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New Year’s To-Do #4 – YOLO


yolo_sparklers_sm“Yolo” is your credo.  Over the past two months, you shopped, merried and rang your credit card to its limit.  The card’s been swiped so much the stripe on the back is hot to the touch.

You’d like to pay off the card to avoid paying interest, but you’re out of cash.  YOLO!!!  Yes, I remember.  Please don’t shout.  You only live once – so why cramp your style digging yourself a hole paying 10, 15, 25% interest on your purchases?

If you are a YOLO dude or dudette, don’t start the New Year paying interest on a credit card.  That is soooo 2015.  You need a new card that allows you to transfer your current balance onto it.  You can save yourself hundreds to thousands, depending upon what kind of hot mess you Yolo’d yourself into.

Click on “Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers” at the top right side of this website and then “0% Balance Transfer”.  Email me if you have any questions!  I greatly appreciate it if you apply by clicking on my links.

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New Year’s To Do List #3 – Don’t Go Dormant


inactive_account_smDo you have a bank account or credit card that you don’t use much, or at all anymore?  The banks may come to the conclusion that you have abandoned your accounts and will close them on you if you don’t play with them once in a while.

If you let your bank account go dormant, then you’ll have to chase down your money in banking’s Lost and Found Department aka the Unclaimed Funds I wrote about here.  If you let a credit card go dormant, you will hurt your credit score.

To avoid this, every January I do two things:

  1. I sign in to all my bank accounts online. I have found this keeps my visitation privileges. Why don’t I just close an account if I don’t use it much? Banks have promotions all the time offering a higher interest rate on new deposits. Since I already have the account open, it is just a matter of a couple clicks to start collecting a higher rate. A few months ago, UFB Direct did that exact thing.  I wrote about it here.  I moved my money and increased my interest 56%.
  2. I take my credit cards on a field trip to the gas station. I charge $2 on each card. A couple days later, I sign into each card’s account online and pay it off from my linked bank account. Why TWO BUCKS? Some of my cards are free versions of airline frequent flyer mile cards. They give me one mile for every two dollars I spend. Not only does this put activity on my cards, but it also refreshes my frequent flyer mile expiration dates. Pretty handy!

Instead of the gas station, you could go to the self-checkout at a grocery store and load up on Dinty Moore Mystery Meat Pot Pies.  Another option: stay in your PJs and

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New Year’s To Do List: #2 – Putting “FUN” in Unclaimed Funds


Back by popular demand is my New Years To-Do List. I’ll republish this six-part series on Throw Back Thursday. Here goes!   Please share this wherever you share things.

There are billions of dollars in unclaimed funds in the US.  Well, billions minus $59 that my recent annual perusal found waiting for me from Home Depot.

This year I found over $300 waiting for my sisters and brother-in-law.  But will they get it?  Well, they didn’t get it LAST YEAR WHEN I TOLD THEM ABOUT IT!!!  But when you think about it, who has time to fill out a form to get $300 when Game Of Thrones is on?

Because I track like a Navajo bloodhound, in previous years I came across something for my dad, a couple pension payments for my mom, and some dividend from some railroad thingy that was my grandfather’s. Give these free sites a whirl:

  • Unclaimed.org – State-by-state unclaimed property listings
  • MissingMoney.com – state and provincial
  • PBGC.gov – Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (U.S. Government Agency)
  • TreasuryDirect.gov – Treasury Hunt
  • USA.gov – A slew of various categories of unclaimed government money, from bank failures, unclaimed property, credit unions, benefits, pensions, HUD/FHA mortgage refunds and more.

I hope you find some gold in them thar hills!

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New Year’s To Do List: #1- AnnualCreditReport.com


Back by popular demand is my New Years To-Do List. I’ll republish this six-part series on Throw Back Thursday. Here goes!   Please share this wherever you share things.

chili-can-chicken - Final-smI kick off every New Year by grabbing a free credit report.  That explains my joie de vivre.

AnnualCreditReport.com is actually free, unlike FreeCreditReport.com which costs almost $200/year.  As I say in my video below, what’s next?  A Free Lexus for $30,000?  An ALL cotton shirt made of 100% polyester?  Vegetarian chili…with Chicken!??? It don’t make no sense.

Anywho, AnnualCreditReport.com is the result of 2003 federal legislation.  It gives you one completely free credit report annually from each of The Big 3 credit bureaus:  TransUnion, Experian, and EquiFax.  You can pull all three reports at once, or space ‘em out.  I pull one every few months to make sure everything’s kosher.

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Getting Money For Your Gift Cards


DiscountGiftCard-Compliation-VerticalThat gift card from your aunt has been sitting on your dresser for a few weeks now.  It’s to that restaurant you loved when you visited her in South Carolina as a kid. Unfortunately, she didn’t know that:

a) There isn’t a Bojangles’ Fried Chicken & Biscuits within 500 miles, and… b) You’re a vegan.

Hey, it’s the thought that counts, right? Well, you’re not stuck. There are sites that will give you cash for your gift cards, even partially used cards. These sites also sell gift cards at a discount. It’s a profit deal! As you know, that takes off all the pressure.

You will get less than face value, but at least you will get somethin’ somethin’. Make sure you get the most bang for your gift card buck.

Check out these sites and go with the best deal: Cardpool, GiftCardGrannyGiftCardRescue, MonsterGiftCard, Raise, and SaveYa.

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Why It’s Time To CANCEL NFL Sunday Ticket


nfl-sundayticket-cancel2You need to cancel NFL Sunday Ticket.  The fact that I am a Bengal fan has nothing to do with this.

If you have NFL Sunday ticket, even if you got it free this season, DirecTV will automatically charge you full price for it for next season in August.  To avoid this, you need to pick up the phone (1-888-DirecTV) and cancel it.  The rest of this season’s games are going to be on free TV.

If you paid for it this year and want to try to get it free next season, you can’t have it set to auto-charge your account.  So… call and cancel it.

Check out my post Get NFL Sunday Ticket for FREE in which I tell how I have gotten it free four years running.

A great philosopher once said, “Ape not kill ape.”  Sadly, Bengal kill Bengal.  “Who Dey Think Gonna Beat Dem Bengals?”  Well, that would be the Bengals themselves. Relive the carnage here.

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How To Transfer Your Credit Card Balance To A 0% Card


balance-transfer2One of the easiest things you can do to save money is NOT pay interest on your credit card.

Maybe you spent too much over Christmas and New Year’s Eve.  Maybe you always carry a balance on your credit card.  Whatever your situation, let’s fix that now.  Today!

Here’s the scoop:  Credit card companies, er uh, banks want your business.  As a come on, some banks offer you 0% interest on the balance you transfer from your credit card over to their card.  This offer is cleverly called a “0% Balance Transfer Credit Card” promotion.

If you’d like to get one of these cards, click on “Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers” at the top right side of this website and then “0% Balance Transfer”. If you apply and get approved by using my links, you get the same deal but I get a taste from the bank for referring you.  Email me if you have any questions about which card(s) might be right for your situation.

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A Little Trick When Buying on The Online


FORGET SOMETHINGIt’s the New Year and my printer was thirsting for some ink.  So I took a trip to Carrot Ink to slake its desires. (My new thesaurus is paying off gargantuanly.)

Their prices are cheap and the ink is good.  I loaded up my cart and then abandoned it at checkout. That’s not cool to do in the real world but completely acceptable in cyberspace.

I did this intentionally because sometimes leaving a full cart at a retailer online triggers a company’s marketing department to go full Alec Baldwin from Glengarry Glen Ross into “Always Be Closing” mode.  Sure ‘nuff.  In the early evening, I got an email offering me 5% off my order.

Like a young lady playing hard to get, I ignored their message.  25 hours later, I got another offer.  This time for 10% off.

Naturally, I will ignore that to see if they come with something better.  If need be, I will nonchalantly post a photo on social media of myself wearing some over-the-knee boots.  If that doesn’t woo them to pony up more, I’ll take the 10% and run!

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Amazon Prime Free 30 Day Trial


Through Sunday, you can get a 30 day free trial of Amazon Prime by clicking here.

Amazon Prime is more than just free two-day shipping.  It’s also a desert topping.  No, wait, that’s Shimmer.

Amazon Prime is kinda like a lot of things.  It’s kinda like NetFlix in that “Prime Instant Video” streams thousands of movies and TV shows to hundreds of compatible devices and TVs.  As I wrote in 257 Channels and Nothing On, it may not be worth $1,000 a year to watch Honey Boo Boo and your Duck Dynasty via cable or satellite when these handy-dandy inexpensive program options are out there.

I just started watching Amazon’s original program The Man In The High Castle and will check out Emmy winner Transparent.  I have also added a few movies to my Watch List.

It’s kinda like FedEx, UPS, and The U.S. Post Office in that “Prime Shipping” sends lots of stuff to you in two days.  But the shipping of “prime” stuff is free.  The free shipping is pretty handy at Christmas.  Instead of flying across the country with Legos and skillets, I buy stuff for my kin on Amazon and have them ship it free to my family back east.

It’s also kinda like the library and iTunes with access to Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and over a million songs in Prime Music.

Click here for the free 30 day trial to help you decide if it’s for you. Amazon Prime costs $99/year.

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