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A survey shows that most bank customers will not opt in for so-called overdraft protection.

By Karen Datko Aug 2, 2010 5:40PM

Maybe Americans are getting smarter about their financial choices and how banks have taken advantage of them.

 

There's proof in a new survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. It found (.pdf file) that 74% of respondents won't be opting in for so-called overdraft protection, which allows banks to charge customers a hefty fee for the privilege of spending money they don't have.

 

Rather, consumers are saying, "Decline my card. Please."

 

When used as directed, Miracle Mineral Solution can cause serious health problems, agency says.

By Karen Datko Aug 2, 2010 2:28PM

This post comes from partner site ConsumerAffairs.com.

 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to take Miracle Mineral Solution, an oral liquid also known as "Miracle Mineral Supplement" or "MMS."

 

The product, when used as directed, produces an industrial bleach that can cause serious harm to health, the agency said.

 

Yard sales and flea markets are in big demand. Example: The World's Longest Yard Sale added 21 miles to this year's route.

By Karen Datko Aug 2, 2010 1:01PM

This Deal of the Day comes from Kelli B. Grant at partner site SmartMoney.

 

Buying secondhand is a tried-and-true way to get better prices on most purchases. But consumers browsing at yard sales, flea markets, thrift stores and consignment shops can eke out extra savings by changing the way they shop.

 

Cruise lines use every means at their disposal to get you to spend more. Here's how to avoid the traps.

By Karen Datko Aug 2, 2010 12:18PM

This guest post comes from Ron Haynes at The Wisdom Journal.

 

My wife and I recently celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary by taking an Alaska cruise through the Inside Passage. We loved going to Alaska and immensely enjoyed the cruise itself.

Although we've been on several Caribbean cruises with Carnival Cruise Lines, we chose Princess Cruises this time. We were "kidless" and wanted a more mature and laid-back cruise experience, and Princess delivered. But while I was on this cruise vacation, you just know I couldn't help but spot ways to save money.

 

Prices are often marked up to take advantage of travelers' relaxed grip on their purse strings.

By Karen Datko Aug 2, 2010 9:45AM

This post comes from Sierra Black, a staff writer at partner blog Get Rich Slowly.

 

Travel is a gift. We get to see new places and cultures, meet new people, and expand our lives. Most of us, when we've put the time and money into traveling somewhere special, want to treasure the memories.

There's a large industry to support that desire. Gift and souvenir shops in the United States pull in more than $17 billion a year, according to Hoovers. And gift shops are just the tip of the iceberg.

 

In a victory for consumers, this October it's going to be a lot tougher to be in the debt-settlement business.

By Stacy Johnson Jul 30, 2010 2:51PM

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

 

Unless you've been living in a cave for the last several years, you've seen and heard debt-settlement ads -- the ones that make it appear that eliminating credit card debt is as simple as paying "pennies on the dollar."

 

But after October, those ads may start fading away, along with many of the companies. The Federal Trade Commission has announced what could become crippling restrictions on this particular way to deal with consumer debt.

 

More and more travelers choose the 'BYOF' option.

By Donna_Freedman Jul 30, 2010 1:57PM
Forget the hotel restaurant. Ignore the lobby store. Bring your own grub.

More and more travelers are opting to bring their own food, according to Lisa Grossberg, manager of Manhattan's Buckingham Hotel. Meal costs can eat up "anywhere from a third to half of the total spent on an average trip," Grossberg says.

Of course, savoring local flavor is an integral part of the travel experience. But if you cut corners on breakfast and lunch, you can afford some really fine dining -- or possibly an extra day or two of travel.

Some hotels offer full kitchens, or at least a small refrigerator and/or microwave. If not? Get creative.  

Some patience is required. But if the wait is routine and interminably long, here are steps you can take.

By Karen Datko Jul 30, 2010 1:55PM

How many of you have arrived at the doctor's office (on time) and been forced to wait, be it 20 minutes, or maybe an hour or two? You inevitably think: Hey, I know you went to medical school (and have the student loan debt to show for it), but my time is valuable, too.

We are not totally powerless when this happens, says a post at The New York Times Bucks blog. From Bucks and other sources, we've come up with several possible courses of action.

 

But first, why does this happen?

 

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