Saturday, October 23, 2010

Avoiding the pitfalls...

There are times in every one's life when we look back and say something like "oh I wish I hadn't done that!"  Here are some thing that may help you avoid that headache of regret in the future.

This is one every student knows, never pay full price for text books, you can buy a little older version that is still new or a good used copy and save a ton of cash, check out Alibris to buy at a lower cost.  But here is something many students don't know, you can actually rent text book!  Check out eCampus for all the details on their rental program.

Planning a vacation soon? If you are going to be renting a car be sure to check the rates between companies as well as the difference in cost between renting at the airport vs the city vs a suburb. Almost every airport has a separate tax that you will be charged in addition to the rental fees, likewise many cities also have individual tariffs, such as Bloomington's Mall of America tax as well as the new tax to build the baseball park. If you check in an outlying suburb you can often save over $100 a week, even with the bus or cab fare that's money in your pocket for something much more fun.  If you are looking at flying some of the airlines charge a fee to be one of their premier members and then you get to use the lounge and you get miles built up as you fly with them, instead of paying the fee for becoming a premier member consider a Visa or MasterCard that ties to the airline, usually the annual fee is less and many of them will allow you use of the sky lounge as well as being able to earn miles for everything you purchase, not just when you fly.

Planning on giving a gift card this holiday season?  Many time people think its best to give a credit card's gift card, like American Express or Visa, however most of the major credit card companies charge a fee just to purchase the gift cards.  Instead consider giving a gift card to a specific retailer that won't charge an upfront fee or give cash. Also be sure to be on the lookout for discounted cards as well, Costco sells them to members at a slightly discounted rate and you can also purchase some good deals on eBay and Gift Card Rescue.  If you're a member of someplace like Market America you can earn cash back for your gift card purchases.

Small convinces can cost a LOT of hard earned cash, everything from baby formula that comes premixed for three times the price to pre-sliced deli meat, it all adds up.  If you are willing to do a little work you can save a ton of cash over the course of a year.  Doing things like making your cookie dough from scratch, making extra food for dinner and freezing some for meals at work and slicing your own bread and meat will far out weigh in cash what you spend in time.

Along the same lines is to avoid the wacky ideas, things like the hands-free soap dispenser so you don't have to touch the germ ridden soap pump, thinking this threw you can see why this is just a crazy marketing ploy, if you washing your hands, then whats the problem?  If you work in a Hospital or take public transportation frequently you may want to use the hand sanitizers out there, but as a general rule they are over kill, just remember to keep your hands washed throughout the day, if you do need to have something to kill germs you can always find inexpensive pocket sizes at Target and Walmart, you don't need to spend big bucks for a name brand, they all have the same germ killing ingredient.

Hope you all have had a great week and are enjoying the weekend.



  1. some very good information here thank you
    plan to tell my granddaughter about Alibris and

  2. Good tips! Love the idea bout the books. I think that one of those touchless soap dispensers are so cool. My friend Teresa has one. I didn't know that the CC companies charged a fee on their cards.


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