If you have been reading my blogs for a while, you realize that blogging is more of a hobby for me. I certainly keep track of the revenue and expenses like a business, but I certainly don’t devote time on a daily basis like I would a business. As a result, I don’t make a ton of money from maintaining a blog, but at least the expenses are covered.
Since I treat it like a hobby, I am not too upset if I have more important things that I need to get done and which require my attention. In this regard, my blogging hobby is a lot like my golfing hobby. I have only managed to play 3 full rounds so far this year (although my most recent was one of my best ever).
The Busy Life
You may have noticed that over the past few months, my blogging activity has taken a nosedive. Needless to say, I have been quite busy. Some of the things that are happening:
- The most pressing issue has been with the commercial building. My (former) partner is in the process of declaring bankruptcy and did not do a good job of managing the funds from the partnership. We now have 100% ownership. He says that he wants to make it all right. My wife is skeptical. I am busy dealing with the banks and trying to come to a resolution that will minimize our damage to even worry about that right now. Dave Ramsey is right about partnerships not sailing.
- We are busy trying to get some work done around the house. A new roof is being started today. It is being replaced due to hail damage from last year. Insurance has covered the majority of the cost, but getting through the bidding and scheduling is a hassle. We are also simultaneously working on finishing the final portion of the basement and fencing the backyard for the dogs. Dealing with all of this takes time and money. Ugh.
- The final big headache is dealing with a tenant that has not been able to maintain one of our rental houses. The grass does not get cut in a timely fashion and we suspect that the inside of the house is not the cleanest either. We are in the eviction process and will probably be replacing carpets and painting the whole place after massive cleaning. More time and money. Double ugh.
So, blogging has taken a back seat to all of this.
Also, it has been some time since I posted carnival links so I will be doing that now as well:
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.
When times get tough, few people recognise the opportunities they have in owning a home of their own. Whether you’re in a bind or just looking to increase your income, there are plenty of ways you can optimise your home and its features to earn a little extra. Take a look at your home and see if any of these top ideas could help you turn a fortune!
A relatively well-established scheme by the UK government to offer money in exchange for electricity generated from solar panels is worth taking advantage of, for a little spare cash coming in. Electricity built up by your panels can be sold to the National Grid – not for a huge amount of money, but it all adds up!
Many homes come with a designated parking space, but if you’re in the centre of a town or city you might not deem it necessary to own a car yourself. If that’s the case, consider renting your parking space out – your neighbours may need an extra space for a second car, or you might find people who drive in from out of town looking for somewhere close to their workplace. This can be quite a lucrative deal if you can strike one, as it doesn’t cost you anything to maintain!
If your home has unoccupied bedrooms, you could earn around £4,000-5,000 extra a year by getting a lodger in. Many keep themselves to themselves, but it’s up to you what the terms of their agreement are – some lodgers will cook for themselves, others will be happy to pay extra in return for meals to be included. Some may hide themselves away in their room, and others will integrate themselves into your family. It can be beneficial not just financially, but socially, too, as lodgers often build lasting relationships with their hosts, so make sure you meet all applicants before agreeing to anything!
If you’re really trying to bring the cost of your monthly bills down, then moving into a smaller home is an excellent way to do this – not only will you be spending less on energy bills, but you’ll release some equity to help pay off other debts or treat yourself to a larger budget for a while. If you don’t want to spent money doing up your home, contact a property-buying company – these will offer you a slightly lower rate than market value, but will guarantee you a sale, so you can get on with optimising your new home instead!