Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Best laptops for bloggers (Dec 2015)

Best laptops for bloggers

I noticed that some people have landed on my site lately because they've been searching for terms like 'best laptops for bloggers 2015.'

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Monday, November 9, 2015

Debt, Retirement, and The Problem With Dave Ramsey

This writer points out flaws with advice from the extremely popular faith-based financial guru, Dave Ramsey:

If you watch the video, you'll notice how quickly he casts doubt on the motives of the person 
who's asking a perfectly legitimate question. This is not the behavior of somebody who is being honest! 
Remember, Dave, Jesus said: "No good tree bears bad fruit."

Thursday, October 22, 2015

How the Rich Get Rich

Much has been written about how to get rich, and this pattern will likely persist until the end of the human race. Some of the books and articles are worth your time; many aren't. The ones that are worthwhile, however, tend to be less earth-shattering than we expect.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Save money like this rapper

Think all rappers boast about wasting money on overpriced luxury goods? Think again!

In case you haven't heard this song or seen the music video, comedic rapper Lil Dicky boasts instead about how he saves money on everything from laundry to parking to haircuts to toilet paper. The music video for the song was even filmed for (reportedly) no money! The jury's still out on whether the production was free, though...

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Secrets of success: Develop your grit like a SEAL

Secrets of success
Develop your grit like a Navy SEAL

I've posted about grit as the key to success before. The nice thing about grit is that you can increase it through practice! If you want to be successful, you'll need a good helping of grit-so it's helpful to start practicing now!

Picture courtesy Navy SEAL website:

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The value of $100 in every U.S. state

I thought this was interesting.

How does your state stack up? Are you getting ripped off based on where you live?


Obviously, this can vary greatly based on your area in each state (cities have a higher cost of living than rural areas, for example). Pretty much any statewide cost-of-living evaluation is therefore useless. But it's a fun exercise, anyway!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Arbitration agreement? Run away...

Useful advice from Steve Lehto, a consumer attorney and car buff who often contributes helpful advice to prospective car buyers on Jalopnik. This man seems to have a lot of sense, judging by the many articles I've read by him.

Here's why arbitration tends not to work as well in practice as it does in theory:

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Is Playing the Lottery Just Cheap Entertainment?

In a brief bit of research into playing the lottery, I saw numerous comments to the effect of, "It's only a couple dollars, and it's cheap entertainment--I dream about what I'd do with the money if I won the jackpot. It may even start a conversation with family members about what they'd do!"

from a pretty good Psychology Today article here: 

This left me incredulous and little ticked off, though it took me a moment to understand why. Soon enough, I figured out why that is one of the stupidest justifications I've ever heard!

Here's my explanation...You ready? Here goes:

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

How Investing Can Make You Rich

Wish you could see the power of money? Wonder how the rich make their money work harder than they do?

Ever felt overwhelmed by some decision, and just picked an option so you didn't have to think about it anymore?  It can be easy to get lost in numbers. And when your head is swimming, you won't make the best decisions! 

It helps to see this kind of junk displayed in a graph. As hard as it can be to imagine how compound interest works, graphs like this can make it easy to understand!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Starset: a cool new rock band

"Who are you to change this world? Silly boy..."
From "Carnivore" by Starset

I've been into this band lately! Starset is an interesting new rock band with a polished sound. You could probably classify them as arena rock: the outer-space-themed music is catchy and well-produced, and it gets stuck in your head pretty quickly! 

They've gotten a bit of radio play on rock stations, particularly "My Demons" and "Carnivore." The lyric on the picture above comes from "Carnivore." 

If you like Skillet's recent music, Starset has a similar sound. Their sound also reminds me of We As Human, My Darkest Days, Stria, and Ashes Remain. They also remind me of a more mellow alternative to Three Days Grace (before you jump on me that they sound nothing alike, note that I said "more mellow"--I think many Three Days Grace fans would like Starset, even though classic TDG has a heavier sound). I've embedded a couple of my favorite Starset songs here:

My Demons:



Do you agree? Is Starset cool, or meh? 

Are colleges ripping off students?

Yikes! According to a Washington Post article from 2013, colleges and universities are spending recklessly, and charging more tuition while spending less on education-related services. This isn't good for higher education--and it certainly isn't a sustainable path for the future!

Monday, April 13, 2015

The importance of financial literacy

A recent article published online by Forbes ( laments the lack of financial literacy in America today, reporting the alarming finding that 40% of Americans grade their own understanding of personal finance with a C, D, or F! Moreover, over half of American adults don't have an emergency fund big enough to cover 3 months worth of expenses.

The author joins in the recommendation that parents and schools combine to teach fiscal responsibility to our children--but first, adults need to understand it themselves!

Until everyone is financially savvy, we will all need to keep up the fight and advocate the Millionaire Mindset!

Happy saving!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Around the web, 4/10/15

As I work furiously to finish my thesis before the end of the spring semester, I haven't had much time to put into the blog. Priorities!...

Anyway, I have been on Twitter, sharing some of the best content I found. Here are my favorites:

-This one is targeted squarely at recent college graduates, who may be struggling with whether it's better to rent an apartment, or try to buy a home and take on a mortgage in addition to the student loans! A tough question, tackled here:

-These 15 money-saving hacks can apply to anyone! My favorites from this list are tips #1, 5, 7, 10, and 15.

-This is Investment 101: Investing for the Real World. Put some money into dividend-producing investments (as part of a properly diversified portfolio, of course!). Reinvest the dividends, and...poof! It's like getting free money! Remember, millionaires make their money work harder than they do!

-What if you want to start investing, but you have barely any money to spare! On her excellent blog, author Stefanie O'Connell dug up a couple no-minimum investment options:

-In fact, you don't have to be broke for years while taking on a monstrous student loan debt! If you aren't traditionally academic (you didn't enjoy your classes in high school, or you didn't do so well in tougher courses), you can take a quicker and cheaper route to a nice salary while solving people's practical problems! [The alliteration was unintentional, but I'm keeping it anyway!]
A number of blue-collar professions are in-demand and can't be outsourced. Some examples include electrician, mechanic, carpenter, roofer/builder, plumber, paramedic/certified first responder/emergency medical technician, or other professional trade. Don't count out working in the military, either--they need help in a number of non-combat areas, like working in logistics, intelligence, or repair.
You might find it more rewarding--on several levels--to work in one of these fields instead of trying to figure everything out while accumulating debt in a traditional four-year college. Stefanie O'Connell discusses that here: *Disclaimer: working in these fields won't guarantee that you'll make six figures. In fact, you probably won't, unless you start your own business. But the point stands that there are a variety of rewarding, well-paying alternatives to college--going into one of these fields can help you avoid burdensome student loans!

-Speaking of those student loans: are they worsening economic inequality? A French economist argues that they are:

-Microsoft is finally surrendering to pirates!
They will reportedly allow people who pirated Windows 7 or 8 to upgrade to the legit Windows 10 when it becomes available--just like the people who are running the genuine versions! Microsoft appears to be bowing to the inevitable: nobody is willing to pay for an operating system anymore. Credit Microsoft for finally getting in sync with the times!
Tech geeks might find it entertaining to debate whether or not this move will ensure that Linux never attains widespread use...
*UPDATE 5/24/2015: Despite numerous reports originally, it turns out that this is not true.,2817,2484352,00.asp?

And, kids, this is your lesson:

-This teen has her stuff together! She's helping her mother with the family budget--kudos to this young woman whose heart (and mind!) are definitely in the right place!

-This is a common trait among entrepreneurs: they refuse to accept a "no." You might even say that entrepreneurs tend to have a lot of...grit!
Barbara Corcoran, an investor on the very entertaining show "Shark Tank," wrote an example of how she refused to take no for an answer--and that's why she got a spot on Shark Tank!
Speaking of Shark Tank--if you haven't seen it yet, you should! Here's a link to an episode from season 6 (aired March 2015).
And, if you haven't heard, Bowling Green State University in Ohio has a similar production annually, called "The Hatch." It's a great educational opportunity for students there (and it's entertaining to watch)!

-Also on an entrepreneurial note, here's a peek behind the curtain of some of today's most successful and talked-about companies--before they were household names!

-Diversification is just as important in marketing as it is in investing, as this article makes clear:
There's one particular quote from this article that really struck me, and it dovetails nicely with an article that's been simmering in the back of my mind for months (but so far exists only as a title). The quote is, "...there's often more to be learned from failure than successes."
Very true--and, as many successful entrepreneurs will tell you, they often learned valuable lessons from starting businesses that failed early in their careers. [See the note on Barbara Corcoran's article two paragraphs above. Remember, failure isn't final!]

-Need a new lock for a broken door? You can make one yourself, for the cost of a used fork from a thrift store:

-Sometimes, instead of trying to keep wages low and profits high while accepting an absurdly high salary, a CEO has compassion for employees and does something extraordinary to increase their happiness, like Dan Price of Gravity Payments! Read more here:

Hope you found these links as interesting and helpful as I did! Happy saving!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Hatch: A Shark Tank for students!

I'll be attending an exciting opportunity for students at Bowling Green State University to gain experience pitching their business ideas to real investors, in a Shark Tank-style presentation: it's called The Hatch, and you can watch it online!

Here's a link, if you'd like to know more about it:

You can watch the entirety of The Hatch 2015 (for now, at least) at this link:
The action starts at 38:00.

There were some innovative business ideas, including a way for coaches to diagram their plays using technology, a personalized clothing line, a teddy bear to teach children several languages, and a music sharing app, among others.

Chalk one up for these student entrepreneurs! This program is a great way to give young people practice thinking through an idea, pitching it to investors, and potentially bringing it to market!

One note: the investors appeared to have "inside information." It appears that they were given business plans that were more detailed than the 10-minute pitches allowed. I suppose that's only to be expected, but I wish the investors had to base their initial reactions on the same information that the rest of us had.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

New Avengers: Age of Ultron trailers.

Less than a month to go!

To whet our appetite for their latest movie, Marvel has released new trailers for Avengers: Age of Ultron. For your viewing pleasure, here are all of them:

TV spot 1:

TV spot 2:

TV spot 3:

TV spot 4:

Extended trailer 1 (with the dramatic, stomach-shifting introduction to Ultron):

Extended trailer 2:

Extended trailer 3, which may be the best one yet:

New scenes (April 6):

Are you as excited about this movie as I am? Have you see all the trailers already? Which superhero is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Your Next Phone

Your Next Smartphone

What to get for your next mobile device? With so many choices, it can be tough to make up your mind! When you consider all the possible options, you might get a facial expression like this guy:

Water balloon toss guy...the original image is hilarious! See it here: 

And, of course, the hype about the new devices being revealed at this year's Mobile World Congress (and the slew of commercials that are sure to follow) will muddy the waters for anyone looking to get a good deal on their next phone.

Here's a pro tip: If you haven't already done so, let your cell carrier's contract run out, get an unlocked phone and an off-contract plan, and enjoy paying under $50 per month--probably less than half of what you're currently paying!

There are a ton of devices out there for any budget...but not all of them are worthwhile! How can you tell which phones are a good deal and which are junk?

Never fear, the Froogal Stoodent is here to point you toward some of the best options for any budget!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Around the web 2/28/2015

Not all lottery winners are financially irresponsible. Take this woman in Ireland, for example, who is investing her lottery winnings into her hometown (and charities), to provide opportunity for others:

Antoine Walker, however, had to learn his lesson the hard way. He now advocates the importance of saying "no." Walker plans to spread this message in his forthcoming book and documentary about his personal financial struggles. (This book and documentary will probably make him another windfall! It seems that he's learned his lesson, though--perhaps he'll hang on to his money this time around!)

Think Bill Gates is the richest person ever? Think again! Time for a history lesson:

This is why I prefer Android over iOS...and, really, why I don't recommend buying Apple products:
To be clear, I think Apple makes quality products. I also think they charge too much for their quality products, and--like the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright--don't trust their customers enough.

Excellent advice on how to build a Warren Buffett-like portfolio that puts your money to work for you:

And, if you've ever wondered what $1 trillion would look like in $100 bills (US), there's a rendering here:

Friday, February 27, 2015

Excited about getting the latest smartphone? Don't be.

This weekend, manufacturers will show off their latest and greatest smartphones at the Mobile World Congress tradeshow. Buzz is building among tech fans--but I'm not drinking the Kool-Aid.

As detailed at BGR, a tech site for mobile consumer devices, it's better for your wallet if you're not an early adopter of mobile (or, really, any) technologies. This graph explains why not:

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Pretend to Be Poor: Contentment, not investment, is the secret to financial freedom

On the website Pretend to Be Poor, Neil and Kalie Brooks advocate the idea that contentment with one's life is the secret to financial freedom: There's a lot of wisdom in this--the people who outspend their income are the ones who are trying to show off, or trying to please other people.

If you're content with your possessions and lifestyle, then you are truly free from having to worry about money!

In another post here:, they discuss "mindless austerity." This works well in tandem with automating your finances. Many think you should pay your bills automatically so you won't be charged a late fee.

The corollary advocated in this article is that you should automatically adopt habits that encourage you to stay within your budget, like packing your lunch and shopping at discount grocery stores. I agree!

I encourage you to check out the Pretend to Be Poor website here: it has a lot of useful advice!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Bound no more!

Tired of being bound to your cell phone carrier? You may not be!

As of February 11, 2015, a U.S. law called the "Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act" went into effect. What does this mean?

You can unlock your phone and [hypothetically] sign up with another carrier, whether you have a contract phone or a phone on an off-contract, prepaid plan (as I recommend here).

Friday, January 23, 2015

Value Laptops 2015

Value Laptops 2015

This is an old article and will no longer be updated. Please see my latest version here.

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of laptops. However, I’m also a fan of saving money and living within my means. If you're looking for a great deal on a new computer, I've picked out some of the best deals around to include in this article. Isn't it nice to have someone else do your shopping for you? :)

Premium Laptops 2015

Premium Laptops 2015

This is an old article and will no longer be updated. Please see my latest version here.

Being Froogal doesn’t mean you can't have nice stuff! The trick is to allocate your resources effectively. If you can justify the purchase of a higher-quality, more expensive item because you need it for work or a hobby and you can afford a premium item, you can still get a great value!

Laptops: The quick tech guide

Laptops: The quick tech guide

People who don’t care what laptop specs mean, or already understand them, can skip this article. But for those who just want a quick guide through the ocean of letters and numbers may find this helpful! For people who would like to know even more, I've created a guide to the dirty technical stuff.

If you don’t quite understand all of the technical mumbo-jumbo when you’re looking for a computer, that’s OK—that’s what I’m here for! My handy guides are free! Any computer I recommend will be a great value for its speed, quality, reliability, and common-sense pricing. Some (though not all) will also be lightweight and/or have great battery life. Check out my my latest recommendations by clicking the links below!

Laptops: A detailed guide to the dirty technical stuff

Laptops: A detailed guide to the dirty technical stuff

For those who only want a quick guide to what you should know before shopping for a computer, check out my quick tech guide. For the curious folks who would like to know more details, read on!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Guest Post: Setting Goals Like the Wealthy at Canadian Budget Binder

My latest series of three posts is currently under development--check for it next week! (UPDATE: Done! You can find the post on value-priced laptops here, the post on premium laptops here, and there are two tech guides to help you make sense of the jargon: a quick guide here and a detailed guide here).

 In the meantime, please check out my guest post on "Setting Goals Like the Wealthy" over at Canadian Budget Binder (

I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it :)

Thanks to Mr. CBB for the opportunity for this guest post! Canadian Budget Binder is filled with helpful tips--be sure to check back there every so often!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Interesting reads, Jan 2015

Here's some more useful and/or interesting content for you from blogs and other sources around the Web:

For the married:
For the engaged:

A great article about finding your mission in life:

For anyone:

Good advice regarding the changing nature of retirement savings, and what you can do about it:

Some good advice about groceries: (sounds kinda like The Millionaire Mindset! Great minds think alike...)

Here's a cartoon with a great message about hard work:

Some other interesting and/or thought-provoking reads:

And, unrelated to finance, an article on tech for geeks like me:,28345.html

Quality entertainment for a bargain! :)

Toshiba laptop free upgrade deal (until 1/19/2015)

As you may be aware, I'm a fan of finding great values, particularly on laptops like these and these, and headphones like these.

I haven't posted much here in the past two months (but see my guest post from December 2014, "Setting Goals Like the Wealthy," at Canadian Budget Binder). But I'm working on finding more great deals, and a series of posts are coming soon--promise!

In the meantime, here is a deal from Toshiba: