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We've explored the world of freebies a couple times on Financially Fit from free vacations, to free yoga, to free cell phones. And yes, there's more! Here's another round up of totally free offerings that can potentially help you save you thousands of dollars a year.
Becoming a great chess player is a journey. And as is the case with any truly great game, understanding the rules is just the first step. The second, we'd venture to say, is being able to identify, understand, and fix your mistakes. Fortunately, there are a few elementary (and easily corrected) blunders that nearly all beginner players fall into at some point. Dodge them, and grand mastery -- or, at any rate, a much better standard of play -- is just around the corner. Here are seven of the most common.
Service providers are happy to give you the "convenience" of automated payments — primarily because it lets them reach into your wallet each and every month. But although autopay can be a valuable financial tool for some bills and expenses, for other types of payments, you may be setting yourself up for all-too-frequent fee hikes, surprise costs, and payments for services you never even use. Those unexpected costs can hit you with a double whammy, says Jean Ann Fox, director of consumer protection for the Consumer Federation of America. In addition to the extra costs themselves, surprise fee hikes can bleed your account balance dry, she says — and "if you run low in your checking account, you can easily overdraw your account and rack up $35 overdraft fees."
Galapagos Islands Kyle W. Anstey Scenic views are the most priceless part of the amenity-packed cruise experience. And, as savvy travelers seek more adventure opportunities, cruise lines are responding by charting a course to ever more beautiful—and remote—corners of the map. With their shallow drafts, small cruise ships can get close to the sights, and they come equipped with inflatable Zodiacs that allow for intimate coastline exploration.
Man holding flowers towards someone. By Aaron Traister, REDBOOK . This month, Aaron Traister pledged to transform himself into the man his wife deserves: thoughtful, physically fit, and sexually patient. She got two out of three - not bad!
This summer, cool off at these scenic spots to swim, float, and soak in the sun at the West's amazing national parks. Best for adventure: Grand Canyon National Park, AZ There's just one way to reach most Colorado River beaches in the canyon-and that's by rafting down the river. Many people consider the 3- to 18-day trips one of the high points of their lives. > Read more Best lazy float: Yosemite National Park, CA With El Capitan and Half Dome towering above, the Merced River beaches in Yosemite Valley sometimes get forgotten. Which is a mistake, especially in summer, when valley temps sizzle and the river water is blissfully cool. > Read more Best beachcombing: Olympic National Park, WA The easy hike to Shi Shi Beach is best made at low tide, when you encounter some of the best tidepools on Earth against the backdrop of towering sea stacks, Pacific waves, and the occasional kayaker. > Read more
Eleven people lucky enough to travel for a living reveal their favorite recent discoveries—places they happened upon and still can't stop thinking about. Here are their stories. Dürnstein, Austria The traveler: Michael Guerriero, author of the guidebook Party Across America: 101 of the Greatest Festivals, Sporting Events, and Celebrations in the U.S . The place: Backed by striking mountains, Dürnstein's winding cobblestoned streets and homes with steep, red-tiled roofs and window flower boxes look plucked out of a fairy tale. Sections of the fortified walls remain intact, and the baroque church's blue-and-white clock tower is inverted in time (when it's 3 p.m., the clock reads 9).