Consumers beware, pay yourself first, free things, protect your financial info and your nuclear option.

1. Consumers Beware

Living Rich Cheaply — Here’s some advice for saving money while you’re still shopping for the holidays. Actually, you can use this advice all year long. This blogger says merchants are always creating ways to take your money. One example he presents is “Deferred Interest.” His friend bought new furniture recently because the company enticed him with this program.

The guy and his wife thought they were saving money. Unfortunately, they didn’t realize that the interest was only “deferred”  for a year — not cancelled. So once that time period expires, they’re responsible for paying off that interest. Sounds like a dumb move. But people get caught up in “deals” — even when they’re not really deals.

2. Pay Yourself First — How This Simple Trick can Help You Save More

Making Sense of Cents — Saving money is an issue for many people. Living paycheck to paycheck makes it nearly impossible. Michelle quotes a survey that suggests “36 percent of people in the United States have absolutely nothing saved for retirement.” She can change that with this simple trick.

Change the way you think about saving. Envision it as a monthly bill that must be paid off — like rent or a mortgage. When each paycheck arrives, deposit some money in a separate savings account. Better yet, have it automatically deposited. This way you’ll never miss it. Adjust your budget accordingly and watch the money grow.

3. 10 Free Things That Used to Cost Money

Money Talks News — We gripe about rising costs and how nothing is really for free. And we have the right, considering the skyrocketing grocery prices and cable bills. But Maryalene found 10 things that won’t cost us cash — which is nice.

Three really useful things are: your credit report, music on the internet and GPS. You can now scour your credit report for errors for free. That could help improve you credit score and protect you from identity theft. Free music saves big money and getting directions saves time. Check out the other free things.

4. How to Protect Your Financial Info During the Holiday Shopping Hustle

Len Penzo dot ComIdentity theft is a serious issue. And around the holidays, when people are spending more, the risks rise. Mikey provides six tips that will help you avoid this financial crisis. The first tip is using a prepaid credit card. Using a prepaid card can also prevent overspending, because you can only charge the amount you assigned to the card.

The third tip is: “Turn on Two-Factor Authentication on Your Computer.” It requires “an additional layer of security” when you’re making online purchases. This makes it much tougher on thieves — even if they have your password.  Mikey shows you how this process works. His other tips are also helpful.

5. Your Nuclear Option at a Car Dealership

Out of Your Rut — What is the “nuclear option?” Kevin says it’s simple — when you don’t like the deal the dealership is offering, walk out. This philosophy can be applied to any shopping experience. If you’re not comfortable spending $1,000 on a new flat screen, don’t do it.

Kevin also provides reasons why people don’t walk away more often. For instance, you might dislike negotiating or you sold yourself  on the car or other item and can’t resist. He then lists the reasons why “you must” walk away. I can add to the list. When you buy a new car or other product and you really can’t afford it, you’re just screwing yourself.

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Brian Bienkowski

Brian Bienkowski


Bienkowski is a contributing writer and is the face of's 'By the Numbers' videos.

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Article last modified on February 23, 2018 Published by, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Around the Web: Pay Yourself First - AMP.