11. You've heard the old saying, "Nothing in life is certain except death and taxes." Well, if you're a smart consumer, you can at least sometimes avoid sales tax by taking advantage of occasional "tax-free shopping days" offered in some states. The tax holidays are usually centered on back-to-school shopping periods and disaster preparedness or relief events, or to encourage people to buy specific items, such as Energy Star products. Find a list of participating states and the details of their tax-free shopping days online.
12. Beware of companies offering you a "free" copy of your credit report, only to hit you later with some hidden fee or processing charge. The fact is, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, each of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — are required to provide you with a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months if you request a copy. For instructions on how to order your truly free copies of your credit report from these three companies, check the website of the Federal Trade Commission.
13. Last but not least, subscribe to my new weekly Web show, The Cheap Life. Produced by AARP, The Cheap Life is a series of short (three to five minutes) weekly webisodes crammed full of money-saving tips, lots of laughs, and chances to win cash gift cards and other great cheapskate swag. It's free and easy to subscribe to (just click on the "Subscribe" icon on the Cheap Life Channel page on YouTube so you'll be eligible to win prizes and be notified as soon as a new episode is released.
Also of Interest
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