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More designers are producing lower-priced lines. Where the best deals are.

By Karen Datko Feb 24, 2010 12:21PM

This Deal of the Day comes from Diana Ransom at partner site SmartMoney.

 

What’s new in high-end fashion? Even more designers are going after the low end.

 

On Saturday, French knitwear queen Sonia Rykiel released a new collection for H&M that offers women’s and girls’ pieces for anywhere from $5.95 to $69. The week before, Narciso Rodriguez -- he designed the dress Michelle Obama wore in Chicago for Barack Obama’s first appearance as president-elect -- introduced a collection specifically for sale on eBay.

 

For many, clothes are more than an expense. They're an expression, which can make overspending easy.

By Stacy Johnson Feb 24, 2010 9:55AM

This post comes from Stacy Johnson at partner site Money Talks News.

 

The three basic necessities of human life are food, clothing and shelter. In a previous post, I offered 28 ways to save on food. Today I've got 18 actionable tips you can use to slash your clothing costs. 

 

I should start by admitting that when it comes to shopping for clothes, I'm no authority. I tend to go years without clothes shopping at all. Pretty much everything I wear was given to me as a birthday or Christmas gift, and I tend to wear things until they either literally dissolve or become stained and/or torn to the extent that whomever I'm with won't let me out of the house while wearing them. 

 

In other words, I'm your typical guy.

 

Happily, however, I've gotten help with this story from a person who holds clothing in much higher regard:

 

Banks are using a hard sell to get people to stay with overpriced overdraft protection. You don't need it. Here's why.

By Karen Datko Feb 24, 2010 9:08AM

You should expect a pitch like this in the mail from your bank: Opt in for overdraft protection for your debit or ATM card -- or you may be sorry. When your account contains too little or no money, your card could be denied!

 

People resoundingly said they didn’t like this “courtesy” overdraft protection when banks could foist it on them without asking. In a poll, they said they’d rather have their card declined than have an overdraft go through, costing them a big fat fee each time it did -- $35 or so.

 

So, now that it’s finally up to you, why would you choose to opt in to that type of protection? Hopefully you won’t. Here’s why:

 

Law student is using free passes and persuasion to exercise gratis for a year. Savvy shopping or dishonest?

By Teresa Mears Feb 23, 2010 3:26PM

Julia Neyman has embarked on a thrifty crusade: The 24-year-old law student wants to work out in New York gyms free for a year without spending a cent.

 

She plans to do this through a combination of persuasion (she is in law school) and the free trials anyone can get from most gyms.

 

Although they are heavily promoted, ear candles don't work and can be hazardous, the FDA and others warn.

By Karen Datko Feb 23, 2010 1:18PM

This post comes from Lisa Wade McCormick at partner site ConsumerAffairs.com.

 

Does sticking a burning candle in your ear sound like a good way to remove ear wax or cleanse your blood of impurities?

 

Many consumers are apparently trying this procedure -- often called "ear candling." But federal health officials warn consumers not to use these products, saying they can cause burns and other serious injuries.

 

Companies are offering exclusive deals on Twitter. Whom should you follow?

By Karen Datko Feb 23, 2010 10:55AM

This Deal of the Day comes from Kelli B. Grant at partner site SmartMoney.

 

Sometimes it pays to be a follower.

 

Twitter and Facebook have been a marketing godsend for all kinds of companies, which increasingly are using social media to build loyalty with shoppers. Now, retailers have even begun to tout sales and exclusive discounts to customers who interact with them through social media. For example, Banana Republic recently offered shoppers an invitation to an exclusive spring preview event, as well as a printout coupon good for 30% off a purchase of $100 or more at the event.

 

Start with the merchant to find satisfaction, and then escalate if that doesn't work.

By Karen Datko Feb 23, 2010 10:03AM

This post comes from Jim Wang at partner blog Bargaineering.

 

Last month, I went to a Trader Joe’s to buy a package of coffee filters. For whatever reason, their packages of unbleached cone filters are always remarkably cheaper than anywhere else, despite Trader Joe’s higher-end reputation. On this particular trip, there was some sort of technical problem with the register.

 

I would swipe my card, sign in the box, and then the system would skip the receipt printout step. Each time, the person working the counter would politely insist that the charge didn’t go through and we’d have to swipe it again. We did this three times.

 

Unfortunately, the only technical problem was that a receipt wasn’t printed and it wasn’t until a week later that I saw I had three charges for one box of coffee filters. The annoying part about all this was that the charges were for only $1.80 each, which meant I was only out $3.60. Part of me wished it was more like $360 so that it would be more worth my time to deal with it.

 

If you need to dispute a credit card charge, here’s what you should do:

 

If you're interviewing with people who are half your age, there are certain things you'll want to avoid doing.

By Karen Datko Feb 22, 2010 7:30PM

Old dogs can learn new tricks, but not everyone believes it.

 

So, when you’re of a certain age (like me) and interviewing for a job, you need to be aware of not emphasizing how many years you’ve walked the face of the Earth, Pamela Redmond Satran, blogger at the delightful How Not To Act Old, advises in a post at CBS MoneyWatch. (Female readers, the underwear photo at the top of her blog should give you some inkling on whether you’re acting old or not.)

Her tips aren’t over the top -- they don’t scream, “I’m not over the hill” in an inappropriate way -- like, say, getting multiple piercings. Just as appearing past your prime can be “more subtle than simply offering your interviewer a nice piece of hard candy,” she writes, diverting attention away from your age involves avoiding certain behaviors.

 

Among them:

 

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