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Defaults by high-scoring borrowers spur lenders to look at a lot more of your personal financial data.

By Teresa Mears Nov 10, 2010 9:28PM

We've known for years that lending institutions paid great attention to our credit scores. But the fact that people with perfect credit are among those defaulting on mortgages has made lenders look for new ways to judge potential borrowers.

 

That could be good news or bad news for consumers, depending on how they handle their financial lives -- or how well their asssets are holding up.

 

Your paycheck is likely to shrink in January. The only question is by how much. And it's not just the temporary Bush tax cuts that are at stake.

By Money Staff Nov 10, 2010 7:45PM

This post comes from MSN Money's Liz Pulliam Weston.

 

Liz Pulliam WestonYou've probably heard that Congress will discuss extending the Bush-era tax cuts when it reconvenes next week. Even if lawmakers manage to settle that squabble before the end of the year -- which is not guaranteed -- they’re unlikely to extend another tax break that’s beefed up most workers' paychecks this year.

We're not talking small change, either. If lawmakers don't extend the Bush tax cuts for lower- and middle-income families, people will see a big jump in their tax bite next year, according to The Wall Street Journal. For example:

  • A household making $40,000 would see its paychecks shrink by $95 a month if it had no children, $135 if it had one child and $165 if it had two children.
  • A household making $80,000 would see its monthly paychecks shrink by $145 with no kids, $150 with one and $180 with two.
  • A household making $100,000 would clear $270 less per month with no kids, $300 less with one and $335 less with two.

Nice, huh? But there's another, less-talked-about tax break that’s been helping you out.

 

National parks are free for all, and active or former military members can get dinners, car washes and shopping discounts.

By Teresa Mears Nov 10, 2010 2:09PM

We wrote last week about deals for Veterans Day, but so many new deals have emerged that we've put together another roundup.

Remember that entry to national parks is free for everyone Nov. 11 in honor of Veterans Day, and some state parks and tourist attractions are offering free entry to either the public or veterans and military.

 

The discount retailer’s ad hit the Web -- and while the reaction is mixed, a few deals are keepers.

By Money Staff Nov 10, 2010 1:16PM

This post comes from Melinda Fulmer of MSN Money.

 

Target's leaked Black Friday ad hit the Web Tuesday night, offering a handful of deals tempting enough to get many bargain-savvy shoppers off their couch.

The discounter, which will open its stores at 4 a.m. Friday, is offering some sweet deals on electronics, video games and toys to lure jaded shoppers into its stores after weeks of pre-sales. And for every purchase over $100, shoppers will receive a $10 Target gift card (one per customer.)

 

I've never seen a kid do a happy dance around the living room for a gift card.

By Karen Datko Nov 10, 2010 11:38AM

This post comes from Sonja Stewart at partner blog Wise Bread.

 

Do you remember what it was like to be a kid? Do you remember how hard it was to get your hands on cash?

 

I know I'm dating myself here, but when I was young, a dollar was, well, paper money. I could get a lot of candy for that dollar. A lot.

So why have I been so hesitant to give kids cash for gifts? Will I be getting them practical things next, like socks and sweaters and underpants?

 

No way. I'm refusing to become that grown up. Here's why I'm sending cash for Christmas, and you should too.

 

Program requires you to complete a sobriety test before posting. Will this save online reputations?

By Teresa Mears Nov 10, 2010 11:01AM

We've all seen Facebook status updates that made us wonder: What was she smoking? Or drinking? Because surely that's not the kind of information she wanted to share with the world.

 

Never mind "drunk dialing." Now you have to worry about drunken tweeting, tumblring, e-mailing and Facebooking (is that a verb yet?).

If you find yourself spilling your secrets online after you've had a few too many, you may need the Social Media Sobriety Test. Remember: Prospective employers may see your posts.

 

When was the last time you bought something with metal, other than a short-term parking space rental?

By Karen Datko Nov 10, 2010 10:19AM

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

 

With Election Day behind us, I thought this would a good time to discuss a bloated federal program that wastes taxpayer dollars, annoys the citizenry, and uses up our precious natural resources.

 

I am talking about the minting of coins.

 

I was reminded of this continuing national tragedy by a post at The Consumerist about a brave grass-roots effort to address this issue. Apparently, there is a Dunkin' Donuts shop somewhere (for obvious reasons of safety, its location was not disclosed) that now rounds all purchases to the nearest nickel. If a customer for some reason actually wants the pennies (the mind boggles) the shop will provide them.

 

You can prepare a cheaper, healthier Turkey Day meal, and still have time to mingle with your guests.

By Karen Datko Nov 10, 2010 7:48AM

This guest post comes from Kris at Cheap Healthy Good.

 

Are you tired of Thanksgivings when your entire family comes to visit but you don't have time to talk to any of them? Do you dream of serving fresh, home-prepared food instead of Stove Top and Potato Buds on Turkey Day? Come this holiday, do you wanna save a coupla bucks?

Sweet. We gotcha covered.

By following these steps and devoting an hour or two to planning ahead, you can cook up a wholesome, economically sound Thanksgiving feast without going completely insane. You'll have time to actually interact with your loved ones, and no one will leave the house hungry.

 

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