Linda Evangelista Thong Cropped Small

What Would You Do For $75.00?


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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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Ballrollinggirl

Need a Hot Tip or a Nudge?


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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.

1971johnnybench

Results of My April “App-Aloosa”


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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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Amandapeet2

Gigi’s Checkbook


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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?


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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


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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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Amazon Local2 Small

$2 in Free MP3s with The Amazon Local App


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amazon_local2-smallMy 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.

Fistful Of Dollars

Here’s Where You Can Shove Your Tax Refund


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fistful_of_dollarsMany 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.

EquiFaxExperianTransUnion Combo

The Chickenpox of Your Report


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EquiFaxExperianTransUnion_comboAnother 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

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