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But they won't be much of a deal. Charging $4.95 to send $25 may not lure many customers.

By Teresa Mears Jan 6, 2011 1:16PM

In an effort to drum up business, the U.S. Postal Service has decided to sell gift cards.


Stamp us underwhelmed.

The cards will be the type known as "open loop," issued by Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express, usable anywhere credit cards are accepted.


They sound great, don't they? What an easy gift.


But those easy gifts come with hefty fees. The post office plans to charge $4.95 for gift cards with a set rate of $25 and $50 and $5.95 for cards in variable amounts ranging from $26 to $100. There is no word yet on whether the cards will have an expiration date or carry any additional fees.


Our son is starting to understand that money represents time and effort.

By Karen Datko Jan 6, 2011 12:44PM

This post comes from Trent Hamm at partner blog The Simple Dollar.


For us, 2010 was a year of learning both for the parents and children in our household about what allowance means, how it works, and what kinds of money lessons our children are learning.

Let's roll back the clock to November 2009, when our children each received piggy banks and the allowance adventure got under way.


Worried about getting off to a bad start on your New Year's resolutions? Then it might be time to assess your goals with free online tests.

By Stacy Johnson Jan 6, 2011 10:33AM

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


The new year is only a few days old, but your resolutions may already be off track. Americans would rather get rich than get skinny this year, as we reported, yet only one-third of them made a financial plan part of their resolutions.

What other New Year's goals are you in danger of missing? Whether you resolved to get richer, skinnier or smarter in 2011, these free online tools from reputable organizations will help you keep your goals on track.


Now we can learn something from the show about nothing.

By Karen Datko Jan 5, 2011 7:47PM

What can "Seinfeld" teach us about money and the economy? Plenty, it seems.


Three professors use the episodes of that 1990s show (which lives on in syndication) to teach the fundamentals of economics, according to our friend J.D. Roth at Get Rich Slowly. They share their lessons at a website called The Economics of Seinfeld, also known as


These lessons extend beyond the girth of George Costanza's wallet. Cindy Perman, in an article on, explains:

The "Soup Nazi," for example, offers lessons in the economic concepts of barriers to entry and monopoly power, since the scowling martinet cook seems to have a lock on the tasty soup market. Elaine stumbling on his stash of soup recipes shows how quickly a monopoly can be broken.

If you can't find all the television programming you want and need on the Internet now, just wait.

By Money Staff Jan 5, 2011 5:56PM

This post comes from MSN Money's Liz Pulliam Weston.


Liz Pulliam Weston on MSN MoneyPay television is losing subscribers, but pay-TV executives insist it's not primarily because people are "cutting the cord" -- ditching their cable or satellite subscriptions in favor of getting the content they want from the Web.

Maybe not, but it's a certainly a trend that's gaining momentum. Game consoles, Internet-enabled TVs and Blu-ray players make it easy for those with home Wi-Fi or other broadband networks to access Internet content instantly, while others are just watching on their computers.


New services let you save hard drive space while enjoying movies and music.

By Karen Datko Jan 5, 2011 5:25PM

This Deal of the Daycomes fromKelli B. Grantat partner site SmartMoney.


A top-notch MP3 player can hold as many as 40,000 songs; a good e-reader, 3,500 books. But many consumers say they want room for more -- and others wish they could read that book from, say, their computer, too.

They're about to get just that as more content providers allow people to store more of their media online and access it from anywhere.


Enter one of the big buzz words at this year's International Consumer Electronics Show: cloud computing.


The fake ice rink is gone from a cruise ship after the Norwegian Cruise Line CEO had to put it together himself.

By Teresa Mears Jan 5, 2011 2:50PM

Want to improve conditions where you work?


Maybe you should get your boss on TV.


Norwegian Cruise Line is seeing some changes after CEO Kevin Sheehan did a stint working for his own company on CBS' "Undercover Boss."


He didn't give himself a very good performance evaluation. "Somebody said I did a good job vacuuming," he said in a webcast, as reported by Hannah Sampson of The Miami Herald. "Unfortunately, that didn't make it to the show."


What he did learn from the experience is that leading 1,000 people in a line dance and washing the outside of a ship is hard work. 


An error leads to brief excitement over coupon possibilities until the retailer clarifies its policy.

By Teresa Mears Jan 5, 2011 1:21PM

There was great joy in Couponville for a few minutes this week when shoppers saw in Wal-Mart's Sunday newspaper ad that the big-box retailer would accept competitors' coupons.


Oops. Not quite.


What the store meant to say, according to Kitty at Coupon Divas, was that the store would accept a competitor's coupon that mentions a specific price. That goes along with the company's price matching policy.



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