Amazon Prime: What’s Included and is it Worth it?

Amazon Prime was first launched over 10 years ago and boasted two-day shipping on numerous products for a flat fee of $79 a year. A lot has changed in those 10 plus years; now a yearly membership is $99 (or you can pay $10.99 a month). Read on for a break-down of all the goodies tucked in to see if Amazon Prime is a good fit for you.

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Wind, Water, Earth, Fire; Your guide to renewable energy options for your home

Alternative home energy options are now within reach. Whether you are building a house or supplementing your local system, these choices could save you money. And they are renewable, to boot! Renewable energy is not longer something far off in the future. The time has come for serious consideration and implementation of these earth-friendly systems. Read more

Common Sense Computer Buying Guide

Smart phones are everywhere these days, but when the rubber hits the road, a good computer can be worth its weight in gold. A full keyboard, and not having to squint or view one section of a web page at a time, are the top benefits that come to my mind. There are many options these days. Between sales and brands, the pressure to buy can be intense. But the decision process does not have to be a nightmare. The following common sense considerations can help you quickly decide what type of product will serve you best.

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Online Management Tools: Keep Your Kids On Track

“Mom, Paul was on again!!”

“I was not!”

This conversation has been rehearsed about 500 times since my children discovered that silly website. The standard fix would be to monitor their online time or just take it away altogether. The Paul mentioned above is only six-years-old, surely he does not NEED to be on the internet, right?

Unfortunately no. Since my children “attend” a virtual school, a lot of their day is spent online, accessing much of their coursework through the school’s website. This problem is confounded by the fact that I have multiple children in school at the moment — four to be exact. In addition I have three more not-quite-school-age children running around, as well. But we are going on our third year with this program and we really do appreciate all it has to offer. So what’s a busy momma to do? — Get smart!

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Self-driving cars; Ready or not, here they come.

Yes; you read that right. Cars that drive themselves. Cars not dependent on human intervention. Would they be safe? Would they be affordable? What about maintenance? Who gets blamed when they crash? Clearly there are many uncertainties blanketing this concept. But that’s not stopping auto engineers from designing and testing self-driving cars. The list of car makers currently creating self-driving cars totals 30. Look here to see it in full. Clearly many, if not most, see this as a worthy pursuit.

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Money Matters: A timely look at three budgeting options

Although I consider religion an integral part of my identity as a person, the “holiday season” still causes dollar signs to dance before my eyes. This time of year we need money. We need money for gifts, travel, and the endless activities and events. Even if you started your Christmas planning early, chances are good that money is on your mind right now. As we go into the new year, now is the optimal time to consider implementing a budget. Read on for a quick review of three budget-friendly options to track your expenses and keep your money on target.

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Protect Yourself From Scams

Scene #1: You pick up the ringing phone, answering an unfamiliar number. The caller explains you are going to be issued a grant of $3,000 but you have to verify your bank information first.

Scene #2: The unknown number brings a formal but pushy voice proclaiming you owe $550 to the government and asking for your credit card or bank information, while threatening a slew of horrible events, should you fail to comply.

Scene #3: A suspicious e-mail makes it’s way to your inbox, claiming to be updating you on a suspicious charge to your bank account, and requesting you to click the enclosed link.

Are these scams? Probably so. Thanks to technology, sending and receiving information has become incredibly easy. Unfortunately, that means you need to be consciously protecting yourself from scams. It is not exceedingly difficult to keep yourself safe. Read on for some basic tips concerning your phone and your e-mail.

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Back to School Tech: What You Need & What You Can Skip

With school starting up again it is the perfect time to assess your student’s technology use. Modern conveniences have been creeping into our daily lives for over a century now. Often we do not take the time to stop and consider new options, we just jump on board and follow the crowd. And more often than not, that is totally fine. For example, why would you live without a refrigerator, or an oven? Maybe you could make an argument to skip the microwave, but you would be hard-pressed to make it believable with so many people using them with no ill effects for so long. With this same mindset, we have embraced computers, televisions, and cell phones. And these can be tremendous assets to our life and work. But I want to encourage you to make sure they are working FOR you — or more specifically, as my focus here, they are working for your children. My motto, don’t be a slave to technology; turn your own brain on first.

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The Perks of E-Readers, Specifically the Kindle

amazonprimeThe Kindle Fire, for $33, was one of THE BEST deals available on “Prime day” for Amazon a few weeks ago. This was the second year for this event and the deals were considerably improved from last year’s offerings. True, the advertised Kindle only has 8 gig of memory for that price, but for $11.87 more you could purchase a memory card that holds an additional 32 gig. Even if you missed this great deal, the regular Kindle price is only $49 and often they can be found on sale for $39. Although there are lots of extras (like fancy cases, settings, extra memory, etc) that can bump that price up quickly, it does start out considerably affordable.

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