When Sean returned a rented truck to Budget Truck Rental nearly a year ago, he went through the standard inspection with an employee, who then signed off on the return. Now the company has sent a $500 bill to collection for damage they refuse to provide evidence of.
The National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo have put together an index of the most and least affordable metro areas. The index was created by calculating what percentage of a city’s residents making the median income can afford a house in that city.
Build Your Own Home Gym For Under $100 Looking to cut costs? Working out at home isn’t as pricey as you might think. A home mini-gym can be an inexpensive way to exercise and keep up muscle strength. [CR Health]
If you’ve rented from Budget and get a $10, check in the mail, don’t sign it, reports Upgrade Travel Better. The fine print says doing so gives “Trilegiant” permission to sign you up in a monthly “discount” club with a monthly fee. Worse, it allows them to use the credit card you rented the car with to start charging the fees. Pretty sleazy.
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?
How much to spend on cable, internet and telephone is something nobody had to worry about only a few generations ago. Today, the Pew Research Center says that after housing, cable and satellite TV service was most frequently cited as a regular household expense (78%), followed by cell phones (74%) and internet service (65%). By contrast, just four-in-ten adults (42%) say they make a car payment. If you’re looking for a way to cut the amount of money you spend on these “information age” expenses, we’ve got three of them to choose from.
Consumer Reports says that despite an overall downturn in appliance purchases, one category is up 13% from last year. Freezers!
Now that the price of oil has dropped — you should expect some of those skyrocketing grocery bills you’ve been paying to drop, right? Yeah… probably not.
Yahoo! SmartMoney lists 9 sites that will help you manage your everyday budgeting. [Yahoo!]
Reader Ozzie points us to video game developer Ashley Cheng’s blog post about budget gaming. The tips are basic, but it’s good advice nonetheless.
A while back the New York Times was concerned about the cost of the Iraq War and published some estimates of what else we could have bought with that money. We didn’t find that very interesting at the time, but now, while trying to wrap our minds around just how effing huge the $700 billion proposed bailout of Wall Street really is, we decided to revisit that article. Here’s what you can buy for less than $700 billion, according to the New York Times.
- Apple: Refurbished iPod touches on sale, 8GB for $180, 16GB for $240, 32GB for $320
- Amazon: Rewards points upgrade for existing Amazon.com Visa holders
- Apple: Free Select iTunes TV Shows in HD (requires iTunes 8
Highlights From Dealnews
- Travelocity: United Airlines Sale: Round-trip flights from $108
- Amazon.com: Amazon.com Men’s Watch Deals: Timex, Marc Ecko, more from $40 + free shipping
- Sears: Seven7 Women’s Jeans for $18 + $6 s&h, more
Highlights From Buxr
- Budget Truck Rental: $50 Gift card when paying w/American Express
- Reverie: T-Shirt Sale: Buy 1 TEE get 1 free TEE
- BestBuy: Westinghouse 42″ 1080p LCD HDTV and portable DVD Player for $749.99 + shipping
Highlights From Dealhack
Reader MervinGleasner has Hello Kitty to thank for his unique method of curbing personal spending. In a comment on our “Succeed Through Self-Undermining!” post, he writes:
US News & World Report’s Alpha Consumer Blog offers a quiz to help you determine the answer to the following ever-puzzling question: Can you afford to have a baby? [Alpha Consumer]
Zach tried to rent a truck from Budget last month, and not only did he not get the truck, but he didn’t get the compensatory gift card they offered by way of apology. In fact, pretty much the only real thing he got from Budget was a $50 fee on his credit card for being a “no show”—even though he arrived at the location a half hour before closing only to find it locked up. Oh, and the location was 150 miles from his home.
Kevin noted on his Budget rental forms that his truck was covered with graffiti and other nicks and scratches before driving off the lot. As soon as he returned the truck, the lot agent pointed out a slew of damage and invited him inside. He said that Kevin had two options: pay $670 in cash immediately, or pay several thousand dollars to corporate later. Kevin paid the extortion fee, but now Budget’s corporate office wants $2,080 to repair, among other things, graffiti damage.
Over at Wise Bread they have an interview with Mary Webber, a Frugal Family Thrift Counselor. Yes, that’s apparently a real job.