Thursday, December 27, 2007

New Year's Resolutions

Goal 1: I mentioned in a previous post that one of my New Year's Resolutions is to pay off my car much more quickly than the current payment schedule calls for. To quantify this goal, I found a calculator that allows you to plug in different additional monthly payment amounts. It then tells you how much money you'll save in interest and how many fewer months it will take. The one drawback is that I recently sent in a large-ish check to reduce the principal, so I had to do some rough calculations to factor that in.

Using the calculator, I aim to pay my car off in 18 months (current schedule calls for approx 28), and save myself approximately $141 in interest.

Goal 2: To learn more about personal finance and investing. This one is a bit harder to quantify. However, quantify I will. To meet this goal, I will read at least 2 finance books this year (fivecentnickel has some suggestions here and here) and keep up with the personal finance blogs I subscribe to (see the Finance section).

What are your New Year's Resolutions?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Sexier than a librarian? Ha!

Saw this ad (or one very similar) for Sony's E-Reader in DC. Certainly not sexier than this librarian.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Personal Finance

I am on a huge personal finance kick. I've subscribed to a number of blogs. I'll probably keep subscribing to more and slowly ween them down to the ones that are most applicable to me.

They always say it's never too soon to start working on your personal finance. I am lucky to work at jobs with pretty great retirement packages, so I already have that. However, there is certainly far more that I can do to manage and improve my personal finances.

Some great advice I've discovered includes the following:

1. Get a credit card that pays. I absolutely adore my Discover Card. I have never carried a balance on it, never paid them a cent of interest, and I have made tons of money, which I redeem most commonly in the form of Borders gift cards. More recently it has occurred to me that I should be using some of the other gift cards as gifts. What a great way to save money and still give a good gift. Apparently my other credit card has a version that pays as well. I might have to see what I can do to upgrade to that.

2. Find the discounts and use coupons! There are some great websites that I'm only just learning about: RetailMeNot has all sorts of great online shopping coupon codes and user submitted success rates. Ebates is another one I've seen but haven't really looked into yet.

3. Here's a post about 25 Ways to Save Money. I'd just like to point out number 17, thank you. Using the library saves you money!

My early New Year's goal is to pay off the money I still owe on my car far more quickly than the current schedule. One thing about goals is that you should probably quantify them. I will have to look at how much I still owe and determine an appropriate, reasonable monthly amount to pay.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Librarians at Work

A great video (approx 2 mins) to show you just what exactly it is that we librarians do all day.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Yet More Copyright Control

Attributor is a new company that scans the web for a publisher's content. For example, it can track how many times and where people have put up content from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

While Attributor seems interested in helping publishers with marketing and sales (if someone is posting book content somewhere, it's possible that the people who are reading it may want to buy the book, especially if only part of it is posted). However, publishers seized on the idea of using the application for copyright compliance reasons. Big surprise there.

According to the article in Publishers Weekly, tests have been done to track unauthorized copying of recipes and song lyrics as well.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Now that's Branding

While glancing through our newly added books, I came across two whose covers amuse me. Apparently, The Ohio State University has to decided to make it exceptionally clear which books they have published.

Check out the cover of Middle Passages and the Healing Place of History

or Victorian Sensations: Essays on a Scandalous Genre

Gotta love the upper lefthand corner (and also the top of the spine and upper right hand corner on the back - it wraps around). It's not uncommon for the publisher to be on the cover, this is just a very eye-catching version.