Archive | Spending Smart

Of Calories and Cash

There are a number of parallels between the worlds of nutrition and finance. On the negative side, people tend to describe a budget in the same terms they use to describe a diet – it’s something one goes on, as in, “Poor Brian, he’s on a budget.” However, as was pointed out in a New […]

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How to Spot a Lemon

This sure seems like a good time to buy a car with all the incentives being offered by ailing carmakers. However, a deal isn’t a deal unless you were in the market for the item anyway. And I’m a strong believer in keeping vehicles as long as possible. But if you really _are_ in the […]

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Dialing for Dollars

Times are tough, which means service providers are especially intent on keeping their customers, and that’s making it easier to negotiate better rates.  ABC News profiled one man who systematically called everyone from his cable provider to his health club and said, “I need to save some money. I know you get it. Can you […]

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Under the Financial Microscope

By now you’re aware of the importance of keeping your credit score strong by paying your credit card bills, mortgage, and other loans on time and keeping your credit utilization (how much of your available credit you use) low (10 percent or less is best). But did you know that paying your phone bill late […]

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Who Cares What People Think?

How do you feel about a person ahead of you in a store checkout line who is using coupons? Do you think to yourself, “Now there’s a smart shopper”? Or do you think, “What a cheapskate”?  The New York Times reported on a study in which people using low-value coupons (50 cents off on a […]

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Living Well on $44k

How did you do on finding holiday gift deals this year? Can you beat this: 27 gifts for $90? As reported on TODAY, that’s just the latest in a long list of amazing money moves executed by Steve and Annette Economides, who have turned smart shopping into an extreme sport. The Arizona couple, along with […]

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Overdraft Protection For Less

More than three-quarters of all banks automatically enroll their customers in the most expensive form of overdraft protection. That’s a key finding from a new FDIC survey, as reported by MarketWatch. If you are among the 25 percent of people who spend more than is in your checking account at some point in a given […]

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Gift Card Watch-Outs

Despite a raft of bad publicity, gift cards continue to be a popular choice among holiday shoppers. If you give or receive a gift card this year, Consumer Reports offers some helpful advice. For givers, the magazine suggests steering clear of retailers that are known to be struggling (it’s tough to redeem a card from […]

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Gifts That Last

When shopping for gifts this year remember that the least expensive items are not always the best deals. Be sure to also consider how long a gift may last. As we considered what to buy our kids this year we were mindful of all the broken toys that fill our toy bins. So, we’re giving […]

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Deals That Delight

One upside to a down economy is that lots of products are on deep discount before Christmas. But which deals will truly satisfy? According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, behavioral economists and psychologists have found that products that enrich your relationship with friends or family members rate the highest on the satisfaction scale. […]

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