Money To Live

November 26, 2008

How much an iPhone really costs

Filed under: Uncategorized — by moneytolive @ 5:00 am

A few weeks ago I attended a wonderful outdoor bbq with some new friends. I showed them my iPhone, and amid the admiring comments, someone asked “How much does it cost?” When I said that the total cost over two years is around $2,000, the admiring comments stopped.

This weekend I saw a few of those friends, and they were eager to tell me what happened after the iPhone conversation. One of the girls at the bbq had been pining for an iphone ever since they came out. Now whenever the topic comes up, though, she says, “But you know, it costs $1,000 a year.” She no longer wants an iPhone.

Cost of using an iPhone for two years
Monthly service: $70/month * 24 months = $1680
Phone : $200
Case, cover, and other accessories: $100


November 19, 2008

Scrimp/Splurge: Chai Tea

Filed under: Uncategorized — by moneytolive @ 5:00 am

Splurge: $3 Chai Tea from the coffee stand outside the office

After my first month at the office, I found out that the orange coffee pot contained regular coffee. Instead of drinking 2-3 cups of decaf a day, I was drinking 2-3 cups of regular coffee. This would explain why I was slightly jittery all day and had trouble falling asleep at night.

To stop drinking so much regular coffee, I decided to have one cup of Chai tea each morning, which I could get from the coffee stand outside.

Scrimp: $3 box of Oregon Chai Tea from Trader Joe’s (7 servings)

After paying $15 in one week on Chai Tea, I found a box of Chai Tea at the grocery store. It tastes wonderful and takes about a minute to prepare it at home.

November 12, 2008

Things I do not understand spending money on

Filed under: Uncategorized — by moneytolive @ 5:00 am

I try not to be too judgmental about how people spend their money (when they can afford their purchases), but there are a few things that I think are pretty silly to spend money on. Here are two things I have never bought (and I cannot imagine ever buying these things).

Facebook presents

A 10×10 pixel birthday cake costs $1. I can make you a 10″ round birthday cake using ingredients that in total cost about a dollar. I will even take a picture of it and send it to you.

World of Warcraft Gold

In the video game World of Warcraft, players ‘harvest’ gold in order to buy things in the game – like a new sword. But why waste your time harvesting gold when you can pay some guy in India to do it for you!

I cannot imagine doing it, but I do understand the concept. I have a Wii and have tried playing Paper Mario. Some levels are just frustrating, so I pull up the internet and search for a walk-through (like this).

November 5, 2008

Scrimp/Splurge: Television

Filed under: entertainment,scrimp/splurge — by moneytolive @ 5:00 am

Scrimp: Keep using the very-heavy 27″ CRT television that I got for only $50.

Cost: $50 one year ago

Maybe the next time I move I will ditch (sell or give away) this TV for a lighter flat-panel. Since the TV made it through my most recent move and is a good size for my living room, I will keep using it.

Splurge: a beautiful 42″ LCD television

Cost: $800-$4,000

Recently, I watched a movie on a friend’s new 42″ LCD TV. The picture was perfect, and it felt like being at the movies. Note that this was in a very large living room, with seating at least ten feet away from the screen. In a smaller room, the screen would be overwhelming.

November 3, 2008


Filed under: Uncategorized — by moneytolive @ 5:00 am

During the primaries last spring, I got into many discussions about the importance of voting. While voting is a part of civic duty, it is only one small part. I am slightly annoyed when people act patriotic because they voted. If you care about an issue, go spend one hour volunteering for that issue. Most of the time, that will create more of an impact than casting a vote.

I told one friend that it would be more effective for me to make a campaign donation than to go and vote myself. He disagreed, and to get me to vote, he offered to make a donation of $25 to the candidate of my choice. What a deal! This way, not only would the candidate get my vote, but the donation could be used to convince other people to vote, potentially getting 16 extra votes for my candidate.

Here is some info about mobilization efforts and the cost per vote generated:

Apparently, text messaging is a good way to get people out to vote, with a cost/ vote generated at $1.56, compared to $67 per vote generated by direct mail.

I suspect that text messaging is effective because it is a good last minute reminder that is quickly read. Though I screen phone calls and ignore political email messages, I receive little to no phone spam, and therefore would probably read a text message.

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