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Introduce a touch of philanthropy to the annual hoops extravaganza.

By Donna_Freedman Mar 18, 2011 9:54AM

Planning any March Madness parties? Mix a dose of kindness into your day(s) of sports worship.

People are in the mood to wager. So why not make some of those bets humanitarian in nature?


The credit card giant is moving into the lucrative US person-to-person payment market.

By doubleace Mar 18, 2011 9:21AM

This post comes from Lynn Mucken at MSN Money.

If the pie is tasty enough, everybody wants a slice.

Credit card monster Visa has announced it will be moving into the person-to-person -- P2P -- payment market in the U.S. in the second half of 2011, challenging industry leader PayPal.

MSNBC reported that Visa Personal Payment will work through Popmoney and ZashPay, which already provide electronic P2P, account transfer and bill payment services, to send money directly from the payer's bank to the receiving person's Visa credit card or debit card account.


Contrary to popular opinion, keeping them in the refrigerator is not the best answer.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 17, 2011 7:05PM

This guest post comes from Lou Carlozo, Green Dad columnist for


Batteries vex consumers the same way tax returns do. Both represent a necessary evil: Just as we'll need to pay Uncle Sam his due in a few short weeks, we also consume 3 billion cells annually to run our toys, electronic games and digital gadgets. But given a choice, we'd rather not bother with them, right? Death, taxes and dead batteries -- what a trio of certainties for the Digital Age.


What's more, even rechargeable cells too often wind up in landfills, a real danger in the case of NiCd (nickel-cadmium) batteries -- banned in Europe because of the environmental hazards of cadmium. That also raises questions as to whether rechargeables are more economical than disposables, and how the two types split up market share these days.


Despite the economy, brides-to-be aren't willing to sacrifice luxury to save money on their big day. The average wedding cost $27,000 last year.

By Stacy Johnson Mar 17, 2011 5:28PM

This post comes from Karla Bowsher at partner site Money Talks News.


If you're hoping to get married on the cheap this year, avoid Manhattan. In fact, avoid much of the Northeast.


New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, and Vermont include some of the most expensive wedding settings in the country, according to The Knot Inc., which owns and


The Irish holiday is fun and inexpensive to celebrate, and more Americans are joining in this year.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 17, 2011 11:54AM

This post comes from Jeanine Skowronski at partner site MainStreet.


More Americans plan on celebrating St. Patrick's Day this year, a small splurge that will collectively create a nice boost in sales for retailers.


According to a recent survey conducted by the National Retail Federation, 52.4% of Americans will celebrate the Irish holiday, up from 45.2% last year and the most in the survey's eight-year history.


Penny auctions promise top-tier stuff at ultra-low prices. But the truth is complicated.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 17, 2011 10:43AM

This Deal of the Daycomes fromKelli B. Grantat partner site SmartMoney.


An iPad for $3.20? A designer handbag for $41.80? It is possible, due to a new and growing segment of online auctions. Yet it's not as likely -- or as cheap -- as sites would like you to think.


They're called "penny auction" sites, because bidding typically starts at zero and goes up by a penny, and in the last two years, they've moved from the novelty fringe firmly into mainstream.


U.S. public health officials say people here have no reason to worry about radiation from Japan's damaged nuclear plants.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 17, 2011 9:05AM

This post comes from Truman Lewis at partner site


Californians are fearful that damage to Japanese nuclear power plants will leave them dusted with harmful amounts of radiation. That's creating a land rush business for the few U.S. manufacturers of potassium iodide.


Writing 'Check ID' on the back won't help. Nor will buying credit card fraud insurance.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 16, 2011 5:47PM

This post comes from Barbara Marquand at partner site IndexCreditCards.


Credit card fraud costs businesses billions of dollars and wreaks havoc in the lives of its victims, and the crime is on the rise. Ten million victims fell prey to identity thieves in 2008, up 22% from 2007, according to the most recent estimates available from Javelin Strategy & Research, a financial-services consulting firm.


Despite its rise, the crime and how to combat it are often misunderstood. Here are five credit card fraud myths:



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