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I'm a geek working as a distance learning specialist for a large corporation.

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United Press International - NewsTrack - Some telecommuters work in the nude For your sanity, I will stay silent on which category I am in...Working in the buff

Some of you know about the other site I had up, caddickscabin.com, that housed all my family pictures and some other stuff that less than nobody ever looked at. Well,Death of a domain: caddickscabin.com

My friend and I first saw this movie in the mid-eighties on the recommendation of a video store clerk. That was probably the best tip we ever got from aReview: Sleuth

Free Online Conference - Corporate Learning: Trends and Innovations : eLearning Technology I am impressed. This is a great example of putting your money where your mouth is. Tony Karrer andFree Online Corporate Learning Conference

The Simple Dollar » Everything You Ever Really Needed to Know About Personal Finance on the Back of Five Business Cards Lately I've felt like Trent was recycling the same advicePersonal Finance on 5 business cards

Alright, I'm confused. How could my theme CSS have been reverted back to default? Does that mean someone hacked my site? If so, I guess I'm fortunate that only myTheme of the day... confusion

[update: I've since started using the Anarchy plugin, which also makes standard hyperlinks playable, and though I'm on the fence about which technology I like better for audio (I gotMaking MP3s playable on a website, the easy way

To continue with the theme of my last post... Clark Aldrich talked about the similarities of video games and training simulations in one of his blogs for ASTD's Learning Circuits: Computer gamesVideo games and simulations

Andre Agassi began the end of his professional tennis career tonight with a great match vs. Andrei Pavel. Like many people, I've been watching Andre Agassi for almost his entire career.Agassi's last first round win

Okay, the term "Web 2.0" is utterly useless, but you gotta admit, there's some cool stuff out there. Instead of listing all the cool apps that will make your life wonderful,Web 2.0 applications / free conferencing

Hicks Picks 9 - Slice of Scifi AUGH! This is annoying. “Stargate” movies delayed The direct-to-home-theater “Stargate” movies are coming–but it’s going to take a bit longer than expected. 20th Century Fox toldStargate SG-1 DVD movies delayed

Lee posted his "Nerd badge" score recently. He failed to get it, and rightly so. Not because of any lack of nerd-dom on his part, but because of the idiocyThe Nerd Badge is invalidly valid, therefore I get one

Yeah, I know it's January, but I just saw this and couldn't pass it up. Wow. I appreciate the sentiment, but this is someone with WAAAAY too much time (and money)A late Christmas overload

This excites me on many levels. It's so simple, and yet so cool. It's not at all new either. In fact, there's a multi-award winning film that uses something very similarA colorful cavalcade of classical coolness

Well, another year has come and gone. In just a few hours it'll be 2009. Lots of people all around the planet are gearing up for some serious, I-can't-remember-what-I-did-last-night celebrations.Mundane New Year's Eve

Saving money thru the power of cluelessness

Earlier this year I had the windows in my house replaced. This cost more money than I had on hand, so I took the loan offered through the company who sold me the windows. Aside from an 11% interest rate, there were terms that would give me time to get a better loan at a lower rate, at which point I was going to pay off the original loan.

So, life happened and time went on. I was delayed in getting the new loan slightly, but managed to get it within a short time of the original loan beginning to accrue interest.

I called this morning to get the payoff amount for the original loan. They quoted an amount including $370 of interest. I said thank you, and hung up, ready to write a check.

Then I thought about it for a minute and realized that was way more interest than I expected, so I did some math. I computed it assuming either daily or monthly compounding, but no matter how I did it, I only came up with $160 of interest due.

$210 is a bit large of a discrepancy for me to swallow. I accept that I’m not a financial wizard, but that’s a rather big difference.

So I called back. I told them how I computed the interest and the difference I found, and asked them to explain what I was doing wrong. I knew it had to be something I was doing wrong, but I wanted to know what it was. She told me that the contract I signed was for an actuarial loan vs. a simple loan. I said, “ok. What does that mean?”

After being put on hold, the woman came back and said she’d have a loan officer call me to discuss. I said, “Great. I just want to know how the quoted payoff was calculated. Thanks.”

A few minutes later, the phone rang. It wasn’t the loan officer, it was the same lady again. This time she sounded tired… a little defeated. She reiterated that the contract I signed was for an Actuarial loan, but the loan officer decided to treat it as a simple loan, so my payoff would include just $160 of interest!

I was actually speechless for a second. A bank just ate $200 in revenue simply because I didn’t understand how an Actuarial loan worked, and they didn’t want to explain it to me. I’m positive that in reality they made no mistake in their calculations. They were legitimately owed the full $370. But simply because I asked how they got that number, I saved $210. That’s just awesome!

The lesson for today: if you don’t understand something, ask a question. Worst case scenario is that you’ll learn something. Or maybe you’ll save some dough!

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