Money Forward

This blog is about money and trying to keep my money from flying out the window.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

More moving talk

My wife and I have continued our discussion on whether or not we should move. A lot of this will depend on where she gets her new job, so we can't decide exactly the location yet. I just know that I don't want to live too far from some sort of center or retail. I like being able to walk to places.

Searching for apartments and condos in Boston is a huge pain. There are so many places, and a lot of them just aren't that nice. Of course, the location is key also. Do I want to be in an up and coming area, or an already proven area? Important questions. One place that could be considered is South Boston. The place has changed a lot over the last decade and it is going to continue to change as they keep developing. Since it's Boston, we would need to look for a realtor to find South Boston real estate. We could look in the surrounding area and it seems like Seaport Realty has a good hold of the area, knowing what is available and what the best places are. Finding an apartment generally isn't easy, finding a condo or something is a lot harder. Some of the places on the Seaport Realty site are really nice. Maybe too expensive, but with real estate the way it is lately, there's always room to negotiate. Worth thinking about.


Thursday, March 29, 2007


I thought I was finally getting over my urge to gamble until a few days ago. I know that I will not win if I gamble, but I can't help to think that I could. It's an odd thing. The closest casino is a couple of hours away, so it's not like I would go just for fun by myself. Actually I would probably never go to a casino by myself. Although I play very individual games, I like to have others there. Maybe I could learn craps, I don't know. It seems fun, but I just have no idea how to play. I've tried to read some things, but still don't know. I think my game is roulette. No doubt about it. I guess I will go at some point, I just don't know when. So for now I'll play roulette online, get my fix, and then be done with it without going poor.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Someone hit my car, what would you do?

The parking lot I park in at work is a long, narrow area with parking spaces on both sides. Sometimes it takes more than a three point turn to get out of a spot. Since the snow last week, the lot has been more narrow and so parking has been more of a pain, and so I've been backing up into a spot everyday so it's easier to get out. Yesterday I left one space next to me and someone else decided to back up there car into the spot, and into my car. There wasn't too much damage, just a dent near the front wheel well, and some scrapes on the side. The person was at least nice enough to leave a note and a phone number to call her.
My car is pretty old (not as old as the one in the above picture, which is not my car, source:, and so it really isn't worth it to spend the money and time fixing it up. The frame and everything else is fine, it's just another dent. But I couldn't let it just slide by either. So I called the number, and set a price and the person agreed to pay. It's easier that way. I probably could have gotten more, but the person left their number and you have to respect that a bit, and I don't feel like dealing with mechanics or anyone else.
Should I have asked for more or gone to a mechanic? I don't know.


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Thoughts on moving

My wife and I have realized that we are not going to own a house for a long time. To get a decent house in a decent area will require a 20% down payment of somewhere around $80k. That is a lot of money. But we also don't know how long we can live in our current apartment. The ceiling is paper thin (noise-wise) and so we hear everything from our noisy neighbors upstairs. Unfortunately we only moved 6 months ago, and moving again seems like a bad idea. Moving is very stressful, frustrating, and costly.

I came upon this website that connects you with a moving company that will work for you. They look deeply into the companies that match you with and make sure they're going to be worth your time and money. That would be a huge help since finding a reputable company can take a long time, and even then you could be getting ripped off. Even worse is moving across the country or into a new state, since the movers have your belongings for a longer time, and who knows what happens to your things during the weeks that they are out of your eyesight. To find Long Distance Moving Companies, this site can help you figure out what will work best for you.

Who knows when we'll actually move, but I don't think my brothers will be all that happy to help us out again so soon. They will, but they still won't care for it. I'm thinking a moving company may be the way to go. Who knows what would actually cost less money-wise and family-wise. The less I have to think about it, the better.

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The market

I love when stocks go up, well mostly my own, espec ially after the slump we just had. Some stocks I've owned for a little longer also have started to do well. I bought this one stock in November and it was going up and down and not really anywhere until about 2 weeks ago, and since has shot up 20%. Too bad I didn't have it in either of my stock games. So now my poor Sharebuilder account has actually done something. As I said ages ago, I messed up with my Sharebuilder account and paid too much for one stock. I put in a total of $200, got the $50 promotional money, used that for stocks and was under $200 in my account for a while. Pretty sad. Right now though, it's up to $258. Hopefully it will steadily continue that motion.

As for my stock games...
The CNBC game, my portfolio went up a bit, although I lost ground to others yesterday. I finally decided to sell some of my ok performing stocks and try to go with risky stocks that can potentially earn me more faster. Not so sure that's going to work with the stocks I picked, but I've tried. That portfolio now looks like this:
Rank: 26481 (Top 7%)
Total Return: 10.41%
Value: $1,104,131.22

My Virtual Stock Game:
I was down by a lot, something like 14+%, but I've made up a lot of ground since then. I now am in 26th place (out of 28) and my return so far is -0.27%, a lot better tha -14%. So that is looking up for a bit.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Paid blogging

There's been a lot of talk about what is ok and isn't for getting paid to write blog posts. Personally, I don't see a problem with it at all. Blogging is about writing your opinions and thoughts, and if they are led in some direction by someone that's willing to pay, what's the problem? As long as you are still honest and straight forward, it's still your own opinion. Writing your opinion on something and getting paid for it is just like writing your opinion on something and not getting paid. I don't mind getting paid, so I'll probably do it all because it can't hurt. It doesn't make my opinions any less.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Buy precious metals?

I thought about this a few years ago when I saw an article about a guy that made millions of dollars through spamming, and then bought millions worth of gold bullion. He then supposedly buried it somewhere in the woods and no one can find it.

Anyway, during my thoughts on the crazy things that could possibly happen to our world, I've thought about buy metal. I figure if our money ends up being worthless, at least gold and silver will still be worth something. It could be thought of as being a backup of your money if the stock market crashes and/or your cash becomes worthless. But I of course don't have that much money that it matters. But I think I would still like to buy gold bullion one day. At least to have it because I think it would be cool to say "I have some gold bars in the safe." or something like that.

But, I figured finding this stuff to buy would be hard. But then I found this site that sells gold bullion and silver coins and the such. Imagine having some of those sitting around. Or you can buy it through this company and have it one of their vaults for safe keeping. Not as cool as keeping it around the house, but cool to know you have it. Eventually I'll invest in this stuff, but who knows when.

(This was a paid post, although my opinions still are the same.. I want a stack of gold and silver in a vault underneath my house.. that'd be awesome.)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Business thought

I've been toying with the idea of opening an online business using a drop shipper. I haven't found out too much information, but it seems like it could be doable. I need to find out more though, and I'm not exactly sure where to look. It's tough because I don't want it as a full-time job at all, just something to make extra money. So I'm not sure if it could even work.



Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Happenings online

There are a few stock market games I'm part of right now online, the CNBC Million Dollar Challenge, and eFipo's Stock Market Game. Join if you'd like, although the CNBC is full of angry people at the moment because of some cheaters. You can read a little about that at It's Just Money.

My stats at this moment are:
CNBC - Rank: 20353 (Top 8%)
Total Return: 5.54%
Portfolio: $1,055,428.36

eFipo's Stock Game:
Rank: 28 (...of 28)
Total Return: -4.74% (Although week's return is marked at 11.29%!)
Portfolio: $952,651.25
I made a mistake on this one and tried out something that quickly lost me $40,000 or so. I've been trying to get back since.


Monday, March 12, 2007

A bit behind... updates

I haven't posted in a while, but I'll catch up eventually.

Anyway, I did my networth and I'm up by a chunk now. The big increase was from our tax return. Of course, ideally we should be getting little back from the IRS, but for several reasons we did not do that. First, my wife claimed 0 exemptions since she was working on and off while in school and so that was the best way to make sure we didn't pay too little. I have 1 exemption because we need the money to survive. But, we also got the lifetime learning credit and the tuition deduction which is what really boosted up our return. Since my wife will not have a full-time steady job until september, we're just going to keep going on this path for now. The return was nice anyway because it came at a great time and now I know my tuition will be set through the end of the year.

The money experiment, as I said before, is a learning experience. This was from February 28th after close of the stock market:

This was before the bigger crash which I went about 3% down. It's back in the positive now. So I've done ok so far. I was up about 12% at one point and I should have maybe thought about making a move, but I didn't. Of course, this is only the first month, so I have a more time to let this grow, and I believe it will.

I've also started to look for alternative incomes. We just don't make enough to really do all that we want to do, and so it makes sense to see what's out there. So far I've done a lot of surveys and I'm still waiting for the cash to be credited. I've done some stuff on CashDuck as well. I'm not sure how long I can stick with all of these since it really depends on how much free time I have... and right now I don't have a lot. But we can use all we can get.

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