Friday, November 21, 2008

Freebie Friday

It is nice to find freebies in times when airlines are charging for checked bags and restaurants are charging for delivery. But there are services which are truly free, with no obligation to prepay and get reimbursed, or worse yet, sign up and require a cancellation to stop lifelong charges to an account (as anyone who has ever signed up for a gym membership already knows). Finding the truly free services requires some work, but isn't that why you read my blog?

For free credit reports that don't require you to put in a credit card number and then cancel, go to this consumer site set up by the government to provide data from all three major agencies; the only restriction is that you can only do it once a year and they charge to give you a FICO score. The reports are very helpful in determining whether or not you want to get more information or update ancient history (one of my reports had me still living with my ex-husband whom I divorced over ten years ago!).

Suze Orman is famous as the financial guru who had invaluable advice in these uncertain times. She is an avid supporter of same sex marriages (as am I), so she has made her Will & Trust kit FREE to the LGBT friendly readers of The Advocate. All you do is click into either the Advocate site or her own site and choose the Will & Trust kit, then enter in the promo code ADVOCATE under the orange promo/gift code. You fill out the forms online, then take them to a notary public or witnesses to complete the process. All for free because Suze believes same sex couples should have the the same protections as different sex couples. Hooray to Suze for putting her money literally where her beliefs lie!

It is always a bonus to get free WiFi service, expecially when you are traveling or waiting in public places like airports, so the service at WiFi Free Spot helps you find the free spots around town, from local businesses to public places (like parks and libraries). They also have a great information page which explains (and warns) about usage of passwords in ANY public place, so feel free to surf the net, but don't do your banking in the park or airport. The same rules apply online or offline; don't share any personal financial or private information in anyplace where strangers may overhear (or oversee) you.

Always use your common sense for any service you use, whether it is free or paid, so DO NOT check your credit report or fill out your will at a free hotspot; freebies are good, but like chemicals, it is not always a good idea to combine them!

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