This site rocks. It has every online discount out there and a few that retailers put together just for Fatwallet users. Sign up and you'll be amazed at the savings. I actually use this site everytime I buy something online.
Interestingly, data from online traffic analysis firm Hitwise showed that the vast majority of Fatwallet faithful have a household income in excess of $250K. Rich people are better with their money!
Here a few:
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
I need to save cash. But when I run low in my checking I just dip my dirty hands right into savings. So I've decided to open an online banking account. I'm not sure why I didn't do this before because so far it's pretty awesome. Right now I'm earning .1% (WTF!) interest in my Chase money market account (aka savings). E*Trade Complete Savings (my choice of online savings) is offering a whopping 3.3%. That is basically CD interest rates! All you have to do is go to E*Trade.com, sign up for an account and deposit at least $1, maximum $100 (for a day or two). You have no minimum or fees, and free online transfers from any account. In about 5-7 (which I'm still waiting on) you have your account. Simple! And you'll be earning WAY more money (33% to be exact), and it's a bit harder to get to when you really need to buy that new winter coat instead of X-mas presents for the fam (oops).
Monday, November 10, 2008
There is a new interactive website currently in it's beta stage that is totally worth checking out (although I'm still sort of trying to learn it). It's called WeSeed, and it's sort of like Sim City for investing. You are given 1 million (fake) dollars to start, and then you can basically just invest it and see what happens. Of course, the money isn't real, but the stocks you can "invest" in are, so you will see real live results when a stock goes up or down. A great way to get your feet wet in the stock market without losing any of that precious cash. Maybe once you kick all the other investor's asses on WeSeed, you'll have the confidence to earn some real money in the market.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
We've already established the fact we LOVE free things, this includes food and voting rights. So today, November 4th, Americans everywhere can celebrate a happy marriage of both.
Ben and Jerry's: Free scoop! Democracy never tasted so good. 5pm-8pm. Locations here
Starbucks: Free cup of tall coffee. If you care enough to vote, they care enough to give you a free cup of coffee. For the YouTube video click here
Chick-fil-A: Chick-A-Election Day. Supposedly you can get a free sandwhich today, although cannot confirm that.
KrispyKreme: Hot vote now. Get a free "I voted" sticker and a star shaped cookie!
Flu Shot: Who wouldn't want to vote yes on freedom and no on the flu! Find a clinic here
Babeland: Voting Feels Good. If you vote you can pick up a Maverick Sleeve (for him) or Silver Bullet Vibe (for her). New York and Seattle....I'm going for mine this afternoon. More info here
For people under 35 - or better - people with limited financial liabilities. So, no mortgage or kiddies.
[extra psychological boost if you start at zero sans trampled stock portfolio]
This is because the decline in investment valuations caused by the financial crisis potentially presents the greatest transfer of wealth in history from the cold (not) dead hands of baby boomers and beyond into those of younger generations. But that's only if you get smart.
Why? Because your pathetic paycheck (relative to someone 20 years your senior) is now roughly 5 times more powerful when it comes to investing. It's like you hand your broker a 20 dollar bill and he buys up a hundred dollars worth of beaten up blue chip stock (especially financials.) Pretend its a $100 Apple gift card that cost you $20. Sweet deal, right?
What's the first thing you need to do? Up your 401K. Its a downturn, damnit. Cut costs and turn up the volume on your investing strategy. Beer instead of cocktails, itunes instead of concerts. You are probably mostly in equities anyway so don't worry about bond/stock ratios.
Is the market at a bottom? Maybe, maybe not. What we know is that a ton of stocks are trading cheap and -for once- you can afford a fistful full of them. Attempting to perfectly time a market recovery is like using liquid liner - It should be left to the pros. Otherwise, you'll likely end up with a black eye.
So take a cue from Warren "Snowball" Buffet and be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.
Making the Most of Double the Investing Power
It may have been because it was 5:45am and I was sleep deprived, or because these have been a rocky past few months. Or maybe it was my contacts. But I found myself getting all chocked up (yes, I may have shed a tear) as I waited in line to vote this morning. Watching everyone from college kids to old men carrying chairs so they could sit waiting patently in an unorganized and way-too-long line, I came to realize that as a country we are, in fact, tied together. Even if half of us are jerks, we are all still Americans.
Now I know this sounds like a bunch of patriotic bullshit--which it is--but I actually feel this way and I can't believe it. I have never once felt proud to be an American, but today I can say I am. Let's hope for the best today.
Monday, November 3, 2008
We are starting to see a new crisis on the horizon, and this time it's credit cards. Not surprisingly, American's have been borrowing way too much money and making dumb purchases they can't afford and credit card companies are screwed. Now that people are losing their homes and jobs, they can't afford to pay that money back. Credit card companies are are freaking out, and we're gonig to see some changes in how they lend us money. Miss one payment and you might see your interest rate skyrocket. (Or, it might skyrocket for no reason at all.) You shouldn't shouldn't even be carrying a balance on your card. But, if you have a lot of debt you might want to think about transferring over to a card with o% APR. The prices for transferring debt might go up to, so do it while you can!
Your credit score is actually going to matter now -- a lot. So now stuff like missing your payments or spending too close to your credit limit is a bit of a bigger deal. Wow, life isn't so fun when it starts getting serious.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
If you still can't figure out what the heck went down on Wall Street over the past few weeks, you're not alone. The entire situation is complicated, and getting more so with Paulson's $700 billion bailout plan. So Terry Grossman, from one of my favorite NPR shows Fresh Air, brings on Wall Street guru Gretchen Morgenson from the NYTimes to help explain things a bit in layman's terms--I think she does a great job. The podcast can be downloaded for FREE here: The Wall Street Bailout: A Conflict Of Interest?
Thursday, September 18, 2008
I usually have to wait until coffee cup No. 2 to start reading the business section of the NYTimes--I mean, do they really have to use such big words and complicated sentences? However, today there is a great piece explaining what the hell is really going on with the market these days. In English, Please beings with the question, "Can you explain this crisis in a way that it makes sense in layman’s terms?" For the full answer go HERE
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
If you read CityBroke everyday and still don't feel like you're on top of your finance game, then take yourself back to school. Money U, that is. Money U is an online financial course for the young and unexperienced such as ourselves. You don't really get graded and you just play games. So it's pretty much just really fun (if you love personal finances as much as I do). It's little bit expensive, $180 for three courses. However, your ROI could over 100% if the course teaches you some techniques that will save you a few hundred bucks. Totally worth it. And who doesn't secretly really want to back to school anyway?
Friday, August 22, 2008
The last time iSpend posted was on July 14th. I wish I could say this is because she has been doing some Deep Throat-style investigating into a really great CityBroke post, or she's been stuck in her fifth-floor walk-up in a body cast for the last six weeks. But, alas, I just saw her healthy as a lark the other day.
And, yeah, I realize I've been slacking, too.
iSpend...please come back to us!
Want a really great time to waste time at work, but improve your financial life? Check out this new site, LowCards.com. The guys from LowCards have been kind enough to give us a schmorgusboard of credit card card facts--everything from interest rates to balance transfer fees--to gorge on all day long. And they are savvy enough to put all their info. into what every American likes best--a list! Check out their list of "best" cards for whatever it is you're looking for in a credit card relationship. I am still trying to find the "best credit card to get me a date"....any help here LowCards?
HAPPY FRIDAY SAVERS!
Friday, July 25, 2008
After you've busted your ass saving your dollars, it's good to give a little back, too. A great place to donate money in any increment (seriously, even just $20) is Modest Needs. The goal of Modest Needs is to stop poverty before it begins by helping those in need avoid the slippery slope of going broke. You see who your money is going to, and for what. (For example, a new bathtub, or hospital bill.) And Modest Needs is totally legit, earning the highest possible charity ratings from both Charity Navigator and the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance. Even if you're just giving to feel better about yourself, do it!
Friday, July 18, 2008
Buy one get one free at Jamba Juice today! Go here for a free coupon -- you just have to enter your email address. I figured they would send the coupon to my email so I entered my correct address, but they don't! It just sends you to another page, so feel free to enter a fake email address. Find a Jamba Juice near you and have fun in those lines!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
All our loyal readers out there (hello?) might remember my post on getting my first credit card. This was March 10, 2008, a mere five months ago. And I'm cutting it up. It's the devil!
(Ok, I'm not "cutting it up." I am, however, using a strategy my dad's friend told me about: Hiding it in a block of ice and keeping it in my freezer. And I'm not buying an ice pick...yet.)
We're all growing up a bit (a bit), and eventually we need to develop an investment plan for ourselves. If you're not quite sure where to start, or need a definition of "investment plan," Vanguard has a handy little tool here which lets you create your own investment plan. Now, this is mostly hypothetical if you're like me and have 100% of your reserves in "short-term cash" (savings accounts). But if you think you may like to start investing in the market one day, this is a good way to understand how ballsy you'll be with your investments. When you can afford to make them, of course.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Want to save eighty-something dollars you spend on transportation each month? (I can't remember the monthly price of the subway these days, and I use TransitCheck anyway, so who cares.) Ride your bike. And if each time you hop on your bike to head to work you're terrified you'll find yourself riding the wrong way down a one way street and will get dirty looks, flipped off, and even beat up by other bikers, or will break some unknown-to-everyone-except-bike-messengers rule, than check this out! RidetheCity.com. It's kinda like HopStop for those of use who aren't lazy assholes. Plug in your beginning and ending point, and RidetheCity will map it out for you. Cool! It will tell you what streets are going the right way for you, and even how long it will take. (Although it says for me to get from home to office it should be 35 minutes. It takes me at least 50.)
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Today is iSpend's birthday!
In light of this joyous day, I've found a great list of free stuff you can get on your birthday on Bargainlist.com. Enjoy! Now write iSpend some happy birthday wishes.
How to Score Free Stuff on Your Birthday
Don't deny it--you totally picked your college major based on how much money you'll make after graduation. Well, if you don't want to take any risks choosing a poor man's degree, check out Forbes.com's piece on the Most Lucrative College Majors. #1? Computer Engineering. These nerdy kids are expected to make$60,500 after 0 to 5 years. Business management majors are expected to bring in $40,900 after 0 to 5 years (less than history majors, who I assumed where by nature always broke). So, basically I could make just as much as a business major by waiting tables, stripping or...majoring in creative writing.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Do you breath oxygen? Yes, of course you probably are...but what is much more important (as stated in my post below) is if you're getting more ripped off than your neighbors. Well, now you can find out. Rentometer lets you plug in your apt number and zip code, and then shows you were you fall on a scale of what everyone else is paying. Probably not totally accurate, but still really fun!
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Charles Schwab offers a pretty cool "Peer Comparison Tool" (which I always thought was when you spot a girl with a huge ass and ask your friend if yours is smaller) . They ask you 10 questions like do you invest in a 401(k) (81% of kids 25-29 don't...wow...) and then show you how you rank comparatively. And the responses to your questions are surprisingly human. When I said I have no debt, they responded, "Wow, no debt at all? That's great!" As if they didn't believe me...But, really, it's an interesting site, so go ahead and see if you're as smart with your investments as the rest of us (with kids these days stakes aren't too high).
Enjoy, you savvy spenders!
Friday, June 13, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Monday, June 9, 2008
You may have seen some ads on T.V. for a new site called feedthepig.org (they are pretty hilarious) featuring an actual dude dressed like a pig named Benjamin Bankes (who is so hip he has a MySpace page). Well, I checked the thing out and, beyond have a great name, it's actually pretty useful. It's all part of a campaign by the AICPA called 360 Degrees of Financial Literary designed to help you start saving at any stage of your life, and have simple articles like Establishing a Budget - wow, so easy!
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Compound and Compare
Contributing regularly to your investments can make a big difference in your future savings. And with compounding—or earning “interest on interest”, the growth of your funds may be accelerated in later years. The table below shows how an investment account can grow depending on the length of time you invest, and the amount you contribute annually.
(approximately $167 monthly)
(approximately $333 monthly)
(approximately $667 monthly)
The figures assume an 8% annual rate of return and tax-deferred growth. The chart is for illustrative purposes only, and does not represent the performance of any investment.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Ok, so want to save a ton on groceries? Put yourself up to the challenge of eating everything you have in your apartment (obviously not including spices and stuff) before you do any grocery shopping. A few positives result from this: 1) you won't buy things at the store you might not love, 2) you're not wasting food by letting it spoil (what a green move!), 3) honestly, you'll find you can go about a week longer than normal before you buy groceries. I think I have about three more days until I've eaten all my food and can go shopping again. Last night I found frozen corn and peppers in my freezer, so I sauted it with chickpeas I found in my cupboard - it was great! Tomorrow I think I'll be hitting the last stretch with PB&J.
Are you up to the challenge?
So I finally got a credit card (yay!) and I've actually been using it (although it gives me an abnormal amount of anxiety). But now I've stumbled upon a problem. I have no idea how to pay off the damn thing. Seriously. I literally cannot seem to figure out how to settle the balance! Supposedly I have $300 on the card, and it shows this balance on my online account, but when I click "pay balance", it says I don't have a balance.
This is driving me insane. Does this mean everything I bought was free? If so, this is the best card ever!
Happy memorial day weekend!
Monday, April 28, 2008
Tomorrow is one of my favorite days of the year - it's Ben & Jerry's free cone day! To celebrate the birthday of every stoner's best friend, on April 29th each year participating Ben & Jerry's give away one free cone of your choice. It appears they are turning 30 this year - so light one up and check out locations here. And while you're on the website kill some time playing an awesome birthday game, or upload a message of peace on their random-but-just-sort-of works John Lennon tribute page.
Monday, April 21, 2008
My first job was in 8th grade as a referee for 5-year-old soccer games. It was zone soccer (you know, where the field is separated into little squares resulting in way less exerted energy than real soccer), and I was paid about $8/hr. Now, kids find their first job on sites like www.MyFirstPaycheck.com. Tutors wanted for "Ivy bound" - apparently the WASPiest tutoring company around - can make between $30 and $50 an hour - what?! That's about what I'm making right now. Thanks a lot, mom and dad, for totally ripping me off paying me 5 bucks to wash the car. Now I clearly don't value myself high enough. So, those of you reading this who are unfortunate enough to have a teenager (or I guess maybe you are one), this is a great site as long as you live in the New York, D.C. or Philly area.
Friday, April 11, 2008
The annual Culture Shock festival that takes place each year on the SUNY Purchase campus is scheduled for next weekend, April 15 and 16. I have never heard of this before but it looks interesting and I totally would to go, but I now live in Real Life and don't have the luxury of getting wasted in the middle of the week anymore (well, at least not during the day...well, at least while not sitting at my desk during the day). The impression I get is that Culture Shock is like Bonnaroo meets your local county fair. Pretty good music with a bunch of semi-hippy/rich New Jersey/New York college kids running around. But, best of all, it's FREE. Bad news is you have to have a car or be willing to take the Metro North outside of the city limits (gasp!) to a strange place with green things called grass and trees grow. Some of the musical highlights are Atlas Sound (dude from Deerhunter) and Deerhoof. For the full line-up and directions go to BrooklynVegan.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Monday, March 31, 2008
If you still haven't done your taxes (or did them yourself and wound up owing the government $2000 so decided that there is no shame passing them off to your parent's accountant one last time), you have exactly 16 days left. While the free tax services, such as TurboTax, are great, they do charge you if you need certain sections explained. Avoid the fee and call up the tax experts the Today Show has standing by just for today to answer all your tax questions (what the hell is a AMT tax and should I care?) for free.
Call 877-NBC-4-TAX (877-622-4829) between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. EST, Monday, March 31.
Friday, March 28, 2008
This nymag article actually tickled me. Read it.
My roommate got a check for a thousand bucks for living abroad in 2003 and I want a piece of that action. I'm fishing around on the Gov't's site and what! alongside health advisaries for int'l travelers there is a Romantic Scams section.
Birthday Girl with Ben Chapman was a great movie, but can heart-string tugging really be that big of an issue?
I guess so. These are all real excerpts from the State Departments run-down on "Romantic Scams."
"the targeted person is led to believe that he or she has a chance to attain something of very great personal value (financial reward, a romantic relationship, etc) in return for a small up-front monetary outlay."
Elements of a Scam – Key Warning Signs: Scams involve one or more – sometimes all – of the key signs below:
• Photographs that the scammer sends of "him/herself" show a very attractive person. The photo appears to have been taken at a professional modeling agency or photographic studio.
• The scammer has incredibly bad luck-- often getting into car crashes, arrested, mugged, beaten, or hospitalized -- usually all within the course of a couple of months.
Gorgeous People in Trouble – The Damsel in Distress
"The Expected Payoff: If he is sympathetic and assists her through her sudden crisis, the boyfriend stands to gain a large degree of gratitude from the young lady. If all goes well, her gratitude for his emotional support will translate, he hopes, into significant goodwill and affection from her when they finally meet. "
Scammer: How re you today?
American: I'm doing well. You are SUCH a pretty woman!
Scammer: Where did we meet -- on African Singles or Single Me?
American: Dreammates, maybe?
Scammer: How’re you doing?
American: I'm doing fine..............are you in Hawaii?
Scammer: Nope get hooked up with little problem here
American: "Hooked up with a little problem?" Explain, please.
Scammer: You care to know? I don't think you can help me out of this mess.
American: Well..........tell me and we will see.
Scammer: My dad he's from us and my mum is from Spain. So I’m a honest lady. And I’m trustworthy lady. And I don’t like people cheating. Right now I’m in west Africa. There was a guy that I met when I’m still at home in Florida (two month ago) so the guy told me that he love me. And I told him that I love him too. So he traveled to west Africa. He called me and chat with me on the phone. He really felt in love with me. So he said I should come and visit him in the hotel. So I went down to west Africa, to the hotel and we meet each other in person. But I don’t really know that the guy doesn’t love me. We have fun and know much more about each other together in the same room. And the next day I can't find this guy any more he ran away with all my money and my goods. All I need now…
American: All you need now?
Scammer: Your help. If you can help me to raise fund and I will pay you back when I get back to the States.
American: How much do you need?
Scammer: $500 US dollars.
American: Don't you have a credit card?
Scammer: Yes that [swear word] stole everything away from me.
American: Which credit card is it?
Scammer: American Express.
American: Did you call them to let them know?
Scammer: Yes, I did and there is nothing they can do about it.
American: Not true.
Scammer: Please help me out of this mess and I will pay you back. If you don't believe me then bye.
American: For someone who seems to need help, you have very short patience, why is that?
Scammer: Oh, patience? Is that all you have to tell me when I am stuck here?
American: No, but I would like you to explain what you did to extricate yourself from your situation first. You might have some options.............
Scammer: What option? Please tell me.
American: Is Amex your only credit card?
We've discussed second jobs before and in light of current economic trends, we're going to make side gigs a regular topic.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
A recession is good for people who don't have a lot of money because they can buy stocks and homes on the cheap. Home prices are falling, but not enough and especially not enough in New York.
This awesome MarketWatch article explains in plain language how the last 5 years years of willy-nilly government spending (especially in regards to the Iraq War) will be paid by us...soon.
"Well, folks, the party's over. Campaign rhetoric won't hide America's excesses, denial, incompetence and arrogance much longer. No matter who's elected, taxes will increase to cover massive debts. Greed has driven America's great economic engine into a "debt contagion" ditch with a recession, bear market, price inflation, and weak job and housing markets ... you bet your taxes will increase. "
READ IT 10 reasons your taxes are going up
An article in the Times today, Finding Political News Online, the Young Pass It On, looked at how the "young" are spreading information via social networks and blogs (like here!). How enlightening. However, there was another really fun presidential candidate list tucked in the article that I thought I would add to our gathering of Which Candidate Sells the Most Bling?
Here is Which Candidate Has the Most Online Friends:*
McCain: about 140,000
Clinton: about 330,000
Obama: about 1 million
And Obama wins again!
* This total includes MySpace and Facebook friends and is according to the Times. I half-heartedly did the math myself, and it looks about right. I'm not too concerned since I got the info. from such an established news source and I would never, ever, question their accuracy.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
The Village Voice has a piece, How to Wear Your Vote, on D.C. jewelry designer Ann Hand, who has been creating rhinestone pins for presidential nominees since 1996. I guess cool, but the best part is that she keeps track of which nominees sell the most pins. As of right now the scores of those still in the race are:
WOW! Now, I could have a lot of fun finding as many stereotypes as possible admist the results of which candidate can sell the most bling (and speculate why certain others cannot), but I'll leave that up to you. Feel free to share!
Having a little green tree and "please consider" on your email signature pretty much says you are well-meaning, but don't get it.
Can the hoards of people doing this consider the fact that almost no one prints electronic mail?! Can we throw all these people in one room and figure out what there shared DNA is so we can map the "sheep" gene?
Please consider my nerves before reminding me on the half-hour that you are concerned about paper waste while you sit smugly at your energy sucking PC, in your air-conditioned building in your child-labored produced threads.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
There's a great - and very accessable - piece in the Times today by David Leonhardt explaining exactly what the hell is going on with our economy, and why the word "subprime" is so important. Check it out: Can’t Grasp Credit Crisis? Join the Club
Monday, March 10, 2008
Well, it's good to see that even though the economy is going into a recession, we're poisening our earth, and it seems every country on the globe is involved in some kind of war, polititions are just as focused as ever on finding ways to be coniving and hypocritical. Eliot Spitzer, the Governor of New York, has just been caught meeting up with a high-priced prostitute in a Washington D.C. hotel, as reported today by the NYTimes. Well, hopefully his wife Silda will do as Hillary did, empowering women everywhere by pretending that nothing ever happened.
Update: being the cheap-ass I am I was curious how much a "high-priced" hooker really costs. Hufington Post answered that question with blurbs from the wiretap, one which says, "Client 9 - believed to be Spitzer - paid $4,300 for a woman named "Kristen" to come from New York to D.C. A portion of that money, however, likely went to credit for future appointments". As Suze Orman says, if you purchase thinking ahead you'll always save. See the full piece on Huffington Post here
I have finally applied for my first credit card. (Ok, so I did open a Banana Republic card for the 25% discount, but I've only used it twice.) After doing some careful research I decided I was willing to get a credit card with a higher APR but better benefits. Being the frugal (some would say cheap) person I am, I know I'll never spend more than I can pay off each month. But, even with that in mind I decided against a reallly "benefit friendly" card and stayed a bit more conservative with American Express Blue. AmEx Blue has 0% APR for up to 15 months (we'll see what the "up to" actually means when I starting using it), and fixed 4.99% APR forever and ever after that. Now, I am definiatly a credit card virgin, so I might not be following warning signs, but all signs on Consumer Reports suggest that American Express Blue and Blue Cash are pretty "good" cards.
I'll let you know if I actually get approved (considering Lord and Taylor denied me just a few months ago). In the meantime, if you love your credit card let us know!