The Clark Howard Podcast

The Clark Howard Podcast

Nationally-syndicated consumer expert Clark Howard shows you practical money-saving advice to help you save more, spend less, and avoid scams and ripoffs. To access the entire Clark Howard Podcast archive, go to Clark.com.... Show More

Episodes

Saudi Arabia represents a huge percentage of world oil production. The recent drone attack took half their production offline. But it appears they will be back to full production in a matter of weeks. In addition, fall is a slow time of year for oil consumption. After Labor Day, demand declines. Factor in recession in some countries and a slowing U.S. economy bringing down demand. Meanwhile, U.S. production has increased. A decade ... Read more

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Clark recently returned a rental car. He had 5 pics of the car. Why? After returning, sometimes weeks later you may get a notice saying you owe for damage. They may have already charged your card for the damage. All contracts say your check-in slip is subject to later inspection and damage charges. Clark takes pics of the car upon return, so if this happens later – he’s got dated pictorial proof. Clark had noted a ding and windshie... Read more

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The World Health Organization has declared excessive gaming a psychological disorder.  A MarketWatch survey reveals the number of people spending an hour or more a day playing video games increased 20% over the last year. Many believe they'll go pro and earn a living and become reclusive and obsessive in the endeavor, gaming constantly. For parents, it's a tug of war you want your kid to win, so game time should be strictly... Read more

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Beware of annuity sales. Annuity sales subsided when fiduciary rules were in place - rules that have now been pushed aside, causing new sales to skyrocket. Insurance companies and banks push these because they have humongous fees and commissions. These contracts allow the insurance companies to change the terms at any time and the tax treatment is generally not favorable. When you're getting a vague investment pitch ASK i...
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Clark's family uses the Life360 app, allowing everyone to know each other's location. Teens use such apps, including Apple's Find My Friends, Google Maps location share & Snapchat -  to keep up with friends. What are these apps doing with the info? What are you permitting them to do? You can choose to wipe history clean. With any of these free services, the apps can make money with the info we're sharing. Locati... Read more

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We face many challenges with how to use technology for security. There's a race to develop screening tech to quickly assess facial images and determine threat levels. AI systems are being developed along these lines, including one called the Avatar (Automated Virtual Agent for Truth Assessments in Real time), a system using AI techniques to assess threat levels, funded in part by the federal government. The subject answers ques... Read more

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Government attempts to rein in prescription drug prices haven't worked. We have the most expensive med prices on the planet. And the way we get and pay for meds is changing. Some doctors have dispensing machines for routine meds in their offices. GoodRx is a force for negotiating lower prices and comparison shopping. The next wave may be online sellers. Amazon has bought into the industry - not a big play yet. But there will be... Read more

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We’re 10 years into economic expansion and people are still struggling. Most are in debt and unprepared for any unforeseen expense or emergency costing $400 or more. Hopefully, this economic downturn won’t turn into a full-blown recession, but we’re already getting calls from people who’ve been laid off. We are in a slowing time of uncertainty, so we need to prepare as we can. Recommendations for having 3 to 6 months of pay on hand... Read more

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AAA reports deaths from red-light running collisions have hit a 10 year high. Fatalities are up 30% in the last few years. Likely distracted driving is the root cause. Clark pauses for a second when a red light turns green in case someone blows through the corresponding red light of an intersection. If you move too quickly, you could be T-boned by a red-light runner. Meanwhile, police are cracking down on device distraction, posing... Read more

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Proposed legislation would provide US citizens access to all of our own medical records. This would require providers to send data to medical record apps – with the patient’s permission. Privacy risk concerns are valid here including data breach exposure and data abuse by insurers. The NYT reports Apple is designing their medical app to encrypt the info and confine it to your device only, not on their servers. Android needs equival... Read more

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Walmart and Target are offering great incentives for you to trade in your old (and likely expired) car seat. You can find out more about the Target deal here. Walmart is offering a $30 gift card if you bring in an old car seat. Find out more about eligibility... Read more

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Members of Amazon Prime pay $119 per year for 1-2 day delivery at no minimum, Prime only merchandise, Access to Prime instant video and no-frills music service. Amazon has ways to keep you Prime(d). For Clark, it's useful as a $10 a month video subscription. Check out our quiz at Clark.com to determine is Amazon Prime is worth it for you. Non-Prime members get free shipping with the minimum order for that perk. Also, Amazon'... Read more

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Watch out for a pitch that claims you can pay your mortgage on a biweekly plan. Banks often get a commission by conning you into a biweekly payment program run by a third party. If they abscond with your money or make late payments, the bank bears no responsibility. You get more impact if you divide your monthly payment by 12, and pay that 1/12th additional principal payment each month. It is far better to set up your own biweekly ... Read more

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JD Power reports on which vehicles best hold their value. If you will make one major change to the way you look at vehicles and drive your car until till the wheels fall off you won’t have to worry about depreciation.

More hotels are implementing a bait and switch where they publish a great rate and then rip you off with poorly or undisclosed fees. Clark just ran into a $56 per night resort fee + a $...
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Problems in the energy industry are working to consumer advantage. Natural gas is in oversupply and at wholesale, the price has been driven down. But for consumers, in states where savings are passed on to the ratepayer, there’s a direct benefit. In some states, you select a natural gas provider. Those states usually offer the option to lock in a fixed rate for a period. There will be a strong advantage in doing that before the col... Read more

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Individual discount codes are hit or miss these days, because they’ve become more personalized. Online sellers are using algorithms to target individuals specifically with tailored coupon offers, often specific to that calendar day. It’s a code only for you, only for today. This started with electronics sellers and has been spreading. These codes pierce privacy so consumers need to decide if they’re worth it. Also, it’s important t... Read more

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Oil and in turn gas prices which were expected to be headed higher now, are in fact  lower. AAA reports as we move into the Labor Day holiday period, gas prices will average .30 cents less per gallon than one year ago. Traffic will be the problem this Labor Day holiday.  Also, electric vehicle purchases are a small part of the market but enough people are buying to affect the demand equation for gasoline, and that is helping to mod... Read more

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Clark's neighborhood recently got 1gig internet service. He signed up. Speed tests show that they are not getting 1 gig. The WSJ did an in-depth testing of home internet service and found that people do not need ultra-fast internet. They couldn't find a home circumstance requiring more than 100megabits per second. There are specialized needs for more robust internet. Some consume massive internet video on their phones witho... Read more

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College students and their parents are being ripped off by the very colleges they’re attending. Banks approach universities to create co-branded campus debit cards, promising kickbacks to the school for every student that signs up for their debit. The fees on these co-branded kick-back cards are 2 to 3X normal. Meanwhile, most colleges have credit unions available to faculty, staff, administrators, and students – offering great dea... Read more

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The 737 Max remains grounded as Boeing struggles to find fixes. The FAA, having lost its credibility from lack of oversight of the Max, is now relying on the recommendations of a world panel, with no service date in sight. This affects travelers as airfares are higher because of this and Southwest, the largest operator of 737s in the world, is now discontinuing 20 unprofitable routes, moving those aircraft to Hawaiian routes. This ... Read more

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