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Highest Echelon

A personal finance blog. Paying for my University, life and eventually achieving financial freedom.

Emigrant Update

Saturday, September 30, 2006

I just checked my Emigrant Direct this morning. It still seems to be at 5.15%. But I'm sure they will update the rate soon.

Interest Rate: 5.02 % Annual Percent Yield: 5.15 %
As GolbGuru points out in my previous post, this may become a trend since Emigrant Direct has always been among the leaders in online savings.

Even though a lot of other bloggers are putting their money into E-Loan, which is offering 5.5%APY, I consider Prosper.com a better option still.
posted by johnwilkx, 10:29 AM | link | 3 comments |

Emigrant Lowering Rates To 5.05%

Friday, September 29, 2006

Effective September 30th, Emigrant Direct will be lowering rates from 5.15% to 5.05% APY. E-LOAN is still offering 5.50% APY but there's a $5000 minimum.
posted by johnwilkx, 2:23 PM | link | 2 comments |

The New TMX Tickle Me Elmo

Thursday, September 28, 2006

posted by johnwilkx, 7:00 PM | link | 0 comments |

Hi

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Highest Echelon was mentioned by Kira's Under 30 Honor Roll post. I believe that makes 50 members now, and what an incredible community it is! I'm so proud to be part of this intelligent, thrifty, and like-minded group. I'll be adding the link roll as soon as I figure out just how to do that.

Thanks again, Kira.

-John Wilks
posted by johnwilkx, 5:49 PM | link | 0 comments |

Want Free Money? Just Ask!

I had 2 insufficient funds charges on my primary brick and mortar checking account last month. I accidently authorized 2 withdrawels into my HSBC online savings which put my checking into negative. First insufficient funds charge! I caught it as the transaction was pending, but I couldnt stop it in time. I immediatly transfered back enough to cover it but that money was still 2 - 4 days in transit. While my account was already in the negative Prosper.com took some more money. Second insufficient funds charge! I would have been just fine if that second HSBC withdrawel hadent gone through.

This happened a month ago. I got pissed, lifted some weights, and cut my losses. But then I got an idea. I've gotten my way before just by asking in the past. A few months ago when I got my new glasses, I asked if the maker would wave the $10 charge for polishing the sides of the lenses. He agreed.

So why shouldnt I ask for 1 insufficient funds charge back?! I got these curtesy checks from HSBC (I also have one of their credit cards) which are 0% apr for a year and I filled it out for $1000. I went to see the teller supervisor and had her pull up my account. She noted the 2 insufficietn funds charges and the withdrawel from HSBC that put my account in the negative and was unwilling to refund even 1 of the IFC. She told me that HSBC should refund my charge.

That's when I pulled out my check and calmly explained to her that I pay for my HSBC credit card with my HSBC savings account which gets funded from my primary checking. I showed her the check and told her I had been in contact with HSBC trying to figure this out for weeks now and HSBC simply took too much. The check was HSBC's way of making it up to me. It was a check for $1000 of BRAND NEW MONEY for my brick and mortar bank. At this point she agreed to refund 1 charge.

It's not much, but it's free, and tax free, oh and it's free.

(That $1000 will be in my checking for 2-4 days, just as long as it takes to transfer to my Emigrant Direct Online Savings.)
posted by johnwilkx, 1:33 PM | link | 0 comments |

Price of Oil Going Down. Price of Barrel Going Up.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Nick over at Punny Money suggests that you should invest your money in barrels of oil. The barrels not the oil.
posted by johnwilkx, 4:40 PM | link | 1 comments |

My True Net Worth

I update my net worth monthly through Networth IQ (found on the bottom right of this website). It's disappointing that it doesn't allow me to break down my "cash" between Cash, Prosper, and all my online savings accounts. But for now, it's good enough. My net worth does not take into consideration pending scholarships, accounts payable, and how much I owe my university until I charge it to my credit cards.
posted by johnwilkx, 3:00 PM | link | 2 comments |

Walmart Rolls Out a New Perscription Plan

Last week Walmart announced a new program that will offer consumers $4 prescriptions for generic drugs.

Here's a full list of the drugs offered thanks to The Big Picture.

posted by johnwilkx, 11:44 AM | link | 0 comments |

Hydrogen/Water Car

Meet the car of the future.
posted by johnwilkx, 11:42 AM | link | 0 comments |

Zecco.com Offering FREE Stock Trades

Zecco.com will start offering FREE online stock trades starting October 9, 2006. They plan on making their revenue from advertising. I may throw in some fun money and see how it works.
posted by johnwilkx, 8:17 AM | link | 0 comments |

My Prosper fascination is increasing.

I now have 400 invested in Prosper.com and have funded 200 in loans. I love that it shows my interest updated daily. Every day I have a few more pennies. I suppose I love that quick gratification. My goal is to have about 1250 invested in Prosper within a few months.
posted by johnwilkx, 8:13 AM | link | 0 comments |

Signed up for direct deposit


I always had my pay check deposited directly into my primary brick and mortar checking account. I changed it so that a nice amount is deposited into my Emigrant Direct Online Savings account and the rest is put into my checking. Hopefully it wont take to long for funds to show up in my savings.
posted by johnwilkx, 8:00 AM | link | 0 comments |

Applying for credit line increases

Saturday, September 23, 2006


I've applied for credit line increases on all my credit cards. Here's what I wrote a little while back:

I've decided to start asking for credit line increases on all my credit cards every 3 months or so. It doesnt require a hard pull unless it's a discover and it's over 15,000.

One person comments:

I have several cards with $20k credit limits. The key is that some credit issuers automatically grant you a credit line equal to your current highest limit.

What I did:
Applied for ATT Universal card, got approved at about $5k.
Opened second ATT card (5% back offer), started around $7k.

I then used the online "credit limit request" about every 3 months, which eventually got me to about $9k and $10k.

I then combined the credit limits, and so I had one card with a limit about $19k.

Then I started applying for other cards. Each card *matched* my highest credit limit. I got an AMEX, then a Bank One card, then an MBNA card, all stared at around $20k
posted by johnwilkx, 3:45 PM | link | 1 comments |

Will read in future

Saturday, September 16, 2006


posted by johnwilkx, 4:03 PM | link | 0 comments |

Yet another FREE iPod Nano Offer!


Bank of America is offering a free iPod Nano with their MLB Extra Bases Credit Card. Check this post for an older free iPod offer.
posted by johnwilkx, 3:30 AM | link | 0 comments |

My Next Car.

Friday, September 15, 2006

The all new 2007 Hyundai Elantra comes out soon. I'll probably buy a brand new 2007 Elantra the first quarter of 2008. I'll try to get it for around $12,000.

posted by johnwilkx, 5:25 PM | link | 1 comments |

Last Day for FREE iPod!


Key Bank is offering a free iPod nano. You must open a Key Express Free Checking (this is the basic banking account in NY), Key Advantage Checking or a Key Privilege Checking account (offer excludes Student Checking) between July 23, 2006, and September 16, 2006.

And:

1) sign up for direct deposit or
2) get a credit card from them by October 31, 2006 (through citibank).

If you close your account within 180 days of account opening, you will be charged a $25 account early closure fee. Just close it a few weeks after and lock up the credit card.
posted by johnwilkx, 4:40 PM | link | 0 comments |

Credit Cards

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A credit card advice post is coming. It'll be a week long project.
posted by johnwilkx, 7:45 PM | link | 0 comments |

What I've read recently

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

These are some books I've read recently. I may post reviews in the future.


posted by johnwilkx, 5:49 PM | link | 0 comments |

I love toys


I might buy this laptop or this one from Walmart. It pretty much has everything I need to slack off while I'm at class. And for 500 bucks it's not bad.

I'll put it on a 0apr credit card and I would have 90 days to return it if I changed my mind.
posted by johnwilkx, 5:04 PM | link | 0 comments |

Gas Prices...


Gas prices are finally going down.

Price Station Area

2.23 Global Click here to find out more information about this station Londonderry

Route 102 (exit 4)
2.25 Shell Click here to find out more information about this station Londonderry

exit 4 off 93
2.25 Mobil Click here to find out more information about this station Londonderry

Exit 4 off 93
2.25 Route 102 Gas Click here to find out more information about this station Londonderry

Exit 4 off 93 (route 102)
2.25 Lukoil Click here to find out more information about this station Londonderry

117 West Broadway (route 102/route 93)
2.25 Shell Click here to find out more information about this station Londonderry

14 Nashua Rd (Rt 102)
posted by johnwilkx, 12:07 PM | link | 0 comments |

The Beginning


I started to read personal finance blogs about half a year ago. It seems only fitting that I should start keeping track of my personal finances through a log as well. I believe that all my goals are possible with hard work, discipline, preperation, and efficiacy.

I plan to analyze my progress every few weeks, and also write down day-to-day thoughts about personal finances.

posted by johnwilkx, 9:50 AM | link | 0 comments |

My Financial Rule Number 1

Monday, September 11, 2006

Pay myself first.
posted by johnwilkx, 9:15 AM | link | 0 comments |