How long do roofs last on houses? That’s an important question to ask when you’re buying a house, and an important thing to keep in mind if you own your home. A safe assumption is 20 years, though it varies depending on the roof type.
Your roof, air conditioner, and furnace are the big three expenses for a home. The roof lasts the longest of the three, but is also the most expensive.
This week the Wall Street Journal ran an editorial about the right to fix our gadgets. It was surprisingly pro-consumer. The author wrote about a friend whose Samsung TV broke due to $12 worth of capacitors and how he fixed the TV, with no experience, in a couple of hours. I can relate, though I took the easy way out.
He lamented the throwaway of gadgets being unethical on several levels, and I agree. I also remember a time when it wasn’t this way.
After talking about LEDs last week, a friend asked what my favorite LED bulbs today are. I’m not sure I would say I dislike any of the bulbs that are widely available today, but I do have two favorites.
Wise Bread gives the 10 worst ways to make extra money. The scary thing is, I’ve actually looked into most of these, and tried some. And they’re mostly right. Most of them are just a waste of time. Here’s what’s wrong with them, and the caveats with the ones that are halfway useful, for a limited time. Read more
Sometimes people ask me for help with their finances. And I’ve seen the effects that debt can have on people. I believe having no debt is best. Having debt that you’re paying off is second-best. Festering debt, however, is crippling. That’s what you want to avoid, before it catches up with you. Not only can bad debts keep you from borrowing more money, it can also make it more difficult to sign a lease or get a job.
Here’s how to make a plan to pay off that debt and improve your credit score.
A common piece of good-meaning advice you’ll hear is that you should never use software firewalls. But is that good advice, or bad?
On the surface, it’s good advice. It’s much better to use the firewall built into a cable/DSL router. But the software firewall built into Windows XP, Vista, 7, and (presumably) 8 makes for a good second line of defense, so I don’t recommend disabling it.