How To Use Price Adjustments To Get The Best Deals

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Some stores will refund the difference if an item's price drops after you buy it. I've reviewed the price adjustment rules of some popular stores and tell you how to take advantage of these policies at Amazon, Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Kohl's, and the Gap family of stores in my Financial Edge article for Investopedia, How To Use Price Adjustments To Get The Best Deals.

How To Prevent Identity Theft While Traveling

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Identity theft doesn't just happen when you're at home. In fact, you may be even more vulnerable to it while traveling because you're carrying your valuable personal information around with you in unfamiliar and distracting environments. In my Financial Edge article for Investopedia, How To Prevent Identity Theft While Traveling, I provide some tips for keeping your identity safe while you're on the road.

What To Expect From The Zynga IPO


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Social media stocks have been all the buzz in 2011.

As the year draws to a close, Zynga, maker of popular Facebook games like FarmVille, CityVille, Mafia Wars and Words with Friends, is one of the most talked about of the 11 remaining IPOs scheduled for the year.

Take a look at what investors will be buying into and how they might fare in my Financial Edge article for Investopedia, What To Expect From The Zynga IPO.

Low mortgage rates are the best gifts for home buyers

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Missed out on those holiday shopping deals? Don't fret. The best deal awaiting you this year could be a new mortgage.

With interest rates remaining near record lows, you should seriously consider adding a mortgage to your holiday shopping list, whether you’re looking to buy a new home or want to refinance.

The savings you lock in will be a gift that keeps on giving.

Just a couple of years ago, today’s rates would have looked like door-buster deals.

We’ve found advertised rates on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages as low as 3.75%, with no points and application fees of less than $2,000.

While this is a great time to take out a new home loan or refinance an existing mortgage, tougher loan standards mean about half of all homeowners couldn't get a mortgage if they applied today.

Before you apply for a mortgage, learn about the most common reasons for rejection and how to increase your approval chances in my Interest.com article, Low mortgage rates are the best gifts for home buyers.

Just in time for the holidays: Credit card bonuses

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How would you like $500 in gift cards?

That's just one of the perks available right now from credit card issuers who are competing heavily to offer the best incentives and gain new customers.

Today's sign-up incentives might be bigger, but they also require more of the cardholder.

We've seen a lot of offers this year that require a pretty significant spending threshold in order to receive the bonus.

That being said, if you can meet the spending requirements with your normal spending patterns, these signup bonuses can really pay off. Learn more about them in my Interest.com article, Just in time for the holidays: Credit card bonuses.

End-Of-The-Year Income Tax Checklist

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Every year around this time, we hear about the same old things we should do by December 31 to save money on our taxes the following April.

My article provides some lesser-known tips and strategies for last-minute tax savings. I also share some arguments against taking commonly recommended measures like paying property taxes and the January mortgage bill in December.

Read more in my Financial Edge article for Investopedia, End-Of-The-Year Income Tax Checklist.

Who Should You Tip During The Holidays?

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Holiday tipping isn't about going down a list and rewarding everyone on it with an amount dictated by an etiquette expert. Holiday spending in any form is supposed to be about showing your heartfelt appreciation for the people you care about and the people who make your life better in some way.

If you do want to show your appreciation with special tips this holiday season, you'll find a guide to the people in your life you might consider tipping and how much you should give them in my Financial Edge article for Investopedia, Who Should You Tip During The Holidays?

More homeowners shorten terms when refinancing

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More than a third of homeowners who have refinanced their homes recently have shortened their loan terms, according to data released by mortgage giant Freddie Mac. That's the largest percentage of mortgage refinances converted from 30-year, fixed rate loans to 15- or 20-year loans since 2003.

And even if they don't opt for a shorter-term loan, some 95% of homeowners who refinanced in the second quarter chose a fixed-rate loan over an adjustable-rate mortgage, Freddie Mac's data show. Why are so many people choosing these options? Read more in my Interest.com post, More homeowners shorten terms when refinancing.

3 ways to determine the best home purchase price

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You've settled on a home you'd like to buy. But how much should you offer to pay for it? No strategy for establishing an offering price will be perfect, I offer some guidelines in my Interest.com post, 3 ways to determine the best home purchase price.