EPISODE 72~ SAVE MORE: Save a Bundle on Avoiding Junk Title Fees When Buying a House!

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When you buy a house, you already feel overwhelmed by how much money you’re parting with.  But then, at the settlement table, what’s this?  They’re asking you for even MORE money in title fees?
Junk title fees are our featured save more segment of this podcast, because if you dodge them you can save a bundle.  My guest is Carolyn Warren, Author of the bestseller Mortgage Ripoffs and Money Savers and also Homebuyers Beware and a working mortgage broker herself.  Welcome back to Easy Money, Carolyn.

Carolyn, first explain who a title agent is in the home-buying process and briefly what title insurance is.

Most home buyers don’t shop around for title services.  Why should they?
Federal lending law states that the choice of title company belongs to the Buyer. However, when a listing agent places the home on the Multiple Listing Service, he/she includes the legal description of the property, and they get that from the title company. Thus, the listing agent chooses a title company right from the start.
No actual work has yet been done by that title company, so at this point, it is no problem to switch companies. There is no reason you can’t say, “I’d like to use Y Title,” even though the listing shows X Title. Truly, it’s no problem.

What are some examples of bogus title fees?
there shouldn’t be double-charges. Such as a messenger fee and an overnight fee. Both of those fees are to transport the signed docs back to the lender. Which are you using, a messenger or FedEx overnight? And why are you charging $75 when Fedex overnight by 10:30 am (2 lbs) is $28.05?  3 lbs is $31.40. 

How can people find out what different title companies charge?
Use Google to search for your title company + zip code. Some companies have a fee calculator on their site you can use. For the others, call and ask. You don’t need a written quote. The title agent can provide the quote over the phone in just a few minutes.

Do you recommend people go with a Title company that charges one flat rate or one that itemizes the charges?
Some charge one flat fee. Others add a couple junk
fees. Some pile on a stack of fees that may add up to an extra $300 to $700.  The ones who charge multiple fees say, “We like to break it down for the buyer, so you know where everything goes.”
That sounds fine, but when the total of the break-down is significantly more than the flat-fee company, something is fishy.

Sometimes a Title company agent performs your actual closing. Other times it’s an attorney or an escrow agent, depending where you live.  Do those folks also sometimes add on junk fees?
* Archive or filing fee (You shouldn’t pay extra for their filing system. That is part of being in business.)
* Courier or messenger fee (Getting the signed documents back to the lender is part of what the closing agent’s large fee should cover. Moreover, FedEx and UPS, the services most agents use now, charges about $40 to overnight documents, so they shouldn’t show a padded fee of $60 – $100, as they often do.)
* Document preparation fee (Preparing the closing Settlement Statement and a handful of other boiler plate forms is what their main big fee covers. Adding this is redundant and borders on dishonest, in my opinion.)
* Email or edoc fee (They don’t need to charge you $50 to $150 to receive the documents from the lender by email. That is part of their normal job.)
Wire fee (While banks do charge a nominal fee to wire funds, none of the good settlement agents tack on this fee for their clients. They figure it is part of what their big fee covers.)

I always recommend that people ask for their final mortgage paperwork, including the FINAL title fees 24 to 48 hours in advance of their closing, so there are no last minute surprises and there’s time to fight last minute fees.  Is that good advice?
It is now mandatory that the lender provide you with the Closing Disclosures (called the CD) three days before signing. The CD shows all the details of your loan, including a list of fees. If you see an error, you have those three days built in for it to be corrected.

To give people some motivation to shop around for title services and scrutinize these fees, how much money, in total, have you seen people charged in junk fees?
I once saw somebody charged nearly $800 in junk fees.

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EPISODE 71~ SAVE MORE: The Power of 100 points, How Raising Your Credit Score Over The Crucial Threshold Can Save You BIG $$

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On past podcasts, I have talked about slow, steady ways of improving your credit score like paying down bills and paying them on time. And I’ve talked about fast, flashy ways of improving your credit score, like becoming an authorized user on somebody else’s healthy account or asking creditors to delete single sins that are dragging your score down.

Now I want to talk about why you should go to the trouble to take those steps to raise your credit score if it’s not tip top. By tip top I mean 720 or above on a scale of 300 to 850. 720 is the base threshold for obtaining the very good interest rates on loans, whether for credit cards, car notes, mortgages or other loans. 740 or 760 get you even better deals. But let’s use 720 as our goal here.

Suppose you started out with a credit score of 620, which is about the lowest score you can have and still get a private mortgage with no government assistance. I did some research and a typical interest rate for somebody with a score of 620 might be about 6 and a half percent. BUT if you raise that score up to 720, you would qualify for a mortgage rate of just over 5%. About a point and a half less.

Now let me do a math comparison for you on a $300-thousand dollar mortgage. With the roughly 6 and a half percent interest rate you’d get with your 620 credit score, interest on your mortgage will cost you about $23,000 a year. If you raise your score to 720 and lower your interest rate to 5%, then your loan will cost about $20,000 a year in interest. So just by staking steps to raise your score, you will save $3,000 a year and nearly a hundred thousand dollars if you kept the mortgage for 30 years.

I did some math for an auto loan too, and I won’t go into all of the exact interest rates and prices here, but a score of 720 instead of 620 could save you nearly $3,000 over the course of a 3-year auto loan.

Here’s my favorite part about raising and then maintaining a high credit score: it’s free. All you have to do is use your current credit responsibly and you will save thousands of dollars on your future credit.

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EPISODE 70~ SAVE MORE: Want to Save Money on Food? Try Grocery Auctions!

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Yes, I said “grocery auctions.” Weird but real. At a grocery auction, You’ve got the same fast-talking auctioneer, but he’s hawking apples instead of antiques. Amazing! I once attended a grocery auction in New Haven, Indiana for a Good Morning America story. My boss was a former food producer, so we did a LOT of food-related consumer stories at GMA. There were about 500 people at the Indiana auction, a lot considering they were all there through word-of-mouth. Participants told me they went for the energetic social atmosphere of the auction and stayed for the savings. One guy said he was routinely able to buy $450 worth of groceries for just $150.
A grocery auction works just like a regular auction, with one key difference. Since there’s more than one of each product; everyone who wants an item walks away with it in hand. The auctioneer gets people bidding on an item, say frozen French fries. Once the price will go no higher, that’s the price everybody who wants that product pays.
Most food auctions offer hundreds of different foods and household supplies. Some are surplus goods, like you’d get at a discount store such as MacFrugal’s or Big Lots. There are also a lot of dinged and damaged packages, with perfectly good products inside. You will also see items close to their expiration dates.
Now, bidder beware! In the excitement of an auction atmosphere, it’s easy to overpay, so it’s essential that you know what your favorite foods normally cost so you’ll know whether you’re really bagging a bargain. I put the Indiana auction’s prices to the test by comparing them with prices at a nearby grocery store. I picked a random cross section of half a dozen products and found the savings was 66 percent! Two thirds off AND free people watching and entertainment!
To find a grocery auction near you, just google “grocery auction near me. I did that myself before I came into the studio and came up a variety of choices near DC, where I live. You can also check out the website of the National Auctioneers Association: Auctioneers.org. The site has a tool where you can search for auctions and auctioneers by zip code.

LINK: To find grocery auctions: www.Auctioneers.org.

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EPISODE 69~ SAVE MORE: How to Become a “Killer Consumer”

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Did you ever notice that some people are what I call “Killer Consumers?” Or, when I’m feeling saucy, I call them “kick-ass consumers.” These are people who make sure they get a fair shake from corporate America and find creative ways to snag deals and save money. Today I want to feature one of these “Killer Consumers,” a guy I’m lucky enough to have as a reader and listener. Please welcome Carl Scheider of Minnesota to Easy Money for today’s Save More segment. Hi Carl!

Carl, you first wrote to me after reading one of my Washington Post columns and you have lots of creative ways of saving money, which we’ll get to in a moment. But first, do you consciously try to be a savvy consumer or does it just come naturally?
I am just cheap, and I enjoy it. My parents grew up during the depression – a bit of that rubbed off on me. If I can figure out a better way, I’ll do it.

OK, let’s get into some of your favorite savings tips. First, tell us about PlayOn.TV. What is it and how does it save you money?
I like PlayOn.tv. It’s a software tool that runs on your PC, connects to the Internet and organizes all of the video out there into channels, with a graphical interface. You bring up the APP on your desktop, and identify stations and shows that you want to record. You choose the website or channel, check out the videos there, and you can either watch them, or record them for later.
It’s like a super DVR in your PC that can record almost anything on the Internet.
There is a ton of TV on the Internet – free. And some with modest fees.
PlayOn cost: $5 / month, $24 / year, or $70 lifetime – was my choice.

PlayOn APP then runs in a TV connected gadget – like a Roku – my favorite – or a FireTV, or a ChromeCast, Xbox, etc. A Roku runs from $30 to $100. You use it to play anything from your collection of recorded shows, or live streaming where that is supported.
PlayOn APP also runs in your phone or iPad or other tablet. Let’s you interact with it – watch shows, record shows, cast to your TV – whatever.
Even some premium channels have free TV on the WWW, like comedy central.
I do pay for Netflix – lots of movies, and I can record them with PlayOn before they go away. I probably have 20 that we have not watched yet.
Also pay for CBS access – for TWO shows – StarTrek Discovery The Good Fight. My wife loves CBS shows! Enough said. With this thing, when we record them, we can watch network shows without commercials. It lets us skip them.

It lets you set a recording schedule, just like a DVR. I tell it I want every NEW show – and they are there. When we are away, it just records them all.
All of your media organized – and can stream to your TV.

They have a new version that just runs as an APP in your phone or tablet – no PC required. The recordings you make there are stored on the WWW and you can get them from anywhere. It costs like $1 a recording, but you can also buy in bulk, or by the month.

Now let’s talk about ditching your home phone. Many people, including me, still pay big bucks every month for one. Some people just rely on their cell phones these days, but you say there’s another solution. What is it?
I use Google Voice – VOIP. It’s what all telephones should be. A free service. You need to open an account for long distance usage, but nothing else. Can use it in a browser on the WWW with your cell phone. You have a number that will call ALL of your phones, and switch to the one that picks up. If no one picks up, it takes a message, sends you a text of the message and a recording.
Free US and Canada, modest fees rest of the world. It also lets you block numbers, who get a message that this phone is disconnected. Very cool.
For home phone, I use Google voice with OBI2—obitalk – obihai adaptor. It connects between your modem and your internal telephone line. All of your home phones will work with it.
I use line #2 – 2 wire plug adaptor at HD for about $1 each.
Modem out to adaptor, telephone line out to wall plug 2nd line. All house phones on 2nd line with an adaptor. Simple. Normally line 2 is NOT connected at the outside – easy to check. The outside access is rarely secured.

OBIHAI adaptor buy at Amazon – look it up $47.

It is basically FREE phone service. Switched my Internet to pure DSL – fixed fee, and without all of the normal taxes and overhead for phones. One caveat – no 911. BUT for a modest fee you can purchase an annual service from Obitalk that lets you dial 911 and will connect you. Or – use your cell phone. Register it with local police.

Continuing on the high tech theme, tell me your favorite type of tablet and how you can make it even better.
Fire Devices. BEST tablets around.– watch for a sale. CamelCamelCamel will monitor Amazon prices for you.
Fire 7 $50 Fire 8 $80 Fir 10 $150 – got mine for $100. Add a case and keyboard – laptop for $130.
Add memory.
Look for “how to sideload apps on your Fire”.
Installs google store and can run almost all google apps.
Use the 7 for books and tapes – Bluetooth to car. And podcasts.
Use the 10 to read the paper and magazines, emails.

Here’s another one. Most of us, when an indicator light goes off on our dash board, we think we have to make an expensive mechanic appointment to find out what’s wrong with our car. You have another solution. What is it?
Mechanics normally charge $20 just to read code and tell you what’s wrong.
Every car has a port on the driver side, under the dashboard. Buy a little gadget to plug in there that will talk to an APP on your phone or tablet.
I use OBDII at amazon.com BlueTooth connect to Android APP. $23. But there are many there now.
It reads the codes, looks them up on the WWW, lets you reset them if you want. I have a persistent one for my catalytic converter on a 2015 vehicle. It comes and goes, so nothing really wrong. But I can reset it if I need to. If any other code shows up, I can see what it really is and decide whether to take it to the shop. I trust my car repair absolutely – but it doesn’t hurt to save the $20.

What about cable and internet service. Have any solutions to save money there?
I can’t believe what people pay for television these days. And internet. Negotiate them down – you can do it. I used to call our local internet provider once a year to get a cheaper rate. They would then bump it back up at the end of the year. All you need to do is to threaten to go to the competition. They finally got smart. They now offer a price for life that is just $5 a month more than the lowest one I used to get. So . . . I no longer need to call. And since there is no phone connected with it, there are no added taxes either.

Carl, now you’re shopping around for a new home alarm system. Take us through your thought process when you research a purchase like this. I want people to know how a “killer consumer” thinks!
Alarm System – Fortress S1 Stealth Security System – not yet on Amazon. Brand new.
Fortress sells a bunch of different systems – go with the STEALTH one. New. The older ones have been having quality manufacturing problems. This one is new – should be ok for a while. They are all made in china by different companies – the brand and support is US. Normally I read the Amazon review – the bet ones and the worst ones. This one doesn’t have any yet! I will write one.
Used to have a cheapie from Radio Shack – X10 based. $100, plus components.
That interface was via commands on the console, and a call via phone. Worked but painful.
A Police story: our local police chief said: Get the loudest one you can. Get an external siren for it.
If it goes off, the perps will be long gone by the time it calls you or a service, or the police – and that is your goal. So my alarm calls me and my wife – anywhere in the world. We have Google Voice! Can also do temperature sensor, water sensor, main doors, motion detectors, glass detector. The interface on my old one was crummy – enter things on the alarm itself with a tiny screen. Can also call it, but then you are keying number codes in to get it to arm, disarm, or tell you what happened. I set it up so that it goes off if they even open a storm door – before they get to kicking in the door – which has happened!

Research – this one best: Has a smart phone interface, calls on landline (or VOIP), or on a cell phone SIM if land line not active. You can get a SIM for $10 for really basic calling and text – that will last for years. It only calls when there is an alert. Has battery backup if the power is out, or crooks cut the power and telephone line. Wireless, connects over the wifi from your phone. I want one with a remote as well – when you have a 30 second delay after you open the door to kill the alarm – that’s a lot of time.

AND a good price. $130 – $250. I got the big one because it’s cheaper for the external siren, the 3 motion detectors I need, and the 8 contacts – I have 7 doors and one temperature alarm.
Not yet at Amazon – get it from Fortress. Generally have a sale! Get a package.
Wifi local and remote access, arm, disarm, inquire as to zone.
Cameras also supported. I run my cameras separately. If I have time, I can bring them up in a separate APP and see what’s going on. They can also take pictures if need be. Also have a gadget that lets me turn lights off and one – Insteon – kind of a smart home, but not quite there yet.

Carl, these are all technological innovations you’ve found. Makes me wonder: What’s your profession? And did it help you find these creative savings solutions? Or is it unrelated?
I was CTO for a software company in my last job – been retired for 16 years! I set the strategic direction for our software and products and services. Visited with customers and conferences to give us a presence there. I was the interface to IBM and Microsoft and other vendors. Always enjoyed meddling with the latest and greatest. Bought the first PALM – first handheld gadget – before the iPhone. I even bought their stock – not a great idea!

A software for PC that organizes all of the video out there into channels: PlayOn.tv
Download the app version of the software: www.playon.tv/download

Save money and get ride of your home phone: support.google.com/voice/answer/7207482?co=GENIE.Platform%3DAndroid&hl=en

Connect your modem and your internal telephone line with a OBIHAI adaptor: www.walmart.com/ip/OBIHAI-UNIVERSAL-VOIP-ADAPTER-SUPPORTS-4-SIP-SERVICES-OBITALK/29861174?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=0&adid=22222222227020075523&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=40300193672&wl4=pla-78266875712&wl5=9019562&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=8175035&wl11=online&wl12=29861174&wl13=&veh=sem

Keep up with the latest sales: camelcamelcamel.com/

Have a Fire? Learn how to side load: www.laptopmag.com/articles/fire-tablet-sideload-apps

Buy a gadget to plug in your tablet via Bluetooth that will read codes and even reset: www.amazon.com/BAFX-Products-Bluetooth-Diagnostic-Scanner/dp/B005NLQAHS/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1536617697&sr=8-8&keywords=auto+code+reader+scanner+diagnostic+scan+tool

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EPISODE 68~ SAVE MORE: How To Save On Car Insurance By Dropping Your Comprehensive & Collision Coverage at a Strategic Point

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First, the vocabulary: Collision is the insurance that pays to repair your car if you’re in an accident. Comprehensive is the insurance that pays to repair your car if it’s damaged some other way, like by fire or other natural disasters. Unlike liability insurance, neither of these is required. Of course, you’ll want them while your vehicle is relatively new and valuable. But later, even insurance agents advise that you can save by dropping them. Here’s what the website insurance.com says. Quote: “If the premiums and deductible amount for this portion of your car insurance policy cost more or the same as the worth of your vehicle, it’s time to drop the coverage. For example, if your car is worth $1,000 and your coverage costs $500 a year plus a $500 deductible, you’re not really getting anything for your money.”
Other experts suggest that you should consider nixing collision and comprehensive coverage when your annual premium for those equals more than ten percent of your car’s value. If you cancel these options, instead of fixing your vehicle after it’s mangled, you will just kiss it off and get a new —or new to you— one. Canceling collision and comprehensive can reduce your premium by 30 to 40 percent, according to Autoguide.com.
My friend Jacqueline used to drive a fast, loud, older car that she loved. Her boyfriend had a somewhat aged vehicle too. It was hard for Jackie to admit that it wouldn’t be worth repairing her old rocket. But, I admit I bugged her about it and when she finally got around to canceling the collision and comprehensive coverage on her vehicle and her beau’s, she quickly changed her mind. Here’s the math.
Cancelling Collision and Comprehensive

Average annual premium for Jackie’s two-car family: $3,744
Policy without collision and comprehensive $2,434
BIG SAVINGS = $1,310

That’s enough savings that you can start a fund toward your next car!

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EPISODE 67~ SAVE MORE: Learn How to Cut The Cost & Lower Your Chances Of Being Ripped Off While Moving

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It’s called “Hybrid Moving” and it is our featured “save more” segment of this podcast. In hybrid moving, you rent a moving truck yourself, and hire movers by the hour to load and unload it.

My guest is Ryan Charles of HireAHelper.com, a site where you can find those hourly movers. Welcome to Easy Money, Ryan.

OK, so who are the helpers on HireAHelper?
Most of the service providers who advertise on HireAHelper do loading and unloading jobs for a living. Many are professional labor-only moving companies that specialize in load and unload services. Others are full-service moving companies willing to send their workers out on labor-only moving jobs. Some are individuals who aren’t necessarily professional movers, but who can provide labor.

Since some of them aren’t pros, I wonder if they’re more likely to damage your belongings?
Actually, according to the American Moving and Storage Association, the full-service moving industry has a damage claim rate of about 40 percent – meaning 4 out of every 10 consumers file a damage claim.  Hybrid moving has a damage claim rate of less than 3 percent.

If something does go wrong, what sort of protection do people have when they hire a mover through your site?
Helpers will have their insurance credentials clearly listed in their profile. When it comes to insuring your goods, there is complimentary Standard Repair Coverage available when you place your order through HireAHelper which covers $.60/lb up to $10k. If you hire a service provider with an avg review of 4.5 or better there is also Full Value coverage available for purchase from MovingInsurance.com. Rates start at $12 per $1000 in coverage.

People can also look for mover-helpers with good reviews, right?
If you booked them through HireAHelper, you’ll be able to leave a review. On HireAHelper.com the reviews you see are unfiltered, real reviews from people who booked their moving labor on this website. When selecting a Helper one of the most important things to look for is if they get good reviews from their past customers. But many helpers can also provide background checked workers.

Of course, probably the best protection of all is that hybrid movers never drive off with your stuff, so they can’t hold all your worldly possessions hostage. Is that part of the thinking behind this new way of moving?
Exactly. This form of moving is “scam-proof”. The U.S. Federal Government reports that 36 million people move every year, and one in 10 will report that their moving company is holding their furniture “hostage” for suddenly higher service fees. By controlling the transport of your own items, you also protect yourself from the most common scam in the moving industry.

So the same crew that loads your belongings, doesn’t necessarily unload it?
That depends if it is a local or long distance move. If the Helper’s service area includes your loading and unloading locations, you can hire them to unload your truck too. This works great for local moves! Keep in mind that the helpers do stay on the clock when driving between your loading and unloading locations. If your load and unload addresses are more than 50 miles apart, you’ll probably want to hire two separate helpers for the load and the unload.

How does a customer pay his or her helpers?
Part of the reason helpers like advertising on HireAHelper is that we verify their customer’s payment info. That way they know you are serious about hiring them and have the funds to pay them. So, to place a reservation with your Helper, we ask for a major credit card. Helpers never receive your credit card information. HireAHelper acts as an escrow service for you, the customer, then sends your payment to your Helper when you tell us the job is complete.

How does HireAHelper make its money?
Helper’s pay HireAHelper a commission on every completed order. SO there is no further cost to you beyond what you were quoted.

OK, so now the big question: How much money could I save by booking my move through hire a helper instead of a traditional moving company?
By self-managing the transport and letting hired laborers do all the heavy lifting, you drastically reduce the cost of moving.  A full-service move normally costing $2,600 could be done for $900 using the hybrid approach.

Find helpers to hire hourly when your moving:


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EPISODE 66~ SAVE MORE: Whether and When It’s a Good Idea to Sell Your House Yourself!

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Selling your house yourself is not easy, but it’s not that hard. I helped my husband sell his house without an agent, and I bought and sold my condo without one. FSBOs work best if you have a cool head and a hot housing market.
The real key to selling your house yourself is to price it right. This is where most For Sale By Owners fail. People are attached to their houses and price them too high. There are ac couple of ways to set your price: Pay a real estate agent an hourly fee to work up a price for you or pay for an appraisal. One strategy is to price your house slightly low. After all, you are saving the 6 percent real estate commission, so you have lots of wiggle room. Ideally, your low price will spark a feeding frenzy of interest, you’ll get multiple bids, and sell it for MORE than you wanted.
Many people worry that they won’t know what to do once they have offers. For that, you can hire a real estate attorney. Yes, lawyers are expensive, but even at their hourly rates, they won’t come close to that 6 percent commission you’re trying to avoid.
You can also welcome buyers’ real estate agents to work with you, but offer them either less than their typical 3 percent or offer them a flat fee.
Here’s the thing about selling your house yourself: If you fail, so what? Then you can hire an agent! I’m not saying you should sell EVERY house you ever own yourself. If you can do this just once, you will get ahead financially. According to the National Association of Realtors, most people own six homes in their lifetime, so you have half a dozen chances. I’m simply suggesting that you look for the opportunity.

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EPISODE 65~ SAVE MORE: It is Possible to Save Money on Your Amazon Purchases!

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Kyle, I pored over your blog posts about Amazon hacks and I’m going to share some of my favorites and then have you explain them. So, your first tip: DON’T ALWAYS TRUST AMAZON search results. What do you mean?
The brain-trust at Amazon realize they probably have a “sure-fire” buyer if you’re doing such a specific search, and will often steer your search results towards the item that’ll pad their profits the most, i.e., the most expensive.
When doing specific searches, one of the most secretive ways to save on Amazon is to always dig a little deeper and don’t buy the first item that appears. Always browse through the “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” carousel as well as the “Sponsored Products Related To This Item” carousel located on the individual product page. Many times you’ll find a cheaper version of the same exact model, either sold by a 3rd party or the actual manufacturer.

Next Amazon savings hack, the Double browser trick. What is that?
Amazon has been known to charge Prime members more for products compared to non-members to make up for the free shipping. I have personally seen this happen. A great way to determine if you’re paying more for items because you’re a Prime member is to use two Internet browsers and trick Amazon. In one browser, let’s say Firefox, login to your Amazon account and find the item you want to purchase, but DON’T add it to your cart. Just take note of the price. Then in another browser, perhaps Chrome, clear your browser’s cookies and cache so that Amazon thinks you’re a non-Prime member. Then visit the Amazon website and check the price of the item. If it’s lower than what you saw on your Firefox browser, you know you’re being messed with.To get the lower price, simply add the item to your cart using Chrome, THEN login to your Amazon account and buy as you normally would.

Amazon also has coupons and yet hardly anybody seems to know about them. Where are they and how good are they?
I’m always taking advantage of coupons on Amazon. Most shoppers I talk to have no idea they exist which always blows me away.
But yes, it’s true, they actually have coupons available and they’re a great way to save money. They have a little-known section of their site dedicated to these coupons. Make it a smart frugal habit to always check for a coupon when shopping at Amazon.

Another trick: combine Add-on items. You mean, you don’t have to buy some expensive $25 item to then get your add-on item shipped to you?
If you’re a Prime member, you’ve probably noticed that Amazon has gotten very good at using “Add-On Items” to save on their overall shipping costs.
They do this by only offering these lower-priced items if, and when, your total order amount surpasses $25.
An awesome workaround is to add all your add-on items to your Amazon “Shopping List” and then buy only when your list reaches $25. By mastering this technique, you can easily beat Amazon at their own game and still get free 2-day shipping.

I love this one, because I didn’t know it existed: Open an Amazon business account. Can anybody do that? And what does it get you?
After signing-up for a free Amazon Business account and test driving it for a couple weeks, I can definitely say it’s legit. The savings it provides via quantity discounts and “business only” pricing can save your business or organization a bunch of money over the course of a year. These quantity discounts aren’t available to regular Prime members and make for a great reason to sign your business up for free.

There is also a trick to get 1-day shipping for less. Do tell!
The first thing you have to do to make this work is to add more than 1 item to your Amazon cart. Next, select the 1-day shipping option on any item in your order. Leave all of the other items in your cart at 2-day Prime shipping. Because of the way Amazon shipping works, they save money by packaging all of your items together. So this means, for a small surcharge, you stand a great chance of getting all of your items delivered via 1-day shipping.

One final idea:You can skip Amazon altogether and use other companies that offer free 2-day shipping. How many companies did you find that do this? And what are some examples?
When I did a quick search, I found 13 other retailers that offer free 2-day shipping. Those are just the ones I found. I’m sure there are others. Sometimes other retailers will have a better price or selection than Amazon, so don’t think Amazon is the only one with this fast, free deal. A variety of examples:
and a biggie: walmart.com.


Get all the latest Amazon coupons here: www.amazon.com/Coupons/?&_encoding=UTF8&tag=ratherbeshoppinc&linkCode=ur2&linkId=dbe15b62cee75b1a6d298850cbbba70c&camp=1789&creative=9325

Where to sign up for a free Amazon business account:

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EPISODE 64~ SAVE MORE: Wholesale Warehouse Can Save You BIG Bucks on Car Insurance!

Save more money with The Easy Money Show

I’ve got lots of fancy tips for saving on car insurance, like dropping your collision and comprehends coverage or raising your deductible. But those take vocabulary lessons and some thought. So here’s car insurance savings 101: Consider buying your car insurance where you buy your bulk toilet paper: a warehouse club.
If you belong to a wholesale warehouse like Costco, BJs or Sam’s Club, you can get auto insurance there. These clubs partner with some major insurers to offer group discounts to their members. Some warehouse club members have cut their car insurance costs in half by signing up.
Gregory P. of North Carolina is one of them. He says the warehouse club car insurance policy actually covered more stuff than his old policy yet cost half as much. Gregory switched both his family’s cars to the new policy and bragged about his savings online. Here’s how he did: Old, individual car insurance policy: $2,832 per year. New warehouse club policy: $1,392. Annual savings: $1,440! Woohoo! My favorite kind of savings: big bucks on something boring!

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EPISODE 63~ SAVE MORE: When You’re Sick There’s a Way to Pay For Your Treatment

Save more money with The Easy Money Show

Being diagnosed with a disease is not only devastating to your health and emotions, it can also wreak havoc on your finances. But there are groups out there that will help patients out in these circumstances, and sometimes even pick up the tab. That is our featured “save more” segment of this podcast and for this one, I have 2 guests. In a moment, we’ll speak with Mike Snyder, a cancer survivor, who found paying for his cancer treatment almost as stressful as the disease itself. But first, I want to welcome Dana Dornsife, Chairman of Lazarex Cancer Foundation, a groundbreaking group that helps cancer patients find clinical trials, then pays their M,out-of-pocket costs so they can get treatment. Hi, Dana.

Dana, first tell me how the Lazarex Cancer Foundation came to be.
My Brother-in-law, Mike Miller, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2003. Mike and his wife Erin had three children, the youngest of whom was only four years old. I searched for options for Mike that would give their family some additional time together and found a clinical trial. Mike participated in the clinical trial, responded well and lived long enough to help his sons prepare for their future and for his daughter to remember him. Watching what Mike went through, I witnessed the gap that exists in cancer care for end stage patients. I founded Lazarex to fill that gap.

Can you explain more? Why does Lazarex focus on end stage patients and what is the gap you refer to?
We provide resources for cancer patients who have been told they have no other options, but who are not yet done with their journey in life and refuse to give up. We present clinical trials as an alternative to hospice care for those who want to remain engaged in their fight against cancer. We help them identify their clinical trial options and provide assistance with costs. We believe that the size of a patient’s checkbook should not stand between them and the choices they make or the treatments they need. We remove the barriers to clinical trial participation for advanced stage patients seeking life through FDA clinical trials. For these patients Lazarex is literally their last line of defense.

Of course, legitimate clinical trials are free to participate in. So When you say that you provide assistance with the costs of clinical trial participation, what do you mean?
Lazarex will reimburse participation expenses for any phase therapeutic clinical trial. the clinical trial must be an FDA sponsored clinical trial held at a site in the United States. Income questions and guidelines are part of the application for financial assistance. Lazarex can help pay for the following expenses related to clinical trial participation:
Transportation (economy airfare, gas, rental cars, taxi fare, parking/tolls)
Lodging (housing during clinical trial participation)
Certain medical expenses not covered by insurance and necessary for clinical trial treatment. Lazarex will cover the same expenses for a companion to travel with the patient to the clinical trial

What a gift to these families! How do you choose which patients to work with?
We have a simple application for financial assistance and patients who qualify to participate will be reimbursed for approved out-of-pocket expenses on a sliding scale based upon their total household income. Our guidelines are include households up to 7 times the federal poverty guidelines so they are very inclusive. We arrived at this level of support through trial and error. 7 times the poverty guidelines allow us to maximize the dollars that go to the people who need them the most and turning away very few.

Dana, I know your main goal is to give cancer patients dignity and a chance to keep fighting if they want to. And i know they’re called “end stage patients” for a reason, but have you had success stories where the clinical trial worked a miracle and the patient survived?
Absolutely! Every day we receive emails and notes from our grateful patients. Quite frankly they are what keep us all going – this work is not for the faint of heart. We have many patients who are in various stages of remission or cancer free. Sadly we do lose patients but the loss also propels us forward – to never give up. You mentioned Mike Snyder at the top of the podcast – Mike and his family are an amazing example of the miracles that can come out of clinical trial participation – but we have to get patients to them in order for the miracles to happen.

Lazarex provides financial aid for cancer patients who want to participate in clinical trials. Are there other groups that help patients financially in other ways? Maybe even those facing other deadly diseases?
Yes, we list them on our website, Lazarex.org. Also the website cancer.net maintains a list of organizations that provide various kinds of financial support to cancer patients and their families, from paying for medications to covering co-pays. NIH has a similar web page that lists financial resources for those with genetic and rare diseases. For those facing other deadly diseases: the key message here is that there IS often financial help out there, so do a search and reach out for help. Knowledge is power and can make all the difference in an patients outcome.

And, folks I will link you to those resources from EasyMoneySHow.com/63. Meanwhile, Dana Dornsife, Chairman of Lazarex Cancer Foundation, thank you so much for being my guest on Easy Money.
And now, as we continue to explore the serious topic of saving money while saving your life, I want to hear from a patient who has benefitted from Lazarex’s work. Mike Snyder is a survivor who turned his cancer diary into a book called “No Treatment Options Left: Fighting and Surviving Inoperable Cancer. Mike, thanks so much for being here.

Mike, in 1996, you were diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in your knee and despite doctors amputating your leg, it came back, this time in your lungs. But you weren’t willing to accept the hospice care they suggested for you. So what did you do?
Unwilling to accept the prognosis, my family and I began researching clinical drug trials. We found one but it was a two-hour flight from home.
So you went for it and started traveling to the clinical trial. I assume you also struggled to go to work at this time. Describe what that did to your finances.
Keeping up with travel expenses to get to my life saving treatment nearly drove my family and me into bankruptcy. We were on the brink of having to sell our home.
Getting help participating in a clinical trial not only saved you money, it may have saved your life. Describe what the clinical trial has done for your recovery.
The tumors in my lungs are rock-stable: no movement; no growth; no anything. The PET images of the tumor in what remains of my left leg show extensive calcification; meaning the drug is shutting down the cellular activity of the tumor and it’s morphing into regular bone-type tissue. This change is VERY visible on the scan images and shows the drug is definitely working and working very well.

In 2012, a doctor told you you would die within 5 years. It’s 2018 now, so you beat those odds. What do the doctors in your clinical trial predict for you today?
He said, given my response, he strongly feels that I will survive another 10 years at a minimum, if not more.

And THAT is the power of continuing to fight and getting some financial help to do so. Mike Snyder, thank you so much for sharing your story on Easy Money! And listeners, I will link you to Lazarex and those other financial aid resources mentioned, from Easy Money show.com/63.

Cancer patient access to clinical trails: www.lazarex.org

A list of other organizations that provide various kinds of financial support to cancer patients and their families:

NIH has a similar web page that lists financial resources for those with genetic and rare diseases:

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