12 ways you’re exposing yourself to fraud (3 12 24)

“Free” still exists. Later in this email, we’ll tell you where to find it.

💵 Today’s Top Stories

You may be exposing your personal information to criminals on a daily basis. Here’s how to avoid it. Read more.

Series I Bond

If you bought Series I savings bonds at peak inflation, it’s a good time to sell them (and then rebuy). But you need to time it right due to taxes and unique rules. Read more.

Best cloud storage options

Your phone can only hold so many photos and videos before it runs out of memory. Luckily, you can also use these free cloud services. Read more.

Credit Limit

Secured credit cards help people with no credit profile or bad credit access a credit card. Even if you’ve moved to a standard card, don’t expect the issuer to fully trust you immediately. Read more.

💵 6 Things You Can Still Get for Free in 2024

These days, “free” seems like a fantasy. But it’s sometimes a reality even in 2024.

Kiplinger recently pointed out 70 different “valuable” free things.

Here are some of our favorites.

Credit reports and freezes: Freezing your credit is the easiest way to protect your identity. It’s also fast and simple. You can also monitor your credit for free in many places. Clark recommends Credit Karma.

Samples: Costco, Sam’s Club and BJ’s are just some of the retail locations that sometimes hand out free samples. Kiplinger suggests FreeSamples.org and ilft.com as good places to find offers for free samples.

Workout and fitness help: You don’t have to pay for an expensive gym membership or personal trainer. There are many free options.

Admission: National parks all have several free days. Many top museums and zoos offer free admission as well.

Streaming: Clark calls ad-supported free content “the hottest thing in streaming right now.” There are options upon options.

Food and drink: We’re talking a free 7-Eleven slurpee, goodies for Mother’s Day, Veteran’s Day, birthdays and many national food days (like National Doughnut Day in June). Kiplinger does a good job detailing some of the deliciousness (see slides 41-45).

📊 Stat of the Day

🥝 11.3%: The share of our income that Americans spend on food in 2022, the most recent U.S. Agriculture Department data available. That’s the highest percentage in 31 years (11.4% in 1991). Groceries and dining out have risen in the neighborhood of 25% from January 2020 to today.

💰️ Deal Alert: Today’s Top Deals
BJ's Wholesale Club
🎙️ Podcast

California has a new law going into effect soon that will end junk fees (in theory). While this change may or may not impact other areas in the United States, Clark believes in our power as consumers to help eliminate unnecessary price hikes and fees. Also, H&R Block is in trouble with the Feds for misleading customers with pricing. Clark has advice you need to know before you file this tax season.

☎️ Need Money Help?

The Team Clark Consumer Action Center is a free helpline that can help you navigate your money questions. Call 636-492-5275. Visit clark.com/cac for more information.

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