What’s New This Week? (Plus A Roundup)

A few updates and random thoughts, followed by some great posts I hope you check out:

  • A few weeks ago I wrote about how our IT department is being insourced.  We have received a few more details.  Our official offer letters should be arriving any day now.  They were promised by the 15th, so if that still holds, I’ll know what’s what in a week.  We did find out that our years of service will be credited from when we started, so I’ll come in with six years of service.  This means I’ll get roughly the same amount of time off as I do today, and has a few implications for benefits and such.  There is a lot of nervousness that they’ll be coming in offering less pay than we make today.  I think that’s just normal jitters, and I’m staying optimistic that it’ll be the same or better as what I am getting today.
  • Did you hear about the Walmart glitch on Wednesday where the website had prices mb-201311mistakeof various items at outrageously low prices?  I sure did.  I found a 55″ TV for $329, and while it was sold out online, it said that my local store had one.  Which, when I called, they confirmed that they did.  But, they were already aware by that point that the prices were a mistake (they had $800 treadmills ringing up for $33, computer monitors for $9, and new release video games for $17), and were not honoring those prices.  I read a few forums where people said they got in and picked up stuff right away, so it sounds like a lucky few were able to take advantage of the glitch, but sadly, we did not find an easy way to replace our damaged TV.
  • As a Ford stockholder, I’m a little annoyed at the activity on the stock.  Ford beat earnings a couple of weeks ago, and hit over $18 per share.  Since then it’s been on a somewhat steady decline, around the mid-$16 range, all on virtually no news.  I think institutional investors want a dividend increase, and are passively letting Ford know that they need to increase the payout.  Hopefully the stock reverses course soon!

Here are some great articles I thought you’d enjoy as well as listing a few carnivals I’ve been included in recently:

  • Money and Potatoes has been making some side money by selling plasma and blogs about all aspects involved, financial and otherwise.
  • Monica on Money lists eight warning signs that you might be living beyond your means.
  • Krantcents outlines a subtle difference between a wish and a dream, then goes on to illustrate how one can lead to big rewards if you take hold of it.
  • I’ve often thought that Baby Boomers, in addition to working hard, had a good set of circumstances in terms of some of the benefits associated with their careers.  Little House in the Valley expands on this and compares it to the Gen X and Gen Y groups.
  • Reach Financial Independence – Carnival of Personal Finance
  • According to Athena – Carnival of Personal Finance
  • Bite The Bullet Investing – Carnival of Retirement
  • Frugal Rules – Yakezie Carnival
  • Save Spend Splurge – Carnival of Personal Finance
  • Wealth Note – Yakezie Carnival
  • Figuring Money Out – Yakezie Carnival
  • Money Wise Pastor – Yakezie Carnival

Hope you have a great weekend!

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

Our Broken Promise Is Now Broken

It was seven months ago that I posted about how I broke a promise regarding a new TV, specifically that I decided to replace our 15 year old 32″ tube TV with a new flat screen TV, even though I’d said a while back that I’d keep the tube TV until it died (my guess, that TV is still out there somewhere, as good as ever).

For seven months I had no regrets.  Until I turned it on the other day and saw some lines running up the center of the TV.  And a surefire spot at the bottom where it had likely suffered a crack.


I still have no idea what happened, although my guess is that the kids may have been playing with something and hit it.  I have seen our two year old throw some toys, and unfortunately she has thrown some ‘hard’ toys as well as the typical toys that are OK to toss around (balloons, soft balls and the like).

It’s weird because when the TV is off, I can’t see the cracks at all.  I’ve held a flashlight up to the screen and looked as close as I can, and can’t see anything.  I’m thinking that maybe the actual crack is under the lip of the plastic edge of the set.

Still, I’m a little sick thinking about it.

The TV is under the original warranty, and I also have a SquareTrade warranty that kicks in after that one runs out, but from everything I’ve seen, any sort of crack is pretty much going to be denied.

Fixing it seems pretty questionable as well.  Most people who have posted about these things have found that replacing the panel is just as expensive as the TV was originally.


mb-201309tvAs of right now, we’re still using it.  You can see from the attached photo how things look.  The lines are noticeable, but they’re in a pretty limited range of the viewing area.  The biggest bummer is that it’s basically in the dead center of the screen.  You can see at the very bottom the black / cracked areas where the damage likely took place.

After I found it, I brought my wife downstairs to show her.  I asked the kids if they remembered anything, and I got a variety of answers.  Either way, they’re too young to remember or really know what happened.  Even if it was something that they did or remembered doing, what am I going to do, take the money from their college fund to replace it?  No, it’s one of those things.

For now, we’re trying to keep a better eye to make sure that they aren’t throwing things.  If and when we replace this TV, it would be beyond ridiculous if the same thing happened again.  Though, since I have no proof, who knows?  Could it have just cracked from vibrations or from some weakness in the manufacturing process?  I guess we’ll never know.

The plan

So, what’s the plan?  Nothing for now.  As I’ve said, the TV is still viewable, though it does get distracting.

What I’m thinking is that since the damage seems to be fairly isolated, we might replace the TV when we find a deal that’s as good or better (I paid $449 for this TV), and move it down to the basement.  We have a play room down there that currently has 27″ and though it was a low priority, I was going to jump on a 37″ or similar set that I could find for $250 or so.  Since we aren’t down there very much, the damage is something we could live with, and say we spent $450 on a replacement, the total difference between what we were planning on spending for the downstairs TV would be roughly $200.

It’s not chump change, but it’d be something I could swallow.

My only concern with this plan is moving the TV.  I’m afraid that since there’s already a crack, picking it up and carrying it downstairs could put stress on the already weak panel and make it unusable by the time we got it downstairs.  I guess that’d be a risk we’d have to take.

With the new TV, I wouldn’t have to buy a warranty, since the SquareTrade warranty we bought would be able to be transferred over to the new set.  So the total out of pocket would be whatever we paid.  Small consolation.

Either way, the thought remains the same.


Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

Flat Panel TV Prices Set For A Big Holiday Drop?

I just read an article that a retailer survey indicates that prices on flat screen TVs will be dropping quite a bit between now and the end of the year.

That means that you could see some big savings if you are planning on any TV purchases around the holidays.

We’ve purchased two TVs in the past couple of years.  The first was a 19″ Sceptre for our television.  That has been pretty good though you can definitely tell there is nothing special about it.  There’s a lag between flipping channels, the digital channels that come through the cable connection can’t be input with the channel numbers (you have to go to a nearby channel and then channel up or down) and the picture is good but not remarkable.  Still, it’s a much better set than the small tube set that it replaced (whose sound was so screechy it was practically intolerable), and for the price, it was great.

The second set we purchased was a 32″ Samsung for our bedroom.  I spent a lot more time making sure we got a great set since that’s where we end up watching most of our TV.  I’m glad I waited because that set is simply awesome.  The menus and features are awesome, the picture is amazing, and the sound is very good, something that I found was a pretty common complaint for other mid-size TVs. With that experience, I would most definitely consider a Samsung first and foremost for any other TV purchase that we make that would be watched regularly.

We have no immediate plans to buy any new TVs, but if something breaks or a deal that can’t be passed up comes along (we have a budget for electronics made exclusively of credit card rewards money), it’s good to know that prices seem to be heading in a direction that favors the consumer.

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.