When You Realize The Best Things In Life Are Free

Sometimes, people will make fun of me for driving a car with 204,000 miles of wear and tear on it.    There isn’t a month that goes by that someone doesn’t ask me, “Ted, when are you going to get a new car?”  On top it, I’m not the kind of person who buys myself much anymore.  I don’t spend a lot money on clothes, I don’t have an expensive hobby, and I don’t even wear a watch anymore.   You’d think I was bunkering up for a financial Armageddon, but in reality a few years ago I realized that no matter how much money you make the best things in life are free. Growing up as a child, we would have NEVER even thought about going to a four star hotel.  Now, for most families it isn’t even about taking a vacation.  It’s about the style points associated with the vacation.   “Hey, have you gone to the Ritz Carlton in …..?” ...

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Five Great Technology Mother’s Day Gifts

Mother’s Day is tomorrow and word on the street is that spending is up this year…bigger than ever. The National Retail Federation estimated that consumers will spend 23.6 billion dollars on Mom this year in 2017, so who says people aren’t shelling out their wallets for Mom. If you are counting that is an average of $186.39 per consumer which is an 6% increase from 2016. Moms work hard and they are entitled to a show of appreciation on their special day. Most consumers will acknowledge that appreciation with a greeting card (77.9%%), though it appears her loved ones will also look for special gifts. Two-thirds (68.5%) of those celebrating will buy mom her favorite flowers, spending a total of $2.6 billion, and 37% percent will look for spring sweaters and blouses, spending a total of $2.1 billion on apparel and accessory items. Mom’s loved ones will also buy 2 billion dollars of consumer electronics this year, so you should ...

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How To Make Money From Your Old Cell Phones?

There is a small green wicker basket that sits in one of our drawers at home.  It doesn’t really do anything at all except store cords, chargers, and phones.   This basket has become a bit nostalgic because in just the last five to ten years, it almost acts like a mobile phone historic museum on how the smart phone has evolved.   It’s funny seeing something like a Blackberry that was so modern 10 years ago and looks so ancient today.   But since we love to figure out how to make money on items that are just sitting and collecting dust, just how can you make some dough off of your old cell phones? Gazelle With Gazelle, it is extremely fast, painless, and easy to sell your old cell phone. You will simply answer a few questions about your old devices and Gazelle will let you know how much it’s worth to them. They will send you a box to ship ...

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Is It Time To Consider I Bonds

I was reminiscing the other day about the gifts that my grandmother used to give me for my birthday and at holiday time.    She wasn’t a great gift giver, especially when I would get a sweater vest with the big letter “T” etched right in the middle of the sweater. Oh yeah, I also got socks a few years which is a swell gift if you want to end up on the loser list at middle or high school.   But, the one gift that didn’t mean much to me at the time and paid dividends later were the series EE savings bonds that I stuck in an envelope and let sit in my drawer until they matured.   Those very bonds helped me be able to put a down payment on my first car so I can thank my grandmother for that. With interest rates hovering at an all time low over the past seven or eight years, hardly anybody talks ...

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Make Money By Renting Your Car Out?

One of the planning items that most people have when they go on vacation is whether or not to rent a car.  With the evolution of services such as Uber and Lyft, some people are skipping the rent a car altogether and trying to manage the cost of having a car service take you around the city you are traveling through for vacation. However, we love showing people how to make money and one of the up and coming ideas is to rent your car out to others while it is just sitting there in the driveway.   Some people leave the country for an extended period of time and won’t be using their car and others have a weekend car that does nothing but sit and collect dust during the week.   Being smart about making money is getting your assets to work for you instead of you working for your money. The first service you need to learn about is ...

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Four Tax Scams You Should Know Before You File

How many of you have received this type of e-mail at one point in your life . . . DEAR SIR or MADAM, MY AIM OF CONTACTING YOU IS TO SEEK YOUR ASSISTANCE IN TRANSFERRING THE SUM OF THIRTY FIVE MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS ONLY (US$35,000,000) OUT OF NIGERIA AND INTO YOUR TRUSTED BANK ACCOUNT ABROAD. THESE FUNDS WERE PART OF THE FUNDS, WHICH WAS FOUND IN HER LATE HUSBAND’S PRIVATE ROOM. IMMEDIATELY AFTER HIS SUDDEN DEATH LAST YEAR AND SHE QUICKLY INFORMED ME, SINCE I VIRTUALLY RUN MOST OF HER SECRET BUSINESS BOTH HERE IN NIGERIA AND OVERSEAS, AS SHE HAS A LOT OF CONFIDENCE IN ME AND FORTUNATELY WITH MY IMMEDIATE ASSISTANCE, AND CONTACT WE WERE ABLE TO DEPOSIT THE MONEY IN A SECURITY VAULT PENDING WHEN THE WHOLE SITUATION WILL BE CALM. These scams were known at the Nigerian Scam letters, and most consumers know that if they received these types of e-mails they should immediately delete ...

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There’s No Short Cuts To Getting Out Of Debt

From time to time a prospective client will come to me with lots of Credit Card debt.  They want to know what they can do to get out of debt?  My answer is always the same.  There are no short cuts. Every time they will ask if they should use one of the debt-settlement companies that you see on TV.  You know the ones that promise financial freedom.  What most of the companies do is convince you to stop making payments to the creditor.  Some have you send the money to them to hold while they try and negotiate with the creditors to take a lump sum for less than what is owed.  On the surface it seems like a good idea.  Why wouldn’t the creditor want to negotiate for something now, rather than writing off the debt completely. But reports from the Center for Responsible Lending and the Federal Trade Commission point out that debt balances increase on average ...

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HELP! Someone Filed A Tax Return In My Name!

With the deadline looming for taxpayers, the crunch will be on for people scrambling to get their final documents together and submit their official tax return. Imagine this scenario. You submit your tax return only to receive a rejection notice from the IRS several weeks later saying that they have already received a tax return submitted by you already. How’s that for a situation that is sure to rock your world. Unfortunately, in today’s world all you really need are some social security numbers and the internet to start winning at the tax return identity theft game.  According to TIME Magazine, in 2013 alone more than 5.8 Billion in refunds were issued to criminals who were using other people’s personal information.  The scale, scope, and execution of these fraud schemes have grown substantially in size. What should you do if someone stole your tax refund? Don’t panic. You will likely only figure this out after the IRS rejects your ‘real’ ...

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