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Saturday, October 16, 2010

If you could wake up as anyone tomorrow, who would it be?

I am really bad at imagining myself as someone else. Perhaps this is because I know a more valuable action would be to simply do yourself what you'd imagine that coveted person does. If I want to wake up as Michael Jordan, why don't I instead embark upon being the person that and doing the things that Michael Jordan does.
Secondly, this is a poor question for me to answer because I simply don't want to be anyone but me. Being me is enough of an adventure without having to experience someone else's adventure as well. Right?
And furthermore, why does this transition from me to them have to happen upon awakening from sleep? A bit cliche. Not to mention, I don't get enough sleep.
I guess, then, if I could wake up as anyone tomorrow, I would wake up as a narcoleptic. That way, I could have seemingly random moments of sleep, and if this body-switch was contigent upon sleep patterns, I have in essence pitched an individual with some fucked-up sleep patterns.

Ask me anything

An investment in knowledge

"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest."
Says Benjamin Franklin.

I wholeheartedly agree with him.

The things I learn go into my bank of skills. In my life I've felt blessed to add more and more skills to my savings account.

In intermediate school my English teacher encouraged me to write. I took a creative writing class. Imagine if I stopped there. But I did not. I enjoyed writing so I took a print journalism class. I enjoyed that and then tried television journalism class. I signed up for Spanish and enjoyed that, so then I took French. Upon graduation from high school I was awarded a couple hundred bucks in scholarships for creative writing, journalism and French.

I went on to write for my college paper and decided it was time to learn copy editing. I then learned how to write headlines. Then I learned how to design pages and soon I was the editor in chief. After graduation I landed a job in graphic design. Now in my current position, I am editing, assigning, writing, designing, paginating and still learning.

If I had stopped at reporting, where would I be? Every skill has been fun to learn (because I like learning!) but also has led to a new adventure or chapter in my life (pardon the book metaphor).

My love of music and movies put me ahead of other applicants applying for a part time job in an electronics store. That I could rattle off both the first and newest Sam Raimi film impressed my boss and everyone in the store turned to me to play name that tune.

When I worked at Home Depot, I studied all the care tags for each plant that came in, just out of curiosity, and soon earned monthly cash bonuses for customer service excellence as the only employee who knew that Cheddar Pink, Sweet William and carnations are all dianthus plants.

The things I learn are often random and extemporaneous but I'll always have them with me. Who knows how, when and why I will use them, but I am delighted when I can.

Steve Martin's biography points out an example that he experienced. He decided to learn rope tricks, lassoing as part of an early performance job at a magic shop, where he also juggled, etc. He honed these skills but it would seem unlikely that a stand-up comedian would ever use these skills in a comedy act. And yet, it was exactly what set him apart for the Three Amigos, a film where he did his own lassoing and rope tricks.

And on that note, I'm off to learn how to lasso.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pickin' Apples

You'd think that if you have to pick your own apples, the farm's rates per pound of apples would be less than the supermarket, because the cost of labor is, of course less.

You would be wrong.

Apples at Conte Farms are 95 cents a pound. Three pounds of bagged apples at the supermarket are $1.95.

Do they somehow taste better, et cetera, et cetera? Not particularly. And you're talking to a jerk who likes apples.

Well, maybe you're paying for the EXPERIENCE!

I am certainly paying for it, alright.

Eh, I guess this was fun. I got to learn about apple picking. I've never been to a you-pick farm before to pick apples "off the tree." Problem is most of the apples already fell and were rolling around on the ground. Flies, everywhere, the smell of rotting apples in the sun. And, no granny smiths. My fave.

Yeah it was fun. Maybe when I am a property owner I'll just plant an apple tree and that'll be it. No more donations to the local commercialized 'family farm'.

Total bill:
$17 in pumpkins and apples. (one bag filled with apples [you have to buy the bag as well],and two medium pumpkins)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Grilled Cheese toward the future

Robbie and I were out and about and wanted to stop for something to eat. Let's go get some pizza, we agreed.

As we hopped in the car, he said he was having a great time and couldn't wait for the future. Thinking back to my ridiculous spending on casual dining last month, I wondered how far off those future goals would be with our current discretionary spending. All this money spent on pizza and the like was hampering us, really.

So I suggested we skip the pizzeria and head home. Robbie promised to make some grilled cheese. That way, we could satisfy our hunger and our wallets.

It was the perfect suggestion. Of course it was cheaper than pizza out, but on this chilly early fall night it was a great food to eat. Robbie was proud to make his "famous" grilled cheese for me. Our bellies were warm and we felt productive.

It was a nice moment.

OM NOM NOM

Friday, October 1, 2010

September regrets, I think

So in analyzing my September spending, I found that I spent more than $300 in restaurant dining.

Ridiculous.

They were some nice times, a night out of the house for dinner, since I have no kitchen of my own, really, instead sharing it with my parents. To have a guest and cook dinner with the guest is an intrusion of sorts into my parents' dinner plans.

So out I go, to casual dining for dinner. To the tune of $300.

You can guess what I won't be doing in October. Instead, I will be dining at home.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Back on Etsy

I previously had an etsy shop, , where I sold handmade and vintage items as well as supplies.

I've sold more than 200 items there, but since re-activating my shop, I've sold 3.

I am trying to upload the buckets of things I have in storage that could feasibly be sold under the handmade and vintage banners. This is going to take forever!

Hopefully you see something you like! Go check out my shop!

Etsy
SweetyPrize

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Expired earnings

While cleaning up my bottomless pit of paperwork I found two items that made me sad:

A $9 rebate check that was valid for 90 days after issue, and had thus expired months ago.

The rebate form for something I bought and had hope to recoup the entire purchase price of, via rebate check. Rebate form expired.

The item I bought was a fancy face cream for $39.95.

So, the total lost moolah that is a direct result of my disorganization: $48.95

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Suite One-Oh-What

A long time ago I became a writer for Suite 101, where I can publish articles I write on any topic, and get the ad revenue as readers click on ads.

I started in 2008, and have earned about $20 for my 14 articles. The most profitable article is The Rules of Roller Derby, where I explain how this fine game is played. It has the most hits. Next in line for click-ability is a story on the Great American Scream Machine roller coaster's closure and another on the selected quotes of the recently deceased George Steinbrenner.

This is abysmal as a form of income but the site says its really supposed to be lifetime royalties for your writing. Perhaps. But the writers' message boards are filled with writers who say the dollars only roll in once you have more than 100 articles. So, only 86 more to go! (Jesus H. Christ.)

Monday, August 16, 2010

I'm in the woods

This weekend I enjoyed my first camping trip.

That's frugal living.

Food cooked over a fire. Hotdogs, corn, beans, s'mores. Evenings spent snuggling by the fire, in the peace of the neverending chirp of crickets (I think they were crickets).

Our meals were $12 for the weekend. I made a tray of banana brownies to eat for breakfast or a snack. Lunch was those military self-heating food packs, something Robbie got for Christmas (don't ask [don't tell]), and dinner was the aforementioned hot dogs, corn o'the cob, baked beans and s'more dinner. We made a giant jug of iced tea and slurped it down. On the way home outta the woods we found an ice cream stand on the highway and ate $5 of yumminess.

Anyway, we didn't do anything except walk around, chill out in a foldable chair, build fires and rent a canoe for an hour. The camp site was $20 a night (we split the cost of the first night) and the canoe rental was $15. We brought wood we split back at home.

I would really recommend camping as a great way to spend a weekend, cheaply. $35 in room and board, $12 in food, $15 in entertainment, and at risk of sounding cliche, a lifetime of memories.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I'm an online reseller of books

Among the many ways I am piercing together a dollar here and a dollar there is on Amazon, where I am selling off my unloved and unread and unplayed items in my library.

It's super easy. You sign up to be a seller, click SELL SHIT and enter in an ISBN and a brief description of the quality of the item you're holding. It sells, Amazon takes an unreasonable commission, but gives you a more-than-enough shipping credit to make up for it (I guess, if you consider a $1 shipping profit some amazing thing).

So far I've sold 8 items and had about $40 deposited into my bank account. The 8 items I sold cost about $3 to ship, so I've made a $16 profit, whoopitydo. It's about an extra $5 so if my math serves it's an estimate $250 extra annually.

So yeah, whoopee!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Mint that

Mint.com is my best friend.

It's like Quicken, for the Internet, but more helpful. You input all your credit card, student loan, investment, savings/checking account info, and it spits back updated info about what is going on with that account. In addition, it will see all your Dunkin Donuts transactions, whether you pay with debit card numero uno or with a credit card. So you can track spending across categories.

This was an eye opener. I saw where I was hemorrhaging money, regardless of the account I used to pay for these purchases. Mint also deduced my net worth (*sob!*) and could track my income/spending/lots-of-stuff over many different filters and search settings. Maybe I wanted to compare May income to July income. Or see how one bank account was doing this week compared with last. Or how much I was spending on gasoline in April compared with August.

In addition to these invaluable tools, Mint allowed me to set up financial goals, and track my progress and see how I was sticking to a budget.

In other words, Mint.com is the bomb, yo. I love it. It is incredibly invaluable. Hopefully it won't get hacked into and make me a victim of identify theft, but I digress.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Oh, about $60,000, give or take

Today I was checking out the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States of America. This fine entity compiles a fascinating amount of data that never fails to depress me. Data about unemployment, about job prospects, about pay and benefits.

This link http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cesan.htm directs you to a regularly compiled bit of information that spells out how Americans spend their money. The average spent on housing, on groceries, on transportation.

For me, it gave some insight as to how much you have to earn, to spend money on these things.

In other words, I needs me some $60,000 annually if I was a family of 2.5.

See what I mean about the depressing stuff?

The figure is climbing. According to their data, in 2006 consumer expenditures totaled $48,000ish, and in 2008 it is a reported $50,000ish. Over that time period, pre-tax income went from $60,000 to $63,000. The biggest chunk of spending went toward housing and then transportation.

If you contrast that over a longer period, which the BLS happily does for us, you will see a drastic difference between 1988 spending and 2008. (I assume that's because price has risen and I make a bold assumption) Of particular note is spending on food: $3,700 in 1988 compared with $6400 in 2008. Sheesh.

Thoroughly depressed.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Syonara, socks

Let me first say: I play roller derby. A sport that comes with a high concentration of socks. Thigh-highs, knee-highs, tights, footless leggings, stockings, and probably more. Ones in your league colors, ones in your team's colors, ones for travel team bouts, ones for novelty bouts, ones loved ones have bought you. SOCKS! Lots of them!

Indeed, I even have socks that are of the non-derby variety, for work/play/leisure/winter/summer. Unfortunately I also have a fascination with vintage stockings, the fishnet and seamed varieties. Lo, I have three drawers just of socks.

WTF is wrong with me.

So as part of the 100 Things Challenge, I'm coming to grips with my sock surplus. I've loaded up all my lesser-worn socks and am bringing them to derby practice, for all the new girls to scoop up. I don't even care if they go for 50 cent each. Take 'em.

It was two giant bags of stuff. I came back home with nothing, save for 22 extra dollars.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

High Yield Checking Accounts

A couple months ago I looked down at Rob's mail and saw his bank, Kearny Savings, was offering a 3.51% checking account.

I was stunned. 3.51 seemed like an amazing amazing amazing percentage rate. I immediately opened an account. The only parameters toward earning the high rate was to have an automatic payment billed from the account, have paperless statements, and agree to make at least 10 debit card transactions.

It's so easy. Any leftover money, any random scrap of anything, I plow into that account, so it can earn some interest.

I calculated the amount of extra dough I've earned in interest, over my previous checking accounts. I've racked up an added $24.95 in the three months of this account's existence. Not bad; the previous interest income for the whole year was $5.16 in the other accounts.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

100 Things Challenge

So I read this: http://www.guynameddave.com/100-thing-challenge-faqs.html

And it hit me hard.

At two points in my life previous, I had to sell off a massive amount of my stuff. I called these periods in my life The Great Liquidation. I still didn't boil my life down to 100 things. In fact, after I read the above linked web site, I looked over at the top of one dresser and was confident there were more than 100 things just there, let alone hiding in drawers underneath. And in the closet. And under the bed. And in the garage...and on and on and on.

I started to get overwhelmed and sad. Why do I have so much stuff in my life? I am not a candidate for Hoarders, but I was just feeling burdened by stuff.

So today I start to sell off my stuff. I shall keep a tally and see how it goes.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Potential to carpool

$10=115 miles

On $10 I can go 115 miles.

Unfortunately, I drive 50 miles to work -- one way. Tack on $2 in tolls round trip, and my daily commute costs me $12.

The solution: carpool.

The problem: no one has a long commute as I do. That is, until now. Now I have someone who lives a bit farther north than I, whose commute south
is just a bit longer than mine.

So I calculate it. If we split the costs of commuting, it's 50 percent savings in gas: $5 a day. That's $25 a week. It's August, there's 19 more weeks in the year, and that equals $475 in savings for the remainder of the year.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Daddy Swagbucks

So yesterday I signed up for something called swagbucks.com, which is an elaborate scheme to get me to sign up for a bunch of shit I don’t need. If I use the official swagbucks toolbar (unintentional pun) to conduct internet searches, I can rack up more “swagbucks.” I can even have a swag-tastic time searching the swagbucks blog, facebook, et al, looking for special announcements for the latest swagcodes I can swag for swagbucks.

Oh, how very exciting. If I accumulate enough of those swagbucks I can redeem them for lame shit, but also Amazon gift cards and paypal payments.

At this moment, I have 75 swagbucks and have 375 to go before I can get me a sweet $5 gift card. Whoopee! I have spent an hour of my life hunting the Interwebs for swagcodes as though they were vials of crack cocaine. Obviously, I don’t have any drugs or swagbucks to show for my efforts.

Nevertheless, I installed the swagbucks widget onto this blog. If you sign up via my referral page, an angel gets its wings and I get some fraction of a penny.

File this one under: nonexistent income.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Bonus!

Is this wise or foolish? Probably both.

I often read websites such as bargaineering.com, which regularly directs readers to bank deals, where you get a monetary bonus for opening up an account.

So far I have claimed the following bonuses, totaling $250:

Chase checking, $125, need to set up direct deposit into this account. I have $40 routed from my paycheck to this account.

ING check card, $50. I already have a ING savings account, so I applied for a debit card to take advantage of the offer.

Bank of America online checking, $75. I had to have $125 in that account and make a certain number of purchases, and have a direct deposit into the account, AND, use online banking/paperless statements. I also sold my soul on this one because I frikkin’ hate BOA.

Finally, I also have a high-yield checking account. I net 3.51 % interest if I have a direct deposit or automatic payment, use online banking, and have 10 transactions with my debit card. Bargaineering gave me the great idea of making my ten transactions be $1 donations to a charity each month, so I also can claim that as a deduction on my taxes, and avoid using the card for purchases, thus keeping its balance high. I love my high-yield checking account and transfer nearly everything into it after I am done paying my bills for the month.

I am going to keep looking for this sign-on bonus accounts. I mean, $250 is not a bad take. These accounts have no minimum and no monthly fees. While I do have to claim the $250 as income, it’s the quickest $250 I ever made.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Facebook might be good for something (maybe)

If you spend most of your life worshipping at the foot of your Facebook Live Feed's altar, why not at least make that time well spent by "liking" a bunch of profiles associated with free shit.

I do. I am facebook friends with Free Sample Momma and Real Free Stuff For All, just two of many profiles who post links to samples, freebies, coupons and contests.

You're like, yeah right, pshaw, that's a bunch of crap. What sort of free stuff are they actually offering? *eye roll*

Well I will tally it up for you. Here is the stuff I learned about and actually received, not the stuff I sent away for and am waiting to arrive.

Pair of tickets to see George Clinton (won via Metromix contest) $50.

2 Free pizzas at Quik Check $8.

2 free coffees at Quik Check $2

Free slurpies at 7-11 $2

Free after Rebate, Neutragena eye cream: $35

Free sample of emergency food packet: $2

Sample tea bags: $0.50

Grocery coupons: $12.45

That's $111.45 so far.

I'll take it.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Pari-muteul Thrills

As a means of earning money, gambling is an all-around bad idea. The house always wins, especially if you are playing the lottery.

Once the Pick 3 prize was so high, I tried to calculate if the prize was more than the cost of the tickets, should you opt to pick every single number combination possible. Turns out, simply printing more than a million tickets would take a couple weeks. There goes that idea.

However, I have had some luck at the horseraces, which is called the pari-muteul system of betting. I figure, someone always wins on a horserace, and often there are only 10 horses. 1 in 10 chances ain't bad.

I tried to ascertain if one philosophy of betting was more lucky than others. For example, if I bet a dollar on every horse to win, would I often come out ahead?

I tried this for one race and won a total $2 after deducting my ticket costs, and figured the winning horse would always have to earn worse than 10 to 1 odds for me to make any money. So my father taught me about all these other styles of betting (exactas, WPS) and I decided to go with WPS, or win-place-show, or across the board. All these interchangeable terms mean you bet the horse will either come in first, second or third.

So far, I am up $120 in my three days of betting. I think this is called a winning streak.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

July Random Savings and Earnings

At the end of each month, I reveal my list of random savings or earnings and tally it all up. Here is July's!

$13. Saved on my $45 monthly roller derby dues, thanks to the perk my league gives if you secure a sponsorship agreement.
$25. Got AT&T to credit my cellular bill $25, because I spent a day on the phone with their customer service because of my crappy air card.
$5. Made $5 over the rent of the table, at the flea market.
$35. Argued off a fee charged to my Discover card.
$100. Won at the racetrack.
$14. Went out to dinner and my friend insisted on paying.
$9. Random dough earned from mturk.com
$13. In stuff sold at Amazon marketplace.

July tally: $216 in randomness

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I've been Monetized!

This move should make me a millionaire.

I've hit the "monetize" button for this blog. Now, in the gutters between and alongside posts, you'll see advertising.

In other words, this blog is brought to you by Netflix.

Blogger has the option of adding this advertising via the AdSense program. I'll get paid if gentle readers check out the ads and click on them.

I probably get $0.001 in revenue. But the most frugal of us know, hey, that's $0.001 I didn't have. I'm on my way toward retirement.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Things I regret buying, July edition

Here are some things that, after thinking about it, perhaps I should not have bought last month.

Several Ralph's Italian Ices: $6 total

A handmade accessory I've yet to wear: $15

Another roller derby league t-shirt: $12

Trip to Sonic: $10

Bottle of dish soap: $1

That's a total of $44 I regret spending in July.

With hope, the August figure will be zero dollars.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Libraries are fine

I have a lot of books out of the library. Mainly, they are books about earning or saving money somehow.

I thought to myself, it's best to rent the book from the library, thus saving you the money of buying it outright.

Except in my case, where I fail to bring back the books on time, accruing late fines instead of renewing.

Because, of course, I can't find my library card.

My fines: $23.17

Or, about the cost of one book.

D'oh!

These are, unfortunately, just the current fines owed. In the last 3 years I've owed much more, collectively. I've probably had to pay the library $150 plus in fines.

That's just retarded of me.

However, I do feel the books I've read (among the library books I've actually read, that is, opposed to the ones I've let languish unread in my nightstand) were useful and actually gave my skills to help me earn or save money. Which is good, I guess.

I just wish I woulda returned those books on time and saved myself $163.17. Maybe I shoulda taken out books on time management?

Shoulda woulda coulda.

I'm committed to earning back my late fees in extra income derived from the knowledge of my checked-out books.

I checked out one book on selling books online, and so far have made $23. Another book is about using your knowledge creatively, such as freelance writing and such. I've made $12 doing that. The other book was about selling on Craigslist. I've made $150 selling shit on Craigslist.

So, that's a total $185.

Well alright.

I'm ahead of the game, I guess. Now I just have to return these currently checked-out books, on time.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Work-related Cake

Maybe you are living the same story at your office place: it’s someone’s birthday and you and your coworkers gather in the conference to celebrate it with some cake.

At my workplace, this has been going on at least one day a week, the last 12 weeks. That’s a lot of free food! It’s been birthday cake but also bridal shower brownies, retirement breakfast buffet, pizza for the staff meeting and random acts of bagels. It means I keep my brown bag lunch one more day in the office fridge, and save a little bit more dough because I’ve eaten some bagel dough for lunch instead.

You may have guessed I, along with thousands of other cheapos, brown bag a lunch for work instead of going out to eat (or whatever). Another facet of the free workplace-related food I’ve been NOM NOM NOM is the fact that my coworkers, however, often do not brown bag their lunch, and instead order a tremendous lunch somewhere and end up with leftovers. More often than not, they offer me one-half of a turkey sandwich, the two lonely slices of pizza, or the remaining French fries from lunch. FREE I TELL YA!

I decided to figure out how much money all this food is worth and tally it all up for your enjoyment. Please note the figures are just guesses, due to my sheer laziness and also because it is a mystery where my coworkers buy their pizza.

5 bagels with cream cheese $7.50

3 slices of pizza $6

2 brownies $3.50

6 packs of Saltine crackers $.30

One-half a chicken Caesar wrap $3

Half an order of Chinese dumplings $1.5

1 breakfast buffet $12

1 order of fried calamari $7

2 Diet Cokes $2

12 bottles of water $12

5 Munchkin doughnut holes $1

3 candy bars $2.25

5 pieces of cake $10

All this adds up to:

$68.05

Not bad, I’d say!


Thursday, July 29, 2010

The King's official food tester

As the story goes, some poor soul is designated as the official Person Who Tests The King's Food to Make Sure It Ain't Poisoned.

For obvious reasons, a shitty job. And yet, at least you ain't eating porridge. You are eating pheasant (albeit a poisoned one). Hey, it's a fine and noble way to die.

Yesterday I decided I was the King, as well as the King's Food Tester, all in one. I discovered a mysterious fruit-bearing tree had fallen over the path I walk on my lunchbreak. All this fruit, whatever it was, would soon perish now that this tree was dying a slow death.

In a moment of brilliance, and in hopes to avenge this tree that had so obviously been hit by some fool on a vehicle and left to die, I determined I would find out as much as I could about this fine specimen, and whether or not the fruit it took such time and care to bear was edible and not poison.

So no, I did not simply reach amid its branches, pluck a piece of fruit, and send it down my hatch hoping for the best. No, instead I researched this tree. And by research, I mean I posted a picture I took of this tree on Facebook and hoped I inadvertently was Facebook friends with a botanist or other agriculturalist.

This lead to some creative answers, guessing this tree was anything from persimmon to cherry to crabapple. I have never eaten a persimmon or a crabapple, and didn't really want to start, so I crossed my fingers it was a cherry, but that still left me with questions about the TYPE of cherry it could be.

I'll interject here that I was also excited by this mystery because it could yield a big bag of fruit, for free. FREE I TELL YA! And food's expensive. Who doesn't want free food? Jerks, that's who. And for the most part I am not a jerk.

To determine what type of tree I had, I'd have to take to the Google of it all. Eventually the claptrap of search results lead me to find the Arbor Day web site, which has a field guide for trees.

What an incredibly useful site. I felt as though I could walk up to any tree in the eastern United States of America and determine whether it was a ginkgo biloba or an Eastern Hemlock. However in my tree mystery I learned there are all sorts of botanical terms I needed to figure out about my mystery tree, stuff about the leaf margins, the petioles and all this other scientific stuff I forgot since graduating the 8th grade.

Eventually, however, I came to a definitive answer!

This tree was a Sour Cherry Tree!

At least, I think.

Which means, it's edible! Free food! FREE I TELL YA!

At least, I think. I tried a sample. Still alive, a day later. I think I'm safe!

I'd like to report I picked the fallen cherry tree clean of all its fruit, netting a sizeable bag of cherries, comparable in size to a bag of cherries you'd buy at the grocery store.

It's about two pounds of fruit. California, Bing and White Cherries are regularly $3.99 a pound at my local Shoprite, but two of these varieties are on sale at $2.99 a pound.

I may have saved six bucks, but this time I had a real adventure, which is priceless, I think. Plus I get to make this shit.

My cherry booty:





Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Getting paid to answer the same questions, ad nauseum

I was told about www.opinionoutpost.com, which provides you with the opportunity to answer a bunch of surveys and get money for it.

So far, I've answered about four surveys or so, and have earned $8.60. It's taken up a good hour of my life.

I guess, that's not too bad a take, while you are doing nothing at all. And it's not like they are asking you to perform rocket surgery, just remember your annual income and the last time you bought dog food.

It can be tiresome to answer what seems like endless questions about how strongly you feel about Icy Hot, and this product's reliability, sincerity, social consciousness and product value. And of course it is totally boring to keep repeating your answers with every survey, explaining your gender, marital status, race and annual income, and it kinda makes you wish Opinion Outpost would log your answers somewhere so you only had to answer new questions each time.

I mean, that way, I could free up time to answer more surveys and earn wildly more spare change...because you are paid after you complete the survey, regardless of how long it takes.

After you earn $5, you can request payment.

So, certainly not becoming a Daddy Warbucks with this methodology. But, I started this about two weeks ago, and at this rate, earning another four bucks a week, would be $208 extra floating around a year. That's a lot of dog food and/or Icy Hot.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Misadventures with the local parking authority

One of the seaside communities I frequent has streetside parking with parking meters for about two blocks. Thereafter, it's free. FREE I TELL YA!

So I head straight there. I want to avoid paying 0.25 for 15 minutes of parking. Considering how long I will be parked, we have a potential savings of $4.50 if I find a free spot.

But oh, so many people have also surmised it ain't too bad walking two blocks, if it means avoiding parking meters. The free street parking spots are filled, up to another three blocks. Now, I'd have to walk five blocks if I want so save $4.50.

Hrrrmmmm, what to do. It may rain, and I am going to be a bit late if I walk that far to my destination.

Instead, I will park in this semi-spot. A quasi place to park legally, a bit by a yellow curb and maybe too close to a stop sign. I think to myself, yes, this is a wise idea, and using no science, math or data research, I determine that the likelihood I will be noticed and ticketed by the local parking authority is slim.

I park my jalopy, lock its doors, and head confidently toward my destination, thoroughly enjoying myself and certain I will be adding a savings of $4.50 to my monthly tally.

If you haven't already figured out where this story is going, shame on you. You must be someone who hasn't encountered a plotline in at least 15 years, or still have a few years to go before reaching the fifth grade to learn the basics of storytelling via irony and foreshadowing. Those are the only excuses to not know what happens next in this tale, Misadventures with the Local Parking Authority.

In summation, my parking ticket for parking too close to a stop sign: $54.

Which, of course, is $49.50 more than using the parking meter in the first place.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Welcome to Misadventures with Money

Hello, valued reader. The purpose of this blog is to detail my misadventures with money.

Money, it's something I am affected by everyday. Why not provide insight on my attempts to get more of it?

I am a quirky character and perhaps you will enjoy reading all about my strange and (hopefully) resourceful ways of earning and saving some moolah. Maybe you will be inspired to think creatively about the dollars and sense that rule our lives, or maybe you will point and laugh at me and think I am of unsound mind.

Regardless, I warned you. This isn't claiming to be an adventure, but a misadventure. The stuff of folly, spontaniety, and downright randomness. I wouldn't have it any other way.

I'll keep a chronicle of all that happens, here.