Starting a New Year is a GREAT time to start putting your fiscal house in order. The month of January, we will focus on tips to do just that.
This week, Reviewing your credit report may not seem like a savings tip, until you consider how much extra you could be spending on a high-interest loan due to errors on your credit report! If you’ve never reviewed your own report, I would suggest starting by obtaining a copy of all three major reports from AnnualCreditReport.com. Once you’ve taken care of any initial issues or errors, begin pulling one credit report every four months. This way, you’ll never go longer than four months without reviewing one of your credit reports. In the event someone attempts to steal your identity, your credit won’t be a train wreck before you can identify the issue and control the damage. Bonus tip: Save the money you pay toward monthly credit monitoring and do it yourself!
This week, we travel to Racine County. Here’s a look at the Top 5 people and businesses there with unclaimed assets. Do you see anyone on this list you know? If so, have check out www.wismissingmoney.com and search their name to make a claim. They can also call 855-375-CASH (2274)
Gail M Lloyd
Ganton Technologies Incorporated
Before you start saving, here are four important points:
1) We do not make a dime from any deal or for mentioning any store. This is is a 100% volunteer effort to save you money.
2) Items will sell out, prices will change and stores will discontinue offers. If a coupon reflects one price, and the store says another, all retailers have the final say.
3) All retailers have been tested repeatedly by us, all links are secure and one store we’re giving a second chance is under new management.
4) If you want even more deals as they drop, subscribe to my DealGuy Vlog for access first.
Want to see all the Cyber Monday Doorbusters: CLICK HERE
The 14 Best Black Friday Apple Deals Of 2014
If there’s only one rule you follow this Black Friday, it should be never to buy your Apple gear from the Apple Store. Not only is Apple’s sale predictable (the company is once again bundling gift cards this year), but it’s also disappointing, particularly when other retailers are discounting Apple gear at record speeds.
However, some of the initial leaks from the Apple Black Friday sale sound promising — but keep in mind these are still leaks. The only news Apple has confirmed is that it will offer (RED) iTunes gift cards on select purchases on Black Friday, and that the proceeds will help fight AIDS in Africa. In addition, not all of the leaked deals sound great. iPad shoppers, for instance, will still be able to score better gift cards from Target, which is offering cards at twice the value of Apple’s sale. (That applies to all iPad and iPad mini tablets.) Likewise, if you’re looking for deals on the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s, other retailers will beat the Apple Store’s offerings.
That said, a few Apple Store offers compete, up to an extent. Below is an updated list of the best Apple Black Friday ads, and how they compare to Apple itself.
Best Black Friday Apple Deals
Apple TV Media Receiver with $25 gift card for $99 at the Apple Store
If rumors are accurate, on Black Friday it will sell its Apple TV Media Receiver for $99 with a $25 gift card; assuming you use the gift card, that gives you an effective price of $74, which beats our Black Friday prediction. However, if you just want to pay as little as possible, Staples will offer the Apple TV Media Receiver for $79.
Apple iPad Air 16GB With $100 Gift Card for $399 at Target
This tablet’s $399 price point is nothing special (it’s what Apple charges), but what makes this deal noteworthy is the inclusion of a $100 gift card, which is like getting $100 off the cost of this tablet.
Apple iPad mini 2 16GB With $100 Gift Card for $299 at Target
Although Target is selling the iPad mini 2 at full retail value, it’s bundling a $100 Target gift card, which helps offset the cost of the tablet. Unless Apple changes its Black Friday sale for the better (highly unlikely), this Target deal will be hard to beat.
Apple iPad Air 2 16GB With $140 Gift Card for $499 at Target
Sensing a pattern here? Target is taking Black Friday seriously this year, and as with its other iPad deals, the current-generation iPad Air 2 is also selling at list price, but with a generous $140 Target gift card. This deal will most likely trump Apple’s Black Friday sale, which last year bundled a $75 Apple gift card with iPad Air purchases.
Apple iTunes $100 (4 x $25) Multipack Gift Cards for $79 at Sam’s Club
Whether you’re purchasing for yourself or as a stocking stuffer, Sam’s Club has the best iTunes gift card deal, taking roughly 21% off this multipack iTunes gift card set. Just need one card? OfficeDepot takes 20% off a $50 card. Though keep in mind that our data shows December may ring in more aggressive iTunes gift card deals.
Apple TV Media Receiver for $79 at Staples
This Apple TV Media Receiver is only a buck over our Black Friday prediction for this set-top box. However, last Black Friday, Apple’s streamer dropped down to $72, so there’s a chance this may get cheaper. However, if you need it today, Staples’s Apple TV deal is already live.
Apple iPhone 5s 16GB Smartphone with $30 gift card for $79 at Target
Target’s Apple deals are very aggressive this year, and although the retailer doesn’t have the best iPhone 6 deal, it takes the top spot for best iPhone 5s deal. It’s worth noting that Costco has offered the iPhone 5s for as low as $58 in the past, but if you factor in Target’s free $30 gift card, this deal is a price low by $9. It also beats Apple’s direct pricing, which sells this phone for $99. It also beats Apple’s direct pricing, which sells this phone for $99.
Apple iPhone 6 16GB Smartphone for $99 at Sam’s Club
The good news is that this is the best iPhone 6 deal we’ve come across since the phone’s launch. It surprisingly beats Walmart and Best Buy, which traditionally have the best iPhone deals. Unfortunately, the bad news is that there will be just 15 units per store. So if you’re not a Sam’s Club member (or if you’re not one of the lucky 15), your next best bet is Apple, which rumors indicate will bundle a $50 (RED) iTunes gift card with purchases of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. This deal even beats Target, which will offer the iPhone 6 bundled with a $30 Target gift card for $180. Meanwhile, iPhone 6 Plus fans will want to make their purchase from the Apple Store because that’s the only deal we’ve seen on this phone.
Apple iPhone 5c 16GB Smartphone with $30 Gift Card for 1 cent at Target
We’ve seen this iPhone for free multiple times before (even Apple offers it for free on contract), but this deal merits your attention because it’s the first for-profit iPhone 5c deal we’ve ever seen. Thanks to the bundled gift card, after purchasing this deal you’ll have an extra $30 in your pocket.
Apple MacBook Air Intel Haswell Core i5 1.4GHz 11.6″ Laptop for $780 at Best Buy
Not only is this the best MacBook Air deal of Black Friday, but it’s also the best MacBook Air deal of all time. It’s beats our MacBook Air Black Friday price prediction by $19 and unlike most MacBook Air back-to-school sales we saw this summer, this deal doesn’t require a valid .edu e-mail address.
Apple MacBook Air Intel Haswell Core i5 1.4GHz 13.3″ Laptop for $1,050 at Best Buy
Best Buy has a stronghold on MacBook Air deals, and although we saw the flagship 13″ MacBook Air bottom out at $750 this past summer, this specific configuration (with a 256GB SSD rather than the standard 128GB SSD) doesn’t see as many discounts. So for the moment, this deal is $149 under Apple’s price and the best offer we’ve seen on the 13.3″ MacBook Air.
Apple iMac 21.5″ Core i5 All-in-One Desktop at Best Buy for $900
Outside of refurbs, it’s extremely difficult to find a sub-$1,000 iMac. In fact, the 21.5″ iMac hit $980 just once this entire year. So at $900, this iMac is a stellar deal; the Apple Store will offer the next best deal on iMacs. It’s bundling a $100 gift card on all iMac and iMac 5K Retina deals.
Apple MacBook Pro Intel Ivy Bridge Core i5 2.5GHz 13.3″ LED-Backlit Laptop for $900 at Best Buy
Although we’ve seen this MacBook Pro at this price before, it’s not a common sight. Just keep in mind this is the mid-2012 model, which means you get an Ivy Bridge processor and a non-Retina screen. For current MacBook Pro laptops, the Apple Store is offering the best deal by bundling a $100 Apple gift card.
Apple iPod Touch 16GB MP3 Player (5th Generation) for $150 at Best Buy
Though not as popular as it was in its heyday, this is the best iPod touch deal we’ve seen for Black Friday 2014. (You typically pay this price for refurbished iPods). If you miss Best Buy’s deal (which starts Thursday at 5 pm in-store and online), Toys “R” Us will offer the same model at the same price starting Friday at 7 am in-store and online.
Best Buy and Target account for the majority of noteworthy Apple deals this Black Friday. It’s very unlikely that the Apple Store will even come close to matching them. Last year there were some reports that the Apple Store was price matching its competitors, but there’s no guarantee they’ll do that again this year and even if they do, your mileage may vary. Finally, iPhone 6 shoppers need not lose hope, because Fry’s has yet to reveal its Black Friday deals, and this retailer is known for its stellar iPhone discounts.
Excited for Black Friday deals? Consider subscribing to the DealNews Select Newsletter to get a daily recap of all our deals; you never know when a Black Friday price will be released! You can also download the DealNews app, check out the latest Black Friday ads, or read more buying advice.
This post has been updated to reflect the latest deals from the Apple Store.
Thanksgiving is coming up fast, and for many of us, that means we’re in for some serious family time. But everything can’t be fuzzies and pie. A trip down memory lane can remind us of our family’s money baggage. FEAST ON THIS…. Our friends at www.Learvest.com tell us, the the money lessons you first learned at home tend to follow us through life.
“We learn from our parents,” explains Jonathan Alpert, psychotherapist and author of “Be Fearless.” “Money is an important part of our upbringing. We model our parents’ behavior and it becomes ingrained in us. It’s difficult to break out of that.”
Money Toxic Behavior #1: Living in Denial
What Causes It: “This is classic avoidance,” Alpert says. “It’s the mind’s way of avoiding that which it anticipates will be uncomfortable or anxiety-provoking.”
How to Shake It: Get motivated by the outcome rather than the process, says Alpert: “Think how you’ll feel once you clear the bills off the table,” he says.
Money Toxic Behavior #2: Embracing Debt
What Causes It: “Living paycheck to paycheck and surviving has become the norm over the past few years,” Alpert says. “People are feeling defeated, unable to see the future and stuck in a perpetual cycle of work and paying the bills.”
How to Shake It: Before getting ahead of your finances, you need to start catching up. Start putting as much as you can afford (even if it’s only $10 each week) away to pay off any bad debt like credit cards and car or consumer loans, and start shoring up an emergency fund. When you’re debt free and have a little financial cushion, then it might be time to turn your attention to investing. Think $10 investments aren’t enough? Think again–just ask this woman, who turned $10 stocks into $60,000. It might take some time to get ahead of your money, but the most important thing is that you start right away.
Money Toxic Behavior #3: Throwing Budgeting to the Wind
What Causes It: ”A lot of people use buying as a way to provide comfort in the same way that people might overeat–as a way to feel fulfilled,” says Alpert. They buy lavish and luxury items they don’t need to make them feel complete or special.”
How to Shake It: We don’t need to explain that money doesn’t just “appear,” but seeing where all your dough goes is also one of the best ways to avoid mindless spending. By consistently tracking your earnings and expenditures in the free LearnVest Money Center, you’ll get a sense of how much you really have to spend on what.
Money Toxic Behavior #4: Leasing Instead of Buying
“Maybe it’s a growing up in Detroit thing, but everyone in my family has always leased a brand-new, very cool car for a few years, then traded it back in for another. They’d never settle for wheels that were less than snazzy.”
What Causes It: “For a lot of people, the appeal of leasing is the convenience,” Alpert explains. “Decisions are made for them. The price and time frame are set, the mileage is limited. People like order and control, and they feel like this provides it.”
How to Shake It: He points out that the hardest adjustment for someone who inherited this practice might not be the age of the car, but making the distinction that a car is a method of transportation from point A to point B, not a representation of who you are. “Don’t let a car define you,” he advises.
Money Toxic Behavior #5: Resenting the Joneses
What Causes It: “Social comparisons are normal and her mom was right that it ‘must be nice’ to be able to buy a new home and take vacations,” Alpert tells us. “Her statement though, suggests a hint of jealousy and/or anger.” Though these emotions might motivate someone in the short term to make changes, he explains, they’re ultimately draining, not a good motivator like setting your own goals to pursue because you truly want to achieve them.
How to Shake It: “Keeping up with the Joneses will only allow you to be as happy as the Jonseses,” Alpert cautions. Money comparisonitis is the real, toxic behavior of constantly comparing yourself to those around you, and the first step to getting past it is forgiving yourself: It’s totally normal. In fact, a study of data collected since 1970 shows that we base our self-esteem more on the money we make compared to others, or our relative financial status, than on our actual financial picture. If you’re concerned that you might have money comparisonitis, take our quiz to find out.
Money Toxic Behavior #6: Wanting What You Want Now
What Causes It: Not everyone sees the value—or the joy—in seeking out the best deal. “For some people, there is great satisfaction in knowing they got the absolute best price on a product, and that outweighs any amount of ‘wasted’ time and energy. For others, it just doesn’t feel worth it,” says Alpert, who explains that they may feel more uplifted by the temporary thrill of immediate gratification.
How to Shake It: Nobody’s saying you have to be an extreme couponer if that doesn’t appeal to you. Splurging—in the right way—can actually be good for your finances. But depending on your financial situation, and your budget, you need to know when it’s OK to treat yourself and when you’re just throwing money away that you could be able to save. One good way is to enroll in our free Take Control bootcamp, which will teach you how to set boundaries—and long-term financial goals—for yourself.
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Some of the Numbers have changed as the Unclaimed Property Program is now being adminstered by the Department of Revenue. The Office of the State Treasurer is still responsible for promoting the program and is happy to answer any questions we can for you. However, at the request of the Department of Revenue, direct lines to claims processors were removed from our website and they asks you to call and general line. That number is:
The entire month of October, we are committed to Technology Saving Tips! This week, to upgrade or not to upgrade.
Sometimes we upgrade our technology because it’s stopped working; too often it is to have the latest gadget. Stop upgrading so often to save some money. Compare what you have with what you need and make sure you’re not just buying the label. Search for tips online for how to rejuvenate your old equipment by restoring factory settings or cleaning the hard drive. This might be just the new gift to yourself you’ve been looking for!