Saturday, April 24, 2010

Buy Online But Be Careful as a Smart Consumer

                                              Be watchful like a cat.

Buying online is easier than going to the local store, and the items can be delivered to your door within a few days, so why not buy online? I am a great advocate of buying online--actually I am an online seller, too--so I encourage everyone to buy online if they can buy SMART.

Online scams abound, and there are all kinds of potential problems, from identity theft to credit card abuse. If you are not very familiar with buying online, heed some warnings.

Do not buy from individual websites that are not established. New websites go up every day, and they are anxious to sell. If they want you to sign up with name, address, and credit card information, and they are a small or newer site, back out. Good sites that are new know that you should not give your credit card information to them, so they take PayPal or Google Checkout, and let THEM get your credit information. Another reason not to buy from new individual sites is that you may not get the merchandise.

Do not buy from international sites. USA shoppers should buy from the USA. This is not just for the benefit of the economy, but also because of the customs laws. Many foreign sellers do not realize that U.S. customs may seize the items or fees may be assessed. They also may not send the goods.

Buy from large, well-established sites that have some control over the merchants.
I sell on a website called iOffer, and they remove sellers who do not deliver the merchandise. eBay, Amazon, and other conglomerate seller sites are usually safe, too. When you make purchases from these sites, be sure to buy from sellers who have been there for some time. Do not make purchases from new sellers, as this is high risk.

We have an article about practicing internet safety for your family that you may find helpful. Senior citizens are particularly vulnerable to scams, and we have written an article about scams against seniors, too.

Be ever watchful and be a smart consumer.

See you soon!


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Be a Smart Consumer: Landscape and Plant Flowers and Shrubs for Frugal Living

Planting flowers and shrubs give pleasure and admiration for years to come if the landscaping is attractive and the flowers and shrubs thrive, but it is discouraging to plant and watch the flowers die. There are techniques to gardening and planting flowers and shrubs that require very little knowledge and not even much work, and you will be on the way to a beautiful yard.

The best landscaper for your yard is YOU, since you know the way your yard is used better than a professional landscaper. We have written a detailed article about landscaping for best use and DIY
so you can get some ideas for creating a useful landscaping plan that works best for you.

Spring is here, and there is no better time for planting flowers and shrubs on a budget, and improving your landscaping plan.  Think first, plan next, then put your thoughts and plan into action.  You will have a beautiful yard in no time, and it will grow year after year with little effort from you.  Be a smart consumer by reading online before beginning a project.

See you again soon with more consumer tips. Joy to spring!


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

File Income Taxes Timely or Get an Extension with Form 4868

Federal income taxes are due on April 15, and if you find you do not have all the information to file your tax return, you can still be within the law and not file your income tax return--but you must file for an extension and pay any taxes you estimate are owed.

You can read more about how to file for a Federal income tax extension with Form 4868 on our Today blog. The important part is to be sure you file something before midnight on April 15.

Start now to assemble the information needed for next year's Federal income tax return by setting up files to drop the receipts into.  We give consumer tips on what files you will need--just click on the blog link above.  You can make this work for you, and develop an efficient method that does not take much time. 

Hop to it and get this done today.

See you soon!


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Savvy Consumers are Interested in Frugal Living and Saving Money

Saving money or money-saving is a concept for this economy, and most of us are either saving money because we have to or because we want to. If you are into frugal living by choice, that is the most fun; but saving money by necessity keeps you on your toes looking for new ways to save money in daily life. Don't get snowed by bills and money issues. 

We write a blog on money-saving tips for frugal living fun that you may find helpful for saving money. We often discuss how we save money at the grocery store (shopping once a month) and share recipes. We also blog about utilities, weather, and practical ways to save money.

You can follow our blog called Money-Saving-Tips at where we share ideas and pictures for the consumer who has an interest in frugal living and saving money. Leave comments, share your thoughts and experiences. We are always looking for friends who like to save money.

See you again soon!