Posts Tagged ‘consumer’

Top Ten Money Saving Videos of 2010 on

The Top Ten Money Saving Videos of 2010 on

We are so fortunate to be able to bring you so much valuable and insightful content provided by the many talented and knowledgeable money-savers from across the globe who are devoted to helping others come closer to achieving personal financial success.

And, a very special acknowledgment with our deepest gratitude and appreciation goes out to all of the contributors in our Originals Channel, who generously gave their skill, time, effort, hearts, and their professional wisdom and expertise in creating videos exclusively for They are: Daniel Delaney, The Dolans, Marie Forleo, Garrett B. GundersonRyan Lee, Alexis Neely, Joe Polish, Sean Stephenson, and Gary Vaynerchuk.

Here is the List of Top Ten Money Saving Videos of 2010 :

10. Money Map for Entrepreneurial Success – Alexis Neely (an SLTV Original)

Personal finance/business coach and lawyer, Alexis Neely, shares entrepreneurial insights and shows how true success is easily within your reach. In this Exclusive clip Alexis brings you inside her easy 6-Step Money Map to Freedom Process, to target your true desires for business and life, help you clearly identify your true goals, direct you toward richer financial well being and generate more success.

9. Magically Lower Your Interest Rates – Garrett B. Gunderson  (an SLTV Original)

In this Exclusive video Garrett gives a easy pointers to save more money and free up your cash flow with 3 magic words you can use to receive lower rates on creditcards, car and personal loans, home mortgages, and business lines of credit. Garrett B. Gunderson is the producer and host of the radio program, “Five Tracks to Wealth, The Producer Power Hour,” and is the author of the New York Times personal finance bestseller, Killing Sacred Cows.

8. Consider Travel Insurance – June Walbert (as of 12/2013 this video is no longer active)

Travel insurance could save you a lot more than just a travel headache. Consider these tips before planning your next big trip from June Walbert, USAA Certified counselor.

7. Clip Coupons: Serious Scissors Tips – Author Unknown

As long as we still need to clip actual coupons from inserts, flyers and newspapers, these pointers are invaluable for speeding up the tedious process.

6. Rich Romantic Times for Less – Sean Stephenson (an SLTV Original)

How do you give your date that rich classy time with a wallet running on empty? In this Exclusive segment relationship expert, therapist, speaker and author of Get Off Your “But,” Sean Stephenson gives you what you need to keep your wallet happy, wine and dine, be cozy, creative, get communicative, and… who knows?

5. Save Big with Shopping Rewards Programs – Karen McGuire & John Ewoldt

Big savings can really add up fast with shopping rewards programs. Star Tribune reporters, Kara McGuire and John Ewoldt, aka: The Dollar Duo, give great pointers to get more out of these programs and save more money.

4. Keep Your Customers! –  Ryan Lee (an SLTV Original)

In this Exclusive clip, Ryan reveals one of the biggest mistakes business owners make and gives you valuable pointers on how to keep your biggest asset – your customers – coming back for more. Ryan Lee turned his love of fitness into a multi-million dollar online empire. Currently, Ryan concentrates on teaching other passionate people how to copy his remarkable business success.

3. Be a Customer Who Gets What You Want! – Gary Vaynerchuk (an SLTV Original)

Customers have more power than ever before. In this Exclusive clip Gary Vaynerchuk speaks on how being an engaged consumer gets you more of what you want from brands. Vaynerchuk is the New York Times bestselling author of Crush It, speaker, video personality, and American businessman who transformed a small family-owned liquor store into a $60+ million annual revenue business in less than 10 years. His blog focuses on business, emerging technologies and cultural trends, and he is co-founder of Vaynermedia.

2. Maintain a Mindset of Abundance – Marie Forleo (an SLTV Original)

In this Exclusive video Marie Forleo shares easy actionable steps you can use to stay strong in creating a platform of abundance to attract success, financial control, and feel great about your potential. A best-selling author, speaker, and online-entrepreneur,  Marie has defied conventional wisdom and helps many achieve phenomenal success through her dynamic coaching programs, masterminds, home study programs, live events and blog.

1. Avoid These 8 Retirement Mistakes! – The Dolans, Ken & Daria (an SLTV Original)

In this exclusive segment, The Dolans give you great advice for all age groups – about saving money, planning for retirement, 401-k’s, & how to avoid costly retirement investment mistakes. For more than 20 years, Ken and Daria Dolan have been the trusted source for real money solutions. Ken and Daria give you the Straight Talk you need to get more bang for every buck, erase debt , save more money and make smarter, more confident and successful money choices.

And additional thanks, the website for anything and everything top ten, for providing the inspiration to compile this list, as well as our list of Top Ten Money Saving Tips from Experts, too!

You might also like: The Top Ten Money Saving Videos of 2011 on

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How to Succeed at Money Resolutions

There is timeless wisdom in the tips and ideas offered in these videos on how to succeed with your Money Resolutions… good pointers no matter what the year!

Keep Finances in Check for the New Year – Tips on keeping your finances in check for the new year from Kelli Grant, Senior Consumer Reporter for

A Fresh Financial Start in the New Year – Financial advisor, Cindy RungerBalas, gives suggestions you can use to get your family finances off to a fresh start in the New Year, on budgeting, spending, saving and taxes.

5 Solutions to New Year’s Financial Resolutions – Money expert, Lawrence Gold, gives his 5 top financial tips to surviving the credit crunch by adopting a no-strings-attached lifestyle for health, transportation, cell phones, and vacations!

New Year Financial Resolutions – It may be hard to know which New Year’s financial resolutions are best for you. To make it easy, here is a way to approach making your financial resolutions from Fatima Mehdikarimi, founder of

Financial Bootcamp Online – The new year is a perfect time to get on the financial track. Kim Harris, from Armstrong Advisory Group, gives online sources for financial boot camps to help you quickly tone up your budget!

More in our blog post: 5 Steps to Make Resolutions Stick

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Want Awesome Service? Communicate…

OR … How to get more value for your money,  have great customer service, and improve the brand and product experience for the next guy (who actually might be you), just by being a great and responsible consumer… (no coupons necessary!)

SpendLessTV blog: Good Consumerism = Hotel Discount

Reality check: Unfortunately, the actual hotel lobby does not quite resemble this crisp,  bright and cheery photo featured on the Marriott website.

Courtyard by Marriott – Tremont , Boston, Mass, USA

The hotel sits in the Boston theater district, a landmark building with a lobby reminiscent of opulent glamorous  days with vast entryways, tall ceilings slathered in detailed carvings and adorned with crystal chandeliers.   Wow, this is going to be really nice! There’s a steady stream of families buzzing about who have come for a college visit weekend. Boston, which has more colleges per square inch than any other city in the world, gets pretty busy during these college event times, which is why we booked our hotel way in advance, and why, after the first impression wears off,  the hotel’s glaring signs of wear-and-tear and dingy tinge we notice are disappointing but understandable given this barrage of constant college traffic and the age of the building.  But rather than dwell on the frayed carpet and furniture that’s reminiscent of a 1970’s movie set, we keep our focus on the beautiful architectural details in the lobby and high hopes for a comfortable room.

During our check-in we asked our usual favorite question: are there any further discounts we might not be aware of that we might be entitled to?  We were told we were getting the best possible rate with AAA Members and  local university discounts.  Okay, now on to the room.

Again, given the age of the building, and the fact that we’re in town to tour the college, not to luxuriate in the room, we are willing to make do with some of the emerging additional minor glitches: rattling elevators, no wifi (just plug-in,  but at least it was free), some funky caulking in the bathroom, more of the B-movie set furniture, dull beige something-or-other colored walls, the sprinkler pipe sticking out of the wall with an intrusively large “do not use a hanger on this” sticker posted next to it, and the security latch lock on the door was dangling off the wall with screws sticking out.

When we return to the hotel late that evening, the lobby was filled with a pounding and rumbling sound which we assumed must be a train or subway nearby.  Nope, no train…  no subway… dance clubs… three of them surrounding the building.  No problem, we’re on the 7th floor.  Wrong.  Pa chong, pa chong, pa chonga..till the very very late hours (or early hours).  The next night the same thing, only louder.

Okay, so where am I going with all this?  Yep, you guessed it…Ask. Ask for the service provider to stand by their service agreement to you. Ask for compensation, ask for consideration, just ask politely for a remedy.  (see SLTV’s blog entries: How to Get Great Hotel Service and Save Money, Too! and The Single Most Helpful Tip for Shopping)

At check out we brought the broken latch to the front desk, politely brought up the noise issue, and pointed out that we had booked the room well in advance to ensure having a room, but now hotels nearby are offering even lower rates, and asked for some compensation for the inconvenience of the broken lock and noisy conditions. And… we received an $80 credit.

This isn’t meant to be a review or pan. We’ve generally found Marriott hotels to be an excellent value, and we were really surprised by this facility. We do appreciate that the Marriott front desk staff was willing to listen and empowered to offer reasonable amends. This speaks well for Marriott’s customer service policy, and is why we will continue to patronize Marriott.

The fact is that other than the broken latch lock, we never even brought up the general state of disrepair.  We were willing to completely accept many of the inconveniences. But we also have our limits. The noise was our tipping point, and keeping this to ourselves would not only have been a disservice to us, but it would also have been a disservice to future guests, and to the hotel as well.

What you pay for and what you expect in return is, to a large extent, an ‘agreement’ between you and the service provider. It’s their business to serve you, but it’s up to you to negotiate those parameters.  Service providers need to hear from you about what’s working or not working, if you will or will not be returning, and why.  This ensures that you and others will benefit by getting better service, more value, and better opportunities for deals in the future.  One of the most effective and positive ways you can advocate for yourself , keep your service provider in the know, and receive benefits is to simply ask ask ask! Politely asking is also a way of politely informing.

And, take it one level higher by using social media to let companies (and everyone else) know how your experience was, and how responsive they were or weren’t.  It’s a great way to ensure future value and quality. (see SLTV’s co-founder, Michael Fishman’s blog entry: Using the Social Web to Maximize Customer Experience)

Being budget-conscious does not mean you need to compromise on service, and being a good customer never hurts.

Related videos:

Be a Customer Who Gets What You Want – Gary Vaynerchuk, entrepreneur and marketing guru, comments on how consumers benefit from being good customers.

Keep Your Customers! – Ryan Lee, business marketing specialist, gives excellent concrete tips for any business to keep their most valuable asset, their customers,  coming back for more.

Cost Effective Marketing for Small Business – Joe Polish, President of Piranha Marketing, reveals invaluable top techniques to market your business more effectively & efficiently.

How Behavioral Economics Can Boost Your Bottom Line – Dan Ariely a professor of behavioral economics at Duke University, explains how we perceive value

PS: Please indulge me as I take a brief slightly off-topic break: This post wouldn’t be complete without a shout out to the absolute highlight of the hotel: The Encore Lounge, a piano bar off the lobby (Courtyard by Marriott – Tremont , Boston). Amtrak train conductor by day, musical comedy Dame by night,  Colleen Powers had us completely enthralled with her impeccable timing and spot-on observations (no one escapes her keen and cutting wit). Jimmy on piano followed her every cue and didn’t miss a beat when backing up the locals taking a turn on the mic. The entire scene – was completely entertaining.  And, now to bring us back on topic: It’s a tremendous entertainment value, with no cover charge!

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New Credit Card Rules – A Better Game?

Credit cards are tricky enough, but now new rules have gone into effect that will impact your credit card use, billing dates, fees, fines, spending limits, and interest rates. Our Finance, Credit, Budgeting channel has among it’s inventory, the six short videos featured below that give great pointers on how these changes affect you and what you need to know to stay on top of the game. There is controversy over the effectiveness of these new rules and whether they provide more protection to consumers or not. We’ll be interested to hear your experiences with the new changes.

Credit Cards: The New Rules – CBS Early Show

New Credit Card Bill, What it Means for You – Money Talks

New Credit Card Rules – What to Do BEFORE they take effect – Laura Rowley

New Credit Card Rules Guide – Ron Lieber, NY Times

And for more in-depth information on credit, we’ve made available  in it’s entirety PBS’ FRONTLINE TV special: The Card Game: Wizards of Consumer Lending

And also a re-posting of their associated blog post, We Bring You: FRONTLINE’s “The Card Game”.

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We Bring You: FRONTLINE’S “The Card Game” is pleased to be bringing our viewers “The Card Game” Wizards of Consumer Lending” which originally aired, on PBS,on Novebmer 24, 2009.

FRONTLINE and The New York Times have teamed up to create a program covering the consumer credit business . New government regulations and new guidelines are coming, and along with those, banks will offer customers new incentives, terms, and products. From exploring the evolution of the business, to exposing their manipulative tactics, to arming consumers with insight to avoid potential new credit pitfalls, this program is not-to-be missed.

“Investigating the massive consumer loan industry and what’s ahead for consumers and banks — a FRONTLINE-New York Times co-production.”

View the video: The Card Game: Wizards of Consumer Lending

Below is a re-print of  PBS followup pointers: Seven Things To KNow About “The Card Game”.  We are bringing this to you here for your convenience, and because we feel the information is so vital. For further information, interviews and background analysis, visit The Card Game website.

Seven Things To Know About “The Card Game”

1. Cardholders Have New Protections

The Credit CARD Act of 2009 curtails many of the most abusive practices. New rules must take effect by February 2010:

• no retroactive rate hikes;

• statements must be mailed 21 days before payment due date;

• payment dates can’t suddenly be shifted;

• statements must say how long it will take to pay off balances and the total interest costs if paying just the monthly minimum;

• 45 days notice required for changes in terms and conditions.

For debit cards — now more popular than credit cards — the Federal Reserve issued new rules (effective summer 2010) on overdraft fees. So have some large banks:

• card issuers can’t charge fees for debit card overdrafts at stores and ATMs unless the cardholder has agreed;

• some large banks (see list) are limiting the number of debit card overdraft fees that can be charged in a day, and changing other policies.

2. Fee Traps Are Still Out There

The new rules and policies do not cover

• the tricks in late fees;

• fees involving prepaid debit cards;

• inactivity fees, foreign exchange fees, gift cards, etc. Read the full list.

In addition, there’s no ceiling on interest rates nor on penalty/service fees for debit, credit and prepaid cards. And small business credit cards aren’t covered by the new regulations; their credit limits are being slashed.

Warning to consumers: Stay vigilant. The banks are scrambling to get ahead of the new regulations coming in 2010. Watch out for higher interest rates, old annual fees returning and other tactics.

3. Credit Unions — A Better Borrowing Option?

Here’s a Q&A on how they work and pros and cons in turning to them for credit/debit cards. One “pro”– a 18 percent interest rate cap at credit unions that are federally chartered.

You might want to check out the credit unions near you, and read some helpful tips about them from New York Times reporter Ron Lieber.

4. Be Careful About Those “Free” Credit Scores

It sounds like a good idea, but you could be signing up to get a monthly bill.

5. Interchange Fees Are Part of “The Card Game,” Too

Merchants say they’re hurting because of the 1.8 percent they must pay on every credit/debit card transaction in order to have payments cleared by the bank. The issue is pitting retailers against banks and interchange fees could be facing tougher regulation.

6. Compare Cards/Best Terms

The New York Times’ Ron Lieber offers advice if you’re interested in changing credit cards in these tough times. And a good site for comparing benefits, particularly for reward cards, is

7. More Changes Are Coming and There Will Be Winners and Losers

Pending federal legislation could put far more regulation on consumer credit. The hottest debate is over a new consumer protection agency.

Meanwhile, the landscape for the consumer has fundamentally changed — it’s simply harder to get a loan of any kind of loan and consumers are being called on to be more responsible in making financial decisions.

As for the banks, experts like Shailesh Mehta, who as CEO of Providian helped turn the card business into a multibillion-dollar bonanza, believes banks will always figure out how to comply with the new rules and yet still outsmart the regulators.

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