Finances Technology

iPod Raffle to Support Mission Work

Hi Gang, I’m posting a quick link to an iPod Raffle for Senator Barnes who is going to be a Missionary in China. I don’t know why anyone would want to pack up their wife and 3 kids and move to China… wait, I do know why, to SHARE JESUS CHRIST!

And you can help by buying some raffle tickets. Just $2 per ticket and the raffle ends February 14th. Go now and help the Barnes family. and check out their cool website You know you wanna.

Culture Finances

Cheaper Gas?

I saw this on Good Morning America this morning and apparently the site only launched yesterday and already has over 2,000 members.

You buy gas in bulk and can save money because the price per gallon doesn’t change. So if you bought the gas at $3 per gallon then when the gas goes up to $18 per gallon you will be saving $15 per gallon! You will almost hope that gas prices go up so you can feel smug at the pump paying only $3!


Life Insurance Woes

Two years ago I bought a life insurance policy. Whole Life, which means that after a while it will have monetary value and it will pay dividends. Recently, however, I was told that Mass Mutual was not as good as Northwestern Mutual and that I would be throwing money away if I kept that policy. I was shown the numbers and it is true, The Northwestern Policy will have a cash value of 260,000 dollars at age 64 and the Mass Mutual Policy will have a cash value of 148,00 at the age of 64.

So now I am vexed. Do I just cancel my current policy? If so, I lose 3,300 dollars that I have paid into that policy for the last 2 years. If I keep paying on this policy, in 10 years it will be worth a few thousand dollars, but it won’t be worth the money I put into it for like 15+ years. Ugh. Why does this finance stuff have to be so hard?

Also, I don’t recommend getting a life insurance policy unless you really know what is going on. The guy I talked to made me think that my policy was going to be worth the money I put into it, so I thought that after a couple of years that it would be like a savings account with all this money accruing and I could borrow agains it. Wrong. For the first two years you are paying fees and paying for Mass Mutual employees salaries. It’s only after years of throwing your money into one of these investment strategies that you start to see a return. For someone like me, this is not a good thing. I don’t like long-term investments.

So what should I do? Should I just cancel the policy? My friend with Northwestern says Yes. That in the long run I will lose more by staying with them than I would if I just cancelled the policy now and started putting that money someplace else.

Culture Finances

Bike. Stay Home. Save Gas

Since gas is nearly 4 dollars a gallon I’ve really started to think twice before I make commitments.  A trip to Waco is now 80 dollars in gas where it used to be only 40. A round trip to Denton to play Ultimate Frisbee now costs me 15 bucks, 4 trips to Denton a month and that is 60 dollars for Ultimate Frisbee, almost the same amount as my water bill. Ultimate is worth it though, I will go without food before I go without Ultimate.

Thankfully I live only 2 miles away from the office and so I don’t really have a large gas bill. I don’t really go much now either, I stay home, workout, do Yoga, it’s a simple life, but it works. I am wondering though if I start biking to Yoga if that will save me some more money on gas and get in some extra workout. it’s about 14 miles round trip to Yoga and that would actually help me burn a few more calories. Also, I could start biking to the grocery store and the bank as they are very close as well.  Unfortunately, Texas is really hot and so I don’t know if the benefit will be worth the extra sweat, but it might be fun to try. Even if I only incorporate a bike ride to the grocery store on the weekends it would be a nice way to be more environmentally friendly. Over time, I am sure those miles will add up.

Have you been cutting back to save gas?

The funny thing about Gas prices is that they are something that we have been talking about for the last 10 years. I did a video project for a customer and he was the CEO of 7-11 at the time. The constant question was, “How is business with the increasing gas prices?” At the time, gas was less than 2 dollars a gallon and we were complaining then, I wonder why we didn’t have Hybrid vehicles back then? Why didn’t we take huge measures to save?