Computers

Using Paprika for Meal Planning and Grocery Shopping

Most of the time, I prefer to talk about free computer programs and smartphone apps that are useful for me financially, but today I’m going to make an exception and talk about a paid program – Paprika. (It costs $4.99 for smartphones and tablets and has a $19.99 desktop version for Mac (with a Windows …

Categories: Computers, Food, Frugality

You Don’t Need a New Computer

Every so often, I’ll hear from a friend or a reader who wants me to point them toward a great deal on a new computer. “My old computer is so slow!” is a frequent refrain from them, and if that’s what I hear, I usually suggest something besides replacing their hardware. Simply put, the only …

Categories: Computers, Frugality

Doing the Math on Refilling Ink Cartridges

Many of us (myself included) have an ink jet printer at home for home printing needs. We certainly use ours for lots of things, from printing off forms to making pictures of our children for various uses. It’s also widely known that it’s possible for people to refill their ink cartridges. It’s fairly simple to …

Categories: Computers, Frugality

Nine Pieces of Free Software I Use Every Day

I spend hours each day at one of my two computers – either my desktop Mac (a Mac Mini – the most cost-effective type of Mac) or my Linux laptop. As a result, finding a core set of software to use for the things that I do every day is vital. Also important to me …

The Frugal Laptop

Lately, my lust for gadgets has been going utterly crazy. I want one of those nifty netbooks. For those unaware, a netbook is a very small laptop (think a nine inch screen or so) that focuses on efficient energy use rather than power. For the most part, these devices are mostly just designed to run …

Categories: Computers, Frugality

25 Free Mac OS Software Solutions

About two years ago, I wrote a very popular piece for The Simple Dollar called 30 useful Pieces Of Free (and Open) Software for Windows. In it, I talked about how I had a new Dell laptop and that I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on additional software for it, so I …

Categories: Computers, Software

Money Podcasts

Most mornings, I tend to listen to a handful of podcasts while I write. I listen to a wide variety of things to keep informed, from tech podcasts and food podcasts to sports podcasts and personal development podcasts, but I keep quite a bit of time open to personal finance podcasts. They’re a great way …

Categories: Computers

The Cheapest Fully Functional PC Money Can Buy

I get five or so requests a week from people who want a PC at home that they can surf the web and check email from. Most of them don’t want to do anything much more complicated than watching YouTube videos. I usually give them all the same recipe for doing this on the cheap, …

Categories: Computers

Our Experience with Skype

A few days ago, I made an offhand reference to using Skype to nearly eliminate the cost of a land line phone at home. A surprisingly large number of readers were curious about this and wrote in with interesting questions of all kinds, so I thought I’d walk through what Skype is, how we use …

Get Personal & Professional Value from Idle Web Surfing

Given how the usage of The Simple Dollar spikes during the normal workday in the United States (this phenomenon occurs on many other blogs, too), it’s easy to conclude that many visitors visit the site during downtimes during their workday, seeking information to improve their financial lives and their career. While this is an effective …

8 Energy Savings Tips For Your Computer

It only takes a few small adjustments in your routine to build up some significant energy savings, and one of the best places to start is with your computer. With just a few little tweaks, you can save hundreds of dollars in computer energy use over its lifetime – and these tweaks can go almost …

Starting an Electronic Financial Document System

Yesterday, I spent several hours setting up an electronic system to maintain most of my records instead of using a filing cabinet system as I described a while back. How an Electronic Financial Document System Works Basically, it just means that instead of saving paper copies of your financial records, you save them all electronically, …

Ten Places To Find Free Wi-Fi In Any Neighborhood

Here are ten businesses I look for in any neighborhood when I need to surf the web or access things online. This additional service is a big draw for a penny-pincher like myself: I have no interest in paying for such access, so instead I look for businesses that offer free wireless to their customers. …

Categories: Computers, Frugality

30 Essential Pieces Of Free (and Open) Software for Windows

Recently, I received a fresh new laptop from Dell. Upon receiving it, I did the traditional “installation of Windows from scratch” on it to remove a lot of the garbage that is preinstalled on Dells. Then I got really busy installing tons of great software that takes care of pretty much every software need I …

What’s Wrong – And What’s Right – With Wesabe

On Friday, Wesabe was launched to the public. For those unaware, Wesabe is a community-based (meaning similar to flickr or 43things) personal finance site that allows people to track financial information and share money ideas. From their extensive: Wesabe is a community of people who share our experiences with our money so we can help …

Categories: Computers, Software

10 Firefox Plugins That Save You Money

For those of you out there who are still using Internet Explorer, there is another option that won’t open your computer to all sorts of security holes. Better yet, it will automatically kill most pop-up windows and, when you switch to it, it will incorporate all of your bookmarks from Internet Explorer. I switched years …

Saving Big Money on a Computer Upgrade

Recently, I provided some extensive consultation to a couple looking to upgrade their home computer. They had purchased the machine in 1999 and were looking to buy a replacement machine for it with a budget of $1000, and they wanted my advice on how to maximize their purchase. If you are a techie, please note …

Liquid Laptop Accident? 9 Steps To Save Your Laptop

If you’re like me, you’ve probably spilled something on your laptop at some point during your computing experience. For me, it happened just last week with a tall latte all over the keyboard and display, dripping down in the cracks and crevasses of my laptop. As soon as it happened, I figured it would be …

14 Ways Your Computer Can Put Money In Your Pocket

If you’re reading this, you likely have ready access to a computer with an internet connection. Most people are aware of a few ways that a personal computer can save them money, but there really are a plethora of simple, ethical ways that anyone can use a computer to make a few dollars. Here is …