Okay, the title was just a grabber. Of course being charitable is a good thing – especially if it will get the guy with the red kettle to stop ringing his bell long enough for me to get out of earshot.
Some people “tithe” – which is giving 10% of one’s income. It’s like God is their agent and that is his commission. I can hear Him now, “I put you in America, how about a little something for the effort? Thank you. Me Bless.”
A couple weeks ago, my friends Jimmy Pardo, Pat Francis and Matt Belknap did their annual “Pardcast-a-thon” to raise money for SmileTrain. The star-studded guest list included Conan O’Brien, John Hamm, Laraine Newman and Zach Galifianakis. They raised over $100,000 and are still accepting donations at Pardcast.com
It’s great to do things for charities. If you were looking for ways to be able to give more to charities, I have a few suggestions that have worked for me.
- I have a savings account at my bank that I call my “Donation Fund”. Every month I have an automatic transfer from my checking to that fund. If your bank won’t give you a free interest bearing savings account, set one up at Ally Bank (.95%) or Capital One 360 Savings (.75%). Those pay interest, have no minimums and no monthly fees. It’s
Just a quick mention about two current airline offers for TWO FREE FLIGHTS. Go getcha one now!
This is billed as “Two Free Flights” but the 50,000 Southwest bonus points can be stretched to many more round-trip flights. For example, I just plugged in a random mid-January trip from Burbank to Las Vegas that is 5,880 points – round trip. Big Bonus-Point Bang!
They keep sweetening the deal to get my dead dad to sign up for a United MileagePlus Explorer card. Well, it is a generous offer – but he’s not doing any more flying.
These card offers come because he didn’t Opt-Out of them. How could he? He doesn’t have wi-fi at his current locale six feet under. To avoid the temptation to accept their sweet offer on his behalf (and commit fraud), I opted-out for him at OptOutPrescreen.com. You can do this Dead or Alive.
There are pros and cons to this. If you Opt-Out, you will get less junk mail. Then you can find out what the best offers are at Chip’s Money Tips’ credit card search engine. Woo-hoo! All right! Yea Chip’s Money Tips!
But don’t Opt-Out so fast! Junk mail has a silver lining. If you Opt-In to mailings – you
Chip’s Money Tips Subscriber-Extraordinaire Jacko has a question:
“Can you recommend a decent rewards card that will allow me to float some payables for a few months?”
Absolutely! Three of the four Chase Ink cards have a 0% introductory rate for the first six billing cycles that your account is open. Float, float on… until Summer!
Ink Classic, Ink Cash and Ink Plus all have a 0% introductory rate for six billing cycles. For that time period, there is 0% interest.
The Ink cards were created for business use, but that pretty much includes anyone who makes a buck doing something. As I have said before, if you are a handyman, nanny, dog walker, actor, or sell stuff online – congratulations the IRS says you are called a sole proprietor!
When you apply for one of these cards, put your name as Name of Business, your social security number as Tax ID Number, and sole proprietor as Type of Business. It’s all legal and legit.
Before I give you the breakdown of what each card offers, here’s a way to maximize these bonus babies!
Now for something really SEXY: Saving on your Sewer Service Charge (SSC). Hubba-hubba. My most recent bill’s SSC was $22.89. I had paid as much as $155.55 until I wised up.
I will tell you the answer first, because the explanation could put you in REM 3. If you have automatic sprinklers and you live in an area that charges you a sewer usage charge based upon water you use – you might wanna shut them off until Spring. I live in the warm and sunny Los Angeles “Valley”. I shut off my lawn sprinklers between the first rain in November until March-April.
I started doing this a few years ago and my lawn, in full sun, has not suffered a bit. Individual results may vary. Void where prohibited without the expressed written consent of Major League Baseball.
Serve your environmentalist side with your “green” stance on water conservation while currying favor with your inner capitalist by keeping “green” in your wallet!
Happy Guilt-Free Fun Spending Day! Today’s the day to help yourself and small businesses. Take a minute to enroll all of your American Express cards at ShopSmall.com, then spend at least $25 per transaction on each card to receive a $25 statement credit. Not sure what to buy? Try gift cards for local shops, baby! Confirm participating businesses at ShopSmall.com‘s map. More details in my posts here and here.
UPDATE for 2013 — ING DIRECT is now Capital One 360.
Shhh!!! ING DIRECT doesn’t know what “sale” means. They think it means to give away cash. Now through Sunday night ONLY, they will give you $125 if you open an Electric Orange account, $10 for a Kids Savings Account and more.
I have an Electric Orange account. No credit check. No Minimums. No fees. No tricks. No brainer. So, even if you have HORRIBLE credit you can open an Electric Orange and get $125. Where else can you make $125 in ten minutes this weekend?
Here’s the scoop on those “sales” and the others:
If time is money, you gotta applaud this guy’s money tip.
Wednesday is considered one of the busiest travel days of the year. If you are getting in your car, maybe you should take a page out of The Book of Lopez. Forget about “outside the box”, this guy thinks “outside the lanes”. Steve Lopez wrote in the LA Times:
Once, I hired a day laborer to travel with me so I could use the carpool lanes… I still think there ought to be day laborer stations along the highway, because everybody wins, but for some reason the idea hasn’t caught on.
I assume Steve hasn’t heard of Ted Bundy or seen Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
As we head into Thanksgiving, there is much reason to be grateful. If you are reading this site, you probably aren’t a day laborer. You were probably born in America – which is like winning the lottery. We need look no further than a day laborer hiring area to be reminded that this is the Land of Opportunity and that we are blessed to be here.
And if things get really bad, you can make a few bucks riding shotgun down the 405. Happy Thanksgiving!