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Hotels, facing higher replacement costs as cotton prices rise, have turned to RFID chips to track the theft of linens.

By Karen Datko Apr 21, 2011 12:28PM

Those big hotel towels are so soft, so absorbent -- they're like Bounty on steroids. No wonder you're tempted to take one home when you check out.


Be forewarned that when you and your pilfered towel walk out the lobby door, an alarm may go off somewhere.


You've split up but you can't afford to walk away from a long-term lease. Here's how to cope.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 21, 2011 9:00AM

This post by Wise Bread's Ashley Jacobs comes from partner site U.S. News & World Report.


Welcome to your worst nightmare: You and your significant other, the person you thought you were going to be with forever, have broken up. You had been planning a future together and had taken the first step toward having that future -- moving in together.


Not only are you devastated, but now you are stuck living with your ex because you signed a long-term lease.


The company says it was right all along.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 20, 2011 5:55PM

This post comes from Mark Huffman at partner site


It was back in January that an Alabama law firm made headlines by filing a class-action lawsuit against Taco Bell, saying ads describing the ground meat in its tacos as beef were false advertising. The suit maintained the meat was only 36% beef and contained mostly chemicals, powders and starches.


That suit has now been voluntarily dropped by the woman who filed it.


A Houston Astros fan had to pay income tax on a year's supply of doughnuts he won at a ballgame.

By Karen Datko Apr 20, 2011 1:28PM

It doesn't get much better than winning 315 coupons for the local doughnut shop, each good for a free doughnut and coffee.


That is, until you have to pay taxes on the prize.


This happened to Bob Choate, who won the coupons at a 2010 Houston Astros Fan Appreciation Day. Bottom line: Being the lucky winner reduced his tax refund by $237.


It can work. It can even be wonderful. It depends on how you go about it.

By doubleace Apr 20, 2011 11:31AM

This post comes from Lynn Mucken at MSN Money.


It sounds so perfect. Mom or Dad, now alone in a too-big house with a too-big yard, move in with a daughter. Or a son and his family move out of their apartment and into a parent's place.


Then they live happily ever after. Well, based on sheer numbers, some of them must.


A report issued last month by Pew Research Center shows that about one in five Americans 25 to 34 and one in five 65 or older live in multigenerational housing. Overall, about 49 million live in such households, a 33% jump since 1980.


Most do it for solid reasons -- financial or care-giving help and social support -- but you still have to be careful that the solution isn’t worse than the problem. Here are some guidelines:


Half of respondents in an online poll say they'd found out how to manage their money only through experience. It doesn't have to be that way.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 20, 2011 10:11AM

This post comes from Beth Orenstein at partner site


Most people learn about managing their money the hard way -- from experience, according to a new poll by and MSN Money.


The online poll, which ran on MSN Money in early April and drew nearly 8,000 responses, had asked: From whom or where did you learn your most valuable money skills?


Fifty percent (4,047) chose "yourself -- the hard way." Parents were the next most common source, at 24% (1,884).

Other responses were:


With so much uncertainty, should you plan for a worst-case scenario or a best-guess one and run the risk of falling short?

By MSN Money Partner Apr 20, 2011 8:58AM

This guest post comes from Pop at Pop Economics.


When I was in college, I dressed like a homeless person. Now, I dress like I'm in college. It's not that I can't afford nicer clothes. Thankfully I'm well beyond the "no money" years. It's just that I never really "upgraded" to the stuff most of my peers are wearing nowadays.


So I should be patting myself on the back, right? Living like a poor person -- when you're not -- is one of those tried-and-true personal-finance adages that mark classics like "The Millionaire Next Door." The millionaires live like they're not rich. They buy used cars. They eat at home. Then they retire early or spend retirement traveling the world because they've saved so much gosh darn money.


But sometimes left out of the discussion of saving is how much is too much when you're retirement planning.


Some lenders would like you to think that not paying off your balance each month is better for your credit rating.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 19, 2011 5:55PM

This post comes from Jim Wang at partner blog Bargaineering.


I'm one of the moderators of the personal finance sub-reddit at, which routinely sees plenty of credit score-related questions. This recent one made my blood boil: User "wooga" told me his lender advised him to carry a balance to improve his score. Wooga said:

I was told by the lender that if I paid down to 1/3 of my balance that it would improve my score by 100 points in a few months, more than it would to keep a zero balance (or pay off each month) which is what I normally do. I didn’t believe it. …

I'm glad he didn't because it's flat-out wrong.



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