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July 23, 2009


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Wow, that's quite a long list!

I'm also in the market for a laptop and some furniture for the living room--I already bought everything else on your list last year except for the winter vacation!

I was thinking new windows due to the tax credit, but decided against it for this year. The wood windows I have will last at least a couple more years, and replacing them is going to be a major hassle. Anyone know any good online resources for researching window replacement options? I dislike the "boxed-in tiny window" look of replacement windows that don't disrupt existing siding, but what other option do I have?

Being a soccer ref is a great way to make money. I played soccer in high school (mid 90's), but was a keeper so I did not have to run much during games. Therefore, I reffed usually 2 games every Saturday morning in the local rec league for $15-20 a pop. There would always be one Saturday a season when we had a bye so I would do 4 games on those days. Good, easy money. Rec leagues were the best as they only took 1 hour (although the parents are no less competitive). My dad still refs, rec and high school games and gets upwards of $30 for rec and $50-75 for HS games. He probably pockets upwards of 1k each year doing so (late Aug-end Oct only).

Did just replace the family car, though it was time (I always sell the family car at around 6 years/95K miles). What is different is that instead of replacing it with a 2 year old car as usual, I bought new. I found the per year depreciation cost of keeping the new car 6 years versus a 2 year old for 4 years so close there was no reason not to buy new (after this rebate/that discount, etc.).

Of course nothing is as good a deal as the second car (8 year old camry that still runs perfectly, so I'll probably hang onto that another 8 years).

AS far as the TV write-off goes, I guess it would be the same analysis as a computer or cell phone purchase, a section 179 election allows you to deduct the percentage of the business use of the purchase in the first year, as long as the percentage is 50% or greater, so I think you'd have to be claiming the TV is on soccer more than half the time (and you'd have to actually have the ref income to deduct it from).

Waiting 10 years to stain a deck is what I'd consider to be penny wise and pound foolish. Letting the wood get exposed to those long Michigan winters is just going to cause the deck to prematurely age. I'm sure the cost of a few cans of stain is a bit lower than replacing the entire flattop of a deck!

I am in market for a new desktop computer. The wife and I have had ours for 5 years.

We are looking at the following PC:

I am also looking at the machine at Anyone with any experience with this site.

It's a good time for used stuff as well, especially if you need any tools. Craigslist has really become the central place for used tools that are impractical to ship. If you're looking for any, especially power tools, now's the time.

If you're reporting the soccer officiating income as a Schedule C, you should be able to use a bit of the Cable TV expense. That said, you will have to keep pretty good records of when the TV was watched for "soccer officiating training" opposed to "Oprah," just to be safe. As such, not a whole lot of it will get deducted.

Don't forget to deduct your mileage to and from matches.

Hey, thanks for quoting me? :D

I've snapped up most of what I wanted now, so I am winding down considerably.

I was particularly proud of the buy-one-get-one-free suits. Every man needs at least one decent suit, and now, I have two! And that buy-on-get-one-free deal was on top of an existing discount!

I've also upgraded my computer. Finally. My last upgrade was back in 2001, and my current upgrade is only with average components. However, it's still a competent machine that runs all the software I need, so I don't mind it at all. By the way, the Blu-ray drives are less than $100 now.

I think my next biggest thing is a replacement car. My current Corolla is 12 years old, but it's still driving like a champ. So, I am hoping that I don't have to replace it anytime soon, but that's what I am focusing my immediate savings on.

Josh --

Good points! I forgot about mileage too!!!!!

FMF - If nothing else you should be able to write off at least part of the cost of the soccer channel. I somehow doubt the IRS would look favorably on you writing off the whole cable bill.

MC - Reglazing a wood window isn't that difficult if you're even moderately handy with tools. Time consuming,yes. Difficult, no. Search "reglazing a wood window", the first hit on yahoo is from e-how and gives the basics, but makes it sound faster than it really is. Also, if you're going to go through all the trouble you may as well scrape off any loose paint and give the window a nice fresh coat while it's out of the frame.

"By the way, the Blu-ray drives are less than $100 now."

I don't think this is the same situation. Yeah, the recession might have driven it down faster, but this is just an accelerated version of what normally happens to new technology. I think you could wait until your income goes back up and not have to worry about the cost of a Blu-ray player going up too. The biggest cost of the player is the urge to buy expensive Blu-ray media or a TV that takes advantage of it.

I know the post topic is about stuff you plan to buy anyway, but consumerism becomes too much of a slippery slope for me to get crazy about a "buyer's market" for things on the wrong end of the "wants vs needs" scale.

Oops, I just realized I'm not the only Andy in here.

Er yeah, bad context on the Blu-ray drive comment.

That was more of a separate thought for FMF because he's looking into a flat screen TV, which I assume will also involve a Blu-ray sooner or later.

We're looking at a couple big purchases right now and the feeling we'll get a good price due to the economy is one reason. We're looking at adding insulation to our home and doing some major landscaping. But I'm not even sure if the current state of the economy is really giving us that great of a deal. I don't have much to compare the prices too, since I didn't shop for quotes before the recession.

I agree that one thing to love about a recession is that there are screaming hot deals on a lot of things, especially very nice/premium things. If you've been considering splurging on some of this stuff, and you have money set aside and your finances in order, now is the time to do it.

We're not in the market for a car or appliances, but we've replace the overgrown shrubs in our yard. Two nurseries in our area were offering 40%-50% discounts, so we took advantage. We saved a couple hundred dollars.

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