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My Money Blog

Personal Finance and Investing Blog

Last Build Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2017 06:56:12 +0000


Amazon Audible: Free Trial w/ 2 Free AudioBooks (May Work For Previous Trial Members)

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 06:52:29 +0000

Amazon Audible has an improved promotion where you can get a free 1-month trial to Audible that includes 2 audiobook credits (usually only 1 audiobook credit). Even if you are not a new member, try clicking anyway as it worked for me and I had a previous trial Audible membership. Here’s what you should see […]

The Intangible Benefits of Saving Money: Flexibility and Robustness

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 07:06:46 +0000

Need a break from the charts? Morgan Housel has an insightful article Let Me Convince You To Save Money that includes no historical data, no survey results, no fancy infographics. Read the whole thing, but here’s my favorite excerpt: But the best reason to save is to gain control over your time. Everyone knows the […]

Citi ThankYou Premier Card Review – 50,000 Bonus Points

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 00:14:34 +0000

The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card has re-launched from our partner Citi, with an improved sign-up bonus and purchase rewards structure. You can now earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.  The highlights: Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months […]

Dorco Coupon: 1-Year Supply (28 Razors) for $24 + Free Shipping

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 00:06:14 +0000

My strategy for saving money on shaving is simple. I buy a bunch of razors once every 2 years, and use one razor per month. I try not to pay more than $1 per razor, so my total shaving bill is under $12 a year. To make sure they stay comfortable, I dry thoroughly after […]

Who Maxes Out Their 401k, And Where Do They Make Sacrifices?

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 06:43:03 +0000

The Principal Financial Group surveyed “younger” retirement plan participants ages 23-51 who contributed at least 90% of the annual 401(k) maximum limit. That means they put away at least $16,200 each (limit was $18,000 for 2016/2017). These “young super savers” made savings a high priority, so they were asked about the areas in which they […]

JetBlue Free Mosaic Status Match + Challenge

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 04:35:20 +0000

JetBlue Airlines has a free status match program where they will upgrade you to JetBlue Mosaic status if you have elite status with another airline loyalty program. Here are the qualifying levels at other airlines: Virgin America: Elevate Silver, Gold Alaska Airlines: Mileage Plan MVP Gold or MVP Gold 75k American Airlines: AAdvantage Platinum, Platinum […]

Chart: Hours of Work Required To Buy S&P 500

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 03:58:35 +0000

As the US stock market keeps going up, it feels like everyone is whispering the same thing: We are near a top. It’s easiest to do this with numbers. Here’s a valuation metric that divides the price of the S&P 500 stock index by the median US hourly wage. In other words, how many hours […]

Choice Hotels Free Elite Status Match

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 03:53:34 +0000

Choice Hotels is also offering a public free status match to Gold or Platinum Elite status from another hotel program. Potential perks include point bonuses on qualifying stays, longer booking windows for reward nights, and a free welcome gift. If you status match between July-December, you’ll get up to Elite Platinum level for the rest […]

Pretirement App: Interactive Countdown Clock to Financial Freedom

Fri, 14 Jul 2017 06:24:07 +0000

What would you do if you knew that skipping that morning $4 coffee/muffin combo every day would get you 8 months closer to financial freedom? What if I told you that buying that $40k car instead of the $25k one would only extend your working years by 3 months? That’s the entire purpose of the […]

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

Thu, 13 Jul 2017 06:51:48 +0000

Updated with new sample box offers. Amazon Prime members can buy sample boxes that come with a credit towards a future purchase in that specific product category. For example, you can buy a beverage sample box for $9.99 and then you’ll get an equal $9.99 credit towards a future purchase that is valid towards items […]

How Badly Underfunded is Your State’s Pension Fund? (Infographic)

Thu, 13 Jul 2017 06:26:40 +0000

The state of Illinois narrowly avoided having their S&P credit rating dropped to “Junk” status, but their current rating is already the lowest ever for any state. Their pension promises now total over $200 billion, but they are a bit short… $120 billion short. That’s only 40 cents saved for every $1 owed. Unfortunately, your […]

Amazon Prime Day 2017: List of Deals Still Available

Wed, 12 Jul 2017 19:00:59 +0000

Updated. Amazon Prime Day is now over, but some offers are still available. I’ve removed the ones that I notice are expired. Hopefully you picked up some credits and savings to offset that membership fee. Many deals still require Prime. New members can sign up for a 30-day free trial (6-month free trial + 50% […]

The Incredible Shrinking Cell Phone Bill

Wed, 12 Jul 2017 07:30:32 +0000

If you wanted to shave $1,000 a year off your housing expenses, you’d have to move or at least refinance a mortgage. That takes a pile of paperwork and lots of time. Meanwhile, with a few clicks on a website and a SIM swap, many people on a major carrier plan can easily save $1,000 […]

Chart: Amazon Prime vs. Cable TV Subscribers

Wed, 12 Jul 2017 06:24:41 +0000

If you’re wondering why Amazon is pushing Prime membership so hard, check out this chart from Recode: Within the next year or two, there will be more Amazon Prime members than cable TV subscribers. There is already roughly the same number of Costco memberships as Prime memberships. People may not sign-up for Prime solely for […]

Amazon $5 off $15+ of Print Books, 40% Future Credit on any Kindle Book Purchase

Mon, 10 Jul 2017 22:57:59 +0000

Amazon has a new promotional code PRIMEBOOKS17 that gets you $5 off any books purchase of $15 or more. Must be print books (can be multiple), shipped and sold by Amazon. Offer currently expires at 11:59 p.m. (PT) July 12, 2017, although it may be extended. Added. Buy a Kindle eBook today, earn 40% credit […]

Chase IHG Rewards Club Select Card Review: 80,000 + 5,000 Bonus Points Offer

Sun, 09 Jul 2017 21:00:21 +0000

The Chase IHG Rewards Club Select card has upped their public sign-up bonus to 80,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. You can get an additional 5,000 bonus points when you add your first authorized user and make your first purchase in the first three […]

Best HSA Plan Provider For Long-Term “Healthcare IRA” Investing – Morningstar

Fri, 07 Jul 2017 07:29:50 +0000

Nearly 30% of covered workers are now enrolled in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). This means a lot more people are also eligible to contribute to a Health Savings Account (HSA). HSAs have the unique feature of triple-tax-free savings when used as designed: HSA contributions are tax-deductible, HSA investments can grow tax-deferred, and HSA withdrawals […]

Portfolio Visualizer: Asset Allocation Backtesting and Monte Carlo Simulation Tool

Thu, 06 Jul 2017 06:18:31 +0000

Here’s another neat (and free!) portfolio analysis tool – You can upload a custom asset allocation and get all sorts of backtest data and Monte Carlo simulation results from it. If you register for an account, it will remember your model portfolios for future use. I created a custom portfolio “MMB Default” similar to […]

Best Interest Rates on Cash Savings – July 2017

Wed, 05 Jul 2017 05:45:39 +0000

Interest rates are slowly waking up from their multi-year slumber, so I am paying a bit more attention to the various changes each month. Don’t let a megabank pay you 0.01% APY or less for your idle cash. Here is my monthly roundup of the best safe rates available, roughly sorted from shortest to longest […]

New vs. Used Car Total Cost of Ownership Calculations

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 04:00:08 +0000

A financial topic that nearly everyone has an opinion on is car ownership. Do you buy new and drive it into the ground? Do you buy slightly used after the early depreciation hit? Do you buy a cheaper 10-year-old car, drive it for a while, sell it for not much less, and repeat? Reddit user […]

5% Cash Back Credit Cards: Rotating Categories Update 2017

Thu, 29 Jun 2017 20:07:01 +0000

Updated; Activation for 3rd Quarter 2017 is live. 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. I usually focus on the low-hanging […]

Does Cash Make You Happier Than Income or Paying Down Debt?

Thu, 29 Jun 2017 05:25:35 +0000

The growing appreciation of behavioral psychology in investing is basically us admitting that we aren’t perfectly rational. When you make people automatically opt-in to 401(k) plans and make their contributions increase automatically, they save more. We value stocks more simply because we own them (“endowment effect”). We hate losing money more than we enjoy winning […]

Extremes in Minimalism, Frugality, and Early Retirement

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 04:41:02 +0000

I enjoyed reading this NYT article When the Gospel of Minimalism Collides With Daily Life. The “Minimalist Mom” was profiled who vowed to not buy their kids anything for an entire year (2013). How does she live now? These days, she warned, their two-story London house is far from minimalist. “Lego bricks strewn across the […]

Switch to Sprint, Get One Year of Free Cell Service (Unlimited Talk, Text, Data Plan)

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 06:00:02 +0000

Offer extended to 7/30. I decided to jump on this deal. We will save several hundred dollars and we get unlimited data which we didn’t have before. Some quick notes: Offer now expires 7/30. The original offer was extended by a month. If you order by 2pm EST, they will send the SIM cards that […]

Amazon Assistant Browser Extension: $5 off $25 Promotion

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 22:13:13 +0000

Promo is back, supposedly for new customers but may work if you uninstalled it previously. Amazon Assistant is a browser extension for most popular web browsers. I usually don’t like these “helpers” as they slow down my computer and track my every movement even more than usual, but Amazon is offering a $5 off $25 […]