Category: Saving Money

[other]Getting a credit card after bankruptcy is a choice that most individuals will one day need to consider. Finding a credit card company that is willing to issue you a credit card can be a little daunting.

There are many reasons that might force an individual to file bankruptcy. Whether you lost your job and was forced to take a lower paying job, health reasons, life choices, fraud, down turn in the market, and too many others to even list. What some credit card companies do not understand is that “good” people sometimes need to file bankruptcy so they can get back on their feet and become a part of the economical society again.

I have noticed companies like CitiBank like to include a clause on their applications “my credit history is clear of bankruptcy” that you must check. In my opinion, just skip those companies all together. If they can not understand, that possibly a major life event knocked you down, but now you are back on your feet and stronger than ever, then they do not deserve your business.

One company I have found that is willing to work with you, is GE Capital. You will notice they do not have the “my credit history is clear of bankruptcy” terminology on their application and you have a very good chance of restoring your credit history by choosing them as a partner.

For those people that think getting a credit card is a bad idea after bankruptcy, well that is a personal decision. In this day and age you really need some form of credit and there are companies that only accept credit card. As long as you are careful and spend within your means, I personally think it is a wise decision, as long as you can keep control of your finances. Now, getting a credit card because you do not have enough money at the end of the month, is not a good decision. That means you are NOT living within your means so I highly do not recommend one then.

[tech]I think in my previous articles, Backup up your cell phone in three easy steps and Dropbox or Copy, I might have given people the impression that the Copy was ONLY for backing up your cell phone pics. That is actually just an awesome benefit of the copy service, where it really shines is when you install it on your computer or laptop and use it as a ton of FREE online Cloud storage.

After signing up for the copy service (remember click this link and you get an EXTRA 5 GIGS totally free for a total of 20 GIGS!) Sure, you can (and should) install it on your android or apple phone, but definitely install it on your computer too. It simply creates an extra folder on your computer called “Copy” (imagine that). Then, whatever files or folders you put in that “copy” folder is “mirrored” to the cloud. Now, notice I said “mirrored”, that is very important because if you delete the file from your computer, it deletes it from your copy account online too. So that is why it is NOT a true backup service (no cloud storage used in this way EVER is a backup). Think of it as a duplicate if your computer crashes, but if you delete, rename, or move the file, it will do the same in your cloud storage folder.

Now from any computer connected to the internet, or even your phone, you can browse to that file. Now, if you have it installed on your phone, it will not download a copy of the files to keep it in sync with your cloud storage, which is a good thing since most phones do not have that type of available space but If you install it on your home computer and a laptop, it will download a copy to each computer and keep everything in perfect sync, which is ideal for most of us. Imagine you can now work on a file or edit a photo, rename files, or do whatever on the road and it updates the file on your home computer. No more lost revisions! You can tell it not to do this per folder if you like though, maybe if you have limited space on one of your devices or simply choose not to use this feature.

You should always keep a separate copy of all your important files on another service or external hard drive, that’s the only way to have a true backup, and I recommend at least two other devices. This is a quick way to achieve a partial quick copy though.

Remember if you click the link above or here it will give you an extra 5 Gigs free, I don’t know how long they will have this offer, but why miss out on a total of 20 FREE GIGS! Plus I get 5 Gigs free for referring you, so I certainly appreciate it.

Take care and God Bless.

ht-palletOld Pallets are great for projects, burning or even as compost. You should be asking yourself if they are safe to use though. There is a relatively easy way to tell.

All Pallets should have a stamp on them. This stamp Will tell you if the pallet itself has been HT (Heat Treated) or MB (chemically Treated). The stamp will NOT tell you if something was sprayed after its initial use, or if chemicals were stored on it, so keep that in mind.

When treated properly and are in compliance, they will be allowed to display the IPPC certification symbol.

This symbol will include:

  • A two letter ISO country code. For instance, AU for Australia or US for the United States.
  • The 000 portion of the symbol represents the unique certification number issued for AQIS (Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service) to the treatment provider or wood packaging manufacturer. Inclusion of this certification number ensures that the wood packaging material can be traced back to the treatment provider or manufacturer.
  • YY is the treatment abbreviation.
  • HT is the code for (Heat Treated) to a minimum of 56 degrees Celsius for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  • MB is the code for (Methyl Bromide) fumigation.

Inclusion of this symbol will make it easier for your shipments to move easily once they arrive at their destination.

My next project is to hopefully make a Planters box out of some old pallets, but summer is fast approaching. Whether I get to my project or not, make sure you play it safe when using FREE pallets to save money and our planet.

Sometimes this will happen on refurbished cartridges.

You can usually gain some life from your toner carts by using this procedure, but not always.

<Should work on Brother 5340, 5250, 5450 and other models too>

1. Turn Printer OFF and OPEN the toner door

2. Hold the GO button as you turn on the printer until all lights are ON

3. Keep holding the GO button until status light goes OFF

4. Press the GO button 2 times

5. The Paper, Drum & Toner light will come ON

6. Press the GO button 6 times

7. Status light will turn RED

8. Close the front

Good Job! You are now a CPT (Certified Printer Technician)

If you are dying to get Windows 8 and don’t want to break the bank, you better hurry up. Microsoft has Windows 8 at a introductory offer of only $39.99! That price is for the download version of Windows 8. If you would rather have a retail disk, that will cost you $69.99 for a DVD (free standard shipping). Also, as a Bonus you receive the Pro version, Microsoft is really pushing their new operating system and I think this is a great way to convert a lot of the slower to adopt users.

Personally, I have 3 machines to upgrade before the final day, so I will report back how the process goes. According to Microsoft, it is a simple upgrade. Installing the beta release candidate could not have been easier, so I don’t imagine this will be a problem.

Downloading the upgrade is easy, simply go to

  • Click Download Pro to install Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant. Depending on your Internet connection, the installation might take several minutes.
  • When prompted by your browser, open, save, or run Upgrade Assistant. You must run Upgrade Assistant to purchase Windows 8 Pro, but you can also run it without purchasing.
  • Follow the instructions in Upgrade Assistant to find out if your PC can upgrade to Windows 8 Pro, and then follow the steps to purchase, download, and install. For more detailed information, see How to download Windows 8 orUpgrade to Windows 8.

Check back or sign up for an email alert at the bottom of this page to see how my upgrades go.


Recently I wrote about switching to All State and installing the Drive-Wise device into one of my vehicles. *SEE ARTICLE HERE*


As promised, 30 days later, I wanted to let you know how the device was doing and most importantly whether or not I was going to receive a discount and how much!


After the device is activated, you get your own portal to track how you are doing and see your projected discount at Here are some actual screenshots from my personal account, obviously I blacked out any information deemed to personal for the web, looks like the government got a hold of it huh…

This screenshot shows the most important information, the amount of projected discount. Now, this vehicle is driven by my wife, and normally she drives about 1500 miles a month, but this month was a little unusual and she didn’t even drive 500. Mainly this is just because we have been trying to save money for Christmas, taking my truck when we went shopping, and hiding from the Mayan Apocalypse. So you can see, they are projecting a 7% discount, which isn’t too bad considering we have not tracked a lot of miles, and my wife has had a few hard breaking events.



The screenshot below shows our overall performance grade. So far we have a “B”, which although is a passing grade in school, we are trying to get the best discount we can. I consider my wife a very good, safe driver so I was a little surprised to see we were not getting an “A”.



Now this screenshot shows our grade for each of the 4 categories that AllState monitors. You can see they are interested in Mileage, Braking, Time of Day and keeping your speed below 80 MPH.



This final screenshot has the actual information reported by the device. You can see the miles tracked, 3 hard breaking events, time of day the vehicle is driven and the amount of miles my wife actually spent below 80 MPH.

*NOTE according to Allstate Hard braking events are triggered when the vehicle decelerates 8 mph or more (up to the “extreme” threshold) in one second. Extreme braking events are recorded when the vehicle decelerates at 10 mph or more in one second”



Overall I am very happy with the device and will post a follow up to this article in another 30 days to see if we have improved our discount or not. I doubt I will be able to review the Progressive device since I really do not plan on switching from AllState. If someone has a review of the Progressive Snapshot device please leave a comment to help other readers researching the available insurance discount trackers.




I recently switched to Allstate, which I highly recommend. The discount was fantastic and switching could not have been more pain free. There were discounts for everything and my Allstate agent made sure I got every single one. Some agents wont give the discounts to you unless you ask, but this was not the case. This is just a quick review of the installation process and overall basic information on the Allstate drivewise device.


One discount I received was the “Allstate drivewise discount”. It is a small device you plug into your vehicle and it monitors certain conditions. It CAN NOT raise your insurance, it will only give you additional discounts, up to 60 percent! You get an automatic 10% discount just for installing the device, and based on your driving, while it is installed, you possibly can get more of a discount. Here is what they are monitoring.


  • Drivers who average around 35-40 miles per day or less are more likely to save.
  • Drivers save more by avoiding high speeds. (stay below 80 MPH)
  • Drivers who avoid the road from 11pm to 4am on weekdays
  • Drivers save more by avoiding hard stops


Basically, these are good habits in general, especially if you are trying to save on gas at the pump.


Unfortunately, only one of my vehicles qualified for the program, my 1995 Chevy Cheyenne K1500 truck was too old. I don’t have full coverage on either of my vehicles, I just have the bare minimum required by the law, so coverage is not a determining factor either.


I installed the device on my 1998 Buick Century, it was a fairly uneventful install, to say the least. The Allstate drivewise device comes programmed for the vehicle it is going in, and you literally just plug it in. If you run into problems plugging it in, you can call Allstate. But seriously, if you cant plug in this little blue box, please promptly throw your keys in the trash and make the roads safer for the rest of us.


Great, simple packaging by Allstate

Great, simple packaging by Allstate

This is what is in the box Allstate ships.

This is what is in the box Allstate ships.

This is the device installed in my 98 Buick Century

This is the device installed in my 98 Buick Century


Be sure to check back for a followup review after I have had the All State drive wise device installed for a while, 30 days for sure.


As promised, see my review after 30 days and our projected discount. Numerous screenshots showing the actual data from the drivewise portal.