If I had a Million Dollars (Linkified)

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Personal finance can be a dry subject for many people. I find it enjoyable, but as my regular readers know, I'm very weird. For those who aren't like me, here is my attempt to bring some fun.

If I Had A Million Dollars
by Barenaked Ladies

If I had a million dollars - (If I had a million dollars)
I'd buy you a house - (I would buy you a house)
If I had a million dollars - (If I had a million dollars)
I'd buy you furniture for your house - (Maybe a nice chesterfield or an ottoman)
And if I had a million dollars - (If I had a million dollars)
Well, I'd buy you a K-Car (A nice reliant automobile)
If I had a million dollars - I'd buy your love

If I had a million dollars - I'd build a tree fort in our yard
If I had million dollars - You could help, it wouldn't be that hard
If I had million dollars - Maybe we could put like a little tiny fridge in there somewhere
You know, we could just go up there and hang out - Like open the fridge and stuff
There would already be laid out foods for us - Like little pre-wrapped sausages and things

million.jpgThey have pre-wrapped sausages but they don't have pre-wrapped bacon
Well, can you blame 'em
Uh, yeah

If I had a million dollars - (If I had a million dollars)
Well, I'd buy you a fur coat - (But not a real fur coat that's cruel)
And if I had a million dollars - (If I had a million dollars)
Well, I'd buy you an exotic pet - (Yep, like a llama or an emu)
And if I had a million dollars - (If I had a a million dollars)
Well, I'd buy you John Merrick's remains - (Ooh, all them crazy elephant bones)
And If I had a million dollars I'd buy your love

If I had a million dollars - We wouldn't have to walk to the store
If I had a million dollars - Now, we'd take a limousine 'cause it costs more
If I had a million dollars - We wouldn't have to eat Kraft Dinner
But we would eat Kraft Dinner - Of course we would, we'd just eat more
And buy really expensive ketchups with it - That's right, all the fanciest ke... dijon ketchups!
Mmmmmm, Mmmm-Hmmm

If I had a million dollars - (If I had a million dollars)
Well, I'd buy you a green dress - (But not a real green dress, that's cruel)
And if I had a million dollars (If I had a million dollars)
Well, I'd buy you some art (A Picasso or a Garfunkel)
If I had a million dollars - (If I had a million dollars)
Well, I'd buy you a monkey (Haven't you always wanted a monkey)

If I had a million dollars - I'd buy your love

If I had a million dollars, If I had a million dollars
If I had a million dollars, If I had a million dollars
If I had a million dollars, I'd be rich

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Last updated on August 1, 2011.

Smart Gambling

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Every once in awhile a new site will pop up and add to Lazy Man and Money from their blogroll. I'm a little obsessive about checking my Technorati page to see who is linking to me. Yesterday, I noticed that Money Millionaire was one such site.

While the theme isn't exactly what I would choose they wrote about becoming a millionaire by gambling. I was pleased that they weren't advocating the idea. In the Hall of Fame of Bad Ideas, gambling to get rich was a unanimously voted in on the first ballot. With that said it got me thinking. If you were going to allot some money to gambling in an attempt to win, how might you best do it... again considering there is no good way.

I first went to roulette. It's an easy game that most people understand. Plus it has that fantastic hypnotic spinning wheel. There are many different best to go with roulette, but as I understand them, the odds are more or less the same with all of them. If I were there, I'd pick one number and hope that it lands on it. If it does, you win 35 times the amount you spent. So in order for me to win 1.5M (let's call it a million after taxes even if that's not the case), you'd have to hit the number exactly 4 times in a row. Since the probability of winning one time is 2.63% your odds of winning four times are are 1 in 2,092,050 (someone feel free to check my math there).

Another way to gamble is the lottery. Powerball is popular lottery in a few states. It's tough to calculate the same odds with lotteries because the jackpot are always different. However, this site has the math that shows your odds are 1 in 146,107,962. That's a little bit worse that roulette isn't it? The good news is that you'll make more if you are that lucky. It's just that you won't make enough, and you could be in real trouble if someone is lucky when you are lucky because then you'll have to split the jackpot.

This is all to say that in general the house odds for a casino are better than lottery. If you were thinking of buying a lottery ticket, you might want to consider the casino. It's rare that go to the casino, but when I do I find that I have more fun than if I just played the lottery - it's simply a prolonged experience. The downside with the casino is that your money may or may not help out the state as much as the state's own lottery. States make a lot of money off of lotteries and that money funds schools and repair roads.

Lastly, please remember, gambling is for entertainment. It is not an investment.

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Last updated on February 27, 2008.

If You Like H&R Block’s TaxCut…

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...you might want to leave comment on this post. Two people who make the effort to do such a thing may find an e-mail in their in-box. The e-mail may include a code for a free copy of the H&R Block's Premium Online tax software. Even if you did get the software for free, you'd still have to pony up some cash for your state return - at least that's the way I see it. I would only leave a comment if you are in the United States and if you can really use the software.

I forgot to mention that an e-mail might only go to those who comment in the first 24 hours of this post's origin.

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Posted on February 27, 2008.

Lazy Man Contest Winner Finally Announced

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If you read the title and were a little confused about when I ran a contest, I don't blame you. Many months ago I ran a contest. I've been waiting until the prizes were given out to announce the winners. I had hoped to include another mention of the book, so that the promotional company would get addition bang for their buck. However, I would be doing that for reasons that will soon be clear.

I typically don't like to run contests for various reasons that I listed. However, since the prize was being offered to me for free, I figured I could turn it into a win-win-win situation. The publishing company of the book around the contest got publicity, I got a little traffic, and a reader gets a $200 designer briefcase. What did someone once say about the best laid plans?

Everything went smoothly until it was time for Sideways Media to hand out the prizes. Here's what I went through after I submitted the list of winners on July 30th:

  • I was initially told that the prizes would be shipped out the week of Jul 30th.
  • August 6th, I got word that the books were promotional copies and not real ones, so there would be a delay in getting them.
  • August 20th, I asked again for the progress. The briefcase that they received was damaged, so it had to be sent back.
  • September 7th, I inquired again, hoping to wrap up the contest. This request was ignored
  • September 24th, I sent another inquiry, but my contact said she had been overseas for a couple of months and email is "tricky." Also, "Everything should have been taken care of by the publisher months ago."
  • I informed her on the September 25th that the winner said he didn't receive his prize. My contact promised to check tracking numbers and get it "solved ASAP."
  • October 2nd, I ask how the tracking numbers are coming along since I haven't received them. I try to give a deadline by asking for them by the end of day tomorrow. At this point I figure it can't hurt
  • October 5th, she said that she wasn't able to information from the publishers, but that she was going to go out that weekend and buy the books and briefcase and that Sideway Media "will cover the costs of everything." This is fantastic news to me because finally someone is taking responsibility. I still want to make sure people get their prizes, so I ask for tracking numbers as they are sent out.
  • November 14th, (I was away on vacation and it simply slipped my mind a bit) I check back, not having received any of the promised tracking numbers. I get a response back that she'll "check with the prizing partner." This confuses me greatly since she was going to buy the briefcase and books herself.
  • November 17th, I remind her that she was to buy the prizes herself.
  • November 21st, after receiving no response to my Nov. 17th, I try again
  • November 26th, I finally decide to CC the winner on the e-mail so that he can see what I went through. This finally does it and I get the FedEx tracking number of it finally being shipped out.

I really hope that Ryan in Ohio enjoys his briefcase. It looks like it was dropped off at his home earlier today. If I were him I'd think about taking the briefcase to Sideways Media and bonking them on the head. I'm joking, I would never recommend assault someone. At the same time, can you blame both Ryan and I for being frustrated at their lack of professionalism? I'm happy to give a couple a few strikes, but before you have 7 or 8 mix-ups, you have to take things into your own hands and solve it.

Interesting stats: The e-mail thread has two, "I apologizes" and four, "I'm sorry"s from my contact at Sideways Media.

I learned two things from this. The first is to not outsource the prize fulfillment. I did this to protect my real address, but in retrospect, that should have been a risk I took. The second lesson is to not run contests. It seems like there's a lot of potential legal snafus with them. Other bloggers have the great idea of just giving away prizes at random or to great commenters. I'm currently not financially in a position to do such a thing, but this sounds like the smart way to go.

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Last updated on February 24, 2008.

Did You Get Free Furniture From the Red Sox?

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Yesterday I wrote about free tacos from Taco Bell (available today), but that's small potatoes. The real winners are Jordan's Furniture customers who took advantage of a furniture promotion. The promotion offered to refund all the customers' money if the Red Sox won the World Series.

Now thousands of people are cashing in to the tune of more than $15M. Jordan's Furniture doesn't have to bear the brunt of the promotion. They bought insurance, so it's the insurance company that has to pay up. When I live in Boston, I had always bought my furniture from Bob's, but that promotion would have been tempting for me.

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Last updated on February 24, 2008.

Free Taco Bell Tacos – Courtesy of Tacoby Bellsbury!

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When I considered buying an Ellsbury jersey back in July, I had no idea that he'd be giving me (and the rest of America) a free taco. Allow me to explain...

Taco Bell ran a promotion for free taco's during the World Series. If there was a stolen base, they'd give America a free Taco. You can read more about it here. Since Jacoby Ellsbury (Tacoby Bellsbury is his new nickname) stole a base, Taco Bell is making good on it's promise. You can collect your free taco tomorrow (Tuesday) from 2-5PM.

I don't want it to get lost in the shuffle, but this was a great business idea by Taco Bell. They got a lot of premium advertising time and many people probably will have difficulty collecting their free taco due to the timing of the promotion.

Lastly, you really shouldn't scam Taco Bell to get multiple free tacos. This would include scams such as going to the counter and then the drive through to get different people. This would also include not going right at 2PM and then again at 4:30 where they might not remember you. This would also include going to multiple Taco Bells or even wearing different disguises so that they don't recognize you. So save that Disco Stu costume for Halloween, not for Taco Bell... Really... I mean it...

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Last updated on February 24, 2008.

Lazy Man Contest Ends Tonight at Midnight (PST)

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Here's a reminder that the contest that I started a month ago ends tonight. There's a $200 value grand prize at stake. As of this writing there are around 50 people who have entered. I believe only one person has taken the option to review my site for the extra entries. What this all means is that you probably still have a very good chance of winning if you enter today. To enter just read the rules and follow the directions.

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Last updated on February 24, 2008.

First Ever Contest – Grand Prize valued at Over $200

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Many personal finance sites run contests and giveaways to give something back to their readers. I've been hesitant to do this for three major reasons:

  1. I'm extraordinarily stingy
  2. I hate to put something in the mail system without a name and return address. At the same time, I don't want to use my own to protect my anonymity.
  3. I'm fearful that one bad egg will point out that missed some technicality required to run contests that I missed.

I've been given an opportunity that solves most of these problems. The kind people at Warner Books want to promote The Last Chance Millionaire by Douglas Andrew. The book is written primarily towards American baby boomers and how they can adjust their financial strategies to achieve a stable, successful retirement. At least that's what I'm told, I haven't gotten a chance to read the book yet. Warner Books, and it's public relations first, is going to be insulating me from most of the work with running the contest - which fits into the Lazy philosophy. They are providing and shipping the prizes - they even offered some legalize but assured me that for prizes under $500 there's no legalize necessary.

I know what you are thinking... "enough with this, get to the prizes already..." Here you go:

Grand Prize - A high-end leather briefcase from one of the Sideways Media's partners (who include Tumi, Jack Spade, Latico Leathers, and Landmark Luggage) - retail value of $200. You'll also get a copy of The Last Chance Millionaire to fill up that briefcase.
Runner up Prizes - A copy of The Last Chance Millionaire. Three of these prizes will be awarded.

How do you enter to win? There are two ways... The first way is to simply leave a comment here. To encourage some interesting comments, I'll give two entries for comments that:

  1. Make me laugh (keep it clean though)
  2. Tell me why you should win (even though it's a random drawing)
  3. Anything else that seems interesting to me (my wild card, catch-all)

The other way to enter is by writing an honest review of Lazy Man and Money on your website/blog/etc. linking to the homepage or this contest page. It doesn't have to be a positive review. I don't mind negative reviews, especially if there's something constructive I can learn from the review. After you've published your review, send me an e-mail with the URL of it I'll record your entries. You'll receive FOUR entries for this. If you don't send me an e-mail, I won't know about your review and you won't get credit.

The Rules
- Only one comment entry per person - I'll delete repeat comments.
- Reviews must be 100 words minimum.
- Reviews be a stand-alone - the entire post/page/etc. must be devoted to just the review, not sharing space with another topic.
- Reviews must come from established websites with substantial content, not your MySpace page or anything like that.
- Contest is open to the United States residents and mail addresses only. This is a limitation based on the shipping of prizes.
- One prize per person
- Prizes are awarded by Warner Books and their public relations company Sideways Media. If there are problems with the awarding of prizes, I will work to try resolve the issue with Sideways Media. I do not take responsibility for any problems with the prizes.
- I hold the right to add more (or eliminate) conditions to these rules.

At midnight PST on July 27th (they requested a minimum 30-day contest), I'll close the contest. I will then assign everyone a number (or numbers) based on their entries and pick winners using Random.org.

On a serious note, I'm not that "extraordinarily stingy." I'd just rather give my money to charity than buy a briefcase and give it away.

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Last updated on February 24, 2008.

Top 5 Paths to a Million Dollars

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Even though it has lost a lot of buying power over the years, many people consider having a net worth of a million dollars a significant achievement. Today, I'd like to examine some of the common ways that people become millionaires.

5. Marry Rich - This was the route that brought Anna Nicole Smith much of her fame and fortune followed. Unfortunately, it probably won't make you happy, which is probably your goal.

4. Be Extraordinarily Talented - Many sports players, musicians, and other entertainers follow this path to success. Unfortunately, you generally have to be in the top .00001 of talent level or...

3. Be Extraordinarily Lucky - Sometimes the talent in #4 isn't enough. There are a lot of starving artists who are more talented than Biz Markie - yet Biz has likely made millions from a single song. Or perhaps you can go the lottery winning route. Unfortunately, for all the rabbits' feet and four-leaf clovers I have, I am still far away from being a millionaire.

2. Perform some Crazy Stunts - It seemed to work for Jackass star Johnny Knoxville and even SuperSize Me star Morgan Spurlock. Or perhaps you could trade one red paper clip for a million dollars. Unfortunately these all require quite a bit of luck, creativity, and a high tolerance to withstand pain and/or physical and verbal abuse.

1. Read and follow all five of the principles at GenX Finance. This requires a little discipline, but very little luck, very little pain, very little talent, and very little creativity. I think we have a winner.

There are more ways that aren't on this list - including The Digerati Life's tips on how to be a millionaire. For instance, starting a company is another very common way. However, I'm limited to just 5 for the Top 5 Group Writing Project.

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Last updated on June 1, 2012.

Two Brainwash Cafes?!?!

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It wasn't until Energy Girl (my fiance) came across a previous post, that I realized that there are two Brainwash Cafe's. There's that one, who gave me the honorable mention and there's the Brainwash Cafe Landromat. What are the odds that both would come into this Lazy Man's life?

While I'm here I should mention that I've been bumped up the rankings to #4 in the Brainwash Cafe Best Choice Awards. I guess I'm doing something right.

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Last updated on July 29, 2011.

 
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