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:
My Jewish friends are having a Seder this evening. If Elijah shows up, wouldn’t it be cool to greet him with Bryan Adams’ “Waiting For You”, followed by Weird Al Yankovic’s “Eat It”? Best of all… it’s free. Don’t let this deal pass you over!
You can get $2 in free MP3 downloads if you do two things by the end of today (March 25th):
1. If you don’t already have the app, download the Amazon Local app to your smartphone.
2. Use the app, scroll to the Free Voucher, select it, and “buy” it.
A couple minutes later, you will get an email confirming the purchase. The voucher expires on April 5th. Offer available to all races, creeds and data plans.
Many of us are about to get back the “no-interest loan” we gave Uncle Sam. Generally speaking, that’s what a tax “refund” is. If you don’t have debt to pay down, you might wanna put a fistful of those dollars in your checking account – and fuhgeddaboudit.
Most checking accounts these days are not free unless you jump through hoops. Banks vary, but you usually have to pay at least $10/month unless you have a daily balance of about $1,500. You should not have to pay ANY monthly fees to have a personal checking account. I never have.
People don’t think of it his way, but the money you pay for a checking account is usually after-tax money. You might have to earn $200-$300 at your job to have enough money left after taxes to pay your bank $150 in fees – every year. That adds up!
Make the best of your tax refund. If you already have free checking and no debt, start building that Emergency Fund. EverBank’s Yield Pledge Money Market Account pays 1.25% guaranteed for six months on balances up to $50K. I’ve had it. FDIC & legit.
I’ve been using Quicken for years. Now through 3/18/13 – it’s HALF-PRICE on Quicken Deluxe, Quicken Premier, and Quicken Home & Business. They even have Quicken Essentials for Mac users. You get a 60-day money back guarantee. You might give it a whirl for a couple months.
One of the greatest things about Quicken is that with one click, it will go out to all of your financial accounts and bring in all of your new transactions. It goes to your checking, savings, CDs, credit cards, stock, retirement and brokerage accounts – and scrapes in the new info. You can see your empire in one place!
It makes tax time quick and painless – especially if you itemize deductions. You might even be able to use it to organize your 2012 taxes.
Another great feature is that Quicken 2013 comes with a free Quicken App that syncs your desktop and your iPhone, iPad, and Android phones and tablets. Now you will know exactly where your finances stand, even if you are out of town. No need to check into several bank websites. It’s all in the free Quicken app. I whipped up a li’l Chip’s Money Tips example of a Quicken account for you screen cap lovers:
Another entry on my annual To-Do list is to pull my own credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com. You can get a free credit report from each of the big three bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. It’s actually free, and does not harm your credit in any way. See video below.
In my 10+ years as a landlord, I have run many an applicant’s credit report. I found that not all people with bad credit are irresponsible, but most irresponsible people have bad credit. Which group do you want to be in?
What has infected many in all groups, is a small medical claim that has gone to a collection agency. It’s the chickenpox of credit reports – a lot of people get it and it’s very frustrating until it’s gone.
One Collection ~ 100 Point Drop
Last month, I was consulting a couple about refinancing their home. They had virtually the same joint bank accounts and credit cards. The only difference was the wife had a $93 medical claim that had gone to a collection agency. Her credit score at the bureaus was lower than her husband’s by 62, 63 and 99 points.
A friend just tried to refinance his home and discovered a brand new $92 medical
Howdy Numbnuts! This is for folks who are watching their nickels, as well as deal-seekers. We have a pretty cool 6-week window of opportunity here for you to clear $252-$300 tax free. Plus $100 if this is new to you.
The Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Visa® Card (boy that’s a lot of ®s for a name) is a card that pays 5% cash back in categories that change quarterly. What separates this card from other 5% cash back cards, is that you are only limited to $300 cash back in the 5% categories per calendar year. The others are $75 per quarter.
I love to use my Citi Dividend card for opportunities like this. It has “Drugstores” as one of its 5% cash back categories through March 31, 2013. CVS is a drugstore. Heck, I could earn $300 cash back at CVS in one stop!
Of course, I don’t need $6,000 in bunion pads, wart remover and unmentionables – which I won’t mention. Alas, CVS is more than opiates and Whitman Samplers. Here’s how you can easily get $300 without actually buying $6K in stuff.
When my dad was in his 30s, he bought a Ditch Witch franchise. He sold construction equipment like bulldozers and trenchers. One day, his 60-something accountant Fred told him, “Remember to sell one for the old man.” Fred wasn’t talking about himself. He was talking about the old man that my dad would someday be. That story stuck with me.
In other words, bust your chops now. Make extra money while you are young and sock it away for when you aren’t.
Recently, a friend asked me about my saving and investment plans. One of my goals is to have my home and rental properties paid off when I turn 60. Then I could live off the fruits of years of planning and self-sacrifice as I enter Geezer-dom.
She asked me what I would do with the income. I said that it’s not what I would do – it’s what I wouldn’t have to do. I would not have to work. Sometimes I don’t feel like working now – and I’m only in my late 30s. By that I mean 40s. I doubt I’ll feel more spry in my 60s or 70s.
I Stumbled Out of the Blocks
As far as retirement accounts go, I had a 401(k) plan when I wore a suit for TheBankMart in Connecticut in my early 20s. TheBankMart matched whatever I contributed, to a certain amount. That was sweet, free money! If your employer
Everyone eats, right? February 12-13, you can get a $25 restaurant gift certificate for $4. Certificates do not expire.
Code “LOVE”. This deal ends when Cupid loads up his quiver and goes Hunger Games all over Valentine’s Day. Get one now!
I’m a late-adopter of Restaurant.com because it sounded too good to be true. Then I received $25 and $50 gift certificates from friends. Even though the gift certificate said that alcohol was not included, when I called to make a reservation, the restaurant/bar said alcohol could be included - so ask.
You can search by zip code or city. I just picked up three. Once I applied the code “LOVE”, the $25 gift certificate, that was priced at $10, dropped to only $4 each.
Advertising makes us buy things we don’t need – like the Toilet Coffee Mug, Bacon Bandaids, or Gun-shaped ice-cube trays. I say turn off the Super Bowl, avoid the commercials, and cook a vegan meal together. Okay, I’m just messin’ with ya.
When I was in a few Super Bowl ads, my buddies assumed I struck the mutherload! I wish. Although the average price advertisers pay for a 30 second spot is almost $4 million, actors’ scale pay for a national network airing is about 50 bucks – be it a low-rated sitcom or Super Bowl.
If you are staring at a shoebox full of receipts that you must plow through before doing your taxes, NOW might be the time to try shoeboxed.com. They have a 30 day trial for all of their plans.
You could even send them ALL of your 2012 receipts. Get them back lickity-split for doing your taxes. The free trial covers 50 documents. More than 50 and you’ll have to pay for a plan (see below). You can drop down to any plan at any time, including “Forever Free” – which is free… forever.
I am weird. For me, entering transactions in my accounting software is like soaking in a hot tub on a chilly, star-filled night. Reconciling a bank statement is like getting a shoulder massage. Assimilating data is a Q-Tip twirling in my ear. Me likie!