Monday, January 28, 2013

Save money on your auto insurance with a simple phone call

I’m sure you’ve all heard it before: A 15 minutes call could save you 15 percent or more on car insurance

Most people sign up for an auto insurance policy, and then continue to make payments whenever they receive the bill.  Most people hate switching auto insurance policies because it’s “too much work.”  Most people don’t even know how much money they could be saving because they never bother to do the research.

I’ve been with my Farmers auto insurance policy for over 5 years.  It’s been a great auto insurance company to work with.  Several family members are under the same insurance, so we get multiple family member discounts.  I get a good driver discount and also a long-term policyholder discount. 

Once a year, usually around January, I make a few phone calls to other auto insurance companies to make sure I’m still getting a reasonable insurance rate.  For the last two years, switching auto insurances wouldn’t offer me much savings.  It was the same this year, and so I went ahead and paid for my insurance premium recently.

Since getting married and purchasing a new car with my wife, it was time to combine auto insurance policies for the wife and me.  I was now dealing with two vehicles for our auto policy and wanted to make sure that I really was getting the best rate. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Club Carlson Gold points to the rescue

Last week the wife and I found us stranded at Dallas (DFW) airport with a 12-hour layover (6pm to 6am).  The airport lounges close for the night so sleeping in an airport lounge wasn’t an option for us.  The idea of sleeping in the airport didn’t appeal to us either. 

We collect different types of points that allow for free hotel stays including Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citibank ThankYou Points, SPG Starpoints, and Club Carlson Gold points.   

Right now we are saving our Ultimate Reward points for an international trip to Asia later this year, and we redeemed most of our Citibank ThankYou points to pay for our honeymoon (more on that trip another time). 

The choice came down to a Starwood property versus a Club Carlson property.

Sunday, January 6, 2013 Play for free prizes by saving up

This year I’m going to detail much more of the different types of tools I use to be financially responsible.  One website that I’ve been using for a while is  It has been seen on many reputable publications such as: The New York Times, ABC, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and more.

This website aggregates your bank, credit card, retirement and investment accounts and tracks the spending and saving that you do.  The setup is similar to but the main difference is that focuses more on how much you don’t spend, and how much you pay down your account balances.

If you're worried about sharing your personal information, you should know that data aggregation used by is provided by a company called Intuit, owners of is free to use, with no hidden fees. rewards you with credits every time you deposit money into your bank account, or pay down your credit card debt. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


As we begin 2013, I would like to take this time to sincerely thank all of you, my readers.

Some colleagues and friends have known me as the “hot deal guy,” the “finance guy" or "the credit card guy."  I've helped a few people get their finances together, make investment decisions and choose credit cards. It was my wife (just married 2 weeks ago!) who suggested that I publish my material for others to read.  

On January 7th, 2012, I posted my first article.  I’ve only shared the link to my site with a handful of my friends; and only those with interests in cutting costs, optimizing spending and collecting points / rewards with credit cards.  Most of you have found my site through internet searches such as google.  

Relentless Financial Improvement started with only a handful of views per day for each article I posted.  This site has slowly grown, and now I am at over 1,000 unique visitors to this site daily.  Sure 1,000+ unique visitors a day isn’t a huge feat yet, but it feels great to know that some of my messages are getting out there to you.

Thank you for all of your personal emails and comments on the site.  I will continue to respond to any questions as quickly as possible.  I will continue to try to post unique ideas on a regular basis.

As for my New Year’s Resolutions?

I don't believe in waiting until January 1st to make behavioral promises to myself.  Studies find that roughly 45% of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions, and over 80% of those New Year’s resolutions fail within a few months.  If you want something done, do it now: set small achievable goes and build from there.  Procrastination is just going to waste your time and money. 

As 2013 begins, I am feeling extremely hopeful about my own finances, and wish the same for all of you.  Whether you are falling behind on payments, living paycheck to paycheck, or have so much money you have no idea where to put it all - I thank you for your support.  I wish you all great health, financial success, and emotional well-being.  Let’s make 2013 a meaningful year.
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