Fun Summer Project: Get Your Tax Records In Order!

Fun Summer Project: Get Your Tax Records In Order!

Inc. magazine has published a list of tips on how to get your home business tax documentation in order right now, so next year’s tax filing will be trouble free. Sure, this isn’t the most exciting staycation idea ever, but on the other hand anything you can do at home you can do in your underwear with a six pack of beer. I should really become a motivational speaker. [More]

Want A Good, Cheap Chardonnay This Summer? Try 7-Eleven

Want A Good, Cheap Chardonnay This Summer? Try 7-Eleven

No, seriously. According to taste tests performed by wine experts at Consumer Reports, Yosemite Road chardonnay–which is sold by 7-Eleven for around $5 a bottle–is among the top four “very good” recommendations by the magazine in its July issue. [More]

Save Money On Head Lice Removal

Save Money On Head Lice Removal

You’re a good Consumerist. You make your own kids at home. You grow your own lice in a coffee can you found on the street. You dump the lice on the kids’ heads before you send them off to school. After all that, the last thing you want to do is spend a fortune on lice removal treatments, right? You’re in luck: the New York Times says you don’t have to spend a lot of money de-lousing your itchy little child. [More]

Need Sunscreen? Here Are The Ones Consumer Reports Likes

Need Sunscreen? Here Are The Ones Consumer Reports Likes

It’s Memorial Day! There is sunshine out my window, and it’s calling me to come bathe in it! But before I go get arrested for public nudity in the park, I’m going to apply some decent sunscreen that blocks both UVB rays and UVA rays. Consumer Reports tested sunscreens recently and says these are the top 4 products in terms of effectiveness. All of them are sprays, and fortunately the top scorer is also the second cheapest in the entire test group. [More]

Why Phishing Works Even If You're Not Normally Stupid

Why Phishing Works Even If You're Not Normally Stupid

If you spend a lot of time online, you’re probably aware of phishing scams and know what to look out for. In other words, you’re not one of those ignorant types who clicks on links and starts entering personal information without hesitation. Writer and blogger Cory Doctorow is what you might call hyper-vigilant–he keeps unique passwords, uses a VPN when going online in public, and generally knows not to trust strangers. Still, he got phished a couple of weeks ago. [More]

Tips For Buying A Used Car This Year

Tips For Buying A Used Car This Year

The sorry state of the economy the past couple of years has actually led to higher prices for used cars, writes Kiplinger. That’s because more people started buying used cars, which tightened the supply while also reducing the number of fresh trade-ins. It may be a couple of years before prices drop again, but Kiplinger has some suggestions for saving money if you plan on buying a used car this year. [More]

How To Live Out Of Your Car

How To Live Out Of Your Car

A few days ago, someone posted on reddit that he was divorced, unemployed, and now living out of his car. This prompted someone who’d already had the experience to post a list of tips for the (hopefully temporarily) homeless, including safe/legal places to park, strategies for staying clean, and how to maintain social connections. How does he know all this stuff? He lived out of his truck for over a year and saved his money to pay off $17k in debt. [More]

How To Use Makeup Testers Without Giving Yourself A Disease

How To Use Makeup Testers Without Giving Yourself A Disease

Elizabeth Brooks, a professor at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, has some advice for people trying out makeup when they’re out shopping. As most people know, makeup can harbor bacteria and viruses, and shared testers are the worst offenders: Brooks tested hundreds of makeup counter samples for a study and found 100% of it was contaminated with things like staph, strep, and E. coli. [More]

How To Find A Good Local Bank

How To Find A Good Local Bank

So you’re tired of banking at one of the big, faceless national chains and want to keep your money local? You can try one of the recent sites devoted to the local bank movement, like anewwayforward.org or moveyourmoney.info, or you can follow this Kiplinger columnist’s lead and do it yourself with a little online research. [More]

Do Not Throw Coffee And Food At McDonald's Workers If You Think They Shortchanged You

Do Not Throw Coffee And Food At McDonald's Workers If You Think They Shortchanged You

Just a little friendly advice, if you’re shortchanged at the register — don’t flip out and throw coffee and food at the McDonald’s workers. [More]

Which Retail Bank Has The Best Online Service?

Which Retail Bank Has The Best Online Service?

Tom is moving here from New Zealand in a few weeks and he needs to find a bank. He writes, “I’ve checked out the major players, but the number one thing that’s turning me off is their online banking systems are horrible! I use online banking A LOT, so this is important to me. In terms of services I’d want, I need a debit card, and that’s about it. Maybe I’ve been spoiled, but this is what I’m used to.” He sent us a screen grab of his current bank’s online presence, and it’s quite attractive (see bigger screenshot below). [More]

7 Ways To Dominate Negotiations

7 Ways To Dominate Negotiations

Kentin Waits doles out some effective-sounding negotiation tips on Wise Bread. Part common sense, part Sun Tzu, the advice can serve you well in any number of situations, be it working on a deal for a house or car or asking the boss for a raise. [More]

Make Sure You Know Which Version Of Android Is On That Phone
Before Buying It

Make Sure You Know Which Version Of Android Is On That Phone Before Buying It

That brand new smartphone you want to buy may not be running the latest version of Android, reports Wired, and the manufacturer or cellular provider might like it that way. It costs money to push updates out to existing customers, assuming the hardware is compatible. Besides, carriers can charge extra fees for add-on services (like turn-by-turn navigation) that newer Android OS versions include free of charge. Check out Wired’s article for a comparison chart of the Android version on each handset. [More]

How To Take Care Of Your Dishwasher, Washing Machine, And Oven

How To Take Care Of Your Dishwasher, Washing Machine, And Oven

My friends broke the high-efficiency (H.E.) washing machine in their new apartment last year because they were using too much soap. Alina Tugend at the New York Times says it’s a common problem–one repairman told her that “most people use 10 to 15 times the amount of soap they need.” [More]

Making The Most Of Medical Expense Tax Deductions

Making The Most Of Medical Expense Tax Deductions

Kiplinger has advice on on how to maximize your medical expense deductions at tax time. You can only deduct out-of-pocket expenses that exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income, so you should try to bundle medical procedures in the same year if possible. [More]

How Do I Protect My Gullible Grandma From Psychic Scams?

How Do I Protect My Gullible Grandma From Psychic Scams?

Last week, Jon wrote to us asking how he can help protect his grandmother from falling for any more direct mail scams. She’d answered a piece from psychic Maria Duval, and subsequently her mailing address was sold to all sorts of scammers who thrive on easy marks. We suggested filing a prohibitory order via the USPS, but the core problem remains: how do you convince someone who wants to believe in psychics that she’s being lied to? [More]

How To Polish A Scratched iPhone

How To Polish A Scratched iPhone

Replacing an iPhone is expensive, which is why this guy decided to buy a heavily used and damaged one and clean it up himself. You might find the screen replacement side too daunting, but the procedure for turning a dull, scratched case into a glossy smooth one is something pretty much anyone can do. [More]

It's National Consumer Protection Week!

It's National Consumer Protection Week!

The FTC has designated this week National Consumer Protection Week, so all scams will be put on hold and businesses won’t overcharge you until next Sunday. What, no? That’s now how it works? Ah… it looks like it’s more about consumer education, which is also a good thing since that will help consumers protect themselves year round. For adults, here’s a whole page of various scam prevention tips, fact sheets, and videos. If you’re an educator, you can enroll in the National Financial Capability Challenge and get an “educator toolkit” to help you teach students how to be smart consumers. There’s a section for businesses too, with information on how to protect customers’ personal info and deter ID theft. [More]