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The growth of online charitable giving is a boon to nonprofits. But there's an unintended beneficiary of this cyber generosity.

By Stacy Johnson May 24, 2011 9:29AM

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


How would you feel if you learned that when you donate $100 to a charity, you're adding only $97 to the charity's coffers, while making some nameless bank $3 richer?


That's probably what's happening if you donate by credit card -- which has become increasingly popular as charities join the rest of the world online.


Making yogurt in a slow cooker is super easy. It's helping me get enough calcium in my diet. And boy, is it delicious.

By Donna_Freedman May 23, 2011 3:42PM

I never cared much for yogurt. It generally seemed too sour to me, unless it was loaded with fruit and sugar or turned into tzatziki sauce on a gyro sandwich.

Apparently I just never had the right kind of yogurt.

I'd heard that the homemade version is better than the commercial kind. I'd also read about people making yogurt in a slow cooker. After looking online for instructions, I settled on the process described at A Year of Slow Cooking.

And then I improved on it.


More and more adult children are depending on their parents for financial help.

By doubleace May 23, 2011 3:20PM

This post comes from Lynn Mucken at MSN Money.


Fifty-nine percent of parents provide financial support for their adult children who no longer are in school, according to a survey done for Forbes.


To which I have two questions: "That few?" And, "What's new?"


The Forbes story has the statistics -- unemployment rate over 14% for 20- to 24-year-olds, huge debt from college loans, etc. -- while my evidence is merely anecdotal. At dinner with friends or on the golf course with buddies, it is a recurring conversation.


If you really want to know what kind of mileage your chariot is getting, calculate it the old-fashioned way.

By MSN Money Partner May 23, 2011 2:28PM

This post comes from Mark Huffman at partner site


Almost any car manufactured in the last couple of years has a gauge that measures the vehicle's fuel economy, showing you how many miles to the gallon you're getting.

But you might not be getting nearly the fuel efficiency it says you are.


The editors at conducted a total of 14 tests in seven vehicles and found that the miles-per-gallon gauges were 5.5% off, on average.


Where you live is a factor in what you'll pay, but there are ways to lower your bill no matter where you are.

By Stacy Johnson May 23, 2011 10:36AM

This post comes from Brandon Ballenger at partner site Money Talks News.


Rather than Motor City, maybe Detroit should be known as Insurance City. Average cost to insure your car there last year: $5,948, the highest in the country.


That's 56% higher than the next highest, and more than seven times the cost of full coverage insurance in the lowest-cost city in the country,


I bowed to pressure and broke my personal rule never to open a store account. Here's what happened.

By MSN Money Partner May 23, 2011 9:13AM

This post comes from April Dykman at partner blog Get Rich Slowly.


Remember, dear readers, when I warned you about store credit cards last year? I told you about a study that found that 35 major New York City stores had an average interest rate of 23.83% on store cards, when the national average APR for a regular credit card was at 14.78%. (RadioShack had the worst rate at 28.99% APR, with Best Buy and Staples close behind at 27.99%.)


I told you, quite proudly, that when asked if I want to open a store card account, I always tell the cashier, "I don't carry store credit cards," and I repeat myself as many times as necessary.


I told you, "… it's important to be on guard. By and large, these cards aren't worth the hassle or the risk. Credit is serious business, not something to sign up for on the spur of the moment without reading the fine print."


Well, this is the story of how I got suckered into opening a store credit card and what I learned from it.


Everyone seems to have little mind tricks for beefing up savings. Some are very creative.

By MSN Money Partner May 20, 2011 3:32PM

This guest post comes from J. Money at Budgets are Sexy.


I think it’s really funny/cool how we all do things that force us to save money sometimes -- as if we can't do it without tricking ourselves.


A new blog I started reading -- Master the Art of Saving -- talks about stashing $1 coins in her house (the gold ones, which she refers to as "pirate's gold") and how storing them in a box high up in her closet keeps her from spending them -- plus the fact she just really LOVES the way they look. Check out the pictures of her stash here -- they're pretty dope.


I find myself doing stuff like that too.


The bipartisan proposal would make borrowing harder but repayment easier.

By MSN Money Partner May 20, 2011 2:33PM

This post comes from Emily Brandon at partner site U.S. News & World Report.


 U.S. News & World Report on MSN MoneyA new bill aims to make it more difficult for workers to take out 401k loans, but easier to pay them back. U.S. Sens. Herb Kohl, a Wisconsin Democrat, and Mike Enzi, a Wyoming Republican, introduced a bill on May 18 with provisions intended to prevent the leakage of savings from 401ks before retirement.


Reduce early access. The Savings Enhancement by Alleviating Leakage in 401k Savings Act of 2011, or SEAL Act, reduces the number of loans that 401k participants can take to three at a time. Currently employers determine the number of loans available.



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