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If women are buying themselves expensive lingerie, that's a sign of economic recovery, analyst says.

By Teresa Mears Nov 23, 2010 1:11PM

If you want to know how the economy is doing this holiday season, don't even bother collecting all those boring numbers about economic indicators and the Consumer Price Index.


Just check to see how the push-up bras are selling.

Sales of nonessential items such as the Victoria's Secret Miraculous Push-Up bra, which claims it will add two cup sizes, are a key indicator of the health of the economy, analyst John Morris told Rachel Beck of The Associated Press.


Why do so many holiday deals come with rebates? Because many shoppers forget to redeem them. Here's how to stick it to the man(ufacturer).

By Stacy Johnson Nov 23, 2010 11:28AM

This post comes from Michael Koretzky at partner site Money Talks News.


A few years ago, while I was driving my goddaughter to gymnastics class, I stopped by the post office so I could mail in a $50 rebate on a computer I had recently bought.

Sometimes, 10-year-olds ask the best questions:

  • "Why do you need to mail a rebate for a computer? Why don't the people who made the computer just let you do it online?"
  • "Why do they have rebates at all? Why don't they just lower the price of the computer in the first place?"
  • "Am I the only one who thinks this is stupid?"

No, I told her, lots of people think it's stupid.


Here's how your mobile phone can help you shop this year.

By Karen Datko Nov 23, 2010 10:48AM

This post comes from Jennifer Waters at partner site MarketWatch.


If you want to be a smart shopper during the holidays, don't leave home without your smart phone.

Retailers have ramped up their Internet sites and interactive software to make it easier for mobile phone users to search for deals, find coupons and comparison shop. At the same time, software applications and social media have become feeding frenzies for consumers to share their finds, seek another opinion or just get directions.


Here are scammers' top online plans to steal your money or your identity this holiday season.

By Karen Datko Nov 23, 2010 9:51AM

This post comes from James Limbach at partner site


The Christmas shopping season is traditionally a boon to retailers and scammers alike.


McAfee, an Internet security firm, has revealed its "12 Scams of Christmas" -- the 12 most dangerous online scams that computer users should be cautious of this holiday season.


What's the potential cost to you if you decide not to fly or refuse to comply with new airport security measures?

By Karen Datko Nov 22, 2010 6:27PM

For many Americans, trips home for Thanksgiving will be their first experience with what critics are calling the new "legal gropings" at airport security checkpoints. And some travelers will be tempted to refuse and simply walk away.


Well, good luck with that. The TSA says you can't just leave. Once you've begun an airport security screening, you're obligated to go through with it -- or you could face a fine of up to $11,000.


There isn't just one day of deals anymore. Where to shop, when.

By Karen Datko Nov 22, 2010 3:05PM

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


Black Friday has traditionally been shoppers' big holiday shopping sprint. But Black Friday now lasts seven days -- and takes almost as much strategy and planning as the Thursday feast.

But as retailers prepare a full week of sales and stampedes, dedicated bargain hunters can be certain some days will yield better bargains than others. 

Fellow merchants keep store open while owner is treated for cancer: 'She would do it for anyone else.'

By Teresa Mears Nov 22, 2010 2:47PM

The drama "It's a Wonderful Life" played last week at the Kimball Street Theatre in Elgin, Ill.


A few blocks away, the merchants of Elgin, a suburb of Chicago, have been living their own version of the story about a small-town banker who learns the value of community. While Patricia Keeney undergoes cancer treatment, her fellow merchants are keeping Keeney's Sporting Goods and PK's Antiques open.


"Pat could use the help, and she would do it for anyone else," Karin Jones, one of the volunteers, told the Chicago Tribune.


My splurges are less than my income and I'm still meeting my financial goals -- but it troubles me that I don't know how much I'm spending.

By Karen Datko Nov 22, 2010 2:00PM

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


"You know, you've been spending a lot of money lately," Kris told me the other day. I'd just returned from yet another shopping trip to REI.

"I have?" I asked.


"Yes," she said. "Can't you tell?"


Actually, I guess I can.



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