Monday, June 30, 2008

OMG! Late fees

During the last two weeks I have been dinged for $69.00 in late fees and I'm mad! I received three $10.00 late fees from my insurance company. I have two policies [auto and home] and for some reason they billed me three times. I guess the third one had something to do with the purchase of the minivan. What makes me so mad about these three fees is I had gone online in May and setup automatic payments from my checking account. The insurance company allows me to split my semi annual premiums into smaller chunks but the have a service charge unless you setup automatic I play their game and setup automatic debits. Now I have bigger and better fees.

The other late fee was on a credit card and was our fault because we must have missed placed the bill so it didn't get paid. Usually I setup a payment through my credit union's billpay service when I receive a bill even if I don't want to pay it until a latter date [like payday]. Some how it was lost even before I had a chance to add it to the billpay service. Dang it!

What am I going to do about these fees? I'm going to ask for them back. I'm hoping that the credit card company sees me as a good customer and will waive this fee for me. The insurance company will receive scathing barbs and condescending lecturing as well as threats to take my business elsewhere. Which I just might do anyway.

How am I going to avoid these fees in the future? I'm going to setup a recurring minimum payment for the credit card through the billpay service. With the insurance payment I'm going to trust [hope] that they will process my automatic debit correctly after I berate them profusely. I have also setup recurring payments for my mortgage and auto loans just to be safe.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Moola v CentSports update

I've been spending way more time with making bets with CentsSports. My biggest win was a bet on the Netherlands v Romania game. I followed my son's advice [he's a huge Netherlands fan] and bet big [$0.75] on the Netherlands who were +200 on a moneyline bet. With the 25% from an advertiser I won a whooping $1.875. I learned later that he only bet $0.40 and didn't receive an advertiser bonus so he only won $0.80.

I did have a nice run of wins on Moola. I won six games in a row and pushed my play account to new heights. But then I lost, such is the life of a Moola player. I fortunately didn't wager everything when I lost so I still have a little bit in the play account. My savings account balance is $1.18. I transfer a penny here and a penny there depending on my play account balance.

Moola is offering a startup of $0.32 for new members so now is a good time to join. If you join through a link in this post I also receive $0.32 [as you can see I could use the help. lol].

CentSports: $4.52
Moola: $0.34

Update for my CentSport Contest that ends July 31st.

E $4.86
D $0.10
J $0.10
R $0.10

Since the last update E has more than doubled his money. While the other three have yet to win a wager. I wish them better [pun alert] luck on their future bets.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Used vehicle purchase...

...or should I say combat. As I noted in a prior post we have purchased a used mini van. It is a silver 2004 Mercury Monterey with about 48,000 miles on it. It rides very smooth and the seats are comfortable. Overall we like it but being a mini van it uses a fair amount of gas so it isn't going to be our primary vehicle. The primary vehicle will remain the 300M that I usually drive.

Back to the purchase.

We got sucked in by one of the local dealer's [here forth known as HZ] promotions on used cars. [Mistake number 1] On the car lot we talked with Sales Guy about the promotion, it became clear that it would not be very likely that the price range that we were working with would allow us to take advantage of promotion. We didn't leave. [Mistake number 2] So we began looking, with some insignificant assistance from Sales Guy, at the mini vans that HZ had in stock. After some discussions on price, model year and features we decided to take a test drive.

While driving we stopped in the parking lot where I work and did a through examination of the van. [Winning move 1] We found several items that we want taken care of if we decided to buy. We also found the original window sticker. I called The Daughter with my cell phone and had her go to NADA's web site and run a value on a Monterey with the features and mileage adjustments that were appropriate. [Winning move 2] The value was pretty much in line with what HZ was trying to sell it for. Sales Guy also let it slip that the van has been on their books for five months. Whoops, advantage Me.

We went inside the negotiation combat arena [aka sales office] and began to discuss the price and items that we wanted fixed. Of course Sales Guy has no actual ability to set a price so we had to wait around as our offers were relayed back and forth to Sales Manger [manager]. This lead to some confusion between the front man and the guy making the decisions. When Sales Manger made an offer that was higher than an offer that Sales Guy had previously offered it got a little ugly and we made our move to leave. [Winning move 3]

Our move to leave created panic in both Sales Guy and Sales Manger and they were forced to meet our last offer. The Monterey should be a good vehicle to use when we return to Myrtle Beach next spring. And The Daughter now can use the 1998 Pontiac Montana as her vehicle, although I still own it.

I have not used actual name to protect the ???innocent??? Manger was an intentional spelling. I thought it was a little bit funny.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Anyone else still using Spottt?

As I was doing my daily EntreCard drops I noticed one of my ads but it wasn't part of the Entrecard widget. It was part of the Spottt widget. Strange. Ok it is only strange because I have not taken the time to remove myself from the service and eradicate the code from my blogs and web sites.

So I decided to investigate my statistics through the Spottt network. In the last 30 days I averaged over 2,000 impressions per ad. Not bad. However I averaged 3.5 clicks. Not very good.

I can update my ads so they are more interesting and potentially will earn more clicks or I can call Spottt a waste of ad space and quit using them.

Back to the title of this post....Is anyone still using Spottt? Let me know.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

My CentSports Contest

So I have four people that have become my cronies and are automatically entered into my CentSports contest. One has done okay, one has not had good luck and the other two have yet to post a wager.

The crony with the most winnings on July 31st will win all of my net winnings for the month of July. It could be a little or a lot. It depends on my ability at making winning wagers and the money I have available to make wagers with. So the more cronies the more potential winnings will be available for a prize.

The current leaderboard:

E: $2.34
R: $0.10
J: $0.00
D: $0.00

I've just used my cronies' first initial for the sake of privacy. I'll add initials as needed to differentiate them. It is not to late to join in the CentSports contest. As you can see the lead is not huge so anyone could win this one.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Moola v CentSports - the Great Online Wagering Challenge

This month's challenge will be Moola v CentSports v Metal Detector. Again I will be rooting for the underdog [the metal detector]. As I tend to lose quite a bit on Moola I will only be counting money that I move into the Moola savings account. CentSports doesn't have a savings account so I will have to take the prior month ending balance and deduct that from the June balance. I suppose I could end up negative using that method but what the heck. It could mean that the metal detector has a chance at second place.

Totals through June 5th:
Moola: $0.11
CentSports: $0.11
Metal Detector: $0.00

Well this is kind of interesting, Moola and CentSports are tied five days into the month. It will be fun to watch this match up.

Anyone who does not have an account with either of these web sites has the opportunity to join as my referral and affect the outcome of this month's challenge. Both web sites give you the money to wager and they even give you more if you lose it all. So come on and join the fun.

Of my current referrals only my son has earned more than me on CentSports. Which gives me an idea for July. A CentSports' Referral Challenge. I will give all of my July CentSports earnings to the crony [referral] who has the highest total in their account on July 31st. The amount could be pretty big if I get a bunch of referrals. As of right now I have three cronies so good luck to all of you and anyone else who joins between now and July 31st.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

May challenge's final numbers

Project Wonderful was leading about half way through the month but in a late month surge Adsense had a huge push and came out the winner. Once again the metal detector was slow getting on the board and once again it did it not have a good showing [$0.01]. Total earnings from the metal detector is $0.11, a long way from paying for itself.

I biked down to a nearby park with the metal detector in its bag slung over my back. I spent about 30 minutes searching the sand in the playground and discovered a penny. I would have been better off spending that time playing some games at Moola.

The final numbers for the three income sources in the May challenge are:

Adsense: $2.95
Project Wonderful: $1.96
Metal Detector: $0.01
Total: $4.92

Monday, June 2, 2008

Dockers Contest

The Dockers contest is an opportunity for individuals to come up with a story about their Dockers and submit a video based on the story to NBC.

Here is the story about a day in the life of my favorite pants. It is first person as the pants.

I hang here by my cuffs in the dark. I know that at some point the sun will rise and my owner will wander over to the closet where I live and open the bi fold door that keeps me safe from the mean mean world in which we reside. If he decides to pick me from the array of clothing in the closet I will be flung around and his legs will slide down and out of the cuffs that I had been hanging from. A belt will circle around my waist and become strung around the loops to hold me in place. Socks will snuggle up to my cuffs and my cuffs will feel that the hangings was well worth the effort.

I hope that it is nice and sunny outside. I hate the cold and rain. I usually only spend a few minutes a day outside which is nice in the long cold winter here in Michigan. After the journey by car to my master's place of work I enjoy the day sitting on his comfortable chair. Another wonderful day out of the closet! Sadly at some point I must return to the darkness hanging by my cuffs.

Well that's my pants story for the Dockers contest.
Sponsored by Dockers