Feb 21 2012

Used Appliances are The Best!

By |February 21st, 2012|Blog, Personal Finance Tips|6 Comments|

I have one word on how to get cheap appliances, specifically your washer and dryer set. Craigslist.

I purchased my current washer and dryer set for $28.33. I was living with two roommates and we bought our set off Craigslist from a couple who bought new appliances and just wanted to get rid of the old one. The total cost was $85, split between the three of us.

When the roommates moved out (side note: one of the roommates was The Hoff), the washer and dryer stayed with me. And despite a little bit of leaking every now and then from the washer, I’ve had a perfectly good washer/dryer set for almost 4 years.

But as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. Last night I did a load of laundry (actually Tag did it) and by the end of the first rinse cycle I basically had to swim through all the leaked water to get back into the laundry room. My washer was leaking about a gallon of water per load.

At this point I had a few options

  • Buy a brand new washer for $220 or more
  • Pay a repair man who knows how much money to fix my $28 washer
  • Attempt to fix the washer myself
  • Buy a used washer from someone on Craigslist for around $50

If you know me at all, you know what I did.

Trying to Fix My Washer

So here’s the deal. My washer is already broken. If I try to fix it and fail, it’s still broken. If I try to fix it and succeed, I don’t have to spend any money on a new one. I can’t lose. The fact that I’ve never even considered what the inside of a washer might look like before now is completely irrelevant.

So after a few Google Searches and YouTube videos, I at least figured out how to take the washer apart.

washer repair

Now I just had to figure out where the water was leaking from and then figure out a way to fix it. I’ll spare you the details, but I think I figured out the problem and at the same time broke something which may have actually fixed the problem.

I did a load this morning and there wasn’t a drop of water on the floor. BOOYAH!

Why I Love Used Appliances

  • Cheap used appliances can last for years without needing repair
  • When used appliances are broken, you may as well try to fix it. It’s kinda fun. Plus, I’d never pull apart a $500 washer for fear of messing it up more.
  • If used appliances are broken beyond repair then just buy more used appliances, which is still way cheaper than a set of new ones.
Feb 20 2012

It’s Best to Give And Receive At the Same Time

By |February 20th, 2012|Blog, Personal Finance Tips|Comments Off|

They say it is better to give than to receive. What about when you can do both at the same time?

That’s what I did last weekend when I was in St. Louis taking care of my mom after her surgery. While I spent most of the weekend taking care of my mom, I did have some time to go to the mall with Tag.

Our primary goal at the mall was to get some lotion and other gifts for my mom, but we also made a stop where I bought Tag a gift. Here’s what I got her:

go mizzou

This might be the best $35 I’ve ever spent. Not only does Tag get a new shirt, but I get to look at my girlfriend wearing the sexiest shirt I’ve ever seen.

You might be wondering if Tag is actually a Mizzou fan like me. Of course she is. And all I had to do to make that happen was promise to love her cat. I’m definitely not a cat person, but as far as cats go he’s alright. Plus, it’s more than worth loving her cat to see Tag in some sexy Mizzou gear.

So even though it’s not the shirt she would have picked out if it was up to her, Tag was still happy to get a new shirt and I’m gonna have a big stupid grin on my face every time she wears it. It’s really hard to think of a better way to spend my money.

I do have to add a very important disclaimer. This is a great way to buy your sweetheart a gift out of the blue. It’s a crappy way to buy them a gift for their birthday or your anniversary. When you need a really great gift, always remember to think of what they want and not what you want.

More Ways to Give and Receive

Here are a few other ideas of how to give and receive at the same time:

  • Buy your partner something you would love to see them wear. It could be a sports jersey or an outfit you really like or something a little more… um… private.
  • Spend money on an event or adventure. Pick something you’ve always wanted to do, and do it with your significant other
  • Give him or her everything they need to make you sometime awesome. If they like to make food, paint pictures, brew beer, or anything else, give them the tools and/or ingredients and let them get to work.

I’m probably missing lots of other ways to make this work, and you guys are usually smarter than me anyway. If you know of other ways to give and receive at the same time, post your ideas in the comments.

Carnival Links

Yakezie Carnival at 101 Centavos
Carnival of Financial Camaraderie at My University Money
Totally Money at Faith Money Values
Carnival of Wealth at Control Your Cash
Carnival of Financial Planning at 20’s Finances
Carnival of Retirement at My Retirement Blog

Feb 16 2012

Update on My Mom

By |February 16th, 2012|Blog, Life|6 Comments|

As I write this, my mother is recovering from her surgery.

This morning she was in surgery for about two hours. She did indeed have cancer. The doctor removed her uterus and ovaries, and sections of her colon that were also affected.

The good news is he was able to remove about 90% of the cancer. There is still about 10% left but it is only in her colon. The doctor checked other major organs, specifically her liver, and found the cancer had not moved anywhere else. The fact that it hasn’t spread is the best thing for getting rid of the rest of it.

She is recovering from the surgery right now and they will start her on chemotherapy soon to address the remaining cancer in her colon. If all goes well with the chemotherapy, she could be cancer free in a few months.

This is just the beginning of a long healing process, and who knows if there will be any complications along the way. Right now we are being as optimistic as possible and hoping for a quick recovery from the surgery. From there, we just have to help my mom get through the chemo and get her better.

Thank You and Keep Praying

Thank you so much for all the very kind comments, tweets, emails, facebook messages, and everything else I have received from all of you. This has been so much easier on me knowing that I have so much support, and I am convinced that having prayers coming in for my mom from all over the world truly helped make today’s surgery a success.

Please keep my mother in your thoughts and prayers, as she does has a long road to recovery. But I know with the fight my mom has in her and the help of hundreds of people around the world praying for her and thinking about her, she has a great chance of getting through this thing.

Once again, thank you so much. You guys are so awesome!

Feb 15 2012

Call Your Mom and Tell Her You Love Her

By |February 15th, 2012|Blog, Life|31 Comments|

One of my favorite things about blogging is that I consider pretty much anyone reading this my friend. A lot of my friends from real life read this blog. Also, I’ve made many friendships through this site, some of whom I’ve met personally and some I’ve only had conversations with on this site, on twitter, and elsewhere.

my momSo as my friends, I just want to share something with you, and then ask you for two BIG favors.

This last week has been pretty tough because I found out that my Mom has something, most likely cancer, growing on her ovaries. She saw the doctor yesterday and they are getting her into surgery tomorrow. They won’t know how bad it is or how much it has spread until they get in there, take out what they can, see what’s left and come up with a prognosis and a treatment plan.

I am taking the next two days off work and blogging to fly home and be with my Mom during her surgery and recovery. I have two favors to ask of you.

1. Pray for my Mom’s Health

If you are religious, I ask that you pray for my mom and her health. That the surgery goes well and that the cancer is in the early enough stages that it can be treated. My mom is a wonderful Catholic woman and she’s using her faith to get through this, and she can use all the prayers she can get.

If you’re not religious, any positive thoughts you can send her way are very much appreciated.

2. Call Your Mom and Tell Her You Love Her

If your mom is still around, I encourage you to call her and tell you how much you love her. And not just today. You never know what is going to happen in the future, and you’ll want to make sure your Mom knows just how much she is loved in case something like this happens all of a sudden.

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.

my mom at work

Feb 14 2012

Thousandaire.com is For Sale!!!!

By |February 14th, 2012|Blog, Life|14 Comments|

I got an email over the weekend that made me laugh pretty hard, but then it also made me think for a little bit. Here’s the email, with the subject “I\’ll Make You A Thousanidaire” (yes, he spelled Thousandaire wrong).

I have the ultimate question for you…. Will you sell me your domain name for one thousand dollars?

This could be a good deal. I did buy the domain for $300. That’s a 333% ROI right there.

If you know anything about me and how much time, effort, sweat, tears, and love I put into this site, then you know I’m more likely to hit the top spot in the Billboard Top 100 with You Gotta Get a Prenup than I am to sell Thousandaire.com for $1,000.

And that doesn’t even take into account the fact that I’m starting to monetize this site a little bit. I can make more than $1,000 in a couple months of just keeping this site up and selling a small amount of ads. In fact, if I wanted to completely sell out and start taking payday loan ads and destroy my site with ads all over the place, I could probably make closer to $2k every month, at least in the short term until all my readers started leaving because I ruined the site.

So I obviously I won’t sell my site for $1,000. But it got me thinking: how much would I sell my site for?

What is Thousandaire.com Worth?

They say everything has a price. I would never put a price on my principles, my family, or my God, so I don’t necessarily agree with the statement. But Thousandaire.com is not one of those three things. There’s definitely a price at which I would be willing to give up Thousandaire.com. But what is it?

First, it has to be enough to offset the amount of money I expect to earn with this site. I mentioned last month that my goal is to make $12,000 from non-day job activities this year, and most of that is going to come from this site (hopefully). But that’s just one year. And I expect the site to grow. So if it can make $12,000 this year, maybe it could make $24,000 the next year. Who knows what the future earning potential is here?

Then there’s also the fact that this isn’t just a personal finance website. My face and name is all over this thing. I do that because this is my hobby and something I really enjoy, and I’m proud of it. This site has a lot of intrinsic value to me. If I sold it, someone could make any changes they want. In fact, they might just remove everything I’ve built over the past 18 months altogether (which is what this guy sounds like he wanted, because he asked about the domain and not necessarily the site).

I’m willing to let all of that stuff go, but the price tag would have to be BIG.

So after a lot of thought, here’s what I came up with…

Thousandaire.com is For Sale: $75,000

for sale

photo credit: flickr.com/bsabarnowl

If someone walked up to me today and offered me $75,000 for Thousandaire.com, I’d take it. As long as I could start another personal finance website (which may or may not already be happening… shhhhh) and keep up with my hobby elsewhere, then I could walk away from Thousandaire.com for $75k.

All that person would be getting would be the domain name, the written content, and all the backlinks that have been built over time. They wouldn’t get my creativity. They wouldn’t get my music videos from my YouTube account. They wouldn’t get my twitter. I can use all those things to build another personal finance website and continue to connect with my readers.

So if you read the title and thought I was going away, I hate to disappoint you. I’ll be here until someone offers me $75k for this site (valid only good on 2/14/2012, as this site gets more valuable every day). And even if some crazy person did buy my site today, I’ll still be somewhere on the web talking about personal finance no matter what!

Reader Questions:

  1. If you have a website, how much would it take for you to sell it?
  2. If you were me, how much would you be willing to sell this site for?
  3. Should I value this site at $1,000 and add that amount to my net worth in the Race to $1 Million?
Feb 13 2012

Valentine’s Day is All About Presentation

By |February 13th, 2012|Blog, Personal Finance Tips|7 Comments|

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, so if you are a man and you have a girlfriend or wife, you should probably plan something.

I know there are a lot of people who hate Valentine’s Day. “It’s just a stupid commercial holiday to get you to spend money.” I have a different take on it.

valentine's day

photo credit: flickr.com/danmoyle/

It’s an opportunity to do something special for the person you love. Sure, you have that opportunity every single day, but how often do we actually do something special for the person we love outside of holidays and anniversaries? I personally don’t do it enough, so I appreciate Valentine’s Day for reminding me to be a good boyfriend.

Now I just have to figure out what to do.

Presentation is Everything

Valentine’s Day, more than any holiday or occasion, is all about presentation. Think about it. Would your girl rather have a dozen roses in a vase and a bottle of bubble-bath, or would she rather come home to rose petals (maybe 3 or 4 roses worth) leading her to the bathroom where you’ve drawn a hot bubble bath? Even though she’s technically getting less stuff, I think most women would prefer the latter because of the presentation.

How about strawberries? Strawberries are just groceries, but on Valentine’s Day when you change up the presentation and cover them in chocolate, they are a wonderful gift. You can get bonus points if you use a double boiler to melt your own chocolate at home and make them yourself.

Let’s say you do the old “go out to dinner” routine on Valentine’s Day. There’s nothing wrong with that. Now let’s pretend you go to Applebee’s or some other non-romantic restaurant. All you have to do is get all dressed up like you’re going to a fancy dinner, and it will change the entire dynamic of the evening. Two people in casual clothes at Applebee’s is dinner. Two people dressed up at Applebee’s is a date. Get it?

On Valentine’s Day, it really is the thought that counts. No matter how much you spend on a gift, show her that you’re thinking about her with how you present it and she’ll probably be happy. If she’s not, then my recommendation would be to find a different girl.

Carnival Links

Yakezie Carnival at Steadfast Finances
Carnival of Financial Camaraderie at Newlyweds on a Budget
Totally Money at 20’s Finances
Canadian Finance Carnival at Canadian Finance Blog
Carnival of Wealth at Control Your Cash
Carnival of Financial Planning at Skilled Investor Blog
Carnival of Retirement at Financial Success for Young Adults