Another $7.95 USB2 drive to back up and carry your data.

If you haven’t gotten a USB flash drive to back up your important docs and take them with you, here is another chance. Once again, Buy.com has another 2GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive for $7.95…Normally they go for $52 bucks, but with the rebate and using Google checkout to pay, it’s only $7.95. Remember, if you use Google checkout, you dont need to log in to Buy.com…just add the item to your basket, and then when checking out, choose Google Checkout and log in with your Google info. Much easier that way, plus you get $20 off.

I cannot recommend these enough….as I mentioned before, we use them so we each have a copy of our important papers, there is one in our safe, and one in our earthquake bag. For $7.95 you cant really go wrong.

***Update, they also have a 1GB USB2 Flash Drive for $6.95. If you want them both, be sure to do 2 separate Google checkouts, so you get the discount each time.


Quit Your Job, Work At Home, Save Some Money, Or What The Hell Was I Thinking?

So the title of this post is a little, um, overstating it. But really, this is exactly what I did and so far, it has worked out well for me. When you consider all the financial and emotional expenses that can come along with a “real” job, sometimes its best to quit and go it alone, or at least find a job you love or can do from home in your pajamas. What was I thinking? I don’t know, but it worked out to my advantage.

See, here’s the thing. I was at a job for 4 years that I was not all that happy at. I mean, it paid well, it allowed us to live a comfortable life, but it wasn’t very challenging or rewarding, and after a while it wasn’t even that interesting. So one day, without a safety net, I gave my notice. Everyone was stunned to say the least, and I gave them 30 days notice. That was back in September, and my last day was September 30. While I would NEVER advise anyone to jump ship without a backup plan, I felt like I had to in order to move forward. I had to force myself to explore other options and to find something else. So when we started talking about me doing this, we started saving up some cash in case I didn’t find work right away. But I got lucky. More on that later.

Now, as for those tolls, both financial and emotional that a job you don’t like can take on you, here was my problem. For starters, I was commuting 25 miles each way. For those of you NOT in Los Angeles, that might not seem like much. In fact, you might think that was a good commute. But not here. Sure, some days it could take you 30 minutes or so. Other days it could be 1 hour +. I am not kidding. So that was draining in and of itself, not knowing what kind of commute I was going to face day to day. Also, in regards to my car, the wear and tear in start and stop traffic can be horrific on your car, and the gas prices were killing me at that time. So, either working from home or closer by would save my mental state and some money on my car expenses. Emotionally, being at a job you are not happy with is one of the most damaging things you can do to yourself. We spend 8+ hours a day at these jobs…sometimes more than we spend at our own houses. Shouldn’t we be happy with what we are doing? My job was causing panic attacks and depression because I just was not happy. It took me a long time to recognize the cause. Health care costs go up because you go to the doctor more often, whether because you get more colds or you need medicine to handle your aggression at your job. Whatever the case may be, you probably see the doctor more when you hate your job. So that was another reason for me. Lastly, at least for me, was the expenses of buying “work” clothes and eating the occasional meal out with colleagues. Now that I work at home, I wear jeans and t-shirts and eat what is in the fridge. That alone has saved us a lot of money in the last 2 months.

Now, for how I lucked out. My last day at my last “job” was a Friday. I packed up my office that day and went home, singing all the way back to my house. I was so happy. I couldn’t wait to see what new adventures I could get myself into. That weekend was spent rejoicing in my new found freedom. Then, Monday morning, my phone rings. Its a friend of a friend who was looking for someone to do webmaster stuff for a big organization, and they knew I had some of the skills they needed. It would be a work from home, make your own hours, but get it done type of situation. Sold. So on Tuesday morning, I woke up, fired up the trusty Mac, and back to work I went…in my pajamas, listening to some morning talk radio, with a mug of coffee. Sometimes, the spirits just smile on you.

So really, the main point of this post is just to remind you…you don’t have to do a job that you hate. I know some people will say they are stuck in their position..but no one is TRULY stuck. You can take classes to learn another skill, go back to college, start a hobby that could end up being lucrative….the opportunities are endless. But it is up to YOU to make that change…and sometimes, it just works out for the best. I was out of work for one day…..after quitting my job without a back up plan. Make it happen….quit your job, work at home, save some money. Sometimes, not thinking too hard about the result ends up in the best result.


Carnival of Personal Finance #77 is up at Money and Values!

The latest Carnival of Personal Finance, or #77 as the cool kids call it, is up over at Money and Values. This week I had the lucky enough to be included with my article ” “Got my last free credit report for the year, did you get yours?.”

Please be sure to head on over and read the rest of the entries and poke around the rest of the site!


The Simple Dollar dips his toes into Mutual Funds – a must read.

Trent over at The Simple Dollar has a great article up about beginning his investing in mutual funds…index funds to be exact. He outlines his fears as to why he has not been in them before, how we went about making his decision, and the fund that he ended up going with.

We have been in index funds for quite some time now, and overall I am pretty happy about their performance, as they have done ok all without any effort by me. I do put money elsewhere as well…money markets, individual stocks, a Roth, a bond fund and a small cap fund..but the index fund normally is the most stable of the “stock oriented” activities we partake in. We have a lot of our stuff at TRowePrice, but Vanguard is another great company to go with.

If you are considering starting to invest in mutual funds, please be sure to visit The Simple Dollar to see what it is all about…and while you are at it, peek around the rest of the site, as its all worthwhile and incredibly well written.


Tax Carnival #7 is up at Dont Mess With Taxes!

The latest Tax Carnival is up over at Dont Mess With Taxes. This week I had the lucky strike of having my article ” How the new tax laws for 2007/08 could affect you.” included in the list.

Please be sure to head on over and read the rest of the entries, its a great list!