Best Ways to Save Money While on Your Own

While living with parents or family is nice, it can get old after a while. People need their independence; however, living on your own can be daunting especially if you’re young and don’t have much money. In this case, here are some of the best ways to save money while on your own. You’ll become more responsible with your money with these slight changes in your life.

Create a Savings Account

The first step to saving like an adult is to create a savings account. Assuming you have a steady income, savings accounts store money and earn interest. These are federally insured accounts, so if the bank fails it can cover up to $250,000. Savings accounts can help you grow your money. Strong annual percentage yields (APYs) typically offer low initial deposit requirements and low monthly maintenance fees while paying back your money with slight interest. Importantly, savings accounts are not quick cash deposits like checking accounts. You have limited accessibility for emergencies or large expenses.

Use Credit Cards Wisely

Of course, just because you have money in the bank doesn’t mean you should spend it frivolously. Use bank cards responsibly, especially if it’s a credit card. Credit cards are risky because, when used improperly, they can rack up long-term debt. Banks use credit cards as a trust-system in which the bank pays for the card statement with the trust that you’ll pay back the debt in a monthly or circulatory billing cycle. While many people can do this responsibly, you must know your limits. Extreme credit card debt can ruin your credit which affects your mortgage, housing, and even your job.

Buy Used

Likewise, buy used items whenever possible. One of the best ways to save money while on your own is through used goods. Most people scoff at the idea of buying someone else’s belongings, but many stores have made it easier to do so. These stores offer high-end products at a fraction of their original cost. Similarly, consider used goods for first-time major purchases too. Specifically, consider used appliances (if they’re still functional), used electronics (slightly outdated ones work fine), and used cars. Your first car on your own doesn’t need to be a luxury vehicle. In fact, look around and negotiate until you find the right used car for your budget and lifestyle; if you need pointers, follow these handy tips for buying your first car.

Prioritize Needs Over Wants

Finally, prioritize your needs over wants. While it’s healthy to treat yourself to a nice meal or fun activity, save these for special occasions. When saving money, you need to consider all necessary and unnecessary expenses. Monthly rent and utilities naturally fall under necessary expenses. However, you can reduce weekly nights out or buying new entertainment to save more money. That’s not to say you must eliminate these from your life completely; just be smarter about how often you afford these small luxuries.

8 ways to help pay for college if your financial situation suddenly worsened

Millions of students around the country are getting ready to head back to college this fall.

For some, that means opening up Zoom or Google Meet again. And for others, it means returning back to the campus they abruptly left in the spring due to COVID-19 closures.

Regardless, it’s a different world than we knew before. Unfortunately, millions of Americans’ have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic, putting many families in a dramatically different financial situation than before.

This unexpected hardship is causing many families to reconsider their higher education options as college costs are becoming increasingly hard to afford.

If you are facing financial difficulties and struggling with returning to school, here are eight ways to help get the situation back under control.

1. Appeal your FAFSA application

The FAFSA application reflects your family’s financial situation from the tax year two years prior, so the aid you were originally awarded might not fit your current financial situation. If that’s the case, you will likely want to appeal your application to have your aid adjusted.

To do this, make sure you update your FAFSA application to accurately reflect your current financial situation. After that, you will need to contact the school you plan to attend to further discuss the special circumstances that are affecting your family’s ability to pay.

This may require writing an appeal letter and providing documentation to support your appeal. This could be a letter of unemployment or a medical bill. Ultimately, the decision is up to your school and cannot be appealed to the Education Department.

Currently, the U.S. The Department of Education has suspended all federal student loan payments until Sept. 30, 2020 under the CARES Act. Additionally, the deadline for federal FAFSA applications for the 2020-2021 school year has been extended until June 30, 2021. However, deadlines vary between states and colleges.

2. Ask your college for a tuition reduction 

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the easiest way to get a tuition reduction is to just ask.

It may sound too good to be true, but given the current situation with COVID-19 forcing many classes to move online, students have more leverage than ever before when it comes to negotiating tuition.

In fact, nearly 60 colleges and counting have been hit with lawsuits from students who are demanding tuition refunds, according to Newsweek. The argument is that students did not receive the in-person college experience that they had signed on for, therefore the value of the education was not worth the original agreement.

Some universities have listened and have since offered partial reimbursement. Going into the new school year, however, there is still a lot of uncertainty and controversy around tuition. For instance, Harvard recently announced that it would be adopting virtual learning for the 2020-2021 school year without a tuition reduction. Meanwhile, the University of Michigan and Cornell actually increased its tuition, angering many students and their families. However, there are some schools, like Williams College, that will offer reduced tuition and other schools are offering the option to defer payment for a year, like Davidson College in North Carolina.

Moral of the story: You never know until you ask.

3. Apply for late-deadline scholarships

Typically, scholarships have already come and gone at this point in the summer. However, the 2020 situation is much different than years past and many students have been met with new financial situations in just a few short months — leading many organizations to extend scholarship deadlines.

“Don’t think of the scholarship search time as being over,” James W. Lewis, President of the National Society of High School Scholars told U.S. News. “In my mind, the scholarship search has just begun. The old norm was that scholarships are over by now, but this is a new reality, and institutions are having to rethink everything. Part of that is financial aid and scholarships.”

A good place to start is by searching the U.S. Department of Labor’s free scholarship search tool. Experts also suggest looking for local scholarship opportunities as these are often less competitive than the national ones.

4. Look into community colleges

Currently, 9 percent of colleges in the U.S. are planning for an online school year and 24 percent are proposing a hybrid model according to a survey by the Chronicle of Higher Education. However, many of these schools are also planning to keep the tuition rate the same despite the major differences in online versus traditional instruction.

This is forcing many students and their families to make the tough decision of whether or not it’s worth it to go back to school in the fall.  Not only is safety a concern, but there’s also clearly a difference in the type of learning and experiences one gets from virtual learning.

If you’re someone who’s finding the idea of staying home to study more and more appealing, you may want to consider taking courses at your community college. This could be a great money-saving option for those who have general education courses to get out of the way. Before making any decision, however, be sure to double-check that the credit will transfer.

5. Apply for a credit card to help pay for needs 

Credit cards can be very helpful in tough situations like this when managed responsibly. If you are struggling coming up with money for the necessities like books and food, a credit card could really help out.

There are two types of credit cards that you’ll want to consider. The first is a cash back card that will reward you for your spending and put a little extra cash in your pocket. However, you will not receive that cash back until you pay the bill, so if that’s not possible, then this isn’t a good idea for you.

The second option would be to look for a card that offers an introductory zero percent APR. A zero interest card can help you avoid paying sky-high interest rates on purchases and balance transfers, for up to a year or even longer. It can also help you avoid applying for a loan that may carry a high interest. This gives you a nice cushion to pay off the debt, while also allowing you to still pursue your education. A word of caution, however, is that once this introductory period is over, APRs can easily run over 20 percent. Therefore, it’s very important to manage your balance carefully. Otherwise, you may end up paying more in interest than you would have on a loan.

Note that you may not have the credit score eligible for a card like this, which means you may want to ask your parents if they can apply and add you as an authorized user.

6. Look for a part-time job or side hustle

A part-time job or side hustle can help you pay for everyday expenses or if you’re good there, you can put it towards your tuition and books.

Many colleges offer work-study programs as a form of financial aid, but it largely depends on when you apply, your level of financial need and your school’s funding level. Typically, students are paid directly, however, you can also request that your paycheck go directly towards tuition.

If you do not qualify for a work-study program, look locally to see if you can find something else that allows you enough flexibility to keep up with your schoolwork.

Some other ideas to consider are tutoring (especially if you have expertise in a subject), gig work, selling artwork online if you’re a creative type or maybe you have clothes and furniture you don’t have a need for that you could sell.

7. Check for tax deductions

Before you file your taxes this year, double check that you’ve filed for education-related tax credits and deductions. One option is the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC), which allows individuals to claim up to $2,500 in tax credit on expenses related to tuition and fees for up to four years.

In order to qualify, you must:

  • Have $2,000 of eligible spend on tuition, books, equipment and school fees.
  • Be an undergraduate student.

The amount will also vary depending on you or your parents adjusted gross income. For example, if your parents claim you as a dependent and made $80,000 or less ($160,000 or less when filed jointly) then you will get the full credit. Anything more than that and you will only receive partial credit.

Another tax credit to look into is the Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC), which allows you to claim 20 percent of the first $10,000 paid towards tuition and fees for a maximum of $2,000.

Unlike the AOTC, the LLC is available for undergraduates, graduates and non-degree or vocational students. Additionally, there’s no limit on the number of years you can claim it.

You are eligible for the credit if you or your parents made less than $58,000 ($116,000 when filed jointly) in the last year. If your income was between $58,000 and $68,000 ($116,000 and $136,000 combined) then you can get a reduced credit. However, you can not get a credit if your income was above $68,000 ($136,000 when filed jointly).

One caveat, however, is that you cannot claim both the AOTC and the LLC in the same year.

8. Apply for a student loan

If you are a dependent undergraduate and cannot afford full tuition, your parents can apply for a Direct PLUS loan. Applicants can borrow up to the full cost of attendance, less other financial aid, and the interest rate for 2020–21 is 5.3 percent.

However, if your parents are not willing to do that and you’ve maxed out your federal loans and financial aid still doesn’t cover your tuition, you may have to consider a private student loan. However, before borrowing from a private lender, it’s important to understand what you’re getting into. 

Like everything else, there are pros and cons to private loans. One of the biggest perks is that private lenders typically lend larger amounts, which could be good news for you. However, these loans are not eligible for any sort of government loan forgiveness or repayment plan.

Bottom line: If you need to borrow money and have maximized your federal student loans, then private loans can help you get through school. Just be sure to do your research and shop around.

Learn more:

Featured photo by Tom Werner of Getty Images.

How a Ruling on Gay and Transgender Rights May Help the Climate

The world is still a patchwork of different rules and restrictions, but many places are getting back to work. In New York City, for example, hundreds of thousands of people returned to their jobs this month as the city implemented the first two phases of its reopening plan.

Across Britain, thousands of workers unable to work from home, in construction and manufacturing industries, have already returned to work after the country eased lockdown restrictions in May. Many more will be returning to work July 4, as pubs, restaurants, hotels and museums reopen.

All this requires energy to keep the lights on and the machines running. And that energy means greenhouse gas emissions.

We saw a sharp drop in those emissions when large parts of the world were locked down to fight the coronavirus pandemic, though they are now rebounding. In early April, global emissions were 17 percent below 2019 levels, but by early this month they were roughly 5 percent under last year’s levels.

That’s not enough to solve global warming. So, when we head back to the office, how can we change habits and work culture to help keep emissions down?

[If you’re already signed up for the Climate Fwd: newsletter, thanks! Want to follow The New York Times climate team on Twitter, too?]

In the United States, commercial buildings account for nearly 40 percent of national energy use. If that energy comes from burning fossil fuels like coal, it very likely produces a lot of greenhouse gas. So changing work habits can make a difference.

DIY natural home fragrance ideas – The State Journal

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STUFF WE LIKE: Thursday, June 18, 2020 | Lifestyle

DO JUST ONE THING

Simple, easy and money-saving ideas that also do something positive for the environment:

Food banks need money most

Even during these uncertain times, your local food bank is actually discouraging the donation of food to help fill their shelves. The reason is donated food is often expired, contaminated or just unsafe to give away. Sorting through donations also takes time, which could be used instead by volunteers to help those in need. What they really need is cash donations. Food banks and pantries have relationships with wholesalers, and this means a single dollar can be turned into about nine cans of food. Cash donations enable them to get a lot more product to help people, and they can control the inventory to get what’s really needed in the community.

Best way to load dishwasher

Running a fully loaded dishwasher is the most energy- and water-efficient way to wash dishes. But it’s key to load it properly to get the cleanest results. When loading utensils, don’t load them all in the same direction. Spoons should not “spoon” each other; some should face up while others should face down. Make sure dirty dishes face the center, so the sprayer arm can most effectively get them truly clean. And don’t add an extra detergent tablet to the machine; the little packets are powerful enough for a whole load, and adding extra just causes a soapy film to be left behind.

LIST-MANIA

Top coffee consuming countries

According to stats from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, these are the top coffee consuming countries in the world, per capita:

1. Switzerland – 23.1 lbs.

2. Norway – 19.1 lbs.

3. Sweden – 18 lbs.

4. Canada – 16.9 lbs.

5. Serbia – 15.2 lbs.

6. Brazil – 14.9 lbs.

7. New Zealand – 11.6 lbs.

8. United States – 10.8 lbs.

9. Australia – 10.3 lbs.

10. Costa Rica – 10.1 lbs.

NEWS OF THE WEIRD

By Chuck Sheppard

Bright Idea: Officials in Lund, Sweden, were concerned about people spreading coronavirus in the town’s central park as they gathered for Walpurgis Night on April 30, a traditional celebration welcoming longer, warmer days that includes picnics and bonfires. So to discourage revelers, the town spread chicken manure all over the park. “This is a park where usually 30,000 people gather, but with COVID-19, this is now unthinkable,” Mayor Philip Sandberg told Reuters. “We don’t want Lund to become an epicenter for the spread of the disease. Even a small number of people still going to the park can become a big risk.”

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6 Easy Ways Your Small Business Can Save Money This Summer

businesswoman putting coins in glassbusinesswoman putting coins in glass

The coronavirus is a game-changer for many small businesses. It’s disrupted the economy, even leading to some small businesses closing their doors. Many are struggling with decreased budgets and social distancing requirements that need to be followed. The economic news is not what many small business owners want to hear.

However, there is a silver lining: change urges innovation. For business owners who are flexible and willing to rethink their current processes, there are numerous ways to make change. Summer is a good time to find ways to reduce operating costs in your company and survive what some are calling the “Great Lockdown.”

Here are six ideas to save money in your small business:

1. Switch to a virtual office space

Remote work is obviously trending because it reduces costs and gives employees additional flexibility.  For some businesses it’s been an opportunity to see if they can operate effectively and efficiently in that type of environment. If the switch is successful, many businesses may continue allowing employees to work remotely to eliminate rent and utility costs. Switching to a virtual office also saves in cooling costs, paper, security, building insurance, and much more.

Businesses may fear not having a brick-and-mortar location, but in this day and age, online marketing is highly effective. Make social media your new sales channel and watch your sales grow.

2. Ensure you are energy efficient

The biggest energy users for domestic and commercial properties are usually HVAC units and air conditioners. Summer means significantly higher electric bills, so this is a great area to focus on. Reduce your small business’s monthly electric bill by utilizing a programmable thermostat, purchasing blackout curtains, and simply turning off the lights.

Also, have regular maintenance performed on your AC units so your system cools the same for less money. You can change air filters and clean vents yourself instead of hiring expensive technicians. According to Energy Star, businesses that invest strategically can cut utility costs 10 to 30% without sacrificing service, quality, style or comfort

3. Revisit bills and negotiate

There are ways you can trim your monthly expenses by simply picking up the phone. About 68% of Americans are worried about their ability to pay loans and bills, according to a TransUnion survey.

In times like these, companies are aware of the circumstances and hardships you may be going through, so it doesn’t hurt to contact service providers to try to negotiate and get your current bills reduced. Look into new cell phone plans and consider changing providers if you don’t have success negotiating down your current rates; you could end up saving as much as half of your current phone bill.

Do the same for internet providers. If your current provider won’t lower your rates, a different company in your area might offer introductory rates that will reduce your monthly spending. Take the time to look into ways to reduce the costs associated with this aspect of running a business.

Other Articles From AllBusiness.com:

4. Start a summer internship

Summer break likely means there are unemployed young adults who are willing to work for minimum wage and the work experience that comes along with it. It’s an ideal time to offer a summer internship program. Partner with local universities and their business departments to find eager students looking for work.

Just remember not to view the interns as free labor. If you are a for-profit business, you will need to pay minimum wage or more, and even overtime. That doesn’t mean, though, you can’t have an unpaid internship. They do exist, but you will want to check the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) guidelines to see if you’re meeting the requirements for unpaid internships.

5. Combine business with pleasure

It’s obvious that the travel industry has been majorly affected by the pandemic and everyone is itching for a vacation. Did you have a summer business trip planned? Combining business and leisure is one way to save money by simply adding some extra days for a summer vacation. Instead of paying for two sets of plane tickets, hotel rooms, and car rentals, combine it all into one trip.

If you have a family, it can become a little trickier to combine a business trip with a leisure trip. Make sure to set boundaries for work and play. Keep expenses separate and you just may be able to deduct business expenses as long as you do more business than pleasure.

6. Consider sharing

For small businesses, sharing is a great way to save a quick buck. Instead of hiring new staff, use freelancer sites like Upwork to hire for one-off tasks and other work. Another option is to barter your services for with another company for services that you need.

Consider sharing office space with another small business to reduce your rent and electricity costs. If you have a room or two that sits empty, don’t pay to cool it—rent the space to another business that needs storage or to a freelancer who wants a small office set up. There are endless cooperative opportunities for small businesses who try to find them.

Saving money in the face of the coronavirus can be an intimidating task—but it is possible to reduce costs with the right mindset and smart strategies.

RELATED: How to Stay Financially Afloat During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Take a Military Approach to Your Money

I’m constantly reminded that I’m getting older. Sometimes, it’s the scream of “Papa” as the grandkids roll in. Sometimes, it’s physical — like my daily hobble out of bed. Maybe you haven’t yet experienced that little bit of early morning joy but, trust me, more years under your belt can make walking a painful endeavor.

Another definite sign the years are rolling by is that I find myself reflecting on the good old days — days when that 35-year-old battalion executive officer seemed really old. Days when an eight-mile run was easy, and eight hours of sleep was a luxury, not a mandate.

I learned a lot during my time in uniform and, a few mornings ago, on my almost daily jog — no, I can no longer outrun a bad diet — I started thinking about how some of those lessons learned and timeless tidbits of military life can translate into our financial life.

Taking some editorial liberties, here are four pearls of wisdom from those days that you can apply when it comes to managing your money.

1. The 80 percent solution. Back in the day, the idea was that action was imperative. You’d be better off getting the ball rolling in the right direction and adjusting on the fly than waiting until every last detail was nailed down. The same approach can be applied to your finances.

For instance, it would be ideal to have a detailed financial plan projecting exactly how much you need to save to meet your goals after accounting for assumed growth rates, inflation, taxes and the whims of the market. But instead of waiting until you’ve mastered every detail, why not just sign up for the TSP and start socking away 5% or 6% to get started?

And although budgeting where every penny goes each month is a good idea to get your spending under control, don’t stop there. Set up a savings account for emergencies, and put money into a Roth IRA and college savings plans for the kids. Put things in motion, and then tweak them over time. You can plan, plan, plan, but until you take action, you’ve really made no headway.

2. Take a little off the top. Many have uttered these famous last words before getting that first military haircut. I remember the buzz job that introduced my scalp to the sun (and it was downhill from there for my hair). You can apply that same phrase to your money by taking it off the top and paying yourself first.

Setting aside money for short-, medium- and long-term goals before it gets swept away by your normal spending routine is ideal. And speaking of taking a little off the top, every pay raise or promotion provides an opportunity to increase those savings without even feeling a pinch in your lifestyle.

3. If it wasn’t good enough, it wouldn’t be the minimum. Not everything from back then was a positive example for your financial endeavors. I hate to admit it, but on more than a few occasions — especially after some late nights on the town — this phrase captured my approach to the physical fitness test. While I doubt that this applies to you or yours, it’s definitely not the way to knock down your debt. Checked out your credit card bills lately? These days, credit card companies are required to show you how many years it takes and how much interest you’ll pay if you stick with minimum payments. Find a way to do more than the minimum.

4. A checklist for everything and everything on a checklist. Whether it was preventive maintenance, battle drills or a formal briefing, everything we did seemed to come with a list to guide us. In the same vein, create your own checklist to keep yourself on the right financial track. It could be a game plan to pay down debt, research and acquire a list of insurance products, or short-term goals you want to accomplish, such as saving for a new TV. Often, putting things down in writing is the first step toward making them a reality. I still have a checklist at my desk, and there are few things as satisfying as putting a big check mark next to another mission accomplished.

These are just a few military tidbits that translate nicely into sound personal finance ideas. I’m sure there are dozens more! What do I hope you take from all of this? Make your finances a priority and leverage your unique lifestyle to make a financial difference today … and help create the life you want down the road.

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How to know EXACTLY when a supermarket product will go on sale

How to save hundreds on your grocery bill: Former merchandiser explains that supermarket specials work on a rotation – so you can work out EXACTLY when to buy in bulk

  • A former supermarket employee has revealed a secret tip to keep an eye on 
  • Posting on Facebook, Kath said price tags on sale items have a tiny date
  • Found in the bottom corner, this date indicates when the promotion is set to end
  • By keeping track of these codes customers can estimate when the prices return
  • Kath says she uses this tactic herself and can help others save money 

A former supermarket employee has shared a secret tip about ‘specials rotations’ that could save customers hundreds of dollars on their grocery shopping.

Posting to the Budgeting, Food, Savings Ideas, Stockpiling, Life Help Australia Facebook group, an Australian woman named Kath said all the special tags on sale products have a date on the bottom corner that indicates when the promotion ends.  

She said these sale offers are planned in advance and are often on a rotation across several stores for a certain amount of time.  

Customers can save money by taking note of the little-known date codes and tracking when the sale prices will return. 

A former supermarket merchandiser said the special tags on sale products have a date in the bottom corner that indicate how long the promotion is on for and when it finishes (pictured)

A former supermarket merchandiser said the special tags on sale products have a date in the bottom corner that indicate how long the promotion is on for and when it finishes (pictured)

‘Does everyone know about supermarket specials rotations?’ She asked the online group. 

‘Big name goods do not randomly appear on special. Companies pay for the sales to move bulk goods from their warehouses and they are planned a year in advance.

‘I used to be a merchandiser and had to go into supermarkets when the sales rotations came around.’

Kath says customers can save money by keeping track of the little-known date codes and purchasing what you need to last until the product is on special again

Kath says customers can save money by keeping track of the little-known date codes and purchasing what you need to last until the product is on special again

Kath described how one week it would be Woolworths putting a product on special and the next week it would be another big store selling pet food, long life milk, cereals and health goods.

‘And it is all new fresh stock. Many of these rotations were halted during early COVID days, but now seem to be back on track,’ she said.

The insider said in order to know when the prices will drop you simply need to count the number of weeks from the last time the item was seen on sale.

‘This cereal at normal price is $6.50,’ she said, adding: ‘On a six-weekly rotation it will be on sale at $3.25. Now I will make a note of this in my diary for six weeks’ time and check then. This special will end on 14/7.

'This cereal at normal price is $6.50,' she said, adding: 'On a six-weekly rotation it will be on sale at $3.25' (pictured)

‘This cereal at normal price is $6.50,’ she said, adding: ‘On a six-weekly rotation it will be on sale at $3.25’ (pictured) 

Kath said she purchases certain items in bulk to last her until the next sales rotation.

‘As you can see this is a huge saving. The ticket has the date it ends in the bottom corner,’ she said.

Other social media users who are part of the Facebook group were amazed at the detailed budgeting insight.  

‘This is great advice! Being a family of eight, shopping specials is a must to get the best deal so I will take more notice next time I’m shopping,’ one woman said.

‘Literally the best advice I’ve seen on this page so far, thank you for sharing this, honestly the best,’ another said.

A third added: ‘Great info to share I only buy the expensive shampoo and conditioners when it’s half price – have noticed it is half price about every six weeks.’


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Saving the monarch butterflies and money, too

CLOSE

I want to go outside the shelter realm this week and talk about a creature that we would all like to see reproduce in abundance – not something you would normally hear me say in this column!

It’s almost time for the monarch butterflies to start laying their eggs along the edges of many roads in the rural parts of South Jersey and much of North America. The monarch population is in a spiraling decline and actually below the threshold for possible extinction. These beautiful butterflies spend the colder months in Mexico and this past winter’s count showed a 53 percent decline, a devastating failure in an already compromised population.

One of the biggest issues for these insects is, as is the case for so many wild creatures, the loss of habitat. The female monarch butterfly lays its eggs solely on milkweed plants. They will do this in the months of July and August in our area. In our climate zone, they can mate as many as seven times in this two-month period. The eggs take anywhere from three to 15 days to hatch into larvae. The larvae feed on the milkweed for a couple of weeks then attach themselves to a twig, form a chrysalis and in another two weeks, viola! A gorgeous creature emerges! The adults live from two to six weeks and become the next cog in the wheel of their life and migration cycle.

More: Animal shelter welcomes some interesting arrivals

More: You can make a difference in your own backyard

So, why you may wonder, am I talking to you about butterflies instead of pets? I believe that most of you who follow this column are nature lovers in general. As such, it’s important to us to be advocates of all living creatures and in the case of the peril of the monarch butterfly, there’s actually something easy to do that will help their cause … DON’T MOW THE MILKWEED DOWN!!!

The roads near my house boarder many a farm field, one directly across the street. The milkweed is growing nicely right now and is ripe for the butterflies’ convergence. Last year’s crop was teeming with all sorts of them; flitting images of all colors foraging for food among the milkweed and wildflowers bordering the field.

Imagine my distress when I came home one day in the middle of July to find that the township had mowed down the entire habitat from one end of the road to the other. Aside from the tremendous waste of tax dollars mowing a road that is dominated by farm fields and with only 10 residences, many with naturalized property lines; I was sick thinking about how this is undoubtedly being played out over and over along the edges of thousands upon thousands of miles of highways and bi-ways all across the country.

The patch of habitat close to me is only about a mile long and 10 feet deep. It doesn’t seem like much in the scheme of things, but if I can stop that area from being mowed it’s well worth the effort. A single female monarch lays anywhere from 300 to 500 eggs during July and August, so whatever my little mile long patch can produce, it’s a step in the right direction for the population of these beautiful creatures. 

There’s a plethora of information on monarchs and their habitats on the internet as well pictures that will help you identify different types of milkweed. Many garden centers sell some of the decorative milkweeds that make great, colorful additions to your own gardens. Aside from protecting any habitat in your control, take a few minutes to send an email to your county freeholders and municipal leaders on the subject; they’re always looking for ways to save money; this is an easy one!

CLOSE

Chris Hawk speaks about adopting a dog or cat from the South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter in Vineland on Wednesday, March 6, 2019.

The Daily Journal

Shelter Needs: Canned Cat Food (pate’ style), Purina Cat Kitten Chow, Canned Chicken, Hand Soap Sanitizer, Paper Towels, Lint Rollers, Gift Cards from Grocery Pet Supply Outlets.

DOGS OF THE WEEK

Lady Madonna is our sunny little golden girl. She is sweet, smart sassy and fun! Her idea of a great day is playing a nice game of fetch then lounging in the sun taking a nap. If this sounds like your idea of a fun day, then Lady Madonna is your girl!

Trina is a lovely, 6-year-old boxer mix. She is friendly, well-mannered and eager to please. Trina is a sweet, affectionate pup with loads of love to give.

Chloe is a 31/2-year old female mixed breed that is waiting and hoping for a loving forever home.

Hi! I’m FLASH! I’m a sweet and loving 2-year-old mixed breed and I’m looking for someone to teach me a little impulse control, or how to put my super speedy brain and quick reflexes to good work. I’m smart and learn VERY quickly, and I’d LOVE LOVE LOVE to have something to DO to help me stay entertained! I am super friendly and super fun!

Jessie is a 10-year-old pit mix who is waiting and hoping for a loving forever home.

Pierre is a handsome, 9-month-old lab and Great Dane mix. He is a nice guy with loads of life to give.

Pixel is a 6-year-old female mixed breed. She may be your perfect match!