Archives For March 2007

It’s hard to believe that it has been nearly six months since the last personal finance blogger community project. I had originally wanted to do a project each quarter but I ran out of ideas!

Anyway, I have another new idea that I think would be fun. I sent out an email to 68 personal finance bloggers. If you didn’t receive an email from me it’s because I either don’t have your email address or the email address I have on file is wrong. Either way, if you are interested in being involved with this new project but did not receive and email from me, feel free to send me an email (my email address is located in the top left hand side of the blog) along with the url to your blog. Please include “JLP’s Project” in the subject line. Once I receive your email, I’ll send you some details about the project.

I look forward to hearing from you.

How expensive is it to buy rent-to-own furniture?

Short answer: VERY EXPENSIVE!

I was on the Rent-A-Center website and I found this Ashley sofa and loveseat:

Ashley Bay City

I called up a local Rent-A-Center and asked the guy how much this set goes for. He told me that just the sofa and loveseat rents for $26.99 per week for a 104 week term. So, the total purchase price for this sofa and loveseat (WITHOUT tables) would be $2,806.96! That sounds like a lot but I needed something to base that number off of so I called our local Ashley furniture store to get their prices for the EXACT same sofa and loveseat. Their prices were $549 for the sofa and $499 for the loveseat for a total of $1,048.

Now, here’s what the numbers look like using $1,048 as the purchase price:

Rent-to-Own Math

So, paying $26.99 for 104 weeks, works out to a 121.89% APR!

I think if it were me, I would sit on the floor until I had enough money to pay cash! Think about it. At $1,048, it would take a person 39 weeks to save up enough money to pay cash for the furniture if they saved $26.99 per week. Patience can save you a ton of money!

Why would anyone want to rent furniture?

Back in December of last year, I wrote a post titled How Many People Have Your Name? In that post I commented about the fact that their stats said that 99.83% of the people with the name “Jeffrey” were male and that I couldn’t believe that a woman would have the name Jeffrey. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, that post received the following comment from a woman:

My parents…. in their right mind… named me, their only daughter… Jeffrey….

My mother wanted to name me after an actress from the 40’s 50’s whose name was “Jeff Donnell”. As a matter of fact… she went through 4 pregnancies to get to me… I have 3 older brothers.

In my 45 years, I have never met another girl named Jeffrey… although I always keep my eyes open. I have had a lot of fun with it, AND there has been a lot of confusion in my life as a result. I was almost forced to register for the Selective Service out of High School and when I went to college.. I got lots of “join our fraternity” letters….

As an adult, the name is unique and I’m thankful for it. If I had the opportunity to change my name… I wouldn’t because I know my mother was only thinking the best for me.

Thanks for your blog…. It was great reading!


Boy I bet she has fun with that name! At least they spell it right! LOL!

Now we can all say we know a woman named Jeffrey.

How’s that for a title?

Here’s a list of some of the things I spend money on that I consider frivolous:

1. CDs. I have nearly 1,000 music CDs and yet I keep buying more. At $10 per CD, I have spent at least $10,000 on music CDs! OUCH!

2. Books. I probably have 20 – 30 books that I have bought that I need to read and yet I still buy more books. They are all business/personal finance – related books, so they I don’t consider them as bad purchases. I just need to read them once I buy them.

3. Beer. I like to try different kinds of beer. The problem with that is beer isn’t cheap. I bet I spend $30 – $40 per month on beer.

4. Gourmet food items purchased at the grocery store. I have gotten myself hooked on stuff like Delallo Hot Pepper Garlic Sauce, at $6 per jar. After you start eating stuff like this it is hard to go back to your standard everyday foods.

5. Eating out. We eat out too much as a family. We upped the family budget in this area but we still blow it, which means we simply need to exercise some self-control.

Before you misunderstand me, I think it is important to enjoy things in life. However, I think it is also important to recognize that some things in life aren’t necessary and if need be can be cut out. And, although 1,000 CDs is a lot, I REALLY enjoy music. It is a passion of mine and I have fun collecting music.

Those are my main vices. What are your’s?

JLP’s Weekly Roundup

March 25, 2007

Jim reviews Debt is Slavery.

Flexo’s giving away a copy of Quicken Rental Property Manager 2.0.

Nickel’s contemplating refinancing his mortgage. – Although his math is generally correct, he left out one important ingredient in my opinion: opporunity cost.

Here’s why FMF gives publicly each week at church. – We don’t. Instead, we pay our tithe by eft twice per month.

The Mighty Bargain Hunter illustrates the dollar coin allowance.

Ramit has published the first part of his series of personalized tax answers. Ramit has a CPA friend who has agreed to answer various tax-related questions from readers.

A Girl Worth Saving shows how she and her husband got married for $2,400! – Now THERE’S a smart woman!

Tricia finds some of the best FREE things on the internet. – HEY! My blog ain’t one of them?

An English Major got a raise. Here’s how she’s allocating it.

Debt Blitzkrieg’s crazy long-term dream.

What credit card companies don’t want you to know.

Picking up Nickels discusses lawn care. – No matter which way you go, it isn’t cheap!


7 Steps for a Solo Career

March 24, 2007

Tired of your job? Want to go out on your own? Well, before you leap, here’s some stuff you should think about. I found this article over on the Money website. Below are the steps. See the article for some great advice on each step.

1. Give yourself financial padding – Be realistic. You will most likely need AT LEAST one to two years of living expenses set aside so that you don’t have to eat beans every night. One way around this is to start your business while you’re still employed. You can be working on it while you still have a regular income. Then, if you think you want to go solo, you can.

2. Don’t confront the isolation alone – Get out and talk to people (and be sure to remember the next point while you’re talking to them).

3. Be an advertisement for yourself – I’m bad about this one. I think it is my quiet personality.

4. Coolly calculate your worth – You have to have some sort of basis to decide whether or not your solo career is worth it.

5. Remember, you can’t bill out every hour – So true. In a typical 40-hour work week, you’ll be lucky to bill 20 hours.

6. Trust, but verify – Look out for deadbeat clients.

7. Don’t worry about job security – These days, there’s really no such thing as job security so don’t worry about it.

It’s a pretty good article if you are at a point in your life where you are ready for a change and going solo is your dream.


March 24, 2007

That was the most pathetic game I have ever witnessed. So many missed opportunities. The Jayhawks just gave them the game.