Old school tech meets New school tech

For those who haven’t already picked this up from my earlier post about using technology to go back to basics I am into being frugal and especially into how to use technology to actually live a more frugal life. I’m a huge advocate of the Dave Ramsey approach to finances for my household and as part of that we have made some changes over the years to really save money where we can. We’ve made a lot of changes around how we handle our finances including going on a written budget, paying stuff off, doing things ourselves (oil changes, mowing, etc), ditching the dish (previous article), using the grocery game, getting better deals for things like internet access, turning off the home phone, shopping utilities/insurance, and other areas.

It really hit me today how being frugal is now becoming part of my nature. I am now driving more than I have been for the last couple of years and I wanted to get more out of my drive time. I am driving a 1995 car (it’s a fun car/I don’t want to get rid of it) which does not have a working cd player in it/it only has a tape player. I was talking with a couple of my friends on how to get MP3’s to play in my car without having to burn them to cd (or in my case to tape). My friend Matt  mentioned that I could just switch out my current radio in my car and get one that plays MP3’s. My friend Roger had an even more frugal approach – using a cassette tape adapter cord and just plug it into an existing MP3 player. I tried this out today with my daughter’s music player and it worked like a champ. However, she wouldn’t be happy with my “borrowing” that from her every day. So the next step on this was to take my existing phone (a palm treo pro which has been a rock-solid phone), transfer my MP3’s to the device and to try it out in the car with the cassette tape adapter cord. The connection worked great and I’m looking forward to having this hooked up going forward so I can better enjoy my commute.

So what as the total cost to make the change to play MP3’s in my car? None, nada, $0. I already had the cassette tape adapter cord and already had the phone so the pieces were already there. As an additional benefit, I can now hear the cell phone through the speakers in the car which is also a cool side-benefit. If I keep on doing this type of stuff maybe one day I will be as frugal as one of my co-workers (you know who you are!) but I don’t think that I will ever achieve that aspiration.

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