Personal Finance Roundp

And It All Comes Down to This… [Wall Street Journal] “Here, culled from my two decades as a personal-finance writer, are eight simple suggestions.”

7 money ‘rules’ you can ignore [MSN Money] “Blindly following generic money guidelines might be better than ignoring financial issues altogether. But a little thinking now will probably be rewarded later.”

Retailers Expand Customer-Loyalty Programs [Smart Money] “Here are five recent trends shoppers should take advantage of.”

Overlooked Tax Deductions for Last-Minute Filers [Yahoo Finance] “Here are some questions to ask yourself so you don’t miss opportunities to reduce your 2007 tax bill.”

Fuzzy Tax Talk [Kiplinger] “The presidential candidates are sketchy on the details, but here’s what we know about their plans to modify the tax code.”

(Photo: danesparza)


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  1. captamericaplanet says:

    how about avoiding the scam known as default choices?

  2. kittenfoo says:

    instead of all these loyalty reward points and partnerships and member cards … couldn’t a person just decide to buy a lot less crap he/she doesn’t need?

  3. milk says:

    @kittenfoo: you’d think, but no.

  4. Beerad says:

    @kittenfoo: Well, yes, but I don’t know that there’s a big problem joining a rewards program for something that you already use regularly. If you’re visiting Starbucks twice a day, might as well take advantage of the program. If you find that when you travel you overwhelmingly prefer a particular hotel chain, it probably makes sense to join their thing.

    Yeah, people can go overboard and end up with 50 loyalty cards in their wallet that never get used, but as long your normal purchasing is driving the rewards and not vice-versa (ooh, if I buy the $30 upgrade instead I’ll get an extra 50 points!) I don’t think it’s that bad.

    Then again, I don’t belong to any of these programs beyond the Barnes and Noble discount card one and owning a cashback rewards credit card.

  5. Buran says:

    “For, say, Pizza Hut or Dominos, it’s easily thousands of dollars from one person over a lifetime for something as relatively low-ticket as pizza.”

    Yeah. I was in the Pizza Hut program (made well, I do like their pizza occasionally) but I was apparently dropped and all mention of the program is gone from their website.

    Nice choice of example.

  6. bohemian says:

    The straightforward rewards programs I don’t mind. Some of them either put too much complexity or make any reward unattainable.
    The pharmacy rewards one through Target is pretty cool. Not only do we get the rewards from the program we randomly get 10% off anything coupons and bundles of store coupons they don’t put in the paper.
    We have had pretty good luck with rewards programs for things we buy frequently, basic clothes, hair products. They need to start one for groceries and gas though.

  7. BigElectricCat says:

    Even if you don’t have an affinity credit card (e.g. one that earns frequent flyer miles or the like), you can still make online purchases through the airlines’ Mileage Malls and score miles for buying. And if you use an affinity card or a cashback card, you can double-dip.

    Little by little, those miles add up.