Need some Rewards? CAP has rewards.

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I got turned on to the CAP program through a book I read. It sounded fairly simple, so I think I’ll give it a try. The post will be sticky for awhile. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get it to work as a widget. (Yay technology!)

I will post updates as I get paid and learn more.

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Review: Kiva.org

Hey everybody:

So I was making a new loan tonight, and realized I haven’t said anything about Kiva.org on my blog yet! That is a heinous oversight that has to be remedied immediately.

I’ve been partnering with Kiva loans since 2009, when I first put in some money for a loan to a woman in Cambodia who runs a grocery store. Just the idea was so amazing that I was hooked instantly. It was almost beyond my imagination that $25 would go far enough where she lived to help put extra stock on her store shelves, and get the door on her house fixed. All that needed to happen on my end was to ease up on buying used books for a month, and maybe go without a couple other things.

The coolest part is that once I made about three or four loans the money started to recirculate itself. See, you CAN lend more, but the average amount is $25. So, as each business owner made payments, some of the funds came back to me. They sat in my Kiva portfolio as credit, waiting to go back out. Every time my inbox level reached $30 (to cover the $3 lending fee), I would send it back out to someone else. At this point, it’s like microenterprise owners around the world are lending to each other, using me and Kiva as a go-between!

Here are some screenshots from my Kiva accounts page. First, a quick overlook at my loan status:

Next, a look at how my loans break down by the gender of people I’m lending to:

Now the loans are broken down by what type of business people are in:

And lastly, a look at loans by country:

I would strongly encourage people who may not have thought about this concept to check out www.kiva.org and give serious thought to making a loan part of your giving experience.

As you can see, I’ve mostly been loaning to women. A good part of that reasoning came from studies about microenterprise I’ve read. They have found that when the lives and resources of women in different countries are strengthened, their whole communities benefit. Lately I’ve also been thinking about targeting loans to the Middle East. I mean, we’ve gone in and really bombed that area to bits. Don’t I have an obligation as an American to help rebuild it by empowering the people who live there?

If I had one wish with Kiva, it would be the ability to further target loans. I would like to be able to loan to other transgender people. Now, there are some countries where it’s just not possible to be out. But there have to be some places where having access to microenterprise could really improve the lives of transgender people.

But regardless, I am going to keep partnering with Kiva, because good work gets done there, and I’ve never seen $25 do so much! Do look into it folks.

Fanslave v. Fandealer

Hey folks:

You may have seen the Fandealer banner I put up on the side of my blog. Fandealer is a site where people can get paid for liking Facebook pages or +1 something on Google, following Twitter accounts, or liking Youtube videos. It’s similar to Fanslave, another “pay for Like” service. So, which one do I like better?

I’d have to go with FanDealer, and here’s why.

First, Fanslave is strictly Facebook likes, while Fandealer also works with Google, Twitter, and Youtube. This means more chances to earn money. Second, Fanslave has been down quite a few times since I joined. It can also be a little hard to use. Fandealer, on the other hand, is a sharp, clean, easy to use site.

The hard thing about both sites is that earning money is a really slow process. Even logging in every single day since I joined has only earned me around 2 Euro on each site. You can’t cash out until you’ve earned 15 euro. If my earnings rate holds steady, it’ll probably be four months before I can cash out.

I think the main point here, aside from Fandealer is the higher quality of the two sites, is that neither of these should be used as primary income gainers. Even though it only takes five minutes to deal with each site, it’s still a bit of a time suck for the amount of reward.

Log in for the fun of getting paid to like pages. But do realize that if you’re concerned about your facebook security and would rather keep your page private, this isn’t for you.

 

Credit Unions: For Perfect People Only?

Well, I did it again. I went over to BECU this morning and tried to open an account. *sigh* I thought that since I had paid off the Chexsystems issue about four months ago, things would be okay. Nope. Chexsystems STILL had the US Bank thing listed as unpaid. Which means no BECU account for me.

The lady I talked to (different one from the first time) said that even if I came in with a letter from US Bank saying it had been paid off, they aren’t allowed to override their computers and open an account. And apparently, Chexsystems can leave that on my report for up to FIVE YEARS.

You know, I feel a bit like a high school outcast trying to get a date with the prom queen. This just isn’t going to happen. The credit union crowd sits at the popular table in the school cafeteria, and I’m never going to be allowed to put my books on that table, much less eat there.

Hmm..I did notice one thing though when I visited the Chexsystems website just now. In their FAQs, they provide this handy piece of information:

My account was paid. Why wasn’t the report removed?  A reporting member is under no obligation to remove an accurate report of account mishandling due to payment of monies owed. However, the member is obligated to update the report with a paid in full or settled in full date when applicable.

Apparently I need to talk with the folks at US Bank. They haven’t done their part in reporting that I cleared this up.

But to continue on…I can’t let this stop me from moving my money. It’s no longer about the fees Wells Fargo is trying to bring back. It’s about their money they’ve invested in private prisons. I can’t abide it. Those prisons are a form of slavery targeting people of color that’s even more insidious than our publicly funded systems, because there’s much less oversight. I don’t have a lot of money in my account, but it’s the principle of the thing.

So, I need to find something else. Since credit unions are for the popular kids, I’ll check into local banks I guess. I’d hate to go back into the alternative financial sector (a fancy word for payday loans, check cashing places, etc), but I will if it’s the only way to stop supporting this investment.

As always, I’ll report back and let you know. 🙂

Starting May 4th: Wells Fargo fee waivers now even harder to get

I got a message in my inbox from Wells Fargo the other day. Starting May 4th, transferring money back and forth between linked accounts will no longer be an easy way to waive their $10 monthly fee. Now you have to either have more money, or juggle things around like this:
“You can waive the current $10 monthly service fee when you have three additional linked accounts or services (such as a Wells Fargo debit card, savings account, online banking or direct deposit) and one of the following:

  • Maintain a $1,500 minimum daily balance, OR
  • Maintain a qualifying monthly direct deposit of $500 or more1, OR
  • Maintain a monthly automatic loan payment from this Package checking account to a Wells Fargo home equity/personal loan or line of credit, or Wells Fargo Home Mortgage® loan”         (Source: my Wells Fargo message inbox)

I’m not staying. As soon as my May “Qualifying Direct Deposit” (SSDI) drops in, I’ll be closing my Wells account for good. Of course, there’s another big reason to get out that I just found out about last week.

Wells Fargo is the second largest stockholder in a private prison company called GEO Group. Now, full disclosure, I worked for six months at a private juvenile prison in Missouri. Even though they pretended to care about the kids and rehabilitating, it was still an awful place. And the private adult prisons are worse.

So next week I better go back up to BECU again and see if they’ll let me open an account. Because it’s not just about the fees. I could waive those with my direct deposit. I cannot let my money support private prisons, especially since I know better.

If you want to read the full fee message, it’s below the fold. I’ve included for an FYI, and because I know there are other folks like me who skim stuff and throw it out. This one’s important. Thanks to the customer service folks who put it back for me. 🙂

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JobSearch Thursday: Classifieds

I know, so much more job hunting these days goes on far beyond newspaper help wanteds these days. But still, why leave any stone unturned in this economy? Have at it!

Helpwanted.com: http://www.helpwanted.com/

NW Jobs/Seattle Times: http://www.nwjobs.com/

Wenatchee Worlds: http://jobs.wenatcheeworld.com/

Aberdeen Daily World: http://jobs.thejobnetwork.com/nphomepage.aspx?AffiliateId=805

Bellingham Herald: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/jobs/#navlink=navbar

Centralia Chronicle: http://chron-www2.chronline.com/classifieds/

The Mining Journal: http://jobs.miningjournal.net/home/

 

The Student Loan Scheme

Most of us know by now, usually through direct experience, what a Mafia inspired deal the student loan industry is. But I haven’t seen anything lay it out in detail quite like this graphic before.

Enjoy!