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Our tech gadgets and devices become more advanced all the time. But one thing that doesn’t improve is their life expectancy. Laptops tend to last on average no more than 2-3 years. Nevertheless upgrading to a new computer is a costly expense.

If you’re a Mac user like I am and think your old machine is slowing down, here’s a look at my top signs for recognising that it’s time for an update.

What’s your operating system?

If your laptop isn’t able to run the latest operating system it will limit your access to apps and functions. Programmes like iCloud allow you to link up your mac with your Smartphone, but your Mac needs to have a an Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7 or Xeon processor in order to run Lion 10.7.2. If you’re not too bothered about being able to access iCloud, keep in mind that Apple has stopped releasing security updates for some older mac models.

Malfunctioning battery

One of the most common complaints with older machines is a battery that’s unable to hold its charge. It’s a pretty common symptom that your Mac might be reaching the end of its life. While Apple does offer a replacement battery option, it’s not the cheapest solution. Also if your battery is past its prime, other system components might be nearing their end also.

Functions running slowly

When your most used apps and functions start running slowly, it’s usually a pretty common way for your computer to explain that it’s struggling. If you have tried the usual methods of speeding the machine up – like running a defragmentation programme or clearing up your hard drive – it may demonstrate a more underlying lack of compatibility.

Finding the right resale price

Macs retain higher resale values than other PCs, meaning it’s important to pick the right time if you intend to sell. Selling too early and the temptation to buy the product new is too great, but sell too late and buyers are usually persuaded to check out the latest releases and their improved function. It’s a balance you need to strike in order to find the best rate. When I wanted to sell my Mac last year, I found it worthwhile looking online to compare prices. If you sell with an online auction it’s not always easy to guarantee you’ll find the best price.

When repair price isn’t worthwhile

Other than cases of extreme damage, generally speaking most problems with a Mac computer can be solved. The question of whether to repair usually comes down to cost. From minor problems like sticky keys to structural issues like a cracked screen, all repairs come with a price tag. You need to consider whether the damage is an isolated symptom, or If it’s part of a series of problems. In many cases the cost of repair can be better put towards the price of a new model.

I’m Debbie Conway – a Mac enthusiast. I love all things Apple related and wanted to share some tips that I learnt when I discovered it was time to sell my Mac last year. When not blogging and using my Mac to earn a living I love nothing more than walking along the beach in Brighton where I live.

Article publié pour la première fois le 19/03/2013

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Charles Schwab Money Survey


Back in February Charles Schwab took account of the money attitudes of the Sandwich Generation (Americans with Young Adult Children, Ages 23-28, and Living Parents) as they were affected by the recession.  

A majority of the respondents reported that they felt optimistic about the future and that they even felt that there was a positive side to the recession.  Well thank goodness, a recession is hard enough without a bunch of Negative Nancy’s running around.

Here’s a look at some of the stats that they collected:

CS! 

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Article publié pour la première fois le 09/09/2010

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It’s Been One of Those Weeks Already

Today’s post is directly from Crystal.  :-)

Yep, in the last 24 hours, I have spent more than $1500 and none of it was really planned.  This will put a slight damper on us for a few months since this of course came while our business has been slower too.  :-(

Beeping, Beeping, AHHHH

We were woken up at 4am by a beeping noise Monday morning.  It ended up being the stupid fire detector that’s 20 ft in the air in our entry way.  Poop.  I called a few handymen and got quotes ranging from $100-$130.  So we drove to Lowe’s and bought a $200 multi-functional ladder that extends 18 ft.  This was a better option than my suggestion to shoot the thing (we’re Texan – that’s an option).  😉

Dental Stuff

I forgot my husband had a dental appointment for 4 fillings on Tuesday morning.  It ended up being 5 fillings and a complete cleaning and exam for $1320.  OUCH!!!  Dental insurance may or may not have covered this sort of stuff, but we skipped on it since it would have been $90 a month based on what I could find 3 years ago.  So, if it would have covered some of this, we may have been ahead by now.  But if all of his crappy teeth were considered a pre-existing condition, we would have been out the monthly premium and the $14k that we’ve put into crowns, root canals, and fillings.  My husband better treat his teeth like freaking babies from here on out or I will personally smother him in his sleep.

Things We’re Now Skipping

We enjoy vacations like cruises, Las Vegas trips, or even small weekend trips to Louisiana casinos.  We could also gamble online at places like www.888casino.com/casino-games, but now we are probably shutting down most unnecessary spending for at least the next few months.

The issues are that we already have hotel accommodations for a week long New Orleans trip in July.  We also already have booked a 7 day cruise in August with friends.  These two trips will run us about $2500 too.

Altogether, we are going to be eating way cheaper for the rest of the year to help make up for some of these expenses.  Business is slower, so we’ll probably pay less in taxes too.  But we won’t know until next April.

Any venting you need to do?

Article publié pour la première fois le 27/05/2014

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Bricktown, Oklahoma City, OK

No matter what the score (even a 15-7 loss for the Oklahoma City Redhawks last Saturday), there’s nothing like the ambiance of a baseball game on a summer night.  There’s also nothing like a $10 ticket, even if it is the Minor Leagues.  I’m just sayin’. 

Seats 

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Article publié pour la première fois le 06/08/2010

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Take this job and shove it?

Surely you’ve been hearing quite a bit about Steven Slater this week.  He’s the fed-up Jet Blue flight attendant who, in a blaze of dramatic glory, quit his job and jumped down his plane’s emergency chute after a confrontation with a fussy customer.  Coincidentally, I received an email this week about this girl, who had her own epic job-quitting-moment via an email to her entire office that revealed that her boss played Farmville nearly 20 hours per week.  Although I do find both incidents amusing (alright, hilarious), I’ve noticed that many news organizations and bloggers have been categorizing these disgruntled workers as a “heroes” (see this article in the Huffington Post).  I think the term hero is a bit strong.     

Who hasn’t had a daydream about their own spectacular meltdown?  Mine was never quite as creative as these two, but nonetheless got me through some rough days at the office.  The fact is that most workers do not act on the fantasy.  This means that most workers either have the good sense not to, or, more likely, are too chicken to act on their impulses.

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Article publié pour la première fois le 18/08/2010

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I love MAC make-up.

There. I said it. And now you know.

MAC make-up is my one beauty product weakness. Although I’m pretty specific about what I use on my face and body, I’ve found some relatively inexpensive drug store brands that are just as effective as the expensive brands. But I cannot, and will not, compromise on my make-up. Why? Well, to tell you that, I need to go back about 10 years.

I was outside at Greek Games day at my college (think Revenge of the Nerds, just with better clothes and no bicycles). It was a relatively cool day but very sunny. So I wore sunglasses. Of course, I did not think that on such a cool day I would acquire a massive sunburn. But I did. I looked like a red raccoon; my entire face, save for the area blocked by my sunglasses, had turned tomato red.

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t have cared. However, because I am spectacular at good timing, I was leaving for a professional conference 2 days later AND I was a panelist. Terrific. As if I wasn’t already terrified of people thinking I was an idiot, now I was going to have them look at me like I was disfigured.

Enter MAC.

I am fortunate enough to live within 10 minutes of a mall with a MAC store. I figured that since all the celebrities use MAC, this was as good a time as any to try it out. The guy who helped me was phenomenal. Not only did he manage to cover my entire sunburn and make me look normal again, he took the time to show me what to do (side note, this gentleman also did my wedding make-up 2 years later. He was that good). I was so happy I didn’t care about the $125 or so I had dropped on their products. I could show my face in public!

But an addiction was born.

To this day, I still buy MAC foundation, blush, eye shadow and lip gloss. Occasionally, I’ll splurge on the eyeliner as well. Why do I continue to do it? Because it’s the one luxury that I allow myself to feel good about my appearance. Not only that, the make-up lasts so long (both on my face and in the tubes/containers) that the money spent is worth it.  Instead of having to replace drug store brands every 2-3 months, I can easily go 3-4, sometimes 5 months, without having to replace my make-up. And since I know how much it costs, I can save up for it. Besides, make-up is one thing women can to do feel rich, even if we’re not. There’s just something about good make-up that makes you feel like you have money (or is that just me?)

So how can you afford a premium brand make-up if you don’ have a lot of money? Here are a few ways:

  • Buy one thing. If you don’t have sensitive skin, you can probably use most drug store brands. I can’t. So, if I had to give up my MAC and could only buy one product, I would buy their foundation. Or maybe you have a problem with eye shadow staying on your lids. I highly suggest buying MAC eye shadow; it lasts all day and only needs to be replaced about 3-4 times per year.
  • Make the most of free samples. A lot of times, stores like Sephora or Ulta will have a free gift if you purchase a certain amount of product. At Ulta, you can buy drug store brands and I’m pretty sure you can use coupons. Stack all that together to get the amount needed for the free gift (just make sure they’re items you need) and viola! You have premium make-up for a non-premium price.
  • Gifts. When I was deep in debt and had no money, I would ask for a MAC gift card twice a year—on my birthday and at Christmas. Since they’re 6 months apart, this worked out well for me. I was able to spread my purchases out and the amount was usually enough to get foundation and eye shadow, the two items that are most important to me. I would save some money to buy the others but the gift cards offset the rest of the cost. You can do this and buy your premium make-up basically for free!

Another tactic is something that I don’t necessarily advocate but it’s not illegal either. Armed with just enough money to buy the least expensive thing, head to the counter or store and wander around, looking helpless. When you’re asked if you need help, say yes but say you’re not sure what you want. One thing will lead to another and you will wind up in a chair, getting a makeover. You know that you’re only going to spend $10 or $15 but they don’t know that (or maybe they do). Allow them to take their time on you and make sure you ask for hints and tips about what they’re doing. Store this knowledge for future use. Make your intended purchase and hightail it out of the store.

If you’re going to do this, please make sure that you do buy at least one item from the store. If they’ve taken the time to give you a makeover that might have ordinarily cost $100 (or more!), you can spend $10 or $12 on lip gloss.

Make-up can be a woman’s best friend or sworn enemy. Whichever it is for you, you can at least keep the costs down.

This is part 1 of 2 on how to afford make-up on a budget. In part 2, we’ll discuss how to stretch the life of our make-up to keep costs down even more. 

Article publié pour la première fois le 30/01/2012

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