Most helpful positive review
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Book May Save You Some $$$
on January 11, 2013
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.