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Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel Book Review and Giveaway!

I had the opportunity to review Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel and boy, am I sure glad I did.  It is H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S!  I actually laughed out loud a number of times (and I must say, getting me to do that while reading something is pretty hard).

Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel is written by Phil Vallarreal.  If you don’t know who he is, I have to be honest with you, you’ve been living under some sort of rock because he’s one of the writers/ contributors to the Consumerist.  He’s also a syndicated film critic for the Arizona Daily Star and also contributes to OK! Magazine.

I had no idea he was this funny (sorry, Phil, I follow you on twitter, but I suppose it’s hard to capture that amazing sense of humor in 140 characters at one time).  Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel is funny.  At parts, it’s almost so funny that you feel guilty and sheepish to be laughing about it, and more importantly, you feel shocked that someone would actually say something like that out loud, let alone publish it in a book.

Basically, the book give 100 dirty little money-grubbing secrets that will help you save money.

Some of my favourites are:

  • Double your Pleasure, Double your Fries– in which the tip is to use ice cubes to make your fries soggy.  After you’ve eaten the fries before you dumped the ice cube on it to make it soggy, go to the restaurant employees and demand new fries because your fries are soggy.
  • Tupperware Thief- when you go to parties, look pathetic taking home something wrapped in saran wrap or aluminum foil.  More often than not the host will make sure you have some Tupperware to take it home in (and we all know how much Tupperware can cost).  The only thing Phil says you have to deal with is the passive aggressive parting shot “oh don’t worry about bringing that container home soon- I’ll hunt you down for it if need be”.  LOL love it!
  • The Legend of the Cubic Zirconium Heirloom- Now, I must warn you this tip was found in the last part of the book (which is, in my perspective, the funniest section labelled “Gross, Mean, and Just Plain Wrong…”).  He talks about giving your future fiance a cubic zirconium ring and calling it a heirloom ring passed down to you from your mother.  Adding some sort of sentimental story to it increases its luster even more.  The author denies having used this tactic himself though.
  • Double Movies-  Reading this excerpt made me think of my teenage days- going to an early film and then staying there until you see the next film in another theatre room.  Who hasn’t done that before?  It’s just a lot harder to do it as an adult lol, I would think.

There are some great tips in here that even I have tried (but I won’t tell you which ones) or that I think would absolutely work (the trick where he avoids going to concerts with his long term girlfriend by acting like a total jerk at the concert and embarrassing her… then apologizing profusely for a few days afterwards).  That one, he has tried and now he’s married to his long term girlfriend.

Some of the most useful ones involved negotiating, complaining (which I am obviously good at LOL), and “sticking it to the man” (aka big bad corporate America).

If you’re easily offended (especially with things that don’t sound ethical) then I would probably not read this, but if you like sarcasm, cynicism, and quick humor, this is a great read and will have you laughing (and learning) about some crazy ways to save money.

Secrets of  a Stingy Scoundrel Giveaway

This book is worth $15.95 and it will be worth even more because I’m going to be shipping it out to you.  Good luck and thanks for reading!  Contest ends February 7, 2012.

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Weekend Ramblings and PF Blog Love: H&R Block Tax Software Giveaway Canadian Edition (cont'd)

I STILL haven’t gotten around to testing the waters to see roughly how much my tax refund (or perhaps tax owing, now that I started a blog!) is for 2010.

Last week, youngandthrifty.ca was giving away an H&R Block at Home Premium Edition (worth $34.95USD) for the neighbours south of the border.  I think the only person who signed up was Helly from Heckled TrioSo congratulations Helly! I’ll send you over the codes for your tax filing enjoyment :)

This week, CANADIANS can rejoice as H&R Block from Canada approached me to see if I was interested in giving away Canadian versions of the H&R Block Do-It-Yourself Tax Software (a $34.99 CAD value).

H&R Block Do-It-Yourself Tax Software Giveaway

Here is the “411” so to speak, on the the Do It Yourself Tax software:

  • tax time Pictures, Images and PhotosNetfile Certified
  • It allows the user to do up to 16 tax returns on it(you can do it for your whole family.. and friends! You’ll be the most popular guy or girl on the block- guaranteed lol)
  • includes free Audit Assistance (a $75 value)- basically this means that God forbid if you ever get audited by the Canada Revenue Agency, you just need to bring your documents etc. to the local H&R Block and their tax professionals will deal with it for you (which saves you from the auditing nightmare)
  • and also includes Canadian Tax Tips for Dummies (I think it’s a PDF version of it, not the hard copy)
  • It carries forward for you (saves you time next year)
  • Prepares anything from rental income to investment income etc.
  • You can choose to print it or do Netfile (I’m print it myself, my accountant in the past said if you use Netfile, you get audited more often)

By now, you should have received all your T4’s so you can get ready for tax season!  Who else is as excited as me?

Here’s how you enter for a chance to win ONE of FIVE H&R Block Do It Yourself Tax software codes:

  • Subscribe to youngandthrifty.ca (either via RSS or email) and comment that you did so (I need your email to send you the codes).
  • If you already subscribe, thank you!  Just comment below and I hope that you win because you are a loyal reader 😉
  • For an EXTRA ENTRY Tweet:  “H&R Block Do It Yourself Canadian Tax Software giveaway ($35 value) via @youngandthrifty http://bitly.com/dKFyJ9” but you must also comment below that you did so and already be a subscriber to be eligible for the extra entry
  • Winners will be selected by random.org
  • Contest runs until next Thursday (to give you enough time to do your taxes, of course) March 10 at midnight PST


Now onto some PF Blog Love:

Weekend Ramblings and PF Blog Love: H&R Block Tax Software Giveaway Edition

Yessiree Bob, it’s TAX TIME again!  I’m getting my T4’s, T3’s and T5’s in and anticipating my glorious refund.  I am hoping it’s hefty!  I’ve definitely jumped a tax bracket this year and I hope that I have enough deductions to keep my net income for 2010 below the said tax bracket.  This year, I won’t make the mistake of jumping the gun and I’ll wait until I make sure I get everything sent to me before I send off my tax return.  I ended up having about 2 Reassessments done last year because I didn’t get all my tax receipts…the reassessments were for my benefit, but it was still a hassle.  Speaking of taxes and tax preparation….

Finally, I’ve got something the give away just for youngandthrifty.ca’s American readers!  H&R Block approached me to see if I was interested in giving away 6 free redemption codes of H&R Block At Home Premium Edition online Tax Prepration for US Tax Returns (the Premium Edition- worth a whopping $49.95!) for federal returns.  It includes sales tax, so that’s actually worth $55 each code!  So we’re actually giving away $330 worth of stuff from H&R Block.

H & R Block logo Pictures, Images and Photos

According to H&R Block, this edition is: “For most tax payers, including homeowners, investors, the self-employed and rental property owners.”

All H&R Block tax prep solutions include:

  • Maximum refund guarantee – finds all the deductions and credits you’re entitled to
  • Free federal e-filing – get your refund in as few as eight days
  • Accurate calculations guarantee and free audit support
  • Easy importing of your W-2, 1099 and last year’s info (even if H&R Block didn’t do your taxes)

With the codes, you can start working on your return here, and when you complete it, you will be prompted for payment.  There will be an option to enter a key code for payment.  That key code will be yours if you win the giveaway!  Each state tax filing is an additional $34.95 though, if you want to file your state taxes.  As you probably know, taxes for the USA are due April 18 this year.

A few other PF bloggers were hosting the same giveaway too (including Bucksome Boomer, Consumerism Commentary, Moolanomy, Wealth Informatics, & Digerati Life, but I think the prizes are already drawn and I’m actually the last of the batch, so if you want to win, here’s your chance!

To enter the giveaway:

All you got to do is to subscribe to youngandthrifty.ca and leave a comment (it can be a comment of what you ate for lunch today, if you want… I just need your email address).  If you already subscribe, THANK YOU,  you just need to please leave a comment and I’ll enter you.  Also, one important thing to note is that you have to be filing US taxes.  Just in case you didn’t read it above.

6 winners will be chosen via random.org

The contest closes March 3, 2011 at midnight PST and I will announce the winner March 4, 2011.

Good luck!

PF Blog Love:

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