It’s that time of year again… I’m getting a raise this month, so I’ll once again be increasing my retirement savings. As I’ve noted previously, each year when I get a raise I increase my retirement contributions by 1% of my total salary — after all, if you never see it, you won’t miss it. When I started my job I was contributing the 5% necessary to get the dollar-for-dollar match in my 403(b), as well as an additional 5% for good measure. (more…)
Things got away from me a bit this past month. By the time I sat down to pay our bills, it was too late for our bank’s bill pay system to get our Driver’s Edge payment in before the due date. No problem, I thought… I’ll just use their Click-to-Pay service. I actually signed up for Click-to-Pay awhile back when I was in a similar situation but ended up being unable to use it at that point, as they didn’t allow payments of greater than $499 during the “enrollment period.” Anyway, since I signed up so long ago, I figured that I should be safely outside of the enrollment period, and that I should be good to go this time around. Unfortunately, I was wrong. (more…)
As a followup to my previous entry about the Amazon.com discount for searching with a9.com, I thought I’d point out another nice feature of shopping at Amazon.
Not many people know this, but Amazon has a price drop policy. If they lower the price on something that you’ve purchased within the past 30 days, they’ll issue a credit (although you have to ask for it). (more…)
The term life insurance saga continues… Our application packets arrived at the end of last week, just three days after we made the initial contact with IntelliQuote, and we also received a call from the Portamedic that will be doing our medical exams. It turns out that the date/time that we had initially requested was already booked, so we had to reschedule our exams. We’re now looking at the middle of next week, which will be 15 days after the initial contact. (more…)
Just a quick reminder to keep track of your credit card rewards, and to make sure you’re receiving what was promised. I just logged in to check the status of our Citi Driver’s Edge rewards and found that we haven’t been credited properly over the past two months. When we originally signed up for this card in January, we were promised 5% off all purchases for nine months. But our July and August rewards were well below that mark. In fact, we should have received $147.10 and $101.20, but was credited just $75.00 and $20.24.
It appears that we prematurely fell back to the 5% off ‘everyday’ purchases (gas, groceries, pharmacy) and 1% off all else. Anyway, I gave them a call and was transferred from the regular customer service rep that answered to a Driver’s Edge redemption specialist. She looked up our account and confirmed that, while the promo should be in effect through October 1, we had somehow stopped receiving the 4% bonus on ‘other’ purchases. In order to fix this, she said that she would “re-apply the code” and that they would then refigure the rewards and make it right on my next bill. Sounds good but, for some reason, I suspect that I’ll be calling again next month. Anyway, I also realized that it’s time for me to start shopping around for another reward card, as we’re getting closer and closer to exhausting the $1, 000 reward limit on this card.
This has gotta be one of the world’s worst kept secrets by now, but in case you haven’t yet heard… You can get ‘a slice of the pi’ from Amazon.com simply by using their search engine, a9.com. They’ve been running a promotion for quite some time now wherein you get an instant (and automatic) 1.57% discount (i.e., π/2%) on your purchases just for searching with a9. It used to be that you simply had to pop over and run a quick search prior to making a purchase at Amazon in order to activate the discount. It now seems that you have to search off and on for about a week before the discount is activated. I’m not sure how frequently you need to return to a9 to keep this alive, but once or twice a week seems to do it for me. Yeah, yeah, I know… 1.57% isn’t much, but it’s better than nothing.
Yet another piece of unsolicited eBay advice… In the time that I’ve been selling on eBay, I’ve been fortunate enough to not have had any runins with deadbeat bidders. Yet. But if you sell enough items, it’s really just a matter of time before you’ll end up having problems. So what can you do to minimize your chances of running into trouble? One of the best ways to protect yourself is to specify that you reserve the right to refuse to sell to bidders with negative feedback (I have a bit of boilerplate text that lists the terms and conditions of all my auctions). Then simply monitor your auction(s) and keep an eye on the feedback of the bidders. (more…)
So far so good. Less than twelve hours after applying for term life insurance, we received a call from IntelliQuote. They wanted to verify our address so they could send us our application packets. They also wanted to schedule our medical exams. Just a day later they e-mailed to tell us that our applications were in the mail, and that we should be receiving them within three or four days.
One thing that I learned from the e-mail was that the six to eight weeks for underwriting starts after our medical exams are complete and they’ve received our completed application packets. Thus, it looks like it may end up being more like 8-10 weeks from when we initially applied online until our applications have been approved. I can’t imagine why it should take that long, but it does. Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to be extra careful not to die in the interim…
Read Part I of Buying Term Life Insurance
You are currently reading Part II
Read Part III of Buying Term Life Insurance
Read Part IV of Buying Term Life Insurance
I’m sure you’ve heard more than enough about the price of gas these days, so I’ll try to spare you the whining about how much I paid today (it was $2.77, by the way — a personal record, but far better than paying $3.39 at the station across the street). Instead, I thought I’d post a graphic that might shed a bit of light on why it is that gas prices are skyrocketing, particularly across the South and East. (more…)
As I’m sure you’re aware, Gulf Coast residents are currently suffering through one of the worst natural disasters to ever hit the United States, and they need our help. My wife and I just made a donation to the Salvation Army, and our kids pooled their resources and came up with an additional $14.42 to help the cause. I’d like to encourage all of you to do likewise (with your charity of choice, of course). If you’re not sure which charity is most deserving of your donations, then please read on… (more…)