Frugal Anti Virus: Best or Bust?

dv539009.jpgWe have had to reformat our computer three times in the past six months or so due to getting a virus.  I am so tired of doing it because it’s such a pain!  While I would love to go out and buy an iMac, that isn’t exactly in the cards for me right now because I’m trying to save as much money as I can due to the possibility of losing my job. I can’t help but wonder where we keep getting viruses from, and if I’m not partly to blame. Sometimes free things can be bad.

We get our anti virus free from our internet provider.  I was assuming since it was provided through the internet provider it would be a good anti virus program.  It is CA Anti Virus, and from everything I’ve read online, it seems to be a good program.  So where does the problem lie: in the program, or is it something I’m doing?  I have no idea, but you betcha I’m going to be very careful of all the sites I visit from now on.

I don’t know if there’s something I’m not updating or if there’s some site I’m visiting that keeps giving me a virus, but mainly I’m on the computer checking my email or blogs.  That’s pretty much it.  I can’t help but feel like my frugality is not doing me a darn bit of good here, but all I can believe is that the program is working correctly and maybe I’m just not updating it when I should be.  Or I’m not updating my version of Windows when I should.  Those are the only things I can come up with.

Am I being too frugal? Should I go buy a better anti virus program?  What could I be doing wrong?


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Why an Emergency Fund is Nice

So. On Monday Mr. Money wanted to take my car to work because he needed to haul something for a catering.  I took his car to work, and a few miles away from the branch, the radio turns off.  Fine, I think, I can live without the radio.  I drive about a mile further and the gauges go out.  Well, I hope I don’t get pulled over, I think.  The car starts shaking back and forth and I think Ohhhh crap.

The car dies in the middle of the left hand turn lane.  I start freaking out because all these people are honking at me (despite my emergency flashers being on) so I call Mr. Money (with my almost dead cell phone) and tell him that THE CAR DIED AND I’M SCARED and he says he will come help.  I get out of the car and look at it, as if that will do anything to get it started again.

After two more lights and more honking, a nice gentleman yells out his window, asking me if I’m okay. I tell him the car died, and he offers to push me to the side of the road.  I take up his offer, he pushes me to the side of the road, and I wait in the scorching heat for my husband.  He shows up a little while later, tries to jump the car, and no dice.  We call our favorite mechanic to come tow us and fix the car.  The alternator was bad, got replaced, and the damage was $400.  Thankfully, the car was fixed the same day so I got a ride to the mechanic’s after work and picked up the car.

Yesterday I got home from work and went into the backyard to check on the garden.  I was looking at the green beans when I heard an airplane landing in our side yard.  I went to check it out and realized that it was our air conditioning unit.  Awesome.  I come inside, turn off the A/C, and then realize that I just may melt because the heat index is over 100.

Mr. Money came home from work, went out to look at the unit, and realized that the fan is missing a blade.  He calls to get someone to come take a look at it and they tell him that if it’s just the fan, it’s probably going to be around $300.  If it’s not that, it’s going to be more.  Plus the $80 service call fee.  Awesome.  Did I mention that our air conditioning unit is ancient?  I’m crossing my fingers that it is easily (and inexpensively) fixable.  We’ll find out tonight.

I was talking to my mom and she said that be prepared, because bad things happen in threes.  Gee, thanks mom.

At least we have an emergency fund? (Until it gets sucked dry)

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Sometimes Convenience Items Save You Money

Yesterday I went grocery shopping with Mr. Money. I am really, really bad about cooking and making meal plans so it’s hard for me to figure out what I need to buy when I go grocery shopping. Of course, I go shop with a list so I don’t go crazy purchasing a ton of items we don’t need. I know I need to work on meal planning but that’s another issue, so I won’t go there today. 🙂

Vegetable Boat
Creative Commons License photo credit: RLHyde

Mr. Money was in charge of the grocery list, and when he noticed that I had “garlic (in a jar)” on the list, he questioned me on why I would want to purchase a jar of chopped garlic when I could easily buy the fresh garlic cloves and chop them myself. I completely understand that not only is it cheaper to buy the fresh garlic and chop it myself, but it’s healthier too because it’s not processed.

Why would I buy a jar of garlic? There are a couple reasons. First of all, the last time we bought fresh garlic, we bought it in bulk at Costco and it ended up sprouting and grew green shoots. Every single time I went to use it, I had to peel it, remove the shoots from the inside of the garlic (which ended up with a smaller yield), and then I had to chop it to use it. Needless to say, a lot of the garlic is going to be planted in the garden, which doesn’t help now when I need garlic to use.

Secondly, I am lazy and prepping and chopping and mincing garlic. I don’t like to cook, and I’d eat a bowl of cereal every night if I wasn’t so conscious of nutrition. At least I’m honest, right? Buying a jar of garlic will save me time and encourage me to cook more, which will help me save money in the long run. Sometimes you actually do save money by buying convenience items!

What convenience items do you purchase that cost a little more but help you save money in the long run?

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