Beware, pickpockets: You’ve met your match in the Dunhill Biometric Wallet. This high-tech wonder can only be opened with a touch of the owner’s fingerprint, and can be linked by Bluetooth to a mobile phone so that it sets off an alarm if separated by more than a few feet. And since it’s constructed of ultra-durable carbon fiber, it’s almost impossible to break into; $825, Dunhill.com.
Put a sparkle into the eye of your favorite Apple fanatic with these spiffy iCufflinks, inspired by the brand’s quintessential glowing power button. Unscrew them, pop in a tiny battery, and these cufflinks will gently pulse with light, announcing your unapologetic geekdom to the world for up to 24 hours. What we’d love to see? Make them rechargeable; $128, Adafruit.com.
Want to know one the quickest ways to get stuck with high-interest credit card debt? Well, all you have to do is fail to keep a rainy day fund on hand. It’s a long-held rule of personal finance that every household should keep enough liquid assets available to cover 3 months of essential expenses. Making sure you have an emergency fund on hand can mean the difference between financial survival and bankruptcy in cases of job loss, a medical emergency, or unexpected expenses related to your car or home. But for some individuals or households who are already on tight budgets, creating a 3-month cushion can seem like an impossible task. As with any other daunting endeavor, the key is to take small steps. Set up an automatic withdrawal from your bank account to a special emergency savings account. Choose whatever amount you can comfortably afford to spare, whether that is $25, $250 or $2,500. Once your fund is in place, it’s vital to be disciplined about how you spend it. Getting that new 72-inch flatscreen because it’s on sale this week does not count as an emergency, nor does a family vacation. Start separate savings funds for “just-for-fun” expenses such as these, and keep the rainy day fund for dire circumstances. Even if you’re lucky enough to never need it, you’ll be grateful for the peace of mind.
› Jonathan Rogers is a financial analyst with more than 30 years experience in managing loans and getting debt under control. Now retired, he spends his summers in Chicago and his winters between the Caribbean and South Florida.
“I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.” — John D. Rockefeller
Babe Ruth’s $80,000 salary in 1930 was bigger than the President’s $75,000. These days, the income gap is more impressive, with Alex Rodriguez’s $32 million being 8X higher than what Obama banks.
When FedEx was on the verge of bankruptcy in the 1970s, owner Fred Smith decided to get an influx of capital at Las Vegas’s blackjack tables. He managed to rake in a cool $27,000, enough to keep the company afloat.
At $4.99, a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder clocks in at $11.40 per pound. Compare that to the per-pound cost of a 2011 Toyota Camry, which comes to only $5.80. To be fair, the car doesn’t taste nearly as good.