rebate http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/322/all en-US Modifiers: 5 things that change an item's final price http://www.wisebread.com/modifiers-5-things-that-change-an-items-final-price <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/modifiers-5-things-that-change-an-items-final-price" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/dice_0.jpg" alt="Dice" title="Dice" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="250" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>On <em>Who Wants to Be a Millionaire</em>, Regis Philbin's famous catchphrase was &quot;Is that your final answer?&quot; You should keep the same thing in mind when buying stuff, because spending a few seconds to check could <strong>save you a substantial stash of moolah</strong>.</p> <p>Not counting &quot;used&quot; (B-stock and refurbished) goods and store cards, <strong>here are 5 modifiers which affect the final price of what you</strong> <strong>buy</strong>, whether it's in person or on the Internet:</p> <h2>1. Coupons &amp; promo codes</h2> <p>How easy! Surely you've heard of these &mdash; magical slips of paper that give you a spontaneous discount at the register. Or online, it's even easier (and saves trees): just paste the code into the order form at checkout.</p> <p>Offline, there's no shortage of flyers being mailed to the point where it becomes overwhelming. If you don't already have a few favorite stores, <strong><em>focus</em> on your options and weigh not just individual item coupons, but the overall shopping experience</strong>. (It doesn't make sense to save a few cents and be let down by unhelpful staff.) Find out if you can be apprised of specials online, since they tend to be more searchable. For example, Costco has paper coupon booklets, but they (and many Costcoholics, apparently) also post them on the web, which makes them easier to find or even setup an automatic alert for. This includes big things you're waiting for the price to drop on &mdash; such as an HDTV or fridge.</p> <p>Clipping paper coupons is a time-honored art which my Mom excelled at, the details of which are beyond this article's scope. But one principle which must always be stated is: most coupons for lower-priced goods (like food) don't make much of a difference in isolation. It's in aggregate that the savings add up. However, while you can make more money, you can never make more time, so <strong>consider whether the laborious task of scouring booklets and compiling your coupons &mdash; a crimp on convenience &mdash; is worth the cost</strong>. This is highly individual and needs to meet your needs, as some people enjoy coupon-clipping as a hobby. <em>Don't knock 'em! </em></p> <p>Online, <a href="http://www.retailmenot.com/"><strong>RetailMeNot</strong></a> is essential. It's user-powered, meaning many people submit promo codes and other people vote on their accuracy. Stale/expired coupons sink into the red while hot ones rise upwards. Some vendors feel threatened by this collective knowledge so they've asked RetailMeNot to exclude them, but other companies actively participate in promos. Be skeptical, however, as they may make something look better than it actually is. That's marketing for ya.</p> <p>Always look out for <strong>stackable coupons</strong>. Some deals mavens have mastered combining them, such as:</p> <ul> <li>a time-unlimited $50 off +</li> <li>a one-week special which removes a further $25 +</li> <li>extra 10% off if you buy 2.</li> </ul> <p>The math can get confusing, but don't let that deter you from savings, because web checkout forms usually assist with calculations.</p> <h2>2. Cashback</h2> <p>Cashback often comes in the form of: you need to sign up, then click on a special link which tracks you when you buy something. Then, after an elapsed amount of time (so the participating company can reap a net profit), you get your cash back (literally). Under this are all manner of economic and social complexities, such as partner sites receiving commission payments.</p> <p>Cashback tends to be smaller amounts like 2-10% and there are many flavors &mdash; <a href="http://www.fatwallet.com/"><strong>FatWallet</strong></a> is one of the more popular sites to have strategically turned cashbacking into a community &mdash; but there are occasional jackpots. For instance, eBay's Buy It Now thru Microsoft Live Search once <a href="http://forums.slickdeals.net/showthread.php?t=846962">rose as high as 35%</a> (!), and while I missed out on that, the cashback amount was at a still-respectable 25% when I opted for some pricey music gear. I ended up saving myself over $600 (it took a rolling 60 days to receive all my money after the orders had taken place).</p> <p>One downside of cashback programs, including the eBay-Microsoft one: at-face prices may be inflated slightly or hugely, so <strong>be careful the cashback doesn't merely reduce the price to its usual parity</strong>.</p> <p>Like coupons, take advantage of compound savings whenever possible: there've been a few times where I didn't just stack coupons, there was also cashback, sweetening the deal further. And sometimes there are rebates on top of that.</p> <h2>3. Rebates</h2> <p>Rebates come in different flavors, but they all have one thing in common: motivating you to take action (buy!) when you might normally not be so interested.</p> <p>MIR stands for Mail-In Rebate, another way of enticing you to buy an item with a lower final cost, but you need to wait weeks, or even months to get a check in the mail as compensation. If money is tight <em>today</em>, be sure to factor that in. The waiting game can be tense and rebate programs often have strict rules, such as how your claim form is filled out, and what you need to include from the original packaging &mdash; commonly both a copy of the receipt and original UPC (bar code). Let me assure you, it sucks to go through that trouble, miss out one detail, and receive a rejection letter instead of money. Some rebate programs are shady and unresponsive, so search for others who've dealt with certain companies before.</p> <p>This is why I prefer instant rebates &mdash; just like a coupon, but even easier, because it's automatically applied at checkout. All you have to do is buy. Ah, consumerism.</p> <h2>4. Shipping</h2> <p><strong>Don't be fooled by &quot;free shipping&quot;. It sounds tasty but often isn't true, as the cost is eaten up by a premium on the item itself.</strong> This applies everywhere from Amazon to eBay to Zappos.</p> <p>But it's also true some places have substantially better shipping deals than others, all costs considered. Some may spur you to buy over a certain amount, e.g., &quot;All orders over $99 get free ground shipping&quot;. This is tied to the economy of scale, since it takes about the same time to process most orders, but if you have a more expensive order, you (or at least your money) are viewed as more valuable to the company's bottom line.</p> <p>In those cases, if your order is close to the minimum for free shipping, it may make sense to buy a small, sub-$10 item (also known as a &quot;<a href="http://www.filleritem.com/">filler</a>&quot;) to push you over the limit. But <strong>don't force yourself to buy more than you actually need</strong>, 'cuz then you won't be saving at all.</p> <p>I previously wrote, &quot;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-it-worth-paying-more-for-faster-shipping">Is it worth paying more for faster shipping?</a>&quot;. Check it out if you'd like related info.</p> <h2>5. Tax</h2> <p>Death and taxes may be certain, but at least you have a say in controlling the eventuality of the latter &mdash; like <strong>not paying sales tax if you order from out-of-state</strong>. After <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/new-mac-minis-beware-small-gains-at-a-big-price">writing about the Mac mini for Wise Bread</a>, I found out <a href="http://www.powermax.com/">PowerMax</a>, located one state to the south in Oregon, wouldn't ding me for $75 sales tax unlike Apple's own store. Sales tax becomes even more prohibitive on expensive orders: with high-end electronics, it easily runs into the hundreds of dollars.</p> <p>The point here isn't to deprive the government, but make the smartest decision based on what's legal and available. Be resourceful like MacGyver.</p> <h2>The most important lesson I've learned about modifiers...</h2> <p>is <strong>don't get excited until <em>you</em> see the final price</strong>. So often, I've thought &quot;That sounds like a bargain!&quot; but by the time I get to the register, all these additional hits, surcharges, and in the case of airlines, hidden costs have added up and stabbed me in the side.</p> <p>Online, don't be afraid to do a simulation by adding items to your cart and rushing to the checkout to see what it really costs. Some stores add additional friction (whether by dumb design or accident) and require you to signup for account &mdash; in which case, if you're understandably concerned about your privacy and getting spammed, have an alternate email address on hand to test the waters.</p> <p>If you're new to this, the first few times of keeping the above 5 modifiers and other elements straight can be confusing. But persist, know what you want, and <strong>get it at a better price than you originally thought possible</strong>.</p> <p><strong><em>What are your fave modifiers? Have a modifier that I missed? Share your knowledge with us!</em></strong></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/torley-wong">Torley Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/modifiers-5-things-that-change-an-items-final-price">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-awesome-art-of-getting-great-deals-online">The Awesome Art of Getting Great Deals Online</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-it-worth-paying-more-for-faster-shipping">Is it worth paying more for faster shipping?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-little-known-amazon-shopping-hacks">5 Little Known Amazon Shopping Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/confessions-of-an-ebay-shoe-addict">Confessions of an eBay Shoe Addict</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-buy-it-now-on-ebay-without-using-livecom-cashback">DON&#039;T Buy It Now on eBay without using Live.com cashback</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Amazon cashback costco coupon eBay fatwallet modifier powermax promo rebate retailmenot shipping tax Zappos Sun, 22 Mar 2009 14:29:46 +0000 Torley Wong 2950 at http://www.wisebread.com Not too late to get your IRS stimulus rebate--if you qualify http://www.wisebread.com/not-too-late-to-get-your-irs-stimulus-rebate-if-you-qualify <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/not-too-late-to-get-your-irs-stimulus-rebate-if-you-qualify" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/irs-gov-art_0.jpg" alt="IRS.gov" title="IRS" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="186" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A lot of taxpayers missed out on getting their IRS economic stimulus rebate last year, even though they qualified.&nbsp; If you're one of them, you'll be glad to know that there's a way to get your check.</p> <p>There seem to be two big reasons people didn't get the payment they should have. Some people made a mistake on their tax return, such as an incorrect Social Security number for a dependent--and according to IRS rules, that disqualified them. Other people qualified for the payment last year, but wouldn't have qualified the previous year--but the IRS used your previous year's tax return to decide whether to send a check or not.</p> <p>Whether it was for one of those two reasons or some other, if you qualified for a tax rebate last year, but didn't get one--or didn't get the full amount--you can fix it when you file your taxes this year.</p> <p>The details are on these two IRS pages:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=186065,00.html?portlet=7">Recovery Rebate Credit Information Center</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=201641,00.html">Questions and Answers about the Recovery Rebate Credit</a></li> </ul> <p>The gist of the matter, though, is that you can figure out what the stimulus payment should have been, based on correct information and your actual status for 2008. If you got some stimulus money, but not the full amount, you subtract off the partial amount--but whatever stimulus you qualified for, but didn't get, goes on your return as a credit, and will be added to your refund (or deducted from whatever you owe).</p> <p>Of course, if you didn't qualify for a stimulus payment, this doesn't help. But if you qualified, but didn't get the full payment you should have gotten, now you can fix it.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/not-too-late-to-get-your-irs-stimulus-rebate-if-you-qualify">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-great-places-to-get-free-tax-advice">6 Great Places to Get Free Tax Advice</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bushs-economic-stimulus-package-what-will-you-get-back">Bush&#039;s economic stimulus package; What will you get back?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-to-deduct-charitable-donations-on-your-taxes">Here&#039;s How to Deduct Charitable Donations on Your Taxes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-important-tax-changes-for-2016">5 Important Tax Changes for 2016</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-amazing-outrageous-and-just-plain-weird-tax-deductions">20 amazing, outrageous and just plain weird tax deductions</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Taxes IRS rebate rebate check stimulus stimulus check tax Wed, 14 Jan 2009 19:20:04 +0000 Philip Brewer 2745 at http://www.wisebread.com How to turn an $1800 stimulus check into $1980. http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-turn-an-1800-stimulus-check-into-1980 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-turn-an-1800-stimulus-check-into-1980" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/420685336_a6f5b7d9d7_1.jpg" alt="Banksy" title="Banksy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="265" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It seems the retail giants are serious in their quest to get hold of your economic stimulus check. One of the biggest, Sears, is offering to multiply your check if you spend it there. And others are following suit.</p> <p>A report in the <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/feedarticle?id=7491796">UK Guardian</a> today (why are they covering US rebates?) stated that Sears will add 10% to the rebate check if you turn it into a Sears Gift Card. That would turn $600 into $660, and $1800 into $1980. Now, that's not ideal for most, but if you were planning to spend it on appliances, furniture, or anything else that Sears stocks, you get a lot more bang for you buck. And you can also spend it at KMart (groceries anyone?) and Land's End.</p> <p>Other stores have rebate check offers as well:</p> <ul> <li>Kroger, Albertsons and SuperValu are offering 10% bonuses (check your local store for info).</li> <li>Wal-Mart (boooo) will cash your rebate check for free, saving you $3. No purchase necessary.</li> <li>Staples has launched the <a href="http://www.staples.com/sbd/cre/marketing/economic_stimulus/index.html?storeId=10001&amp;jspStoreDir=Staples&amp;AID=10422268&amp;PID=2249445">Economic Stimulus Center.</a></li> <li>RadioShack is offering 10% deductions on purchases of $50 or more.</li> </ul> <p>Don't take this as my advice to spend your check. By all means, save it or pay down some debt. But, if you were dead set on spending it anyway, this may help you stretch that dollar a little more.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-turn-an-1800-stimulus-check-into-1980">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/not-too-late-to-get-your-irs-stimulus-rebate-if-you-qualify">Not too late to get your IRS stimulus rebate--if you qualify</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/use-only-what-you-need">Use only what you need</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-champion-of-savings-over-spending">A champion of savings over spending</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-bailbondsman-approach-why-some-of-us-stay-broke">The Bailbondsman Approach: Why Some Of Us Stay Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-doing-bad-things-with-your-money">Are You Doing Bad Things with Your Money?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs rebate Sears spending stimulus check Tue, 29 Apr 2008 22:27:30 +0000 Paul Michael 2054 at http://www.wisebread.com Your stimulus check is on its way! http://www.wisebread.com/your-stimulus-check-is-on-its-way <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/your-stimulus-check-is-on-its-way" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/206900508_a065cf36b0.jpg" alt="money!" title="money!" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Wow. I guess pigs may just fly after all. Because, believe it or not, the goverment is actually paying out the economic stimulus checks ahead of schedule. And that means you could get your cold, hard cash as early as Monday, depending on your SSN.</p> <p>You may already have read my article outlining the amount of money you&#39;re likley to get back. If not, <a href="/bushs-economic-stimulus-package-what-will-you-get-back">check it out here</a> . Well, the original deposit schedule was outlined to begin May 2nd, as you can see from the IRS table below.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <table border="0" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="5"> <tbody> <tr class="tb02"> <td class="tb08"><strong>Direct deposit payments</strong></td> <td> </td> </tr> <tr class="tb02"> <td>If the last two digits of your Social Security number are:</td> <td>Your stimulus payment should be sent to your bank account by:</td> </tr> <tr class="tb02"> <td>00 - 20</td> <td>May 2</td> </tr> <tr class="tb02"> <td>21 - 75</td> <td>May 9</td> </tr> <tr class="tb02"> <td>76 - 99</td> <td>May 16</td> </tr> <tr class="tb02"> <td class="tb08"><strong>Paper check</strong></td> <td> </td> </tr> <tr class="tb02"> <td>If the last two digits of your Social Security number are:</td> <td>Your check should be in the mail by:</td> </tr> <tr class="tb02"> <td>00 - 09</td> <td>May 16</td> </tr> <tr class="tb02"> <td>10 - 18</td> <td>May 23</td> </tr> <tr class="tb02"> <td>19 - 25</td> <td>May 30</td> </tr> <tr class="tb02"> <td>26 - 38</td> <td>June 6</td> </tr> <tr class="tb02"> <td>39 - 51</td> <td>June 13</td> </tr> <tr class="tb02"> <td>52 - 63</td> <td>June 20</td> </tr> <tr class="tb02"> <td>64 - 75</td> <td>June 27</td> </tr> <tr class="tb02"> <td>76 - 87</td> <td>July 4</td> </tr> <tr class="tb02"> <td>88 - 99</td> <td>July 11</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I paid my taxes electronically and chose the direct deposit option. And the last 2 digits of my SSN indicate that I&#39;d be getting my money, all $1800, around May 9th. But in an unprecedented act of efficiency, it looks like the <strong>money is actually going to start getting deposited around 1 week earlier</strong>. I suspect the message is starting to hit home that out economy really, really needs that boost.</p> <p>According to <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2008/04/24/pf/taxes/Stimulus_checks/index.htm?cnn=yes">CNN</a> , some 800,000 of you will actually see the money as early as Monday, April 28th. And by Friday, around 5 million rebates will have been deposited or mailed. Of course, if you filed an extension or &quot;decided&quot; not to pay your taxes this year, this doesn&#39;t apply to you I&#39;m afraid. </p> <p>This means that of the $110 billion dollars set aside for rebates, $50 billion will have been paid out by the end of May. Now, whether this will actually help the economy at all is another question. Some people have already said they&#39;ll just give the money straight to the credit card company, others plan to save it and, of course, a few plan to blow the whole thing. </p> <p>Personally, I&#39;m using our stimulus check to landscape our hellhole of a backyard, which right now could be used as a set from a World War II trench. But let&#39;s just hope that the government is right...with gas skyrocketing, food prices through the roof and housing pricing in the toilet, we could certianly use some good news in this country.</p> <p> Happy Monday to you folks that get the money. And for the rest of us...the wait is almost over. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-stimulus-check-is-on-its-way">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bushs-economic-stimulus-package-what-will-you-get-back">Bush&#039;s economic stimulus package; What will you get back?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-700-billion-bailout-became-a-800-billion-rescue-plan">How a $700 billion bailout became a $800 billion &quot;rescue plan&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/obama-eases-treasury-costs-with-at-home-money-printing-stimulus">Obama Eases Treasury Costs with At-Home Money Printing Stimulus</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-turn-an-1800-stimulus-check-into-1980">How to turn an $1800 stimulus check into $1980.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/in-times-like-these-separate-the-want-from-the-need">In times like these, separate the want from the need.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Bush Economy rebate schedule taxes Sat, 26 Apr 2008 16:56:05 +0000 Paul Michael 2042 at http://www.wisebread.com Bush's economic stimulus package; What will you get back? http://www.wisebread.com/bushs-economic-stimulus-package-what-will-you-get-back <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/bushs-economic-stimulus-package-what-will-you-get-back" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/345829246_a7434a76dc.jpg" alt="Tax calc" title="Tax calc" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="184" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As you’re no doubt aware, President Bush has created an economic stimulus package in the hopes of stalling the impending recession (or if you believe some, depression) that’s on the horizon. It’s not approved yet, but it has already passed its first major hurdle – The House Of Representatives approved the $146 billion dollar deal. Want to know how much you&#39;ll get?</p> <blockquote><p><em>The chamber – by an overwhelming majority of 385 to 35 – approved sending tax rebate checks of up to $600 per person and $1,200 per married couple, plus an additional $300 for each child.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>The checks could be in the mail as early as May. But what does this mean for you? I mean, that’s some fairly vague information. I hate the words “up to” because if I give you “up to $10” I could in fact give you a dime and not be lying. </p> <p>I did some digging around the news sites, the BBC, government blogs and so forth and have put together a quick check-list of what you will most likely get back. It’s not concrete as the bill hasn’t been through the entire system yet. </p> <p>In essence, the stimulus package removes the 10% tax bracket currently in place. Of course, if it were that simple we’d all be a lot happier. There are phase-outs baked into the plan that start deducting from your rebate check. But to be honest, the people that will affect most won’t really care as they’re already earning a very healthy sum of money. </p> <p>The system works in two stages. First, you figure out just how much you can get back. Then, you calculate the benefit reductions based on salary. </p> <p><strong>First, let’s see what singles could get back.</strong></p> <p> <em>Earnings                                         Rebate</em> <p>$3,000 or less                                A big fat zero. <br />$3,000 or more, paid no taxes       $300.<br />$3,000 or more, paid taxes            $600.<br />Have children?                               $300 per child</p> <p>Now, the reductions.<br />It’s fairly simple math. Once you earn over $75,000, your check is reduced by 5% per $1000 above the $75k threshold. After $87k, you get nothing. Here are some rough examples.</p> <p>Single person earning $50k a year with 2 children = $1200<br />Single person earning $80k a year with 1 child = $675 ($900 - $225)<br />Single person earning $90k a year with no children = $0</p> <p><strong>Couples get the same treatment, </strong>only everything is doubled to take into account the two people in the household:</p> <p><em>Earnings                                         Rebate</em> </p> <p>$3,000 or less                                A big fat zero. <br />$3,000 or more, paid no taxes       $600.<br />$3,000 or more, paid taxes            $1200.<br />Have children?                               $300 per child</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>And the reductions.</em><br />Once again, simple math. Once couples earn over $150k, the check is reduced by 5% per $1000 above the $150k threshold. After $174k, you get nothing. </p> <p>I found these further examples, all based on the 2007 filing period. </p> <p>A couple with no children, with adjusted gross income of $100,000:<br />$1,200 couples rebate. <strong>A $1,200 rebate.<br /></strong><br />A couple with income of $145,000, with three children: <br />$1,200 for the couple, plus $300 for each child. <strong>A $2,100 rebate</strong>.</p> <p>A couple with income of $160,000 with two children: <br />$1,200 for the couple plus $300 per child — BUT would go down by 50 percent (5% for every $1000 over the $150 threshold). <strong>A $900 rebate.</strong></p> <p>A couple with income of $200,000 and four children: <br />Disqualified, income exceeded $174,000. <strong>No rebate.</strong></p> <p>There are other aspects to the bill that I’m not covering here, including mortgage relief. But there is another important message here. The government wants you to SPEND THIS REBATE. </p> <p>It’s a stimulus package, and thus they want the money to go straight back into the cash registers of businesses far and wide. The problem I see with that is that in a time of record debt and no savings, how fiscally responsible is it of the government to tell us to spend our rebate? Isn’t over-spending the reason we got into this mess anyway? I’m sure economists out there will set me straight.</p> <p>Still, there you have it. A touch more clarification, I hope it helps. </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bushs-economic-stimulus-package-what-will-you-get-back">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-stimulus-check-is-on-its-way">Your stimulus check is on its way!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-marriage-penalty-of-taxes-in-america-how-does-it-affect-you">The &quot;marriage penalty&quot; of taxes in America - how does it affect you?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/could-a-divorce-improve-your-finances">Could a Divorce Improve Your Finances?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-choose-a-roth-401k-or-a-regular-401k">Should You Choose a Roth 401k or a Regular 401k?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-can-you-do-if-you-cannot-afford-to-pay-your-taxes">What can you do if you cannot afford to pay your taxes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Taxes Bush check Economy president rebate tax taxes Wed, 30 Jan 2008 23:21:22 +0000 Paul Michael 1705 at http://www.wisebread.com 400GB Western Digital external hard drive under $90 delivered. http://www.wisebread.com/400gb-western-digital-external-hard-drive-under-90-delivered <p><img width="360" height="360" title="WD 400gb" alt="WD 400gb" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/s0200730_enl.jpg" /></p> <p>The stellar deals continue. Although I can't claim the credit for this one, a site called <a href="http://dealhack.com/">DealHack</a> dug this little beauty out and I am shamelessly spreading the word to all Wisebread readers.</p> <p>Right now at Staples.com you can get a <strong>Western Digital 400GB Elements External Hard Drive</strong> for a final price of just $89.98 with free shipping. That's after an instant savings of $70 and an additional $20 rebate. Here are the specs for all you techies...</p> <table cellspacing="0" border="0" class="col3"> <tbody> <tr> <td>Drive Capacity</td> <td>400GB</td> </tr> <tr class="even"> <td>Internal or External</td> <td>External</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Connectivity</td> <td>USB 2.0/1.1</td> </tr> <tr class="even"> <td>Manufacturer</td> <td>Western Digital</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Manufacturer Model</td> <td>WDE1U4000N</td> </tr> <tr class="even"> <td>Rotation Speed</td> <td>7200 RPM</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Compatibility</td> <td>PC/MAC</td> </tr> <tr class="even"> <td>Burst Transfer Rate</td> <td>Up to 480 Mb/s</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Average Seek Time</td> <td>8.9 ms</td> </tr> <tr class="even"> <td>Warranty</td> <td>1-year mfr. limited</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p> If you want it (and who couldn't use 400GB of extra space for that price) click <a href="http://www.staples.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/StaplesCategoryDisplay?zipCode=80015&amp;PID=1798476&amp;ddkey=StaplesBeFree&amp;ddkey=StaplesProductDisplay&amp;jspStoreDir=Staples&amp;catalogId=10051&amp;errorUrl=zipcode&amp;interceptedCatEntryId=174760&amp;cm_mmc=CJ-_-affiliate-_-feed-_-listing&amp;identifier=BI19122&amp;ts=1178750747902&amp;langId=-1&amp;AID=10422268&amp;storeId=10001&amp;ddkey=StaplesZipCodeAdd">here</a> . Staples, you have to love them for this deal.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/400gb-western-digital-external-hard-drive-under-90-delivered">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/xm-satellite-radio-car-combo-for-under-6-and-free-shipping">XM satellite radio/car combo for under $6 and free shipping!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sears-goes-a-little-crazy-sweaters-starting-at-99-cents">Sears goes a little crazy - sweaters starting at 99 cents!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chuck-taylor-converse-shoes-under-10">Chuck Taylor Converse shoes under $10</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ugliest-shoes-in-the-world-now-less-than-10">Ugliest shoes in the world - now less than $10.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/friday-deal-sweet-dreams-for-a-real-bargain-deal-over">Friday deal - Sweet dreams for a real bargain -DEAL OVER</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Deals bargain deal Hard Drive Instant Rebate PC accessories. rebate Sale Staples Storage Space Western Digital Wed, 09 May 2007 22:54:03 +0000 Paul Michael 612 at http://www.wisebread.com XM satellite radio/car combo for under $6 and free shipping! http://www.wisebread.com/xm-satellite-radio-car-combo-for-under-6-and-free-shipping <p><img width="250" height="250" title="xm radio" alt="xm radio" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/202139750.jpg" /></p> <p>Quick deal for you folks, and a sweet one too. You can now (for a limited time...don't know how long) grab the <strong><strong>AudioVox Xpress - XMCK10 XM Satellite Radio Receiver &amp; Car Kit Combo - XMCK10A for just $5.99 with FREE SHIPPING.</strong></strong></p> <p>Yep, it's not a typo. Just go to this link at <a href="http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=202139750&amp;adid=17662">BUY.COM</a> and snag yourself a steller deal on XM radio. The listed price is around $90, but you get $54 instant savings and another $30 rebate, making it just $5.99. Plus, free shipping. Try finding that lower anywhere else. You will still have to pay the fee for the monthly XM service, but you can't have it all, right? Here are the product specs. Go get it deal-hunters.</p> <p>Equip your automobile with the future of radio using the Audiovox XM Satellite Radio receiver and car kit. Use the remote control to scan through channels on<em> </em>the 5-line digital display. With a built-in wireless FM transmitter, it's easy to listen to your favorite satellite programming through your car's stereo. <em></p> <p></em><strong class="productTitle">Features</strong></p> <table cellspacing="4" cellpadding="0" border="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td valign="top"><em><img width="12" height="12" src="http://ak.buy.com/buy_assets/v6/july/dot2.gif" alt="" /></em></td> <td valign="top">Large 5-line display with white backlighting</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><em><img width="12" height="12" src="http://ak.buy.com/buy_assets/v6/july/dot2.gif" alt="" /></em></td> <td valign="top">Built-in wireless FM transmitter</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><em><img width="12" height="12" src="http://ak.buy.com/buy_assets/v6/july/dot2.gif" alt="" /></em></td> <td valign="top">Encoder knob allows easy access in navigating thru the user interface</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><em><img width="12" height="12" src="http://ak.buy.com/buy_assets/v6/july/dot2.gif" alt="" /></em></td> <td valign="top">DC adapter</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><em><img width="12" height="12" src="http://ak.buy.com/buy_assets/v6/july/dot2.gif" alt="" /></em></td> <td valign="top">Scrolling stock ticker &amp; scrolling sports scores</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><em><img width="12" height="12" src="http://ak.buy.com/buy_assets/v6/july/dot2.gif" alt="" /></em></td> <td valign="top">Tune select</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><em><img width="12" height="12" src="http://ak.buy.com/buy_assets/v6/july/dot2.gif" alt="" /></em></td> <td valign="top">Jump button</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><em><img width="12" height="12" src="http://ak.buy.com/buy_assets/v6/july/dot2.gif" alt="" /></em></td> <td valign="top">Aux input with 3.5mm jack</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><strong><em><img width="12" height="12" src="http://ak.buy.com/buy_assets/v6/july/dot2.gif" alt="" /></em></strong></td> <td valign="top"> <p><strong> Includes: receiver, remote, car kit, DC adapter, hardware adapter, magnetic roof-mount antenna &amp; mounting bracket</strong></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><em> </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/xm-satellite-radio-car-combo-for-under-6-and-free-shipping">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/400gb-western-digital-external-hard-drive-under-90-delivered">400GB Western Digital external hard drive under $90 delivered.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chuck-taylor-converse-shoes-under-10">Chuck Taylor Converse shoes under $10</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sears-goes-a-little-crazy-sweaters-starting-at-99-cents">Sears goes a little crazy - sweaters starting at 99 cents!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ugliest-shoes-in-the-world-now-less-than-10">Ugliest shoes in the world - now less than $10.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/friday-deal-sweet-dreams-for-a-real-bargain-deal-over">Friday deal - Sweet dreams for a real bargain -DEAL OVER</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Deals Audiovox bargain buy.com deal instant savings online shopping radio rebate Sale savings XM XM radio Wed, 09 May 2007 03:29:43 +0000 Paul Michael 611 at http://www.wisebread.com The Key to Free http://www.wisebread.com/the-key-to-free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-key-to-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000005795180_Large.jpg" alt="money envelope" title="money envelope" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I love mail-in rebates, because I have perfected the art of receiving them. It can be a royal pain-in-the-ear, but if you are willing to do a little extra work, you too can get save a remarkable amount of money on rebates.</p> <p>How do you know when to go for or forego a rebate offer? Here are some tips to help you get your time and money's worth. Some of these tips are well-known, and others are common sense things that people forget in the heat of the retail moment.</p> <h2>Before</h2> <h3>1. Do You Really Need It?</h3> <p>Take a really deep breath and assess if you need the product. Can you get by with a lesser model? You probably can. It is really, really easy to get sucked into the bottom line on a rebate, thinking it's a great deal. It may be a good deal, but do you even need it? I know this seems obvious, but the power of the rebate is a powerful, dark, evil force that science has yet to fully comprehend<span style="font-size: 13px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 1.5;">.</span></p> <h3>2. Do You Have the Rebate Form?</h3> <p>Make sure you know where the rebate form is. Ask an associate to provide you with the form. If they say, &quot;It's online&quot; ask them to provide you with the URL. If they don't know what a URL is, and they probably won't, don't take the offer. If the form is in the box, make sure that the store has a fair return policy, should you find the rebate terms too onerous.</p> <h3>3. Read the Fine Print</h3> <p>There are all kinds of stupid restrictions on rebates. You sometimes have to wait for a while before you can send in the rebate, or send in several copies of it, or send them your phone bill for the next three months. Know this BEFORE you take the offer and decide if you can accept it or not. Keep in mind that sending copies of your phone bill is sending your very personal information to complete strangers who may turn around and sell it.</p> <h3>4. Is It Worth Your Time?</h3> <p>Assess the time it will take to do what they want and figure out if your time is worth it. An hour? Two hours? How much money are you saving? If I was saving $150 for an hour's worth of work, I'd totally go for the rebate. If it was $30 for 1.5 hours, I just might not. Also, if you don't have your own photocopier, then it's probably not worth your effort to go to Kinko's and try to do the work there. Know how much your time and effort are worth. In fact, I almost never take an offer for a rebate that is less than $100.</p> <h3>5. Don't Throw Out the Box</h3> <p>Duh. Actually, don't throw out anything. Until you see that the rebate check has cleared in your bank account.</p> <h3>6. Don't Be Lazy</h3> <p>This is your money, and you should get it back. My mother bought two sets of cell phones over the past five years or so. For the first round, my boyfriend and I handled everything &mdash; ordered, received, photocopied, filed, even addressed, sealed, and stamped the items that needed to be sent out &mdash; taking maybe 25 minutes of our time. Mom got all of her money back, although she complained bitterly about having to send them certified. The next time she bought phones, she filed nothing and still blames the phone company for not giving her her rebate. The rebate she never asked for, because it was a hassle.</p> <h2>After</h2> <h3>7. Fill Out Everything</h3> <p>Do this as soon as you get home. Right away. ASAP. They companies want you to forget, so don't do what they want.</p> <h3>8. Make Photocopies of Everything.</h3> <p>Sometimes the company wants a photocopy, sometimes they want the original. Follow the instructions carefully, but regardless of what you need to send them, make extra photocopies for yourself. Digitally photograph the product and product packaging, as well. Every form, every receipt, every UPC symbol must be copied. Twice. Document, document, document. Put together a file folder called &quot;Rebates&quot; and keep all the info stored properly in there.</p> <h3>9. Send Via Certified Mail</h3> <p>Send everything certified mail, so that a signature is required for the company to accept the package. Consumerist says you should get your photocopies or forms notarized.</p> <h2>Follow Up&nbsp;</h2> <h3>10. Email or Call</h3> <p>Large companies will do all they can to pretend that they have no idea what you are talking about &mdash; that's why you kept photocopies of everything. Email is a great way to keep a written record (avoid web forms, if possible, since you don't get to keep a copy), although phone calls are faster. As with all CSR-related phone calls, make sure to ge the name and ID number of your representative right off the bat.</p> <h3>11.&nbsp;Complain With Class</h3> <p>Screaming gets you nowhere, and I definitely speak from experience on this. Hanging up also doesn't help much &mdash; the resounding smack of the handset slamming into in the cradle is just the sound of your rebate disappearing into a void.</p> <h3>12. Threaten, but Nicely</h3> <p>The Better Business Bureau, your state's Attorney General, and Consumerist all love to hear about this kind of stuff, and companies don't really want these groups looking into their lousy customer service. I have a feeling that a lot of CSRs have heard of Consumerist now and REALLY don't want their name up on a web site like that. Let them know that you understand how difficult the process can be, but after a fair warning, you are going to do your best to besmirch their name.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-key-to-free">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. 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