This Week in Money Management: Striving to Be a Savvy Consumer'/

Savvy Consumer Savings(Image by 401k, via

Spending money wisely isn’t just about paying less for things you want and need; sometimes, it is just as much about making sure your purchases are wise ones to begin with.  Whether you’re looking to avoid the latest scam, or hope to get a little inside advice on how to be a better buyer, this week’s roundup of favorite tips will help you enjoy your hard-earned dollar.

1.  Avoid a fool’s bargain.  Scams are so common these days; you wouldn’t think anyone would still get tricked. Wise Bread shares another development in the world of text message rip-offs, along with details for staying out of harm’s way.

2.  Count the pans, not the pieces. Consumer Reports shares why you should really be paying attention to cookware sets’ actual number of cooking pieces, as many of these sets include just as many lids and “accessories” as places to heat up food.

3.  Soften up. Many people have argued whether “soft” water is worth the cost.  This article from Money Smart News shares the price you may pay for going without.

4.  Sell it for more! Consignment is a popular way for people to de-clutter and make a few bucks, but there are some pitfalls you will want to avoid. Money Crashers gives some very concrete details on how the industry works, and what you will want to know before you hand over your goods.

5. Make the best deals better. Budgets Are Sexy shares some amazing insider info on how to get a rock-bottom price on a hotel room via Priceline and Hotwire. Just follow the detailed instructions to get more travel money for your next vacay!

6. Insure smarter.  Buying insurance is a complicated process, often led by guilt and worry. Before you overspend and leave yourself with less cash each month, go through this checklist provided by Len Penzo.

7.  Break-even is within reach. Being underwater on a mortgage is not the worst possible scenario (but it can be pretty bad.)  Check out these calculators and tips for getting back to the surface again, compliments of Five Cent Nickel.

8.  Money is a motivator.  Finally, we look at why people fall for scams in the first place. There are no surprising answers here, but Cash Money Life really tells it like it is.

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Published March 19, 2012
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