Archive for May, 2008

Oil Hits $130 a barrel

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

Just in time for one of the biggest travel weekends of the year Oil prices rose to $130 a barrel.  This is the first time it has hit this high of a record and it may not stop anytime soon.  Supply concerns and the Weak American Dollar are just a few of the reasons that oil is rearing its ugly bullish head (not ugly to investors).

Expect prices at the pump to rise in time for Memorial Day weekend.  You may want to think twice about your vacation this weekend or your outing at the beach.  Prices will be sky high at over $4 at some gas stations across the country.

Let’s hope Honda expedites the release of the gas-electric hybrids they have planned to release in the U.S. next year.  Until then its time to get some bicycles and/or walk until these gas prices come down some.  Don’t get your hopes up though because gas prices will not go down until at least October and that is if we do not have a bad Hurricane season.

Strange rewards charges on your credit card?

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

If you have been seeing charges for rewards on your credit card you may want to call your credit card company immediately and dispute them.  There are a few things the charges could be including a charge from the actual card you are using.  Chase credit cards allows a third party to bill your credit card for rewards programs that really amount to nothing and their are other offers that are really dirty.

If you have went to the movies recently using Fandango or MovieTickets.com or maybe on some other sites there may be a pop-up window that asks you to save $10.  Advice from The Consumerist warns users not to enter your email address because the fine print sets you up on a Webloyalty monthly subscription service.

Your credit card statement may say RESERVATION REWARDS NORWALK
SHOPPERDISCOUNT.COM NORWALK, or WLI*.   You may call to cancel at 1-800-889-8776 and they will issue you a refund.  If that does not work then contact your credit card directly and dispute the charge.

Where is My Stimulus Check and How Do I Spend It?

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

If you have not filed taxes you will not be getting a stimulus check.  You must file taxes and select a check from Uncle Sam or a direct deposit to get the money thrown your way.

Also, there is another alert you might want to watch out for.  Identity thieves will have a new cash cow to go after when Billions of dollars flood the streets as free money from the U.S. Government this week.  You may want to check your mailbox frequently if you requested a check and make sure no one can steal it.  I have seen people stealing out of mailboxes when they know other peoples checks or credit cards are arriving in the mail.  Guard your mailbox by getting your mail immediately.

Did you stimulus check arrive this week?

There are many things you can do with the money.  I recommend paying off your debt or mortgage.  The retailers want you to buy, buy, buy.

Wal-Mart will let you cash your stimulus check for free.  Sony is offering $400 discounts on High Definition TV’s.  The number two retailer Home Depot is giving away big discounts on High Efficiency washing machines such as the GE HE’s.

The absolute best way to spend your Stimulus Check?

More important than paying off debt is actually feeding your family and keeping food on the table.  Kroger and Ralph’s will add 10% of the value to the rebate checks in increments of $300 to each gift card.  Albertson’s, SuperValu, and Shop N’ Save will give you an extra $30 for every $300 in rebate checks you put on gift cards.  Your family can look at this as an investment that will earn more than interest in a bank account and keep you eating during a threat of a recession.

Basically, all you have to do is go in your local store and purchase gift cards with your rebate checks and save huge money from that.  My family can spend $200 at least in one grocery trip so it adds up.