It pays to be skeptical of expensive services that repair shops say you need.
Finding a good mechanic or shop you can trust is difficult, so when you find one, it pays to stick with them. That's why I take my car to the same place every time I have an issue.
There have been a couple times when I, or my lovely wife, have taken the car in for a minor issue and they sent us on our way without a bill. Once, one of us rolled over tar that stuck to the tire, leading to a shake and some thumping. We took it in and they scraped it off, free of charge -- they didn't even charge for labor. That's good service and, when you think about it, how business should be done.
That's what makes some car maintenance scams so egregious. It's businesses thinking of the short term, rather than the long term, and wanting to make a quick buck.
Many of these are scams because they don't rip you off outright; they just overcharge you for a service you don't need:
As full-time jobs disappear, everyone's talking about freelancing as the future. A pro's advice on how to do it right.
I was a freelancer back when it wasn't cool.
In 1997, I was fired from my job as a weekly newspaper editor. So I decided to work for the only boss I could tolerate: myself. But prior to the millennium, the only people who freelanced for a living were either famous or inferior.
"Why would you give up a full-time job with benefits and one bad boss to work for no benefits and a bunch of bad bosses?" my best friend asked me.
Back then, it was a good question. These days, the answers are much clearer:
- Benefits ain't what they used to be.
Ohio bank will send e-mail or text and give customers one business day to make a deposit.
Here is one of the most shocking stories we've heard in a long time: Huntington National Bank in Ohio is planning to notify its customers if their accounts are overdrawn and give them one business day to deposit the money and avoid a fee.
This policy is apparently unique, though some large banks will waive fees if the customer overdraws the account early in the day and brings in a deposit later that day or will waive fees if the overdraft amount is less than $5.
Companies have found more ways to get coupons to budget-conscious shoppers. Here's how to find them, and avoid counterfeits.
Frugal consumers have become fast and furious with their coupon-clipping habits.
During the first half of 2010, coupon use increased 7% compared with the same period a year ago, reports redemption-services consulting firm Inmar.
"Now that people have started using coupons, it's a frugality habit," says Matthew Tilley, marketing director at Inmar. Overall, coupon use increased 27% last year compared with the year before -- the first time it had risen in 17 years. Estimated savings: $3.5 billion, or $800 million more than in 2008. That's a whole lot of $1-off frozen dinners.
If only she'd known then what she knows now -- plus a story.
As summer draws to a close, gazillions of monumentally stoked 18-year-olds have left the warmly comfy, comfy warmth of their hometowns for four years in cinderblock lecture halls. Yet college isn't all reading, studying, and sporadically penning 25-page papers on FCC v. Pacifica (1978). It's also occasion to figure stuff out -- like how to seriously manage your adult life for the first time.
Fortunately for this blog, that adjustment period has much to do with frugality, food and health. High school grads everywhere will be budgeting and cooking for themselves, and the initial months won't be easy. I know, because once upon a time (the year 45 B.C.) I was there.
Looking back, I think I did OK. Still, there are quite a few CHG-type things I wish I had known before I left home. Like ...
How to feed myself competently and frugally. My parents were excellent providers and decent cooks who fed us rounded meals from birth through late adolescence. Yet somehow, after 17 years, I never picked up on simple concepts like "eat a vegetable, doofus," or "an all-mozzarella stick diet will bankrupt, then KILL YOU."
The mystery continues -- for 3 years now. Here are theories about what's behind the debacle.
This post comes from Marilyn Lewis of MSN Money.
Three years into the mortgage crisis, lenders are still way, way behind in modifying mortgages. What gives, exactly?
Here's the data: Most -- 60% -- of homeowners who're seriously late (60 days or more) on house payments haven't heard a peep from their lender's loss mitigation department. That's from a report last month by the State Foreclosure Prevention Working Group. "Loss mitigation," as you might guess, includes forbearance, modifying or refinancing the loan.
When you think of the library, you may envision driving to the nearest branch. But what if all you had to do was log on to the library website?
You know e-books have arrived when the president of the United States is writing one.
On Nov. 16, President Obama's third book will debut. But unlike his previous two -- "Dreams From My Father" (1995) and "The Audacity of Hope" (2006) -- this one will also be available as a digital download. Called "Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters," it's described as a children's book about "13 groundbreaking Americans and the ideals that have shaped our nation."
But the book itself is part of a trend shaping our nation. E-books are no longer high-tech innovations for early adopters.
The latest venture for the 88-year-old actress is a line of hoodies with earbuds. Maybe respect for her will rub off on the rest of us.
Patricia Reid probably wishes she were Betty White.
While Betty is enjoying a new popularity and a new TV series at age 88, Patricia has been looking for a job for four years, even though at 57 she's young enough to be Betty's daughter.
The veteran actress' success is a reminder that being old doesn't mean being irrelevant. But many older workers are finding that, even if they'd like to work until they're 88, they may not get the opportunity.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
If you worry about money after the streetlights come on, these actions may help you rest easier.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
BLOGS WE LIKE
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'