It’s 529 Day! (And Apparently “Beef with Banks” Day too)

by J. Money -

college savings

Goooood Friday, everyone! How’d the week treat you and your money over there? Still on that path to financial freedom? Still telling all of your friends and lovers how awesome my blog is and that if they don’t read it they’re not cool??

Awww, you’re too kind :)

Though I hope none of them work at Capital One because I’m about to say some not-so-nice things about them… Specifically, 3 ways to NOT treat their customers:

  1. Send them a letter telling them they need to come into the branch to “update their records”, only to then waste their time for 30 minutes wondering why that letter was sent to you in the first place. (Not one person at the branch knew what the letter was about, nor their internal customer service person in which they conferred with… According to one of the tellers there, “this stuff happens all the time”)
  2. Tell you what other business account users are able to do with their accounts, and then when you ask for the ability to do the same – deny you. (One of the best things Capital One has done lately is add a “deposit via phone” option so us hustlers don’t have to go to the branch to deposit checks every other day. I won’t fault them being 6 years late to the game here (USAA was the first – booyah!), but I will for telling me all about how other businesses have been able to increase their monthly deposit limits to $15,000 and $25,000, when for some reason I can’t up mine from $5,000. Even while there in the flesh trying to get a straight answer… They literally tell me it may or may not happen one day, and that I’ll just “have to wait and see.” Gee, thanks…)
  3. Up sell you on new products after not accomplishing a single thing you set out to do. I get that we can’t always get what we want as customers – whether we think it’s fair or not – but the worst time to try and get us to sign up to more products is when we’re unhappy. Specifically at you!

This is why I love my online banks…. They get how to treat their customers! And why I swear if USAA or Ally or Simple ever go into the business account world they’d blow up even more.

I will admit to having a tiny bit of fun though while waiting there and biting my tongue… In one of the pamphlets they gave me on “specials” going on, I came across this gem I felt the world needed to see ;)

capital one bonus offer

What a deal!!!!!

In other (more exciting) money news….

1) It’s 529 Day! WOO! Whip out your college savings calculators and get ready to partyyyyy!!!! Haha… Everyone’s doing it! But seriously though, it’s 529 day. A perfect time to see if your college savings game plans are in tact as much as your millionaire one from rockin’ Millionaire Day.

We’re personally dumping in money sporadically until our lives get a bit settled here (ie. the wife enters the work force again and we figure out where we’re going to be living), but by investing what we can, as well as putting all the kid’s cash gifts in their accounts, we’ve been able to bank $4,000+ for one bambino and $5,000+ for the other. And since we stick with our state’s 529 plans, we get some nice tax benefits too! It’s a beautiful thing!

(If you have no idea what any of this means, and would like to, check out savingforcollege.com’s 529 College Savings Day webinar today @ 1pm EST. It’s totally free, and they’ll be going over all the commonly asked questions as well as answering those asked by people attending too.)

2) Digit saved me an additional $10.19 this week (making a total of $911.73 in 5 months!). And speaking of Digit, they finally added a new feature a lot of us have wanted: the ability to keep their robot hands away from a set amount of money in our checking account! Like if you need to keep a certain balance in there to not get dinged a fee by your (traditional) bank, or if you just like keeping some padding in there so you don’t bounce anything in case you do something stupid (like me). You just have to text  “checking minimum” to put this into action, and they’ll then ask you how much you want to keep off-limits. I just did it for $500 and it took 3 seconds.

3) Acorns invested an additional $5.28 for me (making a total of $195.88 in 2 months)

The 2nd best picture I’ve seen all week:

warren buffett, mark cuban, john schmollLook who John Schmoll from Frugal Rules ran into!!! Warren Freakin’ Buffett and Mark Bad Ass Cuban! At a Diary Queen no less! Man oh man am I jealous… Can you imagine just being there doing your thing when these two walk in?? What would you say? What would you do? (Besides ask for a pic of course :)). I’d do exactly what John did next:

eavesdropping warren buffett mark cuban

The best comment left on my blog this week:

On an oldie but goody: Proof You Can Live off 50% of Your Income

I have recently made the switch to living on my husband’s (lower) income and using mine to put towards our substantial debt. We had to work through how to budget for everything to fit into his income, but where a few short months ago we were living paycheck to paycheck with both incomes, now we are free falling down the debt mountain and it feels amazing! – Saving Sanely

And… the worst comment left on my blog this week:

On this old – yet incredibly popular for some reason? – post: Guess What? If Someone Accidentally Gives You Money in Your Account, It’s Still NOT Your Money.

“Ha they put 4 grand in my account today and I spent every last penny I needed it…. sometimes life throws you lemons but when it throws you 4 grand you take that shit.”

Just… wow.

I got a new coin in my collection!

1834 capped bust half dime

An 1834 “Capped Bust” half dime… before we had nickels or old men on our coins ;) If “busts” don’t excite you to get into coin collecting, I don’t know what will…

[Update: My podcast w/ Stacking Benjamins on coin collecting just dropped this morning if interested]

A couple of financial companies I got reacquainted with:

swagbucks new logo
Swagbucks — If you read a lot of frugality/hustle blogs you’ve probably head of these guys before, but they tout themselves as “the largest free online rewards program.” And similarly to eBates, a ton of financial bloggers rave about them (there’s a whole compilation of eBates reviews here). Though oddly I always forget to mention them? (I literally did a search on my blog for when the last time I did, and it was in 2009 on one of my old blogger vs blogger showdowns where they made fun of me for not using them! Hah!). I actually do think they’re legit, I just don’t do many surveys or online games/etc. Though I do Google a hell of a lot… and apparently you can rack up points/cash by just searching through them instead. Anyways, if you’re interested in checking them out, you’ll get $5.00 for signing up. Let me know if you use/like them!

qapitalQapital — “The everyday banking app that helps you save small to live large. Set up financial goals, create rules, then sit back and watch your savings grow.” These guys reached out to me when they saw I was talking about Digit a few months back, and proclaim they’re “better, even easier, and a more fun way to save for the things you want.” HAH! I don’t know about all that, but they are trying to give Mint.com a run for their money which is always fun to see… So if you’re not a Mint lover and looking for something different to try, perhaps Qapital is your jam?

And lastly, a product from Capital One I would actually sign up for!

[More on these BFF and Wingman cards here]

That’s it for this week, friends… Remember, keep your enemies close, and your wallets even closer!

——
Awesome UVA shot by BobMical

Jay loves talking about money, experimenting, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his two beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!

{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Emma | Money Can Buy Me Happiness May 29, 2015 at 6:52 am

Qapital – is that said like cwapital? Interesting.
Oh and that dude with the 4k is a total douche. Reminds me of the couple in New Zealand who applied for a $10,000 business overdraft and were accidently given $10mill! They instantly fled the country and spent a lot of the money – I think around 40% before the bank could reverse the transaction. I’m pretty sure they’ve both been arrested now but it took a few years to get them back in the country.

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2 J. Money May 29, 2015 at 10:43 am

People just don’t get it… And crazy how entitled they feel as soon as they receive the $$ too. As if they earned it!

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3 Megan J May 29, 2015 at 10:13 pm

When I say “Qapital” in my head, all I can hear is a person with a speech impairment trying to say “Crapital.” And then I laugh to myself ;)

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4 Sue May 29, 2015 at 7:34 am

DQ?? Any idea what they ordered?

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5 John @ Frugal Rules May 29, 2015 at 8:22 am

Sue – Cuban had a blizzard (not certain on the flavor) & Buffett had a Peanut Buster Parfait along with an Orange Julius.

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6 J. Money May 29, 2015 at 10:44 am

YES! Haha…. so fascinating seeing all of this! You’re living the dream, Johnny boy :)

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7 Sue May 29, 2015 at 9:44 pm

Thanks! I know Buffet likes his all american food but I would have never expected him to show up in a DQ. Great story to tell the grandkids one day!

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8 workerbee June 2, 2015 at 7:51 pm

I work at a Berkshire-Hathaway owned company, and Mr. Buffett will come to the office and hand out dilly bars to all the employees. And let us touch his wallet. ;-)

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9 J. Money June 3, 2015 at 12:16 pm

ACK!!!! SO COOL!!!! Best benefit in the world, haha…

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10 Chris May 29, 2015 at 8:26 am

Buffet owns DQ, so you could consider it an in office business meeting! ha!

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11 Brian @ Debt Discipline May 29, 2015 at 5:13 pm

He wrote it off as a business lunch.

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12 Brian May 29, 2015 at 7:37 am

They might not want to up the deposit amount because they have to report any deposit over $10K to the IRS (http://www.businessinsider.com/the-irs-can-seize-your-cash-through-forfeiture-2014-10). I am not saying it is right, but they probably are lazy and want to avoid paperwork.

Mark Cuban is a pretty cool guy. We got to hang out with him during Final Four weekend when he showed up at my favorite dive bar in the world (it’s a tiny s-hole that is cash only). He asked that no one post to social media the pictures he took with them until he left. One of my friends jokingly asked him how much cash he carries on him and his response was “enough to buy this place”

That dude is awesome

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13 Brian May 29, 2015 at 7:38 am

Correction it wasn’t Final Four weekend, it was the weekend after (minor detail I know, but I don’t want to be called a liar)

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14 J. Money May 29, 2015 at 10:46 am

Daaaamn, that’s awesome man! And smart to not share where he is while there too – I can’t even imagine how annoying that can get over time. And he seems super chill too and probably want’s to be “among the people” all the time. Interesting note on the IRS rules too – could be! They probably just hate me because they don’t make $$ off me ;)

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15 Kalie May 29, 2015 at 7:42 am

That is so cool you ran into Warren Buffet and Mark Cuban! And got to eavesdrop on them!

We also love our state’s 529 account. It’s kind of a relief to hear that your contributions to the 529s are a bit sporadic. It’s hard to figure out how much to put now that was have two 529s, the 401k, the IRA, early mortgage payoff, etc. But I try to remind myself that these are good problems to have, if we are putting money toward multiple financial goals at the same time.

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16 J. Money May 29, 2015 at 10:52 am

Yeah, there’s toooo many things in our lives to keep track of and try to be perfect little savers with. Just gotta do what you can and try and keep up! :)

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17 Nicola May 29, 2015 at 8:00 am

How awesome to meet Warren Buffet – at a Diary Queen of all places! :) I use Swagbucks just for searches, and it does add up over time :) I generally get Amazon vouchers and use them to buy Christmas presents.

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18 J. Money May 29, 2015 at 10:54 am

well that’s cool!

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19 Nic May 29, 2015 at 6:37 pm

How much we talking over time?

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20 Jon @ Money Smart Guides May 29, 2015 at 8:15 am

Some banks still do seem to be in the dark ages. I love when they come out with a “new” feature that other banks have had for years and act like they are the first bank to ever think of it.

I’m so happy about Digit too. I am one of the ones wanting to put a limit on them taking because like you, I have my moment of not thinking and run into trouble.

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21 Dan Zehner May 29, 2015 at 8:19 am

I’m blown away by the guy who blew $4k just because he felt like it… My wife and I sold our house this week, making almost $16k in the process and used it to pay off all of our non-mortgage debt! It feels AWESOME!!!! Way better than spending it on crap we don’t need. :-)

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22 J. Money May 29, 2015 at 10:55 am

Hell yeah it is – congrats man! :)

What’s even worse here though, is that it wasn’t even that person’s $4,000 to spend! They’re gonna have a helluva wake up call when the bank realizes its mistake.

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23 Elise @ Simply Scaled Down May 29, 2015 at 8:20 am

Ha, that terrible comment makes me laugh (karma is a bitch…especially when it comes knocking for that 4 grand you already spent!)

And yeah for 529 day! We actually are putting our kids college funds into an IRA. Still some great tax benefits, but if they decide not to go to college they can use the funds for retirement or a new home penalty without having penalties like a 529 (and I’ll be honest, there is a very strong possibility they may be professional clowns…and from what I hear clown college is very affordable :))

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24 J. Money May 29, 2015 at 10:55 am

Hahhahahhaha….

Okay, you win the best comment of the week for next time, haha… Oh man, that is too awesome.

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25 John @ Frugal Rules May 29, 2015 at 8:24 am

Thanks for sharing the pic J$! I still can’t believe I got to meet both of them. Meeting one of them would’ve been awesome, but meeting both was crazy. Post is coming Monday btw. :)

That just sucks about Capital One…especially #3. I understand that they’re just doing their job, but come on people, use your brain! ;)

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26 J. Money May 29, 2015 at 10:57 am

I think you need to go play the lottery right away. The odds of meeting both (at the same spot, no less) is incredible! Though you already kinda won it just by seeing them… Great that you can appreciate it too compared to others who don’t even know who they are.

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27 Meghan May 29, 2015 at 9:10 am

I use Swagbucks and I like that by doing what I already do I can make an extra 35 to 50 bucks a month, and if I try harder I get around $75. It’s not much, but it can really add up! I use it toward gifts or home renovation projects.

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28 J. Money May 29, 2015 at 10:57 am

oh wow, that’s a lot more than I thought people make. You can fund part of an IRA with that! :)

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29 Robin @ The Thrifty Peach May 29, 2015 at 9:24 am

That’s awesome about John! I would have been way too nervous to speak to them, but definitely not too nervous to eavesdrop. ;)

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30 [email protected] and the Beach May 29, 2015 at 9:46 am

Whoa that pic of John, Mark, and Warren (sounds like they should be in a band)! :) Congrats on all your savings and thanks so much for breathing new life into the BFF/Wingman video! :)

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31 J. Money May 29, 2015 at 10:59 am

It’s one of my all-time favorite videos ever made by a $$ blogger! I’ll even say it beat’s out Ramit’s “Extreme Frugality” one :) (Which is saying something)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yo2bSpfkGSM

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32 Shannon @ Financially Blonde May 29, 2015 at 10:03 am

I LOVE that pic of John!! At first when I saw it on Facebook, I thought it was fake and I love how he ran into two billionaires at Dairy Queen! I also love Tonya’s Capital One ad and agree that is a card I would sign up for. I hate getting poor customer service from a bank because they assume that you don’t have any choices. The good news is that you do and you don’t have to stand for poor customer services because no matter how big you are, you matter to the banks, they just sometimes forget it.

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33 Kayla @ Femme Frugality May 29, 2015 at 10:19 am

Interesting week J$. I loved that photo John shared too :)

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34 Done by Forty May 29, 2015 at 10:21 am

Tonya’s video really cracks me up. We need more sarcastic advertising.

Congrats on the new coin…but don’t show it to your wife.

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35 J. Money May 29, 2015 at 11:02 am

I should have ran with CoinsAreSexy.com… ;)

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36 CashFlowDiaries May 29, 2015 at 10:34 am

Ha! Love that worst comment. Scary! You would think after reading your articles and lifestyle that if he’s going to keep that money illegally, then at least spend it on an investment or some kind of asset or something.

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37 Jacquelyn May 29, 2015 at 10:57 am

No kids here but I was curious about your Capital One experience. I just started using more of the Automatic Savings Plans to get a head start for our vacation so it is not stressful AND feasible with our debt payment.

Do you have issues with deposits? I avoid them for direct deposit that I need in a timely fashion because I have seen it take up to a week to have money available…which to me is ridiculous. If they want to compete with the banking business, they need to up their game for customers.

I am testing their new mobile app, which is better for tracking the multiple accounts but still lacks the capabilities I wish it had.

I want to look into different savings accounts or a checking account with a different place so that my partner and I can have a joint account for expenses. I am very weary of banks and have always been a credit union kind of person. I know you talk about USAA a lot but I am not sure if that’s something I can do. Advice, if permitted, would be EXCELLENT.

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38 J. Money May 29, 2015 at 11:06 am

Anything I deposit via phone with Capital one def. takes a few business days, yeah. But not if I deposit them directly at a branch. I’d never use them for my personal accounts though just because of how bad ass the online ones have become (unless you’re with Capital One 360 which used to be ING? I’d imagine that dept would be better)

I should have a review of Simple up on the site here shortly, but I’d strongly encourage you to check them out: http://simple.com. People are really raving about them and from everything I know so far they’re ALL about the customers (and simplicity, of course). I’ll agree that credit unions are great too, but more so for taking out loans and that nature. Great interest rates and also very customer-focused (since they’re owned/driven by their members).

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39 Jacquelyn May 29, 2015 at 12:51 pm

Thanks for your insight! I actually have the Venture Card (before I was more aware of net worth ;) ) and the 360 accounts. They are great, as you posted with Chenell and the ability to have multiple savings goals, but their deposit structure is garbage. Even when we deposit cash, it takes time to became available, which to me seems a bit absurd since there is no checking on funds that needs to be done.

Funny story: my gf dropped a check in there and they told her it was going to take about 7-10 business days…but with the art of Twitter and passive aggressiveness, the funds magically became available ;)

I will check out Simple because I haven’t been a huge fan of Capital One for our personal account. We are just looking for an account where we can place our budgeted money for joint expenses so that everything else will go to debt.

Thanks! I look forward to that review!

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40 Jacquelyn May 29, 2015 at 2:22 pm

By the way I checked out Simple…it is a for sure for me, everything about today’s tech mixed with the wants/needs of budgeting and all placed for you to use…so simple! :D I am about to be a new customer.

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41 J. Money May 29, 2015 at 10:02 pm

Hooray!! Let me know how it all goes once you’re up and going! If I weren’t with USAA (and loving them) myself I’d totally consider giving them a shot :) I think they’re on to something great here.

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42 Mrs. Frugalwoods May 29, 2015 at 12:56 pm

I can’t decide what I like more–John’s beard or the fact that he met Warren Buffett! Probably these are equally cool things. Thank you for the reminder about 529s… I should probably start researching those :).

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43 J. Money May 29, 2015 at 10:02 pm

I know!! CONGRATS!!! Such a beautiful phase of life! You two are gonna be so great to that wee one :)

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44 Debt Hater May 29, 2015 at 2:21 pm

I recently went into my bank to change something with a maturing CD I had and the lady did try to upsell me a credit card. Luckily after I said I wasn’t interested at this time, she didn’t bring it up again (not Capital One though!).

Though I do have a Capital One card and the “commercial” made by Budget and the Beach was hilarious.

I’m a supporter of Swagbucks, but I basically just do the daily tasks and enter any of the “swagcodes” that pop up during the day. I also let the mobile apps run when I remember to do so. I like to use it passively instead of spending a lot of time doing surveys.

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45 J. Money May 29, 2015 at 10:08 pm

I feel like that’s how I’d use them too… But since I’m always on the computer blogging and what not I now try to stay far far away from any screens when it’s non-work time, haha… Or else I’ll just get gobbled up by the internet :)

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46 Vicki May 29, 2015 at 3:37 pm

Last week my hubby and I got a letter from our bricks and mortar bank that we were $1.04 overdrawn ( thanks to Ebay fees). A letter, paper, a stamp for $1.04!!!! Such waste. Hubby and I promptly went in and gave them $1.04 and then closed our accounts. Who wants to bank with a bank who does that. No phone call, no nothing. We now only bank with ING online and they rock. 2% on every purchase, no fees, highest interest rates by a mile, use any cash machine, anywhere for free. We made close to $500 from them last year. I think ING are the way to go and HIGHLY recommend them.

Swagbucks seems like a decent side hustle but I tell you when I did use them ( I was doing surveys mostly for the big points). I felt like it was intrusive of my personal info and it does take a while to get a gift card or what have you. I guess it depends on what your TIME is worth.

Have a good one J Money :)

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47 J. Money May 29, 2015 at 10:10 pm

Thanks for chiming in here today, Vicki! Best $1.04 move you’ve made ;)

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48 Chris @ Flipping A Dollar May 29, 2015 at 3:53 pm

I’m not sure the difference between a business and non-business account, but the PNC mobile app lets me scan checks and it has for years. The only time we go to a branch is if I need cash in certain bills or ….. that’s it.

Yet we still can’t close the joint account that my wife has from high school. Her father opened it with her and they BOTH went into the original bank branch and they just couldn’t do it even though they had all documentation and everything. Unbelievable. And they need to keep $100 in there or else they’ll get fined. So there’s a lonely $100 that we budget but I’d love it if it just wasn’t in a useless damn account! /rant

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49 J. Money May 29, 2015 at 10:11 pm

What?? How is that possible? It would be manager time (and then social media time!) for me at that point… I’d hate having something lingering somewhere that I don’t want. Kinda like my house we’re renting out – hah! :)

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50 Tawcan May 29, 2015 at 8:57 pm

Man I’d love to run into Buffet and Cuban. Very cool! Good reminder about saving money for kids’ college. Here in Canada it’s called RESP. We plan to put the max amount each year and take the free government money. Guaranteed 20% return baby! Hard to believe some people don’t take advantage of this free money.

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51 J. Money May 29, 2015 at 10:12 pm

Woahhhh that’s incredible! That you get such a return AND that people still don’t participate!

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52 [email protected] of Investing May 30, 2015 at 1:49 am

Great to see you’ve got the 529 accounts started for the kids. We don’t have anything specific like that here in Australia, but saving for our kids education is a huge motivator for my stock investment portfolio! At the moment, it’s all lumped into one big pool of funds (including my ‘early retirement’ funds), and am only just considering whether to split out separate funds for the kids – I might be too tempted to raid it for an even earlier retirement ;)

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53 J. Money June 1, 2015 at 10:48 am

Haha… well, knowing you, you’ll probably find ways to make even MORE $$ when “retired” so you can then replenish it a lot faster ;)

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54 Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank May 30, 2015 at 6:08 pm

New coin J. Money. Is that the oldest coin you got or there are still others older than this?

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55 J. Money June 1, 2015 at 10:50 am

I have a 1773 Virginia Half Penny :)

http://coinauctionshelp.com/virginiahalfpennies-1773virginia.html#.VWxw9kZbe2E

(mine isn’t even close to the conditions of those, but you can see what they look like. From the colonial days!)

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56 Kemkem May 31, 2015 at 9:31 am

Hey, we’re back! Send me your address and l wil mail you the coins from Marrakesh. I wish l knew where l put all the other weird coins from trips :-(. If l find them, will send also.

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57 J. Money June 1, 2015 at 10:50 am

You’re so sweet, thank you!!!! :)

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