How To Un-Impound Your Property Taxes & Homeowner Insurance


impoundLots of folks emailed me in response to my post $500 Tax-Free Paying Your Property Tax.  Turns out people like free dough.  Mmm… Fritos.

Click here to find out when your area’s property tax is due.

For my Los Angeles peeps, it’s due November 1st but it’s not late until December 12th.  So you have plenty of time (six weeks) to get $500 Tax-Free Paying Your Property Tax.

Some folks have their property tax, and sometimes their homeowner insurance rolled into one big bill with their mortgage.  That is called an “impound” or “escrow” account.

  1. Some folks like it because they just write one check a month instead of a few extra per year.
  2. Some folks had to set up an impound account as a condition of getting their mortgage.
  3. Some folks got a rate reduction if they went along with the impound.

It is possible to get your impounds un-impounded.  I speak from experience.  A few years ago when I refinanced my home I somehow accidentally had my property taxes impounded.  Well, that didn’t sit well with this control freak.  I also didn’t cotton to someone else getting interest on my money until they paid the bill months later when it was actually due.

To remove the impound, I simply called the mortgage servicing company (the place where I sent the check) and asked to have it removed.  They obliged.

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Up to $300 Back When Buy a Wi-Fi Sprinkler Timer


rachio-logoDo you have sprinklers that run on a timer?  You can get back up to $300 if replace your existing irrigation controller (aka “sprinkler timer”) with one you control from your smartphone, tablet or computer from anywhere in the world.

The rebate caps at $200 here in Los Angeles.  No worries – the timer costs less.  So… at the end of the day it is free!  I got the Rachio Generation 2 (8 zone).  They also have a Rachio Generation 2 (16 zone) for sprawling estates.

These new-fangled Wi-Fi irrigation controllers tap into local weather stations to automatically adjust your watering schedule.  It won’t water before, during or after it rains – unless you override that feature.

I’m not one to dabble in “lawn-shaming”.  Many of my neighbors waste a lot of money leaving their sprinklers on all winter.  I used to be one of those folks.  Now I leave mine off from November – March. Read my post It’s Not Water, It’s H20 for the why.

Installation is simple.  Take old timer off the wall and put the new one in its place.

I went with the Rachio Generation 2 because it had all the bells and whistles and was EPA Water Sense Certified – a requirement for the rebate.  It requires a smart phone to set it up.  It’s also made in USA.

Find your Rachio rebate nationwide.

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$500 Tax-Free Paying Your Property Tax


propertytaxscrabble-smTwice a year I have to pay property tax.
Twice a year I make $500 paying that tax.

How?  Twice a year I get a new credit card that will give me a $500-$600 tax-free bonus if I spend $4,000-5,000 on the card in the first three months I have it.  These cards and their bonuses are not limited to paying property tax.

I mention “property tax” because that can meet the spending requirement quickly!  Then you can get on with your life – spending that free $500-$600!!

What are these cards of which I speak, you say?  Three come to mind.  Two I can’t mention in this post, as per the bank.  But I am happy to tell you what they are if you send me an email asking for the scoop.

The one I can mention is the “Capital One Spark Cash for Business”.  Check out 20 Minutes=$592.23 Cash Rewards for how I did it last March.

If you’d like to find out more, click on this little widgetty thing right below:

Email me if you have any questions. Full disclosure: I may get a commission if you apply using my widgetty thing, so… Thanks!

CostCo BJs Sams Logo

Costco = Non-Members Can Buy Rx & Booze… Cheap!


Yesterday, in Pill Poppers, Listen Up! I wrote about getting drugs from out of The States.  Today: How to get them cheaper here at home.

As you know, membership has its privileges, but so does non-membership. Turns out, you don’t need a membership at Costco to buy prescription drugs and alcohol.  You pay the same price as members.  The same may apply to your area wholesale club.

Years ago, I joined Costco in the Bank of Bur (Burbank, CA).  All I’d buy at their li’l boutique was party fixins and tube socks.  Once I stocked up on athletic hosiery, I pulled the plug on my $55/year membership.

Thanks to Attorney Daniel Perlman for providing me with the chapter and verse from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Rule 27 (b). From Title 8, CCR §27 re: qualifications for licensing.

“Alcoholic beverages offered for sale shall be displayed and available for convenient

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Pills Prescription Drugs

Pill-Poppers, Listen Up!


pills_prescription_drugsAre you a Pill-Popper?  Do you wanna get drugs from across the border, but don’t wanna keester them?  Have you been invited to a weekly neighborhood skittles party, but find it financially challenging keeping up with the Jones’ joneses?

I’m talkin’ prescription drugs, junkie!  Not the stuff you get from The Green Cross.

Prescription drugs can be expensive here in the good ole US of A.  If you have insurance and/or buy generic, you may be fine.  Still, there is a place you might wanna check out: PharmacyChecker.comStacy Johnson did some great reporting in his story below.

Bottom line, it is illegal to get prescription drugs from outside the country, but it’s unlikely that anything will come of it if you are using them for

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$350 Free From HSBC Bank


hsbc350smBack in the olden days, if you opened a bank account, you’d get a toaster.  In 2016, it’s $350 cash!  There are hoops, but you need’t jump much.

  1. Click here to open an HSBC checking account. Offer expires November 18, 2016.
  2. Pay two bills per month, for three months, every calendar month from your new checking account’s online BillPay or do qualifying direct deposits.
  3. $350 will be deposited in your new checking account approximately 8 weeks after meeting these requirements. That’s it!

Note: As it says in the Terms and Charges:

  1. You’ll be charged $25 if your account is closed within 180 days of opening.
  2. The Choice Checking account is available to consumers who have a US personal related combined deposit and investment balance of at least $1,500 or a recurring direct deposit from a third party.

What I Am Going To Do:

First of all, I am NOT going to act like a ninny and shut down my current checking

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$15 Off UberEATS (first-timers)


ubereats“There’s no such thing as a free lunch”… is baloney!!  Mmm… bologna.

If you’d like to be full of bologna or anything else, here’s how to get your free lunch.

As you may have heard, Uber not only carts you around but it also delivers for restaurants.  Right now, click here to get $15 off your first order on #UberEATS with my code: eats-uberchipcheese.   Mmm… cheese…  Autobahn Appetit!

Once on UberEATS, you will see all the participating restaurants in your area.  Uber gets $5 for their efforts.  With that in mind, $10 Lunch + $5 Uber minus $15 off your first order = Free Lunch!

On a related note, if you have never ridden in an Uber, see my review here and click here to get $20 off your first ride.


Timeshare Cove

Unloading A Timeshare


A while back, my friend Dan asked me if I knew about how to get rid of a Timeshare.

I knew very little about that until I recently heard from an old grade school mate Tom Dulle.  Tom gets rid of timeshares for people. Email your questions to Tom.

Back in the olden days, Timeshares seemed like a pretty cool idea.  You plunked down several thousand bucks for the right to have a week or two every year at a sweet place in vacationland.  You paid a few hundred bucks annually in maintenance fees.  Nobody got hurt.  Well…

My first problem is that it’s kind of like prepaying for a hotel.  Would you give Holiday Inn $10,000 for the right to stay there every year at a lower rate than what others pay?  Nope.  You’d invest that $10k and put the proceeds toward your lodging.  Even a 1% return on $10,000 is $100.  8% return is… well… it’s more.

The world changed.  Along came the WWW and eventually Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway, Expedia and a myriad of travel sites.  Suddenly it was very easy to find a nice place to stay with no huge initial outlay of cash or annual fees.

Today, you can even rent a place in the same resort where you own a timeshare – for less than owners pay in maintenance fees.  Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?  Don’t believe me, give a spin.  Plug in your resort and see what comes up as available to rent.

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Hilton 75000 250

Hilton Mania – Worth Multiple Free Nights!


Paris-Hilton-Style-2000s - 250If you like sleeping indoors when you visit fancy cities – gather ‘round!  Here’s a sweet deal from the fine folks who brought you Paris Hilton (and their equally famous 550 Hilton Hotels across six continents).

For a limited time, earn 75,000 Hilton HHonors Bonus Points after making $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of your account opening.   No annual fee – ever!  The offer is usually 40,000.

In case you really wanna bag some free Hilton HHonors points, American Express also has a card.  The Amex Hilton deal is 50,000 Hilton HHonors Bonus Points after making $750 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.  No annual fee – ever!

If you do both cards, you’ll find yourself sitting on 127,775 Hilton HHonors points (after meeting spending requirements).  It’s pretty easy to meet the spend.  Check out my post: 11 Ways To Meet A Spending Requirement.

You’ll end up with multiple free nights.  See what your points will get you here.

If you and your significant-other or travel buddy get the cards, you can extend that trip.  Twice the points = twice the fun… or just more points.  The fun is up to you.

If you’d like to find out more, click on this little widgetty thing right below:  Email me if you have any questions. Full disclosure: I may get a commission if you apply using my widgetty thing, so… Thanks!

#TBT – My Golf Summit with Mr. Speaker


#TBT.  Here’s a post that ran just over 5 years ago on June 20, 2011.

On Saturday, President Obama did something that I did 33 years ago: He spent an afternoon on a golf course with John Boehner. On July 22, 1978, I put in 4-5 hours as a personal assistant / pack mule (caddy) for the current Speaker of the House when he was just a 20-something.

I know this because I am a counter.  I’m not a Rainman-instantly-count-a-dropped-box-of-toothpicks counter.  But I count things.

I know that I have been on 56 TV shows;  seen major league baseball games in 41 parks;  and have performed 3,074 stand-up comedy shows on 475 stages, in 296 cities in 42 states – including all of the places named in The Steve Miller Band’s “Rock ‘n Me” and Sade’s “Smooth Operator” songs.

In my various “character building” careers, I made $510.72 as a paper boy, $439.89 slinging frozen yogurt, and $641.60 as a caddy.  The other day I came across my caddy records and noticed that Mr. Boehner paid me $5 for the 18-hole round – which included a 50 cent tip.  In his defense, that tip was fairly common.  I blame the Carter Malaise.  That or my inability to find lost balls.  Adjusted for inflation, that $5 is like getting $18 today.

Even though John Boehner was just a plastics salesman at the time and years away from politics, I always remembered I had caddied for him.  Probably because I was just out of 8th grade and with a little imagination, his name could be pronounced “Boner”.  Who knows, maybe I let that slip and that is why I got the fin.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to continue preparing my treatise on the lawns I cut from 1979-1984.

Here is a page of the actual ledger from which that above image was taken:

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