Top 17 Most Useful Posts Of 2008

Here are the 17 of the most popular (as determined by Google Analytics pageviews) of our “news you can use” variety for 2008. If you don’t learn at least one thing from one of these posts that saves you money, something is wrong with your brain.

25 Most Expensive Colleges For 2008-2009

“Here are the 25 most expensive colleges for 2008-2009, based on total cost (tuition + room and board). Whooie, this is some pricey book-learnin’.”

Reader Pays Off $14,330 In 20 Months With Our Tips

“Stuck in a $14,300 debt hole, reader Trixare4kids was able to dig herself out using tips she learned about on Consumerist.com. Let’s learn how she attacked her personal finances and learned to live frugally, and did it all in 20 months”

Top 9 Good Habits For A Deep Recession

“For many of us, this is the first recession where we are responsible for our own financial well-being. How should we react? What habits are important during a long, deep recession? Here’s 9.”

Do Coat Hangers Sound As Good Monster Cables?

“Can you tell the difference between music that passed through a pricey Monster stereo Cable, and a coat hanger? A reader forwarded us a post from the Audioholics Home Theater Forum and its author says no.”

It’s Now Completely Impossible To Sell A Laptop On Ebay

“The cool thing about eBay’s support system is it will always answer your question; unfortunately, that answer will always be a form letter on how to reset your password, as Timothy discovered when he tried to figure out how to sell his laptop to someone who wasn’t a Nigerian scammer. Timothy has learned the awful truth behind today’s eBay—something many readers here already know—which is that it’s become virtually impossible to sell any sort of medium-to-high end electronics there anymore.”

7 Confessions Of An Apple Macintosh Specialist

“It was a dark and stormy night, and the Consumerist team was hunkered down at HQ poring over leads. Suddenly, we heard a ruckus coming from the alley. Footsteps, followed by the sound of breaking glass and a cat crying out as if to say, “OMGWTF?” We ran out to see who it was, but by the time we got there they were long gone. Only the noise of faint footsteps could be heard dissolving into the distant hum of the night. I glanced down and spotted something on the ground. As I knelt down to pick it up I saw it was a tattered white envelope bearing the words, “7 Confessions of an Apple Mac Specialist.” Its contents, inside…”

10 Things You Might Not Know About Your Credit Card

“As you might imagine, we get a lot of questions about using credit cards. Based on those piles of emails we’ve put together a list of 10 things a lot of people don’t know about credit cards. Enjoy!”

7 Lies You’ll Hear From Salesmen At Electronics Stores

“Future Shop is a Canadian consumer electronics retail chain. Charlie used to work there, and has now passed along the 7 most common lies he heard salesmen use on unsuspecting customers. Whether you have a Future Shop in your area or not, you’ll find these lies familiar.”

SNL Skit: Don’t Buy Stuff You Can’t Afford

“SNL offers a revolutionary debt and money-management program. Chris Parnell teaches Steve Martin and Amy Poehler the secret to financial success. It’s all detailed in a new book called, “Don’t Buy Stuff You Can’t Afford.” Every debtor in America should read it.”

Top 10 Norton/Symantec Secrets You Shouldn’t Know

“I awoke this morning to find a dead man on my doorstep, apparently from the gunshot wound to his back. By examining the depth of the tread marks and the streak of blood on the walls, I determined that he had dragged himself up after receiving the fatal bullet. I cleaned up the pool of blood with some extra-thirsty Brawny towels, and rifled the pockets of his black trench coat to find a package addressed to “The Consumerist.” A hastily scrawled coversheet read, “Please keep my identity secret, I could lose my job. I have compiled a “10 Norton/Symantec secrets I shouldn’t be telling you” list.” Too late. Someone already punched his pink slip. Let’s read what was inside…”

America’s Most Unhealthy Drinks Exposed

“Whether you are on a hardcore diet trying to lose major pounds or just someone trying to stay in good shape, you should be aware that there are a lot of so-called “healthy” drinks out there that will do you more harm than good. To help you steer clear of these devilish drinks, Men’s Health has compiled a small list of 5 of some of the most unhealthy drinks.”

7 Confessions Of A Verizon DSL Tech Support Rep

“A former employee has stepped forward to tell us what it’s like to work as tech support rep in a Verizon DSL call center. Learn about how the supervisors aren’t really supervisors, the numbers and call times the reps have to meet to keep their jobs (and the sneaky tricks they use to meet these numbers), and more…”

What To Do When A Store Sells You Box Of Crap And Won’t Take It Back

“We get a lot of complaints about people buying things from stores like Best Buy and Target and finding that once they get them home — there’s a bunch of bathroom tiles in the box instead of the item, or that the item is used, broken or smashed. When they try to return the thing, the store tells them that they’re out of luck. When you ask why they think they can get away with selling you a paperweight instead of an XBOX, they point to some bullsh*t policy and send you on your way. You don’t have to put up with this. In this post, we’ll tell you a) How to keep this from happening to you in the first place. b) How to equip yourself with tools that will help you in the event that this does happen to you. c) How to take advantage of these tools so that you never get stuck with someone’s old broken PS3.”

Just Say ‘Yes’ To Telemarketers

“Want to drive a telemarketer crazy and amuse yourself at the same time? Here’s an example of how to do it. The secret, apparently, is to make every third or fourth yes mean something entirely new through the magic of inflection—but you’ll have to stay committed to it even when the telemarketer catches on, which may result in a self-inflicted insult.”

America’s 10 Most Stressful Cities

“Forbes magazine has put together a list of America’s most stressful cities and as a product of Chicago, the winner of the dubious distinction of being America’s most stressful city, I have this to say: “Yeah, so? Shut up and let me eat my hot dog in peace for once, goddamn it. No, I’m not yelling. Why are you always saying that I’m yelling? It’s not like you never yell! Pass the sport peppers before this gets ugly.””

Top 5 “Financial Meltdown” Themed Scams To Avoid

“Kiplinger’s has an article that lists a few “financial meltdown” themed scams that are out there taking advantage of people lately. There are some old favorites and some new ones, too. “

5 Expenses To Cut Right Now If You’re In Debt

“Let’s say that like so many storied former-investment-banking-giants, you, the average consumer, have found yourself over-leveraged (wink, wink) and are looking to clean up your act before the whole thing falls down around you like the house of cards it is. Well, since you can’t increase revenue at will, you’ll have to decrease your costs. Where should you start? Here are 5 expenses that you can cut right now — so you can take the extra cash and throw it at your debt.”

(Photos: Getty, lemonjenny, madmarch, Maulleigh, Monotasker, The Joy Of The Mundanemsmail)