As this is posting, (thank you scheduler) I’ll be arriving at my local court house to perform the civic duty of jury duty. It’s an interesting civic duty; one that’s is both afforded us if we are ever persecuted, and one that we must perform for those that are. But, what is the cost of doing your civic duty?
In the letter I received, it states that I’ll be paid $25 if my service is four hours or less and $50 if I’m there longer than $50. I’ll also be paid $50 for each day after the first day. My employment cannot be threatened due to serving on a jury (that’s good), but my employer doesn’t have to pay me for time spent away from work while serving on a jury.
In a very basic math sense, the cost of serving on a jury, then, is my pay for however many hours of work I miss minus the fees I’ll be paid for serving. Different employers have different policies for jury duty as well. My previous employer’s policy was that you could serve on a jury and be paid your wages provided you turned over your jury duty check to the company when you received it. That’s a pretty good policy. My current employer allows for unpaid time off to serve on a jury only. Not as good of a policy. I can take vacation time during that time so that I don’t lose any pay if I have it available.
As it happens, I don’t really have any vacation time to use. So, I’ll be going without pay for as long as I have to serve. It’s not exactly ideal. But, I do get something for it at least. Unfortunately, if I’m there a full 8 hours, it’s far less than minimum wage. A token amount, really, to help offset the lost opportunity to earn my wage.
Have you served on a jury? Is the pay the same everywhere, or does it differ by location?
When you think about DIY, it’s not very likely that the video site, Youtube comes to mind right away. If you’re thinking anything video related, you’re probably thinking about television stations like HGTV or the aptly named DIY Network. Youtube, however, can be the best friend you’ve got when it comes to DIY.
This new age we’re entering where information is super duper easy to disseminate means that we can hop on the internet and find just about whatever information we need. And that includes how-to videos on just about any DIY project you can imagine.
When I was working at a computer repair shop last winter and spring, one of the things that I did on a regular basis is search on Youtube for the steps to replace a part on a computer. Each computer manufacturer makes their machines a little bit differently. It’s very evident in their laptop models, so often, what will take one apart will break another. Faced with a new model, the easiest way to figure out what you’re doing before you end up replacing it for a customer is to do a quick search for a repair video. Just about every time, you’ll find a video of a technician doing the exact same repair that you’re about to do.
Armed with that knowledge and experience, one of the first things that popped into my head when our clothes dryer stopped heating up two weeks ago was to see just how hard it would be to replace the heating element. A couple of videos later, I was reasonably confident that I had the skills necessary to make the repair myself. I ordered a new heating element and a new non-resettable fuse (just in case that was the problem and not the element) from Amazon. The parts totaled less than $40.
Once the parts arrived, I was able to make the repair to the dryer in about 45 minutes. Probably a bit longer than a technician that repairs appliances all the time, but for me, a pretty reasonable amount of time. Once the new parts were in place, and the dryer was put back together, I hooked it back up to the vent and the electrical and gave it a test spin. And it heated up! I win! For less than $40, and about an hour of my time (if you include the time spent watching the repair video), I was able to successfully make the repair.
I don’t know how much it would have cost to have the local technician come and repair the dryer, but I can guess that the part alone would have cost almost twice what it did for me to order it. Even if I guess conservatively, the labor would probably cost me about $50. All told, it could have cost me about $100-$150 to repair the thing. We bought it used, for about $200, so that wouldn’t have been a very smart thing to do. And, if it had come down to having someone repair it, you can bet I would have looked at the cost of a new, to-us, used dryer first.
It’s not the first time that I’ve used a Youtube video to learn how to repair something. Remember when I repaired my iPad myself? Guess how I learned how to do that!
Have you ever used a Youtube video to learn how to DIY something?
Investing Made Simple: Index Fund Investing and ETF Investing Explained in 100 Pages or Less By: Mike Piper (ObliviousInvestor.com) I had the opportunity to meet Mike at the first FINCON in Chicago last year. He’s a thoroughly nice guy. I knew him from his blog and website, but for some reason I hadn’t known the [...]
Beating Broke was included in 5 carnivals this week: Yakezie Carnival hosted by I Heart Budgets Carnival of Money Pros hosted by Growing Money Smart Carnival of Financial Camaraderie #57 hosted by My University Money Carnival of Retirement #46 hosted by Making Sense of Cents Carnival of Investing #12 hosted by Investeem Thanks to the hosts for including my posts!
I recently had a small discussion on Facebook with Glen, of Free From Broke. It started when he mentioned in his status that he had been at the doctors office waiting on his appointment for 44 minutes. He asked if he should just say to heck with it and reschedule the appointment. I suggested that [...]
The last few months have not been kind to my family. As Dave Ramsey says, “Murphy came to visit.” Within the last few months, I have had several medical tests run, my computer broke so I had to buy a new one, my husband’s pay was docked $750 for two months in a row because [...]
Beating Broke was included in several carnivals this week: Yakezie Carnival hosted by The Ultimate Juggle Carnival of Money Pros hosted by My Multiple Incomes Carnival of Financial Camaraderie #56 hosted by See Debt Run Thanks to the hosts for including my posts!
Read just about any personal finance article on saving and you’re likely to also read something about certificates of deposit. Heck, I’ve covered what a certificate of deposit is, how to create a CD ladder, and mentioned CDs several other times. But, as much of a mainstay as they are in the typical savings mantras, [...]
As you know, I’m a big fan of SwagBucks. For me, it’s an easy way to accumulate points for doing things that I already do (search and coupons) and cash those points in for gift cards to places, like Amazon, where I shop regularly. In fact, I just used my latest $5 Amazon card from [...]
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