Be Careful With Subscriptions

outlanderSometime last year, my wife got interested in a TV series, something about a woman who somehow was transported back in time to Scotland of the 1700s.  She (my wife, not the women in the TV series) watched the first few episodes on Amazon Prime, but then discovered that she would have to subscribe to a pay-TV service to see the rest.  She subscribed, watched the series, and promptly forgot about the subscription.  Just last month ago I noticed I could watch movies on Amazon Prime than seemed normal and I wondered if it was costing anything.  I soon discovered that her credit card had been getting charged $9 per month for several months.  Lesson learned.  Point is:  Are you paying for something you’re not even using because you signed up for it and then have forgotten about it?  Be careful with subscriptions and automatic payments.  Keep track of what you’re paying for every month.  Look carefully at your credit card and bank statements, your phone, cable, and utility bills.  Be sure and evaluate whether you’re getting value for what you’re spending.


Power Strip With USB Charging Port Solves Problem of Missing Phone Charger

power_stripIf your household is like mine, you’ve got cellphones and other devices that need charging, and chargers that seem to “go missing” all by themselves.  I solved the missing-charger problem by getting a power strip extension cord that has a couple of USB charging ports.  I connected USB cables to the charging ports and attached them to the power strip with a cable tie that holds them firmly in place.  The TV and related devices plug into the power strip and the USB cable stands by, always ready to charge a tired cellphone.  It’s been a couple months and the power strip and USB cables are still in place.

Super (Bowl) Efficiency

super_bowlSaving money means using money efficiently.  When you get in the habit of using money efficiently, you also think about using time efficiently.  Money and time are related, after all.  Don’t we say “time is money”?  The Super Bowl (and it was “Super Bowl 50”, instead of the “Super Bowl L” that would have seemed to be coming, given the use of Roman numerals for the past 4 decades) was on television recently.  As I usually don’t, I didn’t watch it.

The Super Bowl: It’s just not fun.  Too long, too tiresome, too much hype, too many commercials.  I’m shocked that people actually enjoy the commercials and look forward to seeing them.  Yuck!  More evidence of the dumbing-down of Americans?

In years past, when the game started earlier in the day, we used to go out and do something that was normally too crowded.  It was great fun to go ice skating while everyone else was watching the game on TV.  No standing in line to pay and get skates and less than half the usual number of skaters on the ice.  This year, I just went grocery shopping.  I would have loved to go to Costco, but it closes early on Sundays.  When I came home, the game was still on.  So I went into the basement and read while doing laundry.

As it turns out, I don’t think I missed much.  I can see all of the game “highlights” in a few minutes if I want to.  That’s better than the 4 hours it takes to watch it on TV.