Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Hits and misses

   Had a semi-profitable stop at the thrift store ...

   Finally snagged a nice pair of pants to wear to work.  Not quite the color I've been hunting, but it will do ...  And the best part, with a discount, I got it for $2!

   Decided to take a chance on a coffeemaker with timer to replace the one that died recently.  Bad move ... the pump that spits out water won't work.  (either that, or it's limed up beyond anything vinegar can reach.).  Ah, well, I'm sure the merchandise credit can be used on something else.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The things I learn

  To Jackie and Stacie:

  Hey, thanks for the idea to use Excel for my personal finance program!

  I had to find a tutorial, and ask a couple of questions about it, since I'm an Excel doofus. But it think it's going to work out quite well.  And I don't have to load another program!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Postal rates going up

   For those of us in the U.S., postage rates go up on Sunday.  It will cost 46 cents to mail a first-class letter, and post cards will go up to 33 cents.

   So, if you're planning on buying the Forever Stamps ... this would be a good week to do it .

Here's the rundown:


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Open sourcing

  Been doing a bit of tech fiddling here ....

  Had an older scanner that I wanted to use.  And while the drivers loaded just fine, the imaging software "wasn't compatible."  (That's code for 'It's too darn old.')  Tried the manufacturer's site, but no luck.  It was 'no longer supported." (See previous code.)

   So the Internets came to the rescue:  A bit of Googling, and I came upon a blogger who recommended a particular open-source software.  Gave it a try, and bingo!  My scanner is back in business.

Haven't had as much luck trying to find some personal finance software.  I'm looking for something rather simple -- don't need to make pie charts, or forecast my budget into the next millenium.  The first one had the features I wanted, but it kept crashing.  The second one had good reviews, but it wouldn't work properly, either.

I have another candidate in mind ... perhaps the third time will be the charm.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Are you above or below average

In technology spending, that is ...

Read an interesting story in the Wall Street Journal this weekend about how one can cut costs for phone, cell phone, TV and Internet service.

 The main idea seemed to be that you can lower costs by bundling services.  That's OK, but there was very little mention of cutting services, and none about using  a pay-as-you-go phone plan. (Though it did mention that 36% of U.S. households were cell phone-only in the first half of last year.)

But the numbers caught my eye -- according to the story:

The average American household spent $2,600 for tech services in 2011.  Households with income above $100,000 spent $3,100.

The average individual cell phone plan is $71 a month; a family plan is $139.

The average cost of pay TV is $86 per month.

So is the Casa de Chaos above or below?  Well, below.  The pay TV cord was cut a couple of years ago; the cellphone plans are pay-as-you-go voice only....  

So how about you?  Are you above or below?  Do these costs seem about right, or do the estimates seem out of line?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

December freebies

Not a bad way to end the year ...

2013 calendar

1 energy drink

1 Zoo Juice

1 Vitamin Water

2 beers

1 Centrum vitamin burst

1 bottle Excedrin Migraine (that'll come in handy).

1 Crest toothpaste

1 floss

1 pk baby wipes

Eucerin lotion

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

It's 2013!

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and frugal new year!