Video: Jon Stewart Rips Rick Santelli & CNBC After He Bails From Daily Show.

“If I’d only followed CNBC’s advice I’d have a million dollars today…provided I’d started with $100 million.”


Money Quote Friday – Green Pieces Of Paper Edition.

This planet has – or rather had – a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

– Douglas Adams

Have a great weekend everyone!


Going To Start Hauling My Own Trash To The Landfill To Save Money.

*Update – I talked to the people at the landfill, and the price is actually $.35 for every 20 pounds of trash you bring in. That would be way less than $5 a month for us, which makes it even more of a deal. When we first moved into this new house, I automatically signed up for trash pickup because, well…it’s what you do here. At least that is what I thought, until I was having a conversation with a local about the landfill allowing people to haul their own trash for $5 instead of paying Waste Management to do it for them. I guess I can see the draw of having a truck come around and pick up your trash for you, but we put out about 1 bag of trash a week, and realistically that truck would not have to stop at my house but once a month to get it all. However, because he comes by my driveway every Monday morning, I always put the bin out with a single bag of trash in it. Seems kind of dumb, but what seems even dumber is that I pay $27 a month for this service and I could have been doing it myself all this time for only $5 a month.

With the tiny amount of trash that we send to the landfill, paying a giant truck that much money to pick it up seems like a total waste of $22 dollars every month. I could store each bag in the garage and go once a month in my Jeep, or I could go every week with each bag; either way it is cheaper than what I pay now for trash pickup. That’s $264 a year spent on trash pickup that could go towards our car loan, my wife’s student loans, or just into savings. If only I had known we could have been doing that for the last 8 months!

$22 a month is not going to make or break our budget (or lack thereof). But every little bit helps, and if I have to lug a few bags of trash 2 miles to the landfill once or twice a month to save that $22, I am all about that. I have much more important things to spend that money on! This concept got me started looking for other mundane things we pay for without even thinking about it, so maybe I will find a few more bucks somewhere. What about you? Have you ever had a moment when you wonder why you are paying money for something that would be so simple to do yourself? If so, let us know!


2009 Individual Stimulus Money Worth More Than Last Year’s Package.

Good idea or not, President Obama’s individual economic stimulus package is worth more to each person than the last one was that was done under President Bush. Bush’s stimulus package gave every person $600, while Obama’s gives each person about $13 a week…or $676. The difference? We got the $600 stimulus package in one fell swoop, while this new one will be spread out over a year. I have been getting many emails from readers complaining about the $13 a week, saying that it won’t do much of anything to stimulate the economy. And instead of emailing each person back, I figured I would just write up a quick post about it instead.

Sure, $13 a week doesn’t seem like much of anything – many people wonder how that is going to make that much of a difference in their daily lives. It isn’t – but that doesn’t mean it won’t do what it is designed to do. By putting just a few bucks into each person’s paycheck over the course of the year, that money will be spent one way or another on goods and services. A extra few bucks at the grocery store; a little more gasoline; one extra quick dinner out. With the $600 stimulus check, most people either A. paid off existing debt or B. put it in their savings account. It didn’t really do anything to stimulate the economy. This new package is designed so that each and every week, there are a few extra bucks that get spent on random, small items – ensuring that the money does in fact get spent this time around. It’s quite a smart move, even if you don’t agree that we should have the stimulus at all.

This part of the Economic Recovery Act is not designed to help people pay off debt, buy flat screen TV’s or put money in savings…it is designed to pump money into the economy. So for those people looking at it like it should be bigger or sent out in check form like the last one, this is the reason why it is not being done that way. That did not help the economy at all, and this version is designed to work in a different way. Each person is actually getting more money than they did from the last stimulus package, so keep that in mind when looking at the big picture.

As for the legitimacy of the stimulus package (and of course the rest of the economic ideas), only time will tell if it will work. Anyone who says they know it will or won’t is making things up – no one knows. All I know is that $700+ billion was handed to the banks last year with no strings attached, and they are already back asking for more because they blew it on jets, trips, office redecorating and bonuses. We handed the auto industry a ton of money, and they too are already back feeding at the trough. So while they are now spending $700+ billion on job creation, infrastructure investment, and the rest of this stimulus package, at this point I think it kind of needs to be done to hopefully prop up this failing economy. And in all honesty, and I know some of my personal finance blogging friends will disagree, it is about time something gets done for regular people rather than just big business and banks. Tax cuts alone will not save us, as the last 8 years has shown. After all, not too many people in government complained when money was handed to the banks – so I am surprised so many are complaining about money being spent on this stuff that hopefully will benefit all of us as a whole. There is of course some fluff in there that could be eliminated, but this is the federal government we are talking about – and both parties always fill up on this stuff when they can. It’s just that they go about it in different ways. I am not a fan (believe it or not) of just handing out money to anyone with no strings attached, so hopefully they have real checks on where and how all this money is being spent.

Anyway, that’s the scoop on the stimulus package and why you are getting $13 a week instead of a check in the mail. Hope it helps answer all those questions, and if you have any more feel free to ask away!


Credit Card Research: The Discover More Card.

Since I get emails all the time asking about different credit cards and if people should be signing up for this, that, or the other one, I am going to start a new feature every week about different credit cards. I am going to research different cards and then present the ones that I think might be worth applying for. I am not a proponent of using credit cards as emergency funds or carrying any long term credit card debt, but I am a big fan of using your good credit to your advantage to earn points, miles, or cash back. You might as well earn something back from any and all spending that you do. I put as much of my monthly recurring bills on my rewards card, and if I could do it I would also pay my rent this way! Anyway, for those of you who are always looking for good credit card offers, this weekly feature will be for you. As always, please use credit responsibly. This week’s card is the Discover More Card, which has a 0% interest offer for 6 months on both purchases and balance transfers. These offers are getting harder and harder to find! (If you are reading this by RSS, you might have to click through to see all the details)