thPlanning to do any Amazon shopping this holiday season? Have I got tips for you.

10 Amazon Shopping Tricks to Save You Tons of Money,” over on the Grandparents.com page, actually features 10 categories, some of which have more than one tip involved. For example, did you know that Prime members get a half-hour head start on Lightning Deals?

That a tool called PriceJump will compare Amazon tags to those of 5,000 other online merchants? That Amazon-specific sites will do the best-price legwork for you? Or that if you haven’t spent quite enough to get free shipping a site like SlickFiller.net will find the 39-cent bolt or 79-cent cup hook that will push you over the $35 threshold?

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thJust a heads-up to remind you about the Retiree Next Door Tweetcast that takes place tomorrow.

I’ll be one of the two dozen or so PF wonks involved in the hour-long event, which is being hosted by MoneyTips.com and certified financial planner Jeff Rose.

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thEvery year we see some kind of commercial about last-minute holiday shopping. Often it’s the stereotypical dude rushing through the store on Dec. 24 (because apparently all men are clueless bumblers when it comes to the holidays).

Oh, you’re all out of Appropriate Gifts? I’m sure my wife/kids/parents will LOVE a set of car air fresheners or this mega-hot salsa collection!

No doubt these commercials sell lot of, well, whatever the sponsor is trying to sell.

We also see humorous essays about parents trying to get that season’s Must-Have Toy, or folks scrambling to track down the one thing that spouse/partner truly wanted. Usually the item is found on eBay or Craigslist at a vastly inflated price – but hey, it’s Christmas, right?

The stress, disappointment and overpayment are so preventable. All it takes is just a little bit of planning. Just a tiny bit. Those who don’t plan are likely to have their pockets picked every 25th of December — and they may lose out in other ways, too.

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thIn the past few months I’ve attended conferences in New Orleans, Austin and Kansas City, Mo. If you’ve ever attended a conference you’ll know how many items are available from the expo hall, the conference rooms and the “Welcome!” bag.

Previous conference-swag giveaways have been popular, so I decided to do it again.


That’s right: I brought home so many oddments that they wouldn’t all fit into a single Priority Mail flat-rate box. That means two giveaways rather than one.

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20140909-MoneyTips-Fincon-The retiree-screen Res (FINAL)Where I grew up, people worked for as long as possible and felt diminished by retirement. Now it’s seen as a second chance.

Some people still say they plan to spend their golden years improving their golf swings or lying around in hammocks, but increasingly retirement is becoming an opportunity to start over: trying a different type of work, learning a new skill, maybe even running off to join the Peace Corps.

If you’d like to learn more, tune in to the Retiree Next Door Tweetcast next Tuesday, Nov. 18. Co-hosted by MoneyTips.com and certified financial planner Jeff Rose, the one-hour event will answer common questions and any additional queries sent in by listeners.

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