Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

This week: When to demand a refund, how to haggle with wedding vendors, how to find local farmers, trimming your back-to-school expenses and building credit without credit cards.

1. 7 Ways to Build Credit Without a Credit Card

[Credit.com] “Good credit will be important if you hope to some day borrow money for a car, a home, cover an unexpected medical bill, or even qualify to rent an apartment. Luckily, it’s possible to get there without a credit card. You may already be doing it without knowing it.

Oddly enough, we’ve run a story with the exact same title, but with some different suggestions. Tips in this post include building credit by using credit-builder loans, passbook loans, student loans, personal loans, paying rent, peer lending and becoming an authorized user of someone else’s credit.

2. 10 Ways to Trim Your Back-to-School Expenses

[The Dollar Stretcher] “Back-to-school time can quickly drain the family budget, particularly for those with multiple children. And as children grow, their tastes and preferences need to be incorporated into the purchases, often pushing up the price tag even further. So how do you keep a happy balance between your child and your checkbook?”

We’re big on back-to-school stories, too, but when it comes to saving on shopping, you can never have too much advice. This article offers suggestions from shopping alone to shopping consignment stores to joining forces with other parents for bulk buys. Before you head out shopping, head over to this one.

3. This Farm-to-Neighbor Startup Could Help You Save 30% on Groceries

[The Penny Hoarder] “Founded in 2009, Farmigo connects farmers and shoppers through an online marketplace. Hungry shoppers can order anything from bread to beef to bok choy from 80-100 farmers located within a day’s drive.”

This story is about a new app that matches you by ZIP Code to farmers in your area. While my area isn’t yet served by the service, maybe yours is. Check out the article, then check out the app and see if you can use it to get farm fresh food for less.

4. 8 Tips for Haggling With Wedding Vendors

[Debt.com] “With the cost of a wedding ceremony and reception at an average $31,213 nationwide, according to The Knot’s recent Real Weddings Study, being silver-tongued and using sneaky savings tactics might seem like the only way to come in under budget.”

Having negotiated with vendors for my own wedding a few years back, I was interested to see if I did it right. This post suggests using tactics including paying upfront, paying cash, sharing competitor’s offers and being honest about your budget. Did I use them all for my wedding? Yep. Check out the post for more.

5. 9 Times You Should Demand a Refund

[Wise Bread] “When you spend your hard-earned money on a product or service, you expect a certain level of quality — and when that quality falls short of expectations, it’s not unreasonable to think you’re entitled to a refund.”

Some of these you’ll already know. For example, hair or other foreign substances in your restaurant meal is definitely grounds of a refund. Others, however, might come as a surprise. Did you know you’re entitled to a refund of departure taxes on an unused plane ticket? I didn’t. Check out the story for other ideas.

Stacy Johnson

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