We all know that it is true, but I noticed it quite explicitly this weekend as my family and I traveled to my aunt’s funeral in Michigan. We made it a short trip leaving after work on Thursday and stopped a little over halfway with plans to make the remainder of the drive on Friday prior to the viewing.
We didn’t have reservations instead electing to stop at a well known town in a chain hotel. We have stayed in this brand of hotel before and I knew that they had comfortable beds and a decent breakfast, but I mainly picked it for the beds knowing I would get a good night’s sleep. Well, I did get a good sleep in a comfortable room with a nice shower and a fair amount of space.
The next night we stayed in a different hotel. My mom had made reservations when she found out that we would be able to head north and tagged along. Of course, I paid for my own rooms, but the cost turned out to be about half of what we paid the night before. Let me say again that you get what you pay for.
The beds were not as comfortable and I woke up with a somewhat sore back. The rooms were not as big and the shower was a trickle compared to the other hotel. There was nothing hot for breakfast and the choices were more limited. The hotel simply served its purpose as a place to sleep and get a quick bite in the morning (I had cereal).
It was an interesting contrast and one that I noticed right away. My wife commented on it as well. Quality is often reflected in price. How many times have you tried to save money buying a cheaper item and had it break right away? You often end up spending more money replacing something multiple times where a more expensive initial purchase could have saved money in the long run. Just an interesting reminder that I was able to experience.
Reminds me of my effort to save money in Vegas. Have to share that one with you next time.
Here are the carnivals that have featured my various blogs over the past month or so. Be sure to check a few of them out.
Carnival of Money Pros - GPM, PT,
Well, that is all I had for now. I have been quite busy for the past few months, and I don’t think it will be getting much better.
Recently, I found out that I will be getting a financial windfall. Apparently several years ago (as in almost 20), there was a mistake with social security withholding during graduate school. There ended up being audits and court cases, etc. I simply provided some information that confirmed I was indeed a student at the time and gave the auditor permission to handle the rest. I think the IRS got involved. This all started several years ago.
Well, I got notice that I would be getting a check toward the end of this month. Assuming that I actually see it, the amount is not all that small. The money was actually put in escrow in an interest bearing account and actually doubled during the time that this has been going on.
Plans for the Money
Needless to say, the money will come at a good time. I am working on paying off debt and feel that I am in a good frame of mind to be able to accept this money and not do anything stupid with it. I plan on using the funds (since they weren’t expected) to pay off one of my credit cards and to pay the property taxes on the commercial building that will be coming due in May.
This will help me keep on track with my goal to eliminate consumer debt in another 34 months and provide some extra cushion so I don’t have to scramble for the tax money. The timing couldn’t be better.
It is about time for some good news.
It has been forever since I linked to the carnivals that have featured my blogs so here goes:
Carnival of Retirement #60 - PT
Finance Carnival for Young Adults - GPM
I have been incredibly busy at work during the week and going to gymnastics meets on the weekends with state and regionals. Finally, though, I should now have some more free time. I need to help get the basement cleaned. Ugh!
We spend approximately eight hours of our day staring at screens—whether it be the screen of our smartphone, our television, or our computer. Over our lifetimes, that’s roughly 30 years—longer than most marriages. Considering how much time we spend with our computer, the process of choosing The One starts with one basic question: Apple or PC?
Some say that once you go Mac you never go back. Others complain about the significantly less budget-friendly Apple empire. Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages to both. Here’s a quick list of things to consider when committing to your computer.
If you want a MacBook Pro, it will come as an all-Apple package—Apple hardware, Apple software, Apple everything. Microsoft, however, partners up with various companies to bring you your PC. There are Dell, Asus, Toshiba, and Samsung varieties of PCs, just to name a few, giving you many more options to choose from.
The trend doesn’t stop with computers. It’s in the smartphone world as well. If you want an Apple phone, there’s one option: the iPhone. If you want a phone that runs Microsoft software, you can choose from Nokia, Samsung, HTC, Huawei…the list goes on. Microsoft simply provides much more choice.
There are not only a lot more customization options with PCs, they’re also cheaper. You can inexpensively get a one-or-two terabyte hard drive put into your PC, versus the steep $700 it costs to upgrade your Macbook hard drive from 256 to 768 gigabytes. For the most part, Apple computers will be more expensive for comparable tech specs most of the time.
However, with the laptops of the moment—the PC ultrabooks and the MacBook Air—the prices are beginning to even out.
The tech world is trending towards thinner, smaller, and faster at the expense of the CD/DVD drive. The ultrabooks and Apple’s MacBook Air are both on the pricey side of the spectrum, but are a worthwhile investment for their lightness and efficiency. You can substantiate some of the high price tag by selling your old CDs and DVDs on sites like musicmagpie.com.
Since you are spending so much money, you may want to make sure it’s going to a responsible company.
Apple is part of EPEAT, the environmental ratings system for electronics, and is consistently ranked highly as environmentally friendly technology. However, Apple has never made it onto the list of the World’s Most Ethical Companies—which Microsoft has done consistently for the last few years.
While Microsoft maintains a blog on its corporate and ethical responsibility, Apple is notoriously secretive about its inner workings, and suffered some bad press in 2010 when eighteen workers at Foxconn-outsourced factories in China attempted suicides, allegedly due to 76-hour weeks. Microsoft seems to win the ethics contest.
Whatever you prioritize when choosing your computer, go with your instinct for what will suit you best. Remember, you’re the one that will be stuck with either the Apple or the PC! When it comes down to it, what’s most important is that your new computer is one you’re happy with.