What is Mystery Shopping? A Complete Guide to Mystery Shopping Companies & Jobs

Escalators at an indoor mallHave you ever seen advertisements for work as a mystery shopper and wondered if they were legitimate? Have you worked in a store that received reports from mystery shoppers? Did you ever want to know more about your mysterious patrons?

Mystery shopping, when done right, is a legitimate way to make money and visit new businesses. I work as a mystery shopper in addition to my full time job. I like the work because it is flexible and often, it helps me to save money on my purchases. I’m writing this piece in order to help take the mystery out of mystery shopping. If you’re interested in getting involved, or just want to learn more, you will find a lot of answers to your questions here.

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J.D. Roth Interview & Your Money: The Missing Manual Review

jd rothWe recently had the honor of conversing with J. D. Roth, creator of the incredibly successful personal finance blog Get Rich Slowly. In just five short years, J.D. has managed to build a following of roughly 85,000 readers! J.D.’s story is a fairly simple one, but one that rings true to us all. He found himself deep in debt, and finally, one day, decided to do something about it. He parlayed this story into a wildly popular personal finance blog, and recently authored his first book on the subject, entitled Your Money: The Missing Manual.

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Billeo Review – Online Shopping Toolbar to Simplify Bill Pay & Password Management

billeo logoI think it’s safe to say that almost all of us have paid our bills online or have done some kind of online shopping. I recently had a chance to look at a website that goes a long way in making these experiences faster, easier, and less stressful.

The website is called Billeo. It has a Bill Pay Assistant that allows you to simplify and organize your online bill paying process, a Shopping Assistant that auto fills all of your payment details and shipping information, a Password Assistant that saves all of your online passwords, and finally, an Offer Assistant that tags your search results with special offers and discounts.  I personally do almost all of my shopping online, and it seems like Billeo was designed just for me!

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Top 10 Worst Retail Store Company Policies To Be Aware Of When Shopping

Shopping When caught up in the rush of holiday shopping, it’s easy to make quick decisions about gifts or travel without the normal amount of thought. Whether you have a lot to do, you want to finish fast, or you just love to give the perfect gift, there’s something about this time of year that makes us all a little less responsible with our purchases.

Since most of us will do a great deal of shopping in the coming days, I’ve decided to list some not-so-consumer-friendly retail policies. In my opinion, this list is comprised of the ten worst-of-the-worst when it comes to your holiday retail nightmares. If you haven’t done your due diligence for holiday purchases, hopefully this will recommend some second thought.

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15 Unique & Creative Gift Wrapping Ideas That Are Frugal and Fun

Frugal and Fun GiftIt’s hard to believe Christmas is now less than a week away. At this point, many of us are starting to think about wrapping gifts for family and friends.

The problem with wrapping paper is that it’s pretty bad for the environment. According to Earth911, we go through 4 million tons of wrapping paper each year. And that’s just here in the United States. Plus, due to the additives and coloring in most commercial wrapping paper, it can’t be recycled after use. If every American family wrapped just three presents in reusable material, we would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields. That’s pretty amazing.

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Personal Finance Round-Up: Thinking Beyond Christmas

It’s less than one week from Christmas and the anticipation is mounting; we are getting all the last-minute preparations in order, planning out the meal, and continually fending off the kids’ final efforts to figure out what will be waiting for them under the tree on Christmas day. But when all is said and done, gifts are opened, and food is eaten, life goes on after Christmas.

Life after Christmas is a blur especially as New Years hoopla takes over only a week later and we start making our New Years Resolutions.

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4 Financial Norms to Challenge During the Current Economic Crisis – When Heroes Become Villains

hero villain moneyThe past 3 years have been rife with changes – economically, financially, and socially. We’ve seen a lot of cultural and financial icons go very quickly from hero to villain. Many pop stars and sports heroes of the past decade have spent more time in tabloids than pursuing their chosen careers. Even President Barack Obama, once heralded as an instrument of change himself, has recently suffered a fall from grace.

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Checking Influence Review – See How Your Spending is Wielding Political Influence

When it comes to deciding exactly where we spend our money, there are two types of people: those who care about the political affiliations of companies they do business with, and those who don’t.

If you’re in the first category and want to be aware of the political activity of various companies, there’s a great new tool that can help you easily find this information. And even if you didn’t care to know previously, try it out. It could give you some interesting insights that I’m sure you didn’t know about before.

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What is iTunes U? Free College Courses From Top Universities

itunes uI don’t know about you, but I’m a big time trivia nerd. I suppose that comes from my dad, who has been playing trivia with his buddies for as long as I can remember.

Because of my quest for knowledge, I am always looking for ways to educate myself, whether it’s through traditional methods like going to college and reading books or more random ways like perusing the back of a cereal box at breakfast. Formal schooling is great for conventional learning, especially if you’re looking to find a job in one of the best career fields for the future, but education programs and books (even used college text books) can get very pricey.

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What is Dynamic Pricing? How to Avoid Paying Higher Prices While Shopping Online

price tagsAmericans aren’t just strapped for money. They’re strapped for time. In this down economy, many people are getting a second job or starting a small business to earn some extra cash and make ends meet. This usually leaves very little time for holiday shopping and could be one of the reasons why e-commerce sales are expected to increase by 11% this holiday shopping season while in-store sales are only predicted to  increase 3%.

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