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Merry Christmas and a Happy Credit Card Bill!
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Salty
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Dec 26, 2011, 12:39 AM
 
Hey all, I was wondering if any of you went as fiscally irresponsible as yours truly.

For my parents I bought them each an iPhone 4S as well as a case (Dad got a green Otterbox mom a transparent blue iSkin)
For the sister she got transparent pink speck case for her MacBook Pro as well as 4 gigs of RAM ... which may have come out of my MacBook Pro when I realized I could upgrade to 8 gigs for 40 bucks!

The bad part though came with boxing day and finding out I could get 200 off a Sharp 40 inch Quatron LED TV that I'm going to use as a monitor and TV ... which also lead me to buy a new PVR ... woops.

(In other news I got a 120 SSD from my parents which I installed with a bracket I bought from China ... which I had to basically take apart so that I could get the pins to connect on the adapter, and then shoved into my optical drive bay in a manner that apparently isn't even secured.)
     
Shaddim
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Dec 26, 2011, 01:08 AM
 
Ah, the first class ticket into poverty, credit cards.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
mduell
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Dec 26, 2011, 01:56 AM
 
Amex sent me an email this morning that they had raised my credit limit... curious timing.
     
brassplayersrock²
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Dec 26, 2011, 01:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
Amex sent me an email this morning that they had raised my credit limit... curious timing.
Yesterday, Amex sent me an e-mail stating that they're going to be upgrading me to platinum ! woot woot!
     
ghporter
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Dec 26, 2011, 07:31 AM
 
I used credit cards only because it allowed me to keep the prices of my gifts secret from my wife. Those charges get paid off with my next paycheck (this Wednesday in this case). No, I am not one of those people who has a zero balance on his super-high credit limit card(s), but I'm responsible about using credit. It is a slippery slope from "I'll just put off paying for this for a month" to "I'll charge that card's bill to this card." We've been on the downhill side of that once, and it wasn't nice, so we're pretty cautious about credit cards.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Atheist
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Dec 26, 2011, 08:51 AM
 
I have no credit cards. I don't buy Christmas gifts either. Double Win!
     
Thorzdad
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Dec 26, 2011, 09:19 AM
 
We scaled-back, watched for good discounts, used coupons and paid cash.
     
andi*pandi
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Dec 26, 2011, 10:35 AM
 
I think I staggered my purchases enough that I can pay off the credit card bill no problem. I did most of my shopping on the internet, where cash isn't king.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Dec 26, 2011, 10:35 AM
 
No credit cards here either.
Couldn't afford to buy any gifts.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Eriamjh
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Dec 26, 2011, 10:37 AM
 
0% until August 2013, baby!

I'm a bird. I am the 1% (of pets).
     
Salty  (op)
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Dec 26, 2011, 11:31 AM
 
I should say that while I racked up my card that's because most of the stuff was purchased online or something.

My parents iPhones are going to be about 400, the TV is 700, I should be able to have both paid off by mid month January RIght now after having just recently paid off about three grand of debt, that I had in July, I'm hovering at around 0 right now. Either by mid January or the first of Februrary I should be all paid off. After that I'm going to start saving up again, and I'll splurge when the iPad 3 comes out.
     
turtle777
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Dec 26, 2011, 01:28 PM
 
I use Amex for their great customer service, return protection, doubling of warranty and other perks.

I don't push a balance, it all gets paid of at the end of the month.

-t
     
Shaddim
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Dec 26, 2011, 01:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
I use Amex for their great customer service, return protection, doubling of warranty and other perks.

I don't push a balance, it all gets paid of at the end of the month.

-t


All I carry is AmEx, debit, and cash. If an online store doesn't take AmEx, I don't shop there. Most of the time (>95%) I just buy from Amazon, not many reasons to shop anywhere else.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
Salty  (op)
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Dec 26, 2011, 04:08 PM
 
I get 1% cash back on my visa. Though I'm seriously thinking I need to get a rewards card with warranty.
     
Athens
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Dec 28, 2011, 01:11 PM
 
I went to the US yesterday to do some shopping and returned home almost empty. It appears for the most part the US has caught up to Canada in pricing and I was not finding any good deals on anything I wanted. At least at Target and Bestbuy.
Blandine Bureau 1940 - 2011
Missed 2012 by 3 days, RIP Grandma :-(
     
nonhuman
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Dec 28, 2011, 02:09 PM
 
Model of fiscal responsibility: I didn't buy anything for anyone.
     
Eriamjh
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Dec 30, 2011, 11:30 AM
 
Credit use has to be controlled by the card holder. Treat credit like cash (never buy what you can't afford) and you can reap the benefits of card use: bonus miles, cash back, discounts, extended warranties, and free goodies.

I recently got a check for $150 cash for using a single card (at 0%) to by two Macs. I paid them off in 12 months without paying a penny extra. I've also received free stamps, Amazon discounts, and a free 16GB SD card.

In addition, I use my CC for some expenses at work. They reimburse me and I keep the bonuses.

Credit is a great tool if you know how to use it.

I'm a bird. I am the 1% (of pets).
     
Big Mac
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Dec 30, 2011, 11:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
All I carry is AmEx, debit, and cash. If an online store doesn't take AmEx, I don't shop there. Most of the time (>95%) I just buy from Amazon, not many reasons to shop anywhere else.
I love Amazon too, but you don't find it important to also support your local economy?

Amazon's also going to become a substantially less attractive value since it's thrown in the towel and accepted that it's going to start charging sales tax. That was one of the only areas where California customers didn't get screwed, but now we're going to be doubly screwed: Charging the same amount of sales tax for an online only store with no physical presence in the state is fundamentally unfair to Amazon and its customers. I could see charging a much smaller sales tax rate to help pay for the infrastructure that allows for Amazon to reach and ship to California customers, and also to balance the playing field a little versus physical stores, but charging the exact same tax is bogus.

But back to the subject. Credit is a tool, like many other tools. It can be dangerous if used improperly but useful otherwise.
( Last edited by Big Mac; Dec 30, 2011 at 11:47 AM. )

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
nonhuman
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Dec 30, 2011, 12:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
I love Amazon too, but you don't find it important to also support your local economy?
The best way to support your local economy is by allowing it to take on the tasks that it can do most efficiently. If Amazon can do it cheaper, local businesses should be doing something else.
     
Big Mac
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Dec 30, 2011, 12:22 PM
 
I know that that view is a central tenet of free market economics, and I don't disagree with the theory, but in practice humans aren't fully malleable instruments that can adapt to changing market efficiencies without any negative side effects. People often can't just switch occupations to more economically advantageous ones swiftly, and even for those who are prepared for disruptive market change will still have to find new employment (if they lose their jobs) and suffer some economic costs as a result.

You can actually see the effect Internet commerce has had on three distinct areas of retail consumer life in the US: Music and move stores and consumer electronic stores. Nearly all the big chain music and movie stores have gone out of business, and so to have the CompUSAs and Circuit Cities. OTOH Apple Stores are mega-successes, Best Buy picked up the mainstream business that CompUSA and Circuit City had (regrettably); for the hard core in-store electronics purchaser there's still Fry's and MicroCenter.
( Last edited by Big Mac; Dec 30, 2011 at 12:34 PM. )

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
The Final Dakar
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Dec 30, 2011, 12:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
Model of fiscal responsibility: I didn't buy anything for anyone.
     
nonhuman
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Dec 30, 2011, 12:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Actually, to be fair, I did help pay for my sister-in-law's divorce lawyer.
     
The Final Dakar
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Dec 30, 2011, 12:47 PM
 
I'm just busting balls anyway. But I imagine you have to have a very understanding/accepting family to get away with that.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Dec 30, 2011, 01:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
I'm just busting balls anyway. But I imagine you have to have a very understanding/accepting family to get away with that.
Luckily my friends and family know how poor I am. I was literally down to my last £10.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Big Mac
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Dec 30, 2011, 01:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
I'm just busting balls anyway. But I imagine you have to have a very understanding/accepting family to get away with that.
Actually, nonhuman is an atheist Jew (ouch, hurts to write those two terms together). So he doesn't celebrate Chanukah (I'm assuming), and even if he did Chanukah traditionally isn't a gift giving holiday for adults to other adults. The children get gifts (although that too is prominent largely because of the Christmas gift giving influence, and I don't know if isolated Orthodox communities give their children gifts at all) but the adults, not so much. It's not like Christmas where adults give each other presents.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
The Final Dakar
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Dec 30, 2011, 01:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Actually, nonhuman is an atheist Jew (ouch, hurts to write those two terms together).
Oh dammit I forgot about that. nonhuman tricked me.

Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
So he doesn't celebrate Chanukah (I'm assuming), and even if he did Chanukah traditionally isn't a gift giving holiday for adults to other adults. The children get gifts (although that too is prominent largely because of the Christmas gift giving influence, and I don't know if isolated Orthodox communities give their children gifts at all) but the adults, not so much. It's not like Christmas where adults give each other presents.
Ah. Well then.
     
nonhuman
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Dec 30, 2011, 01:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Actually, nonhuman is an atheist Jew (ouch, hurts to write those two terms together). So he doesn't celebrate Chanukah (I'm assuming), and even if he did Chanukah traditionally isn't a gift giving holiday for adults to other adults. The children get gifts (although that too is prominent largely because of the Christmas gift giving influence, and I don't know if isolated Orthodox communities give their children gifts at all) but the adults, not so much. It's not like Christmas where adults give each other presents.
We actually do celebrate Chanukah.

But no gifts and no miracles. Just commemoration of the struggle against obliteration of ancient Jews against the Seleucids. And candles, who doesn't love candles?
     
Uncle Skeleton
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Dec 30, 2011, 01:56 PM
 
I celebrate the triumph of potatoes over canola oil. Every holiday has its food (or lack of), and hanukah's is my favorite.
     
nonhuman
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Dec 30, 2011, 02:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
I celebrate the triumph of potatoes over canola oil. Every holiday has its food (or lack of), and hanukah's is my favorite.
I just found this recipe, but haven't had a chance to make them yet: French Onion Potato Latkes - My Jewish Learning
     
andi*pandi
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Dec 30, 2011, 03:52 PM
 
My MIL taught me her recipe this year. Yum.

The only problem with latkes is your house and everything in it smells like oil for the next week.
     
Uncle Skeleton
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Dec 30, 2011, 06:19 PM
 
I always thought those were just my pores I was smelling
     
Athens
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Jan 1, 2012, 06:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
The best way to support your local economy is by allowing it to take on the tasks that it can do most efficiently. If Amazon can do it cheaper, local businesses should be doing something else.
The only way it would ever be fair is if every state homogenized its taxes so all states had the same level of taxation. Would make things easier on internet retailers because they would only have look at locations to separate appropriate tax remittance.

The federal government in Canada has been trying to homogenize its federal tax with provincial taxes for years, while not making taxation the same amount for each province it does make it easier for retailers only having to deal with a single tax authority with the feds collecting all of it then remitting the provincial portion back to the province. I imagine if they ever did get every province on board with that the next step would be to homogenize the tax rate to be the same in every province. Its never going to happen of course but it was the logical next step.
Blandine Bureau 1940 - 2011
Missed 2012 by 3 days, RIP Grandma :-(
     
nonhuman
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Jan 1, 2012, 06:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by Athens View Post
The only way it would ever be fair is if every state homogenized its taxes so all states had the same level of taxation. Would make things easier on internet retailers because they would only have look at locations to separate appropriate tax remittance.

The federal government in Canada has been trying to homogenize its federal tax with provincial taxes for years, while not making taxation the same amount for each province it does make it easier for retailers only having to deal with a single tax authority with the feds collecting all of it then remitting the provincial portion back to the province. I imagine if they ever did get every province on board with that the next step would be to homogenize the tax rate to be the same in every province. Its never going to happen of course but it was the logical next step.
Who said anything about being 'fair'?
     
Athens
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Jan 2, 2012, 12:57 AM
 
Fair taxation?
Blandine Bureau 1940 - 2011
Missed 2012 by 3 days, RIP Grandma :-(
     
BLAZE_MkIV
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Jan 2, 2012, 10:11 AM
 
What would really help online retailers is if each state only had one sales tax.

Im in the card it then pay it off crowd. That and I got my expense reimbursement on my paycheck thes month but that's my fault for taking so long to submit it.
     
Big Mac
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Jan 2, 2012, 10:34 AM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
We actually do celebrate Chanukah.
That's very nice. For being an atheist, you're quite Jewish holiday observant (moreso than many who call themselves Reform or Conservative I'm sure)!

But no gifts and no miracles. Just commemoration of the struggle against obliteration of ancient Jews against the Seleucids. And candles, who doesn't love candles?
I'm happy you observe the holiday in your own way. I'd rather that than the alternative of no observance at all. But I'll point out, the holiday of Chanukah is very much about the military victory of religious Jewish rebels who fought for the G-d of Israel (to restore His Temple), against not only the Greeks/Romans but also against the Hellenist (Greek) Jews-the secularized Jews of their day. Hellenists were purposely killed by the Maccabees. I'm probably telling you nothing new, but there's a strong dose of _______ (what word am I searching for here? I had irony down but it's more than that.) in observing the holiday as you do. (Don't want to deter your observance and don't want to derail the thread, but I didn't get a chance to reply to this last week.)
( Last edited by Big Mac; Jan 2, 2012 at 11:03 AM. )

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nonhuman
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Jan 2, 2012, 10:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
That's very nice. For being an atheist, you're quite Jewish holiday observant (moreso than many who call themselves Reform or Conservative I'm sure)!
Ironically, we also keep de facto kosher, what with being mostly vegetarian.

I'm happy you observe the holiday in your own way. I'd rather that than the alternative of no observance at all. But I'll point out, the holiday of Chanukah is very much about the military victory of religious Jewish rebels who fought for the G-d of Israel (to restore His Temple), against not only the Greeks/Romans but also against the Hellenist (Greek) Jews-the secularized Jews of their day. Hellenists were purposely killed by the Maccabees. I'm probably telling you nothing new, but there's a strong amount of irony in observing the holiday as you do. (Don't want to deter your observance and don't want to derail the thread, but I didn't get a chance to reply to this last week.)
That's sort of true and sort of not. The original conflict was between the Hellenizers and the traditionalists, but once Antiochus became involved his solution was to completely forbid the practice of Judaism entirely and he made it a capital offense to do things like offer sacrifices in the temple, circumcise your sons, &c. At that point it stopped being a fight for traditional observance and started being a fight for survival at all.

But you're right that there's some irony to secular Jews celebrating Hanukah. However, even if the Maccabees might have wanted to kill people like me, it's still an important point in Jewish history, and the triumph of the Maccabees was still essential for modern Jewry to exist at all, regardless of belief or practice. I'm also a fan of the message of putting a menorah in your window.
     
Big Mac
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Jan 2, 2012, 11:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
That's sort of true and sort of not. The original conflict was between the Hellenizers and the traditionalists, but once Antiochus became involved his solution was to completely forbid the practice of Judaism entirely. . .
I think I meant the same thing as you wrote about the history, even if I didn't convey it that way. Yes, the main conflict was over the foreign domination, the attempt to destroy Judaism throughout the lands Antiochus controlled. But if you look at how Jews act toward other Jews today, it's often the case that some of our worst enemies are from within, and it was no different then with the Hellenizers. They aided and abetted the destruction of Judaism because they wanted to assimilate and melt away into Greek culture as much as possible. Anyway, this is a topic we should definitely continue by privately (and I apologize for not getting to your last PM yet).
( Last edited by Big Mac; Jan 2, 2012 at 12:04 PM. )

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
   
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