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Thompson: Don’t bother with a wallet at the beach — use your sandals

POSTED: June 5, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Well, it's summer and time to get some flip-flops. Some great ones are made by Reef, and the company also has some cool gadgets that you can get built into your flip-flops. One model, called the Dram, has a built-in bottle opener located in the sole of the shoe. Another model, called the Fanning, has a built-in canister that can hold 3 ounces of a liquid. My personal favorite is the model called the Stash. As the name implies, these flip-flops have a secret compartment that allows you to store a small amount of cash, credit cards or a car key. If James Bond wore flip-flops, these would be the ones!

Here's a gadget you probably haven't heard of: The Banana Guard. (I'm not making this up). The Banana Guard is basically a plastic container shaped like a single banana. The device stores and keeps your banana from getting smashed and bruised. So, if your bananas suffer from travel trauma, go to Bananaguard.com and pick one up!

If you know a young person who is getting ready to graduate and start in the working world, please share this tip with them. START SAVING FOR YOUR RETIREMENT EARLY! Why? Because of the power of compounding interest. Here's an example of what I'm talking about. Let's say that you and your friend Bill are both 20. You start putting $5,000 a year into your retirement account. Bill decides that he's not going to starting saving until he's 30. OK, its 10 years later and you decide to stop putting any money into your retirement account. Bill, true to his word, begins putting $5,000 a year into his and continues to do so for the next 30 years. It's now 30 years later and both you and Bill are retiring. You would probably think that Bill would have more money in his retirement account - and you would be wrong. Because of the power of compounding interest, you have $729,000 and Bill has $617,000. The earlier you start, the more money you'll have!

Here's a cool new product you need to check out. It's called the Eye-Fi. It basically allows you to take pictures with your digital camera and then, without any assistance from you, wirelessly transfers those pictures from your camera to your computer. How does it work? Well, you install a special SD memory card into your camera. This card has a transmitter built into it that sends the pictures to a small device that plugs into a USB drive on your computer. The pictures actually are sent to an Eye-Fi server and then the company sends them to wherever you specified that they should go. The product costs around $99 and the uploads are free. Warning: The product doesn't do well uploading movies that you've recorded. You can find the Eye-Fi at a number of on-line retailers.

Tim Thompson lives in Gainesville. E-mail Tim your ideas for tips, tools or tricks.



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