5 Tips & Tricks to Beat Out Customer Service Strategies and Get Past No

customer service tipsLately, it seems as if most customer service representatives are either not empowered to help you, or that they have actually been instructed not to. It has gotten to the point where getting a company to give you the service you deserve is not just a challenge, but almost a sport. We all know how to lose our temper or ask for a supervisor, but what if you want to take your customer service game to the next level?

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Are You a Cheapskate? – 9 Signs You’re Taking Frugal Living Too Far

dumpster divingMy dad is a hoarder – no, not the kind that needs an intervention on the “Hoarders” television show. Just the kind that has managed to cram every cabinet, shelf, and drawer in his house to the gills with tools, already-used nails, paper clips, pens, and other useful things. His theory is that the more he has on hand, the less he’ll have to buy down the road.

And honestly, the theory works to a point. I cannot tell you how many times growing up he saved me from having to run to the store and buy staples or magic markers or glue for a school project the night before it was due.

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Top 11 Eco-Friendly Green Gift Ideas that Are Unique & Cheap

green gift bagsGreen gifts have a great reputation for being clever and unique, and they help you lower your carbon footprint while encouraging others to change their habits too. But they often get a bad rap for being expensive and hard to find, and it’s tough to know if your recipients will love green products as much as you do.

The good news is that you can see how great these gifts are and dispel the myths about how much going green costs at the same time. With the right advice, you can save money while saving the planet.

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10 Smart Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund Money Wisely

cash envelope tax returnIf you’re expecting a tax refund this year, you need to have a good plan for your money. Maybe you already have the funds earmarked for some spending – but before you let your tax refund burn a hole in your pocket, remember that the government isn’t sending you a bonus check, but rather money that should have been yours all along.

In fact if you’re receiving a huge refund, you’re probably having too much withheld. Be sure to revisit your W-4 form and adjust your federal income tax withholding allowances.

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Travel to Prague on a Budget – Hotels, Castle & Things to Do

prague cityIf you’ve been tightening your vacation budget and putting off travel for a few months or even years, then “European” and “affordable” might not seem like words that go together. Europe’s centuries of architecture and culture make it an attractive destination, but this ornate history makes it seem extremely expensive too.

For some, trying to pull of a trip to Europe on a conservative budget might seem nearly impossible. However, it only takes a little research to find impressive European travel deals, and with some insider advice from people who have already been there, you can easily save up enough to afford and enjoy the best destinations. Your low-cost trip will still be an extravagant success.

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Dividend Discount Valuation Model for Stocks – Formula & Example

dividend discount model graphsOne of the problems that investors face in the stock market is figuring out the value of the stocks in which they are considering investing. Comparing a stock’s value to its market price allows investors to determine if a share of stock is being traded at a price that is greater or less than its actual value. There are a variety of ways that investors attempt to value stocks, but one of the oldest and most basic is the dividend discount model.

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15 Fun & Cheap Family Game Night Ideas & Board Games

family game nightRestaurants are great places to gather with all your friends and family, but they can get really expensive rather quickly!

That’s why I love hosting  a good old-fashioned game night. It’s so much fun to get together with family or friends and laugh the night away – without spending a dime. Sure there are board games that cost $30 or more, but you don’t have to buy a new game every time you have people over. There are plenty of ways to keep the cost of game night low while keeping the laughs abundant.

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Why You Should Stay Far Away From Tax Refund Anticipation Loans (RALs)

tax refund anticipation loanIn recent years, all kinds of industries have jumped on the IRS tax refund bandwagon.  More than half of Americans are issued refunds after filing their taxes, resulting in a profitable marketplace for a number of creative consumer opportunities. Gift cards are offered, and there are special deals on cars, furniture, and more.

Many tax refund deals promise to add some sort of premium to your refund and can be very helpful, especially if the timing is right – for example, if you happen to be planning to buy a car or a sofa.

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3 New Credit Trends and How They Affect You

credit card squeezeCredit card companies are in the business of making money, and they use all the techniques at their disposal to make sure that whatever you borrow from them, you’ll be paying back ten-fold.

After the credit bubble burst and defaults on their ledgers skyrocketed, banks and credit card issuers started pulling new tricks out of their hats to keep their profit flowing: credit card fees left and right, higher interest rates, and more stringent credit approval standards.

Fast forward to 2011, and they’re still finding ways to work around new legislation and regulations that were created (i.e. CARD Act of 2009) to protect the credit card user, in order to meet their needs and pad profit margins.

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5 Dandelion Greens Recipes for Salad & More

dandelionsIn the first part of this series, I talked about some of the incredible cost and health benefits of eating dandelions as well as how to harvest various components of this common weed including dandelion leaves, greens, flowers, and roots.

In this next post, I want to cover how to cook dandelions, and go over some of my favorite recipes. Most of these recipes are virtually free when it comes to expenses, especially given the fact that dandelions grow wild in many of our backyards, and for those of us who don’t have dandelions growing, they are inexpensive to harvest.

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