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The more at the table, the more turmoil afterward. Here are a couple of ideas on making things easier.

By doubleace Mar 21, 2011 9:02AM

This post comes from Lynn Mucken at MSN Money.


Splitting the check. … Think about that, shiver, and read on.


It is that uncomfortable moment -- or very long minutes -- that can spoil an otherwise delightful dinner with friends, relatives or strangers. Do you appear petty and count the pennies, or throw the money on the table and get screwed over? Neither is a pleasant choice.


It was much easier back in the day. We showed up at someone's house and threw in $5 apiece for beer and pizza. The fastest eaters and biggest drinkers got a bargain, but no one seemed to care.


With a multibillion-dollar victims fund at stake, state attorneys work on a deal with mortgage servicers.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 18, 2011 2:57PM

This post comes from Marilyn Lewis of MSN Money.

Was robo-signing such an outrage if there were actually no victims?

That's the question facing the 50 state attorneys general as they close in on a two-part deal with mortgage lenders over the robo-signing scandal.

In a surprise development, a Federal Reserve consumer advisory panel last week concluded that there really were no victims from lenders' shoddy foreclosure practices.


The strategic placement of furniture might have tipped off the homebuyers that something was amiss.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 18, 2011 12:48PM

This guest post comes from Squirrelers.


Ah, the joys of being a first-time homebuyer.


The whole experience is exciting. Each step along the way can be exhilarating: deciding that you want to buy your own place, searching for the right neighborhood, touring homes for sale, making an offer on a home you like, and finding out that the offer was accepted.


Of course, when the offer is accepted, there are a few other details to go through.


It's one of the grand illusions in life that the pursuit of less expensive gasoline will save you money.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 18, 2011 10:46AM

This guest post comes from Len Penzo at Len Penzo dot Com.


You know, some guy named Ripley once showed me that things aren't always what they seem. For example, a banana tree is not a really a tree at all, but a massive herb that can grow as tall as a four-story building.


If you think that's something, koala bears aren't really bears -- they're marsupials.

And next time you visit New York City, keep in mind that an egg cream contains neither eggs nor cream, but simply chocolate-flavored syrup mixed with soda water and milk.


Lead pencils and the drive for the cheapest gasoline prices

I bet you didn't know that things aren't always what they seem when it comes to buying gasoline either.


Introduce a touch of philanthropy to the annual hoops extravaganza.

By Donna_Freedman Mar 18, 2011 9:54AM

Planning any March Madness parties? Mix a dose of kindness into your day(s) of sports worship.

People are in the mood to wager. So why not make some of those bets humanitarian in nature?


The credit card giant is moving into the lucrative US person-to-person payment market.

By doubleace Mar 18, 2011 9:21AM

This post comes from Lynn Mucken at MSN Money.

If the pie is tasty enough, everybody wants a slice.

Credit card monster Visa has announced it will be moving into the person-to-person -- P2P -- payment market in the U.S. in the second half of 2011, challenging industry leader PayPal.

MSNBC reported that Visa Personal Payment will work through Popmoney and ZashPay, which already provide electronic P2P, account transfer and bill payment services, to send money directly from the payer's bank to the receiving person's Visa credit card or debit card account.


Contrary to popular opinion, keeping them in the refrigerator is not the best answer.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 17, 2011 7:05PM

This guest post comes from Lou Carlozo, Green Dad columnist for


Batteries vex consumers the same way tax returns do. Both represent a necessary evil: Just as we'll need to pay Uncle Sam his due in a few short weeks, we also consume 3 billion cells annually to run our toys, electronic games and digital gadgets. But given a choice, we'd rather not bother with them, right? Death, taxes and dead batteries -- what a trio of certainties for the Digital Age.


What's more, even rechargeable cells too often wind up in landfills, a real danger in the case of NiCd (nickel-cadmium) batteries -- banned in Europe because of the environmental hazards of cadmium. That also raises questions as to whether rechargeables are more economical than disposables, and how the two types split up market share these days.


Despite the economy, brides-to-be aren't willing to sacrifice luxury to save money on their big day. The average wedding cost $27,000 last year.

By Stacy Johnson Mar 17, 2011 5:28PM

This post comes from Karla Bowsher at partner site Money Talks News.


If you're hoping to get married on the cheap this year, avoid Manhattan. In fact, avoid much of the Northeast.


New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, and Vermont include some of the most expensive wedding settings in the country, according to The Knot Inc., which owns and



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