Entrepreneur and Finance Nerd Making Money Online

Category — Frugality

The Best Software To Manage My Personal Library


I love books. I have hundreds of books. I’m looking for a way to try and keep track of all of them. I can’t remember what I’ve read and what I haven’t read. And when I’m buying books, I can’t remember what I own and what I don’t. There’s a few books that I have 2 copies of. Maybe I thought I lost it or just forgot that I had it. I don’t really know.

So I’m thinking, if I could build a database of what books I have, it’d be much easier to know what I have and I’d quit wasting money on buying books I already own. I’ve thought about building a database in access, but surely there’s something better out there. I’ve done a bit of research but still can’t find the perfect one.

I need a program that is either web-based (yet to find one of those) or can be exported to a common format such as Excel.

Collectorz.com Book Collector is the best I’ve found so far. It links up with Amazon or the Library of Congress and pulls up all of the book’s information from the ISBN #.

Koha looks to be interesting as well. It is an open source project that can be used to manage huge public libraries with multiple branches. It may be a little overkill for the personal library

As I continue to research this I’m finding that there’s literally hundreds of options.

Shareware library management tools

Another list of library management options – Look towards the bottom

Anyone have any suggestions?

April 1, 2007   3 Comments

Where Can I Find A Cheap Cell Phone?

I am a nut on saving money. When I’m planning to buy something, especially electronics, I shop around like crazy. I go to ridiculous lengths to save money and find a good deal. Like when Google released Froogle. I ate that money-saver up. I loved how you could compare retailers to find the best deal. It saved me from going from website to website and from store to store.

Well the other day I started looking for a good cell phone deal. I followed my usual tactic of checking websites and calling stores until I stumbled across WireFly. WireFly takes the Froogle approach in that, as far as I can tell, they don’t actually sell any products. They are a hub of information. It’s a conglomerate of every major cellular provider’s offers. It’s like walking into a store with phone kiosks from Cingular, T-Mobile, Sprint, Alltel, Nextel, and U.S. Cellular – all of them competing for your attention.

Once on the site you have the option of searching for phones, basic service plans, family plans, accessories, ring tones or pre-paids. Going through the service plans they have a neat rating system. For each plan under each carrier they show J.D. Powers and Associates rating for the company’s customer service and value.

Browsing through their phones, they have some great deals on smartphones, especially the Blackberries. They have the usual set-up in that to get the good deals on phones you have to sign up for service. No surprise there.

Speaking of buying a new phone, I hate mail-in rebates. WireFly makes it easier with a semi-innovative feature. You can submit and track your phone’s mail-in rebates on their site. No mess with mailing in 16 copies of your various pieces of paperwork. Just submit your rebate online and wait for your check.

I love making decisions easier. I think that WireFly does a good job at doing just that.


February 6, 2007   2 Comments

Top 10 Dirty Santa Gift Ideas Under $5

top 10 dirty santa gift ideas

Christmas time is here and so are Christmas parties. And what is one of the most popular games to play? Dirty Santa of course!

I love Dirty Santa. It is one of my favorite Christmas games. The dilemma I always run in to is “What gift can I bring that fits in the budget?”

Generally the host of the party sets a Dirty Santa gift limit of $5-$25 (Although I have a friend who’s family sets a limit of $150 which makes for a pretty interesting game.) The lower the limit, the more creative and resourceful you have to be.

I never like ending up with junk from a Dirty Santa game. Thus, I present my Top 10 Dirty Santa Gift Ideas Under $5.

  1. $5 to Starbucks – This is so simple. I know many people don’t like giving gift cards, but I think that Starbucks is a different deal. Everyone loves Starbucks. Believe it or not, this is usually one of the hottest items at parties that I attend.
  2. Candy/Chocolate – This one is great. For $5 you can buy a lot of candy. This is also a great gift idea if there will be kids playing at the party.
  3. A Candle – Candles are great gifts. Who doesn’t love candles?
  4. Scarf/Gloves – Stop by any major retailer and you can find racks full of cheap scarfs, hats, and gloves. Try to get something that is unisex though. Or, for a good laugh, get the brightest, pinkest set that you can find. (Works especially well at a party with a lot of guys.)
  5. Hand held/travel games – Games are another popular one at Dirty Santa parties. These could be anything from a puzzle book to an electronic poker game.

  7. A Christmas Ornament – An ornament is great for parties where you have no idea what else to get. If you are totally stuck, this one works perfectly. It’s very general, practically everyone has a Christmas tree, and it’s cheap!
  8. Coffee Cup – Another very general gift that works well for office parties or any other place where edible underwear is just inappropriate.
  9. A Picture Frame – Grandma loves these. If you need a serious gift and a small budget, this one fits the bill.
  10. Cookies – Much better than giving America’s Finest Fruitcake Loaf. Cookies are similar to candy. Adults as well as kids can appreciate them so it works well for all age groups. However, it probably wouldn’t be a good idea at a diabetic party
  11. Music – CDs and MP3s fall into this category. You can find all sorts of Christmas music for super cheap at large retailers. You could also give a few free songs from iTunes or another online music service.

So there you have it. The Top 10 Dirty Santa Gift Ideas Under $5. Didn’t find what you were looking for? Try eBay below!

December 14, 2006   3 Comments