Here are some quick hit financial thoughts for this week:
- I got an uplifting comment towards my cutting the cable TV article from a person known as Ro. His comment is worth publishing in full, "This week, we bought a Radio Shack antenna, booster, cords and guide wire to switch to antenna. Antenna.web maps your location for best signals. We have 14 channels so far that are excellent quality. We're pulling the plug on Dish Network this week ($69 a month) and looking forward to cutting more monthly bills that are bleeding us to death. Bell South's taxes and mystery fees for basic phone line is $14.50 a month ($69 total). I am reading Mary Hunt's book about living for half price. We are making a game of budgeting, opting for viewing our own videos vs rentals as well as library videos and exchanging with friends. The stress levels are coming down as the bills become less. Entertainment is too time consuming, anyway!"
- I got my rental car from Enterprise today. (You remember my accident last week, right.) They wanted $5 from me to get a Dodge Magnum when I was promised a mid-size car. I asked for the free option and they had a Focus. After a little discussion they gave me the Magnum. Then they wanted me to pay $12/day for insurance (with a deductable) or $22/day for free-and-clear. Hmm, let's see.... At $22/day the insurance (not the car itself mind you) would cost me $660 a month. This is supposed to be my free substitute transportation from the insurance company? Even at $12 a day, it would be $360 a month - or over $4300 a year. It's quite a business they've got going there selling insurance.
- I have been getting 5% back at gas stations, grocery and drug stores with my Chase card for about two years now. This is coming to an end as they sent notice that they are switching to 1% back starting in May. Nothing like a 5 times reduction in rewards points to leave a bad taste in your mouth. It looks like I'll switch to my Chase Freedom card at that point (3% rewards on gas/groceries/fast food).Â Update: Brandon below mentions that this is not the case and that I've been reading it wrong.Â He's right.Â The gravy train continues...
Here is my non-financial thought for this past week:
- Ask.com is running a couple of crypt billboards around Silicon Valley. The first says, "The algorithm is from Jersey." Very cryptic. The second says, "The algorithm killed Jeeves." I quite like the interesting billboards. Too bad, it seems like a complete waste of money.
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