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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.

4 Types of Luggage You Need Traveling on Flights – For Less than $150

By Jason Steele

plane luggageNo matter where I travel, I’m amazed by how many people struggle with unwieldy and expensive luggage. Their fancy luggage will inevitably get scraped, scuffed, and abused by the airlines – if it doesn’t get lost in the first place. I’m left wondering, “Why bother investing any more than necessary to get stuff from one place to the next?”

I have had the same luggage set for the past six years, and I didn’t pay more than $150 dollars for all four pieces. I easily navigate airport arrival halls, hotel lobbies, and busy city streets, surviving on the road for weeks at a time.

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How to Improve Computer Performance & Supercharge Your Productivity – Tips From an IT Pro

By Jason Steele

computer nerdI’m not the fastest typist in the world, yet I’m still able to operate a computer with a level of speed and efficiency that amazes some people.

Over time, I’ve learned that the number of words you can type per minute isn’t everything when it comes to maximizing your time on the computer. As someone who has been working in information technology for over a decade, I have made a concerted effort to find every trick to getting the most done in the least amount of time.

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How to Plan the Best Cheap, but Memorable Honeymoon

By Jason Steele

couple honeymoonSix months before my wedding, my wife was consumed with wedding plans related to dresses, bridesmaids, and floral arrangements. It fell on me to plan our honeymoon, and I didn’t know where to begin.

Back then, I wasn’t quite the travel expert I am now, so I was really starting from scratch trying to put together a honeymoon that would be the equal of our wedding. Ultimately, I learned that a honeymoon is not like any other trip you have ever taken.

With some research and effort, I was able to design an awesome honeymoon. Here are the essential guidelines I followed to plan a memorable and affordable honeymoon.

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11 Tips for Avoiding Airline Checked Baggage Fees

By Jason Steele

luggage suitcasesAs if finding affordable fares for air travel isn’t tough enough, rising and surprising fees are making it an even bigger challenge to figure out the best deal if you want to pack any luggage.

After all the fee increases, the best advice the airlines seem to have for saving on baggage fees is to “pack light.” That’s not good enough, especially since families with young kids, individuals who don’t travel often, and anyone traveling in search of better weather can’t simply “pack light.” And everyone’s definition of “light” is different.

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3 Home Phone Landline Alternatives that Save You Money

By Jason Steele

talking on phoneFor over 100 years, simple copper wires have transmitted phone calls between households and offices around the world. It’s a system far more technical and complicated than soup cans attached to string, and the expensive wire and complex systems are owned by big phone companies. It’s tough to find a lot of “new” phone companies, so while your provider may not have a monopoly on the industry, chances are it has a pretty good stronghold on business in your area.

Comfortable with the demand for service, these companies frequently raise the rates on long-distance calls and seem to enjoy adding fees and charging for every little feature you want to add to your service.

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4 Types of Outdoor Barbecue Grills – Which Should You Buy This Summer?

By Jason Steele

grill barbecue meatIs there anything better than the smell of juicy hamburgers and hot dogs sizzling on a grill on a hot summer day? If there is, I can’t think of it.

Spring is the perfect time to make sure you’re prepared for a season full of amazing culinary experiences. If you don’t have a grill, you’re ready to upgrade the grill you have, or you’re looking to try out a different type of grill, read this guide before you go shopping.

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PenFed Promise Credit Card Review – Low APR & No Fees

By Jason Steele

penfed promise cardYou can’t turn on your television or open your mailbox these days without seeing yet another credit card offer from a major bank. Some offers sound better than others, and they all have potential benefits and drawbacks. The sheer number can be mind-boggling, and if you’re in the market for a new card, the information can be overwhelming.

In light of this, I’d like to let you in on a little secret. One of the best offers out there is not from a bank at all; it’s the PenFed Promise Card from the Pentagon Federal Credit Union. If, like many people, you’re struggling to get a handle on your debt, this could be just the card for you.

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9 Ways to Clean, Repair, and Restore Your Old Outdoor Gas Grill

By Jason Steele

gas grill upgradeEvery time I go to the Home Depot in the summer, I stare longingly at the shiny, manly grills lined up out front like soldiers waiting for orders. They’re so new, and have so many knobs and buttons! They can smoke, grill, or keep baked beans warm!

Like most Americans, I had an old grill on my back porch. It was a little rusted and had years of wear on the rack, but it could still turn out a decent hamburger. So instead of buying a new grill, I saved money by restoring and upgrading my old grill to its former glory – and added a few bells and whistles along the way.

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How to Travel the World for Free Using Customer Loyalty Programs

By Jason Steele

punch drunk love puddingThink you have to travel often to acquire frequent flyer miles? Think again.

In the 2002 movie, Punch Drunk Love, Adam Sandler plays a quirky character who finds a way to earn millions of frequent flyer miles without leaving home in order to travel with his paramour. He realizes that there’s a promotion to earn frequent flyer miles with each purchase of Healthy Choice pudding. He then determines that the value of the mileage far exceeds the cost of the pudding, so he buys the pudding by the truckload, collects the miles, and donates the product to a food bank in order to claim tax deductions.

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Should I Buy a New Car? 6 Reasons to Buy a New Car over a Used Car

By Jason Steele

Despite big promotional events and appealing advertisements, new cars come with hefty price tags and lose their value very quickly due to depreciation. In fact, there are many benefits to buying a used car for cheap over a brand new one.

However, there are a few specific occasions when a new car isn’t just a luxury indulgence and a way to pamper yourself. It actually makes more sense to buy new in these cases.

In the six situations below, a new car might be the wise and worthwhile purchase for you.

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How to Set Up a Home Network – Equipment & Networking Basics Guide

By Jason Steele

home data networkRemember the first telephones? Well, you probably don’t remember actually using them, but I’m sure you know from history books how they worked: A central hub of operators would sit in one room, and a person would use their home phone to call up the central hub and tell them who they would like to be connected to.  The operator would then patch the call through.

Thanks to modern technology, not only do our phones do all the connecting themselves, but all of our other electronic devices can “talk” to each other when they’re linked up through a central hub. This hub is known as a network, and you can create one to link together all of your electronic gadgets at home in a few simple steps.

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Incandescent vs Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFL) – Energy Savings Worth the Cost?

By Jason Steele

cfl light bulbYou might know them as “those spiral light blubs,” or “the eco-friendly light bulbs.” They’re compact fluorescent light bulbs, or CFLs, and while they’ve had a reputation for lasting longer and using less energy for a couple of decades now, the government has recently started regulating their efficiency. With these new regulations and increasing efforts to save energy at home, lower utility bills, and find greener energy solutions, demand for CFLs is rapidly increasing.

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What Is Amazon Prime Review – Free Shipping Trial & Benefits

By Jason Steele

amazon shipping boxLoyalty cards, points, and miles all exist for a single purpose: to get you as a customer to return over and over again. From coffee shops to bookstores, grocery stores to pharmacies, it seems like everyone is trying to get in on the loyalty program trend. Wallets and key chains bulge with little loyalty cards, usually obtained simply by making a purchase and providing a little bit of personal information.

Traditional loyalty programs work by giving customers rewards based on the purchases they make. Amazon, however,  has been able to successfully market a program called Amazon Prime, where customers actually pay a fee to enjoy the benefits.

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HD Projector vs TV – How to Set Up & Install a Home Theater System

By Jason Steele

home theater projectorWhether it’s during the Super Bowl, March Madness, or awards shows, a few times a year everyone faces the temptation to go find the largest flat-screen LED TV and get the best deal on a new television.

Currently, you can buy a nice, 46″ flat screen television for around $1,000. While that price is significantly less than what you would have found for similar televisions just a few years ago, is it really the best you can do for the money?

What would you say if I told you that you could pay even less for an amazing picture that’s more than twice as big?

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How to Set Up a Home Media Center & Network – TV, Movies & Video on Demand

By Jason Steele

home theaterFrom family photos and wedding videos to our favorite songs and movies, we have a wealth of digital content on our computers. But while you may have invested in a high-quality external monitor, chances are you’re viewing images and video on a relatively small computer screen, and playing music and movies through your computer’s simple speakers. Imagine how great it would be view your digital files and the best of the web on your television screen or home theater projector –  as you lean back on your comfortable sofa.

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