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5 Tips for shopping smart and saving big

Being a consumer can be exhausting, but don’t let the hassle get to you. With these shopping tips, learn how to best deal with all types of consumer situations — no matter what may come your way.

As we said in 5 Tips to avoid consumer hassle, shopping can be a pain. So again we turn to Andrea Woroch, money-saving expert for Kinoli Inc., to learn what and what not to do. Here’s what we found:

Don’t get duped

Nothing is as frustrating as telemarketers calling after you’ve just sat down to dinner (or at any time, really). But sometimes, a home or other type of solicitation can sound really appealing. After all, if it didn’t, solicitors would be out of jobs. Just make sure that before you buy or order something, you know what you’re getting into — don’t be rash. Andrea recommends paying with a credit card (for buyer protection purposes) and asking for the transaction in writing.

Take your time

Cars are a huge investment, so take your time when you’re looking to buy. Make sure to thoroughly read consumer reports before committing to any vehicle. Also, take advice from friends, family and do online research.

Hold Off

Not so fast! Andrea recommends not paying a bill upfront for a service you haven’t yet received. That way, you are practically ensuring yourself quality assistance. “If you’re asked for a deposit, give the service provider one-quarter of the total.” If you think about it, everyone wins in the end.

Keep the peace — and your sanity

If you and your landlord can’t seem to get along, you’re not alone. Protect yourself by making sure he or she follows through on promises (which you should have in writing). Andrea also recommends walking through your new place with your landlord by your side so that you can point out any imperfections before officially calling the place home. Finally, if nothing works, “your city, county or local university/community college offers landlord/tenant mediation services.”

Get help

Banks and companies can make internal changes that affect your personal accounts. Don’t let their issues become yours. Andrea recommends visiting the National Foundation for Credit Counseling or calling 1-800-388-2227 to get counseling regarding any debt you may have or other such financial issues.

Read more about how to save

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