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Obese women earn less than their slimmer sisters, while obese men earn about the same as men of normal weight.

By Karen Datko Oct 1, 2010 10:17AM

It's no secret that it costs more to be fat -- higher health care costs, higher prices for plus-size clothing, the extra cost of double airline seats and larger caskets.

The news is that the extra annual cost of being obese is higher for women ($4,879) than for men ($2,646), according to a new study by George Washington University (.pdf file). For those who are merely overweight, the extra cost is $524 for women and $432 for their male counterparts, the new study says. ("Overweight" is defined as a body mass index between 25 and 30. "Obese" is 30 and above.)


The study considered factors like health care costs and wages, but didn't include higher prices for consumer goods -- the extra airplane seat and the rest.


That's a significant finding, considering that two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese. The New York Times explains:


You'll have a bigger yard, but is that worth the tradeoffs of more noise, more grass, and more trash and other 'stuff' to pick up?

By Karen Datko Oct 1, 2010 8:33AM

This guest post comes from Len Penzo at Len Penzo dot Com.


For the six people left in America who are still looking to buy a home, I thought I'd pass on a little advice and save you a serious case of buyer's remorse.


Don't be fooled by real estate agents who try to tell you that  corner lots are highly desirable. They're not.

Oh, sure, you've got a bigger lot and neighbors on only two sides, but as a former corner-lot owner, trust me when I say the cons far outweigh the pros.


In fact, besides often being more expensive to buy, here are 21 additional reasons why corner lots just aren't worth it:

  1. Noise, noise, noise. Double street and sidewalk frontage means double the noise from pedestrian and car traffic. Pull up a chair and crack open a cold one; I'm just gettin' started.

Renting a car might be getting pricier soon, but you can still save money if you know where to look and what to say.

By Stacy Johnson Sep 30, 2010 3:53PM

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


Along with airfare and hotel, renting a car is one of the Big Three expenses when you travel. But while everyone talks about how to find cheap fares and cheap rooms, no one talks with the same fervor about how to find the best wheels deals.

And there's never been a better time to seek out car rental tips, because the landscape may soon get more challenging as Hertz and Avis fight to take over Dollar Thrifty.


Check company launches campaign to advocate the right to write checks. But can even YouTube sell 'checks appeal'?

By Teresa Mears Sep 30, 2010 2:43PM

What a retro idea: A new publicity campaign wants to defend our right to use paper checks.

Does anyone still use checks? Haven't they gone the way of green stamps?


Deluxe Corp., which sells paper checks, is organizing the campaign, complete with videos, a Facebook page and other modern social networking tools. The company is arguing that customers should have the right to pay by check if they want to.


Never heard of Squinkies and Zoobles? You'd better start looking for them now. Plus: Grab a Sing-a-ma-jig.

By Teresa Mears Sep 30, 2010 10:53AM

Wondering what the hot toys will be this holiday season?

Think cute and electronic, with maybe a hint of vampire, and you'll be on the right track. No, there is not a plush electronic vampire doll, but we don't rule it out for the future.


The editors of released their list of the Holiday 2010 Most Wanted Toys at the magazine's Holiday Showcase this week in New York.


Fixing the toilet is easy. You can install a thermostat by yourself. And some of the best things in life don't cost anything at all.

By Karen Datko Sep 30, 2010 10:04AM

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


Today, let's do something a little different. I'm going to list 48 things I've learned about myself and the world around me that I discovered thanks to frugality.

  1. I really like sun tea.
  2. The patience and effort involved in teaching yourself something new is incredibly rewarding when you begin to succeed at it (like my piano playing).
  3. When you're sitting around a table with friends, it really doesn't matter where you are.
  4. Young children are usually more interested in the free packaging or other freebies than any item you might buy them.

The core problem is not that those charged with performing modifications are reluctant to do it.

By Karen Datko Sep 30, 2010 8:45AM

This guest post comes from Frank Curmudgeon at Bad Money Advice.


Last year I wrung several good posts from the Obama administration's doomed-from-go scheme to get banks to modify mortgages. It was good material for me. I got to mock both those few who were clueless enough to think it might work and the great many people who were too polite or too loyal to the White House to admit they understood that the program's outlook was grim.

After a while, I got bored of beating that particular dead horse. So many other things to mock.


But I realized recently I never really addressed the basic conceptual flaw in the Home Affordable Modification Program.


The days of finding a 2-year-old car for thousands less than new are gone -- at least for now.

By Karen Datko Sep 29, 2010 1:32PM

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


After the engine blew on his 2004 Saturn, Tom Wright figured his next car would, obviously, be used. Given that new cars lose value faster than a 35-year-old utility infielder, why not buy a year-old Toyota RAV4 and save $5,000 right off the bat?

Then he started pricing cars around his hometown of Asheville, N.C. After cash back and a promotional financing offer, the 2010 model was only $1,000 more than the used cars he saw on the market. Sold! "Why buy someone else's problem," he says.


Many car buyers are encountering surprises, both good and bad, as market conditions have turned tried-and-true used-car-buying advice on its head. The tight economy has driven more consumers to used-car lots in search of savings; that increased demand has pushed prices up. The days of finding a 2-year-old car for thousands less than new are gone -- at least for now.



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