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With the raising of our payroll taxes which takes more cash out of our paycheck and wallets, and economist Nouriel Roubini's prediction--who forecast the last financial melt-down--that there would be very slow growth of 1.7% this year (2013), it's especially helpful to find ways to maximize the dollars we spend. In this book, the author has tips on how you can do more and spend less. This book won't be for everybody, but I found some suggestions helpful for my personal situation.

The tips are divided into three areas: travel, shopping and personal finance. One of my takeaways from reading this book is you don't have to resort to typical default behavior regarding travel, shopping and finance expenditures. My brother is in sales and travels a lot, and I have seen how he manages to constantly upgrade ending up in first class and suites, while I'm usually sitting in the middle seat near the bathrooms on planes and have the room by the elevators with a view of the parking lot at hotels. My brother has taught me some ways to avoid these.

I think Brad can teach my brother a few things. For example, loved the idea of buying 2 night stays at the Hyatt at their less expensive Hyatt Places with one free night that can be used at their more expensive resorts. And buy Hyatt gift cards--$100 value for $79--at Costco. (Costco didn't have gift cards for Hyatt recently when we called them. However, my brother says many hotels--for example Weston, Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt--offer low-price guarantees in which if you find lower prices posted online on other travel sites, they will match the price and give you an additional 20-25% discount off that lower price.) I see how my brother is constantly looking for inexpensive travel deals online which he can then upgrade. Last week he was in a President's Suite of 2000 square feet, with a list price of not to exceed $5000 a night on the door. It included 4 free breakfasts and lounge food for which my brother paid only a $100 a night for the rooms and breakfast and snacks for his family overlooking the ocean in California. So, I've seen personally how it can be done with some desire, initiative, know-how and pluck.

Brad also offer ideas on how to get airplane miles via the airplanes and through credit cards. It was helpful to hear about the TSA Precheck for frequent fliers.

In the shopping section, Brad admits he buys most of his purchases online and had suggestions regarding iPhone plans, computer equipment, jewelry, groceries and household products. I didn't know that Costco, for example, makes nothing on the products they sell, so their profit is in their membership fees which is what keeps the cost down. I liked his idea regarding cable service and how you can keep the cost down there, too.

Regarding personal finance, it was enlightening to find out how to get into credit unions which save banking fees, how to raise your credit score above 740, where to get home loans for less and have your credit cards make or save you money.

It seems most folks will learn at least a few tips here, or at his site BRADS DEALS, which list the 10 best daily deals to save some money each day, which should more than pay for this book. But this book won't be for everybody. It helps to think of it as an adventure--but if you find tracking fares, credit card rates, hotel and airplane fees, and shopping bargains that appear for a short time--so you have to pounce--a chore, you won't enjoy the process and probably won't like Brad's book. This book is for folks who would find it fun and are willing to spend a little time, effort, and creative thought to pursue bargains. Brad is the first to say not all of the ideas will work all of the time.

I liked the book--didn't know what to expect as I hadn't heard of Brad or his website before--if it saves me several hundred dollars and I get a great vacation for less out of it, will love the book. First, I've got to transfer my balances to a 0% credit card which I have been putting off.
0Comment62 of 71 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 10, 2013
There's far too much information on layering with credit cards, as most of us don't have the time or energy to do this. There's also too much emphasis on travel deals, and not enough on everyday life, from my perspective.
I've tracked online for many years and this book was a disappointment to me. I've occasionally wondered about the preponderance of credit card offers and I now understand that.
However, the book overall doesn't seem to apply to the everyday consumer, who doesn't travel much, and who just wants to save money.
Sorry, Brad. I feel ripped off.
33 comments61 of 72 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 13, 2013
I got this book after getting hooked on Brad's awesome website of great deals, expecting it to be a guide for how to use airline miles and points from credit cards to travel cheaply to amazing places. It is that, but it's also so much more.

I did not expect to come away from reading this book feeling inspired and empowered, but I did! The author talks you through the ways in which consumers are expected to shop for and buy things, and how these normal routes often cost us money or time, or both. It's true that in the examples about the opportunities he has taken advantage of, the deals and promotions that made that *specific* example work are often not in operation anymore, but what you're supposed to take away is that if you can be just a tiny bit creative and follow his lead, when an opportunity comes along you can be prepared to make it work for you. And as the author points out, these opportunities are always coming along, constantly.

Also, don't think that to get to do awesome things so cheaply has to take a ton of time, like the folks who spend entire days clipping boxes of coupons. In fact I think I only saw the word coupon twice. The focus here is NOT on obtaining possessions, or even experiences like vacations, for as cheap as humanly possible, by whatever means necessary. Rather, this is a book about harnessing the opportunities that are already out there to make the everyday things you do work for you, instead of against. And more importantly, enjoying the benefits, which means saving time as well as cash.

I won't give away specifics, but his point really hits home: if there is an easier, cheaper way to get the things you want, why on earth wouldn't you go that way? Probably two answers, at least for me, were habit, and fear of being taken advantage of. This book addresses both. The author explains what taking out new credit cards does to your credit score (spoiler alert: not what you think if you don't abuse them [really!] ), and what closing credit cards does to it. He's actually done some dangerous recon missions with his own credit, taking out 17 credit cards at one time and watching the score every day to see how it changed. So because he's tried (just about) everything with his own money on the line, you can do the things that work fearlessly and quickly. For someone painstakingly building credit from scratch, being able to benefit from his experience is just invaluable.

So it's not a list of awesome stuff you can get for free and cheap right now (again, visit his two great websites for that), but rather an overhaul for your spending habits that will let you reap all the possible rewards of things you're probably doing and buying already. Other reviewers sees this as a flaw, but there are definitely SOME do-right-now changes you can make as soon as you put the book down, especially in the personal finance section. It's just that these are tried and true standbys that you may not know about, but always exist, while the fun stuff like cool vacations and free flights are promotions changing all the time.

It's also a quick, enjoyable read; he begins each section with a story of a great trip he and his wife got to take, or a problem he solved in his own life, then backs up to explain the steps he took that made it happen, then how you can approach things in your own life to do similarly. The only thing that could have used more detail is the brief section on bringing down the costs of groceries and household items without spending a ton of time like the dreaded extreme couponers. The author mentions using Amazon (hi!) for their subscribe and save feature, which I haven't actually found to be a good value at all, but likely this is simply too region-specific and need-specific to go into detail about and have it be very useful.

Overall, a great investment for your personal finances and a great place to start being able to do the things you want with what you already have.
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on May 3, 2013
When I first meet Brad Wilson it was through emails at Brad's Deals and boy did he give you some deal. The first I remember getting were Ralph Lauren towels for $5 with free shipping. I have gotten name brand sheets at unheard of prices, New Balance tennis shoes, North Face Jackets, well you get the idea. It's like I can't wait for the next Brad's Deal to come out so I can see whats on it but then scared to see because I didn't need to be spending any money but it was all things I needed. This books gives you lots of secrets on finding these deals yourself, especially when you need something. So yep I'll give ole Brad 5 stars for all the hard work he puts in to save me and you a few hard earned bucks. Keep it going Brad.
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on February 9, 2013
Great book! The concepts in this book are really helpful. It definitely makes you think differently about being a consumer.
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on January 31, 2013
I consider Brad's insight modern, applicable shear Genius. Anytime I see someone that dedicated to helping me watch my bottom line while maintaining a fantastic quality of life, I'm impressed.
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on January 15, 2013
I have to agree with another reviewer...This is one book no one should be without..There are so many things that can save money that only a few people knew about..
I wish I had had this book when I bought my new car..I might have saved a few dollars..Since I am a senior and always looking for ways to save money and still live a normal life and do the things I have time to do..This book will enable me to do some of the things that until I read this book where beyond my ability to pay for or do..
I search "Brads List" every day, and so far have been able to buy some extra items at a afforable price..I intend to keep watching the Lists, and refering to this book also....

It is a must read as far as I am concerned...
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on January 9, 2013
I'm only a few chapters in so far, so I haven't completed reading the book, but I'm finding it hard to read any further. This is not a "how to" to get great deals of your own, this is "Brad" telling you all about how HE got all these great deals that are no longer available to people reading the book.

If I wanted to hear about what great deals someone I didn't know got that I can't get.....well, I don't. And I spent money on this.

What a waste.

I will finish reading the book, simply because I bought it, but so far this is an absolute waste of money & time.


Finished reading the book. This is an absolute WASTE OF MONEY & YOUR TIME. All the writer does is tell you how HE got great vacations & deals, which you can no longer get because the way that he got them isn't available anymore. There is literally not ONE useable piece of information that a consumer can use present day. Oh, and the whole "raise your credit score" section of the book is 2 pages long, and let me fill you in on his "secret"....dispute things on your credit score. WOW, what a shocker, right?

What a waste. Cannot believe that I bought this book.
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on January 8, 2013
I just finished reading brads book and I must say I am surprised of all the tips and tricks I was not aware of. I consider myself very keen when it comes to being financially savvy and this book took me by surprise and thought me a lot! I highly recommend this book it's not like all the others on the market, it is unique, straight to the point and useful in almost all aspects of your everyday life. Thanks brad I look forward to future books. Steve (Indiana)
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on February 3, 2013
nothing that i didn't already know. this may be helpful to frequent travelers--which i'm not.
for myself, this book is pretty much worthless
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