Archive for August, 2008

Booking holiday flights is the Web site, bought this year by Microsoft, that uses historical trends to try to predict airfares. That helps consumers answer the nagging question, “Should I book now or wait until fares drop?”

Farecast says in a news release this week that airfares for the holidays are up more than 30 percent over last […]

Getting FIT

Click the screenshot above for video advice about saving money on food, insurance and telecommunications – what I call being financially FIT. My contribution was recorded outside the WPVI studios in Philadelphia. I was at the studio doing a satellite interview for an ABC affiliate in Virginia Beach, Va., promoting my book, “Living Rich by […]

Recalls: When safety matters

It’s great that the Consumer Product Safety Commission issues recalls for dangerous products. The problem is, many consumers of those products never find out about it. And, as consumers, who among us has the time to research every product to make sure there’s no recall?

That’s the beauty of automatic alerts. It so happens the CPSC […]

Booking a convention hotel room

Clark Howard, the Atlanta-based consumer advocate and host of the Clark Howard Show, has forgotten more about travel bargains than most people would know in a lifetime.

On his radio show, he recently gave this advice: When booking a hotel room to attend a meeting or convention, don’t tell the customer representative that you’re attending an […]

Deal alerter: The real deal

Price-comparison Web sites, sometimes called shop-bots, are a great tool for the savvy consumers. At places like Google Product Search, MySimon and PriceGrabber, you can instantly compare prices for a wide host of products.

A new Web site, launched this week by my friend Edgar Dworsky of, is called Deal Alerter. It goes one step […]

Free magazines?

A site that offers free online access to national magazines seems too good to be true for consumers and a nightmare for publishers. But that’s what is happening at It offers free .pdf versions of popular magazines. For how long, who knows? I’m no lawyer, but it seems to be a clear copyright infraction.

While […]

Goals let you “Just say no”

Sunday’s Spending Smart newspaper column was about setting goals. That can be a real yawner of a topic – although it shouldn’t be. For those of you in white-collar jobs who handle budgets or manage people, could you imagine your boss just saying, “Heck with creating objectives, just wing it. We’ll just hope our department […]

Rental-car insurance?

Standard advice when renting a car is to say “no” to the insurance, called the loss damage waiver. That’s the insurance they try so hard to sell you at the pickup counter. The reason is that you probably already have accident coverage from your regular auto-insurance policy and/or the credit card you used to rent […]

Should you be a Slacker?

On Sunday, I wrote in my Spending Smart column about whether satellite radio is a good value, especially for those who are cash-strapped nowadays. So far, I’ve gotten less hate e-mail from satellite-radio fans than I anticipated. However, I did get a note from a public-relations representative for

In the column, I talked about how […]