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Text only newsletter stories Issue 3 Vl. 4


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Headline: The best tips and tools for cleaning some common household items

Sometimes you just can’t find the right tool for the job, even with all the usual cleaning tools at your disposal. Here are some tips for those items and places that are always a pain to keep squeaky clean.

The microwave
The solution for a clean microwave is in your refrigerator (or maybe in the produce section of the grocery store). Microwave a cup of water and a few lemon slices, and then use a sponge to clean the microwave with the warm water.

Grease stains
This one works on clothes as well as surfaces. Rub white chalk on the grease stain, let it sit for five minutes, and then wipe it away with a wet rag.

The television
Screens on HDTVs are delicate, and you want to avoid liquid cleaners, especially on LCD screens. Instead, take a dryer sheet and use it to clean the screen. The sheet will pick up dust and reduce static, and won’t damage the TV.

Air vents
It’s always tough to thoroughly clean air vents because the spaces are so small, but they attract a ton of dust. Wrap a small towel around a butter knife, and then use the knife to clean the openings in the vent.


Headline: Five tips for funding a vacation

There’s nothing quite like some well-earned time off in a cool new place, but vacations certainly don’t pay for themselves. Here are a few ideas for funding your next getaway.

 1. The change jar: It’s not groundbreaking, but it works. Here’s an eye-opening stat: Putting $1.37 per day into your change jar adds up to $500 in a year!

 2. Sell your stuff: We all have some clutter that we don’t need and have been looking for an excuse to get rid of, and that stuff can be pretty valuable. Think of what might be stored in your attic or basement—baseball cards, furniture, etc. It’s not junk, but it’s not doing you any good, and someone might find it valuable.

 3. Set up a dedicated savings account: You could do this in your current bank account, or use one of several online services that are tailor-made for vacation savings. Have the money transferred directly from each paycheck so that you’re always saving on schedule.

 4. Get the kids involved: Vacations are even more expensive when you’ve got a family. If your kids get money from jobs, chores, or an allowance, ask them to put a little money away for vacation here and there—it could end up paying for a meal or a night in a hotel.

 5. Volunteer: Your church or community center probably organizes low-cost vacations where you can visit a new place and do some good by giving back to the community.


Headline: Real estate 101: What is the MLS?

The acronym "M.L.S." is an everyday term in the real estate industry. So what exactly is the MLS? On a basic level, the MLS is database of all of the properties available for sale and represented by a real estate agent in a given area. The MLS also creates the framework by which agents agree to cooperate and compensate one another. There is also a high level of supervision by the system administrators, which provides accuracy and professionalism, reducing fraud. With the emergence of search sites like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com, the consumer has been empowered with valuable information, which is important. The key thing for home buyers and sellers to know is that these sites don't always have the most up-to-date or accurate information. If you are thinking of selling you will get the most exposure possible by being represented by an agent, who will place your home on the MLS.


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