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Does it Flip? Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4

by Brandon Duncombe on November 05, 2013

Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4
Yesterday we outlined our latest money experiment which involves us trying to resell Xbox One and PlayStation 4 preorders for a juicy profit.

Our buddy/coworker Keith was smart enough to grab a preorder for each console months ago and now we want to evaluate the market to see what we’re getting ourselves into.

Let’s take a closer look at the Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4 and analyze their respective markets on eBay.
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Best booths of FinCon 2013

by Brandon Duncombe on October 25, 2013

St. Louis Arch

Last week we had the pleasure of attending one of our fav conferences — The Financial Blogger Conference, better known as FinCon. It’s a personal finance blogger meetup founded by PT Money where “money meets media.” We reconnected with some old friends and met new ones. Overall it was a bunch of fun.

But enough about that. We’re here to talk about booths, and we’re here to talk about top notch SWAG.


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Your Take: Are You Getting the iPhone 5S?

by Brandon Duncombe on September 13, 2013

iPhone 5S GoldAh yes, a new Apple product. As Jimmy Kimmel put it, a new iPhone announcement is like America’s version of a royal wedding/baby. I can’t tell if that’s a good or bad thing… I’m sticking with bad. We asked the same question last year with the iPhone 5, so we figured we’d do it again this year.

Apple announced not one, but two new shiny devices for us to salivate over.


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Your Take: Are You Driving Less?

by Brandon Duncombe on August 30, 2013

Driving LessWe’ve tossed around the idea of selling your ride and living carless, and many people are finding more efficient ways to get around, but it’s still hard to believe we’re seeing an end of an era.

Driving just isn’t cool anymore.

According to a new report from the John A. Volpe Transportation Systems Center, people are driving less and less in America. This is a trend I’ve picked up recently as I’ve been traveling more. I live in a pretty car-reliant town, so I feel like I have an inflated sense of the ubiquity of cars. They’re everywhere. Everyone at my office drives to work; It’s just the easiest way to get around. But in my recent travels to bigger, more densely-populated urban centers, I’ve noticed many people utilizing a variety of efficient transportation options to get around.


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McD Monopoly Game: Mail-in vs. Hash Browns Epic Challenge Part 4

by Brandon Duncombe on August 22, 2013

mcd game pieces
It’s been a long month, to say the least. McDonald’s Monopoly unexpectedly started two months early, forcing Jim and me to scramble around and figure out what to do. Then in haste we decided it’d be smart to buy tons of food and write even more SASE letters than last year.

And we did it. Whew.

Today’s the final day to input codes online for the game, so we figured it’s the perfect time to wrap up our little experiment.

In part 1 Jim bought 200 hash browns while I stamped 500 SASE letters to McDonald’s, Part 2 involved the peeling of all the greasy, grimey pieces off the hash browns and cataloging, and part 3 kicked off with my receipt of 494 of my 500 letters from McDonald’s, containing 1,976 pieces.

Below is a breakdown of our results. Enjoy!


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Analysis: A Look at US Holiday Spending

by Brandon Duncombe on January 09, 2013

Holiday Spending MapAh, a new year. The holidays are over and now it’s time to assess the damage… to your bank account. Surprisingly, it looks like consumer confidence took a huge leap from last year. American Research Group reported that consumer’s expected to spend $854 on holiday gifts, which is over $200 more than last year, and is in line with pre-recession era holiday spending (2006 spending was $907).

We wanted to dig a little deeper, so we created a map of the U.S. that highlights the general projected holiday spending budgets of 25 major metropolitan areas.

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My Journey: Handwriting 100 Letters for McDonald’s Monopoly Pieces (Part 3)

by Brandon Duncombe on October 23, 2012

lolThis series chronicles my journey to hand-write 100 letters to McDonald’s requesting Monopoly Game Pieces for their annual Monopoly Game sweepstakes. The game rules state that McDonald’s will mail back 2 game pieces if a participant sends a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) to McDonald’s. There is no mention of a limit on the number of requests a participant can send, so I’m sending in 100 letters to see if 1) I can make back the money I spent on stamps and envelopes (around $117), 2) to see if McDonald’s will live up to their claim and honor my 100 letters and 3) see if I win any cool stuff! For more details on how my journey began, read part 1 and Part 2.

For those of you keeping track, so far I’ve gathered my supplies and written/mailed off all 100 envelopes to McDonald’s — now it’s the hard part: waiting.

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My Journey: Handwriting 100 Letters for McDonald’s Monopoly Pieces (Part 2)

by Brandon Duncombe on October 16, 2012

Letters 3This series chronicles my journey to hand-write 100 letters to McDonald’s requesting Monopoly Game Pieces for their annual Monopoly Game sweepstakes. The game rules state that McDonald’s will mail back 2 game pieces if a participant sends a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) to McDonald’s. There is no mention of a limit on the number of requests a participant can send, so I’m sending in 100 letters to see if 1) I can make back the money I spent on stamps and envelopes (around $117), 2) to see if McDonald’s will live up to their claim and honor my 100 letters and 3) see if I win any cool stuff! For more details on how my journey began, read part 1.

In part 1 of My Journey, I figured out my supplies, made a few stops at the office supply store, and made sure I had the right McDonald’s address. Now it’s writin’ time.

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