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  • By Louis DeNicola,

    Spring may still be a few weeks away but if you're a first-class budgeter you know that snaring summer vacation deals means planning ahead. Between flights, car rentals, and lodging, the relatively fixed costs associated with time away from home add up quickly. Of course, the variable costs of food, gas, souvenirs, entrance or entertainment tickets, and unexpected outlays must also be factored in.

    Whisk away to a beach for cheap.

    Related: Best budget luggage reviews

    To maximize the fun of a cheap summer vacation while minimizing the expense, plan early and heed the tips below.

    Making Plans. Start with a bit of introspection. Imagine where you want to be and what you want to do this summer. If you think "Florida" or "Yellowstone," figure out what's leading you there. Perhaps you've always wanted to see Yellowstone. But if communing with nature is the true motivation, Yellowstone probably isn't the most budget-friendly destination. Moreover, a less crowded spot may be m

    ...Read More »

  • What's in your makeup bag? Probably more than you need. The billion-dollar cosmetic industry is known to preach the value of fancy foundation, eye cream, wrinkle cream - you name it. And more often than not, we buy into it.

    To help with the makeup madness, we tapped Desiree Stordahl, co-author of the book "Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me," and a beauty editor for

    Stordahl has a list of products that are called "must haves" but are, in fact, money wasters.

    Also See: Money Discussion Every Couple Should Have

    Under Eye Cream

    At the top of the list are eye creams. "There's nothing in the research showing your eye needs anything different than the rest of your face," says Stordahl. "The thing with eye creams is that they give you half the amount of product, charge you twice the price and there's nothing better about them. In fact, sometimes they're worse," she says.

    Also See: Fitness Fads that Are a Waste of Money

    Instead of eye lotion

    ...Read More »

  • By Raechel Conover,

    Although the weather may be variable, retailers stick to a seasonal schedule, which means savings for the smart consumer. Use this post-holiday, season-transition month to score deals on winter sports equipment and luggage. Many of our February deals may still be in effect, albeit with smaller selections on goods such as boats and Valentine's Day chocolate. Other items to buy in March include jewelry and an array of in-season fruits and vegetables and discounted frozen foods.

    Now is an excellent time to purchase jewelry.

    Related: Cheap treadmills buying guide

    Jewelry. Now that Valentine's Day has passed and there aren't any major gift-giving holidays on the horizon, jewelers are even more eager to sell merchandise. And let's not forget all the Valentine's Day gifts returned by picky romantic partners. With a lull in sales compared to February and higher inventory due to returns, March may be one of the best months to buy diamonds, gold, and other jewelry.

    Frozen Foods. March is N

    ...Read More »

  • By Alyssa Goldman,

    Remember when you cut coupons from the Sunday newspaper in order to cut your grocery bill? That chore is a relic of the past now that technology has revolutionized the coupon-clipping game. The current generation of mobile apps and grocery websites not only saves you money, but also helps you earn cash back.

    Related: What's the Best Free Tax Preparation Software?

    Following is a list of free, must-have mobile coupon apps you should download ASAP and two grocery websites to add to your favorites.

    Use coupon apps to save money on your grocery bill!

    ibotta and Endorse. Both of these free mobile coupon apps work with Android, iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad devices. These apps turn smart phones into the ultimate tool for collecting on cash-back opportunities. ibotta and Endorse let users upload grocery receipts for return cash thatgoes directly into your PayPal account or can be donated to a U.S. school. With both mobile coupon apps you'll receive personalized product deals based on past purcha

    ...Read More »

  • By Alyssa Goldman,

    Nearly everybody enjoys traveling. But the planning and spending? Not so much.

    As the saying goes, there's an app for that. In fact, there are several free travel apps for iPhones, iPads, and Androids that will save you time and money. An added bonus: You won't look like such a tourist.

    A dream vacation is only an app away.

    Related: What are the best cheap airlines

    Hotel Tonight: Go-to app for a last-minute hotel room. Say you decide to take an impromptu road trip but neglected to book a hotel room. Hotel Tonight has you covered. While last minute room reservations usually mean higher rates, this free travel app guarantees the complete opposite -- book a room the same day and save up to 70 percent on the hotel's usual prices.

    With 4.5 stars on iTunes and 4.4 stars on Google Play, this app upends the usual "too good to be true" adage. One Android user had her doubts but became a believer after booking a room in a Harrah's Hotel in Reno, NV for $34 for the night. Note, h

    ...Read More »


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  • Bad financial habits to ditch in 2013
    Bad financial habits to ditch in 2013

    Don’t let these bad financial habits keep you from your long-term spending goals. Identify your weaknesses and start remedying them. …