Wednesday, July 26, 2006

My Cash on Hand Emergency Fund

While most PF bloggers have an emergency fund, or are building one, I wonder how many have a stash of cash-on-hand? Other than the coin car and the pennies collecting on the shelf above the dryer, how many people maintain a reserve of cash on hand? I do.

I keep between $200-250 available tucked away at home. It's an emergency fund already in cash. I know it's there if ATMs are down in an actual emergency, if I need to pay for a taxi for a friend, or even if the pizza delivery driver suddenly won't take a check. I don't care a lot of cash with me, to avoid the temptation to spend.

A Tale of Tall Savings

Here's a little trick that you can use to cage some savings. My teen-age son is 6'5", broad in the shoulders, plays #8 position on his rugby team. He's also tough on t-shirts and clothes generally. I've found the best way to keep him clothed is to buy good quality shirts and trousers that can stand up to a lot of action. The problem is he wears tall sized clothing to cover his frame and that tall sizes of men's clothing always cost more.

What I've found is that some online retailer sales or outlets will markdown tall sizes for the same price as regular sizes. For example:

A regular sized t-shirt normally sells for $15
A tall sized t-shirt normally sells for $20

However, when the t-shirt goes on sale, both sizes are marked down to $10. The savings on the regular size is 33% while the savings on the tall size is 50%.

This savings is also widely compounded on more expensive items like coats or outerwear. Try the sale pages at LLBean, Eddie Bauer Outlet, or Land's End if someone in your family wears talls.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Keep your Lap Cool and your Laptop Humming

In my last post about beating the heat and savings tips, I mentioned #2 that I use a handy little device to cool my laptop (and me.) I've received a few inquiries for more information about the LapCool2. Here are a few more details:

It cost about $24 and protects my seriously higher investment in my hardware. Think about it this way: I invested 60 times that amount in my computing hardware and this is a very inexpensive way to protect it and keep myself cool at the same time. Don't just take my word for it, read what Hi-Tech reviews has to say about the Vantec LapCool2:

From Hi-Tech Reviews :

"I think a sadist designed the way a laptop computer dissipated heat. He must have had a great The lapcool2 is coolbig laugh when he came up with the idea of having the entire heat of the computers processor being adsorbed into the persons legs as they sit and use it. That was until Vantec came along and stole all his thunder with their new LapCool2 Notebook Cooler. Now you don't need to feel like you're having some one ironing your pants with you in them.

The Vantec LapCool2 does exactly what it says it will do and does nice and quietly. The fans on high are slightly audible but not enough to be that noticeable and they do create a generous amount of airflow across the base of what is normally one very warm computer base. The LapCool2 is stylish and sleek and with its high-speed 4-port USB port this product should be on everyone wish list if they own or plan to own a laptop computer. The first time you use the LapCool2 and get up from your chair and don't have to rub your legs to put the fire out from the heat build- up, you will be glad you have this little jewel. "