I-Bond fixed rate goes to zero
This is sort of significant news in financial world. US Treasury has just announced new rate for the fixed portion of I-Bond treasury bond, something they do every 6 months. For the first time in the life of the program (since 1998) the rate went down to zero which to me signifies how terrible the state of our economy is and how desperate the Fed is in encouraging people to spend more.
I Savings Bonds Rates & Terms at Treasury Direct
Hidden airline fees
I was surprised to see many of these. I guess the airline industry does a great job keeping them under hood.
- Getting a seat assignment. Fee: $5-$11 (each way)
- Paying for lap children. Fee: $10 to 10 percent of the adult fare
- Flying standby on the same day of travel. Fee: $0-50
- Getting a refund when a fare goes down. Fee: $25 to $200 or more.
- Checking luggage. Fee: $3-10 (each way)
- Re-banking frequent flyer miles. Fee: $50-100
- Bringing a pet onboard in the cabin/ Fee: $50-85 (each way)
- Cashing in frequent flyer miles without “sufficient” advance notice. Fee: $0-100.
- Making a reservation on the phone or in person. Fee: $5-$20
Top 10 Most Obnoxious Hidden Airline Fees (via Consumerist)
Refill disposable Brita water pitcher filters
The instructions involve drilling a hole in a used filter and replacing the content with fresh activated carbon. If you buy the activated carbon bulk, each refill will only cost you a few cents as opposite to $2-3 per filter which is the lowest price I have seen (when buying them in 10-packs at Costco). The question is, will the new filter work just as good as the original?
Read the complete guide at Instructables
Convert your Prius into plug-in hybrid online
Based on my earlier research, even at $4 per gallon, the plug-in convertible will still cost you extra. If savings is not what you are after, A123 Systems has created a web site where Toyota Prius owners who don’t want to wait till 2010 can pre-order a battery to convert their cars to plug-in hybrids now, or at least very soon. The parts and installation will cost you $9,995 plus $400 in other fees and taxes.
USPS to raise postal rates
On May 12th, 2008 the United States Postal Office will be raising the following postal rates:
- First class mail one ounce or less: Up one cent to 42 cents
- Post card: Up one cent to 27 cents
- Large envelope, 2 ounces: Up 3 cents to $1.
- Certified mail: Up 5 cents to $2.70
- First-class international letter to Canada or Mexico: Up 3 cents to 72 cents
- First-class international letter to other countries: Up 4 cents to 94 cents