Ratings & Advice
The latest ratings and advice for Chicago area personal services.
- 30 Tricks Sellers Use to Make You Pay Up
- 65 Things You (Probably) Shouldn't Pay For
- About Checkbook: Why We're Unique
- Aging In Place
- Airlines that Allow Free Stopovers Let You Design a Vacation with Variety
- Buying Used Stuff
- CarBargains - Checkbook's Shopping Service for New Cars
- Cell Phone Services
- Child Care: Tips for Saving
- Closet Organizers
- Clothing Rental
- Clothing Resale Options
- Complaining: How to Get Results
- Computer Backup Options
- Computer Problems: Can You Get Your Data Back After a Device Failure?
- Computers & Devices: How to Keep Yours Safe
- Consumers' Notebook
- Credit Cards Provide Strong Protections for Consumers
- Credit Cards: Selecting the Best
- Cruises: How to Get the Best Deal
- Dealing with Your Digital Clutter
- Decluttering Strategies
- Defective Products: Strategies to Get a Refund or Replacement
- DNA Ancestry Services
- Elder Villages
- Email Addresses for Temporary Use
- Emergencies: Many 911 Centers Now Accept Texts
- eRead for Free
- Extended Product Warranties: Should You Buy Them?
- Facebook Privacy Settings Checkup
- Free Perks You Didn't Know You Have
- Getting Home Repairs During the COVID-19 Outbreak
- Getting Rid of Your Unwanted Stuff
- Grilling Safety
- Grocery Delivery
- Happy Returns and Gift Card Tips
- Help at Home for Seniors
- Hotel Deals
- Hotels Gouge Guests With Absurd Resort Fees
- Identity and Cyber Theft: How to Protect Yourself
- Kids' Activity-Kit Services
- LeaseWise - Checkbook's Shopping Service for Leasing New Cars
- Medical Alert Devices
- Nannies: Hiring Tips
- Online Privacy: How to Guard Yours
- Parking: Finding the Best Rates
- Passwords: How to Choose Safe Ones
- Payment Apps: Avoiding Trouble and Scams
- Price Matching: What's the Deal?
- Recycling Electronics
- Rental Car Insurance: Should You Buy It?
- Restaurants Pay Steep Commissions and Fees to Order-and-Delivery Services
- Sale Prices: At Many Stores, the Sale Price Isn't Special
- Self Storage Facilities
- Shopping Online: Our Top Tips for Saving Money
- Smartphone Photos Apps and Tools
- Social Media Headshots: Do's and Don'ts
- Stop Unwanted Calls, Mail, and More
- Tickets: Saving on Seats for Shows and Sports
- Timeshare Exit Companies Deserve a Time Out
- Tipping Tips
- Travel Insurance
- Travel Websites Mislead by Falsely Declaring Few Rooms Remain
- Travel: Health and Safety Info for International Trips
- Travel: Help Finding Cheap Flights
- Vacation Home Rentals
- Vehicle Service Contracts
- Water-Saving Tips
- Wine Prices
Ratings of area plumbers for quality and price.
65 Things You (Probably) Shouldn’t Pay For
Stop wasting money on services and products that might seem useful but are actually bad buys.
Should you try the gift of jab?
How to paint your house or hire someone to do it for you.
On a Roll
Wallpaper is back. Here's what to do if you want it.
How to Get the Best Price on a New Car
Websites like TrueCar promise low, upfront pricing. But these companies don't deliver. Here's how to force dealers to compete for your business.
Vehicle Service Contracts
Don't buy these plans. They are big hassles and bad deals for most drivers.
Managing Your Mess
How to find a great housecleaner.
Lawn & Order
How to hire a service (or hire yourself) to make your grass greener.
Guard Your Online Privacy
These tips from experts are easy and effective.
Life Insurance for Less
Shop around to save thousands of dollars.
How to Get Rid of Your Unwanted Stuff
Decluttering strategies plus ideas for how to jettison extra belongings, from books to electronics to sporting goods to toys.
Clothing Resale Options
Ready to sell your past fashions? Here’s how to get the most for your stuff, your time, and your effort.
This Whole House
Estate sales can help you offload a ton of stuff.
Find clear winners for quality and price.