Saving Money, Staying Organized

Dear Readers,

In these very interesting and challenging times, I realize that staying organized and saving money are very important.

I want to share with you two ways you can save money on your TV bill and a few Internet tools to help you plan more effectively, including an overview of the Remember The Milk website tool….

If you are dealing with a job loss, work reduction, or serious drop in your investment portfolio … it’s understandable that you’ll have to cut back on info-tainment spending.

1)  Consider cutting your cable package to the Basic analog or Limited Basic offering.   This typically includes channels 2 through 23 (give or take a few) and is made up of your local broadcast affiliates (CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, public access stations, PBS affiliate and possibly one or two cable networks.   Pricing will be in the $12 to $18 per month range, and you WILL get the HD feed of your local broadcast networks if they provide it to the cable company. HD TV needed, of course!  No ESPN, no CNN ….. but the price is right.  You’ll be able to watch NFL games in HD!!

2)  The government DTV 2009 coupon program is still in effect.   If you want to avoid pay TV altogether and want to go the route of rabbit-ears antenna viewing … the US Department of Commerce will give you up to two $40 vouchers to buy the digital converter box you need to receive over the air programming after Feb. 17, 2009.    Some online retailers listed on the http://www.dtv2009.gov are offering the receivers for as little as $40.01.   You will also need a $13 VHF/UHF antenna from a store like Radio Shack.   Expect to receive 5 to 15 local broadcast networks and their substations.   It’s limited, but it’s FREE.  (You can also hook up an antenna directly to a new HD TV.  All of these newer models have the digital over the air receivers built in.)

To stay organized, make a free account for yourself on a website that I love called Remember The Milk.  http://www.rememberthemilk.com RTM is an online task list based on the Getting Things Done concept.   You can make different categories of tasks and your to-do’s can be e-mailed to you daily or per event.   Remmber The Milk is also able to be synched to your Blackberry or iPhone.   This functionality will cost you $25 per year.   I don’t have one of those devices, but overall I find this tool an indespesnable resource.

Keep a computerized calendar for yourself – online through Google Calendar (http://calendar.google.com).   Reminders can be e-mailed to you at your specified interval.  You can use your existing e-mail address to sign up for Google Calendar.  No need to create a separate Gmail account if you don’t want one.   Your Yahoo Calendar or other synchronized calendar, ie. Exchange from your workplace  will serve the same purpose.

Have a nice day.

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