Bargaineering is a blog that chronicles my personal finance life and where I discuss matters of shopping, insurance, investing, retirement, loans, credit cards, mortgages, bargain hunting and other issues in my life.

Latest Posts from Bargaineering (page 222)

Deducting Credit Card Reward Donations

For years I’ve been accumulating reward points in Citi’s Thank You Network with my Citi mtvU credit card, usually turning them into student loan checks for ACS. With my student loans paid off and the conversion rate weaker (it used to be 2,500 point for $25, now it’s 3,300 for $25), I’ve been looking for an alternative in the gift card department. […]

Do You Have Multiple Social Security Numbers?

Did you know that 6.1% of Americans have at least two Social Security numbers associated with their name? A hundred thousand Americans have five or more associated with their name. Those are just two the amazing statistics out of an surprising report by ID Analytics. […]

Rule of Thumb on Insurances To Avoid

Here’s the rule of thumb I use on whether or not an insurance policy is worth getting – if they are willing to sell you insurance without knowing anything about you, don’t buy it. Think about how much information you have to provide if you’re buying any kind of “traditional insurance.” With life insurance, you have to submit yourself to a physical. […]

Your Take: Magic Income Number

The WSJ reported a couple weeks ago on a study by Princeton economist Angus Deaton and psychologist Daniel Kahneman that: The magic income: $75,000 a year. As people earn more money, their day-to-day happiness rises. Until you hit $75,000. After that, it is just more stuff, with no gain in happiness. The conclusion came from a series of Gallup surveys of 450,000 Americans in 2008 and 2009. […]

Elizabeth Warren To Head Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection

One of the creations of the financial reform bill (H.R. 4173 “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act”) was a Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB), an organization that is charged with regulating financial products from payday loans to mortgages, credit cards to credit counseling, and a litany of products in between. […]

$175 Family Value Bonuses from M&T Bank

M&T Bank has really gotten very aggressive in its promotions lately and this time they’re offering up to $175 in “Family Value Bonuses” when you open a checking account. […]

Spend American Express Membership Rewards at Amazon

I recently learned that you can now spend your American Express Membership Rewards at as part of their Shop with Points program. When you couple it with free Amazon Prime for students (my wife is a graduate student), you have yourself a nice little two-day shipping fueled by points I was having difficulty spending. The key question is the conversion rate. […]

Are Solar Panels On Your House Worth It?

This summer, on our trip to Lake Tahoe, we spent a night at my father-in-law’s childhood friend’s house. They had a pool that was heated using a series of black tubes put on top of their lattice patio cover. The tubes gave the patio shade from the sun, the sun heated the tubes, and the water inside the tubes went into the pool to give it a nice bath water temperature. […]

Medical Bargaineering: 7 Tips to Save Money on Medical Expenses

This is a guest post written by Cynthia J. Koelker, MD, author of 101 Ways to Save Money on Health Care, Tips to Help You Spent Smart and Stay Healthy. If you think your employer is paying for your health care, think again. You’re the one not receiving up to $10,000 per year so your employer can pay your monthly premiums. […]

Plant Perennial Vegetables for Eternal Harvesting

You probably noticed that I’m a big fan of growing your own herbs (all the posts about harvesting herbs and drying fresh herbs probably gave it away) because the little canisters seem ridiculously expensive in the store. […]