2 Krogers Fuel Cropped

Kroger 4x Fuel Points – SWEET!!!


This is one of those times that you need to pay attention – if you have a Kroger family of grocery stores near you!  As you know from my previous post about Kroger Fuel Points, the Kroger family stores have a great fuel promotion.  You can get $2 off per gallon, up to 35 gallons per fill up.  All you need is to have 2,000 Kroger Fuel Points on your Kroger Plus card, and swipe that card at the pump before you buy the their gas.

The easiest way to get Fuel Points, is to buy gift cards from their stores.  They usually give you 2 points per dollar spent on gift cards.  Right now, they have a special promotion thru September 9th, giving you 4 points per dollar spent on gift cards.

There are over 120 gift cards eligible for the 4x Fuel Points promotion.  Spend $500 on those gift cards at Kroger and you will reach the 2,000 Fuel Points.

This is not an invitation to waste money.  Check out the available merchants and buy gift cards for something you absolutely need, or a business you frequent.

Remember, if you use your Chase Freedom or Discover card to purchase the Kroger gasoline, you’ll get an additional 5% cash back on gasoline purchases through September 2012.

Breakdown For Experts Only:

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Gonna back it up, back it up, back it up…


Reader TB asked: “Which service do you use to back up your computer files?” Answer: Carbonite.  Why? Carbonite has unlimited back up space and it’s less expensive than Mozy.

If you use my referral link, you can try Carbonite Home FREE.  If you decide to buy, they’ll give you 2 bonus months with your subscription.

I have 500GB of photos, videos, music, spreadsheets and documents on Carbonite.  I had Mozy a few years ago, but cancelled when Mozy started charging extra for additional back up space.

Thankfully I have not had to use Carbonite to get my files back in the event of theft, fire, or computer crash.  I have used it numerous times that I have accidentally deleted files.  I was able to instantly retrieve the backup version from Carbonite, and continue working.  It’s worth the $4.92/month for that peace of mind.

Check out your free trial now.  Keep those cards and letters coming!


Nanner Passed Away Suddenly


A good friend of mine passed away suddenly last week (see video below). Just like when I flew to see my dying dad, I needed a plane ticket asap. Instead of buying a ticket for $1,102, I used Delta frequent flyer miles that I have been saving. Delta frequent flyer miles never expire.

I suggest that all adults have frequent flyer miles in reserve for such emergencies.

Don’t compound a huge personal loss with a huge financial loss.  An airline “bereavement fare” is only a slight discount off the expensive ticket.  Bereavement fares are for close family who must be there – not friends.  Basically, if you aren’t mentioned in the obituary or married to someone who is, don’t expect to get the discount.  Airlines have requirements that must be met and they call the funeral home to confirm.  Even if I qualified to get the bereavement fare, Delta told me that it would still cost an even $1,000.

You can quickly earn 30,000 Delta frequent flyer miles (more than enough for a free flight) with a Delta SkyMiles Gold Amex card for Personal as well as one for Business use.  You can get BOTH and end up with 60,000 bonus miles.

Click on “Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers” at the top right side of this website for up-to-date deals, terms, and conditions on these cards and more.  Email me if you have any questions about which card might be right for your situation.  Here’s how to fill out the business application.

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Mailbox Look In

“Eddie’s been looking in my mailbox…”


That’s how an email started that I received from one of my 55 year old male tenants regarding another 55 year old male tenant.  “Eddie’s been looking in my mailbox.”  Are you kidding me???!!!  WHY am I being made aware of this???!!!   I simply replied, “Tell him if he does it again he’ll get a time-out.”

I have been a landlord for ten years, renting out three houses of varying sizes.  Most of the time, it is great – despite occasional displays of tenant immaturity.  I will tell you some stories.  I provide excellent housing that does not take up much of my time.  In return, they pay off the mortgage for me, and then some.

By making the properties the kind of places I’d live in, I attract respectful people.  All of my tenants have told me that I am the best landlord they have ever had.  If you want to offer a rundown, trashy place, you will attract rundown, trashy people.  Being a slumlord does not appeal to me.

My Time
In 2011, I spent about two hours a month on my landloriness duties.  That was the

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House Questionmark

Is Homeownership a Good Deal?


Homeownership has a good PR department.  2-in-3 householders in the United States own their own homes.  In 1900, less than half owned their homes.  It is sold as “The American Dream” but it’s not necessarily a smart financial move.  You might be better off renting.

My realtor friends will have to forgive me for taking this arrow out of their quiver:  When you buy a home you are not investing, you are spending.  I’ll show you what I’m talking about.

Buying a home is like having a really expensive car and renting a home is like having a really inexpensive car.  Both get the job done, but you pay more for luxury that comes with an expensive car.

I Have Rented – Now I Own
I’m the king of my castle.  I can pretty much do, or not do whatever I want to it.   That’s pretty cool.  But that coolness comes with a price.

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A Fraternity Brother as Veep?


It’s weird when someone from your frat house is actually running for Vice President of the United States.  It gave me pause, especially since my biggest recent career highlight is shooting a Viagra commercial with a guy from Welcome Back, Kotter.

As longtime readers may recall, I once caddied for Speaker Boehner.  If Ryan gets in, I will have links to the #2 and #3 men in line behind the Prez.  Wielding that kind of influence, I should register as a lobbyist.

I like that Ryan is a math guy, a number-cruncher who is talking about how to solve our unsustainable and increasing National Debt.  In case you would like to learn exactly what the National Debt is all about, which every voter should, I highly recommend checking out this brief clip from the movie I.O.U.S.A.

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Amazonpayments Logo Long

Amazon Payments’ WebPay


amazonpayments_logo_longUPDATE: As of October 13, 2014, you will no longer be able to make person-to-person payments.

You may not know that you need this – but you probably do.  Amazon.com has a free service called Amazon Payments’ Amazon WebPay.  It’s like PayPal – but without fees.  You can send up to $1,000 per calendar month using a credit card.

If you use a credit card, it is not a cash advance as long as you select “Goods/Services” when making a payment.  Never use a credit card for cash advances.  That way is madness!  I have used this for years and never been charged a fee when choosing “Goods/Services”.

Why would you want to use this?  Well… This can be really handy when you are trying to meet a spending requirement on a credit card, so you can get a big bonus of airline miles or reward points.

This isn’t a scam.  Amazon wants you to use it for everyday stuff “such as buying a digital camera or paying your babysitter.”  The website even suggests that you “Send money to your friends and family…” and have friends and family send you money.

Think about it.  As long as someone has an Amazon Payments account, which is free and takes a couple minutes to set up, you could send them money on a credit card that earns you miles, rewards or cash back.  All at no cost to either of you!

Amazon Payments are virtually instant.  Once a payment is received it can be withdrawn to one’s bank account.  Heck, you could even ask your landlord if you could pay the rent that way!   Earn your credit card’s airline miles, rewards, or cash back – and then take the cash you were going to use for the rent to pay off your credit card charge.

I know a guy who hired a buddy to remodel his basement office.  His handyman buddy

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AmexPrepaidcard 25Bucks

The Return of $75 in Free Cash


It’s back baby!  For the month of August, get an easy $25 – $75 in free dough – even if you have bad credit!

This is NOT a credit card, so even if you have the worst credit in the world, you can do this. Order your American Express Prepaid card, load it up with $200 from your bank account, and you’ll get a $25 gift card. You can get up to three cards.

My abacas says that is $75 free!  ANY adult with a bank account can do this offer.

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Shopping Woman21

2012 Sales Tax Holidays


If you’ve had you peepers on a little something in the storefront window, this may be the time to pull the trigger.  16 states are waiving sales tax in the coming weeks, 12 are this weekend.

Clothing is eligible for the tax holiday in all 16 states.  North Carolina considers baby diapers “clothing”.  This may be a good time to see if Pee Paw can fit into Husky Huggies.  Aftershave and deodorant are considered “clothing” in Arkansas.  From what I have seen on “Cops – Little Rock”, a shirt is not.

Here are the details on the 16 state sales tax holidays, in alphabetical order:

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