Ever since I got the iPhone 3G about 16 months ago, it has been a gateway drug to Apple for me. I was so in love with it, that it caused me to buy an iMac, and then a 13″ Macbook Pro. I’m officially a Mac junkie, and I’ll never go back. You can go ahead and make fun of me, but having dealt with Windows PC’s for the past 15 years of my life and constantly being frustrated with them, I’ve drank the Apple Kool-Aid. That’s why I spent an hour and a half of my life on Monday following the live blog from Engadget about the keynote speech from Steve Jobs about their newest gadget, the iPhone 4. If you’ve already got an iPhone, then you’re probably either waiting for June 15th to pre-order it or you’re or the fence about whether you should upgrade. Or maybe you’ve been rocking an old Nokia cell phone for a while, and you’re wondering what smart phone you should upgrade to. Whatever your situation is, I’m going to throw a down and dirty review of the iPhone 4 and give you my not-so-unbiased opinion about whether you should get it or not.
The cost of health care is a big issue right now, and with the Obama administration recently pushing through a controversial health care bill, the debate has become even stronger. One thing I find ironic is that health care is one of the ONLY things we pay for and never ask how much it costs. The reason is because health care is one of the few insurances where we actually see the true cost of it and what we’re being billed for. We simply pay our premium, pay our little co-pay and go on our way. I really liked the article from Wisebread that asks for a price list at the hospital or doctor’s office. Such a simple concept, but I think if we actually saw the prices that we were paying for health care, we’d start taking matters into our own hands to drive down the price, and competition for doctors and health care providers would be more about price, and therefore, competition would drive the price down.
I do a lot of freelance work that I run through a separate business entity, and I’ve been a lot more sensitive to how start-ups and small businesses portray themselves to the public and on the Internet. I completely understand that small businesses should act and look as professional as possible to potential clients and other businesses, but there is a difference between acting professional and trying to look and act like something you are not. I’ll give you a few examples of what I am talking about:
Falsely Misrepresenting Client Work
We often wonder where our money goes, why we never have more money than we should, and why we can’t afford to buy life’s luxuries. The reason for this is most likely because you don’t have financial goals. A life without goals is like wandering in the forest without a compass. You’re going somewhere, but you have no idea if it’s the right path or not. On Generation X Finance, he describes how to set financial goals with a goal worksheet. Gen X Finance is a great blog for those of us that are in some of the most important years of our life, the twenties and thirties. These years and the decisions we make during them will make or break our financial future. I liked this article, because it shows you a practical way to set your financial goals, rather than just telling you that you should have some goals.
Every day I see people my age and younger post STUPID stuff on their Facebook wall or Twitter feed. I cringe every time I see it, because they don’t even realize who’s looking at that content or who could be looking at it in the future. We used to treat Facebook like it was just a place for only you and your best friends to connect and share anything and everything together. Twitter started out as a great way to vent and spew out whatever was on our minds at any given moment and get instant feedback. But, now a lot of employers, bosses, and human resource departments are searching for your name on Facebook, Twitter, and Google, and it’s VERY easy to find you. This kind of makes you think twice about posting that photo of you doing a keg stand in college, eh?
I recently started an internet marketing side business to help small businesses use grassroots strategies to market online using Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and other social media strategies to market their business. I started it with a partner who is also my best friend. While I don’t recommend getting into business with a friend or family member, we’ve known each other for a long time, and there were no virtually no start-up costs to start the business. What we do is mostly consulting, managing, and web developing, so if we dissolve the business tomorrow, neither one of us lose money. However, everyone’s startup is different, and there are two major things you should consider when forming a business: personal liability and tax savings. Today, if you’re making more than a couple hundred dollars a month from your small business or side business, you shouldn’t be operating as a partnership or sole proprietorship. Forming an LLC or an S Corporation is the right move for many different reasons, but which one is better? Let’s take a look at both.
For those of you that are a part of a religious institution such as a church, temple, or mosque, you probably wonder if it’s prudent to be tithing while trying to get out of debt or save up for a large purchase. There is a lot of debate among this topic, and I think it’s worth thinking about if you’re devout in your religious faith. I’m going to explore this issue in the context of Christianity. Tithing is the act of giving back a portion of your wages or earnings back to God as a symbol of showing Him that what’s your is not really yours, it’s God’s property. In Christianity, the tithe is 10% of your wages/earnings that is donated to your home church. This is not only a symbolic gesture, but it helps support the church and the charities and missionaries that the church supports. There are some really good Christian personal finance blogs out there that have talked about the issue of tithing and getting out of debt in the past.
It’s Earth Day’s 40th anniversary this year, and it’s become more of a relevant day than ever before. With the growing awareness of protecting our environment and being good stewards of it, Earth day is a time to reflect on what we can do or change in our daily lives to lessen our negative impact on the Earth. Retailers know that Earth Day is an important day, and many of them are doing something good to commemorate the day. Mummy Deals has a good post listing some freebies on and around Earth Day. For some reason, I didn’t get the free tote from Target yesterday! We bought two small items, but apparently you had to buy more? I don’t know. Anyway, there’s a lot of cool promotions going on in the travel industry, as well.
There’s nothing fun about the tax day deadline. If you haven’t filed yet, you may want to consider filing for an extension. If everything is ready to go and all you need to do is file, then do it online and through one of our favorite e-file websites, and enter a chance to win a FREE iPad. A few retailers are trying to make tax day a little more enjoyable by offering some nice deals and freebies. For those of you that owed taxes this year, you’ll take what you can get, right? Visit these retailers to get some free stuff and discounts.
After a ton of hype, Apple’s iPad came out two Saturdays ago, and ever since then there have been thousands of articles written about it and the analysis has been all over the place. Some people are having a hard time figuring out who it’s right for and who it’s not. Some of you are just wondering why there’s so much hype surrounding it in the first place. The reason is because it is being tabbed a tablet computing device, but it’s much different than tablets from the past. It has no traditional keyboard, it uses a mobile operating system, you can interact with it like no other computing device, and it is razor thin. I’ve been reading a lot about the iPad, and I’ve made some opinions about who it works for, so here is my list of who it might be work for and who it will not.