General 
6
comments

Dreamhost $77 Off Code – DREAM77

I’m a huge fan of Dreamhost.com because their “Crazy Domain Insane” plan offers you:

  • 1 FREE domain registration
  • UNLIMITED domains hosted
  • UNLIMITED subdomains
  • 20 GB Disk space, 1 TB Transfer
  • 600 Mailboxes, 75 Shell/FTP Users

or… way more than you could possible use. I currently have four blogs hosted there and have never experienced a single problem with it. When you have this plan and feel like giving a new blog a whirl, just visit GoDaddy, register, and link it to your Dreamhost account and it’s ready to go. Also, they offer a one-click install of the latest version of WordPress, which makes getting your blog up and running that much easier (WordPress is what I use on every single blog I run).

With the code DREAM77, you can get $77 off their yearly rate for any plan they offer. When the monthly rate of the Crazy Domain Insane is a mere $7.95, it costs almost nothing to start up your site. Also, if you’re worried, don’t be – they offer a 97 day money back guarantee.

Also, I forgot to mention this earlier (slipped my mind) but for every signup I get $20 and you get $77. So it’s a good deal for everyone all around and I appreciate the support! Thanks!


 Credit, Personal Finance 
3
comments

15M Japanese Don’t Use Paper Currency

The Japan Research Institute, as reported by Walaika K. Haskins of newsfactor.com, has claimed that 15 million Japanese citizens don’t use paper currency whatsoever. They use e-money which is accessible through a smart card or their mobile phone. From personal experience, if you’ve ever used a public pay phone in Asia then you’ll need to figure out a way to navigate the smart card system because many won’t accept coins. The institute estimated that by 2008, 40M Japanese will be using e-money.

The article is pretty interesting and it worth a look, I wonder when the pervasiveness of these smart cards and e-money will appear here in the US.


 The Home 
8
comments

Homeowners Happier Than Renters

Infinite TownhousesTake this quote from a 2003 study by Robert Dietz, professor of economics at Ohio State University, titled “The Social Consequences of Home Ownership” [.PDF, 180kb]: “You are happier and more satisfied with your life[,] your children are better educated and less likely to get into trouble[,] your daughters are less likely to become pregnant as teenagers[,] you vote more often and are more active in your community[,] you are more likely to recycle and less likely to get mugged.” (I added in some comma’s and the emphasis was mine) Doesn’t that add a little wrinkle into the rent vs. buy question?

Essentially, what it comes down to is that homeowners feel more vested in a community than renters do. I didn’t really care who my neighbors were when I rented because I was probably moving in a year, not so with my neighbors now. I’m more likely to be active in my community now because I know I’ll be here for a while. I’ll be more active in the political process because those decisions will now have lasting effects on my life and my finances.

On a personal note, I know of friends who own row homes in the city who have gone to town hearings on construction permits for roof decks. A rule is that if you construct a deck, it can’t block the “view” of your neighbors and anyone can challenge your permit for that reason. If you rented, you don’t care if a deck blocks your view. If you own it, you certainly do care because you don’t want to see another deck in the way of your view of the cityscape, you want to see the cityscape!

(Photo: paytonc)


 Frugal Living 
0
comments

Festival of Frugality #8

I want to thank the 22 participants of this week’s Festival of Frugality, that’s an all time record I believe, and I want to definitely thank Sarah of Frugal Underground for doing an exceptional job hosting it.

I’ll be hosting next week’s edition so please send along your submissions via the forms at Conservative Cat or Blog Carnival. If you’re interested in hosting, please contact me after reading what this Festival is about. Thanks!


 Personal Finance, Shopping 
29
comments

Cost Of Getting A Dog or Cat

Cute PuppyMy girlfriend and I have been briefly discussing getting a pet, either a dog or a cat, and she was warning me that the “acquisition” costs can run into the hundreds depending on where we go for a pet. She’s leaning towards the shelter because the pictures of the dogs and cats at the library make her, and me, sad and so I think it’s time for me to fully understand how much it costs just to get a new pet. As a kid, we never had pets because my parents didn’t want to deal with all the hassle. The hassle of walking a dog, or cleaning up after a pet, or teaching it to not rip everything up, and most importantly, dealing with crying kids whenever the pet died. The most we ever had were fish that had lifespans of a few weeks before my sister managed to kill it by petting it. (just kidding!)

Since right now I’m just looking at the acquisition cost, it’s boiled down into several major categories: Purchase Price, Spaying/Neutering Costs, Immunization/Misc. Shots and I suppose food.

Purchase Price: I think our best option is to visit the local shelter and see if there is one we like. With this option we’ll have to shell out a hundred or so dollars. I don’t really see myself forking over $1,000 just to get the pet of my dreams when there are so many worthy pets waiting for homes in the shelter.

Spaying/Neutering Costs: Psychologically I don’t like the idea, maybe it’s an issue of transference, but my girlfriend says it’s a healthy thing to do. This procedure can run about $50 to $100.

Immunization/Misc. Shots: “They” say that a visit to the vet and the first shots (which may be handled by the shelter, I have no idea) can run somewhere between $75 to $100. There are also annual shots and tags that will be around $50-$100 a visit.

Food: $4-$10/wk on food, not a big deal.

So all told, the actual acquisition costs can run anywhere from $225 to $300 or so. Does that sound right? Am I missing anything (we’re just talking acquisition costs now)?

(Photo: klash)


 Free, Personal Finance 
3
comments

ShutterFly Coupon Codes

These coupon codes have since expired but I have a frequently updated list of holiday photo deals which includes ShutterFly, Snapfish, dotPhoto, and other photo printers.

Sorry! None of the codes I saw on Fatwallet that gave free prints still worked, just some discounts here and there.

I saw this on Fatwallet so I thought I’d share:

After logging into your existing account or creating a new Shutterfly account, navigate to My Shutterfly > Special Offers > Enter Special Offer Code. Enter in all the codes listed below. You should end up with nearly 200 free prints in your account.

HSN3FREE HSN4FREE HSN1PRTS HSN2PRTS
AFF1SAVE SW03PRTS 30UPROMI VAL6PRTS
VAL4CALD VAL50501 BZ10SAVE CREST005
BS15PRTS AM45PRTS ACOGYAYF 504ORDER
UPR1SAVE A00PRINT

I was a little too eager, actually only AFF1SAVE, VAL4CALD, VAL50501, and ACOGYAYF are still valid and none of them give you free prints (just various discounts).

AFF1SAVE: The “January Print Sale” offer has been successfully added to your account. Remember to use it by Jan 31, 2006.
VAL4CALD: The “Val Pak (January)” offer has been successfully added to your account. Remember to use it by Jan 31, 2006.
VAL50501: The “Val Pak (January)” offer has been successfully added to your account. Remember to use it by Jan 31, 2006.
ACOGYAYF: The “ACOG You and Your Family Magazine” offer has been successfully added to your account. Remember to use it by Feb 28, 2006.

Sorry for the itchy trigger finger on that one.


 General, Personal Finance 
1
comments

Monday Carnivals

It wouldn’t be a proper Monday in the personal finance blogosphere if we didn’t have all our carnivals:

Don’t miss the 8th Festival of Frugality being hosted by Frugal Underground tomorrow. Get your submissions in! (and if you want to host future Festivals, email me)


 Personal Finance, The Home 
18
comments

Illegal Mortgage Closing & Settlement Fees

I recently received a letter from the law offices of Peter G. Angelos (the owner of the Baltimore Orioles) that they, after they reviewed the business practices of mortgage lenders in Maryland, discovered that some mortgage lenders charged mortgage closing/settlement fees that were illegal under Maryland law. Most of these illegal fees were connected to second mortgages, which I had. And of course, the firm was available to examine the closing documents to see if I was illegal charged and paid any of the illegal fees. If it happens that I was, I might be entitled to a refund of all the interest I had paid since getting the loan and additional damages.


(Click to continue reading…)


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