When you owe more on something than it’s worth, you are “upside-down”. If your home is worth less today than when you bought it – there is a silver lining to your upside-downitude.
Get the Tax Man to reassess your property’s value and thereby lower your tax bill.
My buddy JT had his home’s value reviewed. The Assessor came back with an even lower value than what JT hoped. He saved over $1,000 in property taxes. That is after-tax money. In his case, that was more like what is left after paying taxes on income of $1,500.
I dunno what goes on in your parts, but here is information about the appeal process in Los Angeles, where property owners are allowed to appeal their value between July 2 – Nov. 30.
Contact your local assessor and turn those lemons into a half full glass of lemonade!
A trip across the country is now affordable – assuming free is in your price range. Here’s how to get flights and multiple nights in a swanky hotel for zip, zilch, nada.
You can pull this off with Starpoints. To get a bunch of Starpoints, there are nice sign-up bonuses with Starwood Preferred Guest (personal and business) cards.
This offer will give you 10,000 bonus Starpoints for spending $1 and 15,000 bonus Starpoints for meeting the spending requirement within 6 months. You get a point for every buck you spend. Spending $5,000 within 6 months will give you 25,000 Starpoints. The fine print says “This offer is also not available to applicants who have had this product within the last 12 months.”
If you and your significant other, gal-pal or homeslice each get a card and meet the spending requirement – you’ll have enough Starpoints for two round trip flights and multiple hotel nights. I type from experience. I’ve done it! People living at the same address can combine their Starpoints. This is ideal if one is an organization freak and the other keeps misplacing his toothbrush. So, if a husband and wife got their own cards… do the math!
Starwood “Nights & Flights” is a fantastic use of your Starpoints for a
If you’re going to purchase something you need, and someone is willing to pay you tax-free cash for doing so – I say let them!
Check out these cash back cards. Right now, Chase and Citi sweetened the deal with $100 bonuses!
Here’s the scoop: Chase, Citi and Discover have credit cards that never have an annual fee and always give 5% cash back in certain categories. The categories change every three months. We can use these cards to get up to $900 cash back every year – without changing our spending habits. That cash back money is tax free. It adds up!
Instead of using cash, use these cards, get 5% cash back, and then pay off your bill with the cash you were going to spend in the first place.
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.
Here are the new categories:
Shhh!!! Capital One 360 doesn’t know what “sale” means. They think it means to give away cash.
I have both of these accounts. No Minimums. No fees. No tricks. No brainer.
Black Friday is about deals. Where else can you actually make $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:
Registration for Small Business Saturday is now open. Click here to register your American Express cards. You’ll get $10 statement credit per registered card when you use it to spend $10 or more in a transaction this Saturday, November 30th.
I really like this promotion because it is a win-win for small businesses and consumers. Basically, Amex is buying you something at your local business.
If you don’t have an American Express card yet, there may still be time to get in on this hot, credit card credit action. While you’re applying, here’s why you should add additional users.
American Express has many personal and business cards. I’m a fan of the Starwood & Delta cards. To pick a card, any 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.
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!!
The reason you do that is really SEXY: Saving on your Sewer Service Charge (SSC). Hubba-hubba. My most recent bill’s SSC was $24.99. 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!
Here’s an opportunity for some free money. You’ll get $200 tax free if you get the new Chase Freedom card, and spend $500 on it in the first 3 months that you have it. If you aren’t an ultra-maroon or filthy rich, you might wanna check it out.
$500 is only $167/month x 3. Use the card to pay for your phone bill, internet, TV, gasoline, groceries, banjo lessons – whatever! Checkout my post on Amazon Payments to see how you can use the card to pay someone (maybe your landlord) money you owe. Then pay off the card with the cash that you were going to use to pay for your stuff in the first place.
No catch. The Chase Freedom card is the Visa that I carry in my wallet. I got this card years ago when they last had the $200 offer. Click on Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers for up-to-date deals, terms, and conditions on this card and more. Email me if you have any questions about which card might be right for your situation.
It never has an annual fee. It pays 1% cash back on all purchases. It pays 5% cash back on various categories that change every quarter. For example, from October 1st – December 31st, it pays 5% cash back on purchases at Amazon.com and these select department stores.
Again, this $200 is tax free, so it’s more like what you have left after paying taxes on $300 – $400 earned at your job – depending upon which tax bracket you are in.
If you and your significant other get the card, well, you’ll be able to afford roast beast and taters this Christmas!
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I’ve been using Quicken for years. If you wanna dip your Fred Flintstone sized big toe in the Quicken pool, I think the Quicken Starter Edition will do just fine. Right now it is only $29.99 ($10 off). That link has a better price than what I found at Amazon. It comes with a 60-day money back guarantee. You might give it a whirl for a couple months. They even have a Quicken Essentials for Mac.
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.
Another great feature is that Quicken 2014 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 screenshot lovers:
Are you a coffee-achiever like Mrs. Olsen? If those nouns sound like gibberish to you, congratulations on being under 40. I’m talking about the bean, man!
This week only – CardCash is offering Starbucks gift cards at over 17% off. Click here. Then click the BUY button at top left and search “Starbucks”. It’s already 14% off, but click “Edit My Cart” to type in coupon code 4MOREOFF to fill the discount to the rim for an additional 4% off the discounted price. That comes to roughly 17.44% off. Remember: Stay away from that last drop!
”Crash & Bernstein” is a TV show on Disney XD, in which I play Hank Urkhart: Coach – Science teacher. How’s that for a hyphenate? My purview is jock straps and Bunsen burners. Never the twain shall meet.
Between scenes, I was talking to the writing team who wrote the episode in which my character first appeared. Then another hyphenate, the head writer – executive producer, ambled over. He told the writing team, “You guys get another $500 this week, because Chip’s here.” It turns out there is something in the Writers’ Guild called a “character payment”. If you wrote the episode in which a character debuts, you get extra cash every episode in which that character reappears. This was my 5th time on the show. The guys get paid that extra bump even when they don’t write the episodes I’m in. Pretty sweet!
This conversation was a perfect storm for me: Comedy, Performing and Money. More specifically, Passive Income, which is income received on a regular basis with little or no effort required to maintain it. These guys worked hard coming up with Coach Urkhart, but they didn’t have to do anything else to keep getting paid for it. Even if they never worked another minute on the show, they’d still get a check in the mail every time my character came back. Nice!
Passive income was in the air that day. When I got home from the set, I was greeted with some mailbox money, a residual check from 3rd Rock From The Sun (the very first sitcom I ever did). That’s also where I had my first on-screen kiss. Unfortunately, that was with John Lithgow.
I worked two days on that episode over 16 years ago! The check was only $55, but still… it was $55! And all I had to do was reach into my mailbox.
When it comes to money, little amounts can become big amounts. Over the years, the total passive income I have received from that episode of 3rd Rock is six times what I was paid for those two days of work in 1997.
I hear ya. “Well that’s nice, ChipsMoneyTips, but I’m not a TV writer or actor. How can I get passive income?”
The first step is to squirrel away a little somethin’ somethin’ in