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My Money Blog



Personal Finance and Investing Blog



Last Build Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2017 21:09:29 +0000

 



Andrews Federal Credit Union 84-Month Certificate at 3.01% APY

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 21:09:29 +0000

Updated 1/27/17. It appears that Andrews FCU has quietly added back this 7-year 3% APY CD on their share certificate rates page. I don’t know how long this will last. Thanks to FI35 for the tip. Please see my Andrews Federal Credit Union Application and Account Opening Review for more details on the opening process. […]



New Year’s Resolutions: Nudge Yourself Towards Success

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 04:12:29 +0000

It’s now late January. According to “the internet”, over 30% of people have already failed at their New Year’s Resolution. Well, I say let’s have a do-over since I haven’t even got around to making mine yet. Jonathan Clements has an excellent post called Committed where he outlines some strategies to help improve our chances […]



H&R Block Desktop Tax Software Discounts: Deluxe Federal + State $21

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 23:25:41 +0000

If you are looking for downloadable desktop tax software that doesn’t require your Social Security Number and financial details to be stored in the cloud, here’s a solid deal on H&R Block Tax Software 2016. NewEgg has a 33% off H&R Block Tax Software sale going on through 1/23/17 for the download versions. Click on […]



TurboTax Discounts with State Farm Bank Account (Discontinued for 2016)

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 23:24:17 +0000

Update. In case you were waiting, there will be no special TurboTax discount for State Farm bank and mutual fund customers for tax year 2016. Taken from the TurboTax FAQ. It was nice while it lasted. Thanks to Eric and Michael for the heads up. For many years, State Farm has offered TurboTax for free, […]



The Jack Bogle Appreciation Curve

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 05:49:53 +0000

Jack Bogle is rightfully respected and there are probably over a hundred mentions of his name on this site. His message of common sense, simple, low-cost investing continues to spread since he first opened the Vanguard 500 Index fund to the public in 1975. Yet, he still has to keep pounding his drum because there […]



New Year’s Checklists: What Is Your Financial Priority List?

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 20:29:17 +0000

Updated for 2017. You’ve worked hard and you have some money to put away for your future self. What should you do with your money? There is no definitive list, but each person can create their own with common components. You may also want to revisit it again every year. You can find some examples […]



Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card Review: 5% Back at Amazon

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 18:50:06 +0000

Chase and Amazon have rolled out the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, a new credit card (not store card) available only to Amazon Prime members. I’m surprised how much mainstream press coverage this card received. Highlights: 5% back at Amazon.com for Amazon Prime members. If you stop your Prime membership, you’ll be downgraded to […]



Wells Fargo $250 New Checking Account Bonus

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 21:40:23 +0000

Wells Fargo has a $250 bonus offer for new checking account customers. You can open any consumer checking account except for Teen Checking. The prepaid Wells Fargo EasyPay® Card is not eligible. You must open the account from the special bonus page with a minimum opening deposit of $25 by February 17, 2017. (You can […]



Alaska Airlines and Virgin America Merger: 10,000 Free Alaska Miles

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 21:12:04 +0000

As Virgin America and Alaska Airlines have closed on their merger/acquisition, they are moving towards merging the two frequent flier programs. If you were a Virgin America Elevate member as of December 5, 2016 and they haven’t found a matching Alaska Airlines profile for you, they should send you an e-mail offering you a welcome […]



IRS Estimated Taxes Due Dates 2017

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 05:30:18 +0000

If you have significant self-employment or other income outside of your W-2 paycheck that is not subject to witholding (interest, rents, dividends, alimony), you may need to send the IRS some money before the usual tax-filing time. This is my annual reminder to either slide in a last-minute payment for 2016 if needed, or plan […]



Disney Gift Card Discounts: 10%+ Off Your Disney Cruise or Vacation

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 05:08:42 +0000

Update: If you have an American Express Business card, look in the Amex Offers section of your online account page for 20% off a single in-store Sam’s Club purchase of $100+ (limit of to $250 back). You could use this offer a variety of ways, but one of them is to stack with the Disney […]



Southwest Companion Pass: Now May Be The Best Time To Qualify

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 03:38:16 +0000

Southwest Airlines offers a unique feature called the Companion Pass, which lets you pick one person to fly free with you on both paid and 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 of that […]



My Hard Things + What I’m Willing to Give Up

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 03:32:35 +0000

As a follow-up to my post on choosing your hard things, I decided to share what I came up with. Keep in my these are MY hard things. You could have the two lists completely swapped, and that would get no judgment from me. The entire point is to do things aligned with your values […]



PSA: Cuisinart Recalls 8 Million Food Processor Blades

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 03:29:28 +0000

In case you missed it during the holiday rush, Cuisinart has issued a recall of over 8 million food processor blades in the US and Canada. This covers a huge chunk of their machines sold in the last 20 years, including the one in my kitchen. The riveted blades can crack over time and leave […]



Choose Your Hard Things: You’ll Never Be Productive Enough for Everything

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 08:05:42 +0000

I was catching up on some longreads and enjoyed Why time management is ruining our lives by Oliver Burkeman of The Guardian. Here are some quick notes. Inbox Zero. I’d heard of “Inbox Zero” where you keep your e-mail inbox completely empty, but didn’t know that the inventor Merlin Mann later gave up pushing the […]



Free Estate Planning Guide and Workbook from American Red Cross

Mon, 09 Jan 2017 04:31:48 +0000

If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to create an estate plan for you and your loved ones, here’s a good starter kit. The American Red Cross has a free Estate Planning Guide and Workbook which comes in both electronic fillable PDF form or a paper workbook format if you give them your address. […]



Big List of Free Consumer Reports (2/2): See Your Confidential Housing, Insurance, & Employment Data

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 00:29:07 +0000

Updated and checked for 2017. Here is the second part of my big list of free consumer reports from over 50 different reporting agencies. The first part included your credit, banking, and subprime lending-related information. This part includes your housing, insurance, and employment history. Request a free copy every 12 months of what these databases […]



Big List of Free Consumer Reports (1/2): See Your Confidential Credit, Banking, and Payday Lending Data

Thu, 05 Jan 2017 00:31:17 +0000

Links checked and updated for 2017. Since these are available every 12 months, it is a good idea to check these near or around the same time each year. You can now request your ChexSystems report online, so I did that just to see how huge my file is considering how many bank accounts I’ve […]



What If You Invested $10,000 Every Year For the Last 10 Years? 2007-2016 Edition

Wed, 04 Jan 2017 07:00:07 +0000

Instead of just looking at one year of returns, here’s an annual exercise that helps you look at the bigger picture. You may know the 10-year historical return of the S&P 500, but most of us didn’t just invest a big lump sum of money in 2007, and most of us don’t just invest in […]



Investment Returns By Asset Class, 2016 Year-End Review

Tue, 03 Jan 2017 07:00:27 +0000

Although I am not always successful, I’ve been trying to pay less attention to the daily, weekly, even monthly movements of the markets. Once every few months, I will update my portfolio spreadsheet and make sure that I am investing new money towards my target asset allocation, but that’s about it. That said, I do […]



5% Cash Back Credit Cards: Rotating Categories Update 2017

Fri, 30 Dec 2016 07:27:01 +0000

Activation for 1st Quarter 2017 is open. Do it now before you forget. The credit cards below offer a hefty 5% cash back on certain 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. […]



Spare5 App Review: Earn Less Than Minimum Wage In Your Spare Time

Thu, 29 Dec 2016 08:21:54 +0000

Find yourself bored on this holiday break? Spare5 is a new entrant in the world of “earn money in your spare time”. You sign up and do short tasks on either their smartphone app or desktop web browser. They pay cash via PayPal weekly or donate to a charity of your choice. What kind of […]



ETF Tax-Loss Harvesting: 70% Overlap Rule of Thumb for Substantially Identical

Tue, 27 Dec 2016 07:00:40 +0000

Tax-loss harvesting (TLH) is a common practice used to improve after-tax returns by realizing losses to either offset realized capital gains or to defer capital gains into the future. Many robo-advisors including Betterment and Wealthfront offer automated tax-loss harvesting as a feature. As nearly all of them hold ETFs, they accomplish this by selling the […]



Happy Holidays from My Money Blog

Fri, 23 Dec 2016 07:56:50 +0000

Earlier this month, we welcomed a third wonderful child into our family. (Yes, I know, the picture on the sidebar is really old…) We are truly blessed. I am also grateful for many other things, including your continued readership. While my posting may be lighter over the next oh… 18 years or so, I am […]



Amazon Audible: Free $25 Amazon Credit + Two Free Audiobooks with Prime

Wed, 21 Dec 2016 22:12:09 +0000

If you are an Amazon Prime member, you can stack two current offers to get free $25 Amazon credit and a free 2-month trial to Audible (1 free audiobook per month). If you don’t have Amazon Prime, you could start a 30-day free trial and/or consider this a $25 off discount on your membership. Offer […]