Barack, You Need To Refi


obama96People who run for President are not necessarily financial geniuses.  They spend millions of dollars trying to get a job that pays $400K/year.  I have a feeling Math is not their best subject.  I bet any one of them would fall for the “Hey, you got two 10s for a 5?” trick.

I know, I know.  They do it for the perks.  Especially free dental.

Mitt spent $45 million of his own money running for POTUS in 2008.  Now we find out that Barack is in desperate need of a refi on his Illinois home.

Mr. Obama is paying 5.625% interest on a 30 year mortgage from Northern Trust in Chicago.  He can easily drop that almost 2% !!  See page 6 of Disclosure.

Maybe he doesn’t wanna restart the mortgage clock.  If that is the case, he can pay extra every month, automatically.  So can you.  For example, get a 30 year mortgage and throw extra money at the principle every payment.  That way, the payoff schedule stays the same, but less interest is paid over the life of the loan.

Someone please send this post to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  Here’s the calculator:

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Fandango Visa

Free Movie Fridays via Fandango


Fandango_Visa-smallerWho doesn’t like a 2-fer?  Now thru August 2ndgo here on a Friday.  Buy two or more tickets to a Friday movie and one will be free (up to $19.50 value).  You must buy your tickets with a Visa Signature card.  Plug in your Visa at the above link to see if it is eligible.

Limit 1 complimentary ticket per Visa Signature card per 30 days.  Multiple cards = multiple times you can do the offer.

If you used a different card every week, this could save you $234.00

Want some of this hot 2-fer movie action, but don’t have a Visa Signature card?  Click on Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers 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.


Get Paid to Say Howdy to Store Greeters


CashBackPortalsWould you like to get paid to nod to your store’s greeter?  That’s kinda what Big Crumbs, Ebates and TopCashback do for you.  They are websites that give you cash back, just for going through them on your way to your store’s website.  Before you buy something online, see if that store is one of the 1,500 or so that they each have on their roster.

There’s no catch here.  These cash back portal sites get paid a commission from stores that you connect to, through them.  You get a taste of their commission jingle-jangle.

When you arrive at your destination online store, use your cash back or rewards credit card to make the purchase and you’ll earn those rewards as well.  Cash back portal dough + credit card rewards…  Stack ’em baby!

Time Shift Wrinkle
Cash back portals are also a handy way to meet minimum spending requirements on your new credit cards.  Type “American Express Gift Cards” in their search box, and you

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If Your Credit Blows, Let’s Fix That


backfutureIf you are like me, you have done things in the past to screw up your credit.  Like me, you can fix it – without a Hot Tub Time Machine or a fully-functioning Flux Capacitor.  I’ll tell you how you can join me in rarefied credit score air so high you’ll wanna bring a Sherpa.

The past is the past.  Mistakes do not have to continue.  We all used to wear diapers, but at some point that way of life lost its appeal.

Having good credit is possible even if you defaulted on loans, made late payments on credit cards, have collection agencies bugging you, or have gone bankrupt.

As detailed in my post “I Cut My Mortgage Rate in Half” when I refinanced my house, my FICO credit score was 817.  That’s on a scale of 300-850, thankyouverymuch.

Lipstick on a Pig
Even if you have sworn off borrowing any more money, you should polish up your credit report as best you can – and correct any mistakes on there.  Employers are increasingly doing credit checks of job applicants.  Yes, your credit determines rates at which you can borrow money, but also whether you have to pay deposits on utilities and cell phone plans.

Of course, landlords don’t like to rent to folks with a sketchy credit history.  As I mentioned in “The Chickenpox of Your Report”, in my ten years of landlordiness I found that not all people with bad credit are irresponsible, but most irresponsible people have bad credit.  Here’s how we un-sketchify your credit history:

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Linda Evangelista Thong Cropped Small

What Would You Do For $75.00?


linda_evangelista_thong-cropped-smallUber-model Linda Evangelista once said, “I don’t wake up for less than $10,000 a day.”  Well, neither should you – if you’ll dial that back to 50-75 bucks.

Are you darn near flat-broke?  If the needle on your fundometer is almost on “E”, why turn your nose up at free cash?  That’s baby-sitter money, a nice dinner, or poker dough!

Capital One 360 simply wants to give you $50 and $25 to date them.  Heck, if you wanted, you could close your accounts after you get your bonuses.  Just say, “It’s not you, it’s me.”  Then spend the $75 on tequila shots.

Remember, you don’t have to leave your current bank.  You are just trying out these Capital One 360 bank accounts.  They can co-exist.  You didn’t get rid of your Pepsi products before you tried Coke.  The scoop:

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Need a Hot Tip or a Nudge?


ballrollinggirlPlease chime in with some funds or stocks that you like.  I have six funds in my Individual Retirement Account (IRA).  I thought I’d plunk down my 2012 ROTH IRA contribution into something new.  Any hot tips out there?  What’s the buzz on Pioneer Aviation?

To have an IRA, you need an IRA account.  So… open one up!  You don’t even need to worry right now about which funds or stocks to choose to invest your cash.  Pick that later.  What is important is that you get the ball rolling, even with a very small amount of dough.

Do it by April 15th to have it qualify for your 2012 contribution.  See your Traditional and ROTH IRA contribution limits in my post Sell One for The Old Man.  You can see a related post about stocks and IRAs here.


Results of My April “App-Aloosa”


1971johnnybenchMy hobbies have always involved cards: baseball, poker and credit.  Last week in my April Amex App-Aloosa, it took 20 minutes to apply for four American Express cards.  I was approved for all of them.

This hobby isn’t for everyone.  I like trying out different credit cards while marinating in their huge sign-up bonuses.  I always pay the cards off in full so I never pay any interest – otherwise this would be a losing proposition.

Here’s how my April Amex App-Aloosa went down:

I got the Gold Delta SkyMiles personal and business cards, as well as the Starwood personal and business cards.  I will get over 100,000 miles/points in bonuses once I meet the spending requirements.  These cards have great perks.

Check out my thoughts on Starwood Points here and Delta SkyMiles here.

Click on Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers 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.

I opened up a clean browser window for each application and clicked on “In Private Browsing” in Internet Explorer.  Google Chrome calls it “Incognito”.  You may feel compelled to do this in a tuxedo while drinking something shaken not stirred.

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Gigi’s Checkbook



amandapeet2Subscribe in Tunes

Today on The PodCASHt, my old friend Gigi tells us about why a balance of negative $50 in her checkbook means she actually has $5.

Here is my Quicken review. I’ve been using it for years. Get a 60-day money back guarantee with Quicken Deluxe, Quicken Premier, and Quicken Home & Business.  You might give ‘em a whirl for a couple months.

Deathandtaxesandmoretaxes Cartoon

Is a “Bereavement Fare” Fair?


deathandtaxesandmoretaxes-cartoonBen Franklin said, “Nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”  April 15th is only 20 days away, so the latter is top of mind.  Unfortunately, the former made a surprise visit to my extended family this week.

I don’t wanna be pushy, but I hope you will take this as a Call To Action.  Don’t compound a huge personal loss with a financial one.  Just like how you (hopefully) keep some money stashed away for emergencies, you should have frequent flyer miles at your disposal.

Bereavement Fares are NOT the Answer
In the past two years, I have had to catch a quick flight to be with my dying dad and to attend a close friend’s funeralBoth flights would have cost $1,000 each – even IF I qualified for the bereavement fare.  That’s the way it is.  Period.

Bereavement fares aren’t cheap.  They 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 small discount.  Airlines have requirements that must be met.

What’s The Solution?
The best/easiest/cheapest way to get miles that never expire is via Delta offers for personal and business cards.  Click on Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers for up-to-date deals, terms, and conditions on these cards and more.  For some, the toughest hurdle will be getting rid of the mindset that having a

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The Cyclone The Plunger Front

257 Channels and Nothing On


This is me as "The Cyclone" and Danny Woodburn as "The Plunger".  These were the wrestling alter-egos for Coach Urkhardt & Mr. Poulos.

(Click photo to enlarge)

A month ago, my new episode of Rules of Engagement aired on CBS.  No doubt my portrayal of “Randy the Paramedic” has set the bar for the way paramedics and Randys will be played in the future.

I decided that would be the day I’d start keeping track of what I actually watched on my DirecTV.  I did it for a month, book-ending it yesterday with my first appearance on Crash & Bernstein, which aired on DisneyXD.  I play “Coach Urkhart” on the show.  This post’s photo is from a flashback to when Coach Urkhardt was a professional wrestler.

My results confirmed my hunch: I am largely a watcher of free TV.  3 out of 4 hours were spent watching ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and PBS.

Other than DisneyXD, I watched some ESPN for March Madness highlights.  Channel surfing stopped me once at VH1, AMC and A&E for a couple Storage Wars.  My TiVo also has unwatched stuff waiting for me from IFC and Comedy Central.  I get HBO & Showtime, but only watch one show on each.

Is it worth $1,000/year for Honey Boo Boo?

If you are broke, living paycheck-to-paycheck, or can’t seem to save any money – you might want to investigate these other options:

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