How the Bank Begged Me to Take Their Free Money!

I love taking advantage of the bank. Does that sound mean? Well, since I worked for several banks over my career, I can tell you this: banks are kind of mean themselves. They make a ton of money and they sit around most of the day trying to find new ways to make even more off of you.  Just recall the way they were back in the financial crises a few years ago, practically destroying our economy and rewarding themselves with “golden parachutes” while many were losing their houses thanks to their predator mentality in the mortgage game. So it is a good feeling to know that many of them are on their knees begging for my business.  The best part of that is that I know how to beat them at their own game. And now I want to share it with you. Am I being too hard on them? I don’t think so. Here’s how the bank begged me to take their free money!

Banks are begging for the business of qualified customers, going so far as to offer free money in bonuses and rewards for using accounts and credit cards.

One thing has changed since 2007. The banks are trying to win you back are being are pretty nice to you in one way. And that’s this: They will practically bend over backwards to get you to open an account by giving away free money! The sky is the limit and the competition is so fierce that the offers are just plain weird. You probably know that, if like me you get bombarded with e-mail, snail mail, and all kinds of promotions each week to draw you in to their “web”. So here are just a few of the ways that you can get something for practically nothing these days. I did it and so can you. Continue reading

The Death Knell for Sears, K-Mart, and Shop Your Way?

I have been a customer of Sears all of my life, and now that relationship could be ending as Sears fights to stay in business. Please don’t laugh; there are real reasons why Sears has been sentimental for me. First of all, my mother worked there for over 20 years from when I was a kid all the way though my college years. I too worked there the summer between high school and my first year in college in their warehouse. Mom helped me get the job.

Is Sears going out of business? Here's my thoughts on the history and current status of Sears and K-Mart, and why the Shop Your Way program is doomed.

We weren’t a wealthy family, as I have written previously, and many of my clothes were handed down to me from my Dad’s boss’s son when I was growing up. The only other clothes I ever had until I was about 18 came from Sears & Roebuck. Continue reading

Trump’s Tax Reform: Can It Really Become Law?

Just so you know, it requires a great deal of restraint on my part to keep from writing about my political opinions here on the blog, especially about our new president and the chaotic events that seem to occur almost every day down in Washington, DC. My wife has reminded me that my readers here at Super Saving Tips aren’t looking for that sort of thing, and that you the readers are more likely to peruse the New York Times or Washington Post if you want political fodder. But wonder of wonders, I finally do have a little something to say that actually involves your personal finances and politics. So hopefully you’ll be interested this time around. It’s about…tax reform!

Trump has proposed some broad changes to our tax code, the biggest tax reform since the 1980's. But can it really become law? Here's why it isn't likely.

Trump’s Proposed Tax Reform

Our new president has presented the first trickles of information about his plans to reform the tax code and fulfill his campaign promise to review and change the federal tax laws. He and his Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, say it will be the biggest tax cut ever (fact check: actually it will be the biggest cut since the 1980’s and Ronald Reagan). Now normally when you talk about cutting taxes, that’s a pretty popular idea out there among the constituents. Continue reading

My New Cable TV Savings Thanks to a Little Complaining

Watching TV, having a telephone, and using the internet have become so dammed expensive these days, which is one reason people are “cutting the cord” left and right. My cable TV bill is now the same price as my monthly gas and electric bill is and that’s really ridiculous! But if you’re not ready to leave cable, for whatever reason, what can you do?

Lots of people are cutting the cord to cable TV, but you can still get savings with your cable package. Here's how I got my latest deal and saved a bundle.

This year, somehow they snuck in charging us to watch good old regular TV shows on demand if they are older than a few weeks. This is something I didn’t even know about until I went to view one episode of something I have missed on my DVR. This isn’t a movie or a special pay per view event, it’s a TV show! They all used to be free until this year. Continue reading

Yard Sale 2017 or How I Cleaned Out the Closets…Again!

You’ve probably heard the old law that your possessions will increase to fill the space available for their storage. Even if you haven’t heard of it, you’ve probably experienced it in your own home. I currently live here in central NJ with my wife in a condo: 2 bedrooms and 2 baths with living room, dining room and eat-in kitchen. It’s about 1,200 square feet in total.  It’s very nice, just too small for all our stuff. Or more correctly, our stuff is too big for our home.  Here’s a solution…a yard sale!

We all have too much stuff, but there's a solution...have a yard sale! Here's some tips on having a successful sale and how my yard sale went.

Frankly, all my life I have been used to a lot more living space than we have now and that had resulted in some serious space problems. I’m not sure if you will believe me, but we both still have things in the original boxes from the time we both moved into this home. Those original boxes are still taped shut and enclose some things that might be older than your kids or even you who may be reading this post! Literally, almost every square inch of our closet space is totally packed with “stuff”. I complain about it almost every day but I’ve been so lazy about it that that’s all I have done. I’m really good about complaining. Continue reading

Huge Financial Fears and How to Cope, Part 2

The fears we all have about our finances are real. In fact, they are things that happen every day to many people and that’s the part that scares us the most. We never know when we might suffer a shocking natural disaster or some careless transaction in our lives that will cost us money, safety, and pride. There are scam artists and there are some us who are just a little too trusting as well. It doesn’t really matter if you are wealthy or not, no one wants to suffer these financial losses and thus we worry about it.

Financial fears can fill your life with worry and misery. But rather than worrying about what might happen, here's how to do something about it. Part 2 or 2

On Tuesday in Part 1, I covered four huge financial fears and how to cope. Today, in Part 2, let’s look at four more of these financial woes that can happen and what we can do to stop them. Continue reading

Resource: The Definitive Guide to Mortgages

A few weeks ago, I wrote about tips for mortgage shopping, but since then, InvestmentZen has published a monster guide to mortgages that’s worth a read if home shopping is in your future. Here’s a few words from Tiffany of InvestmentZen:

Purchasing a home is a major financial decision. For a lot of us, it may be the biggest single financial decision we make during our lifetime. Given its importance – it’s surprising how many of us actually have a very poor understanding of the finances behind a real estate transaction, especially when it comes to getting a mortgage.

Securing a mortgage can be a complicated, as there are many different parties involved in the process along with industry jargon, but it is essential to understand because it can mean saving thousands of dollars over time. Failure to understand your mortgage and its potential effect on your finances could not only result in lost money that could be saved for retirement or other financial goals, but as many discovered during the great recession – it could mean losing your house.

The terms of a mortgage are very important for a home-buyer to understand. The difference in terms could mean thousands of dollars paid over the lifetime of the loan, which usually run for 30 years. There are many different types of loans, each of which have varying rates. These different types are also essential to understand in order to ensure that a homebuyer receives the best rate possible.

While it can be confusing, here is an easy-to-understand guide that walks through the steps of getting a mortgage in four chapters. The chapters cover a basic understanding of mortgages, the types of loans available, what factors affect a mortgage rate, and the application process. Though reading about mortgages isn’t exactly exciting, if you’re thinking of buying a house, this guide does a great job of breaking down everything you need to think about when applying for a mortgage.

Huge Financial Fears and How to Cope, Part 1

It runs through your mind at night like a scary movie. It’s those frightening financial fears that so many of us worry about daily. Some of these fears are caused by a thing as simple as student loan debt or it may be as complicated as dealing with a health issue and how that can affect your work, income, and spending. I don’t want to paint a picture of doom and gloom here but being a realist I have been in the position of worrying about money, so I understand what it is like. So what can we do about that? The worries and fears we have are in some ways a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Financial fears can fill your life with worry and misery. But rather than worrying about what might happen, here's how to do something about it.

Worries and fears about money and financial problems can have a terrible impact on you. It is debilitating to spend hours of time thinking and ruminating. It can affect the way you function and perform at your job and it can cause you to lose sleep at night. Even personal relationships are disrupted.  All of those things can actually make your situation worse and possibly expedite the very fears you have into happening.  While there are things that can and will happen to us in life, the time and energy we spend on this subject is much better when it is spent on a plan of what we can actually do to prevent our fears from ever happening or what we can do to prepare and fix them if and when they actually occur. Continue reading

What Karate Can Teach Us About Investing

Please welcome Troy from Market History for today’s guest post on what karate can teach us about investing.

I used to do karate when I was in elementary school and when I first started high school. Unlike many sports, karate is insanely aggressive in which the training is rather painful. There are a lot of parallels between karate and investing because karate isn’t just a sport. It’s more of a way of life that trains both your body and your mind. Here are some lessons from my experiences that you can apply as an investor.

Believe it or not karate can teach us about investing. Here are several important lessons from martial arts that cross over to making you a better investor.

Doing nothing is just as important as doing something

You can easily tell a good martial artist from a bad martial artist. Someone who’s bad at karate will throw as many punches, kicks, and combinations as possible in any given round. A lot of times these attacks will be uncoordinated and can be easily deflected. Continue reading

I Love the Internet! (Especially for Personal Finance)

I love the internet! I mean I really, really love the net. Yes, of course I love my wife Suzanne very much, but I love the internet. Can’t I just marry it too and pledge my everlasting love and devotion?

While these days it's taken for granted, I love the internet! Here's just some of the ways it has improved personal finance, not to mention everything else.

The internet is always there when I need it (barring a power failure). I thank you batteries and Wi-Fi very much for that. Yes, I can use my laptop or smartphone and take it anywhere I go and that’s a really good thing, isn’t it? Continue reading