Psychologists have noticed an increase in drinking, smoking and other vices.
But some people appear to be taking the economy out on themselves by drinking too much, smoking or stuffing the old pie hole with fattening foods -- all of which, we might point out, cost money.
Kiri Blakeley wrote at Forbes.com:
Debbie Mandel, a stress management expert and author of "Addicted to Stress," says that in times of uncertainty people turn to bad habits to either numb their pain or experience an adrenaline rush. "They seek to replace the low with a high," she says. Apparently so -- Mandel reports seeing an increase in her clients' marijuana use.
Some merchants offer free shipping on other days, too.
We’ve observed Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but the special shopping days aren’t over yet. Are you ready for Free Shipping Day?
Free Shipping Day, which will be celebrated Dec. 17 this year, is a one-day shopping event in which participating merchants offer free shipping with guaranteed delivery by Dec. 24. Last year, the first year for the promotion, 250 retailers participated. More than 490 have signed up so far for this year’s event.
Are tweeting and facebooking at work a distraction or a productivity boost?
Rainy-Day Saver tackled a good issue: Are people wasting too much work time on social media, or are they so adept at multitasking that tweeting and texting don’t detract from their performance -- or are they even a plus?
- Video: How Twitter works
Call us old or old-fashioned, but we think multitasking is highly over-rated. But research on this issue has produced seemingly contradictory results.
She located lots of freebies, including pancake mix, coffee, and special food for the dog.
This post comes from freelance writer and editor Bev O'Shea.
Can you really fill a stocking without spending a nickel? Should you? Or, are "free" gifts worth what you pay for them?
We'll know Christmas morning. We think the teen fashionista will like having a ring sizer (Blue Nile -- and it was here three days after I signed up), and hope her younger brother will appreciate his luggage tags (which feature a picture taken this fall -- thanks, KLM -- and arrived in three weeks).
Provocative clothing and too many tattoos and piercings (and bad breath) can sink your chances.
This article is part of Bargaineering Career Week 2009, a weeklong series focused on your career -- how to find a job, how to tailor your resume, how to find job opportunities, and how to nail the interview.
First impressions count. No matter what people say or want to believe, people will judge you based on the way you look, what you’re wearing, and how you present yourself. That’s why it’s critically important to dress properly for a job interview.
- Bing: The real jobless rate
If you're mad at your bank, but hate the hassle of switching, read (and watch) this story. It's easier than you think.
When the relationship started, you were happy enough. But over the years, everything’s soured. Exchanges that used to be pleasant now turn into battles. You wish you could just walk away. But the trauma of moving on is too much to take. So you grit your teeth and try to endure just one more day.
It’s not your spouse I’m talking about: It’s your bank.
Just say no to companies that are jacking up rates and raising fees.
Suze Orman has a message for credit card companies that are jacking up interest rates, raising fees and otherwise treating their customers badly: Bye-bye.
We don’t need you. We’re going to pay cash.
On her Saturday night show on CNBC, she asked viewers to join her in a Back to Cash movement. “Let’s go back to the good old days,’’ she said. “Let’s go back to the times when you literally paid cash for everything. That’s right. Cash. Stop using your credit cards altogether.”
Is it ever necessary for the packaging to dwarf the food inside?
Does it annoy you when you open a box of some kind of food -- fish sticks, say, or a rice concoction -- and find the box only half full?
Consumer Reports examined nine products suggested by readers and, in each case, the actual weight of the contents was accurately displayed but the package contained a disappointing amount.
Federal law prohibits companies from using packaging to mislead consumers, but “slack fill,” as it’s called, “is allowed if it keeps a product from breaking, if the package does double-duty (as a dispenser, or a tray, for example) to accommodate machinery on the assembly line, or to discourage theft in the store,” our partner site ConsumerAffairs.com says.
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ABOUT SMART SPENDING
Editor Bev O'Shea lives and works in the foothills of the Appalachians. A former copy editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Orlando Sentinel, she joined MSN Money in 2007. She's a fan of sunsets, college football and free shipping, among other things.
Having worked as a writer, reporter and editor for more than 25 years, Editor Julie Tilsner is the sort of person who can't help but correct grammar in Facebook postings and on billboards. She's written for BusinessWeek, the Los Angeles Times, Parenting, Redbook, AOL and others. She lives in Los Angeles County with her family and loves to drink wine and practice yoga, although not generally at the same time.
A writer for MSN Money since January 2007, Donna Freedman won regional and national prizes during an 18-year newspaper career and earned a college degree in midlife without taking out student loans. She also writes about smart money tactics for magazines and on her own site, Surviving and Thriving.
Mitch Lipka has been warning people about scams and shining light on questionable business practices for more than 20 years. Mitch, the consumer columnist for The Boston Globe, has also been a reporter and editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, Consumer Reports, South Florida Sun-Sentinel and AOL. He won the 2010 New York Press Club award for best consumer reporting online and was honored in 2011 for his reporting on child product safety.
Marilyn Lewis is an award-winning writer with a passion for getting readers clear, straight information that helps them stay out of financial trouble. A former reporter for The San Jose Mercury News, she works from her home in Port Townsend, Wash. Contact her at MarilynLewis@Outlook.com.
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