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Archive for June, 2006

Schwan Food Contacts

June 25th, 2006 at 03:54 pm

Some more coupon and newsletter contacts courtesy of Flash - this time for Schwan Food which includes the following brands:

Asian Sensations, Edward’s Pies, Freshcetta, Larry’s Potatoes, Mrs. Smith's, Red Barron, Tony's

As mentioned before, these can be used to get coupons and special deals if you use these brands.

Volatile Stock Markets Are Good

June 24th, 2006 at 07:57 pm

I received an email article submission in response to the Investing In A Volatile Market article that was placed on our Investing page a couple of weeks ago. The title of the article is A Volatile Stock Market Is Your Dearest Friend which makes a number of points includiing:

Call it foresight, or hindsight if you want to be argumentative, but a long-term view of the Investment Process eliminates the guesswork and points pretty clearly toward a trading mentality that keys on the natural volatility of hundreds of Investment Grade Equities. During corrections, consider these simple truths:

although there are more sellers than buyers, the buyers intend to make money on their purchases
so long as everything is down, don't worry so much about the price of individual holdings
fast and steep corrections are better than the slow attrition variety
always accept even half your normal profit target while buying opportunities are plentiful
don't be in a rush to fill your portfolio, but if cash dries up before it's over, you are doing it "correctly".

Ford Hybrid Cars Qualify For Tax Credit

June 24th, 2006 at 06:23 pm

A bunch of new IRS tax press releases, most of which were job position announcements, but there was one that may be of interest to those looking to purchase a hybrid car. The IRS announced that three new Ford / Mercury hybrid vehicles had been approved for IRS energy tax credits:

Ford Escape Front WD Hybrid Model Year 2007 $2,600
Ford Escape 4 WD Hybrid Model Year 2007 $1,950
Mercury Mariner 4 WD Hybrid Model year 2007 $1,950

Unilever Coupon Contacts

June 20th, 2006 at 08:38 pm

We have another set of contact links which you can use to get coupons - this time for Unilever. That includes the following brands:

All, Axe, Ben & Jerry’s, Bertolli, Breyers, Caress, Degree, Dove, Finesse, Good Humor, Best Foods, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, Klondike, Knorr, Lawry's, Lever 2000, Lipton, Ponds, Popsicle, Promise, Q-Yips, Ragu, Shedd’s Country Crock, Skippys, Slim Fast, Snuggles, Suave, Thermasilk, Vaseline, Wishbone, Wisk

Money Saving Game

June 20th, 2006 at 04:47 pm

Wixx has put together a new money saving game for those who need a little motivation to make the calls to service providers that can save you a lot of money. Called the You Make The Call Game, you use a spinner to decide which service provider to call and try and get a better deal.

This is a simple way to save hundreds of dollars, if not thousands, on what you currently pay. I recently made a 15 minute call to the cable TV company for my mom and was able to save over $200. It's a great habit to get into and the worst that can happen for your call is that you pay the same amount that you're currently paying

2005 Taxes and Hurricanes

June 19th, 2006 at 11:47 pm

A couple of new tax releases from the IRS both dealing with last year's hurricanes. One was guidance on how to use the safe harbor method when claiming casualty and theft losses due to hurricanes while the other was an extension for those individuals who were living in the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina last year.

While I hope that no one reading this was in the area and will need this information, it's best to pass it along in case someone does...

Organic Gardening and Costs

June 19th, 2006 at 05:16 pm

contrary1 has put together a little piece over at Frugal Gardening that shows that organic gardening is also frugal gardening when it comes right down to it:

Creating good soil is cheap
Good soil makes for healthy plant roots
Healthy plant roots make healthy plants
Healthy plants resist drought, disease & pests

This all means there is no need to purchase expensive chemicals to help the plants grow or to fight off pests which means more money in your pockets while still having a beautiful and healthy garden.

$300 In Groceries For $27 Details

June 19th, 2006 at 04:31 pm

Flash wrote an entry in her blog a little while back on how she was able to get over $300 in groceries for $27, but didn't go into detail on how she was able to manage it. She sent me an article on the details that is now live at Grocery Coupon Guide:

$330 In Grocercies For $27

Flash and I are also starting up a little experiment. Since there aren't any coupons in Japan, they are something that my wife has never used. We're going to see how much a person who has never used coupons before can save and the steps that need to be taken to achieve those savings - basically a how to for anyone that knows absolutely nothing about coupons and saving money with them. it should be an interesting process.

Margot The Financially Savvy Baby

June 17th, 2006 at 04:04 am

One of the fun things of coming back to the US is that I have the opportunity to see my niece a bit more. You may be wondering what my niece has to do with money, but she is one savvy saver already. She's also a cutie!









That last photo is me with mom (my sister).

Tax Surveys To Be Released

June 17th, 2006 at 01:08 am

A couple more tax updates that probably have limited significance to most people, but I also wanted to place a warning out to all (hopefully most of you already know this, but a little reminder never hurts. The IRS will be sending out 50,000 surveys to try and improve taxpayer services:

Taxpayers chosen at random will be asked 25 questions about how they use IRS services and how they would like to use IRS services. The questionnaire will be mailed to the taxpayers by an IRS-approved contractor. The survey to taxpayers does not ask for any financial or personal information nor should any be divulged. Individual responses will remain confidential.

This is important because when things like this get into the news, scammers always try to take advantage and I'm sure there will be some phishing schemes that use this survey to try and steal confidential data. Be aware that if you receive a survey that asks for any of this information, it is not a real survey.

The IRS also released another press release on the senate testimony of the IRS regarding Business Compliance Concerns

Cable Bill Reduced 50%

June 17th, 2006 at 12:24 am

My mom is one of those people that don't like to make phone calls to save money. I wrote last September that by making a simple call to the cable company I was able to reduce my mom's cable bill from $65 to $39.95 a month. Of course, that only lasted three months and I specifically told her that she needed to call back after 3 months to get a better rate again - something that she failed to do. In the meantime, she decided to upgrade her account to include some premium movie channels and on my return back to the US found she was paying $79.20 a month for cable.

Since there were other competing offers of a free month and $29.95 a month thereafter for similar service, I decided that I needed to make another call. I used the exact same strategy I have always used in the past. While I wasn't able to get them to match the deal, they did drop the rates significantly over what she had been paying.

I ended up keeping the exact same service that my mom currently had(including the premium channels my mom likes) for $39.95 a month rather than the $79.20. The deal is good for 6 months which equates to a total savings of $235.50. Certainly not bad for a 15 minute phone call.

While I know it is difficult for some people to call to try and get discounts, it's a skill worth mastering as it will save you literally hundreds (and most likely thousands) of dollars a year. I'm not sure that I'll be able to teach my mom how to do this, but I'll certainly give it a try since it is something that she should be able to do on her own.

Pinnacle Foods Contacts

June 15th, 2006 at 04:37 pm

Another list of contacts for brand named products that you may use from Flash, this time for Pinnacle Foods which include the following brands:

Armour Star, Aunt Jemima, Celeste, Duncan Hines, Lenders, Log Cabin, Mrs. Butterworths, Mrs. Pauls, Open Pit, Swanson, Vandecamps, Vlasic

Remember, these contacts are good for getting on the mailing list of these brands which will often get you coupons and other information that you might not normally have access too. Enjoy!

Reckitt Benckiser Coupon Contacts

June 11th, 2006 at 10:42 pm

Thanks to Flash we have another set of coupon contact websites - this time for Reckitt Benckiser. This includes the contact for the following brands:

AirWick, Calgon, Easy-Off, Electrasol, Jet-Dry, Lysol, Lysol Ready Brush, Old English, Rod-X, Spray ‘n’ Wash, Veet, Woolite, Cattlemen’s Barbeque Sauce, Frank’s RedHot, French’s Foods

Investing - Know Yourself

June 11th, 2006 at 06:00 pm

Another article by Roger Sorensen on investing, this time issues that you should know about yourself when deciding to invest:

Income
Financial Needs
Existing Insurance Coverage
Age
Goals
Credit Standing

Taking these issues into account will help you to figure out what investments are right for you.

Real Estate Investing

June 11th, 2006 at 05:01 pm

A new article over at Investing Page from Roger Sorensen who is the editor there on Real Estate investing on some of the options you have if you purchased a second home that you're considering selling:

If you bought the house because you wanted rental income, or had a good tip from a friend, perhaps you should sell. Housing is a cyclical market and what goes up will come down. At this time, the fourth quarter update of the 2005 Global Insight/National City Housing Valuation Analysis notes that affordability is at its lowest point since 1991. This is due to the twin factors of rising interest rates and high home valuations.

Timeshare Nightmare

June 11th, 2006 at 01:11 pm

Imagine if you purchased a timeshare with a beautiful view and had been promised that the view would never be obstructed only to find out the vacation resort timeshare planned to build another building that would obstruct your view as soon as all the timeshare units in your building were sold. This is what has happened to several thousand timeshare owners as updated on Timeshare Trap. Yet another reason you should always get all promises in writing if you decide to purchase a timeshare (although I highly recommend that you don't)

Making Taxes Easier

June 9th, 2006 at 03:52 pm

Yet another IRS tax release, this time explaining how the IRS is making your taxes easier.

AMT Assistant for Individual Taxpayers
Streamlined Extension of Time to File
Simplified Tax Filing Requirements for Small Employers with Form 944
Revised Schedule K-1 for Partnerships, S-corporations and Trusts

Now while the IRS is claiming a simplification here, I feel that taxes are so much more complicated than they need to be. It really doesn't make since why taxes have to be so complicated - seems that they should be focusing on the overall state of taxes rather than individual areas...