The Cheapest Housing Options

Housing costs account for the majority of most people’s spending. During hard economic times, reducing your housing costs can have a tremendous positive effect on your total income. There are a variety of cheap housing options available, which can help you obtain a more stable financial future.

Being homeless

Of course, the cheapest housing option is no home at all, followed shortly by a cardboard box. Before choosing this option, it’s usually best to try something a little higher end.

Renting a room

If you’re single or just living on your own, renting a room is probably the cheapest alternative. I’m not talking about renting a hotel room, or even an apartment. I’m talking about renting a room from a homeowner’s house. Homeowners that are stretched for cash often rent out rooms for anywhere from 100 to 1000 dollars per month. Even in the most expensive places in America to live in, like California, you can easily rent a room from somebody for $500 a month. The first place you want to check is Craigslist, which is a free website allowing people to advertise rooms for rent (or anything else) for free.

Finding a roommate

Renting a single room in a house when an entire family is living in it can be pretty frustrating. You can always choose to get a two, three, or four bedroom apartment and share it equally with roommates. This option is usually a little more expensive then renting a room directly from a homeowner, but you’re sure to get equal privileges to the living room and kitchen, which can be important. The only real danger is being stuck with a bad roommate! There are many websites to match up potential roommates, including Craigslist.

Living aboard a boat

I have to be honest; living aboard a boat is not for everyone. You will have an extremely limited amount of space. But the good thing is that it would only cost maybe $500 a month for slip fees and maintenance. Unlike renting a room and living with a roommate, if you live aboard a boat you will at least have privacy, which can certainly be a plus.

Living at your workplace

Some people choose to live in their workplace….and many of those people are fired when they are caught! Still, if you have an office and are feeling lucky, maybe you should gamble a little! Actually, on second thought, if you have an office, you’re probably making enough money to afford one of the options above.

Posted under Saving Money

This post was written by admin on February 28, 2009

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Mozy is a waste of money

You’ve probably seen commercials for Mozy.com, and wondered if it’s worth it. Mozy.com is an online business that allows you to back up your data online for free. The idea is very straightforward, and protects you in case your hard drive fails, or your computer is stolen, or catches on fire, etc. But the real question is, is Mozy.com worth it?

The simple answer is no. It is simply not worth your money to use Mozy in order to back up your data, and here’s why.

  1. Free online backup exists from many different companies. For example, you can open a free Gmail account and store all of your documents online for free that way. Because Google owns and operates Gmail, you can bet that the data is backed up. Microsoft backs up all their source code in an old military bunker to protect their assets in case of nuclear war. I wouldn’t be surprised if Google took similar measures.
  2. Mozy will cost you $4.95 a month. This is a whopping $59.4 a year! Much cheaper alternatives exist, and will be discussed shortly.
  3. Mozy uses fear tactics in order to take your money away from you. It’s not worth doing business with any such company.

Cheap or free alternatives to Mozy

  1. If you only have a bunch of small word documents to back up, just upload them to Gmail. Simple, quick, free, and safe.
  2. If you have a few gigabytes of data that needs to be backed up, get a 4GB USB key for $20 dollars. If you go this approach, be sure to store the USB key somewhere safe, preferably in a different building from your computer in case of fire, earthquake, etc.
  3. If you have many gigabytes of data that needs to be backed up, chances are they will take forever and a half to upload online. It might be worth it to get a cheap, $50 external USB hard drive and use that to back up your data. Remember, that will cost less than Mozy does in one year. Some hard drives even come with software for automatic backup. I have an external Seagate hard drive where I can simply push a button on the hard drive to initiate backup. This is appropriate if you want to update and backup files frequently.
  4. Mozy can actually help you find your laptop in case someone steals it. Well, there are free alternatives for this as well. http://adeona.cs.washington.edu/ The idea is that if someone steals your laptop and is stupid enough to connect if to the internet, you can get their IP address and ask the police to retrieve your laptop at said address.

What not to do

However you choose to back up your data, do not burn CDs, DVDs, or blu-ray discs. These methods are not reliable as all of these recordable mediums degrade over time. I’m not kidding. If you’d like, burn a CD or DVD, leave the disc in the sun for a couple days, and then try to use the disc in your computer. USB keys are the absolute most reliable solution. I’ve never seen, or even heard about USB keys that stopped working. Hard drives are also very reliable. And again, using Gmail to store a handful of documents online is also extremely reliable.

Posted under Saving Money, Shopping, Technology

This post was written by admin on February 21, 2009

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Adsense vs. Associated Content

Making money online can be fun and rewarding, but it can also be very hard work! You’ve likely seen many sites promising to make you rich quick by taking surveys or writing articles, but there is much more to the story. This article is going to be about making money with Adsense versus making money with Associated Content.

Using Adsense to make money

Adsense is Google’s advertising program. You can place Adsense banners and advertisements on your website. When people view the advertisements you can get a very small fraction of a penny. When people click on an advertisement, you get anywhere form a couple cents to perhaps a dollar. Yes, there are advertisements that pay even more, but they are very uncommon.

Pros of Adsense

  • Can be very profitable if you get a lot of traffic to your website
  • Dynamically adapts to the content of your web pages, which increases advertising relevance
  • Owned by a major company that is not going to go bankrupt any time soon

Disadvantages of Adsense

  • You must own your own website. Typically, these can cost money to operate
  • Payout starts at $100

If you’re trying to make money online, Adsense only makes sense if you’re planning on having a website which gets at least 10 unique hits a day. If you can’t get this many hits a day, not only will you probably lose money just by operating the web server, but it could take you a very long time to accumulate a hundred dollars, which is the minimum payout. So you should really only use Adsense if you’re prepared to spend some serious time to build a quality website.

Using Associated Content to make money

Associated Content is an interesting website where you can make money simply by writing articles. Not only do they pay you up to a couple dollars for each article you write upfront, but they also pay you $1.50 for every thousand views you get. There is no risk in using Associated Content, and there are no fees or expenses.

Pros of Associated Content

  • You are paid for each article you write, generally in about two weeks after submission.
  • The payout for Associated Content is only a $1.50, which means you’ll get paid much sooner than Adsense
  • There is no risk. There are no operating fees.

Cons of Associated Content

  • Associated Content only pays $1.50 for every thousand views. This is much lower than what you can make with Adsense or other advertising programs

Using Associated Content (AC) to make money certainly makes sense if you only plan to write a small number of articles that probably won’t get too many hits. For example, I wrote an article for AC and received $3.77 upfront. Unfortunately, the article has been online for several months and has had less than 20 views! So if you don’t expect your articles to receive a lot of traffic, then it certainly makes sense to use AC to make money.

The Verdict

If you don’t expect your articles to receive a lot of traffic, or if you don’t want to spend an enormous time building and managing your website, then it’s best to use Associated Content. Otherwise, Adsense is a much more effective way for you to earn money. However, you must be prepared to work in order to generate traffic to your website; otherwise you may never hit the minimum payout with Adsense. If you have a website, but you plan on writing some articles which may not receive many hits, it might be wise just to place those articles on Associated Content. I use both my website and Associated Content in order to make the maximum amount of money on the internet.

Posted under Making Money, Technology

This post was written by admin on February 20, 2009

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Download Jeff Paul’s Websites on Rapidshare

You’ve likely seen Jeff Paul’s infomercial about how you can make internet millions with his money making system. You’ve seen the testimonials and the two incredibly hot girls in bikinis hosting his infomercial. But what if you want to try Jeff Paul’s money making system for free, without paying any money at all? Well, you’re in luck, because I’m going to save you more time and money than you can imagine. First, I’m sorry to say that it’s not possible to download Jeff Paul’s money making websites on Rapidshare, Megaupload, or any other file sharing service. The reason for this is that Jeff Paul’s money making websites don’t exist. That’s right, you heard me. Jeff Paul’s shortcuts to internet millions is a scam, plain and simple. But wait, in the infomercial, Jeff Paul says for a little money you can get 10 free websites, right? Well, wrong. Like I said before, Jeff Paul’s shortcuts is a complete scam, and the commercial is full of flat out lies. I’m going to save you some serious time and money by telling you to just walk away, it isn’t worth it. For $50 or so, you get a package with some vague information about how to make money on the internet, but you don’t get any websites as promised. Then, for thousands of dollars, they try to upsell you their internet website packages. These websites need to run on their servers, and they charge you absurd amounts of money for it. Remember in the infomercial when Jeff Paul said you’ll get new money making websites every month for free? Well, that simply isn’t true. You’ll be charged hundreds of dollars. Once Jeff Paul has your credit card number, he will never, ever stop charging you every month. It is not possible to cancel Jeff Paul’s program. The only way to have the payments stop is to cancel your credit card. Sure there are plenty of people who make money on the internet, but not with kits like Jeff Paul. Keep searching, and eventually you’ll find a genuine opportunity.

Posted under Avoiding Fees, Avoiding Scams, Hidden Fees, Making Money, Saving Money, Technology

This post was written by admin on February 7, 2009

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How to lower your Comcast bill

If you use Comcast for your cable television, chances are that you’re paying way too much money. Don’t worry, this article should teach you how to easily, and quickly reduce your Comcast bill. If you’ve been paying the standard Comcast rates for television for several months, you’re account is probably eligible to receive a discount for the next six month. This discount is not automatic; you have to explicitly ask for it. Asking for your Comcast monthly bill to be reduced is very easy. Go to Comcast.com, login with your account, and choose live chat support. Simply ask if you’re eligible to receive a lower price for cable. If you are, Comcast will reduce your bill for cable television by half for six months, starting after your current billing period. If you pay 60 dollars a month for cable TV like I did, you will probably start paying 30 dollars a month for six months. This is a total savings of $180. The process of asking Comcast to reduce your bill takes less than 15 minutes if you use their online live-chat support. Sure, you will receive a note on your account saying that you requested your bill to be reduced. Because you never know what notes they attach to your account, it’s always best to be as polite as humanly possible. And that’s really all there is to it! Take 15 minutes of your time and save close to two hundred dollars! Saving money is really that simple!

Posted under Avoiding Fees, Saving Money, Shopping, Technology

This post was written by admin on February 5, 2009

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The questions no HHO seller can answer

Some people claim that a miraculous new technology called HHO can dramatically reduce the amount of gas used in your car. The idea is to use electricity from the car’s alternator to separate hydrogen and oxygen from water. This gas, called Brown’s gas, or HHO, is then fed back into the fuel mixture which is then fed into the internal combustion engine. Supposedly, HHO make the burning of gas more efficient, and thus lowers the gas mileage of the car. This all sounds reasonable; there are some big questions that remain to be answered.

Why isn’t HHO made by any major car manufacturer?

Ford, GM, Toyota, Chrysler, you name it. No major automobile manufacturer has ever acknowledged HHO as a legitimate and proven technology. People who sell HHO related products have many excuses. Some say that the car companies are involved in some conspiracy theory with the gas companies. Unfortunately there is no evidence for this. Instead, what we see is that cars with higher gas mileage sell better, thus creating incentive for car makers to create low gas mileage vehicles. Other HHO sellers say that HHO is so new that it hasn’t been incorporated into vehicles yet. This argument is laughable, especially since scammers have been selling HHO products for years.

How can such a small amount of HHO gas improve gas mileage by so much?

This is another fun little question that HHO sellers have a lot of trouble answering. Electrolysis doesn’t make very much HHO. In fact, you would need a huge HHO system in order to produce barely enough gas to power a lawnmower on idle. Now think about this for a second; how can such a miniscule amount of HHO gas be enough to make any noticeable difference in a car engine? The answer is that it can’t.

Related Articles

Advertising tactics of HHO sellers and scammers

Why HHO devices aren’t made by major car manufacturers

HHO scammers bend the facts

Fake videos promoting the HHO scam explained

Posted under Avoiding Scams, Saving Money, Technology

This post was written by admin on January 4, 2009

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The difference between Prego and Ragu

Usually, it costs less money to make your own pasta sauce, but it’s oh so much easier to open a bottle! The two leading types of Pasta sauce are Prego and Ragu, and like most choices in life, there is a price difference. Generally, Ragu is anywhere from 20 to 40 percent cheaper than Prego, But there’s a catch. While we all want to save money, sometimes we get what we pay for. As a college student a few years ago, I ate a lot of pasta mainly because it was easy to make. What I’ve found is that Ragu is extremely watered down when compared to Prego. It may cost less, but it contains much more water and much less flavor than Prego. The flavoring for Ragu is little more than a joke. For example, you can buy a bottle of Ragu flavored with meat, but you will be disappointed to find that there is hardly any meat at all in the sauce! Seriously, you can eat an entire portion of meat flavored Ragu and never even come across one little morsel of meat. In short, saving your money is one thing, but there’s no hard decision to make between Ragu and Prego. Prego pasta sauce is simply superior in taste and texture. So the next time you’re shopping at your local grocery store, remember that sometimes it’s better to pay a little more for a vastly superior product.

Posted under Saving Money, Shopping

This post was written by admin on January 2, 2009

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Where to buy cheap yachts

In times of economic hardships, there are great deals to be had. Many people own yachts and other boats, and hardly ever use them. This is great news for you! Because of economic downturns, people no longer want to pay to have their boat tied to a dock every month, especially if they hardly ever use the boat.

If you really want to buy a boat at a reduced price, take a look at craigslist.com. There are many boats worth more than a hundred thousand dollars being sold for a mere twenty thousand dollars or less! Best of all, it seems like many of the boats for sale on craiglist.com also have a slip which comes with the boat. Of course, you will have to start paying slip fees every month, but you won’t have to worry about hunting and searching for a marina with a slip available. Best of all, it appears that many of the boats being sold on Craigslist come with liveaboard approved slips, which is great news if you are looking to live aboard your boat.

In short, if you buy a slightly used boat on Craigslist, you’re bound to save many tens of thousands of dollars. If you’re looking to buy a boat, this should be the first place you look.

Posted under Saving Money, Shopping

This post was written by admin on December 28, 2008

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AT&T Pay as you go phones cost more than you think!

This article is mainly about AT&T Go phones, but plans from other companies such as Verizon are very similar. Cell phone plans can be very expensive, and range anywhere from thirty to a hundred dollars a month. This is a lot of money, especially if you don’t talk on your phone very much. Why pay thirty dollars a month for a phone you only plan to use a couple days a month?

If you don’t talk on your phone much, you may have already looked into pay as you go phones, of simply Go Phones. Unfortunately, these phones can also cost you a fortune to use. First of all, there is a daily activation fee of one dollar for AT&T. This means that if you don’t use your phone for a particular day, you don’t get charged anything. This may seem nice, but there’s a catch which will be discussed later. Every day that you use the phone, you are automatically charged a dollar. And by ‘using the phone’ I mean it. If a telemarketer calls you, and you say ‘no thank you’ and hang up immediately, it’s too late. That two second phone call just cost you a dollar and ten cents. One dollar for the daily activation fee and ten cents for the two seconds…what a bargain.

10 cents for two seconds?

That’s right, everything is rounded up. AT&T advertises that they charge ten cents a minute, but in reality, everything is rounded up, and it really makes a difference. If you call someone and their phone is busy, each attempt will cost you another 10 cents even though you used the phone for less than a second. AT&T, Verizon and Cingular Wireless are exceptionally greedy companies that will do anything to take your money away from you. In short, phone calls are not pro-rated. Instead, they just round everything up and charge you as much as they possibly can.

Internet on a Go Phone

If you want to access the internet on a Go Phone, be prepared to pay a fortune for it. You will pay for both the length of time, and the amount of data downloaded. What’s worse is that the phone is intentionally designed so that the internet button is incredibly easy to press by accident. For example, if you want to see the list of missed calls, you could very easily press the internet button by accident. If you haven’t used your phone for a particular day, and accidentally hit the button right in the center of your phone, you just lost a dollar and ten cents.

Text messages

If you want to view or send text messages with your Go Phone, just forget about it because it’ll cost you a fortune. First of all, be prepared to receive hundreds and hundreds of spam text messages. These messages advertise anything from Viagra to high school diplomas. If you view a text message you just received and find out it was just a spam text message, that’s too bad for you. You just lost a dollar and ten cents.

Conclusion

AT&T has intentionally rigged their Go phones to steal as much money from their customers as possible. The interface to navigate the main menu is intentionally designed to trick people into accessing the internet. I’m going to go as far as to say that AT&T actively promote spam text messages as an effort to get people to check their messages and therefore give AT&T more money. The very fact that a two second phone call can cost a dollar and ten cents is proof enough that the Go phone just isn’t worth it.

How to save money on cell phones

Here’s what you can do to save some serious money. Figure out which of your friends use AT&T, and Verizon, etc. Then only give your number to people in your network. In network phone calls are free, and that’s the only practical way to use your Go phone without paying any money. You can either pay money hand over fist for erroneous and inflated fees, or you can carry two or even three phones and use them for free. It’s your choice.

Posted under Avoiding Fees, Saving Money, Shopping, Technology

This post was written by admin on December 27, 2008

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Jeff Paul’s Shortcuts to Internet Millions, a full review

If you’re reading this, chances are good that you’ve already seen Jeff Paul’s infomercial detailing his shortcuts to internet millions. If you haven’t seen it, just imagine two girls in bikinis interviewing people who claim to have made millions with Jeff Paul’s system.

The truth

The truth of the matter is that Jeff Paul’s Shortcuts to Internet Millions is a scam, plain and simple. You really shouldn’t believe anything you hear from the infomercial because the information is factually incorrect. Jeff Paul’s scam is fairly simple. Once you pay $50 for your package and shipping, you will quickly realize that the pamphlets sent to you contain useless information. No, you don’t get 10 free self-running websites as promised, nor do you get any method of generating any income whatsoever. The girls in the infomercial lied to you. At this point, they attempt to upsell you. They say that if you really want their self-running website kits, you have to pay thousands of dollars upfront. Not only that, but they can charge up to several hundred dollars a month, every month, just to run your websites.

The natural question is if these websites actually work, and generate real revenue. The answer is not really. The chances of you ever being able to make a penny from any of the websites they give you are probably less than one in a thousand. If you think you can beat those odds, then you should really be in a casino.

One interesting thing about Jeff Paul’s scam is that if you decide to cancel, that’s too bad for you. It is impossible to cancel your plan. You will not be able to receive any response via email, phone, fax, or mail. THE ONLY WAY TO CANCEL THE PROGRAM IS TO CANCEL YOUR CREDIT CARD. Jeff Paul is a really classy guy, I’m sure.

Posted under Avoiding Fees, Avoiding Scams, Making Money

This post was written by admin on December 23, 2008

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