People helping people. Powerful stuff.

Baby Boomers Part 2… Time to put up or shut up…

Not so long ago, I threw out a rant about how the millenials (Generation Y or whatever) are being inaccurately portrayed. I was essentially blaming the baby boomers for it here.

I stumbled across this article, "Who Destroyed the Economy? The Case Against the Baby Boomers". It is perhaps the most balanced representation of both sides of the generational argument I have read to date. Please give it a read. But I will warn you now; you will need some time because it is a long one.

Unfortunately for the author, he is technically Generation X as opposed to Y (sarcasm). However, the points of the article are the same. My key take away? Yes, our youngest generations are being dealt a very crappy hand. An 8-2 off-suit in poker terms. But, unlike in poker, we all have to play the hands we are dealt.

In light of this article (and the obnoxious political FB posts lately), I promise to stop bitching, crying, whining and pointing the finger at what got us in this mess. Our generations’ time and energy would be better spent solving the problems. We “youngin’s” are the 2nd largest group of voters behind the baby-boomers. Let’s go out, get educated, vote for representatives who will create an America that our kids will be proud to grow up in. Better yet still, let’s not wait on the government to solve all our problems. Become active in your community, become self-reliant and give a helping hand to someone who needs it. It is time to put up or shut up.

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I’m cutting the cord, like for reals - how to cancel your cable subscription

Everyone loves watching TV. EVERYONE! It’s been estimated that the average person watches like 4 hours of TV while simultaneously spending 6 hours online and playing video games for another 8 hours EVERYDAY! (Don’t quote me on that. 67% of all statistics are made up anyway.) However, that much loved entertainment comes at a hefty price. And who enjoys paying $75-$300 per month for such wonderful service? NOBODY!!

Being a newlywed in our first home with a new puppy in the family, 2012 has been an expensive year. Expensive year + expensive bills = cutting the cord. I know, I know. What about football, baseball and basketball? What about DesperateRealHousewivesBachelorettePad-whatever-you-call-it? (Don’t judge, anyone who has met my wife knows there’s no getting around her affinity for trashy television…)

In our desperate attempt to remove this monthly expense from our personal income statement, I did a little research… I believe I have found the solution. This is not an all-in-one solution, but a combination of offerings to achieve a resemblance to what we were already getting. So here it goes…

  1. HDTV Antenna Receiver - RCA ANT800 - (plus cable splitter and coax cables) $79.65
  2. Netflix streaming subscription - $7.99 (I cannot express the amount of annoyance I would feel if I had to call that Qwikster)
  3. Hulu Plus - $7.99
  4. AppleTV - $99.00
  5. Optional - Upgrade internet service

Hulu Plus/NetFlix/ESPN3 are all apps on either the AppleTV or my gaming consoles*. So between those 3 alone, we cover most (if not all) of our preferred shows. But wait, you can’t watch them live! Oh yeah, that’s right. We never did anyway.

The only missing piece is the live sports (specifically the Dawgs, Braves, and Hawks). That is where the HDTV antenna comes into play. Oh you didn’t know there are antennas that attach to your house to get HD channels for free? Well, wham, bam, thank you ma’am because there is! I found this site was the best place to look to determine what antennas you need. There are different types for uban/rural, amplified, multi- or single directional etc. And if you’re unsure of the signal strength in your local area, go here to help determine which antenna fits your geographical needs. Based on where we live, we’ll get CBS, FOX, CW, NBC, ABC, PBS, and a few more channels with acronyms I’m unfamiliar with. Hello live sports.

Since a lot of the non-live shows/movies will be streaming via the internet, we will be switching from AT&T’s sub-par internet speeds to a Comcast data plan. Those telecomm companies don’t have the bandwidth that cable operators can offer. Luckily for us, we’ll be paying roughly the same price for FASTER speeds.

So, after some up front costs (antenna + parts and AppleTV if you don’t already own one like I do), our monthly bill has gone from $95 per month down to $16… For those of you who don’t want to reach for a calculator, that’s nearly $1,000 a year in savings. You’re welcome, now go invest it in an Roth IRA… or go buy a couple of these.

Now some of you sports fanatics may have some crazy, overpriced all-inclusive sports package. I’m sorry to say, there is no replacing those types of bundled packages. And yes, there will likely be a weekend or two when the Dawgs aren’t on my awesome new setup. That’s when I will either go to a local bar or pick a brother-in-law’s house to watch it. Worst case scenario, since I don’t care what my friends think, I will very rudely invite myself to their house. If I’m lucky, it’ll be the ultimate excuse to go watch the game in person. Win-win if you ask me.

If you give it a shot for yourself, please let me know how it goes. I’m interested to hear how this can be done for people with various circumstances. I plan on posting a follow-up mid football season for a progress update.

*Since I was born in the mid 80’s, I am not ashamed to say I was a gamer through college and I also own a couple gaming consoles that also have these apps.

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Posts I’m working on…

It has been almost 3 months since I last made a post. In an attempt to get my thoughts together and get back on track, I’m going to summarize what I plan on posting in the, oh so near, future. (Maybe this will hold me accountable to actually do it… we’ll see)

  1. Mid-Year review of 2012 - Where I’ve been and what I (we) have accomplished
  2. Yes I do CrossFit. Yes it works and no I’m not in a cult (although I understand why you’d think so)
  3. The 2nd step to creating a personal budget
  4. I’m cutting the cord, like for reals - how we’re cancelling our cable subscription and you should too :)

Be on the lookout!

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Ben Bernanke and the Simpsons?

I love this post by David Einhorn. (Co-founder and President of Greenlight Capital, Inc.Chairman of the Board of Greenlight Capital Re, Ltd.) In short, he’s really smart.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-einhorn/fed-interest-rates_b_1472509.html

I wish more smart investment/finance/Wall Street professionals would speak about subjects in this manner… More “normal” people would pay attention if they did. Enjoy.

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I’d love to have coffee with this guy…

Every time I read an article by Henry Blodget, I feel that I am better informed and more educated about the events he covers. (Which is also why I’m becoming a huge fan of NPR).

Here’s his latest article from Business Insider detailing why he believes why “Keynes” was right about economy. http://www.businessinsider.com/its-official-keynes-was-right-2012-4

Oh and if you don’t know exactly who/what Keynes is prior to reading (like me), Wikipedia that junk.

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