Money Talks News — Let’s start this edition with some money-saving tips. The first one Nancy found is: Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards. While most airline reward programs concentrate on making your earned points less valuable, Southwest’s system simply “earns points for future free flights.” Their rewards seats were also available on 100 percent of flights, which makes planning a future trip easy.
A more obvious money saver is: warehouse memberships. You can save big by buying bulk, but don’t get carried away. Warehouse stores invite overspending. They promote flat screen TV sales and other stuff that many shoppers don’t need — but want. Review this post regarding shopping and saving at thrift stores.
Making Sense of Cents — Buying stuff is fun. Paying that stuff off, especially if you abused your credit card, is stressful. Michelle says it’s also hard work. But she thinks that paying down debt is worth the hard work and stress — although you may feel lousy while you’re doing it.
You may also “feel like keeping up with the Joneses.” It makes sense. Everyone around you is spending money, and you feel envious. It’s a natural feeling. Howard Dvorkin, Chairman of Debt.com, dedicates a whole section on that reaction in his book Power Up. Just remember, like Howard and Michelle both say, there’s a good chance those people are in debt too.
Len Penzo dot Com — Len loves the show Locked Up Abroad. He says the people who get locked up could’ve avoided this misery if they only saw the red flags all around them. One guy strapped 20 kilos of heroin around his body and got caught by drug-sniffing dogs at the Caracas airport. I think the red flag was the dumb idea of strapping heroin to his body.
Len believes people with financial issues ignore their own red flags. These red flags include taking out payday loans, bouncing checks and “hiding your spending behavior from your family members.” This last red flag can disrupt family relationships, and also ruin your marriage. Check out his other red flags.
Credit Sesame — This is an interesting post. The model for the house is “a 1,200 square foot, 3-bedroom floor plan.” The experiment takes place in “some of the world’s top cities.” Not surprisingly, in the U.S., New York and San Francisco are the priciest markets. That $50,000 would buy you a “storage closet” in NYC and a “master bedroom” in SF.
The best bangs for your buck in the U.S. are Cleveland and Detroit. Overseas you can get decent digs in Pretoria, South Africa and Bangalore, India. The most expensive place is the French Riviera at $17, 241 per square foot. For that money, the blogger says you could afford “the finest linen closet in the South of France.” Learn more about the housing market in this post.
Once Cent at a Time — If you’re not interested in buying a home (for $50,000 or any price), use these negotiating tactics the next time your landlord raises your rent. Kat’s renewal notice recently arrived. She noticed the landlord proposed “a staggering 26 percent increase.” She compared that to the standard 3.6 percent increase and grew angry.
So she decided that she’d fight the increase. But before she did, she thought about how stable and reliable tenants benefit landlords. She came up with three things and presented those benefits in an email she wrote her landlord. I’ll let you find out what they are and what the results were. And check out why more homeowners are turning into apartment hunters.