Archive for March, 2010

Report: Netflix could be hurt by Postal Service financial struggles

Many frugal consumers swear by Netflix. It’s cheaper than cable or satellite. It’s efficient. And it’s fast.

For now.

The company netted $115.9 million last year, and the service found its way into the homes of 12.3 million subscribers nationwide. Money is rolling and all is well. But, the United States Postal Service’s continuing financial problems — it lost $3.8 billion last year — threatens to throw a ringer into Netflix’s profits, according to MSNBC.com.

The Postal Service could soon stop Saturday mail delivery. Plus, postage prices have gone up four times in the last five years. In short, it’s costing more for Netflix to do business. That, in turn, may eventually cost consumers more to have a steady stream of red envelopes arriving in the box all week long. Speaking of streaming, plenty of Netflix customers have elected to view the movies via streaming video, and while it doesn’t involve the Postal Service, it does mean costs in licensing fees, the MSNBC.com story …

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Save on “Jitney” | Spring Break discounts | Free “Psycho” screening | Baseball and easter egg hunt

Spring Break savings at the High Museum

Most Atlanta-area students will be out of school next week for Spring Break. There are numerous specials around town, including discounts and coupons at places like Six Flags, The Wren’s Nest and Zoo Atlanta. The High Museum just announced that it will take $5 off individual admission tickets or 20 percent off family memberships April 6-11. The discount only applies to walk-up purchases.

Save on August Wilson’s “Jitney”

August Wilson’s “Jitney” is coming to the Southwest Arts Center May 5-30 and then moves over to the Woodruff Arts Centre June 5-27. Tickets to select performances of the True Colors Theatre production are only $15 when purchased by Monday, April 5, using promo code EARLYHALF. “Jitney” tells a slice of story from Pittsburgh’s Hill District in the 70’s. A son returns home after 20 years to face his father whose gypsy cab station nears demolition in the face of urban redevelopment. The drivers “plan, dream and muse in this …

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Day 2 of book review series: The good and bad of 10 personal finance books

This is the second in a series of 10 reviews of books about saving, spending and managing money.

A group of Atlanta Bargain Hunter readers agreed to help navigate the money stream by reviewing 10 books on a variety of topics — from couponing to budgeting to shopping. They will share what they found helpful, insightful and even a waste of time. The series continues today with “SHOO, Jimmy Choo,” reviewed by Maeling Tapp, a full-time graduate student pursuing a doctorate degree in engineering.

Jimmy Choo

Title: “SHOO, Jimmy Choo!” The Modern Girl’s Guide to Spending Less and Saving More

Author: Catey Hill

Publisher: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.

Price: $14.95

Pages: 248

Summary: This book provides fundamental principles that help the average young woman plan for financial success. From analyzing your current financial status, to tackling those credit card debts and student loans to investing in retirement savings, author Catey Hill gives practical advice that will get you on your way …

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Pay what you can for “Black Pearl Sings” | Spa Week | Free admission for National Park Week | Deal of the Day

Spa Week

Anytime there’s a substantial discount on a spa treatment, I’m likely to at least think about it. That’s what I’m doing now that SpaWeek.com has let me know that there are a number of locations locally that will offer $50 spa treatments. You’ll have to sign up for the spa week membership, but it’s free and you’ll get access to the locations near you offering the service as well as alerts about other specials.

Save on “Black Pearl Sings”

If you missed the $10 preview night for “Black Pearl Sings” at the Horizon Theatre, there are still at least two ways you can save on this performance. First, use promo code BASKET by March 31 and pay $15 for the show that runs through April 25. Also, April 4 is “pay what you can night,” with a minimum admission fee of $5. There are also discounts available for students and seniors. As always, tickets can be purchased through AtlanTix as well to save money on this show and many more throughout the metro area.

Free Admission National …

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More choosing credit card payments over mortgage payments

You’re officially underwater, drowning in debt and at the deepest end is a mortgage that amounts to more than your house is actually worth.

It’s time to start bailing, many consumers are saying.  A report released by TransUnion says the number of consumers current on their credit cards but delinquent on their mortgages rose to 6.6 percent in the third quarter of 2009 — up from 4.3 percent in the first quarter of 2008.

When forced to choose between having a credit card for expenses or money for payments on a house nearing foreclosure or with plummeting value, the choice for some is to keep food on the table and gas in the car.

“Some people are saying, ‘I can rent the house around the corner for a lot less than my mortgage payments,’” said Mary Ellen Nicol of Consumer Credit Counseling of Atlanta. “It’s a less expensive alternative.”

The consequences are obviously crippling. A foreclosure can drag down a credit score by 150 points or more and result in long-term credit report …

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Book review series: The good and bad of 10 personal finance books

There are countless books out there about saving, spending and managing money. Finding the ones that best suit you can be overwhelming.

A group of Atlanta Bargain Hunter readers agreed to help navigate the money stream by reviewing 10 books on a variety of topics — from couponing to budgeting to shopping. They will share what they found helpful, insightful and even a waste of time. The series begins today and will continue daily throughout the week with a different topic. We start with a review done by Todd Marksberry, executive vice president of Delta Community Credit Union.

The Solomon Secret

The Solomon Secret

Title: The Solomon Secret; 7 Principles of Financial Success from King Solomon, History’s Wealthiest Man

Author: Bruce Fleet with Alton Gansky

Publisher: Penguin Group

Price: $19.95

Pages: 141

Summary: By combining timeless parables with practical financial advice for today’s times, The Solomon Secret presents seven simple principles to live by and their influence on …

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50% off “Sunset Limited” | Half-off Braves tickets | BOGO “South Pacific” | Meal deal: Pizzeria Venti

BOGO on “South Pacific”

“South Pacific” is playing at the Fox Theatre April 6-11. Travelzoo.com has a buy one, get one free offer available through March 31 for performances on April 6 and 7. Ticket prices range from $10 and $25 each for the BOGO offer. Use promo code TZOO when making your purchase. Fees ranging from $5.60 and $7.65 will be added onto each ticket.

50% off “Sunset Limited”

Save 50 percent tickets to Theatrical Outfit’s “Sunset Limited.” This limited special ticket price is offered by Scoutmob.com. There’s a limit of four tickets per purchase and the tickets, regularly-priced at $35, have to be used by April 11. “Sunset Limited” is written by Cormac McCarthy, who also penned “No Country for Old Men.”

50% off Braves tickets

Atlanta Braves tickets for games Sundays through Thursdays (excluding April 5 and July 4) are 50 percent off when you purchase online using promo code GASSOUTH. Outfield Pavilion tickets are $12 (regularly priced at $24) and Upper Box seats …

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Poll: When should kids get a job?

My very first job was working on my aunt’s ice cream truck. During the hot Florida summers, I’d ring the bell and yell “Ice Cream!!” out the little side window. She also made me double as a tutor for elementary school kids.

I was only 13 and although I can barely remember, I’m sure my “pay” was little more than $10 or $20. A couple years later, I was working at McDonald’s. I’ve worked ever since, either during the summers as a student or year-round. I still remember this being a point of tension for my parents.

Mom: “I think she should work.”

Dad: “She’s going to have to work the rest of her life. There’s no need to rush into it.”

I’m not sure who was right.

Do you think kids should start working as soon as they are old enough? Is it, at the age of 15, an essential step in financial literacy? Or, are these things young people will eventually learn anyway, perhaps while working a part-time job while in college?

When should a young person start working?

  • Don’t delay. …

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Kids in free at Hawks game | Six Flags White Water hiring 500 | Save $25 on Atlanta 2-Day registration | Plus a bonus…

Free cookie at Atlanta Bread

How many times have you gone to Atlanta Bread with the intent of eating a healthy salad, but end up adding one of those delicious desserts onto your ticket as well? Well, I’m not placing blame — and not making you feel guilty, either. In fact, here’s a way to get a free cookie. Become a Facebook fan of Atlanta Bread and get a coupon for a free cookie. No purchase is necessary and the deal is valid until June 15.

Josh Smith and Joe Johnson celebrate. Photo credit: Curtis Compton

Josh Smith and Joe Johnson celebrate. Photo credit: Curtis Compton

Atlanta Hawks kids day

The Atlanta Hawks have secured a postseason berth. I’m sure that doesn’t mean they’ll put it on cruise control the remainder of the season. There are still games to be played, including Sunday’s against the Indiana Pacers. It also happens to be Kids Day, which means kids 12 and under get a free ticket with the purchase of each adult ticket. The game is Sunday, March 28, at 3:30 p.m. at Philips Arena.

500 jobs at Six Flags White Water

Six Flags White …

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March Madness bracket: Worst Company In America?

The majority of college basketball brackets were torn to shreds after Kansas laid an egg against Northern Iowa last weekend.

If you’ve given up on the hard-court version of March Madness, you might find this one just as intriguing — and fun!

So, what’s your pick to win it all, the 2010 Worst Company In America? Consumerist.com put this bracket together to help you voice your displeasure with a twist.

Who wins – Toyota or GM? AT&T or Verizon? Citibank or Bank of America? KMart or Walmart?

The search kicks off with 32 nominees, including repeat competitors like Bank of America and Comcast. Nominations for the contest, which runs through April 23, were solicited from Consumerist readers.

“Bad customer service and bad business decisions will frustrate customers and our bracket gives consumers a place to vent those frustrations,” said Meghann Marco, Co-Managing Editor of Consumerist.com, in a released statement.  “Each year we see a few repeat nominees including Best Buy, …

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