Monday, October 23, 2017

Lessons 5-6 Pay Less For Groceries and Gas

PROTIP: Pay Your Bill On Time.
Seriously it’s 30% of your credit score and a late payment stays on your report for SEVEN YEARS.
I pay my bill weekly, but I screwed up bad and racked up 8 late payments after college. It’s called “serious delinquency” and even though I have a 650-720 score today, it’s a 650-720 WITH a serious delinquency in the past 7 years. If you are actually looking at my credit report I look like a risky case. I could pay you. Or I could drop off the face of the earth for two years while I “Find myself” You don’t know, and you wouldn’t know from just my number.
The moral of the story is PAY YOUR BILL ON TIME!!!

Step 5 FUEL: Use these loyalty programs to save on gas

Shel Fuel Rewards: (Sign Up Here)
Accepted at: Shell
Swipe your loyalty card for 3 cents off per gallon automatically, you can link a credit card for opportunities to earn bonus cents off. All rewards are redeemed on next fill up, up to 20 gallons. So to get the most value here, fill up two cars to get the full 20 gallons worth if you earn the 25 cent/gallon bonus on your next fill up. 

Shell Fuel Rewards is a MINIMUM of 3x better than Plenti Plenti gets you 1 point per gallon worth 1 cent. The SILVER account gets at least 3 cents per gallon off every time, the GOLD account gets at least 5 cents per gallon off every time. You can also link your credit cards and get fuel rewards for purchases.

For instance: as of October 2017 they are doing a promotion giving an extra 10 cents off per gallon if you spend $100 at a participating grocery store. My favorite store HEB, is one of those stores! The bonuses stack up, so you would get 5c+10c= 15 cents off your next fill up just for getting groceries.

However it is not limited to groceries, fast food like Jack in the Box offers 5 cents off when you spend $50 or more. Before you ask, yes. The purchases can be split up into $25 or more increments. I cant imagine what spending $50 in one go would look like at Jack in the Box. So I'm glad they let you split it up.

According to the terms, you can get gas as cheap as 11 cents per gallon. Thats a whole tank of gas for $2!

If you aren't a company driver, I would suggest Shell Fuel Rewards hands down over Plenti. Even the customer service is better. I called Fuel rewards saying my ALT ID wasn't tracking my points and they told me exactly how to fix the issue then gave me 10 cents per gallon off next time for my troubles.

I had a similar issue with Plenti where a bonus never posted for the App I downloaded even though I fulfilled the requirements. I messaged them on August 24th, didn't get a response until September 18th, and as of October 28th, the issue is STILL NOT RESOLVED. It's like a friend saying they will give you $20 for helping them out, and you do, then they don't pay you and hope you will forget about it.

So, from my experience, use Shell.
Plus if you sign up through any of my links you will start off with 25 cents off per gallon!

Plenti: (Sign Up Here)
Accepted at: Exxon, Mobile, AT&T, Macy’s, and many more.
1 point per gallon, 1 point per dollar inside, lots of opportunities for bonus points to rack up. Points expire after two years, so spend them in January-February to get the most value from each point.

The benefit with Plenti comes when you put gas in someone else's car. I drive 50 gallon gas tank trucks for work. When I fill the tank four times I can have two bucks off, which is almost a gallon of gas right now. I can save the points up and put those savings in my personal car's tank when gas is in the $2/gallon range. 

(Shout out to my boss who lets me use rewards programs for my own benefit as opposed to saving the company a few cents. Family Companies for the win.)

Step 6: Groceries

Besides using my American Express Blue Cash Everyday card and getting 3% back there, I also use a rebate app called Ibotta. You select a rebate like $0.25 off life cereal, Buy it in a participating store and scan your receipt with the app.

They basically sell the information about what kinds of things you buy to advertisers who want you to buy their stuff. The advertisers may even offer a coupon for their product. Ibotta compiles all the data and sells that. You might be an outlier who only buys Kerrygold Butter and all other things are generic brand. That’s not really useful to an advertiser, but if you have 10,000 people submit a receipt you can calculate an “average customer” and that is VERY useful to an advertiser. You can paypal transfer out or get a gift card for any balance over $25 cash back. I have earned $54.75 $71.00! so far with iBotta.

You can get a $5-$10 bonus if you sign up using my referral code:

Update Oct 2017: I have earned $71.00 with Ibotta.

If you read all 2800+ words in this series of posts, kudos to you. You are on your way to financial success. Not just because you read my article, but because you are researching, finding what will work for you, and I applaud your efforts. I’m almost 30, I wish I would have gotten interested in this stuff 10 years ago. This isn’t “Get rich quick” advice, this isn’t even “Get rich” advice. This is “Get on your feet” advice. The bank accounts are FDIC or NCUA insured to $250,000 per account so there is no risk in holding your money in these accounts. Unlike, say the stock market where you can lose all of the money you invested.

It’s a scary world out there, on average the stock market earns 7% interest, better than any bank account or credit card I know of. These bank accounts have relatively tiny limits compared to the amount of money you are going to need to get you through retirement.

Not thinking about retirement? I wasn’t either until I was $20,000 in debt. Now look where I am! I pick up change on the ground because I believe it’s God’s cash back program for me. Every time I find a penny, I thank God and save it in a box. When I get enough to buy a piece of silver I will cash in the ground change for a piece of silver and do that every time it adds up to enough. As listener said “Keep your eyes to the ground for change.” A penny saved is a penny earned.

(I pick up change as a Cash Back Program from God. Then one day at Costco I found this penny glued to a rock and knew it was meant for me.) It's over $20 so far!

If you put each of those pennies into an IRA, in 30 years you would have OVER 700% of what you originally had (or the market could crash and you could lose pressure).

Precious Metals don’t appreciate too much because they aren’t doing any work. Money in an IRA is money invested into companies that want to turn your money into more money. That being said, when stocks go down, precious metals go up. So it’s a smart idea to diversify your assets.

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