A Cheaper Date

February 24, 2009

Save a little money on date night with this coupon from Ruby Tuesday.  It’s says you can buy one entree and get a second entree free.  There are a few other details.  Click here for the coupon. It expires March 24, 2009.

I went to Ruby Tuesday in Danville recently and found it to be very good.


Priceless Financial Advice from SNL on Hulu

February 12, 2009

One of my favorite new websites is hulu.com.  It’s on-demand TV through your computer.  Recently a friend sent me this clip from an old Saturday Night Live which offers some great personal finance advice!  Here it is:


Hulu has hundreds of TV shows, movies, and clips that you can watch any time you want with just a few tiny 15-30 second commercials.  It’s free so it might help save on the cable or satellite bill.  If you are looking for more money saving tips check out the Dave Ramsey Show on hulu.

“Why Save Money?” or “Bad Things Happen In Threes!”

January 8, 2009

“Bad things happen in threes!”  At least that’s what the refrigerator repairman said.  It all started when we went on vacation to Gatlinburg, TN with my family which lives mostly out of town.  It was a great trip!  We stayed up late playing dominoes(I won rather handily BTW).  We got stuck on a mountainside and had to engineer our way down.  Even the long drive wasn’t bad.  This was one of the best vacations in recent memory.  But when we arrived at home 10pm on New Years Day it all unraveled!

Before I had gotten out of the car my wife says something loudly from the back door.

Link to Repair a Broken Refrigerator

Link to "Repair a Broken Refrigerator"

Our refrigerator was dead.  Hundreds of dollars worth of food now sat spoiled on the shelves.  On our beautiful wood floors there was an unholy mixture of previously frozen items from the freezer.  The floors had already started to warp from the moisture.

The cleanup lasted well into the night and early morning.  When I was just about done cleaning the floors  I thought about Murphy’s Law, “Anything bad that can happen, will happen.” Then I thought, “This is why I have money in savings.  I need to be an example to my family and the ones I care about to show them how to responsibly cope with little disasters such as this.  Bring it on Murphy!  I’m ready for whatever you can throw at me!” It was about this time that my wife noticed some little bugs in the house.  No problem, they probably came in when I had the doors open dealing with the fridge.  Wrong.  Our Christmas Tree(real tree) had about a thousand little dead bugs lying under it.  We figure they were in the tree and must have prematurely hatched outside of their natural habitat.  A few survived and were now living in our house.

On to round two where we hurriedly took down the decorations and escorted the tree outside!  With all the cleaning and vacuming done that night, one might have thought we had the mayor coming to visit the next day.  But all in all this whole thing was a breeze to cope with because there’s no question of how we are going to pay for the repairs.  The fridge was fixed for $120.  The bugs were no big deal once the tree was removed.  The floors might cost as much as $500 to repair.  Nothing a little savings can’t handle.  Now, taking the repairman’s advice, we’re waiting for Murphy’s third pitch.  Nothing yet, but I’m checking the air in all the tires!  We’re confident that whatever comes next, we, and our savings, will be ready to tackle it.

Is Your Money Safe?

August 18, 2008

In light of those bank failures earlier this Summer, here’s a short(1 min) video about the safety and soundness of America’s credit unions.  It’s from the president of the Credit Union National Association, Dan Mica.

Actually at this time Piedmont Credit Union is financially stronger than it has ever been!  This is thanks to the thousands of members who have trusted us and faithfully used our services over the years.

A Great Deal!

August 4, 2008

Here’s one of the best deals available anywhere.  Are you ready? It’s your local public library.

You can read all the books you want and not pay one red cent!  Many libraries even let you check out dvd movies for free!  Last weekend my wife & I watch a delightful romantic comedy called “The Holiday”.  We got “Old Yeller” for the kids.  I cried, again.

So when is the last time you used your library card?

Advice About Debt Consolidation Loans

July 23, 2008

If you ever are in the predicament of having to take out a Debt Consolidation Loan, don’t do it unless you are willing to change whatever it is that put you in that predicament.  Otherwise, in the future, you will likely find yourself in that predicament again.

What’s cheaper, buying a hybrid or keeping the guzzler?

July 18, 2008

I ran into someone the other day who mentioned that they wanted to buy a car that gets better gas mileage. Their current car only gets about 17mpg and that makes for a nice chunk of change at the pump. My first question was “Do you have a payment on your gas guzzler?” The answer was “No.” So let’s ask the question, “What’s cheaper, buying a hybrid or keeping the gas guzzler?” The way I see it , it really depends on several factors which we were not able to explore in our abbreviated conversation.

How much does it actually cost to put gas in the guzzler and drive it? I figure at 17mpg with today’s price of gas it costs $0.23 per mile in fuel. In my world that’s about $2,530 per year (11,000 miles). Lets figure the cost of putting gas in the hybrid at $0.07 per mile x 11,000 miles = $836. Now lets figure the cost of borrowing $21,000 to buy it with a 5 year loan at 5.25%. That makes the total cost of the hybrid purchase $23,922. That’s $4,784 per year just in payments on the new car. So the first five years it costs you $5,620 per year!!!! So after 5 years of driving the hybrid you are $15,450 poorer! At that rate it would take 14 years to break even on the new hybrid. (This does not take into account if the gas guzzler could be sold or traded to recoup some of that money.)

What’s the moral(s) of the story?

  • It almost always a better deal to keep your paid off car rather than buy a new one. Drive your car until it absolutely will go no further all the while paying yourself in a savings account. Saving money minimizes the amount of interest you will have to pay on your next car loan. (Or it will help repair the old car.)
  • Consider buying an inexpensive used car that is fuel efficient. This will payoff much faster than a new hybrid even though the fuel efficiency isn’t as good.
  • When asking for advice about major purchases, ask people who have a proven track record of smart financial decisions.
  • Don’t rush into any kind of new payment. Ever. Under any circumstances. Think about it overnight at the very least.

There are situations where it is beneficial to swap a car. Here’s a little spreadsheet I put together to help you calculate if it’s a good financial decision for you. Download the Fuel-Financial_Efficiency_Calculator.xls Just for fun, check out this hybrid in the works from a California based company, Aptera.