Smart SpendingSmart Spending

If you're not using the Internet to save money these days, you're wasting dollars -- possibly thousands of them.

By Karen Datko Apr 12, 2011 7:11AM

See the end of this post for a chance to win a $100 gift card.


Back in the day, before Groupon and Facebook and price comparison sites, how did we shop? (Hard to remember, I know.) We drove to a store or two, looking for a sale. We bought insurance from our neighbor's brother-in-law and purchased a car after kicking a few tires and taking it out for a spin.


All along, we were hoping -- fingers tightly crossed -- that we were getting the best deals.


Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day is Tuesday. After that, enjoy Tax Day with more free ice cream, Cinnabon Bites or a massage.

By Karen Datko Apr 11, 2011 3:23PM

Taxes are coming due, and there's so much to look forward to. Well, once you get your taxes done, you can relax and enjoy lots of freebies and deals this week and next.


On Tuesday, April 12, Ben & Jerry's is holding its annual Free Cone Day. Pick the flavor of your choice, including, perhaps, the new Late Night Snack, dedicated to TV host Jimmy Fallon.


Contrary to expectations that driving would increase as more people go back to work, gas consumption is diving.

By doubleace Apr 11, 2011 12:41PM

This post comes from Lynn Mucken at MSN Money.

Are Americans finally fighting back? The Associated Press reports that gasoline sales have fallen for five straight weeks; before that, sales had increased for two straight months.

Those numbers, complied by MasterCard SpendingPulse, which tracks spending at 140,000 service stations nationwide, are a bit surprising in view of rising employment. "More people are going to work," said John Gamel, director of gasoline research for MasterCard. "That means more people are driving and they should be buying more gas."


Most people spend more time trying to save a buck or two on groceries than they do shopping for insurance, a simple task that could save them hundreds -- even thousands.

By Stacy Johnson Apr 11, 2011 12:09PM

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


Think about all the money you spend insuring your house, car, health and life. If you're like most people, it's thousands of dollars. Now think about how much time you spend each year making sure you're getting the biggest bang for your buck. If you're like most people, it's measured in minutes.


There's probably no other area of most people's financial lives where less attention is paid in relation to money spent. Maybe it's time to learn something about insurance: especially how to pay as little as possible.


In a way, having all of these numbers is like playing with a bunch of building blocks.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 11, 2011 10:03AM

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


Stephanie sent me an interesting question: 

For a year now, I've tracked every single penny that comes and goes from my bank account. I now have over 365 days of detailed financial data about my earnings, spending, etc. Now that I have all of this information, what do I do with it? What are some methods for evaluating, adjusting, and creating a solid budget based on your history?

Nearly all their anticipated safety nets have developed gaping holes, and few have saved enough.

By doubleace Apr 11, 2011 9:05AM

This post comes from Lynn Mucken at MSN Money.

The baby boomers' exuberant rush toward retirement has hit a wall. It's called reality.

Paid-off home? Owe more than it's worth. Company pension? What's that? Social Security and Medicare? In Republican crosshairs. Savings? The electronic age is not cheap, ya know.

The first of the 77 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964 are turning 65 this year, and they're scared. An Associated Press poll revealed that only 11% are strongly convinced they will be able to live in comfort. Forty-four percent express little or no confidence they’ll have enough money in retirement, and 25% say they'll never be able to quit working.

Their pessimism seems justified.


Many credit scores are being marketed to consumers, but which scores are the ones that lenders look at?

By MSN Money Partner Apr 8, 2011 2:46PM

This post comes from AnnaMaria Andriotis at partner site SmartMoney.


For a key to your financial future, $7 to $20 doesn't seem like much to pay -- which is why consumers regularly pony up for a peek at their credit scores. Now a new lawsuit suggests that what they're getting may not be worth it.


Consumers can now order their credit scores from more than 20 websites, up from about five just a few years ago. But while consumers tend to think of one, uniform credit score, there are actually seven different scores for sale, each of which relies on its own magic mix of payment history, credit applications, debt and other factors.


In some high-foreclosure cities, houses that used to cost $250,000 are now selling for $70,000. Here are 4 steps to buying a bank-owned property.

By Stacy Johnson Apr 8, 2011 1:36PM

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


Depending on where you live, the housing market is a depressing subject for homeowners, but exciting for those looking to buy.


"In 30 years, I've never seen a market like this," says Denny Grimes, an agent in Fort Myers, Fla. Because of a glut of foreclosed properties, it's possible to buy a house here for $70,000 that three years ago might have sold for $250,000. 



Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.


Smart Spending brings you the best money-saving tips from MSN Money and the rest of the Web. Join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Can you trust Carfax?

If you're thinking about buying a car and the Carfax report comes back clean, you're good to go, right? Um, maybe not. Here are four other ways you can avoid buying a clunker.