We have Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and now Giving Tuesday.
Being charitable is a good thing – especially if it will get the guy next to the red kettle to stop testing your eardrums with his bell.
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.”
We hit the lottery just by being born in the good ole US of A. Everything else is gravy. Still, some folks here have legitimate needs.
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 account, set one up at Capital One 360 Savings (.75%). That pays interest, has no minimums and no monthly fees. EverBank (1.40% the first 6 months, 1.01% for the first year) requires $1,500 to open the account. It’s amazing how fast those funds will grow!
- Now that I have my Donation Fund, when I get a request to Save The Tatas, Bike
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.
A few months ago, I picked up three. I decided not to use two of them. Both were credited back to my Restaurant.com account as two $25 credits. I can use those credits to buy a combination of $10, $15, or $25 gift certificates to ANY Restaurants.com restaurant.
So, buy certificates now at the $3 special offer. Enjoy the restaurants you chose, or use that work-around to go to different places that they offer.
You can search by zip code or city. Certificates do not expire. This deal ends when “Cyber Monday” turns into “Regular Ole Tuesday”. Click to get some now!
Now through Monday night ONLY, Capital One 360 will give you a $100 BONUS if you open a 360 Checking account and a $100 BONUS if you open a 360 Savings account. Click on the links to learn more and open your accounts.
I have both of these accounts. Once you meet the requirements (below) for the bonuses, there are No Minimums. No fees. No tricks. No brainer.
Black Friday is about deals. Where else can you actually earn $200 in ten minutes today?
When you get back from the jungle of credit card wielding, sleep-deprived bargain hunters, reload your bankroll!
Let me know if you have questions. Details here:
Uber’s $30 sign up bonus for newbies ends this Saturday night. If you have not signed up yet, click here to sign-up for Uber. Then you will get $30 off your next ride. I will too, but his isn’t about me. It’s about you, right? The $30 bonus will drop to $20 when your chariot turns into a pumpkin Saturday night at midnight. Sign up now and use the free ride later!
As I said in my review of Uber, there may be times when you should leave your car and grab a cab. Grabacab is also the name of my favorite Genesis song. That’s GOLD! What, I can’t repeat my jokes? C’mon, the Rolling Stones still play Satisfaction every show.
Go on now, git! Here’s that fancy link that will get you $30 off your next ride.
Would you spend $500 to get $225 tax-free cash back? For a limited time – you can! Chase just increased the sign-up bonus on their Freedom card from $100 to $200 cash back. They also sweetened the pot with an extra $25 if you add an authorized user. The card has 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. See details below.
This is the Visa that I carry in my wallet. It never has an annual fee. You always get 1% cash back on everything. You get 5% cash back on various categories that change every three months. For example, now through December 31st you get 5% cash back at Amazon.com, Zappos and these Department stores. January 1- March 31st, it is grocery stores, Starbucks, and movie theatres.
To get the bonus, you need to meet the $500 spending requirement in the first three months your account is open. That might be pretty easy to do by just paying your phone, internet and cable bills. $500 in three months is an average of only $5.55 per day. Like I said, it’s pretty easy to achieve.
Remember, you don’t have to give a card to an authorized user. You just have to give a name that gets printed on a card for the authorized user to use. Maybe you get one for the President or First Lady. It’s your call.
We just had our first November rain in Los Angeles. That means it’s time for my annual post about turning off your sprinklers. Woo-Hoo!! That’s right. “Reduce. Reuse. Recycle” also applies to money tips.
The reason you should do that is really SEXY: Saving on your Sewer Service Charge (SSC). Hubba-hubba. My most recent bill’s SSC was only $15.46. It had been TEN TIMES as high – 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 time. I live in the warm and sunny, drought-riddled Los Angeles “Valley”. I turn off my lawn sprinklers between the first rain in November until March-April.
To be clear, the savings I just mentioned was not money I banked from bill to bill by cutting back on the water itself, that I used to soak my lawn. That was additional savings in the “Water” portion of the bill. I’m talking about a separate part of the bill under “Sanitation Charges” called the Sewer Service Charge. See below.
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.
In my post Jock Straps, Bunsen Burners and Passive Income, I talk about different kinds of passive income streams. One such stream from which I drink is residual payments from acting gigs. Yesterday, I got my all-time lowest residual payment: one red cent. That’s right, a penny. This was for some voices I did on the animated pilot “Dan Danger”.
I covered up my address cuz I don’t want y’all knowing I have this kinda cash sitting around.
It seems quite fitting that I am writing this post from eight miles high, on a Delta flight, with a ticket I purchased with 25,000 frequent flyer miles. I received those miles as part of a bonus for meeting the spend on a Delta SkyMiles American Express credit card.
They have increased their sign up bonus to 50,000 miles + a $50 Delta statement credit (usually it is 30,000 miles). The catch: You must apply by Monday, September 8th and then spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of having the 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.
The same deal applies for the business credit card. If you want to apply for both the personal and business cards at the same time, check out Results of My April “App-Aloosa” for tips on how I did it in the past.
Remember that you can no longer get the sign-up bonus on a Delta SkyMiles
A few years ago, I started loaning money to complete strangers via Lending Club and Prosper. Here are my posts after Year One and Year Two. $25 was the most I lent to any of the 30 people. I spread it around to (clear throat) diversify my portfolio. Of course, I said that with a swagger and deeper than usual voice.
I got returns of 6.72% and 5.78% respectively. Over the three years, only one borrower defaulted. So, I had to eat that, just like a bank does when someone bails on what they owe.
People who are looking to borrow money will say the reason they need the money. I tend to go with those who want the loan to pay off a high interest credit card or start a new business.
Are you more inclined to borrow than lend? You can do that too. It’s anonymous for all parties. Use Lending Club and Prosper to borrow money from regular people at a rate cheaper than your high interest credit card or a personal bank loan.
If you have extra cash, this might be a good way to help folks dig out of debt or fund other projects, while getting a better return than in a CD or savings account. Lending Club and Prosper do all the work for you. You just sign up to lend or borrow.
Donating to charity is a great way to help meet a credit card spending requirement. That’s how I paid off my ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Donation. There are TWO fantastic 50,000 mile sign-up bonus offers right now. You must apply for United’s by Tuesday (September 2nd). You have a week to apply for Delta’s (September 8th). Both offers are usually 30,000 miles, so 50,000 is mucho better!! Apply while you can!