smart spending

You found a $20 bill -- now what?

Beef up your tool kit
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"There are a few little miscellaneous things I find I'm always glad I have," says Richard Trethewey, the plumbing and heating expert for "This Old House" and "Ask This Old House."

One handy pick is Teflon tape. If you have a leaking faucet outdoors, or shut-off valves in your basement, attic or closets, you can loosen the top nut and wrap this around the threads to tighten the seal, "and you feel like a master plumber," he says. The cost is about $2.

Another all-purpose tool is electrical tape. There's almost "no limit" to what you can use it for, says Trethewey. And "in a pinch, you could use it to patch a leak in a drain line under your sink. It's elastic and it really holds. You can use it in a variety of ways." A roll runs about $2.

"Another thing I'm always glad I have is a five-in-one or 10-in-one screwdriver," he says. "With a good grip, you don't have to carry six screwdrivers in your drawer." They start around $9.




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