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Jason Steele
Jason has been writing about personal finance, travel, and other topics on blogs across the Internet. When he is not writing, he has a career in information technology and is also a commercially rated pilot. Jason lives in Colorado with his wife and young daughter where he enjoys parenting, cycling, and other extreme sports.

5 Ways to Use New LED Technology & Lighting to Save Money

By Jason Steele

leds light blackLED stands for light-emitting diode. This technology is not new, but it is revolutionizing the way we live, work, and play. LEDs are special because they create light instantly while producing very little heat and consuming a fraction of the electricity of a standard light bulb.

In fact, they are even more efficient than compact florescent (CFL) light bulbs. You can buy an LED light bulb to replace a standard bulb.

You can also find LED technology applied to many other devices as described below.

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How to Find Credit Cards Without Foreign Transaction Fees

By Jason Steele

credit card foreign eurosThe CARD Act of 2009 eliminated almost all of the traditional tricks and traps that banks used to employ to separate you from your money. However, one of the last remaining fees that banks are still allowed to charge is the foreign transaction fee.

The foreign transaction fee is not a currency exchange commission. In fact, purchases in U.S. dollars made outside the country are usually subject to this fee, meaning you don’t even have to leave home to be ripped off. You’ll also pay the foreign transaction fee on some purchases that are merely processed in other countries.

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Hybrid Cars Pros and Cons – Benefits & Problems

By Jason Steele

hybrid car mountainsMy wife and I thought we were doing well with our Subaru wagons since we had avoided the purchase of a gas guzzling SUV. Our “Subies” are fun to drive, hold lots of stuff, and usually see about 22 miles to the gallon.

Nevertheless, our Outback was starting to get up there in miles and was generating repair bills that were uncharacteristic for a Subaru. Being fascinated with hybrid technology, we finally decided to take the plunge and replace the old Outback with a newer hybrid.

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8 Ways to Save Money with a Cheap Cell Phone Plan

By Jason Steele

blackberry phone handThe price of cell phone plans has been out of control for a long time. In fact, it is not uncommon for people to pay over $100 a month to their provider.

That is an astonishing amount of money that can even eclipse other utility bills, such as electricity and heating costs.

In my family, we pay an average of about $20 per phone per month for our plan with a major provider. Here are several tricks to help you reduce your monthly cell phone costs.

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How NOT to Use a Credit Card – 10 Uses You Should Avoid at All Costs

By Jason Steele

credit card debt womanHave you ever heard someone talk about how they use their credit card and just had to shake your head? Though the Internet is filled with good advice on how to use credit cards and rewards wisely, some people are just not getting the message.

Of course, what’s really going on is they’re getting a different message; they’re listening to what credit card companies want them to do. And because credit card companies are out to make a profit – a profit off your hard-earned money – that is generally a very bad idea.

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How to Cancel & Get Out of a T-Mobile Contract without Paying the Early Termination Fee

By Jason Steele

tmobile cancelledI’m currently a satisfied customer of T-Mobile, and hopefully, I’ll remain one. But since the time may come when I want to switch providers, it pays to have an exit strategy.

If you have already reached that point, here are some ways to get out of your T-Mobile contract without paying the early termination fee.

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How to Crack US Airways Dividend Miles Redemption for Rewards Travel

By Jason Steele

us airways dividend miles logoYou spend years earning frequent flier miles through travel, credit cards, and various promotions. But when the time comes to book your flight, the airline wants to redeem twice the amount of miles you expected. How many times has this happened to you?

It’s happened to many US Airways customers when they’ve tried to redeem their Dividend Miles. US Airways has severely restricted their award seat availability on their own flights, while making it very difficult to find available award seats on their partners’ flights. Fortunately, there is a large community of travelers dedicated to the challenge of finding awards and they’re willing to share their secrets.

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How to Sell Your House by Owner – Without a Realtor

By Jason Steele

house for sale by ownerOwning a home is one of the biggest investments most people ever make. When it’s time to sell your property, the standard practice is to find a real estate agent.

After the sale, your agent and the buyer’s agent will share about 7% of the sale price as their commission, which amounts to a hefty portion of your equity being lost to the real estate agents.

After buying and selling multiple properties, I eventually realized that I was paying the real estate agents too much money for something I could handle myself. I discovered how to sell a property while retaining significantly more equity than if I had hired an agent.

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5 Revolutionary New Types of Bicycle Parts & Accessories to Look for

By Jason Steele

bike technologiesNothing is quite as enjoyable as the simple pleasure of riding a bicycle. That pleasure can disappear, however, when you have to deal with a flat tire or a malfunctioning derailleur. Jarring rides, poor brakes, and greasy chain marks on pants and legs are some of the other common inconveniences that cyclists have tolerated for more than a century.

Thankfully, manufacturers are adapting technologies from other industries and applying them to bicycles to reduce or eliminate some of these problems. If you have an old clunker gathering dust in your garage, take a look at the next generation of bicycles and how they have evolved to make cycling even more enjoyable than it has ever been. And if you’ve put off a regular tuneup for a little too long, consider some of these practical innovations.

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Top 3 Online Computer Security Threats Travelers Should Watch for

By Jason Steele

hacker computer maskIn an incredibly connected world, it’s easy to feel as if the Internet is safe and accessible no matter where you are in the world. To a large extent, you can go online using computers in cyber cafes and hotel lobbies in nearly every country, but there are risks in doing so.

If you understand how your information can be compromised and take steps to counter those threats, however, you can safely log on to your most sensitive accounts from anywhere in the world.

Here are the three most serious threats facing travelers when they go online, and what to do about them.

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Credit Card Chargebacks 101 – Process & Rules for Shoppers

By Jason Steele

credit card chargeback manWhen credit cards are used wisely, they offer an incredibly convenient way to pay for goods and services. They fit neatly in your wallet, you don’t have to carry loads of cash, and you can easily shop from the privacy of your own home via the Internet – all thanks to a little piece of plastic.

The other bonus? When you pay for things with a credit card, you are guaranteed by law to receive them as promised. If you don’t, federal regulations require that credit card issuing banks reverse transactions in these types of cases in the form of a chargeback.

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What Is Chase Blueprint – Review of Credit Card Payment Program

By Jason Steele

chase blueprint logoUnder the Credit CARD Act of 2009, credit card companies must allow their users at least 21 days to pay off their credit card bills in any given month free of interest. However, with most credit cards, when you fail to pay your entire balance before the due date, you give up this “grace period” and are retroactively forced to pay interest on the entire month’s worth of purchases, including any portion that you were able to pay off. Under this system, falling short of paying off your entire balance, even by just $25, can result in significant amounts of additional interest on your entire balance.

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7 Essential Computer Maintenance Tips & Checklist

By Jason Steele

clean computer lcd screenYour computer might not come with as high of a price tag or as many moving parts as your car, but laptops and desktops require just as much regular maintenance to keep running efficiently and securely. Desktops come with lots of peripherals that need regular upkeep and cleaning, and compact laptops are vulnerable to trouble caused by everything from dust to accidents.

Whether you primarily use your computer for work or for leisure, you invested plenty of money in a high-tech machine. While you know the technology may eventually be too old to keep using, you want to maximize your equipment’s life in the meantime. If you fail to keep up with maintenance and instead operate a slow, dirty machine, it will be vulnerable to damage and hacks, and you’ll be more prone to making mistakes.

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9 Places to Look for Restaurant Discounts & Coupons

By Jason Steele

eating out restaurantI’m an extraordinarily frugal person, but my one weakness is eating out at restaurants. There are only so many times that I feel like cooking and cleaning, and there are some dishes that I can only get at my favorite restaurants. Though menu prices are getting expensive, I’ve found enough tricks to save big at restaurants, and I never pay full price.

Some might tell you to just skip appetizers, cut out alcohol, and never indulge in dessert. But you can enjoy a few courses and even a glass of wine if you have the right tools. My goal is to show you how get the most out of your meal, not the least. If you’re looking for a filling meal, an enjoyable evening, and most importantly, great value, check out these nine sources.

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How to Use an Air Pass from Airline Alliances – Save Money Traveling the World

By Jason Steele

travel world flightEveryone has heard of the rail passes that tourists typically purchase on their visits to Europe so that they can travel through multiple countries without buying new train tickets at every stop.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could do the same thing for air travel – buy one ticket and visit multiple destinations? Well, you can! Behold the air pass.

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