Small Financial Hacks / Tricks Thread

Your headset and recharge process might be causing your problem - the author in this article calls it a depletion, kind of like a memory effect…

Whatever is happening technically with your application, its not worth the time investigating and I agree with the strategy of buying new batteries in bulk (or maybe look for a new headset?). I’ve found those new alkaline Thunderbolt batteries at Harbor Freight are decent batteries and pretty cheap when they have coupons.

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Yeah, I was actually thinking the pipe insulation might help reduce heat flow rate into basement during A/C season. Certainly not enough to be noticeable in the electric/gas bills.

I looked into adding a water pump, timer and all the extra tubing runs and decided it was not a high-value investment for my application.

Depending on the pipe layout in your place and clothes washer settings, one way to speed up getting hot water might be to fire up the clothes washer before showering. For my place, that methods loads up more than half the piping volume with hot water before I start my shower.

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One small way of making money that was on FW that seems nearly forgotten is the credit card debt cancellation thresholds.

When I was having financial problems in 2008-2009, I would go to the gas station and buy 99 cents worth of gas on 15 or so credit cards. The threshold would not be met, so the debt would be forgiven.

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That’s without the electricity cost to recharge those eneloops AA ($2/battery when on sale). It runs me about 1c per battery per recharge IIRC when I did the calculation. So break even point for me is about 10-15 recharges (depending on cost of non-rechargeables) which is 6-12 months depending on usage. It’s nowhere near the service life of these eneloops, even if you went with the 500 recharges only ones.

Utility companies also frequently allow you to make partial payments instead of paying it in full. Just do $5-10 ones spread out through the month.

Also I’d buy amazon gift cards for very low denominations ($1-2, varying the amount slightly each time), then adding these gift cards to my balance. Yes I’d be losing cashback on Amazon purchases for these but when total transactions is $15-20, that’s not much for the convenience of getting it all done in 5 minutes.


Are you overlooking the fact that once you entered the weakened stage, you could swap in new ones and not deal with any of the frustration?

I wouldnt want to do that with regular batteries since it means throwing away power that was paid for. But you dont even need to wait for weakened performance from the rechargable ones; proactively swap them out every other day for nonstop top power levels. Even it it hastens the degredation of the rechargeable battery by not fully draining it, 3 months use (6 months when alternating 2 pairs) is still a clear savings over new batteries every 4-5 days.

My problem with rechargables is that the ones I bought on Amazon are a slightly bigger AA size, and dont even fit in my toothbrush.

It’s not forgotten, we have a thread right here.


Was it some no-brand china-made batteries? The slightly bigger ones are usually bigger because they come with a protection circuit or a charging port. The branded ones, including Amazon (which is a wrapper around various manufacturers, including eneloops, depending on wrapper color and manufacture date) or Panasonic/Eneloop should all be the correct size.

I installed it at my parents’ place. 15 minutes on, 45 minutes off.


I get 100% reward Duracell batteries from Office Depot to give to family members who don’t want to deal with rechargeables. I use mostly Eneloops myself because alkaline batteries tend to leak.

You are probably right about my usage and recharge being part of the problem. Changing headsets is a non-starter for me. I get good reception over the entire 1/2 acre landscaped part of our property. I can perform all landscaping chores (cutting grass, trimming hedges, fertilizing roses, etc) while listening to music, podcasts, tv, or radio.

Thanks for the heads up on the HF alkalines. I’ve been using AC/Delco and Rayovacs for the last 5 years with pretty good long term storage, run-times, and prices.

Not exactly overlooking - Hate to admit it, but either I’ve gotten lazy or no longer have the bandwidth to deal with changing and recharging batteries every 1.5 - 2 days.

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Thanks! I had a plumber tell me they run a tube back to the drain of the water heater. He must have been talking abut a different type of system.

Didn’t realize there were thermally activated valves that allowed the pump to force feed the water back through the cold water piping so you do not have to run a separate set of tubes.
I’m concerned how robust that sensing valve is both new and after more than a year of service. Planning to research this pump system and see what people are saying.

I always assumed this is how it worked. I am definitely going to look into this, too.

I question the strategy now that I have kids toys that need batteries. The amount of things in my house that need AA or AAA batteries has gone up nearly 10 fold. That’s a lot of rechargeables. Plus, you better have some spares just sitting around for when that toy dies 5 minutes after they start playing with it. And while you’re changing that battery (they are all secured by screws now, so this takes a minute), they discover another battery operated toy and that one is dead too, so now you’re changing another one. Rechargeables are a terrible choice for many parents.


Moreso, the batteries can last in toys for quite a while (like when the toy gets stashed under the bed and forgotten about). That’s an awful lot of attention to pay to old toys, to ensure you salvage your rechargable batteries.


How the hell does that work? There’s nowhere for more water to go, it cant circulate unless a faucet is open. Trying to pump more through a line would just overpressurize the line.

I was all about rechargeable batteries over 10 years ago. But I stopped using them at least 5 years before my oldest kid came along (he’s 4.5 now). Once I no longer had 5 remotes and it seemed like everything new started to come with a built in rechargeable lithium battery, I stopped using rechargeables. My stash of NiMH AAs and AAAs was nearing its end of life and I made the decision not to reinvest in new ones since most of the stuff still running on batteries in my house lasted so long that it would take years to recoup the cost of new rechargeables. If I had a handful of electronics that ate batteries, I would have considered it, but those sort of things seem to be going the way of the dodo these days.

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That’s where I’m at right now. We have hot water heat, the pipes run across the basement ceiling between registers. I know insulating them will make hearing the first floor more efficient, but the mostly-finished, unheated basement stays very comfortable all winter. I’m not sure how much those exposed pipes are responsible for that.

When I first saw 3c3’s link to Lowe’s I too got curious about how it could work without installing extra piping. There are two different ways to recirculate and keep the tap hot – one is to run an extra pipe to dump the cold water. The other, and that’s how the linked pump works, is to push the cold water into the cold water supply. I’m thinking that may be difficult if there’s a one-way valve on the incoming line, and maybe even illegal, since pushing enough water out means your neighbors will get water that has gone through your entire house.


I did mention toys in my previous post. I’ve actually been very surprised by how long batteries (both rechargeable and not) last in toys. We also don’t have that many powered toys and we rotate them, so it hasn’t been a problem. But I get your point.