Cheat Sheet Q & A:

Today’s topic:  How much water we use


The entry: This came after we covered water consumption last week and I called into question the reporting of gross water usage as actual consumption.

Like you, I have long questioned water “shortage”. What is happening to the water? Is there something out there breaking down the H2O molecule into something else? Is the carbon dioxide we are polluting the atmosphere with also carrying our water into space never to be seen again? Growing up in
S FL, I’ve seen low water but never much of a shortage of water.

I took on a project in CO. Those folks take the water thing to a whole new level! Any commercial project or subdivision (lots 35 acres + are entitled to one domestic well) must first obtain rights to the water they will use. There are “water courts” in which your “water attorney” must plead your case and show how you intend to “augment” your “consumptive use”.

I have attached my “water resource” engineer’s calculations for my project. It turns out they consider evaporation as the largest “consumption”. If you use a typical drain field septic system, ~80% of everything you run through the house goes back into the system and 20% evaporates out of the drain field. Your “consumption” is 20%.  Package wastewater treatment systems take the evap down to 5%.


Bottom Line:  This is excellent updated information.  I last studied this topic sometime 10+ years ago.  At the time I found (in Georgia) the consumption at out local water facility averaged about 10% of actual usage. That’s consistent with the findings of this engineer (of 5-20% based on method).  The summation… It makes sense to consume water wisely.  It is a precious natural resource however the gross reports of usage are extremely inaccurate.


If you have a question or topic you’d like me to address email me:


Audio Report:




Another win for consumers in the mobile price war - AT&T cuts data prices for those without a contract:


Bottom Line:  T-Mobile has successfully changed the game when it comes to contracts and prices of mobile plans.  Verizon & AT&T have each cut prices several times since last fall in an attempt to retain their customers as many have fled to T-Mobile in recent months.  The latest price cut is for the AT&T customer without a contract. 


Currently the base 2GB data plan with unlimited talk & text is $80 per month without a contract.  That is that was the plan… 


Starting on Saturday the price for individual plans (as described above) have come down to $65 per month.  That’s a nice $180 per year cut in price on the service you’re already using.  All you need to do is call AT&T to ensure you’re getting the new lower rate. 


Audio Report:



Want to know if you've been unfriended on Facebook?:


Bottom Line:  There's a new program for that…  For many Facebook users the mind wanders with “friends” that go quiet.  Are they just not using Facebook anymore?  Have the blocked me?  Have they actually taken the physical step of un-friending me?  Until now you’d have to find out from the person if you had actually been defriended.  Now you have this… 


It’s called UnFriend Notify.  It’s a software program that works with a browser (only Chrome or Firefox).  If you load the program and enter your Facebook account it will show you a list of “Lost Friends”.  Every Facebook user wonders and has an interest in knowing…  The question is what the outcome may be when they see who actually has taken the cyber initiative to end a “friendship”.  Here is the direct link to the program:


Audio Report:


Just working part-time?  You still should file your taxes for this reason: 


Bottom Line:  The largest group of individuals with unclaimed tax returns each year are those who don’t file taxes.  Of those who don’t file taxes the largest group are those that don’t earn enough to legally have to file.  Those thresholds are:


  • $10,000 for individuals
  • $20,000 for a joint filing


While it may seem nice to not have to file, you likely are leaving money on the table by doing so. 


More than a million people who earn less than the mandated amount to have to file, don’t file each year.  The average outcome for those individuals would be a tax refund of $600.  So… at a minimum if you don’t have to file taxes, you should at least prepare them to see what the outcome would be.  The odds are you’re leaving hundreds on the table otherwise.


Audio Report:



Speaking of money being left on the table…  More than two million students are missing out on college grant money every year:


Bottom Line:  I’ve long been vocal about the need for you to sit down prior to high school with your kids and identify all grant and scholarship opportunities that exist if you your kids plan on going to college.  You’d be amazed how much opportunity there is to offset college costs.  Identifying early enables your kids to ensure they’re doing what’s needed to be in a position to achieve the scholarship or grant.  There is another lost opportunity for two million kids per year.  A lost opportunity for a Pell Grant. 


While it’s true that 90%+ of Pell grants go to kids who live in households with less than $50k of income annually.  There can be eligibility for kids in households that earn over $100k per year based on certain situations.  In other words… There is no hard a fast income level that determines the eligibility.  The result, 2+ million students who are leaving big money on the table for college each year. 


  • The average Pell Grant this year is $5645


So see what’s out there.  It could be worth thousands to you. 


Audio Report:




Many millionaires will be created in the US today...  Will you be one of them?:


Bottom Line:  How many Americans do you think are created every day in the US?  I decided to identify the trend and calculate the number of new American millionaires per day… 


  • 36 American millionaires are created every day


Not surprisingly it’s not the lottery or a high salary that’s the leading cause of the millionaire status.  It’s their home and stocks that’s most responsible.  So will you be one of tomorrow’s millionaires?  It’s more possible than most think.  


Audio Report: