One downside to driving an 11-year-old car is the lack of technology and features that come standard in today’s vehicles. My ’07 Tucson has a CD player, for example, but I haven’t bought or burned a CD in years. I prefer to stream music via Google Play. So my options were to listen to local radio and endure the same songs from Taylor Swift and Maroon 5 over and over again, or to listen to some 10-year-old CDs.
Then, while browsing Reddit a while back, I read that you can buy a Bluetooth adapter that plugs into the cigarette lighter socket in your vehicle and acts as an FM transmitter. Tune the car’s FM radio frequency to a blank station, set your device to the same frequency, connect to your Bluetooth-enabled device, and just like that you can stream music and use your phone hands-free.
I bought one from Amazon two months ago and it works great! Best of all, it only cost $27.99. So for less than $30 I’ve improved my driving experience and increased the likelihood of me driving this car for many more years.
Tangerine $250 contest winner
We hosted a giveaway this week as our partner Tangerine offered up a $250 gift card to a retailer in your favourite money back spending category. We had a total of 77 contest entries with 52 of those coming from blog comments and 25 coming from Twitter. I assigned each entrant a number and then used a random number generator to select the winner.
Congratulations to blog reader Andrea, who left a comment on July 24th at 9:33 p.m. I’ll have Tangerine get in touch with you directly to arrange your prize. Thanks to everyone who participated. I hope to do more of these giveaways again soon.
This Week’s Recap:
On Monday I wrote about how my wife and I manage our household budget to accommodate her spending needs.
On Thursday I asked what stock you’d choose to own for the next 25 years. A surprisingly difficult question to answer.
In this week’s Smart Money column at the Toronto Star I explained why you need to take care of your human capital.
Promo of the Week:
Here’s a shout-out to Airbnb, our family’s favourite source for finding places to stay when on vacation. We’ve used Airbnb a number of times when we’ve stayed in Calgary, Toronto, Vancouver, Kelowna, and most recently on our vacation to Vancouver Island. It’s fantastic!
We love Airbnb because we can rent an entire home for as much (or sometimes less) than the cost of a hotel room. The kids get their own space, WE get our own space, and we get a kitchen to prepare our own meals. Who wants to eat at a restaurant every day?
We’re currently searching Airbnb for places to stay in Scotland and Ireland for our trip to the U.K. next summer. There’s so many options, from rural farmhouses to downtown lofts.
Give Airbnb a try on your next holiday and use my referral link to get $45 off your first trip (I’ll get a $25 credit, too).
Robots have been taking our jobs since the 1960s. Does the next industrial revolution spell the end of manufacturing jobs?
Here’s an excellent piece from The Micawber Principle on the purpose of an emergency fund and other savings.
Rob Carrick explains your money anxieties in three words: Pitiful income growth. So true. My own salary has risen a paltry 1.75% per year since 2009.
Morgan Housel shares some brilliant examples of real world knowledge vs. book knowledge.
If you’ve read this blog for a while you’ll know I’m a big fan of behavioural economics. One of the leading thinkers in the field – Shlomo Benartzi – has helped millions of people save more money for retirement.
A Wealth of Common Sense blogger Ben Carlson shares a thoughtful list of 10 money revelations from being a parent:
“5. Pay up for experiences but many of the best experiences are cheap or free. Kids can have fun just about anywhere. My daughter loved our trips to Disney and Mackinac Island but she probably gets just as excited when we go to our favorite bakery on the weekends for seventy-five cent donuts or the local park. Experiences don’t have to be expensive to be memorable.”
The science behind menu engineering and the subtle ways restaurants get you to spend more money.
Here’s a great post by Clare Nicholson on The Financial Diet about how she finally learned to negotiate for what she’s worth.
Investment blogger Michael Batnick on thinking big and survivorship bias.
The lowballed retirement: Why Americans underestimate what they need:
“If your entire retirement plan is based on one particular assumption – how much you will be spending every month – and that figure turns out to be way off, then you have just lit some TNT under the last quarter of your life. And by that point, it is largely too late to do anything about it.”
I love this post by Jonathan Clements about why we should pursue passions in our 50s, not in our 20s.
‘No, these golf clubs aren’t new …’ and other costly surprises your partner is hiding from you.
Finally, why midlife crisis is a myth. We don’t peak in middle age, say the experts. So forget about the stereotypes and embrace change.
Have a great weekend, everyone!