Online job postings and more: How the Internet can make and save you money
Online job postings put Craigslist on the map, but it's also a great way to sell items or to find a new housemate (question 1 from the Reader Mailbag). Want to make money off the Internet? Blog (question 8). Want to save money on cable? Download movies on Netflix (question 9).
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Ticket to Ride involves planning a journey around the United States (or Europe, if you get the Europe version). Each player has a set of secret goals (say, “Houston to Seattle”) and earns points at the end of the game if they’ve completed those secret goals by connecting enough cities together to build a path between those cities (say, “Houston to El Paso to Phoenix to San Diego to Los Angeles to San Francisco to Portland to Seattle”). You have to “build” each leg of that route simply by drawing cards and collecting sets of the same color (say, to build “Houston to El Paso,” you might need a set of three cards of the same color, or another one, like “San Diego to Los Angeles,” might require a set of four yellow cards), and when you complete that set, you discard that set and mark that route on the board.Skip to next paragraph
The Simple Dollar is a blog for those of us who need both cents and sense: people fighting debt and bad spending habits while building a financially secure future and still affording a latte or two. Our busy lives are crazy enough without having to compare five hundred mutual funds – we just want simple ways to manage our finances and save a little money.
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Dominion is a card game where each player assembles their own deck of cards while the game goes on. There’s a set of available cards for all players to buy from, and those cards each have special abilities on them (like “draw two more cards”). Once you’ve bought a card, you add it to your deck. You buy new cards using cards in your deck that have coins on them, so you might play three 1-coin cards (called Coppers) to buy a card costing 3 coins (“Village,” for example). Some cards are worth victory points and, at the end of the game, each player counts up the number of victory points in their deck. The game ends when a certain number of cards have been purchased from that shared pool.
Pandemic is a game in which you’re trying to prevent the spread of a few terrible diseases across the world – in effect, you’re acting as a member of the CDC. You do this by traveling around the map (the board is a world map) and “disinfecting” cities that have disease markers on them. Each turn, though, the diseases grow and expand to more cities. You’re working with the other players as a team in this game.
Carcassonne is a game where you build the board as you go along. The board is made up of 72 little tiles and each turn, you turn over a tile and play it next to one of the tiles already in play and build what effectively looks like a town. You also have a small number of little “people” tokens; you can play one of them on the board each turn. The more ‘stuff’ (road, buildings, fields) around your little people at the end of the game, the more points you earn.
Q7: Investing extra money
I’ve just started doing this roughly 1 year after buying my first house. Every quarter year I’m taking any money in excess of $5k out of my bank account that I use for paying bills/etc. and putting it into online savings. The money there is split into 25% to pay extra on my mortgage, 25% ‘me money’ which will likely not be spent often anyway, and 50% to TD Ameritrade. With the TD Ameritrade 50%, I am using 20% for individual stocks I choose, 20% for index funds, and 10% on bonds or something else secure. I’d buy these in probably $2k chunks so the fees don’t eat up the profits. So far I’ve got enough to put an extra $500 towards the mortgage for awhile every month and made 10% on XOM. The only part I’m not sure about is if I should be investing in bonds as a 27 year old when I’ve already got and employer who contributes 15% of my pay whether I match or not to a profit sharing retirement plan that invests in mutual funds. This is already a pretty stable investment and it dwarfs my TD ameritrade account so I’m thinking maybe I should be more aggressive with trading. I’m also a bit conflicted trying to define what counts as ‘me money’ but thats a different subject.