Tag Archives: Facebook

It’s Expensive to Pretend to Be Rich

In broad terms, the most common goal for most people is to save money and get out of debt. It costs a lot more money to pretend to be rich, than to actually become rich. There isn’t a difference between a $40 pair of jeans and one that costs $400. Except one thing. When you know what that is, and how important that difference is to you, I can predict your financial destiny.

Pretend wealth means the latest, greatest whatever. Whether it’s fashions or the newest gadget, cars, shoes, or sports gear. It also means these things need to be replaced every season, or with every new model. That gets very expensive. My iPhone 7 works fine – but there are millions of people who had two or three version of iPhone 14 and can’t wait for the 15 to come out.

That’s money spent that can’t be saved in just keeping up. No, you won’t take every dollar you save on skipping one season’s fashions and put it into investments. You’ll read that from some people, but it isn’t real life. But saving $200 to $400 a month builds wealth. It’s not flashy, nobody knows it, nobody can actually see it, but it’s real and it’ll grow and grow.

You’ve heard and read the sentiment of pretty much resenting the “top 10 percent,” or that the top one percent keep getting richer. Well, it’s kind of unfair. Most of those people skipped the “gotta impress people” stage and started saving. Years later, their investments grew to hundreds of thousands of dollars. THAT is how they keep getting richer while the image-people keep spending and going broke.

Yes, the top 10% have it made. A $50,000 investment that took years to build will grow $5,000 or so every single year on auto-pilot. The image people spend that a year on credit card payments. It’s not a fair fight or comparison..

Someone on Facebook with me lives in a winter city. He started Facebook posts in September when he bought a super-expensive exotic sports car. Hundreds of likes and comments every month or so. I bet those people are really envious. Well, it turns out it’s a three-year lease at $1,300 a month. He’s still re-posting pictures of it every few months to keep getting the bang for the impressing-you buck…even the six months he can’t drive it.. For vast numbers of younger people it’s more and more escalated on Instagram.

In three years, this guy has to return the rented vehicle, or pay the lease buyout with another loan. He’s out $50,000 or so in payments…but has hundreds of FB likes and people who are super impressed…versus the $50,000 in investment…There’s a difference – a big difference.

See What Facebook Knows About You (and sells to advertisers)

More than 18 million of us are on Facebook (FB), and for those under 35, it’s over 80%. That means millions of us are being marketed to every day. And you have to remember that you are NOT their customer. Their customers are the people paying them – and that’s advertisers. You’re just their product.

That FB readily and frequently sells all of your data and friends list became very public with the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Since then, FB has made it possible for you to actually see what they have on you, and it’ll be quite a surprise.

You can now go into your notifications, then settings and pull something called “your FB information.” I did that last week, and after five hours, FB sent me an email that it was ready. After 11 years on FB, the file was 14mb in about 50 different categories.

Here are the exact steps to pull yours:

Notifications – Settings – General – On top you’ll have Your Facebook Information – Download your information (just make sure all items are checked off) Then click “create file” and you’ll get an email that they’re working on it. Then a second email when it’s ready for you to download and view.

Ad interests: This is a long and complete list FB has of the ads to really target to me. These are the industries that will pay extra to target me because FB thinks it’s something I’m really interest in. If that were true, it’d be something I’m more likely to click on and buy. Some are legit, such as books, personality types, publishing, and anything to do with Arizona. Some are totally out to lunch: Continental airlines? One of the worst in North America? Reality shows, Virgin mobile, and dance troupes are out to lunch. And FB now thinks I’m looking for hair products ads. Wrong…but I didn’t catch why they think that until I saw that I had “liked” a post from a hair salon who is my client. That one click now has a dozen advertisers target me as interested.

Advertisers who uploaded my contact list to use: That’s scary if you don’t have your privacy settings locked down. In my case, they tried and didn’t get it. It’s a list of over 100 companies, 80% of which I’ve never heard of.

Comments is a section of everything over the past 11 years that I’ve ever posted on Facebook to someone. That’s pretty scary. It comes from my browser which I clean up regularly, but FB has it all and remembers it. The posts section gave me the thousands of people and every item they had ever posted on my page. That’s from 2,000 people I’m on FB with over 11 years…

Messages section has every note you’ve ever sent to someone, even if you deleted (unfriended) them. This is where you’ll find the painful reminders, and all the exchanges with your ex-spouse or the likes. FB keeps it to use keywords to market to you, just like Google looks through your emails.

My login history gives me the full list of every single time I’ve logged into FB. It’s down to second and which of my computers and what browser. Guess I can use that as an alibi if I ever get arrested to prove I couldn’t have been at the crime scene as I was on FB at the time…

The lessons, other than the shock of seeing what FB really knows about you is that you have to lock down your account. Spend the two minutes b going to settings – then the privacy section. Change the “who can see your posts and who can see your friends list (that should be “nobody”). Go to ads and click that they’re not allowed to use your information and lastly, go to “apps and websites” and select only those shown who you’ll allow to access all your information.

Finally, here is the article from CNN that gave me incentive to go look. The insights from their writer are worth reading: http://money.cnn.com/2018/03/24/technology/facebook-data/index.html

George Boelcke – Money Tools & Rules book – yourmoneybook.com

Guaranteed Lowest Price & Your Facebook Friends Set Your Credit Rating?

Do you want a way to guarantee you’ll get the lowest price on whatever you buy?

There are now a number of apps called showrooming…but for the U.S. only right now, and that comparison won’t help you, but only frustrate you.

The perception or reality is that Walmart isn’t considered the lowest price retailer anymore, and that’s something they want to correct! In nine cities they’re now testing something called Savings Catcher. You just need to enter your receipt number online. Just the receipt tracks everything you’ve purchased anyway. If Walmart finds another retailer with a lower price, they’ll immediately refund the difference to your credit card. Unless you live in San Diego, Dallas, or one of the other seven test cities, you’ll have to wait quite a while to sign up for it, though.

Should your credit rating be partially determined by who is your friend on Facebook or on LinkedIn? Another lending site called cabbage has now started using social media to determine your credit score. Yes, who you have as friends on Facebook can impact whether you get a loan or not. In the old days, your banker used to know you – character was a part of the decision making processing. These online lending sites have found that the chance of someone going past due is reduced 20% with a good social media score. It sounds wrong and stupid, but they think it matters and works. So somewhere down the road – be careful who you friend on Facebook.

Some Updates and Insights For Your Wallet

Every Wednesday we spend a few minutes looking out for your wallet. Today, I wanted to share a few updates, and some consumer stories that we should all be aware of.

You and I know that money certainly does talk. Unfortunately, for most of us, it just says goodbye.

Since May last year, we’ve talked about waiting before getting stuck with another three year cell phone contract. I hope you listened, as a new national cell phone provider called Wind is now blowing across the country, a few cities a month. Their unlimited plans are $45 and not the rip-off system access fee. Hang in there for a while longer, because competition will keep driving prices down, and your wallet will thank you. Last year, I told you that I got rid of my $35 plan for a pay as you go package. I just loaded $100 on my phone, so my cost per month is now under $9!

Do you want to volunteer to get robbed? I didn’t think so – but let me explain:
All kinds of new and really popular applications for iPhones, Facebook, and the likes let you share with people where you are. But thieves also love it. All they need to do is see where you are, and it’ll tell them exactly how much time they have to rob your home. There’s a great web site to explain it to you called: pleaserobme.com
Two of these programs are Four Square and Bright Kite. It’ll notify people that you’ve just checked in to Safeway Rutland, for instance. That’ll mean you’ll be away from home for, what? An hour or so? If you’ve just checked in to the Coast Hotel in Vancouver, they’ve got a day, at least.

On Facebook, it’s even simpler. What’s greater and more current than posting some pictures while you’re on holidays? It may seem like a great idea, but thieves know you’re in Mexico and certainly not at home. Never post your pictures until you get back.
With a bunch of Provinces and Federal Budget last week, I found a great quote that certainly applies today: “The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt.”—That came from Cicero, a Roman philosopher in 43 BC. You’d think in over 2,000 years we’d have learned something? Apparently not…

A quick update on Arizona: For over two years now, I’ve been saying I want to buy an investment property in Phoenix. I also keep saying wait a little longer, and then longer, and then wait some more. Well, I can now say: wait a little longer. According to Moody’s Economy.com the Phoenix market may drop another 23% in 2010. Not to mention rental rates are plummeting as well. So it’s another year of hurry up and wait.

Just because the U.S. media has moved on to new and sexier stories, doesn’t mean the foreclosure problems in the US are solved, or even getting much better: In a four day foreclosure auction in Detroit last month, there were 9,000 homes on the auction block. But get this: 80% of them didn’t even get an opening minimum bid of $500! Yes, you could have purchased over 7,000 homes for $500 each! Sure, it’s Detroit. But that’s depressing to think about.