Would you like to purchase the Extended Warranty?

Ugh, this question gets me every time no matter where I am & no matter what I am buying. The very nice salesperson does his/her best to make me feel like an idiot if I don’t purchase it but my head tells me that I’m not supposed to – right?

Since I’m admittedly no expert, here’s what I’ve found from others who are more knowledgeable than me in this area. Mark Huffman from ConsumerAffairs.com offers the 5 Reasons NOT to Buy An Extended Warranty:

  1. They Usually Cost More Than They’re Worth.
  2. Warranty Work May Be Unreliable.
  3. The Warranty May Not Cover What You Think It Does.
  4. Warranty Underwriter May Go Out Of Business.
  5. The Extended Warranty May Overlap the Manufacturer’s Warranty.

Gary Altunian from About.com poses the following questions about electronics & their extended warranties.

  1. Does the Product have Moving Parts or is Delicate?
  2. Is the Product Based on New, Unproven Technology?
  3. Is In-Home Service Provided?

Specifically for auto extended warranties, there’s a considerable amount of research online, and Stacy Johnson from WiseBread had pulled together a great article that puts it all in one place. Overall it seems like a gamble and by buying an extended warranty you are essentially betting that your item is going to break & the companies are betting that it won’t. Who’s got more stacked in their favor?

Screen Time Suggestions

bluebirdbaby

As the days get shorter and kids start spending more time inside, it’s possible that they’ll gravitate to the computer, TV, cell phone or handheld as a remedy to “being bored”.  Of course I tell my kids that if they ever claim “I’m bored” then they can go clean the bathroom but I get busy (lazy) and am trying to incorporate some built in screen solutions to avoid future arguments and debates.

GetNoodles is free educational software which interrupts children’s web surfing, texting or gaming with pop-up educational, multiple choice questions. Parents choose the frequency of the pop-ups and the contents of the questions based on each child’s grade level and subjects selected. There’s a broad range of subjects for every age including some ACT prep for older children.

Instead of TV is a wonderful site offering a plethora of options for unplugged family activities and I also picked up the book, Unplugged Play: No Batteries. No Plugs. Pure Fun. I let my kids pull out 10 ideas each that we have as a go to when they feel that there is “nothing to do” besides sitting in front of a screen. But my absolute new favorite pick up from my beloved indie bookstore, Pudd’nHead Books,  is It’s A Book Read the rest of this entry

Smart (& Entertaining) Sites

None of these sites have anything in common except for the fact that they are somewhat practical or a lot of fun. StereoMood is similar to pandora in imagesthat you can create your own music stations and tag songs that you like but stereomood does it by providing music that best suits your mood and your activities. Feeling optimistic, epic, lost in thought or are you reading or dressing up, there’s a station for that.

Have a question about ANYTHING that you want answered by a real person and not have to search thorough search engine results, head to ChaCha! ChaCha is like having a smart friend you can call or text for answers on your cell phone anytime for free! Simply text your question to 242242 (spells ‘ChaCha’ or call 1-800-2ChaCha (800-224-2242) from your mobile phone to ask any question. What are you waiting for? Ask away!

About.com (my most visited site) turned me onto Woot. The perfect website for those that like to shop but don’t have a lot of time to browse through a slew of merchandise, the daily Woot features only one product, so you can save time and still do your thing. Of course, you can always just check out Cool Site of the Day for never ending entertainment and to keep up with what’s happening on the web.