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Archive for the 'Money Saving Tools' Category

Microsoft launches yet another rewards program

Microsoft just announced from their blog the launch of a new loyalty program, Bing Rewards. It is nothing like Bing Cashback which the company shut down back in June and reminds me more of SearchPerks, the very first rewards program from Microsoft.

To participate you must install Bing toolbar and have a Windows Live ID. You get 250 credits at sign up and then one credit for every five Bing searches, and up to eight credits per day (according to Search Engine Land). You can exchange the credits for swag and other goodies. E.g $5 Amazon gift card is 541 credits (roughly 2 months of using Bing every day) and one Fandago movie ticket is 1506 credits (or 6 months of Bing punishment).
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Discover cheapest way to travel with GetSet

It is a fairly simple but very useful tool for vacation planning. GetSet lets you enter your home city and your destination and with one button click will tell you how much it will cost to travel the round trip by airlines, car and a bus.

For some reason railroad is ignored and there is no way to automatically calculate the savings if several people (e.g. family) travel together by car. Other than that, the idea is simple and brilliant! Well done guys!

getset

RetailMeNot dominance over? Or not…

RetailMeNot took the coupons market by the storm when they launched in 2006 and ever since have been dominating the online coupons landscape beating the closest competitor by a wide margin (according to Alexa). How did that happen?

The site relies on a number of dedicated toolbars users who feed the RetailMeNot database with enormous quantity of coupon codes that they stumble upon. This creates volume which in turn creates buzz and links. Links help RetailMeNot rank for coupon related terms on Google which in turn brings people to the website and drives the Alexa chart up, not to mention all the revenue that comes alone.

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Record keeping, what papers to toss and when?

pile-of-papersOne could say I am very meticulous as far as record keeping goes. I try to keep every more or less important paper document (receipts including) and over the past years several boxes have stocked up my basement storage space, all filled with records. I have a feeling however that I am overdoing it and the time has come to revise my record keeping strategy.

It is good to have a systematic approach and moderation is the key. If you try to keep all papers then finding the right one will be increasingly difficult, on the other hand you don’t want to be missing some important document either since it could end up costing you time and money. So what is this minimum that you need to maintain?

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Is your 401K any good? Find out with BrightScope

San Diego based startup BrightScope just launched a tool that allows to compare 401K plans offered by different companies. Type in the employer name and you will get a visual analysis based on 6 factors: Total Plan Cost, Company Generosity, Investment Menu Quality, Participation Rate, Salary Deferrals and Account Balances. Here is how my former employer was graded for example:

Motorola-401K-1

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