Shopping With Credit-Card Readers Attached to Smartphones

If my friend Beth’s recent holiday buying is any indication, shoppers are in for a more-connected experience. Last week, my 82-year-old buddy wanted to buy a platter at her church bazaar. She was met with a “newfangled credit-card” gadget. “The salesgirl told me to slide my credit card through a little square thing attached to her phone,” Beth told me.  “She said it was safe, I did it, I hope it was ok.” That small device called Square is a …

Negotiating: The Cheapskate’s Art of the Deal

Wow, one of the most disturbing (in an interesting way … maybe I should get a toupee?) episodes ever of “The Cheap Life” just went live on YouTube. I challenge “The Donald” himself, Donald Trump, to see if he can out-negotiate me and be a guest on my show. Watch all Cheap Life episodes: for free Be sure to leave me a comment at the bottom of the YouTube video page after watching the video about the best deal you …

Reasons to Think Small for Holiday Shopping

You’ve gotten countless flyers in the mail for “Black Friday.” But there’s another great way to score shopping deals and do good at the same time: Support local merchants and patronize stores and restaurants in your area on Small Business Saturday, November 24. In addition to finding unique gifts, you’re far more likely to get individual attention from people who know their merchandise inside and out and who want to earn customers for life. Small business owners also tend to …

Retirees, Do You Shop Differently?

I’ve been asking a lot of retirees recently, “Now that you’re retired, have your shopping habits changed and, if so, how?” My mom says that she and my dad have been shopping together more. “I always did all of the shopping, but now we almost always do it together,” she said. “It’s definitely been a change for both of us, but overall it’s worked out pretty well and we probably spend less because of it. It helps to have an extra pair of …

Score Great Fourth of July Deals

I love the July 4th holiday– picnics, parades, fireworks, and a chance to spend time with family and friends celebrating our nation’s independence. And it’s also a chance to do a little shopping and score some terrific deals, if you know where to look. Although summer isn’t known for being the best “bargain season” of the year, with consumer spending still sputtering along like a sparkler that turns out to be a dud, it looks like this year many retailers …

Last Minute Christmas: Big Music, No Wires

The following is a guest blog from Steve Morgenstern, who frequently contributes technology content to AARP. You can read more from Steve here, and catch all his guest blogs here. For more and more of us, our phones hold all of our favorite music. But what about listening out loud, and sharing your tunes with others when you’re back home? A new wave of Bluetooth-equipped speaker systems from Bose, Aliph and Logitech makes it easy to fill the room with your phone-based …