Cable television is one of America’s favorite pastimes, but free online TV has picked up steam as consumers continue to seek ways to get what they want for less. Continue reading Free Online Alternatives to Cable TV
Welcome to the 1st Edition of the Find Time, Save Money, and Have Fun Blog Carnival from Obsessed Analytic. Each edition will feature the best blog posts online with great ideas for you. This week features great posts regarding saving money with planning, time wasters, tips for young people, and party games. Be sure to check them out and vote on your favorites below. Also, if you have a blog submit your posts or host in the future to help attract readers.
- 7 Chronic Wastes of Money at Just Good Financial Advice.
Most of us have a bunch of old electronics lying around. If they still work you may be able to recoup some value from them by selling them online, and if they don’t work you can recycle them for free. There are a score of websites out there that you can use to sell or recycle your old electronics which is great both for you and the environment.
When I bought an iPhone, one of the selling points was that it replaced my regular cell phone and iPod. These still worked well and I didn’t want them to just go to waste. I knew they had some value but wasn’t sure how to get it from them. Here are some tips I found when researching ways to extract value from old electronics.
What You Can Sell or Recycle Online
Almost any electronic you have can be sold online. The better the condition the more money, but even if it is broken you will probably enjoy clearing out space in your office or closets by getting rid of old electronics. Here are some of the most common items you can sell online.
- Cell phones
- Digital cameras
- Gaming devices
Where to Sell Them
Online recycling sites ask questions regarding the condition of your device to determine value and will pay for your shipping costs. They do almost all the work for you making the process of cleaning out your old electronics extremely easy. I tested the interfaces and value calculators with an old iPod mini that I am planning to sell or recycle.
- BuyMyTronics.com – offers great value, erases all data, and is environmentally friendly
- NextWorth.com – offers the simplest interface and good value
- Gazelle.com – offers good value and tries to predict value trends of your product
- YouRenew.com – offers low value but will always recycle
For a little more work and potentially more value, check out the online auction site eBay. On eBay you will have to go through the process of setting up an auction, receiving money, and shipping the item, but it may be worth it. Research recent auctions to determine the going price and decide if it’s worth your time.
Cash is a great system that helps many people control their spending, but for those who have taken hold of their budget there is a great benefit of cashless systems like online banking. The newest method of exchanging money that may lead the way in the next decade is paying over your mobile phone via text message. One of the best young companies to offer the service is Venmo.
How Do I Pay With Text
Paying via text is very similar to paying via email and online with PayPal. You essentially tell Venmo who you want to pay and how much and Venmo will arrange the transaction. This requires an account to be set up with Venmo prior to or following the transaction so that you can move the money into your normal checking account.
The format for sending money with texts is fairly intuitive.
Pay <number or username> <amount> for <memo line>
For example, if you need to send me $10 for dinner you would text the following to Venmo (646-863-9557)
Pay ryank 10 for dinner last night
Benefits and Concerns of Paying With Text
Paying with a text message offers a number of great benefits.
- Quick – Payback friends or businesses instantly without carrying cash.
- Free – Unlike PayPal, transactions are free when using the Venmo network.
- Easy – Request money from people who owe you (Venmo has a “Trust” feature to instantly charge friends in your network for money)
There are also some concerns with paying via text, but hopefully these will get cleared up as the concept becomes more mainstream.
- Security – Is it safe? Venmo helps by letting users cancel transactions within 24 hours online and recommends that users use a PIN to lock their phone. Other competitors require a PIN for each transaction to help add a level of security.
- Simplicity – Not everyone wants to set up another account online to manage money, but Venmo helps make this easy by allowing users to sync bank accounts straight from the phone
- Ubiquity – Until the service gets popular it may be hard to explain to your friends why they should pay with text. The concept has gained more familiarity, though, with the “Text to Haiti” campaign which helped raise over $50M.
Try It Out
Venmo is available via private invitations only right now, but has provided me with 25 invitations for my readers. Use the invite code “obsessed-25” to try it out. After signing up, let me know what you think or send the following text message to Venmo (646-863-9557) to donate $1 to the blog.
Pay ryank 1 for cool blog
Other Reviews Online
Venmo review on AllThingsD
Venmo review at Thrillist
Venmo – The Future of Payments
Venmo’s Simple Loaded Premise – Pay Your Friends from Your Phone
Venmo Possibly Abolishing Friendly IOU
Venmo – SMS Based Payments
I love the utility of the iPhone 3GS, but am often scared the shiny screen won’t last. I decided to try out a state of the art screen protector to protect my state of the art device. The ZAGG invisibleSHIELD is a highly marketed screen protector for the iPhone and other similar gadgets. In the over-supplied world of iPhone accessories – and particularly screen protectors – the ZAGG invisibleSHIELD tries to distinguish itself by claiming to be the “gold standard” of screen protectors. The dilemma I decided to tackle was to find out if the high price ($24.95 retail) was worth it.
While it’s still cold outside, I thought I would present one of my favorite cheap yet fun activities. A few years back, my roommates and I created our very own hot air balloon. It was a lot of fun despite some small problems that I’ll warn you about in a minute.
Often times when making a purchase we are offered a warranty. Similar to insurance, a warranty often provides a worry free agreement that if your product breaks you will get a free replacement. Continue reading When to Buy a Warranty
This past week I took a short break from blogging to reflect on everything else in life. As wonderful of a hobby as blogging has been for me, I always like to take some time to reflect on my life and make sure I’m heading in a good direction. Although I enjoy looking at great ways to save time and money, the past week of reflection have helped me remember the important things in life. So if you’re ever stuck in a time when money or time or some other personal worry is overwhelming you, I hope you come back and think about these ideas on living beyond money.
Time is Limited and Money is only a Tool
I always like focusing on finding time and saving money because they are two things that are very useful.
- Time is our greatest commodity and most limited resource. We all have the same amount per day and will make some decision on how we use it.
- Money is the great medium of exchange. It allows people to serve others indirectly in a way that has helped millions.
But while useful, optimizing your time and money can be a distraction.
- If you spend too much time worrying about your time, then you won’t have any time left to worry about.
- It’s not worth it to save up millions while giving up great opportunities. Money is a tool that should be used wisely.
Take a Break and Serve Others
If you find yourself in a phase where all you worry about is time and money, then take a break to serve others. Sometimes thinking about money and time gets me so caught up on myself that I need a way to look outward. Here are some ways to impact others.
- Buy some friends dinner. This helps build relationships and reminds you that treating your friends is a lot more fun than treating yourself.
- Support a cause with Time. It’s easy to write a check to help someone, but take the next step and spend a day building a Habitat house, working at a homeless shelter, or aiding someone with a handicap. This will greatly impact your heart and remind you that you are blessed to have as much time as you have.
- Reflect on your priorities. Taking time to step back and think about what your priorities are versus what you are actually doing should help figure out what’s out of line.
Don’t Be Mastered by Time or Money
In the end, time and money shouldn’t control you. They are two things that if used well can make your life great or destroy it if used poorly. Whenever you realize that your life is being run by a constant need for more time or money, just step back and think about what you are really living for.
Thanks for your time. What are your thoughts about living beyond time and money? Leave a comment or send this to a friend.
Last week, in Learn What to Spend and Where to Save – Part 1, I wrote about buckets to consider when setting up your budget. Although it’s different for everyone, it’s important to understand the types of saving you need for different goals in your life and how much you should constrain yourself on spending. This week I’ll offer some great places to put your money based on my research and own experience. If you have any suggestions you want to offer, feel free to help the readers by adding your recommendations to the comments below.
I started this blog a few months ago after critically thinking about how I could best tie what I enjoy doing in life with how to best provide value to those I come into contact with everyday. By day, I’m a Business Analyst helping my company run more efficiently, offer better value to our customers, and make more money, but by night (and weekend), I enjoy over-analyzing how I spend my time, what I’m getting out of my money, and whether I’ve forgotten to have fun with all my great friends along the way (hence the tagline Find Time. Save Money. Have Fun.).
After thinking about the things that truly entice me, I decided a great hobby would be writing about all the things I over-analyze and using it to help people. Looking back now, it has all made me think about the difference between this hobby I work on at night and the job I go to every day.