Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

How You Can Make Chores Fun

December 3rd, 2013, Posted By Austin Housemates



You may have at some point encountered resistance in getting the household chores done while living with other people. Whether it’s your own family or your Austin roommates, there’s always a bit of a challenge in getting things done that seem like a nuisance, right?


But what if it could be fun?

What if it was a game or a challenge?

What if you could win your favorite prize for just doing the simple housework that needs to be done anyway?


Enter: – the solution to adding some fun and friendly competition to your tedious tasks:

Chore Wars aims to make chores fun by incorporating them with an online role-playing game designed to reward chore completion with a bit of challenging fun. You can assign characters to each member of your household, and in turn, each character receives experience points for every chore they complete.


If you’ve got a household full of willing and on-board players like any of your Austin roommates, who just need a little extra motivation to get their chores done, Chore Wars might just be the thing for you.


At the end of the week, prizes could be awarded such as: player with the most points gets free drinks, gets to skip a week of chores, or maybe the player with the least points has to buy drinks for everyone in the house! Prizes can be anything – so get creative. Remember, this should be fun!


If the game concept doesn’t sound fun or appealing to your household, check out Chore Buster if you just need help delegating and organizing the household chores.


Chore Buster allows you to organize your chores – all for free.


The program lets you enter in the people and the chores needed to be done, specify how hard the chore is and how often it should be done, then automatically generates a fair schedule of chores to be done and emails it to you either daily or weekly. That’s it – an easy system allowing your household to stay accountable and on track with what needs to be done.


One of the hardest parts about living with other people can be dealing with each other’s different personalities and preferences on cleanliness and organization. Chore Wars and/or Chore Buster can help take the frustration out of tedious tasks and instantly make it fun and doable.


Give them a try – your household will be cleaner, and more organized in an efficient way!

How To Stay Healthy on a Budget

November 8th, 2013, Posted By Austin Housemates


Getting healthy and staying healthy can actually save you lots of money in the long run. By taking care of yourself through healthy eating, you can actually save money on medical bills and even keep your insurance down. Sounds simple enough to do, right?

Think again – There’s the Catch 22. Easy to prepare, convenient, or “fast” food is less expensive and more accessible to people on a budget than whole, organic, good for you food. But never fear – it’s not the end of your budget-friendly healthy eating/grocery shopping days! 


Check out these 4 quick tips for Staying Healthy on a Budget: 

1. Shop around the perimeter of the grocery store: Have you ever noticed the produce, meats, and seafood tends to be around the perimeter of the store? Try to only stay in this area. That way you’ll escape the expensive pre-made foods, and unnecessary chips and cookies that just add to your grocery bill and waistline. If you need something from the middle like bread or whole-grain pasta, just grab it quickly and go! 

2. Plan out your meals for the week: Take a moment on Sunday, grab a pen and paper, and plan out meals or meal ideas for the week. Preparing is the key to success AND saving money. This way, you might find you have leftovers for lunch every day, cutting out a huge daily expense. Also, if you and your Austin Roommates like to have dinner together, you might find yourself saving some money and time by preparing and planning meals as a household.

3. Buy Frozen Vegetables: Frozen vegetables are actually fresher and cheaper than a lot of the produce and canned foods in the store aisles. Frozen veggies are flash frozen as soon as they’re picked and immediately prepared to be sold. Bags can cost as little as $1 and can be really convenient if you have a fast paced lifestyle.

4. Go local! Have a farmer’s market nearby? Check it out! Produce and meats can actually be less expensive at a local farmer’s market. You may have to buy in bulk to get a special price, however it’s not all that bad if you make plans to use some and freeze some for later!


It’s true, we live in a culture where fast food, whether healthy or not, is prioritized thereby increasing prices on whole, natural foods that might take a little more effort to be made. But with just a little planning and some mindful shopping and eating, you absolutely can be healthy and stay within your budget. Keep these 4 tips in mind the next time you’re shopping, and share with your fellow Austin Roommates!



How to Earn Money in Austin When in a Financial Pinch

October 10th, 2013, Posted By Austin Housemates


With the economic downturn and jobs in high demand, many people are looking into less conventional ways to earn some extra cash – and fast. This city is full of opportunity – you just need to know where to look!


Here are some easy ways to earn a little extra dough in Austin, Texas:


Sell your clothes – Have you recently gained weight, lost weight, or do you have clothes that you simply don’t wear anymore?  There are many clothing resale shops in the Austin area that will buy your gently used clothing and accessories.  Some of these shops include Buffalo Exchange, located on Guadalupe Street, and Plato’s Closet, which has two locations in Austin and one in Round Rock. These shops will buy your clothes in exchange for cash or store credit.  Don’t expect to get retail prices for your clothes.  You will probably get a quarter of what you bought them for but still, it is better than leaving them simply sitting in your closet.  Also, you will get more value in store credit than you will if you opt for cash, so consider this if you know you will end up spending money to buy more clothing.

Be a study volunteer – There are many companies who utilize volunteers for research purposes.  One of the biggest in Austin is PPD, a pharmaceutical research organization. The University of Texas Department of Psychology also uses paid volunteers.  The compensation for these studies varies, but some studies can pay as much as $2000 to participants.  Contact either one of these organizations to learn more. Also, check, where many of these companies post ads daily searching for paid volunteers.

Recycle – Drink a lot of soda?  Turn your extra cans into cash by donating them to Cash 4 Cans.  At around 66 cents per pound of aluminum cans, don’t expect to get rich from a couple of 12-packs, but those cans can really add up.  If you don’t drink a lot of canned beverages, you could even find them in trash cans or on the side of the road, mostly along busy highways.

Rent out a room – Do you have an extra room in your home?  With Austin being the fastest growing city in the US right now, many people are actively seeking an affordable place to live.  Visit Craigslist to post your room for rent, under the housing section in the “rooms/shared” subsection to find some Austin roommates.  Some tips?  Keep your ad short and simple.  People are more likely to read and respond to shorter ads, and if they need more info, they can email you through Craigslist.  Also, include a picture.  Posts with pictures are much more likely to be followed up on. You choose the price, but research other Craigslist ads with similar features and square footage to your room to make sure your price is competitive.

Donate plasma – If you are a healthy individual over the age of 18, chances are that you are eligible to donate plasma. Plasma is the part of the blood that remains after white blood cells, platelets, and other cellular components are removed, and is used to create therapies that cure many life-threatening diseases.  To donate, you will have a needle placed in your arm that will remove the blood to create plasma.  Each session lasts about 1 – 3 hours.  Compensation varies, but expect to earn about $20 – $30 a visit. BioLife and DCI Biologicals are both donation centers located in Austin.  Contact either one of them to set up an appointment.

Sell at a flea market –The Airport Pulga Flea market, located on Highway 183, 2 miles south of the Austin-Bergstrom Airport, allows you to set up a booth to sell your goods, whatever they may be.  If you are into crafting, this is a good way to sell your creations. You can also buy goods wholesale to resell at the market. You can find many wholesale items here:  

Temp – Consider using a temp agency to find a temporary job.  Temp agencies provide temporary employment in most career fields.  Compensation depends on the position. There are dozens of temp agencies in Austin, but Burnett Staffing and Austin Reliable Staffing are both great options.  Contact them for more info.


Don’t forget to look around your local neighborhood, as well. Many people are in need of a helping hand here and there with their landscaping, DIY house projects, and fast cleaning services. The Craigslist “gigs” section is also a great resource for last minute jobs – take a look around and you’ll see lots of possibilities for making a little bit of extra cash.