Cheaper iTunes Replacement – IOMOIO

Do you listen to music, but pay over $1.00 per song on iTunes?  I used to do that, but recently a coworker showed me a new legal site to download music – www.iomoio.com.

When you sign up, you have to enter your credit card info to buy credits you can use toward purchasing music.  That made me a little nervous, but my coworker has been doing it for a while, so I knew the site was legit.  It only costs $0.16 per song, as opposed to the $1.29 iTunes charges.  I decided to try it out.  I bought $32 worth of credits, and got a bonus $12 for buying that amount a the time.  I also noticed that I had a $0.32 credit just for signing up and verifying my email address, so you can purchase two songs for free before you even enter your credit card info.

The real benefit of the site is that it’s organized in a clean manner, similar to iTunes.  It’s easy to search for a song, purchase it, and download it.  If you are syncing your music to iTunes, you just have to go through one more step of adding it through the iTunes user interface (Go to File > Add File to Library).  I usually delete the original after that, as i have iTunes keep my music organized by artist, so it makes a copy when it imports.

So if you’re still using iTunes, try out iomoio.  I like it much better.  If you buy a lot of music, it will save you a ton of money.  Give it a shot for yourself, and leave a comment on what you think!

Personal Finance Links

I haven’t posted some good articles in a while, so I thought it was time.  I wanted to share some interesting articles I’ve read lately with all of you, with my thoughts about them.  Enjoy!

  • YNAB has a great post talking about why you might still add debt to your credit card when first starting out with a budget.  It’s more important to continue using the budget than to try to change all your spending habits right away.  That’s just a guaranteed way to quit using the budget.  They do a great job of explaining that, so take a look.  Here’s an update on that post as well, with a great explanation from a financial “coach”.
  • Mr Money Mustache talks about spenders vs savers.  It’s a great article on the different mindsets between people who spend money and people who save.  I lean more toward the saver side, but do still have some tendencies toward spenders.  I’d like to think that as people grow wiser, they tend to move more toward the savers side.  I try to, but still have plenty of room for improvement.
  • Afford Anything explains that all countries aren’t fueled by debt.  She goes on to explain  that you should be careful about taking out a loan for items most people consider normal (such as a car).  I agree with pretty much everything she says in this article, especially about using debt for leverage.
  • I wanted to put this out out there because I don’t agree with it. 🙂  Trent over at The Simple Dollar talks about comparing costs between new and used cars.  He completely missed the maintenance aspect though.  The problems that develop on a car that’s under 5 years old is essentially non-existent.  The older the vehicle gets, the more parts that fail and need to be replaced.  This is not counting regular, routine maintenance, such as changing the oil and wiper blades, filling up fluids, etc.  The expensive part of car maintenance happens when you need to start replacing parts, such as CV joints failing, spark plugs needing to be replaced, changing the timing belt, etc.  Those happen as the car ages, not when it’s new.  Newer cars have higher insurance rates, but less replacing of parts.  Older cars have cheaper insurance, but you’re paying even more in parts (and labor if you don’t do the work yourself) that need replacing due to age/miles.

New Year’s Goals – Progress Update – Five Months

Time sure does fly when you have two kids under two.  This will be the last month I can say that, as my daughter turns 2 next month.  It seems like May is always a busy month, and then the summer slows down a little starting in June.  We’ll see if that trend continues this month.  Here’s an update on my 2013 New Year’s Goals:

1) Reduce debt by 68.33%.
Target: 21.5%, Actual: 11.45%.  We are still saving for finishing our basement, so we can’t put anywhere near the amount toward this that I originally planned at the beginning of the year.  The good news is that I think we finally have enough saved up to start making some good headway, so the debt reduction can start back up next month.  It’s a big difference to make up, but hopefully we can do it.  Here’s a graph of the progress so far:

debt-reduction-june.xlsx

2) Run a 5k.
I ran three times in May.  Not as much as I’d like, but it was a busy month.  Ideally I’d double that this month.

3) Complete a bike race.
It’s more time consuming to get good exercise on a bike.  A run takes me 20 minutes, while a good bike ride takes 1-2 hours.  This should be easier once Blake gets closer to one year old, as I could take both kids then.