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As the Repbulicans' budget proposals are unveiled, the question is: Are they trying to save Medicare or kill it?

By MSN Money Partner Apr 5, 2011 4:58PM

This post comes from Mark Miller at Prism Money, a blog at partner site Reuters.


Reuters on MSN MoneyRemember when Republicans were the protectors of Medicare?


Sure you do -- it was just last year. The GOP fought the health care reform law by scaring seniors with warnings about death panels and slashed Medicare benefits. Both claims were fantasies, but they worked at the polls last fall, when Democrats suffered big defections among senior voters.

But that was 2010. Today, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) offered up a plan to do for Medicare what the 401k has done for pensions. Ryan proposes to privatize Medicare and turn it into a defined contribution plan -- one with a lousy sponsor match.


Yes, they're going to get worse. Gas is expected to exceed $4 a gallon this summer.

By Stacy Johnson Apr 5, 2011 4:28PM

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


As gas prices have increased, so have consumers' reactions.


For example:

  • A recent press release (.pdf file) from the National Conference on Weights and Measures (yes, it's a real organization) says more of us are complaining about the accuracy of gas pumps. "Often, consumers give little thought to the accuracy of measurements on a scale, through a gas pump, or on a package label. However, when prices increase, consumers pay greater attention."

Low on funds with retirement day approaching? Common sense and a few simple steps can keep the transition stress-free.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 5, 2011 2:14PM

This post comes from David Ning at partner site U.S. News & World Report.


 U.S. News & World Report on MSN MoneyMany people in their 60s don't have enough saved up to have a financially stress-free retirement. Individuals will small nest eggs run the risk of depleting their savings before all is said and done. But it’s not too late to take swift action to fund the retirement lifestyle you want. Here are some last-minute ways to boost your retirement finances.

Assess your situation. Even in the direst situations, most American workers will never completely run out of money in retirement.


McDonald's is doing a mass hiring on April 19. Are you too proud to work there?

By Karen Datko Apr 5, 2011 1:02PM

McDonald's is going on a hiring spree -- filling up to 50,000 jobs in a "National Hiring Day" on April 19. Yep, all in one day.


Which raises a basic, oft-asked question: Would you take a job at Mickey D's? Aren't you just a bit too smart, talented or proud to flip burgers for a living? "For years, people have used the term 'McJob' as derogatory slang for low-paying, dead-end work in the kitchen or behind the counter," The Wall Street Journal observes.


Study says it takes quite a bit of money to reach economic stability, which includes not just 'decent' housing and a 'low-cost' food plan, but also saving for retirement and emergencies.

By doubleace Apr 5, 2011 11:58AM

This post comes from Lynn Mucken at MSN Money.


The good news just keeps rolling in: 216,000 jobs added nationwide in March, and unemployment down to 8.8% from 9.8% in November, the biggest four-month decline since 1964.


And on the personal front, you're working and your spouse is working -- both full time. Life is good.

Or is it? According to a study commissioned by the nonprofit Wider Opportunities for Women, a family with two full-time wage earners and two children needs nearly $68,000 a year to afford fundamentals like housing, utilities, food, health care, transportation, saving for retirement and child care. The average such family in America makes less than that.


There are lots of reasons why you shouldn't do this, but let's consider the other side of the argument.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 5, 2011 8:33AM

This Devil's Advocate post comes from Jim Wang at partner blog Bargaineering.


One of the oft-discussed cardinal sins in personal finance is to borrow from your 401k, 403b, or other eligible retirement accounts. The reasons against borrowing are obvious: Those assets are for you to consume in retirement, not right now. If you borrow those funds, they can't grow with the market tax-free and you lose one of the great vehicles for retirement planning.

Not everyone can borrow from their 401k or 403b -- the plan administrator has to permit it -- but this Devil's Advocate post will discuss reasons why it may make sense for some employees.


Affected companies began notifying their customers over the weekend that hackers may have accessed their email addresses.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 4, 2011 8:23PM

This post comes from Mark Huffman at partner site


In what could be the largest security breach in U.S. history, a virtual who's who of U.S. companies have begun notifying consumers that their names and email addresses, held in a vast database, may be been illegally accessed.


What the companies, including Citigroup, Capital One,Kroger and TiVo, all have in common is doing business with Epsilon, a provider of email marketing services.


Online game lets you make financial and moral choices for a struggling but working single parent. What would you do?

By MSN Money Partner Apr 4, 2011 8:00PM

This post comes from Lynn Mucken at MSN Money.


"Fourteen million Americans are unemployed. Now imagine you're one of them. Your savings are gone, you've lost your house, you're a single parent and you're down to your last $1,000. Can you make it through the month?"


That is the opening page when you begin playing Spent, a online game conceived by national advertising agency McKinney to bring attention to the needy on behalf of Urban Ministries of Durham, N.C. Nearly 360,000 have played this game.


I am a semi-retired man and financially comfortable, but I tried to visualize myself as a single working mother with a 6-year-old daughter in order to get inside that person's head and make some of the choices. Here are my/her decisions and reasoning. Frankly, I was stunned by the choices I was making by the end.



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