Entertainment

The Ultimate Guide to Cutting the Cable Cord

Cable television is expensive, not just in terms of money but also in terms of time. The service costs money, as does the electricity that powers your cable box and television, plus there’s the time spent watching television. It’s an expense that can drain both your finances and your opportunities. For us, cable television is …

13 Perks to Take Advantage of in College

Not to alarm you, but college is going to cost you a lot of money. Okay, so it’s no shocker that college and money go hand-in-hand. And you’ve probably already accepted that college is going to cost you a nice chunk of change. Hopefully, you’ve made it a point to search for scholarships, apply for …

How to Curb the Rising Costs of Parenting

Parenting is the most difficult yet rewarding job I’ve ever had in my life. It definitely hasn’t been easy on my pockets, either. And apparently, I’m not alone in my experiences. According to a recent report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average cost to raise a child born in 2013 will be $245,300. That’s the …

Some Thoughts on Extreme Cheapskates

Extreme Cheapskates is a “reality” television series that airs on TLC that just entered its third season. Over the last two years, the show has launched a new season in October and, as with the previous two Octobers, I’ve been asked a few questions about my take on the show. First of all, I’m not …

20 Great Games to Play with Stuff You Already Have

Playing games at the kitchen table is a regular part of life at our house. I play games after school three or four days a week with my children, as well as a family game night most weeks. Sarah and I play games together one or two nights a week, and I have a regular …

Choosing Income-Positive Hobbies and Projects – And Fifteen Examples to Get You Started

Like almost everyone in America, I fill my spare time with a number of projects and a handful of hobbies. I have a number of things I’ve consistently enjoyed over the years – reading books comes to mind, as does computer programming – as well as hobbies that I’ve jumped into passionately for a while …

Music for Free – Comparing Nine Free (and Legal) Online Music Options

Right now, there are a ton of legal ways to listen to music online for free. Sure, you can buy mp3s so that you have complete freedom in terms of when and where you want to listen, but if you just want a radio-like service with a bit of control, there are many free options …

Categories: Entertainment

My Timeless Strategy for Buying Electronics

I write for a living, mostly for websites. It’s not surprising that I have a great deal of use for a number of electronic items. I have a smartphone, a reasonably modern computer, a laptop, and an iPad Mini. Almost since the day I graduated from college, using computers and other electronic devices has been …

Using an Inexpensive Streaming Video Box to Replace Cable Television

There is an astounding amount of quality movies and television series available on Netflix. There’s a shocking number of great channels available on Youtube. Add on top of that the many, many other streaming services out there, both free and paid, and you begin to realize that there is far more than enough television content …

The Future of Cheap Television

A few days ago, at the Consumer Electronics Show, an announcement was made that I think points toward a future, a few years down the road, of very inexpensive television service for anyone, regardless of their interests. World Wrestling Entertainment – yes, the professional wrestling company – announced an online streaming service a la Netflix …

Are You In Need of a Media Diet?

“To see things in their true proportion, to escape the magnifying influence of a morbid imagination, should be one of the chief aims of life.” – William Edward Hartpole Lecky Recently, I enjoyed a great article at The Happiness Project entitled “Avoid the Dangerous Allure of “Potato Chip” News.” The article compares most news reporting …

Categories: Entertainment

Seven Wonderful Inexpensive Board Games for a Game Night (or Three) with Family and Friends

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of playing board games. A good board game can be played hundreds of times and fill countless evenings with family and friends. A good board game can make you think and make you laugh. A good board game makes a great gift, too, and they can often …

Categories: Entertainment

Keeping Hobby and Entertainment Spending in Check

A few years ago, I was a big collector of DVDs. I amassed a collection of almost 1,000 DVDs of all kinds, and I was pretty proud of the collection. We had display cases in our living room showing all of them off. Now, if you do a bit of “back of the envelope” math …

Saving Pennies or Dollars? Used Books

Saving Pennies or Dollars is a new semi-regular series on The Simple Dollar, inspired by a great discussion on The Simple Dollar’s Facebook page concerning frugal tactics that might not really save that much money. I’m going to take some of the scenarios described by the readers there and try to break down the numbers …

Infinite Games

When I was going through the items in our garage loft as part of a spring cleaning of the garage, I came across a small shoebox that’s been a part of our camping gear for years. When I opened the top of it and peered inside, I got excited. There’s more fun in that small …

75 Things Worth Watching on Netflix Streaming

I consider Netflix streaming to be one of the best bargains out there in entertainment. For $9 a month (assuming you have a home internet connection), you gain access to an enormous libraries of commercial-free films and television series. You can choose what you want and, if your internet connection is fast, you’ll be watching …

Experiences Trump Things

In a corner in my office on a single shelving unit rests a collection that I’ve been building for fifteen years, my board and card game collection. The collection has been built from a lot of sources: gifts, trades, thrift store finds, ding-and-dent sales, and contest winnings make up a significant portion of what you …

Categories: Entertainment

Taco Bell’s Beef Problem

Over the past week, the fast food restaurant chain Taco Bell was sued for claiming that the taco mixture used in their products was actually beef. According to USDA standards, a beef mixture served by businesses must contain at least 40% beef in ordered to be labeled as such, and the lawsuit alleges (with some …

Netflix Streaming

As I’ve mentioned before, I consider Netflix to be an excellent low-cost alternative to cable. Having Netflix gives you access not only to almost every DVD known to man (sent to you in the mail), but you also have access to their extensive streaming library. In other words, if you have high speed internet at …