Happy Shopping Frenzy Week! Marketers no longer want to confine Black Friday to the last Friday in November, and instead have started the festivities as early as Nov. 2. Fine. Now we’re heading into the final week of Deal Season. Yet something isn’t a deal just because a retailer’s ad tells you it is. How do you navigate layers of discounts and know what a fair price for something is in the first place? [More]
A 73-year-old man in Louisiana did not originally start saving all of his pennies as a fun personal finance hack. He says that he began the habit 45 years ago as a reminder to pray every day. His collection grew with the help of a friend who had a similar collection of nickels and by simply holding on to every penny that passed through his hands. [More]
There are times––say, a major food-oriented holiday––that it comes in handy to have a spare refrigerator to store a case of soda, a thawing turkey, or a half-dozen boxes of wine. Usually, though, that second fridge sits empty, not doing much. Do you know what it’s mostly doing? Wasting energy, and your money. [More]
Looking for a reasonably-priced but effective laundry detergent? Consider signing up for a warehouse club if you aren’t already a member of one. Our high-efficiency colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports just put out their list of great performers at reasonable prices, and two of the top three are house brands from Sam’s Club (Member’s Mark) or Costco (Kirkland). Non-members can check out Wisk Deep Clean instead. [More]
Are you looking for new ways to trick yourself into building up your savings account? Maybe you found the Four-Dollar Gas Savings Club concept appealing, but aren’t interested because you don’t own a car, or have trouble subtracting from four. Okay. Do you ever make silly impulse purchases? Maybe a different savings plan would work for you. [More]
Retailer coupons can be your ticket to great deals, but what happens when you forget to clip or bring along your coupon? If you know when to ask, sometimes the store will have your back. If not, these stores often have coupon-stuffed flyers at the entrances, or smartphone apps you can use to dial up your own.
When you hear someone mention that stockpiling food and toiletries might be a good idea, it’s not just because they’re watching a “Doomsday Preppers” marathon. I mean, they might be, but that’s not why creating your own grocery stockpile is a good idea. Building your own stash of food and toiletries keeps you prepared for natural disasters and financial crises, and lets you take advantage of stores’ normal sale cycles.
Pick your head up out of that pint of Ben & Jerry’s and step away from the online sales you’ve been clicking through to fill that hole in your heart. A new study claims that when you’re down in the dumps, sad or otherwise singing the blues, you’re more prone to make silly decisions about your money. And come on, you don’t really need another pair of black boots. [More]
Yes, it’s pretty much consumer common sense that the “list” prices that companies use to convince us how great their bargains are can be more or less nonsense. Anyone can make their own list, then put prices on it. Just in case you need a refresher, though, here are two great reader-submitted examples of discount prices that aren’t all that discounted. [More]
You might have a good set of tactics while shopping at your local supermarket. But are you savvy to the subtle ways food stores (and other retailers) get you to buy more? There might be a few tricks you’ve fallen prey to in the past.
Yeah, buying generics drugs instead of their snazzy brand name versions could stifle an allergy, calm a nasty cough or banish that throb on the cheap. But at more than half the price?
How many times has this happened to you? You’re at your neighborhood drugstore, picking up meds, when you remember you need shampoo or maybe some other personal care product as well. You’re at the store, they have the what you need… But are you gonna get hosed at the checkout?
Some insurance agencies are enticing customers by offering “vanishing deductibles” on car insurance policies. Purportedly meant to encourage safe driving, the plans take, say, $100 off customers’ deductibles for each year they don’t file a claim. For example, if a customer’s deductible starts off at $500 and five years pass without a claim being filed, the deductible vanishes completely and the customer doesn’t have to pay anything when he finally files a claim.
Some people are so obsessed with their work that they can never envision chucking everything to begin a life of leisure, while others have spent most of their work lives counting the days until they no longer have to clock in. If you opt to jump the gun and call it a career before you hit your golden years, you’re taking a calculated risk, hoping to make your savings stretch out longer rather than spending more time to build it up before you take the plunge.
National average gasoline prices are undoubtedly heading for the $4 per gallon mark. And the offers of cash back or other rewards at your local station — where gas prices are probably a lot higher — may look awfully tempting. But don’t think you’ll reap windfalls if you sign up for that new gas station credit card!
If you pulled in more money than you’re used to making — especially if it came from untaxed work — you could be facing a higher-than-expected tax bill that will grow even higher due to a prepayment penalty of 3 or 4 percent if you owe more than $1,000. There’s not much you can do to avoid the penalty for your 2011 taxes, but you can take steps to avoid it next time.
Juggling parenthood and college classes is no easy feat, and even tougher when you consider the financial side of the equation. Any scholarships out there help, and it so happens that there are several out there earmarked for mothers attempting to better their career prospects by earning degrees.
Some workout enthusiasts rationalize paying a lot of money for gym memberships by telling themselves that the financial commitment makes them work out more often to get their money’s worth. That’s just crazy talk. If you work at it, you can trim your monthly membership fees along with your waistline.