Textbook sellers want to gouge you. Banks keep finding ways to gouge you. Some states are investigating potential gouges, i.e., taxes on everything from shoe repair to golf to bowling. (Wonder where they stand on the repair of bowling shoes?)

Read on for a chance to learn, among other things, how to put your children on a budget. No more free rides, kiddies.


read more

In most of the country — not here — summer means sandals and flip-flops. We’ve still got a month or more of naked toes.  That’s why you need this week’s giveaway.


read more

My monthly health insurance payment has risen by $40, starting now. The increase was anticipated, or at least announced. I’d managed to block the amount, though, so I was still surprised.

My bimonthly electric bill was $22 higher than the previous one, thanks to a Seattle City Light rate increase. An extra $11 per month won’t kill me. But it got my attention.


read more

Here’s today’s word, and it’s a funny one: gofobo. (Try saying it five times, fast.) This movie-mad site offers access to free screenings, contests and events.

I’d been planning to write about free movies but my daughter beat me to it. Well, at least she got me off my dime. Which, of course, means saving you some dimes. Lots of them. I’ve paid as much as $10.25 for a matinee ticket in Seattle.

As Abby notes in the blog post linked above, gofobo is chronically last-minute; you might have 24 hours or less to respond.

“Still, what’s the worst that happens? You get an offer on a movie you can’t go to,” she writes. “I’d say that’s one of the smaller tragedies in life.”

About that $10.25 ticket: It was a business expense. Otherwise I would have used a freebie. Here are some other ways to get them.


read more

Sarah L. is the winner of the $25 Shoebuy.com gift certificate. She’ll be using the GC on footwear for her “growing-too-fast toddler.”

It’s the Curse of the Moms, this spending of gift certificates on other people’s needs. Ask me how I know this.

Thanks to all who entered, and to all who requested the Shoebuy $10 off $50 coupon — still up for grabs if you want one — and the Mr. Rebates referral link. (For more information on Mr. Rebates/social buying, see a piece I wrote for MSN Money, “Big discounts on little pleasures.”)

This Friday’s giveaway is also somewhat foot-related. The only other hint I’ll give is that it is useful for the summer season.


read more