Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine Flu Pandemic

Now I know there is a scare over the Swine Flu. There is a lot of people making a mad dash to the hospital. But it does not mean you should make a rush to the hospital. Quite the opposite, you need to avoid the hospital emergency rooms. They will take you to the cleaners, even with insurance.

When you sign up for the appointment hospitals mainly work with contract service. Aside from the VA, almost all of the hospitals will bill you for the emergency room visit. Then they will bill you for the medicine, then the doctor. If you want to be able to take a hold of your destiny, you need to think unconventional. Hospitals are banking on you to have some kind of insurance and aliment.

After it is all said and done, you will be billed appox. $1000 for the common cold without insurance and approx$500, with it. There are other options however. There are clinics that only bill you by how much you make per year. If you only make roughly $20,000 per year, you might be able to get a reduction in payment on top of your insurance. I went to get a physical at Reno's WARC and it only cost me about $70. The average price of that at a hospital is about $300. You do the math: what would you like to pay?

With the swine flu you need to be frugal to get affordable treatment. If you show signs of the swine flu, you might want to seek treatment at the health clinic. If not and you want to get diagnosed, try going in for a physical. Who knows, it might save your life.

Working for Food

Okay I know people wonder what I do in my off time in order to entertian myself. One of the things I do is play guitar. Another thing I do is help other people. At Sam's Club my manager had to move today and he is not the most healthy of people. He is however a earnest person who will bluntly tell people what they need to do.

I did some moving work for him so that he can move from one apartment to another. The payoff was food. now why did I work for food? Because the cost of me to eat out would have been $10. So why not help someone on my off day, get food as payment and do a good deed at the same time.

This is one of the ways I avoid spending too much money on food. I focus on trying to lessen the blow of food expenditures. Now everyone needs to eat. If I cannot eat, I cannot write this blog! If you see a situation that you are in where you can get some volunteer work in, by all means do it!

There are 2 reasons why you should do this:

a) You can get free food. (One of my themes yay!)
b) For every mile you drive in your car, you can write off an itemized deduction for driving to the event. It is 16 cents/mile.

Not bad huh?

So if you are off and want some wholesome entertainment, by all means, take the reins and volunteer. It will give you a warm feeling inside!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bike Nevada Errata

I have posted something about Bike 2 Work day. The link for Nevada's is actually Sorry about any inconvenience this might have caused. Stay fresh; stay frugal.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bike to Work Day

For those of you that are feeling diehard gutsy about saving money, I have came up with a interesting way to do so. I, personally will be joining Reno's Bike to Work day on May 15th just to prove a point that frugality works and people are stating to take notice.

I now have people that often ask me questions about ways to cut their costs on gas. If they live too far to walk, my suggestion to them is to try to bicycle it to work. All it takes is about $100 and the fee is one time. All you really need to do is maintain the bike which is not too bad--a tire here and there. Dare I say it, you also get exercise! I take great pride in the fact that I walk to and from work. I am in such good shape that I can run miles on end, let alone bicycle the trip. For every amount you bicycle, you are supposed to get sponsored and win prizes after awhile. For more details, click here

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Boston Tea Party

Apparently there are numerous groups on Facebook protesting the actions of President Barack Obama and his action towards handling our money. If things continue the way they are going, we will see a collapse in the banking and financial system-- if the dollar keeps going at its current rate. There will be stagflation: inflation laced with recession. And unless you want to see $200 loafs of bread, my suggestion would be to form your own groups and start protesting President Obama's haphazard spending policy. I am Chuckie and I endorse this message.

I would like to say that if I was put into a situation where the money has been abused through frivolous spending, then I would honestly be trying to find ways to actually make money. It is painfully obvious that he is failing and failing hard. The American budget is like the average American: spends more than he/she makes and then turns around and covers debt with more debt. We are passing the buck here and we need to actually break the cycle. That is one of the reason's why I started CB. I wanted to help you, help me, help you. Ad libs aside, not everyone is going to wake up and hit a 33 million dollar jackpot so as I like to say, "Go through pain now, feel great later".

I know being frugal is hard. We all have occasional slip ups. I, for one, am not going to say I am better than anyone of you. There could be someone out there using every trick known to man to save 95% of their income, but they are probably making a) 5K per month or b) is living in a place with a low cost of living. And if you are then, buy all means post on this site and give me ways to improve CB. I will say this, being frugal is not impossible; far from it. People say that I could not save over 50% of my wealth per month on what I make and I told them, "watch me."

Frugality is work, save, invest. That is the basic formula for frugality. Everything else is irrelevant. So Barack Obama, I challenge to go one month without spending a billion of our dollars. In stead i challenge you to create jobs by using other people's resources and draw talent into the country. If a man can imagine it, it is probable. Einstein said that "Imagination is more powerful than knowledge." It is time for Obama to use his brain instead of Keynesian philosophy.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Super Savings From Pay As You Go Plans!

Hope everyone likes the new layout. Looks a bit more uniform than my last layout. Thank you templates =).

Today I will talk about those "Pay As You Go Plans". The theory behind them is that you can pay for whatever you need to use then save by not using the plan until you run out. Is this what frugality advocates in definition?

I would have to say yes. Frugality is a lifestyle where you use practically any mean to save money. "Pay As You Go" has hit the radar for today's discussion.

Well what is "Pay As You Go"?

Pay is you go is a term for a type of prepayment. It basically means that you select a service for its lack of contract, you get what you want and the company offering the service gets their money--no questions asked. Pay as you go can be a good way to save money, but you need to watch out for imitators. Namely phone companies that "offer" this service.

Pay As You Go Vs. Pay By The Day

It should be common sense, but not quite. Many people are under the impression that pay by the day plans are a way of being frugal. The unlimited option would actually save you more than a pay by the day plan. One thing is that you take the use of your phone and pay $1/day regardless of use plus an additional dollar per day for other services. In other words you literally pay $60-70/day for the use of your phone. Tracphone offers a true pay as you go plan plus you can double your minutes if you talk a lot on the phone. I do not so I switched to them and I am paying way less than a monthly prepaid service. I am probably paying about $5/month of service. No fooling. there is also a plan where you can take all of your calls from the Internet. The main carrier for this is Skype: a Internet phone company. There is also a device that you can use for your phone for roughly $40 that can be about at Radioshack of all place. The service allows you to make unlimited calling for $20 per year and that includes international calls as well!

And There Is Monthly

There are plans to lease your phone or a car out there, but consider this: how long do you actually use a phone or a car in one month? If it is not a lot then you should probably switch to just a pay as you go plan.

On cars I have to make a special note about rentals brought up in David Bach's book "Fight For Your Money". If you have to rent a car do not get surcharged for 'Peace of Mind'. Rent the car OUTSIDE the airport and you will avoid a lot of headaches. Also ask for a dollar amount beforehand so the dealer cannot up sale you. If you let people cajole you into renting a luxury car, then you deserve to be broke. If you cannot get the deal you want, leave the store. Airport car rental places will generally charge you double for a service that you do not need and that is their 'convenience'.

For the Business Person

Getting a pay as you go is in your court. If you find yourself making a lot of calls then getting a plan that has restrictions on how many calls you can make probably is not for you. But this does not mean you should get ripped off and get a plan that does not fit your lifestyle. Simple analyze your phone or car uses and figure out whether or not you can benefit from a plan that is unlimited. I use to be on one of these plans while I was in college.

I was making a lot of calls and needed the added service. But once I got out, the amount of calls I would make slowly died down and I moved on with my life. I needed something cheaper so I can save more money. I was set on being frugal. Besides not eating out often, this was the next step I choose to eliminate liability from my lifestyle. Trust me, phone contracts are the pits. The more you spend to talk to someone, the more it costs you to make that money back up.

Pay As You Go Calculations

Take it from me all it takes is mental math for the plan I am on, but when I buy minute packages, I do have to make small calculations. I have a double minute plan pre-installed into the phone so what I do is take:

dollar amount/minutes= price per minute/2= real price per minute (for my double minute plan)For those of you not on a minute plan, take dollar amount then divide by minutes. Sprint is also cheap with its flat rate cards, in fact they are Tracphone's real competitor. Some of their plans mmight actually be cheaper than Tracphone, but you have to shop around.

For cars, I usually factor in the driver and gas, but I will keep this simple and just do the plans.

There are weekday and weekend plans. Weekday plans usually run about $70, but weekend days are roughly half that. Do not bother with insurance there because it does not matter. It is just a gimmick to keep you broke. Cars come pre-packaged with a fender bender insurance plan included in the warranty of the car. You do not have to pay for a plan in order to rent a car. If they tell you otherwise, leave the store--IT'S A SCAM!