Friday, May 01, 2009

I have moved . . .

I've moved from blog. I'm now using WordPress.

Come visit my new site

Hope to see you there.

Monday, April 27, 2009

When do you "turn-on" your financial brain?

There are times when we just reach into our wallet or purse, pull out the cash and pay for the item(s) we want and then there are times when as we are getting ready to purchase, we stop and think and think and think before laying down the cash.

That "thinking" is what I call "turning-on my financial brain". At what dollar amount do I start having thoughts about buying or not buying?

Here's the process that I go through most of the time and to set this up, you need to know that In my biweekly budget, I get $20 of blow cash every two weeks. (Don't laugh at the amount.)

  1. How much of my blow cash do I have left in my wallet right now?
  2. Is there anything coming up that I know about between this purchase and my next blow cash installment?
  3. Am I wanting to buy this item because I perceive this as a good deal or is it something I really want? A good example of this for me is the Power Bars at Big Lots. Most of the time I'm thinking to myself "This is a great deal. I better pick some up before they are all gone." I've got lots of Power Bars at home already.
  4. What would I or could I do with the cash if I don't buy that item?
After going through that thought process, sometimes I buy and sometimes I don't. Sometimes I even feel guilty over my decision. (I wish I could get over that feeling. That's another blog post topic.)

Anyway, that's kind of my story. As your thinking about this, share your thoughts with me. When does your financial brain turn on?

Friday, April 24, 2009

I like this disposable email address

When you order something online one of the "required" fields is your email address. (It makes sense.) One big draw back in my mind is once this online retailer has my email address, it seems like I get at email after email from them about an upcoming sale.

I came across This website provides you with disposable e-mail addresses which expire after 15 Minutes. You can read and reply to e-mails that are sent to the temporary e-mail address within the given time frame.

Guerrillamail's web site say's its used by 8,000 people a day and has created more than 538,000 temporary email addresses.

Leave me a comment on what use you could see for a temporary email address.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sound Mind Investing

I'm a big fan of the investment strategy used by the guys over at Sound Mind Investing. They do a great job and provide peace of mind. That's why I've got my Roth IRA with them.

They recently made available for free an article from their newsletter that I've read before and really love. It talks about why you shouldn't let current market behavior drive your decisions.

It's a very timely read. Check out the article by clicking here. It will be well worth your time.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Fraud Alert!

Since my post on my debit card being compromised, I've received two direct emails from people who have had the same exact thing happen to them. A charge from NetFlix and the Collagen Store hit their account. Click here to see my initial post and followup posts.

Today, I took the next step and put a fraud alert on my credit report. If you file a fraud alert on one credit report, the agency your filed the alert with is required to notify the other two reporting agencies.

Tonight, I filed the alert with equifax via their fraud alert web site.

Here's what I received in my email inbox this a.m.

Dear TODD,

This email serves as confirmation that your request to add an initial 90 day fraud alert or active duty alert to your Equifax credit file has been completed successfully!

To request your free credit file disclosure copy online please visit

You may also request your free disclosure by calling (800) 685-1111.

Equifax will forward your initial 90 day fraud alert or active duty alert information to the other national credit reporting agencies, eliminating the need for you to contact them directly. They should also add an alert to their files. If you do not receive notification from Experian or TransUnion that they have added an alert for you on their credit files, please contact them directly using the following contact information:

TransUnion, PO Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92634: (800) 680-7289
Experian, PO Box 9530, Allen, TX 75013: (800) 379-3742.

It's time you stop preapproved offers

You come home from work, open your mailbox and find the majority of the mail is prepaid credit card and insurance offers. Day after day, week after week.

Did you know that you can opt out and stop those annoying preapproved offers? Yep, all you have to do is either
  1. Call 888-567-8688 or
  2. log on to
Note, in doing so, you'll have to provide your Social Security Number. It's safe and well worth it.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Must be my lucky day. $750,000 is waiting for me

I just checked my email and to my great surprise, I was offered $750,000 in grant money. Here's the email.

The Fidelity UK Foundation,
Oakhill House, 130 Tonbridge Road,
Hildenborough, Kent, TN11 9DZ

April 15th 2009

Good Day,
This is to notify you that You are have been approved for a grant of $750,000.00
in the on going Fidelity Foundation 21st year Aniversary Special Easter Grant.
Do not have doubt over Your participation in this Promotion,as all Participants were
selected Through an electronic computer ballot system for all email users drawn From
over 2,500,000 email addresses of individuals and companies from America,Asia,
Australia,Europe, Middle East, Oceania,North American,and South American.

To file in for your claims,Contact the verification officer with the
following information:


Wow, it's amazing that they can find me via my email address but they need me to confirm my name, phone # . . .

I wonder if people really fall for this stuff? I'm 1/2 tempted to call the phone number they provided in this email just to see what happens when I call. What would you do? Would you call and play along?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Searching for a good CD rate. . .

I just had a CD come due. It was a 6 month CD paying 3.25%. It was good while it lasted. Now a 6 month CD at that same bank is paying a whopping 0.25%. I said thanks but no thanks.

So, wheres a good place to find CD rates? I've talked about this web site many time in the past and it's worth you visiting the site from time to time.

In doing my CD search, BankRate is giving me 7 banks paying from 2% up to 2.25%. This is a much higher rate than the 0.25% I'm currently being offered.

So it looks like I'm going to open up an CD online at GMAC Bank paying 2.25% APY.

What's your highest interest earning rate right now and what bank is it with?

This idea to save some money is all wet. . . .

I've been in the market for some time for a rain barrel. They are beneficial in a number of ways.

  1. It's rain water and garden plants and house plans do much better with rain water than with treated tap water.
  2. Rain water is free. No money being poured down the drain. (Literally)
  3. I like to think it's another way for me to live a litter greener.
Anyway, in doing some checking around online and locally, the average cost of a rain barrel is over $100. Ouch. I could never bring myself to send that kind of money on a barrel. We'll as luck / ingenuity would have it, I spend a total of $7.95 on my rain barrel.

I got the barrel for free and the parts from Lowe's. So far so good. It's raining tonight and my barrel is almost full. I'm keeping an eye on it to make sure my overflow tube works.

I'm excited about the money I saved and all the rain water I'll have for my house plants, garden, and landscaping this summer.

Do you have any experience with a rain barrel?