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Archive for October, 2008

Halloween Coupons and Halloween Deals

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

Halloween coupons – something I like to look for every year because hey, who am I to deny the oh say, 7 kids in my entire neighborhood a little bit of candy. Here is a coupon I found
KMart Halloween Coupons:

Amazon.com Halloween Coupons:

If you purchase: Bit-O-Honey, Laffy Taffy, Wonka Nerds Rope, Nips, Nestle Crunch, and others you can save $15 on purchase of $39 or more.

Walgreens Halloween Candy Couponss:
According a few informants Walgreens may have a limited number of buy one get one free coupons available in-store so check that out.

Shinndigz Halloween Coupons – offering free shipping on Halloween costume orders $30+ with coupon code: CSCJF8 (Exp 9/30).

SpiritHalloween.com Halloween coupons use the following coupon codes:
Free shipping on orders $75+ (Exp 10/5) stacks with… 10% off your order with coupon code: SPAF10P (Exp 10/28)
20% off any one item with coupon code: SPAF20P (Exp 10/31)

BuyCostumes.com Halloween coupons – use the following coupon codes:
Take 10% off orders $50+ with coupon code: ZOMBIE50 (Exp 10/31)
10% off Animal Planet coupons with coupon code: AP10 (Exp 10/17)
Free shipping on orders $65+

If anyone finds anything else good, let me know or just post em below

Five things I learned about mortgages during our closing you probably want to know

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

mortgage
It really hasn’t been that long since I closed on my first home loan so you might think I would draw on that experience to help with the new closing yet somehow the memory of it and how it all works went the way of the dodo…completely and totally extinct. Of course there were a bunch of years of college and beer to block out anything useful. Regardless I learned a few new things along the way.

1) The lender is not your friend. He/she is going to do whatever they can to maximize the money they make. They do not have your best interests at heart. Just ask all the people with ARMs that are resetting now.

2) Most mortgage companies are the same. Rates and costs tend to even out, they are all fairly equally sharkish in their practices.

3) Your loan is probably going to be sold. If mortgages were a pile of dirt (and with all junk going on lately in the mortgage market, some of them really are) the big banks would be giant vacuums sucking up most of them.

4) Its easy to forget the costs of buying a house are not just the purchase price. Closing costs are huge. We had thousands in closing costs including: appraisal, inspections, broker fee, rate lock, underwriting, title search and examination, survey fee, and a bunch of other crap.

5) The rates you see assume great credit. Most people do not have good enough credit to qualify for the absolute top rates…especially as lenders are cracking down on it.

Bonus: Be careful when you “lock in” your rate. With the market turmoil last week the rates went all the way from 6.25% down to 5.75% and back up to 6.7%. We locked in at 6% and were not too thrilled when the lender would not let us relock when the next day rates went down a quarter point. On the upside, we actually got away pretty cleanly since rates went up considerably since then.

We are NOT on the brink of financial apocalypse and Jim Cramer is a fool

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

I have written in the past that Jim Cramer is scum and yesterday was no deviation.  He said on the air yesterday for people to sell their investments and stash any cash you need for the next five years. There is no question the financial market is essentially in ruins right now but there are a bunch of reasons not to pull out.

1) Its dangerous – for you, for me, for the entire country.  A run on the stock market is just like a run on anything else: it disrupts the economy and is bad for everyone.  If I take all of my money out, it will drop and further push Joe to take all his money out which creates a bigger drop and so the cycle continues.  There are some things in place to make sure there is not the kind of massive crash that happened on black Tuesday but essentially our biggest enemy right now is fear.

2) Regardless of what happens right now, the market will go back up.  This is not the case for each individual company, but assuming you have diversified investments and are invested in index funds, you will see brighter days in the future, I promise.

3) As of this writing, the dow is under 10k and you and I have both already lost a massive amount.  Unless there is a total and complete collapse of the markets I think the probable bottom of the market is not too far off.

Let me reiterate: Despite what you might hear, we are NOT on the brink of financial apocalypse.  History will not repeat itself.

When the risky lending of the 1920s happened, there was a striking difference between what they were borrowing against and what the risky lenders of today have borrowed against.  I was fairly shocked to learn that in the 20s the risky loans were borrowed against STOCK.  Thats right, something that has the ability to go to absolutely zero worth.

Now lets contrast that with the ridiculous lending thats happening today.  The risky loans were put up with REAL ESTATE as collateral.

Lets put two and two together: we cannot replicate conditions leading to the great crash of 1930 unless real estate value goes to absolute zero.  This has never in history happened….quite the contrary land is the one thing throughout history that has held some sort of value.  Though the real estate is overvalued and correcting, it will not go to absolute zero.

Another huge difference is that back then there were absolutely no insured deposits.  There was no FDIC.  People that had any money in banks and were unable to withdraw it lost everything.  Thats simply not possible today.

There have been tough times before (Tech crash anyone?) but do not panic.  Stay the course and stick to personal finance fundamentals: reduce debts, save, invest, and keep your head above water.