As my husband and I prepare for a potential big move out of the city to somewhere more suburban (read: less public transportation friendly), we’ve realized that along with all the other life changes that come with a move like this, we’ll also have to now purchase and take care of a car.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve owned cars before, and I completely understand that life outside of a big city pretty much requires one. It’s just that I haven’t owned one in quite a while, and neither has my husband … we weren’t even sure where to start.
Spring has sprung! Well, actually, spring is still cowering in a corner like a frightened little girl, at least around these parts. But the day is coming when we’ll want to shed our parkas in favor of shorts, t-shirts, and even bathing suits.
I don’t know about you, but I spent most of this winter eating like a bear who forgot to hibernate. Consequently, I’ve got some extra pounds that need removal. Thankfully, I’ve also got a smartphone.
Plenty of apps can help with this challenge; my favorites include MyFitnessPal and RunKeeper, which have proven indispensable in recent years.
However, sometimes you need a little extra incentive, or at least a way to shake up your regular routine. That’s why I’m always on the lookout for apps that make fitness and weight-loss more fun, if not downright profitable. Here are three of the latest that can help you health yourself.
There are a lot of different looming crises that threaten to destroy this great country we call America: global warming, unemployment, Justin Bieber, nuclear war, asteroids. There’s one looming crisis that you probably don’t know about that’s more dangerous than all of the others combined. We’re heading for a serious bacon price hike. That’s right. The preferred breakfast meat of the proletariat may soon be only affordable to the 1%.
You may think I’m just a conspiracy nut, but I’ve got facts to back me up. In the past ten years, the price of bacon has skyrocketed from $3.16 a pound to $5.56 a pound. That’s a 75% increase in only ten years. To put that in perspective, bacon prices only increased 12% from 1984 to 1994. It wasn’t until the 90’s – when the no carb Atkins diet became super popular – that bacon prices started to climb uncontrollably. From 1994 through 2004, it increased 55%. If you think bacon prices are bad now, it’s going to just keep getting worse.
I’ve been asked on several occasions for insider tips on money-saving gourmet food shopping. There are many answers. I always recommend Trader Joe’s for pantry basics. An herb garden is a wonderful and inexpensive way to always have fresh herbs on hand. A CSA box split between friends can be an affordable way to access fresh, locally-grown produce. But for my money (and time), nothing beats a friendly-vendor-live-music-filled, visit to my local farmers market.
There is a belief shared by many that shopping at a farmers market is more expensive than shopping at a regular grocery store, but I have found that with just a little bit of thought and planning, you can find great deals on fresh, often organic goods, all while supporting your local community and having a heck of a lot of fun. Read on for ten ways to makes farmers market shopping fun, enjoyable and affordable.
When we last left off, Aaron’s had just offered a loan to a person who had explicitly detailed his problems with debt, lack of money, and lack of interest in paying for things. All through Grant’s phone call, phone operators were friendly and accommodating of the cheerful deadbeat offering to sign an Aaron’s contract.
“But they were friendly! How bad could they be, Savings? Why the campaign of negativity?”
Because, reader, it is never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever a good idea to shop at Aaron’s. If I couldn’t communicate that with my previous lengthy polemic, here’s a Buzzfeed-style listicle (I forgive you if you skimmed my intro, fellow millennials).
1. Aaron’s spied on consumers, as in “nudie pics and personal info” spying.
I hate boredom. Just thinking about it bores me. Even writing about it… Well, let’s move on.
Fortunately, living in the smartphone age means we don’t need to be bored. Not now, not ever. Bring it on, waiting room! Do your worst, line at the DMV! Delay my flight another hour, airline! I scoff at your attempts to make me suffer the horrors of boredom.
That’s because I’ve got my Android phone (a Moto X, if you’re curious) and three of the latest brain games. Two are also available for iOS, but one of them is an Android-only app. All three: guaranteed to destroy not only your boredom, but also any free time you thought you had.
Seriously, play these at your own risk–risk of serious entertainment!
I think the last time I haggled was when I was in second grade. My neighborhood was having a community yard sale, and three doors down they were selling a righteous used hamster cage that I just had to have. (In an effort to convince my parents that I needed a hamster, of course.)
Anyway, the cage was something like $3, which I didn’t happen to have at the ripe old age of seven, and as I was keeping this a secret from my parents (Surprise! I bought a hamster cage … now you have to get me a hamster!), I couldn’t just ask them for the cash, now could I?
Recently, we’ve been getting our collective rocks off making fun of Aaron’s new “Max Your Tax!” ad campaign to bring in customers looking for ways to unwisely spend their tax refunds. As it turns out, companies like Aaron’s and Rent-a-Center are in the Rent-To-Own industry, a service the government characterizes as a service of predatory lenders.
The way their business model works is they market themselves to low-income people with credit problems, let you walk out of the store with big ticket items without putting much down, then hope you are late on a payment by being difficult to reach in order to aggressively shake you down for late fees, sometimes even showing up unannounced at all hours of the night.
Before we go any further, let me clarify that I love free stuff. Free stuff is my lifeblood. I’m not taking any issue with free stuff. But it makes me vulnerable. The Rent-To-Own industry capitalizes on suckers like me who love free stuff as equally as we hate responsibility.
Mobile chargers are kind of a hot category these days, which is understandable given the ubiquity of smartphones and their insatiable thirst for power.
To put it another way: your smartphone is always running out of juice, and always at the worst times (like when you need to make a call or you’re about to finally beat that impossible Candy Crush Saga level).
I’ve seen mobile chargers in all shapes and sizes, many of them squeezing their way into card-size frames that can easily slip into a pocket, purse, or even wallet. But as cool as that sounds, they typically have ugly plastic shells and anemic batteries.
That’s why I’m jazzed about the LithiumCard, which combines slick looks and smart design. It’s currently seeking backers on crowd-funding site Indiegogo, but has already blown past its funding goals, meaning it’s just a matter of time before it goes into production.
I have adult acne. While I appreciate the fact that it keeps me young at heart, I resent that it keeps me shackled to my keyboard, endlessly researching new and innovative developments in skincare technology. I am by no means a rich woman; regardless, I treat each alleged breakthrough (usually presented in the form of an advertisement featuring a model in a lab coat) as an opportunity to open my wallet and scream “fix me!” at whatever corporation claims to have my best interest at heart. In spite of the thousands of dollars I’ve hemorrhaged on the cause thus far, I have not yet been fixed. Which is why, for a week at least, I’ve decided to give up on chasing this financially and emotionally draining dream.
Emboldened by tales extolling coconut oil as a miracle in a jar, I’ll be using it as a cleanser. But why stop there? After all, facial products aren’t the only things I waste my money on. My entire beauty routine, from head to toe, will therefore be 100% au naturel. My only rule? If it’s edible, it’s fair game. My reasoning behind this is simple—if I can buy it at the grocery store, I can use EBT to pay for it. Now, before you judge, dig this neat little theory I just came up with: If I look better, it’ll give me the self-confidence necessary to pull myself up by the bootstraps, earn a decent-paying job and stop suckling at the government’s teat. Really, I’m helping you, John Q. Taxpayer, help myself. Reagan would be so proud! (Style icon Nancy Reagan, I mean).
Americans are drinking more wine than ever before. Between the multitudes of studies linking a daily glass of wine with good heart health and the sheer enjoyment of sipping a nice glass of vino with a delicious meal, this is a good time to get into the grape scene. Even better, the influx of young adults who are getting into wine is leading winemakers to make consumption and enjoyment accessible to people with all budgets.
To find fantastic wines within your budget, head to your local Trader Joe’s, BevMo or your favorite wine warehouse and start chatting up a sales rep. Chance are, the person in charge of the wine department knows a thing or two about their products. Let them know what you’re looking to serve it for or with (ie: “I’m making pork chops and I’m looking for something to pair it with” or “I need a great, inexpensive sparking white to serve at an outdoor party”), as well as how much you’re willing to spend (and be honest!). Really, if you don’t want to plunk down more than $8 per bottle, say so. There really are fantastic options for every budget.
“[...]f the use promotes a company, product or service, the users will need to purchase a license. If not, they can use the embedded content so long as they are happy to use it in the embed frame and functionality.
The presence of ads on a site doesn’t automatically make use of an embedded image on that site a commercial use. Think about sites like CNN.com or any online newspapers or magazines which support editorial content with site ads. The key attribute in classifying use as commercial is whether the image is used to promote a business, goods or services, or to advertise something. If not, it is a non-commercial use. Likewise, corporate blogs would be treated as editorial/non-commercial unless the image is directly being used to sell or promote their products or services.”
Around this time last year, Microsoft made an interesting move with the latest version of its Office suite: Instead of buying it outright, you could subscribe to it, ostensibly getting more Office for less money.
Indeed, on the surface, Office 365 Home Premium seemed like an attractive deal: Licenses for up to five users/devices, 60 minutes of Skype calls per month, and 20GB of extra OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive) storage–all for $99.
Ah, but what if there’s only one of you? What if you don’t need five licenses? Now you’re paying extra for more Office than you’re using. (I would argue that nearly everybody is paying extra for more Office than they need, but that’s another story.)
For those lonely folks, Microsoft just unveiled Office 365 Personal, which lets you run the software on one PC or Mac and one tablet. Price: $6.99 per month or $69.99 annually.
Let’s do some simple math, shall we? The traditional, single-user version of Office Home and Student 2013 costs $139.99, though you can pick it up for as low as $99.99 from stores like B&H.
Perhaps you’ve heard: Detroit-based Quicken Loans has joined forces with Warren Buffet and Berkshire Hathaway to offer a prize of One Billion Dollars (OBD) to any person who fills out a perfect bracket for March Madness.
My only dream in life is to win a preposterous amount of money in some insane contest. Well, alright, Warren, I hear you. I know this is your weird “Billy Madison” way of testing me to make sure I deserve the money. Calm down, I’ll take your billion dollars. You’re saying all I have to do is fill out some sports bracket about the hoppity ball? You know what, sorry to be so condescending. I know it’s called basketball. I didn’t need to exaggerate my ignorance.