Smart Ways to Save

From the 19 January 2003 issue of Parade Magazine:

  • DO have an emergency account big enough to cover your core expenses for three months.
  • DON’T buy in repose to unsolicited sales pitches. “You might not go to a store to getĀ  new down jacket, but it looks compelling on your computer screen with an offer of free shipping,” says financial adviser Deena Katz.
  • DO use your own bank’s ATMs. Paying an extra $1.50 a day for using a “foreign” ATM adds up to more than $500 a year.
  • DON’T put off paying your credit-card bills! In 200, late fees accounted for almost one-third of credit-card issuers’ profits.
  • DO save for retirement through automatic payroll deductions — and add half o every raise and bonus to your savings. It’s almost painless.
  • DON’T make impulse purchases. “Wait a day or two,” says J. Jay Hurford, a financial planner. “If it still seems important, then buy it.”
  • DO opt out of unsolicited preapproved credit offers by calling the Credit ReportingĀ  Industry (+1-888-567-8688). “Themore credit people have, the more they’re tempted to use it,” says Hurford.

Phone numbers to report scams and gouging in Florida

In the aftermath of hurricane Charley, the St. Petersburg Times on 17 August 2004 published a list of numbers to call:

  • Florida Attorney General’s office price gouging hotline: (800) 646-0444
  • Florida Department of Agriculture and consumer services: (800) 435-7352
  • Construction Industry Licensing Board: (904) 727-6530

While in 1992 in the wake of hurricane Andrew, it took two weeks to top 1,000 complaints, it took only days for this amount to amass after hurricane Charley in 2004.