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Five Cyber Monday Steals!

This is my day, I don’t like crowds, I hate malls, give me a glass of chocolate milk, some cookies and my computer and stand back. I’ve wrangled up some deals to help you add a few checks to the list and come out looking like a hero. Take a gander:

  • Sony 4K 55 inch 3D TV $1198.00 – WOW! This is almost exactly what I paid for my current TV last year. SonyBonyIts about 500 bucks less then what you would have paid for this level model last year. Sony’s are great, they are sleek looking, delivery an excellent picture, and are filled with features. You are getting one heck of a TV for almost half off and remember that Sony doesn’t like discounts, so this one might not be around tomorrow.

 

  • Hoover Scooter $359.95 - I’m starting to see HooverScooterthese more and more. Kids really seem to love them. They are like Segway scooters with out the handles. Kids stand on them and lean forward and they go. They look cool and certainly draw your attention. At this price they may be high for some, but the WOW factor may be worth it to others. At $250 dollars off you are certainly getting a solid deal.

 

  • Keurig Single Cup Brewing System $79.99 This is a good deal, CoffeeMakerbut it comes in layers. This device retails for $110.00 so right of the top you are saving 30 bucks. Then they are sweating the deal with a $15 gift card and 15% off with coupon code Cyber15. A gift for them a gift card for you, or use the card as a stocking suffer. If you know someone with an outdated or broken coffee maker this might be for you.

 

  • Boomco Blasters $19.99 – My younger brother and FunGunI would have loved these as kids. Harmless foam darts that we could battle it out with in our basement, hours and hours of entertainment. They are 50% off and out of the box fun.

 

  • Plush Dragon Rocker  $39.99 – I’ve seen Dragon Rockerthese around and they are great. Aside from being a rocker for your child, they also bright up any room with a splash of color. I solid idea for any kids in their dinosaur phase.

 

So I hope these ideas help you. Plenty of cyber monday left, just remember in some cases when the deal is gone, its really is gone. Don’t forget to add to your deals by visiting Ebates and Fatwallet first. Stack those deals!

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The PiggyBankBuilder Portfolio Challenge – Game Over

August was a pretty rough one for the markets and I shared in its pain. Here are my results:

  • Krogers (KR) – Purchase price – $63.53, number of shares 46. Current Price: $33.92  a gain of $198.34
  • Microsoft (MSFT) – Purchase price $46.76, number of 32. Current Price: $42.50, a loss of $136.32
  • iShares Silver Trust (SLV) – Purchase price $15.11, number of shares 99. Current Price: $13.99 a loss of $110.88
  • BlackBerry (BBRY) - Purchase price $10.82, number of shares 138, Current Price $7.47 a loss of $462.30

closedI’m down $511.16 or about 10%. As of now I am out, closing up shop. I set up a hard rule when I began this exercise that I would never allow my portfolio to lose more than 15% and while I am not there I don’t see how things will improve in the near term. Like Kenny Rogers says “You got to know when to fold um”. So I am walking away from this market and waiting to see how things pan out.

What went wrong? The popular consensus is China. The Chinese are very deceptive with their economic numbers. Some believe that they are heading into a recession, but no one can no for sure because of the perception that they are dishonest. I give some weight to this argument, but I don’t think that is the while story.

I believe that America is entering a recession and many people are worse off than they were back in 2007. I fear that the resulting down turn will be quite dramatic. I hope I am wrong and I feel confident that in the next two months I will know one way or the other. Fingers crossed.

 

***Please not that I am not and investment adviser.Please consult your investment adviser before making any financial decisions that could result in loss.

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Thank You For 3 Years!

Its hard to believe but three years a go on this date PiggyBankBuilder was launched. American PigI knew nothing about creating or running a website at the time, but through hard work and some trial and error I have built this place. My goal was the same then as it is now, help people explore their financial options and choices to make small changes that could help them save money and grow wealth over time.

In helping others I have managed to make changes in my own life that have benefited me greatly. By teaching and sharing I pushed myself to save money. Looking forward my sole goal is to continue this path and reach out to as many people as possible. To all of my visitors, thank you for your support.

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Tips for Getting What You Want on Prime Day

My first few hours of Prime Day and one word captures Prime2my experience perfectly, FRENZY. I have never while shopping online felt the same madness that I would in a busy store. One three separate occasions I missed out on items that sold out before I could even decide if I even wanted them. Here are a few pointers to prevent this from happening to you.

  • You have to know. This isn’t regular Amazon shopping where you compare items and read reviews. Many of the really popular items are gone with in a few minutes. You have to pounce.
  • Upcoming Deals is where you set your plan. This is the section where you can do your research and find what you are looking for. Each item has a count down that provides you with enough warning. Decide if you want something and wait for your opportunity.
  • Check back in. Items are popping up left and right. A pair of really discounted Bose headphones from the morning reappeared later in the day.
  • Don’t get caught up in the madness. Don’t just buy things just to buy them, resist your hoarder instincts.

I have noticed some social media backlash to the day. I can understand the frustration and I hope Amazon ramps up their deals into the evening.

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Prime Day – The Hype is Real

We are almost half way through prime day and I can attest that it is everything they promised it would be. Case and point:

  • This Samsung 8550 50 Inch UHD 4K TV and video pack could Prime TVnot be had for any less then $1700 dollars. As you may remember I spent months finding my TV and this model was one of my lead candidates( I did buy a TV and I will share the results in a later post). Right not, on Prime day that TV can me had fro $999! For the TV alone that would be amazing, but you get the added bonus of the 4K hard drive with an impressive assortment of preloaded 4K movies, very nice.

This is just one of hundreds of deals that are going on as we speak, but the madness is intense and things sell out in minutes. Stay nimble my friends.

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My Backyard Garden – Two Months Out

The Summer has really been flying by and my garden has been prospering. This being my second year of gardening, I have a better understanding of what to expect. As of today all of my crops are coming along nicely. Here is my take away thus far:

  • The “Sugar Baby” Watermelons : The primary concern with watermelon plants is vine management.  These guys like to spread and they move fast. Once the roots take hold these things will grow almost a foot a day under the right conditions. I have to make sure that the don’t grow into other plants or onto my lawn. All it requires is moving the vines at the right time, but you have to stay on top of them. Baby WatermelonThey appear healthy, they have begun flowering and a few days ago I got my first baby water melon.
  • The Tomatoes: They come in three varieties, Big Beef, BrandyWine, and one that I can’t recall. I now have the taller plants caged and they are doing great. I do make a point to pure them back from time to time. This stops the branches from growing into and shading each other and it allows the plant to grow stronger and taller. All eight plants have little green tomatoes on them, I am hoping for a massive yield.
  • Binteje Potatoes: In the center bed closest to the camera are my potatoes. They are new comers to my garden Crops July 2ndand I am learning as I go. From as far as I can tell they seem to be doing well. The potatoes themselves grow underground, butt he leafy portion of the plant is growing strong and looks very healthy. As best as I can tell, so far so good.
  • Stowell’s Evergreen Sweet Corn”: I dropped the ball on these guys. In an effort to “help” the rows furthest from the sun I planted the three rows about a week apart. The thinking was that the younger plants wouldn’t shade the older ones. It was just dumb and now I have corn at three different heights and three different ages. The older corn is pushing the younger and the pollination is going to be so spread out that the oldest corn will not benefit from the younger. On the upside the quality of the plants themselves are top notch, strong tall and thick. Perhaps my corn will compensate from my poor planting strategy. 

Thus far I am very happy with my garden. I expect to pick some tomatoes in the next week and I will provide you with a yield count soon. As of right now I am expecting to beat last years totals.

 

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The PiggyBankBuilder Porfolio Challenge – June 2015 Results

I’m starting to read some concerning things about the stock market and the economy. Let’s see how I fared and then I will give my final analysis.

  • Krogers (KR) – Purchase price – $63.53, number of shares 23. Current Price: $71.68  a gain of $187.45
  • Microsoft (MSFT) – Purchase price $46.76, number of 32. Current Price: $46.28, a loss of $25.28
  • iShares Silver Trust (SLV) – Purchase price $15.11, number of shares 99. Current Price: $15.77 a gain of $13.86
  • BlackBerry (BBRY) - Purchase price $10.82, number of shares 138, Current Price $9.80 a loss of $219.42

Well there it is, I’m in the red, I am down $258.33. july crashThat is a sizable fall from last month. Should I pull the plug? What will July look like? Some are saying that this market has been rising for over six years and its time for a consolidation. They are predicting that the market will fall 10, 20, perhaps even 30 percent. Such a drop would be healthy for an oversold market. Other are saying that the bill is due, that all of this global debt needs to be paid and that this is the beginning of another recession.

It hard to say, but I do know that on Sunday evening the Greek people are going to vote on their future. The outcome of this vote could set the tone for the rest of the Summer. The way I see it the Greeks are in a no win situation. If they leave the European union their banking industry will collapse if they stay the austerity restrictions they will face will damage their already weak economy. Only time will tell, I will be watching the vote and the markets reaction on Monday morning

***Please not that I am not and investment adviser.Please consult your investment adviser before making any financial decisions that could result in loss.

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My BackYard Garden – Two Weeks out

My garden is over two weeks old and my progress has been pretty good. BabyCornHere in NY we have had a nice string of warm sunny weather and my crops have been benefiting from these ideal conditions. My first and second rows of corn are coming in and I expect the third to be popping up any day now. As you may recall I planted the corn rows several days apart so that the row furthest from the sun would not be shaded by the other rows. I’m not really sure if this will have a meaningful impact on the crop, but I guess it couldn’t hurt.

The little watermelon leaves have broken through the soil and are looking very healthy. As I remember the watermelon vines are rather slow out of the gate. A week or two will pass and they will barely progress and then BOOM they are traveling everywhere. Speaking of everywhere I have been watching the appearance of rogue watermelon vines popping up all over one of my beds. Last year I composed the immature melons into the beds and their seeds have taken hold. I will transfer some of them to my pots and other will be given to my neighbor who is giving me my tomatoes plants.

I might not even need his plants because, like the watermelons, I composted some of last years tomatoes in the beds and they have taken hold as well. This is an unexpected bonus and one I gladly welcome. I was also pleasently suprised by the arrival of my potatoes in the mail yesterday. I will begin to prepare them for planting this evening. I am very excited.

So far my garden seems to be fairly well. Let’s hope it continues.

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The Return of My Backyard Garden

Last year I started a backyard garden using raised soil beds. Corn in the handI had almost no experience, but planning, hard work, and a little luck turned my project into a success. I was very rewarding I would wake every morning and head right out to my garden to water and check on my crops. Watching them grow each week was very erxciting and eating the fruits of your labor is something that everyone should experience. My journey into suburban farming had me hooked and I knew I would do it again this year.

The initial financial layout was about 400 dollars. Much of this was the one time cost of the wood for the raised beds and the mulch and soil. This year a expect to spend around 100 dollars and a big portion of this will got to a new soaker hose, my old one cracked and had to be discarded. At this price my garden is probably going to be financial viable in the sense that the cost for me to grow my food should be cheaper than it would be for me to buy that same amount of produce. This is not my main reason for doing this, their are other benefits, like freshness, and quality control over my food which to me is much more important.

GardenLast year I grew, pumpkins, watermelons, corn, and tomatoes. This year I am dropping the pumpkins. As much as a loved carving my own jack o’ lanterns the plants themselves were to much to deal with. They spread everywhere, were constantly getting mildew, and damaged a portion of my lawn. In 2015 I am swapping the pumpkins out and replacing them with potatoes. As it stands here are the crops and their respective locations.

  • In the first  bed, nearest to the fence I will have “Sugar Baby Watermelons” and tomatoes that I will get from my neighbor’s greenhouse, probably Rutgers and Big Beef. I planted the watermelon seeds 13 days ago.
  • In the center bed I will have “Bintje Potatoes” and more Tomato Plants, I hope to have both of these in my possession within the next seven days.
  • In the final bed I have planted an heirloom variety of corn, “Stowell’s Evergreen Sweet Corn”. SeedsLast year I did exceptionally well with “Golden Bantam” corn, but the cobs were a little too thin.  The Stowell corn comes highly recommended from “Annie’s Heirloom Seed”. I used their seeds last year and attribute them in a small part to my success. I am also opting to plant three rows this year over the two I did last year. This choice is a bit of a gamble, I fear that crowding the bed might backfire, but I am willing to take the risk.

I also have three large pots that are on the other side of the yard, I may decide to plant some additional crops on there. Last year I had just moved into my house on June 1st so I planted my crops on the 16th. This year I will have a whole extra six weeks to work with so it should really open up the possibilities. I will report back to you shortly with my progress, please feel free to shares your experiences or raise any questions.

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Too Busy Thinkin’ About My Baby

A month a go my son was born andbabyboy last 30 days have been a wonderful chaotic mess. The arrival of my son has caused me to neglect this site, and my lawn, and my personal grooming. Now I’ve started to right the ship and begin to reorder my life. My wife and I are first time parents and we have much to learn. The experience is wonderful and we couldn’t be happier.

Moving forward I hope to post regularly and incorporate this life experience into my writing. I hate to be brief, but I have much to do.

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