November 21st, 2014 by Alan Yu
Today I got an interesting message where I had credit card companies telling me how I am pre-approved to increase my credit limit. As you can see like in this example I was being informed that I can increase my credit limit by an additional $5000:
I was debating at first if I should or not as I consider my current limit pretty high as it is and I don`t go crazy spending like say 80% of my limit every month. So in my mind the only real use I would have to increase my credit limit is the whole notion that it will potentially make my credit score higher.
For those who are unaware, credit utilization is your credit limit in comparison to your credit usage. For example, if you have a $10,000 credit limit and your balance is always $6000 then your utilization rate would be 60%. If you usually only have like $500 then your credit utilization rate would be 5%. Generally speaking, it is advised that you have a low credit utilization ratio as the lower the number the better it will reflect upon your credit score and history.
I can see why a bank would love it in this case as it probably encourages people to potentially shop more which means more money for them. After thinking about it, I decided to accept the offer. The sole reason? Simply as a way to potentially make my credit score better. In my situation, I always fully pay off my monthly statements and I don’t go crazy buying life luxuries that I cannot afford. So to me, I only see the positive where it will reduce my credit utilization ratio.
November 20th, 2014 by Alan Yu
Interesting situation I saw today where there is apparently someone who is gung ho in trying to take a website down that involves publishing information that critically analyzes a public service here. As it would appear, the perpetrators are doing things like a denial of service attacks (DDoS) where the hope is to overwhelm the site in such a way with fake Internet traffic that it would get the site shutdown. So in this situation, would you be inclined to spend the money to secure the site or simply let them continue?
I was thinking how this is like one of those times where we usually turn to money based solutions when the free options are probably best. Like in this case, instead of spending all that money to try and stop such people it’s probably more effective to in a way let them do it and highlight it. Might sound strange, but at times like that where you are not in a financial position to have all the bells and whistles it’s better to get help from others I think.
November 19th, 2014 by Alan Yu
About a year ago I pre-ordered some items where if you bought a couple of products at the same time you would get a rather big discount. Now the thing was each item had a different release date and so not everything would get shipped at once. It just so happens that I wanted to change the shipping address to make the delivery more convenient. However, apparently because one item had shipped a few months ago the company stated that they can`t change it.
Kind of silly if you think about it huh? Imagine if you moved to a new address and the company would still forward it to the old address. Would be worst if all your ID and everything stated a different address too and the shipment happened to go to an outlet. It’s one of those things as a business where I would think it’s easy to do but requires manual labor adjustments which they are not in the mood to do. Not too big of a deal overall for myself, but it makes me think how a business shouldn’t be cheap in investing in solutions to enable people to adjust simple items like this.
November 18th, 2014 by Alan Yu
I think most of us are pretty happy to have traditional big box retailers being willing to price match items that we find cheaper online as long as it is from an authorized retailer. Imagine my surprise today when I was reading how there were people creating fake listings on reputable online retail sites where products are listed at rock bottom prices. Afterwards, people would go to a tradition retail store and ask for a price match such as printing out a copy of the page or having the retailer visit the site to verify.
One of the most prominent examples I was reading was how people were buying Playstation 4 consoles for extremely cheap. The example starts like this where a person uses a site like Amazon and creates a fake listing as you can see here:
To the untrained eye this looks perfectly legitimate where a product that is normally say $399 is on sale for $89.99. So a customer can then bring this into a company like Walmart and ask them to price match this. In many cases, people have successfully got the transaction to go through.
I’m one for saving money, but this is just wrong and a scam where it will ruin legitimate requests for others. So if you are a store owner who has price matching policies here’s a very easy way to tell if it is legitimate or not. Take a look at the screenshot I have above for example. Usually on sites like Amazon you can clearly distinguish if the item is from them or a third party by looking at the field near the price where it says the item is “Ship from and sold by.” In this case, the company is “AmzonElectronics.”
That should be an instant auto reject for a price protection as it is almost no different than an Ebay listing in many ways which a retailer would not price match. This information can be useful for the regular shoppers too where if the price looks too good you can use the same information to determine if it’s actually from the online retailer or not. If you are one of those retailers that these people are targeting train your employees please to lookout for those details.
November 17th, 2014 by Alan Yu
Would you actually think of literally moving your place of resident to somewhere closer to your workplace as a way to save money? Example, imagine you rent an apartment and it takes you an hour to get to work. Would you actually think of relocating to save transportation expenses? While obviously there are a lot more factors to moving, this was a topic I heard about the other day and what surprised me was that many people don’t even consider it at all.
In some cases I heard it would only be an initial minor annoyance of having to move. Other than that they would save so much in expenses such as gas and generally having more free time to do other things in the day. In many ways it makes me think how we simply don’t like change even if it makes sense logistically and financially. Of course this probably doesn’t make sense if you are simply working at a job that is intended to be temporary. But if you are set on a career with a particular business evaluating if it makes financial sense to relocate should be an equally important way to save money I think.