Three Easy Ways To Find Coupons

Posted by Brock | October 1, 2014.

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’m not a big coupon user, I admit it. It’s not because I don’t like to save money, it’s because I never seem to find the time to go and find the coupons. I don’t subscribe to a newspaper, so getting the ads for local retailers usually involves actually going to the stores and getting a copy of their ads. What I need is to have a way for coupons and deals to be spoon fed to me so I don’t have to go looking for them.

Luckily, there are smart people out there that are creating ways to tap into the sea of coupon-less people just like me.

Email Lists: In the past, my usual response when a retailer asks for my email address or my phone number was to decline. After all, I don’t need any more spam in my inbox, or solicitation calls, right? On a whim, I gave my information to Old Navy a few months ago. I now get a non-annoying amount of texts from them not only to alert me of sales, but also with coupon codes I can use online, or in the store. Ever since this happened I’ve signed up with my local grocery store and just about every retailer that asks. There’s not a more convenient way to carry around coupons than electronically in an email or text message.


Customer Service: A Little Kindness Goes A Long Way

Posted by Brock | September 29, 2014.

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Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My wife doesn’t accept a bad customer experience. She’s going to get what she paid for, and if she believes she’s been deprived from the value she deserves in any way, shape, or form, somebody is going to hear about it.   This usually results in an uncomfortable conversation with someone at a service counter. Sometimes the person on the receiving end of my wife’s declaration of being wronged gives in immediately.   Sometimes they require a little more persuasion.

I’m not very good at uncomfortable conversations, so I’m more than happy to let her handle these situations. However, she tends use the brute force approach, and I sometimes I need to talk her down a few notches.

We had just that kind of scenario play out recently with an order from Pizza Hut.

We called to order a three cheese stuffed crust pizza for pickup. I drove to the location and picked up the pizza, opening the box to examine the pizza before leaving the store. Once we got home we discovered a mistake with our order that we couldn’t have noticed until we bit into a slice of pizza.

They had made our pizza with the new bacon and cheese crust.

My son and I shrugged our shoulders and just kept eating. It wasn’t our favorite, but it was a late dinner as it was, and we didn’t want to wait for something else. My wife, however, just sat there and stared at the pizza.


Thinking About Heading Straight to Grad School? Read This First

Posted by Clever Dude | September 29, 2014.

hatsFor a college student entering the last year or two of school, the headlines are alarming. It seems every day, there’s another “doom and gloom” report about jobs or student loans, making it sound as if no matter what you do, you’re doomed to move back in to your parents’ basement and serve lattes for the rest of your life.

While the job market is certainly more competitive than it has been in the past, it’s not all bad news for new graduates. New data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the job market for recent grads is actually no worse than it was in the years leading up to the Great Recession, and that 85 percent of students who graduated since 2008 are employed full time.  The problem, experts note, isn’t necessarily that there is a lack of jobs, but that many students are having trouble finding full time work within their fields of study, or finding high-paying jobs.

As a result, there is a growing trend of students heading straight to graduate school upon completing their bachelor’s degrees. Graduate school applications have steadily increased since 2008, for several reasons. In some cases, a graduate degree is necessary for landing even an entry-level job (think law or medicine.) However, most students who consider transitioning right from college to graduate school are looking at advanced degrees as a way to get a leg up on the competition; after all, many previously entry level jobs are being filled by more experienced workers. And of course, there are always those students who see graduate school as a means of avoiding “the real world,” and extending college for at least a few more years.


5 Unexpected Ways to Make Money Online

Posted by James | September 29, 2014.

make money onlineMany people these days are facing financial difficulty. If you’re one of them, you’ll find that there are quite a few ways to make money online. Some methods bring in more cash than others, and there are unfortunately quite a few scams out there. We’ve scoured the web looking for solid ways to make money online, minus the scams.

Do Data Entry

If you’ve got a few spare hours to kill and you can type accurately, consider making some extra money online by doing data entry. Be careful in making your selection about where to work though, as there are quite a few online data entry sites that take advantage of their workers. Use a reputable site such as Whydowork.com to connect with employers who need part-time workers.

Sell Stock Photography

Great digital cameras are less expensive than ever, and most of us have access to at least one of them. If you enjoy photography and can take decent pictures, consider selling stock photography online. There are a few different sites you can try; each has its own guidelines for setting up an account, submitting photos, and getting paid for your artistic efforts.  Bring your camera with you everywhere you go, if you don’t already. You’ll find no end to the opportunities to take great shots you can sell online.


Clever Posts Of The Week – September 26th

Posted by Brock | September 26, 2014.

It’s been an interesting week as a parent in the CleverDude household.  Last weekend I was impressed by my son’s discovery that store brand products can be just as good as more expensive products.  But then I was frustrated by his lack of communication over a fairly expensive calculator that he needs for school.   Such is the roller coaster of parenthood, right?  We just keep teaching lessons at every opportunity, and hope they turn out OK.

Back to our usual Friday business, here’s my favorite posts I read this week.  Enjoy!

  1. 9 Major Money Rip-Offs That You’re Probably Overlooking from Avant Credit
  2. Personal Budgeting Software: Is it Worth it? from Modest Money
  3. Learning How To Budget  from Money Smart Guides
  4. The Trick To Body and Mind Confidence from FITNancials
  5. Do you have to give better gifts now that you make more? from Savvy Scot

CleverDude was included in the following carnivals recently:

Brought to you courtesy of Brock


I Need a Teenager Maintenance Fund

Posted by Brock | September 24, 2014.

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

With school supplies purchased, lunch account funded, and new clothes purchased and neatly hung up in the closet or put away into dresser drawers, I thought we had passed the hump of extra spending usually associated with the start of a new school year.

Unfortunately, I was wrong.

Teenagers are notorious for lacking communication skills especially when it comes to their parents. Parents are the ones that hound endlessly about homework, grades, and being responsible. We’re the last people they would want to talk to. I’d like to think that I have a better than average channel of communication with my son, but every now and then I’m reminded that there’s a reason that you need an emergency fund if you have a teenager.

Two weeks into the school year, we had the opportunity to walk through our son’s schedule and spend 12 minutes in each classroom to get to know his teachers a little and get some perspective as to what he’s going to be learning this school year. In his Honors Algebra II class the teacher stated that students should have notified the parents that they need a graphing calculator. We had purchased him a new scientific calculator and instructed him to ask his teacher if that was sufficient or if he needed something different. The teacher’s statement was news to us since he specifically told us he was told his calculator would do everything needed for the class.