September 2009 - Posts - Yankee 2.0
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Yankee 2.0

September 2009 - Posts

  • I fell off the no credit wagon....

     ...but am climbing back on. Well, I've been trying to accomplish a couple of goals in these last few months -- one was not to incur any more consumer debt, and the other was to get some stuff fixed around my house. It turns out that I over did it on the latter, leading me to fail at the former. 

     I had a flurry of stuff fixed at my house: new storm windows, patching holes in my soffit, sealed some flaking stone on my stoop, got a new garbage disposal, and some burnt out outlets rewired. Nothing especially glamorous, but things that have improved my quality of life. I knew how much money I had, but I kept thinking I'd get a little extra somewhere.... turns out that was not a good way to think. Not only did I not get a little "extra" I also am earning about $20,000 less this semester than I thought I would. 

    So I took out a cash advance on my credit card for living expenses, since I blew through savings for all that house stuff. Then I had to get my car fixed for $500, and I charged it. So I'm really not in the place financially that I expected to be right now, but I'm very grateful that I have enough money to live FRUGALLY through the end of the year. I'm going to use my unexpected free time to work on a writing project (that I hope to sell one day), and to try to drum up more business for the new year. 

    It's disappointing, because that other money would have really put me in a great place financially, but I'm really really grateful that I have enough to get by for a while. I learned a good lesson about not counting my chickens before they're hatched...

  • Lease to own office equipment. A success (for me)

    Two years ago, I took out a lease to own contract with Dell computers for a laptop, software, and digital video camera for my training company. I needed the equipment, didn't have the money to buy it outright, and didn't want to use a credit card to pay for it. I didn't splurge by getting the top of the line models, but I didn't get the cheapest ones either (which I might have done had I been paying cash). The equipment has been quite reliable, and when I've had (two) problems with it, they sent someone to my office to fix it. I also have an additional year's worth of that "we'll fix anything" service plan (I'm notorious for dropping or spilling things on laptops, so this is one time extended warranty was totally worth the peace of mind). 

    Last week, I made my final lease payment. So now I own this equipment! I'm sure for some people, a two-year old laptop would seem outdated, but for my business, it works just great (although I'm hoping the new Windows OS is better than Vista, which it now has -- I'm really a Mac user, but thought (correctly) the PC laptop would be good for integrating into workplace systems where I was using it.  

    Anyway, this is a long rambling post -- just wanted to share my success about leasing office equipment. It's really nice not to have that bill anymore, and it's nice to have good equipment for my business. For me, lease to own was a good decision. 

  • Paper shredder maintenance

    This is a virtually free tip that will extend the life of your paper shredder and can even bring it back from the dead: Vegetable Oil. Pour some vegetable oil (corn, canola, what have you -- probably not expensive olive oil) down where the paper goes every now and then (say, mabye once a month) and it will keep that baby shredding away.

    I recently did a (typically harebrained) experiment of putting a small metal plate down the shredder. I wanted to see if it would shred. It did, and it killed the shredder. I was devestated. I love that shredder (and I got it for free from a neighbor who got it as a gift for opening a new bank account somewhere). Anyway, I decided not to just give up, and I looked online for solutions. They suggested putting shredder oil (purchased at a store) down the chute to clear the system. I figured corn oil was just as good, so I got some out and poured it liberally (about a cup or so) down the feeder and waited about 15 minutes (that was the hardest part for your impulsive and impatient blogger), then turned it on.....

    It worked!! Now I put about a quarter cup into the feeder every few weeks -- whenever the shredding gears sound sort of clunky -- wait a bit, then turn it on. It really revives the shredding mechanism.

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