Productive, but not a cheap half day

Got to take a half day at work today. WOO!

My rest included:

  • Registered my car (~$135)
  • Registered to vote ($free)
  • Renewed my driver’s license ($20)
  • Paid the electric bill ($97)
  • Got Groceries ($30)
  • Sent in my measurements for Clayton’s wedding ($30)

$312 total. ARG, but at least I’m not nervous about getting pulled over.

Economic Stimulus Payment Information

The IRS has published the Economic Stimulus Payments Information Center [irs.gov – legit source]

There’s a lot of scamming/disinformation going around about the Economic Stimulus Payments.

Here’s what you need to know:

What are you going to buy? I’m strongly considering one of these.

Room for Improvement

The past week’s geek posts were kind of pent up. I don’t know if I’ll be able to not post about databases regularly… since it’s kind of the Thing That I Do. Thanks for coming back =)

I’m under 210 lbs (fluctuating between 205-210) which is A Good Thing™. I was 230+ in November. I’ve got to hit 190 to no longer be obese and 180 to hit my goal. I went on a weight loss kick in the fall of 2005 and got to 210 (from 240+) but could never get under. Things were a bit more drastic then, diet wise. I wasn’t able to sustain it. Now I’m attempting to eat reasonably and exercise reasonably. I’m back in the pool but I’m also lifting weights and riding a bike occasionally. When the weather looks better, the bike usage will go up.

Short term goal: 180 lbs. Long term goal: 180 lbs in 5, 10, 15, 20 years.

I lost my sideburns… but they’re rebounding. I lost a bet with my friend Pat where I had to remove my sideburns. Most of my friends around here have never seen me without them. The only people I know that have seen me burnless are the crew from KC.

A while back I wrote about Mint.com and I can say it’s still amazing. I’ve taken a look at my spending habits and come up with an itemized budget that I’ll be able to stick to including the notorious unknown expenses while adding to ING Direct on a monthly basis.

If you can’t tell by my past few posts, I’m on fire about work. I know these things are cyclical, but it’s been over five months and I’m still enjoying it. We’re in the midst of a very massive and long-term project with amazing benefits. It’s exciting to see everyone working towards this goal.

Bibleshark is still alive and kicking. Last month Derek and I put in a work day to go through our laundry list of fixes/additions to the site. We fixed a lot of bugs and added 6 translations (New American Standard, Amplified Translation, The Twentieth Century, The Emphasized Bible, The Centenary Translation, The Living Oracles). Unlike Jason Calacanis, we believe in having a life outside of work. I kind of think of it like the Geek Reserves… one weekend a month. =)

I have another project I want to publish, but it has some startup costs associated with it. I’ve done some of the write-ups already, but it’s a very large/long term project. Maybe I’ll use my economic stimulus check to buy some equipment and software.

Unsolicited Testimonial: Mint.com

In the spirit of Anil Dash’s Unsolicited Testimonials, I present my Mint.com Unsolicited testimonial.

The thing with unsolicited testimonials is that nobody asked me to write about Mint. I’m just a passionate user of their service. I’ve been using Mint since November.

FACT: I am more in control of my finances with Mint.com

Mobile Alerts – my favorite

mint-mobile.png click for full size

Mint sends me a weekly text message and e-mail with my balances. They also notify me of low balances, or when a paycheck has been deposited. This keeps me much more informed of potential screw ups on my part like overdrafts / bad returned checks.

Mint Saves Me Time

mint-trans.png click for full size

Before using Mint, I kept an excel spreadsheet with most of my recurring expenses like rent/cellphone/electricity/etc. just to give me some kind of idea of what was going on – I didn’t invest the effort into getting down to the nitty gritty on things like gas, groceries, restaurants, gifts, or entertainment. Now my transactions are entered in automatically, and most of the time categorized correctly.

What Mint Isn’t

  • Mint didn’t get me a raise
  • Mint isn’t perfect – it’s still a young product
  • Mint can’t move money
  • Mint does not handle trips to Walmart well. It’s difficult to put spending at Walmart into one category.

On Security

Mint has some reading material concerning security. I’ve checked a lot of it out. Yodlee, the company that Mint partners with is audited by several federal offices. It’s safe. Mint has an aggressive privacy/security policy that is also worth reading.

Gains

In the spirit of being a huge dork… I measured the ROI of moving back to Murray. Excluding Gas costs, which have yet to be calculated… the result:

$688/month gained in income/savings.