Optimum Office

This sleek, compact desktop unit creates the perfect climate for your workspace. This tidy little package functions as both a heating and air-conditioning unit as well as a filter capable of catching dust, pollen and other potentially unhealthy goodies. Even better, it’s good for Mother Nature. The C2 consumes only 1.5 amps of current — way less than the average space heater. Available for $282 from Design Within Reach’s website at

Portable Power
Strong, sleek, durable — the polycarbonate case from Tumi’s T-Tech line brings all those words to mind. Lightweight and flexible, this scratch-proof case will protect all your business tools no matter where you go. After all, it’s President Obama’s briefcase brand of choice. Includes aluminum telescoping handle and TSA integrated lock. Available for $249 at

Kid Debt
Want to hear something scary? The average credit card balance for young adults for ages 18-24 is $2,985 — and that doesn’t count student loans (Generation Broke, Demos, 2004). Now more than ever we can see the importance of teaching our kids financial responsibility before they leave home. Here are a few online resources to help parents give their kids the tools they need to keep themselves in the black. With this clever web tool, parents set up virtual bank accounts where their kids split money earned from chores or allowances into three different “jars”: Save, Spend and Share. Kids can make requests to withdraw or share their money, which are then forwarded to parents. Cost is $30 per year for the entire family. This fun online resource is half course, half game. Designed for students either enrolled in or preparing for college, Money U teaches kids how to manage banking basics, credit cards, student loans and more. The course costs $14.95 per user. Help a confused, needy celebrity manage their finances with this goofy online game. Kids collect money and items the celebrity wants, then decide whether to pay for them with credit or debit cards. Registration is free.
And of course, the most important way to teach your kids financial responsibility is to practice it yourself!

› Jonathan Rogers is a financial analyst who educates parents on tactics to teach their kids to establish a good sense of financial responsibility and independence at an early age. A former loan officer and serial credit card user, he’s mastered the art of getting debt under control and is ready to share his knowledge with the world.

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed
is more important than any other one thing.”
— Abraham Lincoln

Will Not
An estimated 70% of Americans don’t have a will drafted. Of the 30% who do, half do not have one that has been updated in the last 5 years. Think of your loved ones and write or update your will right NOW.




Bird Boss
A manager who flies in, squawks a lot, gets everyone flustered and then flies away before anyone has time to clip his or her wings. Sometimes they stick around if there’s enough snacks in the vending machine or communal fridge.




Volunteer Value
A form of networking that’s often overlooked is volunteering. Everyone knows that joining together to better the community or a worthwhile cause helps all of us in the end, and can yield some lifelong contacts.