House Money

The Upside to “Upside-Down”


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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.

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!

G20

Today, My Car is a Man


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My “new” car just turned 13.  I’d say it’s my car’s Bar Mitzvah, but it’s not Jewish.  And… it’s a car.

I replaced my 328,536 mile Honda Hooptie with a then brand new 1999 Infiniti G20.  I have had two cars in 26 years.

Keeping cars kept dollars in my wallet.  I was driving my aging cars when most folks would have them in Fred Sanford’s salvage yard, or at least being overhauled by Chico in The Man’s garage.

Both new cars were financed for five years each.  I paid a grand total of $42,000 for my “HondaFiniti”.  Divide that by 26 years, and my average car payment is $135/month and declining.

What about repairs?

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2 Krogers Fuel Cropped

$2 Off Per Gallon with Fuel Points


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Here’s how you can quickly get up to $2 off per gallon, up to 35 gallons per fill-up, through September 30, 2012.

What:
Kroger is the largest supermarket chain in in the country. It is parent to 16 other chains.  If Octomom were supermarket, she’d need to spit out two litters to equal Kroger’s brood.  The Kroger Family of Stores has an awesome program called “Fuel Points”.

Fuel Points perks vary between each Kroger chain. For example, Kroger & King Soopers top out at $2 off per gallon. My area Ralphs caps at 20 cents a gallon. 20 cents ain’t too shabby, but it’s not 2 bucks! Fill up at your Kroger chain fuel centers for the best discount.

How:

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Directv Viacom Cropped

I want my MTV, or… 80 Bucks!!


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I just got $80 off DirecTV because of the Viacom kerfuffle.  As you may know, Viacom pulled its channels off DirecTV, while they try to hash out a deal.  That ain’t my problem!  A quick call to DirecTV’s Customer Retention department to complain yielded an $80 credit.  That is on top of the $43/month in savings I already get.  Call DirecTV now, before they make nicey-nice with Viacom.

This content is not provided or commissioned by the company whose products are featured on this site. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or evaluations provided here are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the Advertiser. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser’s affiliate programs.

AmexPrepaidCard 10Bucks

$30 Free from Amex in July


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Same deal as before, but different.  What the?  Through July, put $50 on a prepaid card and get $10 for doing so.  You can do it with up to three cards.  That means you can get $30 free.  Order now!

NO credit pull because this is NOT a credit card.  Therefore ANY adult with a bank account can do it.  You can read more about it in last month’s post.

This content is not provided or commissioned by the company whose products are featured on this site. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or evaluations provided here are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the Advertiser. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser’s affiliate programs.

Ing Direct Icon

Easy $76+ from ING (thru July 3rd)


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UPDATE for 2013 — ING DIRECT is now Capital One 360.

360 Checking (formerly Electric Orange)
360 Savings (formerly Orange Savings)
360 Kids Savings (formerly Kids Savings)
360 Money for Teens (formerly Money)

ING DIRECT is giving away a lot of cash.  Period.  You must act by Tuesday night.  If nothing else, get the first one and collect the easiest $76 you’ve made in a while.  Okay, the legalist easiestest.  It is something ANY adult can do:

$76 just for opening an ING Electric Orange account.  No Minimums.  Like I said – free money!  You will have to make five purchases in 45 days with the debit card they send you, so you will want to have some money in there to pay for your five purchases.  Go to the self-serve checkout at the grocery and buy 5 whatevers.  Done and done!  They’ll add $76 to your account by August 22nd.  If you and the significant other do it, you will have $152 to blow at a schmancy steak joint.  Okay, sushi.  I’m staying out of it.

Get another $76 bonus for referring two friends who successfully open an ING Orange Savings account.  Plus, each friend gets $25.  Then they could do the ING Electric Orange $76 thing as well.

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United Ad

United’s Awesomeness Expires Sunday Night


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This offer has expired.  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.

United just announced that they will be discontinuing this offer.  This is the easiest way to get more than enough miles for a free flight.  All you need to do is use the card one time, and you’ll get 25,000 miles. Get another 5,000 miles for adding an authorized user (even if you don’t actually give a card to the person you named in the application). That’s 30,000 miles for buying a pack of gum, or whatever floats your boat. No annual fee, free checked bag for you and a companion on your reservation Sometimes they kill these off even sooner than later, so if you want the deal, and it is great, apply right now!

Number1

Reminder: Two Things To Do This Week


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Get your $75 from loading up some Amex Prepaid cards. These are NOT credit cards, even though you will use them wherever Amex cards are accepted. So even if you have horrible credit, you can do this. Offer expires Saturday, June 30th. Who couldn’t use $75 free?

One really nice feature is that you can use the Amex Prepaid card at an ATM with no charge, once a month. That means, you could load up the card(s), go to an ATM, pay that ATM’s fee, and withdraw your cash in $20 increments. If you know of an actually free ATM, even better! Get it all at once. Done and done.

If you have a 5% cash back card, the quarterly categories are going to change on Sunday. This quarter, one of the easiest ways to spend up to the $1,500 limit on the Chase Freedom card, is to buy gift cards at a grocery store. That purchase must be posted before July 1st. Check your April – June Chase Freedom statements under “Bonus from 5% categories: Apr – Jun”. Add those numbers, divide by four, subtract that from $1,500, then go buy gift cards for the difference, with your Chase Freedom card.

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Honda Odometer2

My Hooptie’s Total Recall


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When I say “Total Recall”, I’m not talking about a movie remake that comes out August 3rd.  I’m talking about what happens when your insurance company wants to total your car instead of paying for repairs, but then you recall (see what I did there?) improvements you have made to your vehicle.

Your car may be worth more than you think, thanks to something called “Betterment” or “Diminished Value”.   Gather ’round whilst I regale you with a personal experience that got me $4,000.

13 years ago, I had a fender-bender.  When I asked the other dude for his insurance, he said, “I lost it yesterday.”  Since that was also the day I was born, I believed him.  Uninsured motorists are soooo clever.

Happily, there wasn’t that much damage to my 1986 maroon Honda Accord DX.  Unhappily, the insurance adjuster said my car was totaled.  I asked, “How do you figure?”  He went Socrates on me and answered my question with a question.  Our conversation ping-ponged as if Aaron Sorkin had written it himself.

“How old is the car?”  13 years.
“How many miles?”  328,536.
“It’s totaled.”

My hooptie had sentimental value, but did it have much actual value?  I’d put about $4,000 into it the previous year.  Was I like one of those people who spend thousands of dollars on dialysis for their 27 year old Siamese kitty, Mr. Tibbers?  Maybe.

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MCgiftcard Front

The Frugal Way to Maximize 5% Cash Back


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If you are like me and have 5% cash back cards from Chase, Citi and Discover, you no doubt like the slew of 5% tax-free rebate dough in different categories every three months.  But what happens when your frugal ways don’t spend enough to take full advantage of that quarterly rebate?  Two words: “Gift Cards”.

For example: From April thru the end of June, Chase Freedom pays 5% at these Grocery Stores & Movie Theaters on purchases up to $1,500 total for the quarter.  That’s $75 back in my wallet!  I know from looking at my card statements under “Bonus from 5% categories: Apr – Jun”, that I have spent $900 in those categories.  Because Chase will give me 5% on a total of $1,500 per quarter, I can still get 5% cash back on $600 spent in those categories.  Since I don’t want to waste this opportunity or frivolously blow $600 on an impromptu shopping spree…  Hello, gift cards.

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