Ushering in the cashless society control grid

A bank with more than $250 billion in total assets says it will soon terminate cash transactions in all of its branches.

The Australia-based Macquarie Bank says it will launch a plan to eliminate all cash, check and phone payment services in January, shifting to a digital operation by the end of the 2024.

“Between January 2024 and November 2024, we’ll be phasing out our cash and cheque services across all Macquarie banking and wealth management products, including pension and super accounts.

We’re also switching off our automated telephone banking service used to make payments over the phone. This means from November 2024 we’ll no longer offer cash or cheque services. Instead, you’ll be able to make payments digitally – a safer, quicker, and more convenient way to bank.”

Macquarie customers who currently deposit and withdraw cash at affiliated National Australia Bank branches will also lose that option by November.

Once the changes are rolled out, anyone who banks with Macquarie and wants to withdraw cash will be relegated to the bank’s ATMs, which allow customers to withdraw a maximum of $2,000 AUD per day.

“Customers can continue to withdraw cash from their transaction account via ATMs across Australia and overseas without fees.

However, cash deposits and branch withdrawals will no longer be available.”

ALWAYS ASK for these discounts...

Cash payment
As first reported by The Wall Street Journal, Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. plan to increase the fees they charge merchants for processing credit card payments by more than $500 million! So going forward, merchants will eagerly accept cash.

Recent transaction on a day trip to Del Norte Colorado:

Senior citizens discount
If you enroll in an AARP or Association of Mature American Citizens membership on your 50th birthday, you’ll have a head start cashing in on senior discounts. For all other discounts, the minimum age requirements vary based on the company or location and can range from 50 to 65 years of age.

A great guide is here.  For food deals,

Cheapo Remodeling >> Save Hundreds of $$$

Kitchen cabinets don't need expensive brass handles. In fact, they don't need handles at all!

Cinder blocks and 2X4 can make for great cocktail tables and entertainment centers.

With all pros and cons of wood vs composite considered, I recommend composite decking to best set your deck up for long-term enjoyment. A durable, low-maintenance Trex deck is a sound long-term investment that won’t commit you to the unwieldy regular upkeep demands of wood. 

An EV is going to cost more than gas powered vehicle

If a driver owns a Nissan Versa, Hyundai Elantra, or Kia Forte, it's set to cost them about $9.78 in gas for every 100 miles.

But switch to a Nissan Leaf or Chevrolet Bolt, and that increases to about $12.55 in home-charging expenses. Head to a commercial charger, and a driver is looking at nearly $16 — 64% more than if you stuck with a gas-powered car in the same segment.

Here is what you do when your are desperate for food

1. Free hotel breakfasts are commonly available in limited service hotels:
- Hotels like Hampton Inn, Best Western, and Holiday Inn Express offer free breakfast to guests
- There is usually no verification of guest status before accessing breakfast

2. Some hotels do try to verify eligibility for free breakfast:
- Hyatt Places has attempted to verify eligibility for free breakfast
- However, enforcement is often lax, especially for loyalty program members

3. Few people take advantage of free hotel breakfasts:
- It is surprising that more people do not show up for free breakfast
- There are TikTok videos demonstrating how easy it is to get free hotel breakfast without staying at the hotel

Strategic shopping can save you more money than coupons

Buy produce and non-perishable items that are in season:
Focus on watermelon and berries in summer and citrus in winter
Canned soup, baking supplies, cold medicines, canned fruits and vegetables, baking supplies, and oatmeal are all cheapest in winter

Use what you buy and don't buy more than you need:
Freeze or re-purpose leftovers
Avoid overbuying and throwing away food
Check for expiration dates and consider the shelf life of products

Take advantage of store loyalty programs:
Get a loyalty card to access sale prices
Earn bonuses and discounts by using your card
Clip digital coupons and automatically apply them at checkout

Learn the sale cycles of your favorite products:
Pay attention to when your favorite products go on sale
Calculate the price per unit and stock up when prices are low

Ask about markdowns and find the store clearance rack:
Inquire about unsold product markdowns with department managers
Look for discontinued products in sale bins for additional savings

Try store brands.  You will find many are just as good as national brands. Walmart's Great Value canned veggies work for us!

TextNow offers free calling and texting

TextNow lets you choose a phone number, send and receive text messages and place and receive phone calls absolutely free.

However, you’ll have to pay $0.99 for a SIM card if you want to call and text away from Wi-Fi.

There’s a paid upgrade option for $9.99 per month that allows you to get rid of advertisements.

 There are four data options to choose from ranging from $8.99 per month for 1GB of mobile data to $27.99 per month for 5GB of data.

Medicare Advantage Plans Stink

1. Medicare Advantage vs Traditional Medicare:
- Medicare Advantage plans are aggressively marketed to those turning 65, but traditional Medicare is often overlooked.
- Traditional Medicare has parts A, B, and D, and supplements, while Medicare Advantage rolls everything into one plan.

2. The Drawbacks of Medicare Advantage Plans:
- Switching from an Advantage plan to traditional Medicare can be difficult, and buying a supplement may require a medical evaluation.
- Advantage plans limit your choice of doctors and facilities, which could be detrimental in the case of a serious illness.

3. The Benefits of Traditional Medicare:
- Traditional Medicare may be more difficult to understand and have higher premiums, but it offers more options for seeking out the best care.
- With traditional Medicare, you are in control of your healthcare, while with Advantage plans, the insurer limits your care and options.


Medical Savings Accounts
An HSA is a tax-advantaged savings account that you can use to pay for qualifying healthcare expenses. HSAs can help you cover out-of-pocket costs if your health insurance policy includes a high deductible. You can also invest the money you contribute to your HSA.

Medical Tourism
Traveling abroad can save lots of money. In some countries, your hospital is like a 5-star resort!

You may have to quit a full time job and go part-time to qualify. Apply thru your states web site.

Use Direct Primary Care Clinics

Use a Bluebird® American Express® Prepaid Debit Account
Doctors are now asking for a credit card to cover what insurance does not. So put a small amount on this card and hand it to your doctor.