A Brief History of ‘Black Friday’ and Other Winter Shopping Holidays
By on November 21, 2011

(Courtesy Tshien on Flickr) In just a matter of days, tens of millions of Americans will descend on America’s malls and shopping centers for the kick off to the holiday shopping season. “Black Friday” is the designated name for this day, but where did the term originate? According to the not-so-reliable source, Wikipedia, the earliest […]

America’s Cheapest Smartphone Plan a Smart Buy?
By on November 9, 2011

(Courtesy of Republic Wireless) A little-known communications company rolled out a $19 unlimited everything monthly smartphone plan yesterday. You read that correctly, unlimited minutes, texting and data for $19 month with no contract. Republic Wireless is hoping to blow the competition out of the water by dropping the price of smartphone service 50% below the […]

What’s Wrong With the Post Office?
By on October 25, 2011

(Courtesy USPS) What’s Going On? Last week, the U.S. Postal Service announced that it would raise first-class stamp prices to 45 cents on January 22, 2012, a one-cent increase. It’s the first rate increase in over two and a half years. Prices on other mailed items will increase as well: • Letters (1 oz.) – […]

Score 50% Off Fines on Old California Traffic Tickets
By on October 13, 2011

California’s bad financial situation is good news for 6 million golden state drivers. If you never paid off that old traffic ticket (pre-2009), the State of California is offering you a limited-time deal: pay within the first half of 2012 and they’ll knock up to 50% off the fine. (Courtesy Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious on […]

Netflix/Qwikster Spin Off is…a Good Thing?
By on September 23, 2011

In July, I argued that the previously announced Netflix price increase is a good thing. And boy, did I get some negative feedback on that video. Well, I’m back for round two and it’s Netflix/Qwikster versus its customers. And you can bet I’m taking Netflix’s side in this battle. (If you haven’t read the details […]

How Much is Good Customer Service Worth?
By on September 16, 2011

When it comes to buying big-ticket items, we’re all guilty of trying to find the lowest price at any expense. In fact, a lot of us use physical retail stores as a showroom and then eventually buy the item online. Maybe it’s to save on the sales tax or because there’s a more valuable coupon […]

The Downside to Anti-Price Gouging Laws During Disasters
By on August 26, 2011

With Hurricane Irene nipping at the heals of our nation’s capital, the Big Apple, and all along the eastern seaboard, people are lining up for storm supplies and gasoline in order to sustain themselves until the storm passes. Gas Price Gouging. Courtesy of lifeontheedge on Flickr. But another seemingly insidious problem often rears it’s ugly […]

Wells Fargo Announces New $3 Fee to Use Debit Card
By on August 17, 2011

Wells Fargo announced that it would start charging a $3 monthly fee for some customers to use their debit card. Customers in Georgia, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington were notified by mail and can expect to be a part of this test starting October 14. The monthly fee will be charged anytime the card […]

Credit is Cheap, Why Aren’t You Borrowing Money?
By on August 16, 2011

Last week, the Federal Reserve announced that it would be keeping interest rates low for another two years. Under ordinary circumstances, people like you and I would be jumping for joy. Credit card interest rates would stay low, loan interest rates would stay low and borrowing would probably increase. In fact, the federal government hopes […]