Archive for January, 2008

Cleaning tips

In the Spending Smart column and the book, “Living Rich by Spending Smart,” I rarely get into cleaning and stain removal. That’s mostly because cheapskate authors cover those topics so thoroughly — Mary Hunt, for example.

But such tips are worth passing along. The blog is a good forum because the tips are usually quick and […]

Extended ripoff

So, I get a letter in the mail the other day from Dell, which sold me my laptop computer about a year ago. It says my warranty will expire soon and I can get additional coverage for “only” $349.
What are the chances something will go wrong with my computer that would cost me $349? Not […]

Price Protected

I made $18 yesterday from electronics store Best Buy. Like many retailers, Best Buy offers price matching or price protection. If you buy something and the price goes down with a certain timeframe, often 30 days, you can go to the store and be credited the difference.
You could return the items and buy it at […]

Stocks on Sale!

Newsflash: The Fed cut short-term interest rates by the largest amount in 17 years and the Dow fell 400 points out of the starting gate this morning.
That’s the opposite of what usually happens. Regardless, it will lead to hand-wringing on Wall Street and higher ratings for CNBC.
But I’m cheering.
As far as I’m concerned, this is […]

Unusual way to Blu-ray

Now that it looks like Blu-ray will win the disk format war over HD DVD, what Blu-ray player should you buy?
If you haven’t been following this tech battle, two rival high-definition formats emerged, like the VHS-BetaMax fight in the 1980s. Warner Bros. recently signed on with a format called Blu-ray, apparently tipping the scales […]

Pricey A/V cables a waste of money

In my Spending Smart newspaper column on Sunday I talked about how it’s usually a waste of money to buy expensive cables to connect your audio and video components. Pricey speaker wire is a waste, as well.
This has been a long-running and controversial topic. Read about it here: Price of audio, video cables bears little […]

Ripped off for $870

The property and casualty insurance industry continued in 2007 to systematically overcharge consumers and reduce the value of home and automobile insurance policies, leading to profits, reserves, and surplus that are at or near record levels, says the Consumer Federation of America.
A new CFA study estimates that insurer overcharges over the past four years […]

Gym membership folly

It’s difficult to criticize gym memberships because getting fit is a great idea. But too often, these memberships become huge black holes of wasted money.
And some gyms aren’t exactly ethical in how they deal with customers. That’s why Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett this week issued a news release warning consumers and reminding them of […]

Save $1,000 in 2008? has a collection of great personal finance articles. However, a new one entitled “7 easy steps to save $1,000 in 2008″ isn’t one of them.
Perhaps the most egregious error is that the article only offers six tips to save $1,000, not seven.
The article gets off to a weird start by suggesting ways to save […]

Security is job No. 1

Health insurance and job security are at the top of Americans’ list of desired characteristics in a job, while pay ranked much lower, according to a new poll. The national poll, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates for the Center for State and Local Government Excellence, surveyed 1,200 adults age 18 […]