Archive for Budget

Yet Another Reason Why I Love The Library

library

Not My Local Library

Before I get into why I love the library, let me start by welcoming you to 2016!

I hope you had a great 2015 and an awesome time on New Year’s Eve.  Kate and I were planning on just staying home and having a relaxing night, but our friends Chris and Kris told us they were going to Queens to their friend’s place and have a very low key new year’s eve reunion, then we decided to join them.

Our night was low key, but it was pretty awesome.  We had some drinks, ordered some food, played board games, and spent some time with good friends.  It was a great night overall.

We stayed over in Queens and had to wake up early on New Year’s Day so we can go to my mom’s house and have brunch with the family.  After brunch, my brother, his wife, my brother in law, and I went to the 1:00pm show of Star Wars.  My favorite part of Star Wars was when… just kidding – no spoilers.

I hope you also had a great New Year’s.  Now it’s time to set the alarm clock because it’s back to work time… sad face. Read more

Comcast Is The Worst!!!

comcast

No internet?!!

I always thought monopolies were against the law, but everybody who has cable-phone-internet at home knows that’s not true. Well, technically we all have more than one option, but having only ONE option for cable internet is not my idea of having “options.”

Kate and I live in an area where our only options for internet are Comcast or Verizon DSL (if it was FiOS, I would probably be happier).  I have never used DSL and I’m not sure if it’s better or worse than cable, but I only need internet and DSL requires you to get a phone line in order to work.  Therefore I only have ONE monopolistic option… Comcast.

The Comcast deal for new costumers is not bad – $39.99 for 12 months – which is the plan that we had.  The internet was choppy every now and then, but that’s what we have to deal with.

The 12-month period expired this week and our bill went up to around $67.  That’s a big increase in price for a crappy service. We are not willing to pay that much for internet so our plan was to try to get the same $39.99 deal for another 12 months.

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One Year with Ting and Special Offer

ting

Ting is Awesome

If you are here for the $100 Ting credit and don’t feel like reading this whole post, just click here.

It has already been one year since I switched my cell phone service to Ting and I could not be happier about the move.  I still can’t believe I was paying so much money for a service that I could have been getting for half the price.

As I mentioned in my Ting review, I used to pay $127 per month for two phones with Sprint.  That’s including a corporate discount of 25%!  Which means that I was paying $1,524 a year on my cell phone bill.

With Ting, I was only paying $42.23 per month for the same two phones and for the same service.  Ting uses the Sprint network so everywhere I had service with Sprint, I also have it with Ting.  The same service for $506.76 a year.

I saved $1,017.24 this year. One Thousand Dollars! Those, to me, are big savings!

If you have Sprint and don’t switch to Ting, you are just giving your money away.

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How I Saved $320 On a New Phone

new phone

Hipster Phone

I don’t know what it is about smart phones, but something happens to them around the two year mark after we buy them, and that makes me wonder.  Brand new smart phones are awesome. They are fast and powerful, and everything works great.

It makes that 2-year contract that tends to come with new phones feel not so bad.  I just know that I’m going to be happy with this new phone for at least two years.  And then, like clock-work, around the 2-year mark smart phones start being not so smart.  Everything starts slowing down, apps fail to open, or it takes forever to do a simple task.

Meanwhile, you see all your friends with their brand new phones being able to phone and do stuff.  It makes you think that maybe your phone is just old and you need a new one to keep up with the powerful new operating systems and whatnot.

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3rd Annual Ski Trip

Ski Trip

Top of the Mountain!

The events portrayed in the following post occurred from March 27th to March 30th.  The reason I’m only posting now is because I’ve been lazy to write any blog posts… Don’t judge, this is something I’m working on.

Spring is here and to me it means one thing… Spring Skiing!

I like to ski, but I don’t like skiing when it is -1,000 degrees outside.  Having to wear 77 layers and having frozen toes – and frozen snot – is not an enjoyable time for me.  That’s why we like to go skiing in March.

We live in New Jersey, which means we don’t really have any mountains worth skiing.  Whenever we want to go skiing we go to Pennsylvania, but even there the skiing is just meh.  Our best option in the East Coast is Vermont, and that’s why we decided to make an annual ski trip to Vermont.

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The Sexiest Financial Habit Is…

sexy financial habit

I’m Sexy and I Know It!

Have you ever thought, “finances are so sexy”?

No?

Me neither.

I have never been one to put finances and sexiness together, but Ally Bank conducted a survey that did just that.

Ally Bank’s Love & Money study asked 1,007 adults what was the most appealing financial habit in a significant other.  The result might surprise some of you, it sure surprised me.

The responses were divided into four major groups: Attracted to those who have higher credit card limits and like finer goods; those who are bargain hunters and thrifty; those who pay-as-you-go to avoid any kind of debt; and those with strong budgeting and saving strategies.

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I Am Debt FREE!!!

debt free

Piggy Bank Will Be So Happy!!!

Yes, you read that right.  I am officially debt free!

It probably has been over 10 years since I have been able to say that statement, but I can finally say it once more.  In fact, I’m going to say it again… I AM DEBT FREE!!!

It feels really good to be debt free.  Now I know that any extra money that I have will go towards my savings and maybe, just maybe, I might be able to reach early retirement… early-ish.

The beautiful thing about all of this is that I did in less time than I have initially predicted.

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To Get or Not To Get A Tax Refund

tax refund

Pay Your Taxes!

Last week I discussed some ideas on how you could spend your tax refund wisely.  I mentioned I get a tax refund even though some financial experts consider this to be a bad financial move.

The consensus among those experts is, “tax refunds are for suckers!”  Gee, sorry we’re not all suck-less like you, Señor Perfect – I’m assuming they are all men because ladies are nice and they don’t call other people suckers.  A little pandering never hurt anybody.

Getting a tax refund means that we overpaid our taxes and the government is giving us our change back… after 12 months.  It is like giving the government a loan without earning any interest on that loan.

Instead, we should adjust our withholdings so that we pay just enough taxes to come out even.  This means more money on our paycheck, which could be used for something else rather than have the government hold on to it.

And those financial experts are absolutely right.

However, the fact that they are right doesn’t mean that those of us who prefer a refund are suckers.  I’m not a financial expert, but I can see pros and cons to both: getting a tax refund and changing your withholdings to break even.

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Save Money Like A Janitor

save money

Pay Yourself First

Last week I read about Ronald Read, a Vermont gas station attendant and janitor who was able to stockpile an $8 million fortune.  He passed away last year at the age of 92, but very few people knew he had that kind of money.  That is until a couple of weeks ago when he left most of his estate to his local hospital and library.

Mr. Read left $4.8 million to the hospital and $1.2 million to the library.

According to reports, he was a very humble person who drove a second-hand Toyota Yaris and who never splurged except on a daily cup of coffee and an English muffin with peanut butter at the Brattleboro Memorial Hospital.

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Don’t Forget About Your Teeth

don't forget about your teeth

Your Teeth Are Important

Our teeth are a pretty integral part in our survival as human beings.  They help us with digestion by allowing us to chew food so we can eat more things other than just “mush.”  If we don’t properly maintain out teeth, it can lead to tooth decay and eventually tooth loss.  This can hinder our ability to chew a variety of foods.

Our teeth also help us with our speech.  Speech is affected by the way our teeth meet and by the movement of our tongue around our teeth.

Our teeth also help us trim our nails and open beer bottles – okay, don’t do either of those with your teeth – and they help us become approachable and find a mate by showing our teeth to people in a non-creepy way.

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