10 Tools That You Can Share With Your Neighbors To Save Money

Sharing Tools with Neighbors to Save Money

My family is very fortunate to live where we do. Not only do we have several neighbors who we enjoy spending time with, but we know that we have friends nearby that we can always turn to for help. The people who live on our street have no issues asking for a cup of sugar or an extra set of hands during home renovation projects. However, sometimes these projects require tools we don’t have. If you have a good relationship with those in your neighborhood, here are 10 tools you can share with your neighbors to save money.

10 Tools You Can Share With Your Neighbors to Save Money

Working in construction, my husband has collected quite a few tools over the years. However, they don’t come cheap. Quality items run anywhere from $100 – $1,000, depending on what you need. And if he only needs them for a single job, it doesn’t make sense to buy them new.

Many people feel the same way which is why they are creating neighborhood networks and tool libraries to share resources and save money. If no one in your neighborhood has access to what they need, here are 10 tools you can share with your neighbors to save money.

1. Lawn Mower

One of the most demanding responsibilities for homeowners is lawn care. And if you have an HOA, they may have strict rules about the appearance of your lawn. Hiring these services can be expensive, but so is buying a new lawn mower. With prices ranging from $150 – $2,000, a new mower may not be in your budget. Therefore, it may make more financial sense to pool your resources and get one to share among your neighbors.

2. Leaf Blower

Having a leaf blower can make yard cleanup a breeze. Unfortunately, these time-saving tools cost an average of $150 each. So if you prefer to skip the back-breaking chores and the extra cost, splitting the expense will make it more affordable.

3. Chainsaw

There will be times when you need a chainsaw to maintain your trees and clear away debris. Although it may be the best tool for the job, it does come at a price. Cheaper electric models start around $80, but sturdier gas-powered models could run you $350. So, if it isn’t something you will use regularly, this could be one of the tools to share with neighbors to help you save.

4. Gardening Tools

Although I’m not an avid gardener, I understand that gardening tools are essential for planting, maintaining, and cultivating. Without the right tools, it could damage your plants and add hours of unnecessary effort. But if you aren’t ready to invest in your own, sharing these tools could save you a lot of time and money.

5. Pressure Washer

Over time, mold, mildew, and grime will grow and cling to the exterior surfaces of your home and vehicles. Pressure washing not only keeps things looking new, but it will also help you maintain a cleaner, healthier home. However, it doesn’t make sense to spend hundreds of dollars for something you may only use once a year. Instead, talk to your neighbors to see if anyone would be willing to pitch in to reduce the cost of owning one.

6. Snow Blower

The winter months can be brutal in colder climates, especially if you don’t have a snow blower. Unfortunately, they aren’t an option for everyone since the average cost is around $950 for a new one. But if your neighbors are willing to share the cost and responsibility for snow removal, a snow blower could make this winter a little more bearable.

7. Extension Ladder

Most of us have the standard 6 ft ladder to assist with jobs around the house. On the other hand, people usually don’t have the need or space for extension ladders in their garages. But for those times when you need one to reach high places, buying an extension ladder for the neighborhood will make life easier.

8. Drills

Drills are one of the most commonly used tools around the house. Therefore, people usually own a cordless drill to help them with small projects. But if you need something to drill through tougher materials, you will probably need a drill with more power. Rather than renting them out every time you need them, you could purchase these tools to share with neighbors.

9. Saws

Although you may have a few saws, it’s important to know their specific purposes. While some are suitable for bigger jobs, others are more effective for detailed work and awkward maneuvers. However, if you don’t have the saw you need, it’s better to talk to your neighbors before spending money on a new one that you may only use once.

10. Air Compressor

Air compressors are highly versatile. They can be used for anything from inflating tires and powering tools to cleaning up after messy jobs. But even a portable one will set you back at least $100. And if you need a larger tank for bigger jobs, you could spend thousands. Depending on the models you are looking at, dividing the cost could be beneficial for everyone.

Considerations Before You Share Tools With Your Neighbor

Starting a neighborhood tool share makes environmental and economic sense. But before you jump in and start buying expensive equipment, here are a few considerations to keep in mind.

  • Is it better to buy or borrow? Sometimes, it’s more cost-effective to borrow or rent tools for one-time jobs. But if you will use it often and have the room to store it, it’s probably better to buy what you need.
  • Are there safety concerns? The person borrowing the tool is ultimately responsible for using them safely and properly. However, you should make sure they know how to use the tool and to wear proper safety gear.
  • Are there terms and expectations for borrowing? To ensure no one abuses the system, you may want to set time limits and expectations for borrowing the tools. Although a verbal agreement should be enough, you can create a simple contract with the details.
  • Who is responsible for damage or loss? It should be common sense that the person borrowing the tool is responsible for its care and safe return. If you are at fault, it’s in your best interests to replace it, no matter the cost. Although it will be an expensive lesson, you need to think about your relationships. Since you live next to them, shirking responsibility could impact the entire neighborhood.

Sharing tools can be a great way to save money and get the help you need for bigger jobs. If you aren’t sure if tool sharing is the right choice for your neighborhood, host a get-together. This will give everyone a chance to meet, gauge interest, and determine if it’s the right option for your neighbors.

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7 Financial Secrets You Should Share with Your Spouse

7 Financial Secrets You Should Share with Your Spouse

Everyone has secrets. However, when you join your life and your finances with someone, there has to be absolute trust. That means that you will have to share certain things about your financial history that you may not be particularly proud of. But if you want to build a secure life together, then you have to be transparent. You don’t want a marriage built on lies. So if you are harboring any of these financial secrets, you should share them with your spouse.

7 Financial Secrets You Should Share with Your Spouse

A  2018 study in the Journal of Financial Therapy revealed that 27% of Americans kept financial secrets from their partner. However, counselors will tell you that this kind of secrecy and financial infidelity can have catastrophic consequences. Although it is a difficult topic to broach, sharing your burden can reduce your financial stress and help you grow closer as a couple. So if you are having doubts about telling your partner, here are 7 financial secrets you should share with your spouse to build an honest relationship.

1. The Full Extent of your Debt

One thing that I have seen personally seen blow-up relationships is secret debt. Usually, this happens when one partner isn’t aware of the extent of the other’s overspending and credit card debt.

If you have high balances on multiple credit cards, it can push your finances and relationship to the breaking point. But, hiding the truth won’t improve the situation. And, it will impact your spouse too if you have to declare bankruptcy. While it may be a difficult conversation, it will allow you to work together toward a solution.

2. Salary Increases and Financial Windfalls

Although it may not seem as bad as hiding your debt, hiding your financial gains is also a sign of financial infidelity. If you don’t want to share the good news with your spouse, then you need to take a careful look at your feelings and relationship. Are you worried they won’t be happy for you or will resent your success? Are you afraid it will give them a free license to go on a spending spree? Or, is there something else that makes you want to keep them in the dark? Whatever the case, if you can’t celebrate your wins, it’s a red flag in any relationship.

3. Secret Bank Accounts

Unless you are in a situation involving financial abuse, you should never keep secret bank accounts. I’m not saying that you have to join your accounts. But, you should be able to have an honest conversation about your assets. My husband and I still have separate accounts. However, we are aware of them and how much money is in each one.

When your spouse finds out that you are hiding money, it will inevitably lead to hard questions and accusations. But, you can avoid this situation altogether by being honest and upfront about your financial situation.

4. Taking a Second Mortgage

This secret is problematic for several reasons. Not only does it put your home at risk, but it also adds an additional monthly payment to your bills. And, it usually comes with higher interest rates. Taking a second mortgage without telling your spouse will have long-term repercussions on your financial plans. It requires more than a slight budget adjustment and affects both partners in the relationship.

5. Large Purchases

It’s also wise to discuss large purchases and loans with your spouse before signing anything. Having these conversations will ensure that you are on the same page. It’s a big decision that often requires financing or high-interest loans that will take years or decades to pay off. Those who continue to make large purchases without consulting their partner will find that it affects their budget and their partner’s ability to trust them.

6. Late Payments

Accidents happen, and sometimes bills don’t get paid on time. However, this isn’t a secret you can hide forever. You will continue to get late notices, penalties, or disruption of service the longer you delay.

But, you can avoid further debt by telling your partner right away. While most people won’t be thrilled, it’s better to know sooner rather than later. Otherwise, any late payments on bills with your spouse’s name will affect their credit score and financial future.

7. Your Spending Habits

While this behavior is at the root of several financial secrets, it deserves a special designation as one of the most important financial secrets you should share with your spouse. Lying about your spending habits can have devastating effects on your financial planning.

Some of the worst examples of financial infidelity that I have witnessed include:

    • hiding purchases and receipts
    • lying about how much you spend on things
    • spending money on family and friends without discussing it
    • accruing more debt without them knowing
    • wiping out their savings without their partner’s knowledge

Unfortunately, you will never have an accurate gauge of your finances if you are not truthful about your spending. Plus, most people find it impossible to trust someone who constantly lies and hides things. Not only does it undermine your relationship, but you are also putting your financial future at risk.

A Relationship Built on Trust

My mom taught me an important lesson that applies to nearly every aspect of my life, including my finances: if you have to hide it or lie about it, then you probably shouldn’t be doing it.

However, we are all human, and make mistakes. Everyone struggles, but hiding the problem only makes it worse. Instead, sharing your burden can reduce your financial stress and improve the bond you have with your partner. Although it can be terrifying to face your finances and confide your worst financial errors, it is an important step in creating a relationship built on trust. If you are not willing to take the first step and disclose these types of secrets, it will have severe impacts on your relationship and long-term financial plans.

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The 5 Worst Types of Jobs for Your Relationship


Stress is a factor in any job. However, some careers are much more demanding and interfere with personal commitments. Even if you love what you do, an imbalance in your work and personal life could take a toll on your relationships. In the past, my husband and I both held demanding positions that required travel and long hours. So, there were times we became completely absorbed in our work and ignored the needs of our relationship. Luckily, we made some lifestyle and career changes before they consumed the relationship. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible. Based on statistics compiled by LendingTree, these are the 5 worst types of jobs for your relationship.


The 5 Worst Types of Jobs for Your Relationship


Utilizing statistical data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey, LendingTree put together a list of the job fields that have the highest divorce rates. According to their analysis, here are the 5 worst types of jobs for your relationship.

1. Military

A military position comes with inherent risks and stress for both service members and their families. Many are fully aware of the life they are choosing. But, it doesn’t make it easier to cope with these difficulties.

First of all, there is constant danger, and you never really know where they are or what life-threatening situations they may face. Then, you have the deployments and long tours of duty that can take people away from their loved ones for months or even years. Unfortunately, you have no choice but to continue on with life while they are away.

Don’t forget that reassignments also cause people to uproot and move frequently. It’s stressful for service men and women to pack up their lives and leave friends and family behind. The strain of finding new housing and coordinating the moves can be overwhelming. But, it’s even harder when spouses are on deployment or kids are involved.

Some people feel the benefits are worth the added stress. However, others feel differently, especially since newly enlisted personnel make around $20,000 a year. Not every relationship is strong enough to withstand these stressors which is why 3.09% of military marriages end in divorce.

2. Health Care

When you are dealing with matters of life, death, and people’s health, there’s no doubt that your job will be incredibly stressful at times. However, people often forget the long hours of studying and training it requires. And then, there is the financial pressure and accruing student loan debt as you complete your education.

For most people, the high salary eventually offsets the time and energy invested. But, health care is changing since the entire medical field has been turned upside down with the pandemic. In particular, the nursing staff has been hit hard with new demands. Staffing shortages have left many departments and hospitals shorthanded. This translates to longer hours and a heavier patient load, which adds more stress. Many healthcare providers are experiencing high levels of burnout and are choosing to leave the profession altogether.

According to divorce statistics, it is also one of the worst types of jobs for your relationship. There is a divorce rate of 2.65% for people in health care support.

3. Food Prep and Service

The food service industry is fast-paced and exciting, but it can also have grueling time demands. There are odd hours for several different positions including split shifts, nights, and weekends. This makes it hard to have a social life since it doesn’t coincide with the average work schedule.

Furthermore, food prep and service come with inconsistent wages. When you have a full house, you can earn hundreds of dollars in a single shift. But when things are slow, you may be scraping by to hit minimum wage. And, many people don’t understand that there is a loophole in the food service industry that allows employers to pay much less. Although the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, where I live, servers make a base pay of $2.13 an hour since they expect you to make up the difference can through tips. And, many restaurants also require staff to share tips with kitchen staff.

This can lead to financial struggles and additional strain on your relationship. Between the fluctuating hours and wages, it’s no wonder that people in the food prep and service industry experience a divorce rate of 2.49%.

4. Extraction

Extraction workers are those who work in the oil, gas, and mining industries. These jobs are very labor-intensive, but people who are willing to work hard and travel are well compensated. While this is good for your financial status, it can negatively affect your relationship status.

Similar to those in the military service, extraction workers often travel far from home and spend long periods away from their families and spouses. Those they left behind must continue to deal with the daily demands of their lives and families. There has also been less job security as job layoffs sweep across the industry. These uncertainties are an additional layer of stress and a large factor in the 2.47% divorce rate among extraction workers.

5. Protective Services

Those who work in protective services share many of the potential risks and dangers as those on active military duty. Although they are closer to home, they can still find themselves in dangerous or life-threatening situations. They often have to work long or overnight shifts as well. With that in mind, you can see how police officers, security guards, and firefighters have stressful jobs that can compound issues at home.

Salary can also be an issue since the median income for security guards is around $30,000. For some families, it becomes too much to bear. Therefore, workers within the field of protective services experience a divorce rate of 2.15%

Balancing the Demands of Your Job and Relationship


While these jobs report the highest divorce rate, that doesn’t mean your relationship will fail if you choose one of these careers. You can still have a happy and healthy relationship. But like all things worth having, it will take work.

    • Be aware of the stress factors and the toll it takes on your partner. Your job may be stressful, but sometimes it can be even worse for your partner. They have no control over the situation and usually have to adapt to your schedule. Be aware of the toll and strain it can add to your relationship.
    • Make time for each other. Be intentional about how you spend time together. Don’t answer work-related emails and texts at these times. Be present with your partner, and turn off the background noise of daily life for a few hours to be together.
    • Prioritize your relationship. Many people say their spouse is the most important person in their lives, but their actions speak otherwise. In addition to making time for each other, you also need to follow through with your promises and commitments. If you continue to neglect your partner’s and relationship’s needs, there may be nothing left to save.

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