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Whether you're fond of real or fake fir, here's what you need to know about finding the right Christmas tree.

By Stacy Johnson Nov 30, 2010 4:10PM

This post comes from Stacy Johnson at partner site Money Talks News.


Nothing says holidays like a Christmas tree. If you haven't picked one yet, here are some quick tips to buy it right. If you have purchased a tree, we also have tips to keep it fresh through New Year's.

Real trees

When I was a boy growing up outside Atlanta, for several years my father bought live Christmas trees, then planted them in the yard after the holiday. Both my youth and my father are now gone, but those trees remain.


Airlines and airports see a chance to make money by increasing liquor sales. Will we get stuck in the air with rowdy drunks?

By Teresa Mears Nov 30, 2010 2:30PM

We've written a lot about how airlines and airports are giving us less and less, while charging more fees.


Here's something they're giving us more of (besides scrutiny): alcohol, or at least opportunities to buy it.

That's right: Airlines and airports are making more alcoholic drinks available, USA Today reports.


The celebrity sisters end their relationship with a prepaid card criticized for high fees. There are still plenty of those cards out there.

By Teresa Mears Nov 30, 2010 12:34PM

The Kardashian card is over.


Let this be a lesson to consumers: Don't listen to financial advice from people whose main claim to fame is being famous. You can bet Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian, known for their  "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" reality show on the E! network, didn't get rich using prepaid cards larded with fees, as theirs was.


We're happy to report that most consumers ignored the Kardashian card. Only about 250 were sold. The card's launch less than a month ago was followed by a wave of publicity over what a bad deal the Kardashian card was for consumers. The publicity caused the Kardashian sisters to end their relationship with the card, issued by MasterCard and University Bank of St. Paul, Minn.


You have to make the decision based on how it helps you and your family.

By Karen Datko Nov 30, 2010 11:25AM

This post comes from Jim Wang at partner blog Bargaineering.


A lot of people are "underwater" on their mortgages -- that is, the value of their home is below the amount they still owe on their mortgage. Other people simply can no longer afford their monthly mortgage payments.

Regardless of the reasons, some homeowners are considering walking away from their home and their mortgage, and it's important to understand what the actual costs are going to be.

Why you should walk:

  • It's simple math. 

People are not good at multitasking, and that includes members of the Millennial generation.

By Karen Datko Nov 30, 2010 10:15AM

This guest post comes from Pop at Pop Economics.


Our minds spend 46.9% of the time wandering.


That's according to a new study by Harvard psychologists Dan Gilbert and Matthew Killingsworth. The two developed an iPhone app that asked 2,250 volunteers at random intervals what they were doing, how happy they were, and whether they were thinking about the task at hand or something else that was pleasant, neutral or unpleasant.

Of the 22 activities that the app let them choose from --including walking, eating, and watching TV -- the volunteers' minds were not focused on their present tasks no less than 30% of the time for every activity but having sex.


The holiday shopping season usually includes some of the best days of the year to buy a car.

By Stacy Johnson Nov 29, 2010 6:31PM

This post comes from Michael Koretzky at partner site Money Talks News.


New-car prices are down, but used-car prices are way up. Leasing is also up -- but so are defaults on those leases.


Oh, and young people want to drive less. Holy Chrysler, what's going on?

Well, experts say this uncommonly long recession has put the brakes on what we long considered common car sense. So before you buy, read on.


Shoppers continue their holiday spending spree.

By Karen Datko Nov 29, 2010 4:18PM

This post comes from Melinda Fulmer of MSN Money.


Recession? What recession? Cyber Monday is here and consumers are still shopping in force, according to retail experts. They're just doing it on the sly at their desks at work.

According to Graham Jones, a vice president at, online traffic from his company's comparison site to retailers is up between 15% and 20% today from last year (roughly the same increase they saw on the much more heavily promoted Black Friday).


Most workers say they don't feel obligated to buy a holiday present for supervisors. Consider the ramifications before you do.

By Teresa Mears Nov 29, 2010 3:53PM

There is nothing that brings out my inner Scrooge more than the issue of "obligatory" holiday gifts.


You know what I mean. The gifts you buy not because you want to, but because it's "expected." Or at least you think it is.


In these times of job insecurity, one question that looms large is: Should you buy your boss a holiday gift?



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