Smart SpendingSmart Spending

A new survey shows that people are also unwilling to give up Internet service and bare-bones cable TV.

By Karen Datko Mar 24, 2011 4:02PM

There are some things people are unwilling to do without, no matter how tight their money is. In a recent survey of U.S. adults, a whopping 64.4% said they consider basic cell phone service "untouchable" -- off-limits when it comes to spending cuts. That number rose to 70% among those who earn $50,000 or more.


What else is considered a must-have?


If the law required people to buy your product, you'd be overjoyed, right? Then why are car insurance companies unhappy?

By MSN Money Partner Mar 24, 2011 3:35PM

This post comes from Emmet Pierce at partner site on MSN MoneyIf you owned a business and state law required people to buy your product, how would you feel? Thrilled? Unable to believe your good fortune?


For many car insurance companies, the answer is "unhappy."

Surprisingly, there is broad insurer opposition to state laws that require drivers to buy car insurance.


Cruise travel can be a grand adventure -- but the price tag can get out of hand if you're not careful.

By Stacy Johnson Mar 24, 2011 1:25PM

This post comes from Brandon Ballenger at partner site Money Talks News.


Americans are traveling again for vacation, according to a report from Travelocity. And more than 90% say they'll spend as much or more than they did in 2010 on travel this year and next. The report also says more than a quarter of Americans will spend more than $2,000 on travel and lodging.


The high cost of travel is one reason why cruises are a popular vacation choice: The cost of a cruise can include lodging, entertainment, and even multiple destinations. But before you say "anchors aweigh," it will pay to learn a little about the pricing. 


Wal-Mart is rolling out its new service for online shoppers across the country. But is it better than what competitors offer?

By MSN Money Partner Mar 24, 2011 11:56AM

This guest post comes from Ashley Watson at


Wal-Mart is beginning a national rollout of its new Pick Up Today service, which allows customers to order items online and pick them up about four hours later for no additional fees.


Wal-Mart intends to expand Pick Up Today's inventory to include up to 40,000 items in various categories, from home décor to video games, all of which will be available for same-day pickup in 3,600 stores by June.


Coinstar is increasing its gift card partnerships with retailers, including the grocery stores that house its machines.

By doubleace Mar 24, 2011 11:14AM

This post comes from Lynn Mucken at MSN Money.


I hate pennies. I don't carry pennies. If a business disperses my change via human hands, I tell them "no pennies, please." (Note: They always round my change down.) If the coins come sliding out of a machine, I leave them. (Note: The courtesy clerks always remind me that I've forgotten my change.)


Pennies not only are pretty much worthless, they slow down the American economy. I keep track. 


Without successful careers to lean on, some guys could be feeling less confident about themselves.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 24, 2011 8:53AM

This post comes from Seth Fiegerman at partner site MainStreet.


America may have a new face for plastic surgery: men.


In total, men underwent 1.1 million cosmetic procedures in 2010, an increase of 2% from the year before, according to new data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.


Job loss during the recession hit men particularly hard. Now the tables have turned.

By Karen Datko Mar 23, 2011 6:14PM

More than 1.1 million of the 1.3 million U.S. jobs created in the last 12 months have been filled by men, ABC News reports. It appears the "mancession" is over.


ABC News also says, "Looking at the data since the end of the recession in July 2009," -- yes, that's when it was officially over -- "men have gained 600,000 jobs while women have lost 300,000 jobs."


Many people would cut back on life insurance after financial setback, a poll finds. Others wouldn't dream of cutting any insurance.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 23, 2011 5:38PM

This post comes from Emmet Pierce at partner site on MSN MoneyWhen asked where they would be most likely to cut insurance coverage during difficult economic times, a large share of MSN Money readers said they would choose their life insurance policies.

In a recent joint poll for MSN Money and that drew 10,391 responses, people were asked which type of insurance they would be most willing to trim to make ends meet. Responses were as follows:



Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.


Smart Spending brings you the best money-saving tips from MSN Money and the rest of the Web. Join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.