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Senior Writer

Paul Michael

An adman with inside knowledge, I'll steer you to wiser choices.

Latest articles by Paul Michael

7 Things the Craziest Christmas Fanatics Do

It's easy to get caught up in the spirit of the season. Too easy, in fact, for these holiday celebrants who take holiday excess to excess.

7 Overpriced Holiday Gifts You Should Skip

It's the holidays and that means spending too much on over-hyped stuff. Avoid these gift list budget busters and go for real value, instead.

10 Lies That Even Honest People Tell

It's not money that makes the world go 'round — it's little white lies. How many of these fibs are you guilty of?

8 Times Most People Are Faking It

We've all been fakes one time or another. We can't help it — sometimes it's the polite thing to do.

9 Things to Never Do When Your Car Breaks Down

Breaking down by the side of the road will definitely ruin your day. Don't make a bad situation worse by making any of these safety mistakes.

10 Surprising Uses for Coat Hooks

From kitchen to office, the humble coat hook offers a million and one ways to dangle. Get inspired to hang something up and out of the way.

What to Buy (and Avoid Buying) in December

It's peak shopping season, but not every buy is a peak deal. Learn where to find the big discounts this month — and where to freeze your spending.

Another 7 Travel Destinations Not Worth the Money

Travel can be an expensive headache — especially if your itinerary includes any of these seven pricey places.

10 Unexpected Jobs With Insane Travel

Sure, airline pilots travel a lot for work. But elevator repair techs? Learn about that and nine other careers that can satisfy your wanderlust.

Always Use Cash for These 5 Things

Nothing's easier for paying than swiping plastic, but cash is still king, and sometimes it'll save you some money, too.

10 Surprising Ways to Use Bungee Cords

Bungee cords come in many colors and sizes and that means you can be stylish when you're using them for more than tying down loose loads.

8 Things in Your Garage You Should Throw Out Today

It's likely your garage has become a safe place for all your old clutter. Quit hanging onto old junk and let it go. Start with this short list.

10 Surprising Things You Can Rent

In the long run, renting costs more. But if a short term fling is your thing, you can probably rent it — whatever "it" is.

What to Buy (and Avoid Buying) in November

Skip the iPad 3 Mini, but do reach for a new HDTV, which are stupendously cheap this month.

10 Ways to Repair a Burned Bridge

We've all ended a work or personal relationship badly. Mend a broken connection and you'll regain a valued friend or a colleague -- forever this time.

10 Types of Bargains You Should Skip

It's easy to be drawn in by BOGO's siren song — sometimes with actual sirens! But check the fine print and the math to make sure the deal is real.

12 Surprising Things You Should Keep in Your Fridge

No, this is not a list of 12 strange foods to keep in the refrigerator. It's a list of common non-food items that will benefit from the cold, too.

5 Customer Service Battles You Just Can't Win

Put your phone scripts away, give up escalating, and don't bother screaming because whatever happens, you're not getting your money back.

7 Things That Make You Look Cheap Without Actually Saving Much Money

We all should be sensible with our spending, but sometimes we go too far. Are you guilty of any of these false economies?

What to Buy (and Avoid Buying) in October

Scare up some deals on lawn care and denim this month, but hide from winter clothing and appliances, which are frightfully pricey this month.