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My Money Blog



Personal Finance and Investing Blog



Last Build Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2018 08:59:07 +0000

 



Republic Wireless Review: Free SIM Kit, Free Shipping, Free 1st Month of Service ($20 Unlimited Talk/Text + 1 GB)

Thu, 26 Apr 2018 08:59:07 +0000

Updated 2018. Republic Wireless is a T-Mobile MVNO that specializing in making phone calls seamlessly over WiFi whenever available. They have settled into the straightforward pricing below. This structure makes it best for light-to-moderate users of LTE data. The nice thing about these pay-for-what-you-use plans is that you save money on the months where you […]



Audible Returning Trial Members: 2 Free AudioBooks + $10 Amazon Gift Card (Targeted)

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 18:37:58 +0000

If you’ve already done a free trial of Audible.com and gotten some free audiobooks… Amazon might like to offer you another trial with two more free audiobooks plus a $10 Amazon gift card! This offer may be targeted and appears to be open to those who have been an Audible member or participated in an […]



Reader Question: Tracking Asset Allocation Across Multiple Investment Accounts

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 06:00:58 +0000

Here’s a reader question regarding my most recent portfolio asset allocation update. It has been edited for clarity and to remove personal details by request: Thank you for posting the quarterly finance updates. I would like to do something similar to track the returns by asset class but unfortunately, I have my funds across multiple […]



Amazon Prime: Buy Sample Box, Get Equal Credit Towards Similar Products

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 06:46:48 +0000

Updated with new Snack and other sample boxes. Amazon Prime members can buy sample boxes that come with a credit towards a future purchase in that specific product category. Right now, you can buy a snack sample box for $9.99 and then you’ll get an equal $9.99 credit towards a future purchase of any eligible […]



iPhone 6S Plus + New Apple Battery = $250 Frugal Phone?

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 04:26:05 +0000

More and more people are being scared away from paying $1,000+ for a new smartphone as they realize that come September there will be another one that is a bit newer and shinier. If you’re not committed to staying on the bleeding edge, why not save some bucks? I recently took advantage of the special […]



Georgia Tech Online Master’s Degree Update: Computer Science $7,000, Data Analytics $10,000

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 04:01:23 +0000

Maybe I’m foolish, but I remain hopeful about the potential of software leading to more affordable, accessible education. In 2014, Georgia Tech launched an Online Master of Science in Computer Science (OMSCS) with the goal of offering an accredited, top-tier education at a surprising price of $7,000. The program has been regularly ranked in the […]



1.1.1.1: Free DNS Server for Faster Internet, Better Privacy

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 07:46:39 +0000

Every time you visit a domain like mymoneyblog.com, you use a DNS server to find its “address”, specifically IP address. However, your internet service provider (ISP) may be logging every single request then selling this data to other advertisers. CloudFlare and APNIC partnered to create 1.1.1.1, an alternative free DNS resolver that doesn’t sell data […]



Target Car Seat Trade-In Program: 20% Off Car Seats and Strollers

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 20:32:15 +0000

In the market for a new car seat or stroller? Target is running their Car Seat Trade-in Event from Sunday, April 22 through Saturday, May 5, 2018. Simply bring in an old car seat or car seat base into a Target store and they will give you a 20% off coupon toward a new car […]



IKEA In-Store Coupon 2018: $25 off $150

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 20:47:44 +0000

This weekend only, IKEA has a printable $25 off $150 coupon [pdf] that is valid through 4/22/18. The coupon states that you can also show it on your phone at checkout. Valid in US stores only. Here is selected fine print: Not valid on IKEA Kitchen Event offer, IKEA services, Eat for Free or Kids […]



LendingTree Chart: Mortgage Rates vs. Credit Score 2018

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 05:04:12 +0000

Mortgage rates are rising. Home prices are still at recent highs. Yet, mortgage applications are also up, which suggests that people are worried about not being able to afford a house if they wait. Online mortgage comparison site LendingTree publishes a monthly update (March 2018) of what their real customers are getting approved for on […]



Fundrise Starter Portfolio eREIT vs. Vanguard REIT ETF Review – Updated April 2018

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 04:10:00 +0000

Updated April 2018. This post tracks my experiment comparing a Fundrise eREIT portfolio and the Vanguard REIT ETF. In Fundrise, we have a start-up that bought a concentrated basket of roughly 20 properties chosen from the private market. In Vanguard, we have a one of the largest real estate ETFs in the world that owns […]



Firstrade Commission-Free ETF Program Review – Includes Vanguard, iShares Core, Schwab Index ETFs

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 23:12:33 +0000

Online brokerage Firstrade just announced a new Commisssion-Free ETF program that includes 700+ ETFs from 40 fund families. This is a bold move as it includes both a lot of ETFs (quantity) but also the best ETFs (quality) from providers like Vanguard, iShares, WisdomTree, SPDR State Trust, and Schwab. Firstrade already cut their standard trade […]



Southwest Companion Pass: Business Card 60k Bonus + Personal Plus 50k Bonus

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 21:15:16 +0000

Southwest Airlines offers a unique feature called the Companion Pass, which lets you pick one person to fly with free when you book your own paid and/or award flights. If you either fly 100 qualifying one-way flights or earn 110,000 Qualifying Points in a calendar year, and you’ll earn the Companion Pass for the remainder […]



Delta Airlines Hack: Free Credit Monitoring From All Three Bureaus for 2 Years

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 06:00:01 +0000

In early April 2018, Delta disclosed that hackers may have compromised credit card information from ticket buyers on Delta.com between September 26 and ending October 12, 2017. However, as with many of these “cyber incidents”, this may just be the tip of the iceberg. If you realized actual damages, call 1-855-815-0534 and an AllClearID investigator […]



Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard Review: Cash Back Towards Travel Analysis

Fri, 13 Apr 2018 08:26:24 +0000

Barclays has rolled out the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard, a new hybrid travel/cashback rewards card with miles that can be redeemed for both cash or transferred to select mileage partners. The “miles” are now more flexible, similar to American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards points. This card replaces their discontinued “Arrival […]



Savings I Bonds May 2018 Interest Rate: 2.22% Inflation Rate, Possible Fixed Rate Increase?

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 06:59:01 +0000

Savings I Bonds are a unique, low-risk investment backed by the US Treasury that pay out a variable interest rate linked to inflation. You could own them as a replacement for cash reserves (they are liquid after 12 months) or bonds in your portfolio. New inflation numbers were just announced at BLS.gov, which allows us […]



My Money Blog Portfolio Asset Allocation, March 2018

Wed, 11 Apr 2018 07:07:32 +0000

Here is a First Quarter 2018 update for my primary investment portfolio. These are my real-world holdings, not a recommendation. It includes tax-deferred 401k/403b/IRAs and taxable brokerage accounts and excludes our primary home, cash reserves, and a few side investments. The goal of this portfolio is to create enough income to cover our regular household […]



SaverLife Review: Starting Saving $20 a Month, Get Another $10 a Month Boost

Tue, 10 Apr 2018 08:14:24 +0000

The importance of an emergency fund is often mentioned, but often the hardest thing is to get started. SaverLife.org is a program run by the nonprofit EARN to help working families by encouraging savings. Their idea here, essentially, is to kickstart a savings habit by paying a cash incentive for saving a least $20 each […]



50 State Infographic: How Much Income Do You Need to Afford the Average Home?

Mon, 09 Apr 2018 06:51:53 +0000

HowMuch.net compiled an infographic about the income you need to afford the average home in every US state. The key is that “afford” means that the total cost of housing take up no more than 30% of gross income. The highest income required is in Hawaii ($153,520 for a house worth $610,000) and the lowest […]



E-File Federal and State Tax Extension Online For Free (Updated 2018)

Sun, 08 Apr 2018 02:40:01 +0000

Updated for 2018. This year, the deadline for federal tax filing is Tuesday, April 17th, 2018. If you file for an extension, you can extend the time allowed to file your return by six months to Monday, October 15, 2018. (It does not extend the time to pay any tax due.) There are many legitimate […]



Blooom Review: Flat Fee Financial Advice (CFP) + Free 401k Analysis

Fri, 06 Apr 2018 06:00:23 +0000

The numbers tell us that you probably have a 401k and you’re probably managing it yourself. Blooom (yes, with three Os) is a new company that focuses on providing advice for 401k, 403b, 457, and TSP accounts with modest balances, charging a flat $10 a month fee that includes the following services: Fee analysis. Each […]



Graphic: The Fall of Pensions, The “Rise” of 401ks and IRAs

Thu, 05 Apr 2018 06:00:18 +0000

Above is a historical chart of US household retirement assets that helps visualize the shift from mostly pensions to mostly a combination of defined contribution plans (401k, 403b, etc) and IRAs. Pension share has gone from nearly 80% of total assets in the 1980s to about 40% today. The blips upwards in 2001 and 2009 […]



H&R Block Desktop Tax Software 2017: Fed + State $17.99 (Flash Sale)

Wed, 04 Apr 2018 17:30:55 +0000

Deal of the Day again 4/4/18. The benefit of “old-school” desktop tax software is that it doesn’t require your Social Security Number and financial details to be stored in the cloud (third-party server where it can be sold or hacked). Here’s a limited-time deal on H&R Block Tax Software 2017 (PC/Mac download or physical CD). […]



Chase Freedom & PayPal: 5% Back on Federal Income Tax Payments

Wed, 04 Apr 2018 01:38:12 +0000

The Chase Freedom Visa card has updated its quarterly 5% cash back categories for April 1st to June 30th, 2018. One of the eligible cash back categories is PayPal. April is also the time to make both income tax payments along with 2017 tax returns and also quarterly estimated taxes for 2018. PayUSATax.com is an […]



5% Cash Back on Groceries, PayPal, and Chase Pay – April to June 2018

Wed, 04 Apr 2018 01:15:01 +0000

2nd Quarter 2018 has begun! The credit cards below offer a hefty 5% cash back on categories that rotate each quarter. It takes a little extra attention, but I also rack up over a hundred dollars in additional rewards per year without changing my spending habits. You can also buy gift cards with the 5% […]