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Told by her mother that they can't afford a new laptop, 13-year-old buys it herself.

By doubleace May 20, 2011 11:31AM

This post comes from Lynn Mucken at MSN Money.


The family had always known that their seventh-grader was a bit of a tightwad. "Mia's never been a kid who wants to go and spend money at the mall," explained her mother, my daughter. "If we do go to a store, she immediately goes to the back because she knows that's where the sales racks are.


"She's always been a collector of things, so I think it just follows through with money. She likes to collect money."

That's why Mia buying a computer -- an 11-inch AppleMacBook Air that retails at $1,200, but was about $1,500 with taxes, classes and software -- came as more than a surprise. 


Or should you take a 'my money, your money' approach and go in together on the mortgage and utilities?

By Donna_Freedman May 20, 2011 10:11AM
June means matrimony. But how many engaged couples are discussing marital finances vs. rehearsal dinners and bachelor parties?

Specifically: Once the dust has settled, how are you going to pay the bills? The household bills, that is. Should you always plan to combine finances?

Here's the answer:  

Many people shy away from these things because they mistakenly believe they are ill-advised.

By MSN Money Partner May 20, 2011 9:10AM

This post comes from Len Penzo at partner blog Len Penzo dot Com.


Sometimes things in life aren't always as you might reasonably expect them to be. Many things actually defy all sense of logic.


For example, several years ago, a reasonable person watching Justin Bieber sing on a city sidewalk for spare change would most likely assume the kid wasn't destined for much success in the music business. Of course, that assumption turned out to be totally incorrect, as he is now a pop music superstar. (Go figure.)


In the crazy world of personal finance, there are also a lot of moves that people tend to shy away from, either because they assume them to be questionable or ill-advised, or they go against conventional wisdom. Sometimes people simply refuse to do them for personal reasons.


Whatever their reasons, here now are a host of personal-finance moves that people often avoid making, even though they don't have to -- or really shouldn't:


40 of the nation's largest life insurance companies have not tried to find policy beneficiaries, commissioner says.

By MSN Money Partner May 19, 2011 6:36PM

This post comes from Ed Leefeldt at partner site


Calling it a "conservative" estimate, Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty says 40 of the largest U.S. life insurance companies may owe policy beneficiaries more than $1 billion.


McCarty made the claim after completing the first stage of an evidentiary hearing today on how life insurers were using the Death Master File, a Social Security Administration list of those who have died.


If you're planning to go to an amusement park more than once this summer, it pays to have a season pass. Here are 6 tips to find the best deals.

By Stacy Johnson May 19, 2011 5:22PM

This post comes from Aaron Crowe at partner site Money Talks News.


Taking the family to an amusement park for a day can feel more like an investment than a day of play. Parking, food, souvenirs -- it adds up fast.


So, for the past two summers, my family has bought season passes at nearby amusement parks -- saving money while keeping our 6-year-old daughter entertained. Some paid for themselves in less than two visits, others even in one. At Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, for example, they're selling season passes for the same price as one general admission.


More companies may adopt mandatory arbitration as a result, cutting off consumers' access to the courts to settle disputes.

By MSN Money Partner May 19, 2011 4:25PM

This post comes from Quentin Fottrell at partner site SmartMoney.


In a country known for its legal dramas, it may soon get tougher for disgruntled consumers to have their day in court. The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that companies can ban their customers from bringing class-action lawsuits -- a decision that has consumer advocates and several congressmen up in arms.


Hate those confusing, last-minute 'disclosures' at loan signing? Tell it to lenders who worry improvements will stifle innovation.

By MSN Money Partner May 19, 2011 2:12PM

This post comes from Marilyn Lewis at MSN Money.


The new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is trying out new mortgage disclosure forms. Sounds innocent enough.


If you've ever purchased or refinanced a home loan, you'll remember the old forms. When you were handed loan documents to sign, you also got some incomprehensible paperwork "disclosing" the cost and terms of the loan.


You may have wished there was someone with a Ph.D. to translate for you.


There are 3 other savings goals that should get your attention first.

By MSN Money Partner May 19, 2011 1:00PM

This post comes from partner blog The Dough Roller.


Having recently paid off all of our non-mortgage debt, we now confront another financial decision: Should we begin to pay off our mortgage early?


Admittedly this is a good problem to have. But it does raise an important financial decision. We want to use our money in a way that produces the highest return with the lowest risk. And paying the mortgage off early may or may not help us meet this goal.


So as we make this decision, it's a good time to examine the issue thoroughly.



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