With 2012 in the books, it’s been a great year for everything from financial experiences and successes to mistakes I’ve learned from and opportunities I’ve identified for 2013 to further improve our finances, business opportunities, career moves and more. Here are a few of my top posts from this year and I’ll close with some ideas for next year:
Best Financial Moves
Here are several ways to either improve your existing finances, enjoy the benefits of basically FREE MONEY for doing nothing more than filling out an application and more:
- Best Credit Card on Earth – Save 6% on all your groceries, and virtually anything else you can think of because (hint: I buy all my gift cards AT the grocery store, Stamps Too! so I get 6% back on all kinds of stuff!). There’s a $150 bonus to boot! If you don’t have this top credit card, you’re leaving money on the table, it’s that simple. Full Review of the Amex Blue Cash Preferred.
- Free Money for Doing Nothing – Who wouldn’t want free money for simply going about your life and doing what you normally do? Well, by simply taking the 5 minutes to fill out the application and add your credit cards/store cards to UPromise, you accrue $$ in your account over time. The system tracks eligible purchases and simply credits your account as you go. The great part? You don’t need to leave this money sitting in the account for 17 years waiting for your kid to get into college. You can just have them cut you a check. That’s what I did this year when I forgot about the account and got a sweet $75 check I almost forgot I earned! UPromise details here.
- Refinance for Free! I did a No Cost Refi this year and enjoyed the best of all worlds. Not only did I spend nothing out of pocket (nor did it add to my principal), but I also reduced my term from 27 years remaining down to 25 WHILE reducing my monthly payment! All possible due to today’s incredible low rates. Here’s how to do a No-Cost Refi.
- Negotiate Lower Rates on Everything! Here’s the play by play on how I negotiated down my Comcast Bill and how you can apply it to virtually anything.
- How I Got My Kids Excited About Saving – a personal bank of mom and dad! It’s working, see what we did.
Best Investment and Stock Related Posts
- All Your Financials in One Spot Free – Here’s a review of Personal Capital, a rapidly growing service which aggregates all your financial accounts, makes recommendations, gives you your net worth daily, etc. They’re growing quickly and have some impressive management.
- Beating the Market – Here’s how I beat the market with my self-directed Roth IRA by investing in high yielding issues.
- 401(k) Benefits – They’ve gotten a bum rap in recent years, but here are all the benefits people so easily forget about. Stop Bashing the 401(k)! But remember, DON’T buy your company’s stock in your 401(k).
- Investing Newsletters are a Scam. Enough said.
- 9% Risk-Free Return in 1 month? Sorta.
Best Career Posts
- Best Jobs Delivered to Your Inbox. First off, if you’re not using TheLadders, you must. Sign up for the free service and get 6-Figure job opportunities delivered to your inbox weekly. I use it to keep my finger on the pulse on what jobs are open around me. It’s great to have a real-time snapshot of what the job market is like in my sector.
- How to Maintain the Ultimate Corporate Secret – if you ever find yourself in this position at work, here are some helpful tips.
- See how much working from home just 1 day per week saves me each year. If you can swing it with your boss, go for it!
- The Real Unemployment Rate – what you see reported in the media is not in any way reflective of the actual labor market. Here’s the real rate explained.
- The Biggest Lie in Business of 2012. It has to do with a worker shortage.
- Learning a Foreign Language is Completely Useless to Most Careers – regardless of what your friends are doing. Join the debate here.
- MBA – Is paying for one with your own money worth the investment? Find Out Here.
- Rise of the Machines – Robots are taking over US jobs. The trend is accelerating.
Best Random Posts You Won’t Find Anywhere Else
- Should Insider Trading be Legal?
- How Obamacare is even costing this Middle Class Family more money.
- Are Tattoos a really bad investment?
- Is Shark Tank a Scam?
- Will those Evil Ratings Agency actually save the world?
- My Electrician Makes More Than My Doctor – at least on an hourly basis, that appears to be the case.
What To Expect in 2013
My head is so full of post topics that I can’t keep up. To ensure I never lose a good idea, I’ve been using the Catch app on my iphone to jot down article ideas as they occur. Often times these are a real-time life experience that would make for a great post, or an investment idea that I want to explore further or something I know will be helpful. I’ve had some great learnings from starting an outsourcing firm last year and this is my first full year as a landlord – tons and tons of crazy and helpful stories there so you don’t have the same problems I did if you ever buy rental real estate. In short, I’m very optimistic about 2013 and have nothing to slow me down except time! I’m going to try to continue posting at least 2-3 fresh and helpful posts next year; who knows maybe I’ll get time for more!
What Are Some of Your Favorite Themes from 2012?
Anything in Particular You’d Like to See More of in 2013?