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How I became a Smarter Shopper in 2014

If you’ve been following my blog for a while you already know that I really like to write about shopping smart and taking advantage of the many opportunities here in the United States. That’s why I experiment with a lot of things on the side. Little side projects that either help me earn more money or save money on purchases that me and my wife do anyway. I even managed to get a Bermuda trip... read more

Need Customer Service Training? America Can Teach You!

Does America have a good or bad customer service culture? You might just remember some bad examples that you’ve heard somebody complain about, because all the good ones are usually taken for granted by anyone. I’d like to mention a few things that I really like about American customer service. Being from Germany, I have first hand experience of customer service between two countries, two... read more

Q&A: Sales Taxes, Driving Automatic and Speeding Tickets

How much is the sales tax and why does it vary so much? Sales tax varies from state to state and can be under 1%, but also 10% or higher in some areas. It’s been administered on the state level and food is usually a lot lower than other goods. States determine a base rate and the individual counties in that state can then add even more on top of that. Charlotte, NC for example is in Mecklenburg... read more

Credit Cards – Curse or Blessing?

When my wife and I came to America eight years ago, we did not have any US credit history – just like every new expat. And we didn’t really care, because we did not even know how long our American adventure would last and how long we would stay here. We paid our cars in cash from savings that we built up in Germany and we weren’t even thinking about buying a house back then. Both of our... read more

How to Earn a Commission On Your Own Purchase

Ever since I moved to America, I’ve always been on the look out for new ways to save on my spending, earning cash back or just landing good deals on stuff that I am going to purchase anyways. There are just so many great opportunities out there. Besides Travel Hacking to cut down on travel expenses and the use of various credit card cash back programs, I recently stumbled over a very interesting... read more

Cutting the Cord… and Your Monthly TV Bill

I remember how excited I was when I first signed up for my new TV, Internet and Phone package in my second week after moving to the US. A wide screen TV was one of our first pieces of furniture and of course we signed up for a bundle with over 100 channels plus some premium channels like HBO and Showtime. Our excitement about all these different TV channels suddenly died down about six months later, when... read more

When Stuff Breaks

Aaaaah, convenience… that’s what I LOVE about America! I’ve just had the best experience with Lowe’s after having a semi-urgent emergency the other day – our washing machine broke after doing a decent job for over 6 years.  Let me start from the beginning… Our Whirlpool Cabrio top loader (in short: washing machine) started to make some noise between cycles a few weeks ago, so we knew... read more

Kickstart Your Vision with Crowdfunding

“Please support my kickstarter”. Have you heard something like this from one of your friends lately? Kickstarter is the world’s largest crowdfunding platform, based in New York City. The company makes it possible for entrepreneurs, small businesses and creative individuals to raise money for their ideas or projects without having to rely on a bank loan. At the same time they can feel out... read more

Q&A: Open Container Laws, HOV and the $2 Bill

Why is drinking alcohol in public prohibited? In order to avoid public intoxication or even worse, being drunk behind the steering wheel, America has Open Container Laws that can slightly vary from state to state. In the majority of US states this law prohibits posession and/or consumption of open alcohol containers in public places like on the street or in a park. However, most states adhere to that law... read more

Bargain Hunting at Police Auctions

The other day I spent a few hours at an auction for unclaimed property seized by my local police department. The auction itself was hosted by a professional auction company and over 300 items were up for grabs. Every six months they are selling all the items that they seized and the public can try to get a good deal on them. Here’s what I’ve learned. What items are for sale It really depends... read more

Jack from Konstanz, Germany

I wanted to interview Jack Bosch for months and we finally made it happen. It couldn’t have come at a better time, because Jack, who’s real name is actually Joachim, is launching his brand new book Forever Cash today. At the end of this interview, which is mainly about Jack’s personal journey through immigration, he shares with us how he built a very successful real estate business from... read more

American Wedding Traditions and What It Will Cost You

Have you ever seen the movie Father of the Bride? It’s one of the very few movies that I actually own on DVD, because I just love to rewatch it. The part that I like most about it, is how much daughter Annie adores her Dad, George Banks, (played by Steve Martin) and how he eventually always does everything to make her happy. It’s a film about a typical American wedding and how costly it can... read more

Make Money from Home with Affiliate Marketing

Willing to work but stuck at home is the fate that many immigrant spouses face every day. Some of them are having a hard time to land a job in the same profession, even if they’ve beem working in the same field for years back home. Depending on the job, American companies won’t hire you unless you’re retaking classes and get an American degree or license for it. But there are also ways... read more

The Cost of Living in New York – Some Things to Know Before You Move

This is a guest post by Ashley Clark from New York International. Moving to New York City is a big decision and, as with any international move, it should be done with much preparation and careful planning.  Most people are familiar with the basic costs of moving – transportation expenses, paying the moving company, new furniture and items for your new home, etc. But there are additional expenses to be... read more

Build an Outstanding Credit History from Scratch

You might have paid off credit in your country already, but once you move to America, this is all in the past. Banks will need you to start over and prove that you’re credit worthy by building a great credit history with an outstanding FICO score. This may take a little while and there are some pitfalls to be aware of during the process. So read on to learn about the science behind credit and the... read more

How to Get a Work Permit (EAD)

This is for all the spouses that took “one for the team” by joining their partners to move to the United States. Some of you quit your day job to make it all happen and to support your better half’s career. While migrating to the US is very exciting and it takes a while to take it all in and get adjusted, it all ends up becoming familiar and a daily routine starts to form while you might... read more

How to Call Back Home For Cheap

All of us had to leave friends or even family back home when we migrated to the USA. However we’re very fortunate to live in a high tech world that allows us to talk and even see our beloved ones at any time at no or very little cost. Think about our ancestors for a second and how they communicated with the people they left behind. Maybe they wrote a letter every couple years to their relatives,... read more

When Should I Tip And How Much?

I have to admit, the amounts that people tip in the USA has been a real shocker for me. Especially because I was so used to the German way of tipping, which is just rounding up to the next Euro or maybe a little more. In the part of Germany that I come from you have a good chance to get a stressed out and quite unfriendly waiter, so you don’t even feel bad tipping them just a few cents. And other... read more

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