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E-books aren't cheap. In fact, depending on what you read, they may actually be relatively expensive.

By Karen Datko Dec 20, 2010 1:43PM

This post comes from J.D. Roth at partner blog Get Rich Slowly.

 

Google has opened its e-bookstore for business. The search giant joins Apple and Amazon (and Barnes & Noble) in a fast-growing field. Electronic books will never completely replace paper books, but they're going to make up a sizable portion -- and maybe even the majority -- of the market sooner than you think.

Naturally, more and more GRS readers are moving to e-books. In fact, I've had a couple of people ask me about them recently. For example, Peggy wrote last week to share her experience:

 

Compare rates offered by FedEx, UPS and the post office before you send that last-minute package.

By Stacy Johnson Dec 20, 2010 12:32PM

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

 

More than a quarter of Americans are still wrapping up Christmas shopping, according to Consumer Reports. Procrastinators know that last-minute shopping can lead to some great finds, but the big problem is getting them shipped in time without blowing your savings.

 

The three most popular options for last-minute shipping are UPS, FedEx, and the U.S. Postal Service. You might think it doesn't matter which you pick, but there is a big difference, and it becomes more pronounced as your package size and procrastination level increase.

 

Several websites exist to provide you with incentive for accomplishing specific goals.

By Karen Datko Dec 20, 2010 11:19AM

This post comes from Kimberly Palmer at partner site US News & World Report.

 

Anyone can say they plan to save more money, or travel around the world, or lose 30 pounds. But how can you go from talking about those goals to actually turning them into reality?

In addition to hard work, a few tested strategies and innovative new websites can help.

 

Do it because it's the right thing to do, rather than to get your picture in the paper.

By Donna_Freedman Dec 20, 2010 9:53AM

At this time of year everyone wakes up to the fact that need exists in the United States. Everywhere you look are food drives, gift drives, coat drives.


Here's a news flash: Need exists all year long, not just in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

 

Don't get me wrong: I love it when people do nice things. I just wish it weren't so holiday-specific. Pardon my grinchiness, but I think some of these once-a-year volunteers aren't doing it for the homeless, the seniors or the kids. They're doing it to make themselves feel good.

 

Anyone can find legitimate references -- former co-workers or teachers, your minister, the supervisor at the nonprofit where you volunteer.

By Karen Datko Dec 17, 2010 3:37PM

You've heard the standard job-seeking advice, such as dress appropriately, don't chew gum during an interview, and don't lie on your resume. Ever.

It appears that more desperate people are ignoring the ban on lies, and at least one website is willing to help them out with that.

 

BOGO chicken sandwiches, free avocado, discount pizza and coupons for movie concessions, plus restaurant gift card bonuses.

By Teresa Mears Dec 17, 2010 2:20PM

Christmas is fast approaching, which means your chance to buy presents online and have them shipped in time for the holiday is almost over.

Today (Dec. 17) is Free Shipping Day, in which more than 1,500 merchants have pledged to offer free shipping in time for Dec. 24 delivery. Laura Heller at dealnews.com noted that many of the free shipping deals have restrictions, such as minimum purchases, and that many merchants have been offering free shipping all week. Still, if you're going to order online, free shipping is an important part of the deal, so today may be the day to order. Or maybe they'll offer better deals tomorrow.

 

Wal-Mart's free shipping offer for 60,000 items with no minimum purchase ends Dec. 20, and Amazon has extended its deadline for free Super Saver shipping (minimum purchase $25) through Dec. 19.

 

If you want to give the gift of eating out, lots of restaurants are offering bonuses if you buy gift cards.

 

The Federal Reserve has suggested that the fees merchants have been paying for debit card transactions are way too high.

By Stacy Johnson Dec 17, 2010 1:06PM

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

 

A part of the recently enacted financial reform legislation called the Durbin Amendment required that "swipe fees" -- fees charged to merchants by banks for processing debit card transactions -- be "reasonable and proportional" to what it actually cost banks to process those transactions.

 

Now the Federal Reserve has proposed a 12-cent cap on those fees, charges that last year averaged 44 cents for transactions processed as a debit card and 56 cents if the consumer signed for the purchase as a credit card transaction.

 

The Federal Reserve's proposal suggests that the fees collected by the banking industry for debit card transactions have been unreasonably high and disproportional to costs.

 

It's important that you don't out-think yourself by getting a gift that ends up costing somebody money down the road.

By Karen Datko Dec 17, 2010 12:13PM

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

 

I remember the worst gift I ever received. It was a vacation to the Bahamas that an old girlfriend of mine gave to me. It was one of those too-good-to-be-true ultra-low-cost package "deals" that was exactly that -- too good to be true.

Did you know the Bahamas had ghettos? I didn't either until we pulled up in front of our Freeport "resort."

To this day I also can't confirm that the sun has ever been seen in the Bahamas; while we were there it rained incessantly.

 

It turns out the whole experience was so bad that we ultimately came home after three days. Heck, I even wrote an article about my sad adventures on that trip entitled "4 lessons I learned on the worst vacation of my life."

 

Yep. Definitely the worst gift I ever received. Truth be told, it flat-out sucked.

 

Speaking of terrible gifts, British charity organization The Brooke conducted a study of 3,000 people regarding the most unwelcome Christmas gifts. I notice package-deal vacations did not make this particular list, but here were the top 10 items that did:

 

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