The www.FedPrimeRate.com Personal Finance Blog and Magazine
Wednesday, September 04, 2013
Thursday, April 11, 2013
$1,264 for a 7 Mile Trip In An Ambualnce....
My neighbor was kind enough to let me scan the bill she just received from the Horsham Fire Department.
She was experiencing so much pain from 2 kidney stones that she called 911 for help. She was in tears and curled up in a ball on the floor. So much pain that she couldn't stand up.
The ambulance took her to Abington Memorial Hospital emergency room.
No painkillers or other drugs were administered during the 7-mile trip.
Total bill -- for the abulance alone -- $1,264.00.
That's one very, very expensive, 7-mile taxi ride.
Her heath insurance company, Blue Cross / Blue Shield, may not pay. This bill is under review. They may deem kidney stone pain a non-emergency.
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Monday, March 25, 2013
Social Security Disability Benefits: How It Really Works
|Social Security Disability Benefits|
"...In Hale County, Alabama, 1 in 4 working-age adults is on disability. On the day government checks come in every month, banks stay open late, Main Street fills up with cars, and anybody looking to unload an old TV or armchair has a yard sale..."And there are plenty of other disability clusters all over the country.
A great story on how the Social Security disability system really works in the USA.
To listen to the story, you can access the MP3 audio here.
If you like the story as much as I do, please consider donating to This American Life here, or to Public Radio in general here.
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Sunday, February 10, 2013
Have Fun While Paying Down Debt and Save Money
SavdeUp.com gives its members the opportunity to win cash and prizes for doing the right thing with your money, i.e. paying down all types of debt (credit card, mortgage, auto, etc.) and increasing your savings.
The site is completely free; it makes money by collecting fees from partners.
How it works: you connect your accounts to SaveUp via a secure process. Then, as you save money and pay down debt, you earn credits. These credits can then be used to participate in the site's rewards program, i.e.
Here's a sampling of prizes won at SaveUp.com:
- A credit card payment
- A mortgage payment
- An Apple iPad 2
- A gift card to Chipotle, Starbucks,Banana Republic, Best Buy, Target, T.J. Maxx, NFLShop.com, Southwest Airlines, Amazon.com, Wal-mart, Etsy, Costco, etc.
- 1 Year of Netflix
- Cash towards an IRA or Roth IRA
- Financial Planning Consultation.
- Ninja Pro blender
- An oil change
- An energy bill payment
- Valentine's Day fund prize
- Cash towards a travel fund
- Holiday savings prize
- Cash (my favorite!)
Have I tried SaveUp.com? No.
I'm very paranoid about sharing my banking details with any site, even with all the state-of-the-art security features sites like SaveUp have in place.
In the news, I'm constantly hearing and reading stories of sites getting hacked, and huge batches of credit card numbers getting stolen (example.)
Back in 2011, my Facebook account was hacked. My Google account was compromised soon after. Needless to say, I don't use Facebook anymore (I'm perfectly happy sticking with Google Plus.)
So, if you're comfortable sharing your sensitive details with SaveUP, give the site a try, and let us know what you think in the comments section below.
If you like SaveUp.com, you may also like PayOff.com.
Comments are always welcome.
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Friday, February 08, 2013
Is It Wrong to Teach My 10-Year-Old To Play Poker?
|Teaching my daughter to play poker|
Some might say yes.
Some might say that I'm teaching my daughter that gambling is OK, at an age when she is very impressionable.
But I don't see it that way.
Play poker, for free thanks to Zynga, teaches many things, including:
- Money management
- Patience (good things come to those who wait...)
- Calculated risk (risk management)
- How to think (e.g. not to make strong bets out of position)
- Keeping a cool head under pressure
- The perils of overconfidence
- The importance of being bold, when the timing is right
- Practice anything every day and YOU WILL become an expert
- Self-esteem / self-respect: never play crappy cards....NEVER!
- etc. etc. etc.
To those who still don't agree with my position, let me shed some more light on my point of view.
Back in 1979, I was 9 going on 10, and living in NYC. I was @ the UN school (UNIS) on the East River (www.UNIS.org.) A very, VERY good school, but not a good school for me. I had some serious issues with discipline, and my learning suffered. My dad, suffering much resistance from my mother, insisted that I attend an English boarding school in 1981. I went, and I'm glad I did.
In 1979, while I was @ UNIS, my sister, at age 9, attended the very, VERY prestigious Dalton School (www.dalton.org.) Dalton only has The Trinity School (www.trinityschoolnyc.org) as an institutional peer.
At Dalton, my sister was taught about economics and the stock market, AT AGE 9! She used to tell me about the virtual stock portfolio she had, and how her teachers would monitor her portfolio's performance every day.
Are the equity markets risky? Yes! Just ask the folks who lost their life savings when General Motors -- a top Fortune 500 company -- collapsed during the peak of the Great Recession.
But if you teach your kids early, they can learn to play the market, and be wealthy at an early age. Yep. Of this I have no doubt.
And that's the difference between a good school, and a great school. A great school will teach kids very serious money lessons very, very early. Why? Because they get it. Teach kids important money lesson as early as possible, and chances are, you won't have to worry about their financial well-being when they grow up. SIMPLE AS THAT.
You don't have to have loads of money, or be a movie star, to teach your kids to be successful in life. Just take the time to teach them all the good stuff you've learned over time, as often as possible. That's the difference between good parenting, as just phoning it in.
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Saturday, January 26, 2013
Zynga Poker Keeps Me Out of The Casino
Yes, it does.
It's free, and it's just as fun as playing with real money at the casino. When I win or lose big with Zynga poker, the thrills and disappointments are just as intense as the real thing, no doubt.
I have very easy access to a very nice casino where I live. It's a short 20 minute drive, all highway. Very tempting. Open 24/7, 365 days a year, of course!
I haven't lost money at any casino since 2010 (I only play Texas Holdem poker) but I know I have the potential to lose big. I have a bad habit with overconfidence in poker, a habit I'm working hard to train out of myself with help from my good friend Zynga.
I'm getting pretty good, but I can't call myself an expert. I've seen guys and gals walk into the casino with a few hundred dollars, play the 1/2 no limit tables all night, and leave with many thousands. When I can do that, then maybe I can call myself a pro.
And so, on this lazy and chilly Saturday afternoon, I present my:
Top 12 List of Signs That You're A Zynga Poker Addict
12) You believe that buying Zynga GOLD is a wise investment that may end up paying for your kid's education.
11) You believe that donating $100,000 chips to a broke buddy is such a noble gesture that you should be considered for the Nobel Peace Prize
10) You're so proud of reaching Champion Level status that you spent $100 to have t-shirts printed.
9) You can't decide whether to change the baby's diaper, or wait a few more hands for pocket rockets (you're due, after all.)
8) You test the intelligence of all potential mates with this question, "Do you think going for an inside straight is a good idea?"
7) Before teaching your toddler the alphabet, you set them up on Zynga poker with $10,000 chips and have them play the 1/2 tables 3 hours per day.
6) You believe that people who create poker bots should be sent to prison for 10 years
5) You recently changed your middle name to "Vegas Nights"
4) You often wait 5 to 6 hours on the Weekly Tournament table for someone to show up and play.
3) On your resume, under achievements, you have listed "Earned the 'Catastrophe Win' Award in Zynga Poker"
2) You can't fall asleep at night unless you've won at least one Sit N Go Tournament
and the number 1 sign...
1) When you get the "You missed it" message when trying to claim free poker chips, you sink into a severe depression for 3-4 days.
Zynga stock is not doing well. I support the company by buying lots of GOLD as often as I can (I play on G+, since I deleted my Facebook account more than a year ago.). Hope all you Zynga fans out there do the same. Would hate to see it go away.
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Sunday, January 20, 2013
Guess The DJIA Contest: Win An Easy $10
This contest is free, and very easy. All you have to do is guess the closing figure for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) on the last day of this month, i.e. January 31, 2013. Whoever submits the closest guess, or submits a perfect match, wins.
How to Enter:
Post a comment in the comments section below with your ONE guess AND send your guess to me via email. Contest email address is:
|Guess The DJIA Contest - contest email|
When you post your comment below, include either your name or whatever unique nickname you like. No need to post your email address in the comments section.
One guess per contest entry. Multiple entries are not permitted.
The entry deadline for this contest is January 30, 2013, 11:59 PM.
This contest is open to individuals 18-years-old or older, anywhere in the world, unless the laws in your region prohibit this type of contest.
Minimum entries for this contest to be valid is 3. If less than 3 people submit an entry then this contest is null and void.
If you win, I will send you $10 via PayPal. If you tie with any other contestant, then the prize gets split equally among winners.
Thanks for playing, and good luck to all.
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