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Recession won't get me down!

February 15th, 2008 at 12:21 pm

Here is my new, improved outlook on the economy: A downturn in the economy will benefit me in the long run, so I happily accept it and am using it to my advantage.

We all know, by looking at the history of the stock market, that there are ups and downs, but over several years/decades, the returns are big. Therefore, I welcome this temporary decline to invest in stocks which are have great growth potential and getting them at a "bargain".

The decline in savings interest rates is distressing to those of us who have a lot of liquid assets; however, I'm going to keep stashing my cash into the highest rate accounts I can, because when the rates do bounce back, I will benefit right away - the money will already be there.

Useless financial advice

January 28th, 2008 at 11:26 am

Lil Monday Rant!

I don't consider myself to be a genius or anything, but I'm so tired of the watered down financial tips that are abundant on the internet, news, magazines, etc. these days. I suppose it could be helpful to someone who doesn't have much common sense or is seriously in debt, but not for those of us who are already pretty careful with money.

For example, I am tired of hearing about the "latte factor". I don't buy a latte everyday, so I can't give it up and save the $4.00 and invest it for 40 years to wind up with an extra $1.5 million (or whatever number they come up with). I already have a 401k, Roth IRA, six months of living expenses in a savings account,pay off my credit card monthly, funds saved up for my next car, furniture, vacation, etc etc.

Where is the advice for this type of person?

I (don't) heart ING

January 25th, 2008 at 03:41 pm

Wo! I can't believe they lowered their rate to 3.65.... from 4.10 !!! I'm glad that I don't have my long term savings there. I would pull all my money out but it's only $4000 so I doubt they would care.

I have decided to up my 2008 savings goal $500 to $7500 since I'm doing so good already!

Rewards for spending

January 17th, 2008 at 10:38 am

Yesterday, I received my new AMEX Blue Cash card. Since I have no consumer debt and very disciplined in keeping a budget and paying on time, I decided to maximize my rewards! Here is a run down on this card's benefits:

Spend up to $6500 in a year, and receive:
- 1% back on grocery, drugstores and gas
- .5% on everything else

Anything over $6500:
- 5% on grocery, drug, gas
-1.5% everything else

Up until now, I have been using my Nordstrom VISA, which earns 1 point for every dollar charged, except 2 points per dollar at Nordstrom. Once you accumulate 2000 points, you receive a $20 Nordstrom GC. During the big sales you can double your points earned. This is all great, as I love Nordstrom, but guess what I realized: I hardly ever shop there, except to redeem the GC's! So I'm really only earning 1% by using this card.

I went through my 2007 credit card bills and compared my actual Nordstrom reward with what I would have received with the AMEX. It was $180 vs. $320. That is a difference of 78%!

What I love about this is that instead of working more and being taxed on the earnings, I am "earning" a credit on my credit card that is not taxed!

I also take advantage of two online reward sites: Mypoints and Mr.Rebates.

Mypoints works on a point system. You can earn anywhere from 2-10 points per dollar on purchases, or some companies give you a set amount... like 500 points on any purchase over $25. Points are available after 30 days and you can redeem them for gift cards. The gift cards have different point costs, so I go with the companies I shop at that have the best ratio of dollar value to points. They also send emails that you click on and earn 5 points just by going to the sponsor's site, so you can get rewards even if you don't shop online (although it takes much longer that way.) Generally when you order the gift card, it arrives within a week.

Mr.Rebates rewards you with cash. It's measured as a percentage... anywhere from 2-20%. It takes 90 days for the rebate to become available and you have to wait until you accumulate $25 in rebates. Once you request the check, it comes in a few days.

I am very excited to take full advantage of these programs this year, and will be keeping track of how much $$$ I will be earning.