Saturday, August 18, 2007

Low Cost Entertainment: Fantasy Football

It's just about that time of the year; Fantasy Football time! The past 2 years I've been a league that has provided me with loads of fun. The cost to enter the league, which includes friends and coworkers, is $50. Add in the cost of drinks & food when we meet to for watch parties, the total is about $100. For that price, I get 17 weeks of bliss!

It averages out to $5.88 per week. The great thing is that it keeps me entertained for hours a week. I probably use up 5-7 hours a week planning for the slate of games, talking trash to opponents and reading articles about every game that week. That's about $1/hr.I consider that to be great value.

Best part is that you build relationships, root for your favorite team and players, and everyone has a chance to win the pot of money; usually about $500. Though I haven't won that cash, it doesn't take away from the experience. It's something I look forward to every year.

College Students & Textbooks!

My 4 years in college I was always dumbfounded as to how lazy and sometimes how uninformed students are when it comes to selling their books. I had many friends who kept their books for no particular reason besides laziness and some who sold them back to the school for 20%-40% of original price! Textbooks are expensive, at $75-$150 a pop! I never sold them back to the school and I never kept books for the heck of it unless I knew it was a book I would reference back to time after time.

Selling your textbooks online is the way to go.,, and are all sites that you can get up to 90% of what the book was purchased for. Just this past month I sold my last 3 college textbooks, all at 70% or more of what I purchased them for. Somewhere in America, someone needs your book, even if its two editions old! By selling to the school, students are leaving money on the table. Why not maximize? It's very easy to sell on all of those sites mentioned too.

Another way someone can profit off of these students who don't sell online is to buy the books directly from them. Here's how: Do a bit of research on what books are selling like hot cakes online, then, find out what courses at your school use those books. On the last day of class, wait outside these classrooms with lots of CASH in hand and buy them at rock-bottom prices! Sell online for $20,$30, even $50 bucks more PER BOOK! Great way to make some extra cash.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Prepare Early for Birthday and Holiday Expenses!

I never really think of adding birthday and holiday gift expenses to my monthly budget. I sort of just classify them as miscellaneous. But the expenses really add up when I include even the smallest of gifts. I'd say I probably spend anywhere between $400-$800 a year in gifts. So I've decided to add them as a category to my monthly budget.

I'm going to ease the shock of "the day of" gift purchases by opening a separate high-interest savings account just for it. I figure adding $40-$50 a month should cover me. A bonus to doing this is that I will earn interest (every bit helps) on the money I add to the account.

Some tips to save yourself money on gifts include:
  • When you shop for yourself, also keep someone in mind whose birthday may not be too far away, and purchase items on sale/clearance.
  • Shop for gifts on Black Friday (day after Thanksgiving) and after Christmas. Doorbusters such as DVDs, CDs, and electronics are always on sale and are gifts that can be given year-round.
  • When purchasing online at any retail store, ALWAYS search Google for promo codes and discounts.
  • Buy in Bulk. See a great deal on some fashionable shirts for men? Buy more and hand them out to co-workers, cousins, and friends on their Birthdays.
  • Think outside the box : Dinner, sporting events, concerts, day at a spa. Some of these alternatives may be cheaper and even more memorable than that iPod or purse you were thinking of getting someone.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

3rd Paycheck of the Month

My budget is based on 2 paychecks per month so when I received my 3rd paycheck of July this past Friday, I immediately attacked some of my debt.
I paid off a small CC balance that is now at $0 and I slashed another small balance in half. I had planned to cancel both of those by September but this extra paycheck was truly a gigantic help!

I bet some people do what I just did with their 3rd paycheck but my guess would be most don't and probably just go wild in purchasing more stuff they don't need.

Who else's budget is based on 2 paychecks and what do you do with that 3rd one?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Go Daddy Domain Promo Code

Use 'hash3' at checkout when purchasing a .com domain name from Go Daddy and pay $7.15 instead of $8.95.

Speaking of domains, it's a lot like playing the lottery. I personally have purchased domains based on potential, without plans of developing the name into a website.

How many of you have had luck selling a name you thought was very random but turned out to be a hot commodity?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Insider POV: Working In Sports

The past two years I’ve worked for a major sports team in Miami and in that time I’ve realized that my dream job can sometimes be a nightmare, but mostly it is one of those dream jobs everyone strives to have. I’ll admit that I am a big fan of this team and I am proud to work for them.

I began as an unpaid intern in the broadcast department during my senior year in college. Initially, many of my tasks were very rudimentary and tedious. They included logging games in Excel, writing game recaps, delivering materials, shipping & cataloging tapes, etc. I performed them well though and it led to me joining the payroll as a Freelance employee just 4 months into the internship.

The most noticeable change as a Freelancer was the amount of hours I worked. I went from working 20 hours a week to 40-60 hours a week. Pro sports teams have schedules that have them playing almost every day, so preparation for each and every game is time consuming, demanding, and stressful. A typical work day for me would start at 11am and end at Midnight. My responsibilities increased too, I was now editing video for the broadcasts and assisting in the broadcast truck.

The broadcast truck is a hectic environment. Space is limited and precious. Equipment is constantly occupied and therefore essential one jump on it as soon as someone else finishes using it. Workers yell out directions and orders to one another across the truck despite wearing headsets, there are cables everywhere and at least 50 television screens throughout the truck!

At the end of my first season (including Playoffs), I decided to ask for a raise. My responsibilities had increased and I proved that I was a reliable and skilled employee.

Here is what I learned from co-workers who advised me during the negotiation process: Because you work in sports, which is a competitive field and looked at as a dream job to many, employers will offer you less money than other fields. Employees are supposed to know this and there are people in the field that adhere to that notion. I thought this was unfair and I felt torn between potentially leaving the field after graduation to make more money or enjoy what I do and take less.

I sat down and calculated an hourly wage that would satisfy me. I researched what people in my position made on a national average. I listed all my accomplishments (which included being nominated for an Emmy) and practiced a short speech that highlighted them. In the end, I received exactly what I asked for. My boss even praised me for having the “cojones” to request a raise less than one year since I joined the organization. The lesson learned is that those that adhere to unwritten rules such as the one I was told about will lose.

A sports organization is really just like any other corporate company. It exists to make money; lots of it. There are office politics just like any other industry, seniority is very prevalent and job security is always on your mind because it is easy to replace you for someone else.

A non-traditional work schedule is almost guaranteed. In fact, the season can last 7-8 months and during that time countless hours can be spent at the office (especially if you are on salary). But, I've found the 4-5 months of off-season to be relatively stress free and laid back. Supervisors are understanding of employees wanting to start their work day later than usual because so many hours are worked during the season.

Full-time employees at the organization receive cool benefits including: Complimentary season-tickets, free swag (jerseys, sponsor promos, photos w/ players, etc.), and paid cell-phone service. One of the other reasons I like working there is because it helps break the ice when meeting new people; especially people in my age range. They seem amazed and interested to see someone similar to them working at the pro level.

Currently, I just applied for an internal full-time position in the ever-growing internet department. Wish me luck!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

About Me/ About Craving Wealth

About Craving Wealth

I decided to create this blog to keep track of my progress in accumulating wealth. Wealth to me means two things: knowledge and assets.

I do not claim to be a finance expert. I am here to share and to learn. At the end of each month I will post my updated net worth and information regarding my investments.

I encourage everyone to post their opinion; pro or con. Doing so will create new ways of thinking about things for me and you. Challenge each other!

Every once in a while I won't even post anything related to finances. When football season rolls around, I may start a little trash-talk with fellow readers that follow the NFL. If a new tech gadget is set to release, I'll post about that. I'll do my best to keep the topics and information on this blog fresh and original.

I hope this blog is one you decide to visit time and time again. Bookmark it!

About Me

I recently graduated with a B.S. in Advertising and a Minor in Marketing. I've lived in Miami, FL since the age of 2. i was born in one of the poorest countries in the world; Nicaragua.That in itself is motivation for me to do well. I do speak Spanish and I'm not afraid to throw some Spanglish at you, lol. I work for a Major Pro Sports team in the Broadcast Industry. I love my job but currently I'm looking for full-time work in various fields including: internet, marketing, advertising and broadcasting.

I am fortunate to have a wonderful girlfriend and no kids (hallelujah!). I still live at home for the time being but within the next year or two that is likely to change.

Currently, I have a retirement account and a savings account. In the near future I hope to open a taxable account and save for a down payment on a home. Before I do that though, I want to get rid of my credit card debt and student loans (I will post about this at the end of the month). To accelerate that process, I plan to increase my streams of income.

If you have any questions for me, you can email me at

Miami aka The Magic City- Just An Illusion?

When out-of-towners think of the City of Miami, what comes to mind? Let me help you out:
  • Beautiful Weather
  • South Beach
  • Hot Women
Granted, those are great reasons to live here. But recently, Miami has been topping the headlines everywhere; for all the wrong reasons. This Sun-Sentinel article highlights the ridiculously high-cost of living in the Magic City. According to the article, housing costs are growing at a 6.7% annual rate and rent is even worse at 9.9%. Overall, the CPI grew 4.4% in May & June of this year compared to 2.7% for the rest of the nation.

Living in Miami gets uglier when you find out it has the
rudest drivers in America. This isn't even new news since it's the second year in a row that Miami tops the list. One person interviewed attests to the situation: "I've seen everything. I'm from L.A., and we don't see the crazy drivers that you see here".

Finally, ranked Miami to have the
shakiest real estate in the country. The problem stems from the high inventory rates and not enough buyers. Add the 6.7% increase in housing costs and you have a bad recipe.

I've lived in Miami all my life and I have to say that all these negatives are very visible to me in my everyday life. It gets to the point where I feel I must make the decision to leave the city if I ever want to attain wealth. Something not mentioned is that salaries are lagging; they are not keeping up with all these increases in cost of living. In places like LA at least the salaries tend to more or less reflect the cost of living. But not in Miami. Being a recent college graduate with 4 years of professional experience who is looking for full-time work, I've been offered measly 20k-25k salaries. I've checked craigslist, careerbuilder and others job sites and companies are asking for a plethora of skills and experience but rewarding you with chump change.

How many of you found it necessary to move to the Boondocks (small towns/cities) to accumulate wealth? To those of you who live in metropolitan areas, what advice do you give to recent college grads that face conditions similar to the city of Miami?

You're in the Right Place- Welcome

If you crave what I crave, then you're in the right place. This is my official Welcome post to all who come across this blog.
I'll post about anything and everything related to money, investing, savings, debt, finance education, health and fitness, sports, credit cards and much much more including my own adventures to satisfying my craving for wealth.
I invite all of you to share your personal experiences, opinions and expertise. Hopefully, we can learn from one another.