March Income

My income was up slightly in March. This was a great result considering there is no Adsense income for this month. The increase was from the sale of a text link and lots of paid posts. (There are no paid posts on this blog.) Here are the totals.

Online Income




Mystery Shopping






This is all alternative income. Next month my total income will be up but alternative income will most likely be down since I’m now have a job.

Snow in April?

The forecast is calling for snow overnight. This isn’t the kind of weather I expected in April. After the pleasant temperatures at the end of March I decided that I would not heat or cool my apartment in April. These cold temperatures are making this more of a challenge than I expected but I’ve slept outside in below freezing temperatures many nights so surely I can handle this. Since I’m in an apartment the temperature stays well above the outside temperature even without using my heat. It is supposed to start warming up Sunday so I should be ok after that. Providing it doesn’t get too hot before the month is over.

The Economics of Sunk Costs

According to to Wikipedia, sunk costs are those costs which have already been incurred and cannot be recovered to any significant degree. The example they use is the purchase of a non-refundable movie ticket. If you later decide you don’t want to see the movie an economist would argue that the fact you already paid for the movie ticket should not be part of a rational decision of whether or not you decide to see the movie. This is a condensed version of the explanation, if it doesn’t make sense refer to the Wikipedia entry.

Anyway, there is a reason I’m talking about the economics of sunk cost. I’m somewhat apathetic about going on to my third year of law school and finishing my J.D.  According to the theory of sunk costs the fact that I’ve spent two years in law school and accumulated $57,000 in debt shouldn’t be part of my decision of whether to finish law school. The accumulated debt and time spent are a major part of my decision process though. If I don’t finish law school it would seem like they were wasted.

Maybe the idea of sunk cost isn’t applicable to this situation. If I were to finish my degree I would have a much higher earning potential. To achieve that earning potential via other means would most likely require a further investment of time and money. Also, if I were later to decide I would like to get my J.D. I would have to start all over again. (Assuming I return more than one year after quitting.)  Then I would have to pay for my first two years again and have two years of limited earnings. Tuition would most likely be higher as well. It seems to me that the time and money I’ve already invested have to be considered.

Maybe I’m not thinking this through correctly. I would be interested in anyone’s insights or ideas of how I shoud evaluate this decision. If you have any suggestions please leave a comment.

Save on Dental Care

One way to save on dental care is to use the services of a local dental school. This is what I am doing. I am going to have all four wisdom teeth plus three other teeth extracted. The wisdom teeth are bony impacted so I will be under IV sedation during the surgery. The total cost for this is $830. It is hard to find an average price for this surgery but I did find one site that stated the average cost of oral surgery is $3,000. If that figure is correct than I’m saving over $2,000 from the regular cost. To make this an even better deal since my surgery is complicated it won’t be done by one of the students but by one of the teaching doctors.

I think this is an even better deal than dental insurance. When checking out dental plans I saw that most of them had a $1,000 a year maximum benefit and you had to wait a year for major procedures. This would make dental insurance at a traditional dentist a more expensive option for me. Plus I want to get my dental problem fixed now rather than waiting a year.

The main drawback of going to a dental school is that the procedures take more time. Both of my diagnostic appointments took 2-3 hours. You do get more individualized attention though and right now I have more time than money. If you have a local dental school and need dental care you should look into this option.

Alternative Income: Online Surveys

One of the ways I make alternative income is by doing online surveys. The only company I do surveys for is Pinecone Research. They pay $5 per survey which take about 10-15 minutes to complete. I usually only get 1 or 2 surveys a month though. They only accept signups at certain times so you have to be on the lookout for when they are accepting new members. I’ve never had any problems getting paid by Pinecone. They send out checks quickly or you can have the money deposited in your PayPal account. This isn’t much money but it is easy to make and every little bit helps.

Other companies that I haven’t used but I’ve seen recommended by other PF bloggers are SurveySavvy and Greenfield Online. Leave a comment if you know of any other good survey comments or let people know of any survey company you have had a bad experience with.