Archive | Spending Smart

Shades of Green

Green is in, and that means store shelves are lined with products claiming to be environmentally friendly. However, according to an article on Smartmoney.com, many supposedly eco-friendly products are more hype than environmentally helpful. The story reported on one study of over 1,000 products with eco-friendly claims, which found all but one containing claims that […]

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Sign of the Times

A recent Time magazine cover story touted “10 Ideas That Are Changing the World.” Number 8 was “The New Austerity.” The magazine explained that there have been many times throughout history when the demise of the American consumer was predicted. But now we may be witnessing the real deal, with people resorting to such radical […]

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Price Matching

Savvy shoppers know that many retailers have either formal or informal price-matching policies, so it pays to do some comparison-shopping. For example, at Circuit City, if you find a lower advertised price at another local store, the retailer promises to beat the price by 10 percent of the difference. Or, if you buy something from […]

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Help for Hagglers

In a recent post, a story about haggling generated several reader tips such as the following: Ask for a price match. Miriam found that the office supply store Staples “didn’t quibble a bit” when asked to match a competitor’s price. Ask for more than a match. Dan discovered that Best Buy would not only match […]

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Name Your Price

Haggling has long been an assumed part of the home- and car-buying experience. But in a down economy more and more retailers, including Best Buy and Home Depot, are going along when people ask for a better price. And not just on big-ticket items. One clothing store shopper profiled in a New York Times article […]

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Click and Save

With food prices on the rise, it’s time to reconsider the lowly coupon. You know, those “free standing inserts” that come in the Sunday paper only to end up on the bottom of the birdcage. According to an article in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, a mere two percent of coupons get redeemed. Perhaps the redemption rate […]

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Appealing Your Property Taxes

Fewer than two percent of homeowners try to appeal their property assessments, according to an article in Money magazine. However, the National Taxpayers Union reports that 60 percent of properties are overvalued. The Money article said an appeal will require five to 20 hours of work and most of the time you won’t need a […]

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Free Tech Support

Since leaving corporate America two and a half years ago, there’s a lot that I don’t miss: the commute, the meetings. But among the things I do miss is tech support. That’s why an article on MSNBC caught my eye. It pointed to a free online tech support service called Protonic. After creating a user […]

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You Can Pay Me Now or…

Spending money on vehicle maintenance is like flossing our teeth. A little bit of unpleasantness on a regular basis can ward off a whole lot of unpleasantness down the road. According to a Bankrate.com article, $1,000 of vehicle maintenance can prevent $8,000 of repairs. The article highlighted the need for regular oil changes, tire rotations […]

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Getting Used to Saving Money

It’s car show season, the time of year when people pay to see the latest versions of one of the fastest-depreciating items known to man (can you tell I’m not a “car guy?”). A recent article by Yahoo Finance columnist Laura Rowley encouraged readers to save their oohs and ahs for the savings they’ll generate […]

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