Archive for the ‘Clark Howard’ Category

Clark Howard: It’s not so easy to cut cable or satellite TV

Consumer expert Clark Howard’s column appears here each Thursday in conjunction with Deal Spotter, a weekly print section in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Listen to Clark's live radio show 8-10 p.m. weekdays on AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB.

Listen to Clark's live radio show 8-10 p.m. weekdays on AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB.

Have you cut the cord from pay TV yet? The latest numbers from Nielsen indicate that 5.1 million households are getting over-the-air reception and supplementing it with Internet-delivered pay programming. That trend is up by roughly 25 percent, according to The Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, the average American household pays about $800 annually for cable and around $1,000 for satellite. It’s a battle I’m waging at our house. We’re with an expensive satellite player and I’ve floated the trial balloon with my wife and kids about cutting the cord entirely — they’re not having it. For me, it would be no big sacrifice because the only thing I watch on TV is the NFL. I would lose a handful of Monday night and Thursday …

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Clark Howard: Supply of cars means savings for you

Consumer expert Clark Howard’s column appears here each Thursday in conjunction with Deal Spotter, a weekly print section in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Listen to Clark's live radio show 8-10 p.m. weekdays on AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB.

Listen to Clark's live radio show 8-10 p.m. weekdays on AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB.

Looking for a sweet deal on a new car? Several vehicles are overstocked on dealer lots and certain to be priced to move.

This latest development comes at a time when the car business is otherwise booming. Yet The Wall Street Journal  reports that while the Japanese automakers are doing well, the Detroit automakers are slowing.

What’s behind the success of the Japanese, who were on the ropes a year ago in the after-effects of the tsunami? Detroit-style marketing, that’s what.

The Japanese automakers are offering major incentives. Honda is up to nearly $2,500 and Nissan is up to more than $4,000. They’re also doing a lot of zero-percent-interest financing — another key Motown move.

At the same time, both domestic and …

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Clark Howard: ‘Trendy’ doesn’t mean it’s pricey

Consumer expert Clark Howard’s column appears here each Thursday in conjunction with Deal Spotter, a weekly print section in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Listen to Clark's live radio show 8-10 p.m. weekdays on AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB.

Listen to Clark's live radio show 8-10 p.m. weekdays on AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB.

Milk consumption is dropping as more Americans shy away from the white stuff — even at a time when sales of cheese and yogurt are up.

What do people have against traditional milk? Well, the alternative medical community has painted milk in a bad light, for starters.

But at my home, we now buy organic milk. It may cost more, but it’s cheaper in the long run because of its extended shelf life. Organic milk is subject to ultra-high temperature pasteurization, unlike regular milk.

Other people I know prefer almond milk because it’s lower in calories and doesn’t need refrigeration when it’s unopened.

On a larger scale, discount grocers are on the march around the country, but some get a warmer reception than others.

After …

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Clark Howard: A college degree shouldn’t leave you broke

Consumer expert Clark Howard’s column appears here each Thursday in conjunction with Deal Spotter, a weekly print section in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Listen to Clark's live radio show 8-10 p.m. weekdays on AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB.

Listen to Clark's live radio show 8-10 p.m. weekdays on AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB.

The state of Texas has come up with a solution to the high cost of college that I’m hoping will be a model for other states to follow.

Gov. Rick Perry remains on target with a promise he made in his State of the State address: To allow the state’s university system to deliver a standard four-year degree for a total cost of $10,000.

The Texas Tribune  reports that the first degree available for $10,000 is in information technology. Four-year degrees in business administration and organizational leadership are next on tap.

Among the 10 participating Texas colleges are Angelo State University, University of Texas at Arlington and Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Florida has a different way to get to the same goal. It’s converted …

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Clark Howard: The best websites for travel savings

Consumer expert Clark Howard’s column appears here each Thursday in conjunction with Deal Spotter, a weekly print section in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Listen to Clark's live radio show 8-10 p.m. weekdays on AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB.

Listen to Clark's live radio show 8-10 p.m. weekdays on AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB.

JD Power has a new ranking of the best travel sites for bargains as decided by you, the traveler.

In first place, we have Booking.com, which is owned by the Priceline people. This site gets almost 400 million unique visitors annually. When you do a hotel search, it shows you the best rate at every hotel.

In second and third place, we have Hotwire.com and Priceline.com. Both are blind-booking sites and I book more travel on Priceline than anywhere else, principally for hotels and cars.

The traditional players like Orbitz.com, Expedia.com and Travelocity.com are all in the middle of the heap.

Two bargain sites for air travel didn’t get great scores: CheapoAir.com and
CheapTickets.com.

Meanwhile, two of my favorites, Kayak.com …

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Clark Howard: Machine helps cut costs for soda

Consumer expert Clark Howard’s column appears here each Thursday in conjunction with Deal Spotter, a weekly print section in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Listen to Clark's live radio show 8-10 p.m. weekdays on AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB.

Listen to Clark's live radio show 8-10 p.m. weekdays on AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB.

There are big changes going on if you drink soda that could represent a real money-saving opportunity for you.

Technological breakthroughs are making it easier and cheaper for you to drink soft drinks that you make at home. The first mover in this market has been Soda Stream and the company is booming. The New York Post reports it sells 10,000 machines a day.

Having a Soda Stream is like having your own soft drink bottling plant at home for a street price of $80 to $120. Instead of lugging soda home from the store, you put water into your home unit and add the syrup to make the flavor you want. The carbonation comes courtesy of these canisters made of lightweight aluminum.

I’ve tasted a variety of the Soda Stream flavors. Some …

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Clark Howard: Let the calendar be your guide to sales

Consumer expert Clark Howard’s column appears here each Thursday in conjunction with Deal Spotter, a weekly print section in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Listen to Clark's live radio show 8-10 p.m. weekdays on AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB.

Listen to Clark's live radio show 8-10 p.m. weekdays on AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB.

Now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are behind us, it’s still possible to get great deals if you just let the calendar be your guide. Retailers typically do 40 percent or more off all their annual sales during the Christmas shopping season.

But the deals they offer are concentrated heavily at two times — early in the season and then much later on. So don’t fall for the ploy where you see stores promoting sales that are actually non-sales. In general, the deals won’t pick back up again until now (mid-December). Clothing typically goes on sale now.

Monday is a key date, particularly for seasonal goods. That includes women’s robes, men’s belts, wallets — basically anything you buy when you’re clueless about …

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Clark Howard: Keep an eye on savings bonds

Consumer expert Clark Howard’s column appears here each Thursday in conjunction with Deal Spotter, a weekly print section in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Listen to Clark's live radio show 8-10 p.m. weekdays on AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB.

Listen to Clark's live radio show 8-10 p.m. weekdays on AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB.

Are you unhappy with the low interest rates on savings accounts and CDs? The federal government could help you temporarily earn close to 2 percent on your money.

In the past, I’ve spoken with great enthusiasm about Series I U.S. savings bonds. Throughout the late 1990s and early last decade, they were a phenomenal deal. If you bought I bonds during the sweet spot, I advise you to hold those notes for the full 30-year term.

Series I bonds have a two-part interest rate. There’s a fixed rate that today sits at zero. Then there’s a floating rate based on inflation — that’s what the “I” in Series I stands for. During the next six months, that floating rate is .88 percent, which is 1.76 percent annualized over 12 months. …

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Clark Howard: Not all sales are truly a bargain

Consumer expert Clark Howard’s column appears here each Thursday in conjunction with Deal Spotter, a weekly print section in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Listen to Clark's live radio show 8-10 p.m. weekdays on AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB.

Listen to Clark's live radio show 8-10 p.m. weekdays on AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB.

Black Friday started on Thanksgiving this year. Is the annual retail salesfest encroaching too far on the American institutions of family and football that usually mark Turkey Day?

Some retailers have been steadily taking Thanksgiving away from employees by starting the sales earlier and earlier over the last couple of years. Kmart was the first to do this several years ago by opening on Thanksgiving. Now others like Target, Walmart, and Toys R Us are following suit.

Target opened stores at 9 a.m. on Thanksgiving for Black Friday sales. But they were bested by Sears and Walmart, both of which opened at 8 p.m.

Meanwhile, retailers used to get upset when copies of their Black Friday ads leaked out on the web. Today, however, they …

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Clark Howard: Research pays when buying new gadgets

Consumer expert Clark Howard’s column appears here each Thursday in conjunction with Deal Spotter, a weekly print section in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Listen to Clark's live radio show 8-10 p.m. weekdays on AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB.

Listen to Clark's live radio show 8-10 p.m. weekdays on AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB.

Don’t buy another Christmas gift before reading this advice about the best places to buy electronics.

The December 2012 issue of Consumer Reports has new ratings for both traditional retailers and online retailers.

The two online retailers who got the highest score are consistently rated as two of the best: NewEgg.com and BHPhotoVideo.com. Meanwhile, Amazon.com and Costco.com were in a dead heat right behind those two leaders. Trailing behind with much lower scores were WalMart.com and BestBuy.com.

When it came to physical stores, Costco Wholesale and the Apple store both tied as top contenders. Costco also was named the lowest-cost place for electronics among brick-and-mortar retailers. On the other end of the spectrum, …

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