Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"Recovering From Affluenza"

"Affluenza" is a clever combination of the words influenza and affluence.  The term is derogatory and used by critics of over-consumerism. In fact, the term was popularized by a man named Oliver James, who wrote an entire book called "Affluenza".

Let's face it, a lot of us have, at one point or another, been subject to this condition.  However, by sheer necessity, very few people can afford to now.

So, what I'd like to cover today are some "cures" that I've recently become aware of.

If you haven't already heard of this website, I highly recommend  The site is fantastic, especially when it comes to auto and homeowner's insurance.  I'll give an example:  I recently plugged in my auto insurance coverage details into GEICO's website.  I also got one through "lower my bills".  The latter was less than HALF!  The site is also incredibly easy to use and you receive voluminous quotes.

As to grocery shopping, in my experience nothing beats the 99cent stores  They have expanded at an incredible rate.  The website, to which I have provided a link, searches for store locations.  They're SO good, that during a recent trip to Ralph's, nearly all of the employees told me, off-the-record, that they shop at the 99cent stores!

Another phenonemal cure is the AT&T "U-Verse" program  It has an extremely attractive bundling of broadband, local and long distance phone service and a large cable TV package for about $99 per month!

Have you tried actually SPEAKING to any of your service providers?  I have.  I, also, threatend to leave unless they lowered my rates.  In each and every case, it worked!  Honestly, you may have no idea how good of a deal you can get unless you threaten them with switching to someone else.  If you're not the type to be confrontational, then have a friend do it.

Finally, I want to reiterate that there is indeed a program for mortgage relief, even for the unemployed.  I wrote about a friend's experience with Wells Fargo's program a few days ago.  Apparently, it's quite new and being offered by other banks as well.  I don't think it warrants a huge explanation right here, but you won't be aware of it if you don't call your bank and ask whether such a program exists with them.  This is so new, that it's possible your bank may not be offering it at the moment.  The article I read that drew this to my attention was dated December 4th and was published in the "Sacramento Bee".

At this point, I think we can all have some real fun.  I've put out some of my suggestions, so why don't you suggest yours?  Therefore, all of us can benefit from each other!  By the way, I do know of some other savings methods, but for the sake of brevity I'll stop here.

I would LOVE to hear any of your other money-saving ideas.

Marko's Take


  1. I'm a big fan of eBay, consignment shops, and anything "upcycled." I did try to hitch up with Geico once but that lizard rejected Moi because I admitted to owning a radar detector. What can I say? Speed limits are for wussies.

  2. Like you, I am a HUGE fan of the 99cent stores (which hilariously are now named the 99.99cent stores!) Check your receipts and you'll see that 99.99cents is actually $1! In any case, a brilliant and cheekily clever marketing ploy to remain the 99cent store.

    Thanks for your other tips and I will check out 'lower my bills'.

    I think it would be prudent for anyone and evreyone, with or without money, with or without a job' to re-direct themselves into a more frugal lifestyle for now and into the future.

    'Affluenza' was a Baby Boomer disease that has been handed down to all the generations after. I think it high time we all realize the error of our ways and get back to a more sane way of living - like... IN OUR MEANS!!! Like my father (God rest his soul) used to do way back when before he got his first credit card and got bit!!!

    I think, for a certified Baby Boomer, I have finally learned that lesson.


  3. Hi Moi:

    Thanks for your response! As a matter of fact, I've received so many response from lower my bills, that I have to actually perform an apples to apples comparison. However, I dont "Bite" those apples.

    Thanks for reading and your very funny response.

    I know, the lizard drives me nuts!


  4. Peter:

    I want to thank you for your funny and excellent response!

    I, too am a self-confessed former yuppie. My mother who IS alive, thank God was kind enough to not chastize me for my obvious reckless behavior.

    Fortunately, "Affluenza" does not require being via some government vaccine or I'm certain it would get worse!!!!!!

    Thanks again for providing a true lift to my day.


  5. Thank you! The ATT bundle sounds great! As for my 2 cents...get a library card. In addition to free knowledge in anything you can think of to further educate oneself there's free WiFi (yes, I'm here now) & free dvd's

  6. Maureena:

    As always, you're dead right! In fact, my mother does the very thing and for the very same reasons in regards to the Library!


  7. Thanks for very useful information! I would like to add one more place of very good value, especially now at Christmas Time, and for chocolate lovers like myself. SEE'S CANDIES has two discount stores open now through Dec.24, with discounts of about 30%-35%, with the same excellent quality and freshness! One of them is located at the corner of Pico and LaCienega, Tel.# 310-391-3495, the other store is Torrance, on Hwthorne Blvd. I love bargains, especially the ones of chocolate variety!!!

  8. HI BD:

    What an excellent idea! I was wondering what to get people for Christmas and this sounds like a terrific idea. And, best of all, I live within a fairly short distance of BOTH of the locations you mentioned!

  9. Marko - please don't send See's chocolates!!!! bwahahahahaha. Great post.

  10. OOOPS! THEY'RE IN THE MAIL!!!!! Damn, I forgot, you can't give them to the chihuahuas either. I know, give them to MORGAN!!!!!!!



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