With the resort industry reeling from the recession, golfers can find bargains.
Golf course owners are still searching for the green -- and that could be good news for vacationing golfers.
After ticking down 1.8% in 2008, the number of rounds of golf played in 2009 inched south another 0.6%, according to the National Golf Foundation. Some states saw steeper declines: South Carolina, with well-known golfing destinations in Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach, saw 4.3% fewer rounds of golf played last year than in 2008, and golf rounds fell 12.8% in Hawaii.
The drop-off in business could add up to some good last-minute deals for consumers, says Bob Bruns, associate director of the PGA Golf Management program at Methodist University.
Before you spend a lot of money, investigate free or low-cost options.
Scams aren't just for the unsophisticated. Even a reasonable job seeker with an ounce of urgency might be convinced by polished, persistent schemers who are pros at overselling the value of job-search services.
To be semantically precise, these setups are more scheme-like than pure scams. Service providers don't take your money and disappear; instead, they deliver a service that may be worthless or have value that is a fraction of its fee.
- Bing: Write a perfect resume
As such, these schemes persist, especially when hawked by aggressive salespeople disguised as career-services experts. They prey on the sense of urgency and latent fears of high-achieving people who happen to be unemployed or underemployed at the moment. They exploit the idea that exclusive, high-priced services are better than readily available, free or lower-priced alternatives.
The online retailer earns praise from customers, but some think it's merely a PR stunt.
A pricing-engine mistake at a Zappos.com sister site, 6pm.com, capped all prices at $49.95 for the first six hours of Friday before the error was caught. Now, in a brilliant customer-service move, Zappos says it will honor all of the orders placed and eat the $1.6 million mistake.
Hopefully, someone somewhere got the $1,000 GPS for just under 50 bucks. Customers overall, it appears, are impressed with the company's response.
"Wow, you mean they didn't pull an Amazon and just canceled all those orders? Crazy!" a reader commented at CNET News. Amazon acquired shoe and apparel online retailer Zappos last year.
This is certainly a departure from how many online retailers handle pricing mix-ups and gaffes. For instance:
The 'sin tax' defines candy as a sweet without flour. Except some candy contains flour. It's still candy, isn't it?
Starting June 1, you'll have to pay sales tax if you buy candy or gum in Washington state. Local taxes vary, but in Seattle, for example, that's 9.5 cents more on a $1 candy bar.
Unless you buy a Kit Kat, Milky Way or Twizzlers.
Those aren't candy, according to the state's definition. Because the state and city don't tax food, those sweets are tax-free.
That doesn't mean they're better for you. It's just that those non-candy candies contain flour. And, by the state's definition, an item that contains flour isn't candy, even if it's candy.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest identifies selections at 7 popular chains that provide 'Xtreme' levels of calories and fat.
What do you get if you order the pasta carbonara with chicken at The Cheesecake Factory, followed by the Chocolate Tower Truffle Cake?
Answer: 4,170 calories and 133 grams of saturated fat -- more than the recommended limit of saturated fat for six entire days. The recommended daily caloric intake for most folks is 2,000.
These two menu items are among the Center for Science in the Public Interest's nine winners of the 2010 Xtreme Eating Awards. Is there any wonder we're an obese nation? Can the federal requirement that restaurants post calorie counts take effect soon enough to save us from ourselves?
"I wouldn't accuse California Pizza Kitchen or P.F. Chang's of being a threat to national security, but with a quarter of young Americans too heavy to join the military, these and other chains ought to get the extremes off their menus," CSPI nutrition director Bonnie Liebman said in a news release. "At a minimum, they should disclose calories on menus now, even before federal regulations make it mandatory."
Among the other "dishonorees" on the list:
A tongue-in-cheek look at the things people do that almost invite burglars into their home.
Being burglarized is almost never a good thing. The idea of someone breaking into your home, rummaging through your stuff, and taking all the choice bits is unpleasant. Most people whose homes have been burglarized will tell you that the worst part isn't the loss of stuff, which can be replaced, but the loss of their feeling of security.
But what if you wanted to be burglarized?
Why would you want your home broken into? Let's say you wanted to sell all of your possessions. How long would that take? A week? A month? Imagine if you could sell them all in one day for $500? Would you do it? If the answer is yes and you have insurance, skip the pleasantries and just get robbed!
Anything of value would be gone, you wouldn't even need to pack it, and you're on the hook only for the deductible. Think of it as a nontraditional garage sale. So, how do you entice a burglar to come rob your house? It's remarkably easy!
When asked, readers listed going to college, buying gold, and cooking at home, among other things. Not everyone agreed.
A recent Ramit Sethi post began with a simple question: "What are areas where people THINK they're making a lot of money, but actually don't?"
Ramit, who blogs at I Will Teach You To Be Rich, suggested some possible answers: buying a house (hopefully everyone has figured that one out) and picking individual stocks (best not left to amateurs, we think).
What came next were comments from some very astute readers. Among them:
Buying something for the tax deduction.
How to avoid rip-offs when you buy tickets to concerts this summer.
Concert ticket economics can be a little hard to untangle, especially when you are buying through the secondary market. Sometimes, even when demand dips, prices rise.
Take this year. Concert attendance for the first three months slipped 3% over the same period in 2009, according to Live Nation Entertainment, a leading concert promoter. Yet spending per concertgoer over the same period ticked up 2%, to $59.71, and prices on the secondary market -- brokers like StubHub.com or TicketNetwork.com -- rose by an average of 8%, according to SeatGeek, an aggregator of secondary ticket site prices.
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.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Tired of subsidizing the rest of the gang's big meals when all you had was a salad? There's an app for that. Other apps help to share rent, vacations and utilities.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
BLOGS WE LIKE
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'