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Weekly Financial Review #16

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There was a lot going on this week this week, so let's get to it:

  • Last week, I mentioned Energi Gal and I were going to have a Financial Day. The idea was that we were going to pour through our financials. Well we got through a portion of the financial planning. I was hoping I could get her finances in a spreadsheet like mine, but we didn't get that far. I think it's best to wait until the middle of next month as that's when I do my monthly expenses. Then we'll have things in sync and it will be a matter of just combining the spreadsheets to get a good total financial picture.
  • Sometimes customer service surprises you. Earlier this week, I mentioned the mess I had getting my car repaired.  Well, Mic's Auto Body in Redwood City installed a new bumper today in 45 minutes - while I waited.  I didn't have to wait for a rental car or anything.  They went as far as offering to pick up the car from work, but I figured I'd save them from that.  So even though they had an accident in the first place, they went above and beyond and it's why I'll use them in the future.
  • I have a pair of questions for you:
    • I had mentioned the problem with my Treo 700P in the past. It's a $600 phone, so if I had to replace it without the warranty, it would be expensive. I could buy insurance for around $7 a month, is it worth it? Simple math seems to suggest yes, but it's a $50 deductable to get a new phone and I could probably pick one up on Ebay for much less than $600. It's also been around for a year, so chances are a new model will come out in the next 6 months, making the current model I have cheaper.
    • I didn't realize that MLB and the cable companies came to a settlement, so I can now order all the Red Sox games for $160. Last year Energi Gal and I probably watched over 120 games. However with the games being on from 4PM to 7PM local time, I'll be at work most evenings. So should I get it or not? What would you do?

Posted on April 27, 2007.

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13 Responses to “Weekly Financial Review #16”

  1. F2O says:

    How did financial day go? Every time I do this with my finace, it gets tense. Not really a fight, but not the same feeling of satisfaction I get when I do my own every month.

  2. Lazy Man says:

    We didn’t cover all that I really wanted to. We covered some of the easy things, which were tense-free. I was hoping to get her to keep track of her net worth each month. We can then make some projections and goals going forward from those numbers.

    We also set up a small joint account for just our monthly living expenses.

  3. david says:

    Who is your cable company? Think we can split the wire between our places and split the $160?

  4. Lazy Man says:

    Comcast… Along those lines, I have a Slingbox back in Boston, but due to logistical issues (no cable box near the Internet connection), it’s not looking good. An easy and cheap solution would be to get another cable box, but where the box is at, it’s a Verizon FIOS set-up and adding new cable boxes is an extreme hassle. From what I understand, you can’t pick up a box locally (like you could a cable company) and you need to get a cable guy out for the special wiring that it requires.

  5. david says:

    Ah, I have Time Warner and I dont think they have that package. Im tired of only catching a game when it is against the Angels or the Yankees…I had MLBTV, but that gets old too, sitting in front of the computer.

  6. Q says:

    My wife has a rather short attention span when it comes to discussing our money. I am not bragging, but I’ve been doing really well with our money lately, and I just want to talk about it with someone, ANYONE! Friends, parents, it’s just a little weird. My 2.5 year old daughter. No, she just says “Buy me juice, daddy.” My wife is the only one willing to listen, and she has her limits. Oh well, she at least seems impressed. :-)

  7. Dong says:

    I always wonder why talking about money can be so combatative. I talk about it with my girlfriend, and we’re mostly on the same page, but even if we weren’t I’d like to think we’d be able to talk about it without making it too tense. I know it is but why is it? I mean either you have money to do spend or you don’t. I guess that might just be my view though…

  8. Jim says:

    Nice deal on the body work! I handle most of my own repairs, and I haven’t needed any real body work done *knocks on wood* but if I did need the work done, I’d hope I could find a shop as stand-up as that one.

    As for your phone insurance – I never get the insurance for my phone. $7 a month isn’t “expensive,” but its $84/year. When is your contract up? Or, I should ask – when would you be eligable for an upgrade with 2yr contract pricing? And the real kicker – how accident prone are you? I tend to take pretty good care of my mobile devices, plus they all pretty much come with a 1yr warranty anyway – so for me, the answer is a no brainer.

    As for the sox – if you really like watching baseball, I’d do it, especially if I had a DVR or some other video recorder of sorts – if you really want to watch them that bad. Otherwise, I probably would pass.

  9. broknowrchlatr says:

    You aught to get it, but DVR is a must. If you get a good one, you can accellerate the speed of the game. I have disk network DVR. If I hit the skip back button (-10 seconds) and the skip forward button ( 25 seconds), I can watch every pitch of a game and see it in under half the time. So, a 4:00-7:00 game could turn into a 9:00-10:00 game.

    I have no perspective on the phone. I always take the free phone they give you and keep it until they give me a new one every 2 years (w/verizon).

  10. shadox says:

    Three comments:

    1. Financial day – dude, why don’t you use Quicken? With Quicken, every day can be financial day.

    2. Treo Insurance – hell no! Company’s make a profit on insurance, which means that have computed the risk that they will have to pay, and charge a premium on top of that. You should only get insurance if you cannot bear the cost of replacing a damaged product.

    3. MLB Games – I have one word for you: TiVO. So what if the games are on early, TiVo them (or use the DVR from you cable company). Comcast has a very good one.

  11. Lazy Man says:

    1) Because Quicken blows. I should probably expound on that. It blows in the very specific ways, so hard, so bad, and wicked bad. That’s a little SNL reference. I seriously can’t keep my Quicken all working. It gets confused between my paycheck that’s an automated deposit in my bank from my online bank and my own entry of it so that I can keep the taxes separated. I tried on three separate occasions and Quicken just isn’t “Intuit”ive.

    2) Yes companies make money on insurance, but that’s because they profit on replacing the average phone – the $50 ones. Surely I wouldn’t pay $7 for that. However, if those people are subsidizing a potentially lost $650 phone (something like 9 years worth of insurance payments), that doesn’t seem like a bad deal.

    3) I have Comcast’s DVR, but it’s not helpful for me for sports. Sports have to be watched live or reasonably live. There’s no thrill in it if I can fast forward to the next play. I’ve tried, it doesn’t work.

  12. Kevin says:

    The insurance isn’t worth it. Insurance is good when it protects you against potentially catastrophic loss. It’s bad when it insures against small loss.

    Generalize it: should you get the “extended warranty” or “insurance” on your TV, fridge, washing machine and dryer, computer, Treo and stereo? There is a decent chance you would use that insurance for a repair or replacement of ONE of those items. However, you’re probably paying a good chunk of change to insure all that. Say it costs $100/month for all those insurance policies. Within a few months you’ve covered the replacement cost of half the items on your list. Within two years you’ve covered everything on the list. There is no reason to insure yourself against small losses — it’s a very high profit margin for the insurer. “Self-insure” against small losses by keeping some money set aside to cover them.

    Also remember that many credit cards offer automatic extended warranties/insurance when you use them to make that purchase. Make sure you aren’t double-insured. Find out which cards offer this and make these purchases with that card (just make sure you don’t carry that balance!).

  13. Lazy Man says:

    It’s worth noting that Consumer Reports says that laptops are one thing that you should insure. The reason is that by their mobile nature they are more likely to get broken. I would agree with you on the TV, fridge, washing machine and dryer, stereo, etc. I’m not too worried about losing my dryer or having someone come in and steal it. Also dryers are built to last years – people have them for 10 or more years. Cell phones aren’t built with that kind of quality, can be easily lost, or stolen. Lastly they don’t have known problems like the Treo audio jack that have broken on me time and time again.

    That’s a great point on the credit card thing. I don’t typically use my credit card to extend warranty. Anyway, in this case, the new phone comes with a new warranty (according to the Sprint rep), so it’s effectively doubled anyway.

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