How to Save Money at Home Depot

For those of us who like to do a lot of DIY projects, or have homes that need some remodeling, we spend an awful lot of time at Home Depot and Lowe’s buying tools and supplies. So it can pay to know how to save money at Home Depot.

I’m currently mid-remodel on our master bathroom – and we’ve already done a total remodel of our kitchen, a powder room, and the entranceway. Plus lots of painting, some carpet and decorating many other rooms. That adds up to pretty big money all told. I’m always on the look out for ways to trim my home remodel expenses. Hopefully this guide will help you as well.

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How to Get Free Money: $200+ Cash to Open Capital One 360 Accounts

Looking how to get free money just for opening some accounts? There’s a great deal going on for Black Friday from Capital One 360 (the new name for what used to be ING Direct). If you sign up for a Savings account with a $500+ deposit you can get a $75 bonus. If you sign up for a Checking account and perform some combination of 5 purchases using their debit card and/or 5 remote check deposits using their app (within 45 days) you’ll earn $125. Unfortunately, the bonus doesn’t apply for those who already have an account (like me) – but that limit is per account type. So while I have a savings account with them and can’t claim their $75 bonus, I didn’t have a checking account, so I can claim the $125 bonus!

The deal is running today (November 29th) through December 2nd. I can personally vouch that their savings account works nicely for me and I use it as my emergency savings account. I set up an automatic transfer bi-monthly from our checking account to it and it earns 0.75%. While not amazing, this is a pretty good rate relative for the current environment (and they traditionally have been one of the companies offering one of the highest rates).


$75 Free: Open a 360 Savings Account

This is the simpler deal to get. Simply click here to get started opening a 360 Savings account. Deposit $500+ initially and get a $75 bonus. After 30 days you can transfer the bonus out. 360 Savings account have no fees or minimums. So even if you don’t want to keep your cash there, you can deposit $500, wait 30 days and transfer all $575 out. A cool $75 for parking a small amount of cash in another account for a month!

Keep in mind this deal is only good for people who don’t already have a savings account with the company (including Orange Savings Accounts). You really just need a few minutes and a check/checkbook to use to link up your existing checking account to do the deposit.


$125 Free: Open a 360 Checking Account

This deal only has a couple extra conditions: You must activate your 360 Checking MasterCard® Debit Card that they mail to you. You must also make a combination of 5 debit card purchases from the account and/or 5 remote check deposits using their app within 45 days. If you do so, on day 50 they credit your account for $125!

So click here to get started opening a 360 Checking account. There’s no stated minimum deposit for this one, so you can really just open this account immediately with a couple bucks. I personally used $5 to start mine. Again, these accounts have minimums and no fees. You can’t claim this deal if you already have a checking account with them (including an Electric Orange account). Luckily, I don’t so I’ve already claimed this deal myself!


Chain the Deal to get $200 Free!

There’s no reason you can’t claim both these deals! You can open a 360 Checking account without any minimum, so you can easily just transfer over like a $1. I personally transferred $5. Then you can open a 360 Savings account with a $500 deposit from another checking account. Wait 5 days for that deposit to clear, transfer it over to the 360 Checking and make 5 small purchases using their debit card and that $500.

Or if you don’t want to spend any of it, there’s no reason you can just use their app to make 5 small deposits to the 360 Checking account using the same checking account/checkbook you used to open your 360 Savings account. After the 5 days for the $500 deposit to 360 Savings clears, transfer that back to your original checking account you used to fund it. Then wait a couple business days for it to clear, write yourself 5 small paper checks and use their app to deposit them to your 360 Checking account. Wait for them to clear and transfer them back to the original account again. You’ll earn $200 just for moving your money around a few times.


Passive Solar Heating

When my wife and I purchased our home last year we ran into a neat feature I had never seen before: passive solar heating. Most of the articles you’ll find online use the same term for the planning, design and building of homes and buildings with an eye towards using thermal mass, windows, and sun orientation/angles to try and make use of the sun’s heat to  passively heat during the colder months and block the sun off during summer months. This is a nice concept, but doesn’t really help people who already have homes built or aren’t planning to do a huge makeover on the south-facing side of their homes. Ours is an actual system added to the home. From what we can tell it appears that the system was installed in the 1980’s when the original owner added an expansion to the second floor (more than a decade after the house was built). Continue reading

$18 billion in Unclaimed Money

I’m not the only one pointing out there’s piles and piles of unclaimed money out there (some of which may be owed to you). NPR’s Planet Money has a nice infographic up on the $18 billion in unclaimed cash that the federal government is holding onto.

That’s right, the federal government is holding onto $18 billion of it, and as of 2011 the states had another $41.7 billion as well. The heavy majority of the federal money is in savings bonds that have never been cashed in. In fact there’s $16 billion of them out there. You may want to take a look and see if you’re one of the bond holders who hasn’t cashed in at Another $900 million is in unclaimed tax refunds, which have a very short three year lifespan, after which the government expires the refund.

For more sites to look for unclaimed funds or more details, see my original post on the subject.

Net Worth: October 2013 Progress

The month of October was another good one for the stock market, and as a result a good one for me.

For background on the methodology and definitions, see Net Worth: September 2013 Progress.

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A Free Shed

Another score for our family! We’ve had a very full garage all summer and into the fall – filled with supplies for remodeling, strollers, toys, a wagon and a bunch of lawn items: lawn mower, trimmer, spreader, cart. It’s been so full we haven’t been able to fit my wife’s car in there. That’s fine when the weather’s nice, but we’re quickly approaching Winter here. And I fully subscribe to the “happy wife, happy life” philosophy. Brushing snow off the car at 4 am does not make for a happy wife.

The solution to this is pretty obvious to us: get a shed. We just didn’t have to time to go get one and it wasn’t in our budget in the short term. But we got lucky and scored one for free! Whoo hoo, free shed!

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