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. Half.com, ebay.com, amazon.com and textbooks.com 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.