in turn excites a white phosphor coating on the inside of the tube, which emits visible light throughout the surface of the tube.
CFLs with magnetic ballasts flicker slightly when they start. 

CFLs are designed to operate within a specific temperature range. Temperatures below the range cause reduced output. Most are for indoor use, but there are models available for outdoor use. You can find a CFL's temperature range on most lamp packages. You should install outdoor CFLs in enclosed fixtures to minimize the adverse effects of colder temperatures.
CFLs are most cost effective and efficient in areas where lights are on for long periods of time. You'll experience a slower payback in areas where lights are turned on for short periods of time, such as in closets and pantries. Because CFLs do not need to be changed often, they are ideal for hard-to-reach areas.

Types of Compact Fluorescent Lamps

CFLs are available in a variety of styles or shapes. Some have two, four, or six tubes. Others have circular or spiral-shaped tubes. The size or total surface area of the tube(s) determines how much light it produces.
Sub-CFLs fit most fixtures designed for incandescent lamps. Although most CFLs fit into existing 3-way light sockets, only a few special CFL models can be dimmed.

Countrywide Financial

Countrywide Financial (CFC) is widely blamed by some for helping foment the U.S. housing crisis. They are accused by doing it through free-wheeling lending. Now the lender is being sued for alleged deceptive mortgage practices by officials in its home states of California and in Illinois.

Ironically, the civil lawsuits, were brought the same day shareholders approved the company's takeover by Bank of America (BAC). The merger is set to close by July 1.

Bank of America said Thursday it will cut about 7,500 jobs after it closes its acquisition of mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp.

Countrywide Financial is the largest U.S. mortgage lender and is accused in the lawsuits of unfair trade practices that encouraged homeowners to take out risky loans, regardless of whether they could repay them.

California and Illinois officials allege that the company relaxed mortgage standards in an effort to rope in as many customers as possible.

Countrywide "exploited the American dream of homeownership," then sold its mortgages for huge profits to third-party investors, California Attorney General Jerry Brown said.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan also asked the court to put a 90-day stay on Countrywide loans in foreclosure in her state to allow her office time to review them. Madigan said the foreclosure rate on Countrywide loans was more than double that of other lenders in 2006 and 2007 in Cook County, which includes Chicago.

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Gasoline Use in the USA

Gasoline is one of the major fuels consumed in the United States and the main product refined from crude oil.
Consumption in 2007 was about 142 billion gallons, an average about 390 million gallons per day and the equivalent of about 61% of all the energy used for transportation, 44% of all petroleum consumption, and 17% of total U.S. energy consumption.

About 47 barrels of gasoline are produced in U.S. refineries from every 100 barrels of oil refined to make numerous petroleum products. Most gasoline is used in cars and light trucks. It also fuels boats, recreational vehicles, and farm, construction, and landscaping equipment.

While gasoline is produced year-round, extra volumes are made and imported to meet higher demand in the summer. Gasoline is delivered from oil refineries mainly through pipelines to an extensive distribution chain serving about 167,500 retail gasoline stations in the United States.

There are three main grades of gasoline that are based on octane levels: regular, mid-grade, and premium. Premium grade is the most expensive; the price difference between grades is generally constant at about ten cents per gallon. $6.95 .com Sale 120x90

Establish Credit

If you are new in the job market and wanting to establish credit, here are some tips. KEep in mind that it takes time and hard work.

Open a bank account. This will not appear on your credit report.
You usually need an account to apply for credit.

Apply for a credit card. Department store or gas credit cards are usually easier to obtain than a bank-issued card with a Visa or MasterCard logo. Use it and pay it off monthly.

Avoid fast loans. Its tempting at first when you get the letters in the mail from credit cards to take out $5000 against your credit card balance. Wow- this can be costly in the long run. Wait to borrow until you really need it, like when you are buying a house. Then go to your bank and get the money.

Create a spending plan. Be realistic andhave a lee way or margin of errr. Being too tough on your self can lead to not following the plan.

If you get into a bit of trouble;
  • Don't overdraw your bank account. You will be charged fees, and you could damage a good reference.

  • Avoid missed or late payments to any creditor. That is a sure way to damage your credit rating.

  • Don't let anyone else borrow your credit card, debit card or in any way have access to your bank account. You are responsible for any authorized use of your accounts.

  • Don't give your card number to anyone over the phone or Internet unless you have initiated the transaction.

  • Avoid cash advances . They're expensive.

  • Pay yourself first. Put you money somewhere safe where you will not be tempted to touch it.


The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act) establishes requirements for those who send commercial email, spells out penalties for spammers and companies whose products are advertised in spam if they violate the law, and gives consumers the right to ask emailers to stop spamming them.

The law covers email whose primary purpose is advertising or promoting a commercial product or service, including content on a Web site. A "transactional or relationship message" – email that facilitates an agreed-upon transaction or updates a customer in an existing business relationship – may not contain false or misleading routing information, but otherwise is exempt from most provisions of the CAN-SPAM Act.

What the Law Requires

Here's a rundown of the law's main provisions:

  • It bans false or misleading header information. Your email's "From," "To," and routing information – including the originating domain name and email address – must be accurate and identify the person who initiated the email.

  • It prohibits deceptive subject lines. The subject line cannot mislead the recipient about the contents or subject matter of the message.

  • It requires that your email give recipients an opt-out method. You must provide a return email address or another Internet-based response mechanism that allows a recipient to ask you not to send future email messages to that email address, and you must honor the requests. You may create a "menu" of choices to allow a recipient to opt out of certain types of messages, but you must include the option to end any commercial messages from the sender.

  • Any opt-out mechanism must be able to process opt-out requests for at least 30 days after you send your commercial email. When you receive an opt-out request, the law gives you 10 business days to stop sending email to the requestor's email address. You cannot help another entity send email to that address, or have another entity send email on your behalf to that address. Finally, it's illegal for you to sell or transfer the email addresses of people who choose not to receive your email, even in the form of a mailing list, unless you transfer the addresses so another entity can comply with the law.

  • It requires that commercial email be identified as an advertisement and include the sender's valid physical postal address.

Since 2005, the CAN-SPAM Act (Controlling the Assault on Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing) has prohibited commercial e-mail and text messages to be sent to cell phones without "express prior authorization." Unfortunately, the law leaves commercial entities lots of loopholes. For example, it doesn't prevent your carrier or its partners from sending you upgrade offers or account notices. Also, non-commercial organizations such as charities and political campaigns can shoot you all the messages they want on your dime.

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Cell Phone Spam

Just when we thought we were rid of telemarketers thanks to the 'do not call' registry which put an end to annoying dinner time phone calls, they're back. Cell-phone spam is the new generation of annoying you via your most intimate possession. It may be a simple phone call asking you to join or try or the call can be a text message which shows up on your bill for $10.

Minimize your chances of getting unwelcome text messages:

  • Call your carrier as soon as you receive a spam message. Three are no hard-and-fast rules govern the removal of text-message charges.
  • Block cell spam at the source. Virtually all spam messages come over the Internet via a SMSC (Short Message Service Center) or e-mail/Internet gateway, possibly from overseas. Go to your cell account online and access your e-mail and/or messaging preferences. Then activate the setting that blocks messages over the Internet.

  • Some carriers allow you designate certain addresses from which you don't want to receive texts. Check to see if yours is one of them.

  • File a complaint with the FCC by filling out online form 1088.

  • Register your cell number with the National Do Not Call Registry.
  • Prevent spammers; never download to your phone from a service you don’t know and trust.

Do-Not-Call Registry

You can register your phone number and it will remain on the national do-not-call list for five years. You may re-enter your number on the list when the five years have passed, and you may remove your number from the list at any time.

The Do-Not-Call registry does not prevent all unwanted calls. It does not cover the following:

  • calls from organizations with which you have established a business relationship;

  • calls for which you have given prior written permission;

  • calls which are not commercial or do not include unsolicited advertisements;

  • calls by or on behalf of tax-exempt non-profit organizations.

How to Register

Subscribers may register their residential telephone number, including wireless numbers, on the national Do-Not-Call registry by telephone or by Internet at no cost.

Consumers can register on-line for the national do-not-call registry by going to To register by telephone, consumers may call 1-888-382-1222: for TTY call 1-866-290-4236. You must call from the phone number you wish to register.

In addition to the establishment of a national Do-Not-Call Registry, there are other amendments to the Commission's rules implementing the TCPA that may reduce the number of telemarketing calls to your home:

  • If you subscribe to CALLER ID, you should know when a telemarketer is calling you: telemarketers are required to transmit Caller ID information and may not block their numbers.

  • Telemarketers must ensure that predictive dialers abandon no more than three percent of all calls placed and answered by a person. A call will be considered "abandoned" if it is not transferred to a live sales agent within two seconds of the recipient's greeting. As a result, you are less likely to run to answer the phone only to find silence or the "click" of the calling party disconnecting the line.

In addition to these changes the rules provide:

  • Telephone solicitation calls to your home before 8 am or after 9 pm are prohibited.

  • Anyone making a telephone solicitation call to your home must provide his/her name, the name of the entity on whose behalf the call is being made, and a telephone number or address at which you may contact that entity.

  • Company-specific do-not-call lists are available to consumers who wish to avoid telemarketing calls only from specific companies. For more information see our Unwanted Telephone Marketing Calls Factsheet

How to Complain

Filing a Do-Not-Call Complaint

In addition to complaints alleging violations of the national do-not-call list, you may also file a complaint against a telemarketer who is calling for a commercial purpose (e.g., not charitable organizations) IF:

  • The telemarketer calls before 8 AM or after 9 PM; OR

  • The telemarketer leaves a message, but fails to leave a phone number that you can call to sign up for their company specific do-not-call list; OR

  • You receive a telemarketing call from a company that you have previously requested not call you; OR

  • The telemarketing firm fails to identify itself; OR

  • You receive a pre-recorded commercial message from someone with whom you do not have an established business relationship and to whom you have not given permission to call you.

How to File a Complaint

You can file a complaint by e-mail (, telephone 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) voice or 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) TTY, by fax to 1-866-418-0232, via our electronic complaint form at, or mail. For the FCC to process your complaint you must either fill in the electronic form completely or otherwise indicate:

  • your name and address;

  • the home phone number where you received the solicitation;

  • identification of the individual or company whose products or services were being advertised or sold, and any phone numbers included in the call;

  • a description of the call;

  • any phone number provided to allow you to “opt-out” of future calls;

  • whether you or anyone else in your household gave the caller express prior permission to call;

  • whether you have an EBR with the caller (specifically, whether you or anyone else in your household made any purchases of property, goods, or services from the company that called, or made any inquiry or filed an application with the company prior to receiving the call).

If mailing a complaint, send it to:

Federal Communications Commission
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau
Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554

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save money on auto insurance:tips

Shop around-Prices vary from company to company, so it pays to shop around. Get at least three price quotes. Contact your state insurance department may also provide comparisons of prices charged by major insurers

Ask for a higher deductible- Your deductible represents the amount of money you pay before your insurance policy kicks in when you have a claim.

Before you buy a car, compare insurance costs- Your premium is based in part on the vehicle’s sticker price, the cost to repair it, its overall safety record and the likelihood of theft so some cars and models will cost less to insure than others. Many insurers offer discounts for features such as air bags, anti-lock brakes, daytime running lights and anti-theft devices.
Car information is available from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Reduce coverage on older cars- Consider dropping collision and/or comprehensive coverage on older cars. As a general rule, it does not make sense to pay comprehensive or collision on a car worth less than $1,000 as any claim payment you receive would not substantially exceed your premiums minus the deductible. Auto dealers and banks can tell you the worth of a car, or you can look it up online at Kelley Blue Book. If your used or older car is not worth more than $2000, then cover it with liability only insurance

Seek out safe driver discounts- You may qualify for a premium cut if you have recently taken a defensive driving course.

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