The Value Of Timber On Your Land: FREE Resource

It’s not something I’ve put a lot of thought into. In hindsight, maybe I should have. We hired some arborists to cut down a few dead trees for us a couple years ago. We did keep the fallen timber to use in our fire pit and wood burning furnace. So, I guess we didn’t waste it. But we only live on about an acre. I know a number of people around us have acres of land with lots of trees or fallen timber.

Have you ever wondered about the value of the timber on your land? Penn State Extension has released the “Value of Standing Timber” publication. It helps land owners and loggers learn the economic value of standing timber and how it’s determined.

This 24-page publication describes methods for estimating timber volumes and values in a simple, easy to understand, manner. It will also help landowners and loggers understand how the value of timber is determined and, in turn, provide them with increased opportunities for obtaining a fair market price when selling timber, said Dave Jackson, extension forester and publication co-author.

The publication is available as a free downloadable PDF; printed copies are available for purchase. To learn more, visit https://extension.psu.edu/valuing-standing-timber or call 877-345-0691

I looked over this myself. It’s highly informative with helpful illustrations and tables. It covers a number of steps to take to prepare you for getting a good value for your standing timber. As well as information about how it’s valued at more. Education is the best way to make sure you’re not taken advantage of!

This is a great time to start preparing wood for the winter too. It needs to dry out for several weeks to a couple months to make good firewood. I know in my area, there are always people looking for firewood for small things like fire pits to necessities like heating their homes.

If you own wooded acreage in my area another way to make money off your land is to let hunters pay to hunt on your land. Hunter find it appealing as there is exclusivity to it. The land isn’t over-hunted.

About Penn State Extension

Penn State Extension is dedicated to translating scientific research into real-world applications to drive progress. In support of Penn State’s land-grant mission, extension programs serve individuals, businesses and communities, while promoting a vibrant food and fiber system, a clean environment, and a healthier population in Pennsylvania and beyond. With support from federal, state and county governments, the organization has a tradition of bringing unbiased information and support to the citizens of Pennsylvania for more than 100 years.


How Knowing Your Plants Can Save You Money

For way too many years, I took for granted the “weeds” that were growing in my yard. I thought they were good for nothing but making my yard look bad. Then after learning a common weed in my garden was actually edible (and not half bad) I wondered else I didn’t know about the weeds in my yard and garden. Turns out, it’s a lot.

It is important to note that you should NEVER consume plants/weeds that have been treated with weed killers or certain lawn products. If you’re not sure, it’s best not to consume it.

Just another weed in my yard?

A landscaping company posted a picture of a weed I commonly see in yard.

Crushed or chewed then placed over a bug bite, mosquito bite, bee sting, rash, or acne as a poultice and bandaged these plant is said to be able to help draw out toxins. Do a quick search and you’ll find several recipes for salves and balms using the broadleaf plantain. It’s said to be a digestive aid as well. B&D Landscaping’s facebook post has a wealth of information about this plant and uses.

Broadleaf plantain is also edible in salads or added to recipes.

That Sticky Plant

On another occasion, while harvesting raspberries from the wild raspberry bushes we have growing in our yard, I came across this invasive weed. It was so long and sticky. It was starting to wrap around the raspberries. I wondered what it was since it was touching some of the raspberries we were going to consume. Turns out this weed has many names: Clevers, sticky willy, coachweed, goosegrass, and a few other names.

Probably my favorite thing to learn about these was that you can make “coffee” with them. Cleaver is actually part of the coffee family. Yes, those little sticky, fuzzy berry looking things. You can pick them off, dry out, then roast them in the oven, then grind them up and make coffee. Be warned the process is time consuming. Picking all those stickly little berries off takes a while and you need a lot to brew a pot of coffee. I tried it though. It wasn’t half bad. The leaves and stems are edible as well and can be added to stir fries, salads, and soups.

Cleaver is said to have diuretic properties and has been used for kidney and urinary tract ailments.

People actually plant this one on purpose!

Purslane. This is the one I often saw growing in my gardens. Almost looks like a succulent to me. I found out that not only is Purslane edible but quite nutrient dense for a little plant containing antioxidants, calcium, magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Iron, Potassium, and Manganese. Phew! Now that’s a hard working plant.

You can eat it raw by itself, mix it into your salad, or add it to your dish. You can easily find Purslane seeds and plants online. In fact, Purslane is commonly grown, on purpose, in many other countries.

The multitasker of the weed world

Dandelions, we all know them. Dandelion greens can be eaten. The petals can be turned into teas, wine, jams, or jellies. You can use the root for dandelion root coffee.

Dandelions are also said to have medicinal properties. A quick search will have you finding tinctures, tonics, and many other medicine cabinet ideas for dandelions.

The more I learn the more I realize the culinary adventures and medicine cabinet stocking I can do. And that saves me money! I’m also interested in learning more.

I love seeing companies like T1 payments that care. Donating to the South Florida Fairchild Botanic Gardens. I truly believe that there are so much more we need to learn about plants. There could be one out there that could be the cure for an illness, or an affordable option to help stop hunger.

This post is sponsored by Diamond Links.


Thinking About Self-Publishing? Read This

Did I ever tell you that one of my brothers wrote a book? I mean, I think I did, in a blog post about it a while back. It was something he had wanted to do for a long time and he finally did it. When it first became available to buy his book was in the top 200 on Amazon..I think it was back then. Which, when you consider all the books on Amazon that’s not too bad. Want to know something else? He self-published his book.

My brother wrote Night of the Dancing Puppets which is a horror genre. Some people say it fits in with the popular game “Five Nights At Freddy’s” I’ve never played that game or saw the movie so I can’t personally speak on that. What I do know is that it was a constant up and down adrenaline rush. My brother has lived in Florida for many years and you get a sense that the book takes place in Florida.

This book is not recommended for children as it is a horror book and some profanity is used in the book. To self-publish, he went through a site called fastpencil.com but I’m sure there are other sources as well. There are also publishing companies that can help with reviewing, printing, publishing, etc but of course there is more cost involved with that. I think if I decided I wanted to write a book someday I’d go the self-publishing route too.

Being that my brother had self-published this book and never wrote a book before, I thought this was a pretty good start. I know he was talking about doing a sequel to the book but I don’t know where he is on the process of that. I know it can take a long time until a book is finally finished and ready for shelves.

You may be shocked to know some pretty famous authors have self-published at some point or another like Mark Twain. Did you know John Grisham and Tom Clancy started off self-publishing? This an interesting piece of information from an article on the huffpost website:

Tom Clancy’s first novel, The Hunt for Red October was acquired by the Naval Institute Press in Annapolis, Md., when an editor there, Deborah Grosvenor, became enthralled by Clancy’s novel, convinced she had a potential bestseller in her hands.

Sam Haskell also talks about self-publishing books. He wrote the book Promises I Made My Mother. Sam Haskell has an impressive resume including being an Emmy nominated producer.

So in the end, I guess what I’m trying to say is that, self-publishing can be done. If you checked out any of the links in this post then there is hope for new authors with big dreams and small budgets

This post is sponsored by Diamond Links. Any opinions expressed are my own.


4 Steps For A More Secure Financial Future

Between household bills, unexpected expenses and trying to save, it can seem like you never get closer to securing your financial future. Luckily, financial security doesn’t have to be an elusive dream. There are steps you can take to help you move closer to making it a reality. 

1. Develop a Budget

The first place you need to start is by developing a realistic budget. After all, you can’t adjust spending and start saving if you don’t know how much you actually bring home each month. Find a comprehensive budget worksheet template and then gather together bills and receipts to get started. Be sure to include everything you spend on throughout the year because it can be easy to overlook annual premiums when you are planning. 

Resist the temptation to focus exclusively on your future and ignore present needs and wants. For most families, a budget should allow a little room for fun and entertainment. Otherwise, you run the risk of feeling deprived and may abandon the plan too early to see positive results. 

2. Pay Down Your Debt

Once you have a handle on what you make and spend, work at paying down your debt. Look at every dollar you spend in interest as one you don’t get to invest and earn interest on. Two common methods are the debt avalanche and debt snowball method. They both require you to really focus on paying off one balance at a time, but they differ in how you choose which one to work on first. Check them out, learn the differences, and see which one works best for your family and lifestyle. 

3. Purchase Life Insurance

Take a minute to think about what would happen to your family if you were to get killed in an accident tomorrow. Would they be able to afford your housing and vehicle payments? For most people, the answer is a resounding no. That is why life insurance is so important. Guaranteed acceptance term life insurance can be a viable option even if you have had trouble securing a policy in the past. 

4. Save for the Future

With a firm grasp of your budget, it is time to look toward the future. Set up educational accounts for your children and ask family and friends to contribute to them for birthdays and holidays. Chances are younger children won’t miss the gifts, and they will really appreciate the lower cost of college when they are older. You are never too young to start saving for retirement, either. If you don’t have an employer-sponsored plan, explore traditional and Roth IRA options and see if one is a good fit for you. 

Taking the time to lay out a budget is an important first set to taking charge of your finances. Having the right savings and investment accounts will help bring it all together. 


After About 16 Years We Finally Switched Cell Phone Carriers and Saved Big Money

Years ago, I started my wireless service with AT&T. At the time it was just me and I don’t think smart phones were really a big thing. Maybe they were but I just don’t remember. My bill wasn’t bad and I got a nice discount through my employer.

When my husband and I got engaged I added him to my cell phone plan. Still it was reasonable and again, I don’t think smartphones were that big at the time. I think I had a plan that had unlimited talk and 200 texts a month. That was just fine for the two of us.

After we got married we ended up adding my father-in-law to the plan. Then several years down the road my oldest son. Cell phones and plans changed and our wireless bill was crazy. Even with the 24% discount I was getting through my employer it was insane. We stayed with AT&T though because we’ve had our numbers for so long and figured that was as good as we were going to get given the nice discount through my employer.

Then AT&T started with sketchy sales tactics. “Oh you’re getting a new iPhone we have a promotion right now where you can get a new ipad for $1” I asked about the catch, of course we had to add another line for it. I did it but almost immediately regretted it but we were stuck with it then. After having it for a year and a half I did a live chat. I told them I wanted to remove the ipad from our plan because it never connected to service anyway and could only use it with wifi. I told them I only wanted to do it if there was not going to be a penalty. If there was then we’d just keep it on the plan until we had to. They said no problem, took it off our plan then charged us $60.

We had talked about switching over to Consumer Cellular for some time but still had payments left on our phones. The ipad incident made me want to be done with AT&T. A few coworkers had switched to Consumer Cellular and save a lot of money. Then my father -in-laws phone broke. All the new phones were expensive or required a 2 year contract. I got a call from a sales agent for AT&T trying to talk me into getting my father in law a new Samsung for only $1 and I could save money if I switched plans and there would be a two year contract. I thought, oh no it’s the pad incident all over again. I said no. My husband and I decided it was time to call Consumer Cellular.

The sales agent was so nice and helpful. Answered all the questions I had and then some. You guys, we are saving over $100/mo by switching over AND get WAYYY more data to use. We only had 4 GB of data to share between the 4 of us with AT&T. Of course that never worked out with my teenage son and me being a blogger and social media influencer. We now have 25GB of data with Consumer Cellular for less!! Even without my employer discount. We have the same coverage because they use AT&T and T-mobile cell towers, we got to keep our phones, and keep our numbers!If you want to check out Consumer Cellular to see if they can save you money on your wireless bill too check out Consumer Cellular’s website here.

The links in this post are my Consumer Cellular referral link. If you go through one of those you’ll also get a $10 credit on your first bill!