Clever Ways To Save Thousands by Cutting Out the Middleman

Laveta Brigham

Brokers, salespeople, retailers, distributors and drop shippers — all of these words describe the sometimes necessary evil that is the middleman. For years, the middleman has played the important role of connecting the producer of goods to a consumer. Most of the time middlemen can and will mark something up as high as they want to make a profit, as long as what they are selling is in high demand. The traditional way of selling has since been disrupted by the rise of e-commerce, leading the way to more direct-to-consumer purchasing. 

Purchasing directly from a producer or wholesaler comes with numerous advantages such as a tailored shopping experience, direct customer service and reduced prices, just to name a few. Be aware of these tips and tricks if you’re looking to save more on your expenses.

Last updated: Sept. 30, 2020

Don’t Get Schemed by Drop Shippers

Drop shippers are online

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Healthcare is in Turmoil, But Technology Can Save Businesses Billions

Laveta Brigham

8 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Chances are you’ve heard about and been personally affected by ballooning healthcare costs. It’s no secret that business owners are facing a crisis paying for healthcare costs. In 2019, the average cost of employer-sponsored health insurance was $7,188 for single coverage and $20,576 for family coverage, according to study by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Employees covered $1,242 or $6,015 of the plan for single and family plans, respectively. In total, employers paid over $6 billion a year for employee health plans. The average healthcare cost per person in 2019 was $11,599, amounting to a $3.6 trillion healthcare market. Premiums will likely increase by 4 to 40 percent in 2021. 

These astronomical costs can hit small business owners and entrepreneurs particularly hard. To complicate the situation, any effort that a business makes to save on healthcare typically

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Outlier’s online college courses can save students thousands of dollar

Laveta Brigham

This summer, as it became apparent that COVID-19 showed no signs of letting up, colleges across the country announced that fall classes would be held remotely. But though students are taking classes from the comfort of their own homes instead of lecture halls, the cost of tuition remains the same.

Enter Outlier.

Outlier, founded in 2019, offers online courses, taught by university-affiliated professors, with credit that can be transferred to traditional universities. And while a student might pay $50,000 in tuition to attend class from home, they could instead spend $400 to take a class on Outlier that would transfer over, saving them tens of thousands of dollars. It’s the winner of our 2020 Innovation by Design Award in the category of Learning.

When Outlier founder and CEO Aaron Rasmussen was in college, he saved tuition money by taking community college classes over the summer and then transferring over the

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5 Ways to Save Money on Headphones

Consumer Reports has no financial relationship with advertisers on this site.

A lot of people used to be perfectly happy listening to their tunes on the earbuds that came free with cell phones and other electronics. But in recent years, headphones that cost hundreds of dollars have become a fairly mainstream purchase.

The second generation AirPods—the cheaper version without noise-canceling tech—cost about $160, and you could pay more than twice that for popular models from Bose and Sony.

Sometimes the performance justifies the price, but many people don’t have room in their budget to spend three figures on a new pair of headphones, especially when a lot of models aren’t built to last a lifetime. 

These tips and tricks will help you shop smarter when it’s time for your next headphone purchase. We also have some strategies to keep your current headphones working longer, and even a tip to breathe

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You hate budgeting? Here are 4 alternate ways to save

You hate budgeting? Here are 4 alternate ways to save
You hate budgeting? Here are 4 alternate ways to save

You’ve probably been told time and time again that budgeting is essential if you want to keep your finances on track.

But what if you hate numbers? What if the very idea of making a budget sends a chill down your spine?

It’s a common feeling. A recent study found almost half the people who don’t budget avoid doing so because it’s too complicated or stressful.

Thankfully, there are numerous ways to save money without tearing your hair out over a spreadsheet. Here are five simple tricks you can use instead.

1. Pay yourself first

<cite>alinabuzunova / Twenty20</cite>
alinabuzunova / Twenty20

Rather than budgeting during the month and then saving whatever’s left over, try paying yourself first.

As soon as you get a paycheck, set aside a fixed amount — $75 per check, for example — in an account that’s separate from where

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Why breaking your mortgage early for lower rates won’t save you money

Laveta Brigham

A growing number of homeowners are asking about breaking mortgage early for lower rates (Getty Images)
A growing number of homeowners are asking about breaking mortgage early for lower rates (Getty Images)

Record low mortgage rates might make breaking your term early seem enticing, but the penalty costs will wipe out the potential savings.

Variable mortgage rates have fallen over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, following a string of interest rate cuts by the Bank of Canada. Fixed rates are also lower because of market forces pushing bond yields lower. 

According to Ratehub, mortgage shoppers will find better deals on 5-year variable mortgages at around 1.6 per cent, compared to around 1.64 per cent for fixed. 

Unless you are able to renew your mortgage at more favourable rates, current homeowners are locked out of the potential savings. That leaves breaking your mortgage early.

Online mortgage agency Nesto says there’s been an increased interest in breaking early in 2020, especially in August.

“Before the pandemic, most

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save money on Wahoo’s range of cycling computers, turbo trainers and accessories

Laveta Brigham

Wahoo has its roots in a simple ANT+ dongle, which allowed founder and current CEO, Chip Hawkins, to pair external sensors to his smartphone so it could be used as a head unit replacement. 

This problem-solving ethos is what the Atlanta, Georgia-based technology outfit has built its brand upon – and is now producing everything from dual-band sensors to one of the best smart bikes. 

The key to all of Wahoo’s gear is that it’s easy to use and reliable. The head units are intuitive and offer best in class app integration, and the wheel-on, direct-drive smart trainers smart bike are universally compatible with indoor cycling apps, including The Sufferfest which Wahoo acquired in July 2019.

Now $1,199.99
Back in August, Wahoo launched the fifth generation of its Kickr Smart trainer. The unit’s guts are almost the same; however, the power accuracy has improved to +/-1 per cent, and the … Read More

This Is the Best Way to Save Money at Target, Experts Say

Laveta Brigham

There are few big box stores that have earned the customer loyalty Target has, and with good reason. Not only does the store offer many products you just can’t get anywhere else, but there are countless Target savings tips you can take advantage of to score amazing deals on the stuff you buy every day.

However, there’s one cash-saving hack that beats the rest: signing up for a Target RedCard.

Stacy Caprio at says that Target’s RedCard can save the store’s devotees a bundle every time they shop. “You’ll get five percent back on all Target purchases,” Caprio says, “which makes it worth it and is akin to having a permanent five percent off Target coupon.” Julie Ramhold a consumer analyst with, adds, “Target has both credit and debit card options, so if you don’t want the credit card, you can still reap the benefits of having a

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How UX designers can save us from our own shitty passwords

Laveta Brigham

In 2019, cybercrime cost businesses more than $2 trillion globally. With the influx of digital products, more and more people are reusing login credentials – the leading cause of data breaches. For too long, the user experience of password management has been ignored. It’s time for designers to rethink every aspect of password UX.

Much of our lives are digitally managed. There’s an app, website, or SaaS platform for nearly every aspect of the human experience, and they all require passwords. With so many accounts come problems.

According to, 80% of data breaches are traced to weak or reused login credentials, 61% of people use the same password for multiple accounts, and only 44% of users change passwords at least once per year.

That’s a lot of trust to place in online platforms. If one app is hacked, all accounts are vulnerable.

Password ux
Password ux

The present-day password situation is

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Ways to Save Money as an International Student

Laveta Brigham

Incoming freshman Anubhav Raghav deferred his enrollment at Ohio Wesleyan University to spring 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic and plans to use the time to participate in international internships from his home in India. But the deferral also has an added advantage: He has more time to think about ways to save money before and during school.

“Getting the best out of your potential and resources, without merely surviving in the United States, is every international student’s wish,” says Raghav, who plans to pursue a double major in communications and business.

Attending a U.S. university can be expensive. But those costs can be manageable if prospective international students plan ahead with these money-saving tips:

— Apply to schools that don’t charge application fees or have lower costs.

— Work at school.

— Budget and cut down on unnecessary expenses.

— Live off campus.

Apply to Schools That Don’t Charge

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