Smart SpendingSmart Spending

Financial institutions are reaping huge profits from fees associated with campus cards, which are used to distribute financial aid.

By Credit.com Aug 19, 2014 1:36PM

A silhouette of a student with a graduation cap. (© Brian Snyder/Reuters)By Mitch Weiss, Credit.com Credit.com


It's not all that hard to figure out: When your argument hits too close to home, the other side starts calling you names.


So when a vice president for government affairs of payments for the Financial Services Roundtable -- the industry’s leading legislative advocate -- calls the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau a "school yard bully" and accuses it of being "engaged in a shakedown" of colleges and universities for "being in cahoots" with banks and other financial services providers, my guess is that he’s less concerned about "students' access to mainstream banking products" than he is about what the industry stands to lose if the regulatory and consumer-advocacy groups have their way.


The conflict has to do with the Obama administration's plan to extend the U.S. Department of Education's authority to regulate the use of a little piece of plastic known as a campus card.


The administration is doing that with good reason.

 

At $6.11 per pound, the average price of bacon has hit an all-time high.

By MSN Money Partner Aug 18, 2014 2:42PM

Crispy bacon © bhofack2/Getty Images
By Krystal Steinmetz, Money Talks News 

 

Bringing home the bacon just got more expensive. Money Talks News


The average price of a pound of bacon in the U.S. increased by 6 cents in June, pushing it to an all-time high of $6.11 per pound, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


That's a 41 percent increase since June 2012.


"For what you'd spend for a pound of bacon today, you could buy a whole 4-pound chicken, a six-pack of PBR, 10 pounds of bananas, 36 eggs, or a paperback copy of the fourth installment of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, 'A Feast for Crows,'" The Huffington Post said.


Bacon prices are getting heftier for a couple of reasons. The nasty (and deadly) porcine epidemic diarrhea virus has killed 8 million young pigs, or about 10 percent of the entire U.S. herd, The Des Moines Register reported.

 

Here's how to write a resume that will get the attention of hiring managers and help you land the job you really want.

By MSN Money Partner Aug 18, 2014 2:15PM

By Allison Martin, Money Talks Newshttp://www.moneytalksnews.com/

 

When you're applying for a job, your resume is the essential tool that helps you get your foot in the door.


So, how do you write a resume that makes you stand out from the competition in the brutal job market we face today?

 

This basic piece of information is obviously hard to keep secret, but there are some steps you can take to make thieves' lives harder.

By Credit.com Aug 18, 2014 1:41PM

A man types on a computer keyboard in a cyber attack © Kacper Pempel/ReutersBy Adam Levin, Credit.com http://www.credit.com/


Your personally identifiable information (PII) is all around you, and much of it is impossible to protect. While your driver’s license and Social Security numbers are a significant part of the equation, you can take certain protective measures to keep those from prying eyes. 

 

Unfortunately, that's not the case when it comes to more visible forms of PII -- like your birthday, email address, home address and even your name. There are criminals out there who see you as their day job, and they know how to use the most easily obtained pieces of your PII, like your name, to commit crimes.


The fact is, most everyone will experience some form of identity-related compromise during their lifetime. Yes, you most likely will become a victim. The crimes are often hard to detect, but they happen all the time, and there is absolutely no service out there that can give you complete protection from identity-related crimes.

 

Fewer cars are stolen than in decades, but that's no comfort if you own one of thieves' perennial favorites, like a Honda Accord or Chevy pickup.

By MSN Money producer Aug 18, 2014 12:48PM

Silver Honda Accord © Q-Images/AlamyBy Des Toups, Insurance.com Insurance.com


The good news: Car thefts continue to drop. The National Insurance Crime Bureau reports in its annual Hot Wheels report that the number of stolen vehicles reached its lowest since 1967.


The bad news: That’s still a car stolen every 45 seconds – and the vast majority of them are older models that are easier to steal and whose owners may not be covered by comprehensive car insurance.


Looking at preliminary data for 2013, the FBI predicts a reduction in national vehicle thefts of 3.2 percent from 2012, to fewer than 700,000. Compare that with 1991, the peak year: 1,661,738.

 

With a little patience and effort, you can repair your own credit without soliciting the assistance of a credit repair company.

By MSN Money Partner Aug 15, 2014 6:10PM

By Allison Martin,  Money Talks News    Money Talks News

 

You've managed to get back on your feet after a financial disaster, and you've finally reached the last hurdle: the credit repair process.


It's no secret that your credit needs to be rebuilt, but the thought of undertaking what seems to be such a complicated task frightens you. Should you go it alone to save money, or place the task in the hands of a professional who's far more experienced than you are?

 

To cut costs more students are living at home and picking two-year programs and in-state schools.

By MSN Money producer Aug 15, 2014 2:46PM

Diploma, mortarboard cap and cash © zimmytws/Getty ImagesBy Katie Simon, LearnVest  LearnVest

 

A college education is supposedly more valuable than ever -- so families are sacrificing everything to make sure their kids can attend their dream schools, right?

 

Not quite.

 

Many families are choosing to forego those dream schools in favor of more affordable options. In fact, over two-thirds of students and parents dismiss certain college choices because they’re too expensive. That's a big increase from 2009 when, even at the height of a recession, only 56 percent of families said "no" because of cost.

 

According to a study by Sallie Mae, 34 percent of families surveyed chose two-year programs, cutting the cost of school by nearly half, from an average $21,072 per year at a four-year institution to $11,012 per year at a two-year college. Meanwhile, 69 percent of families are taking advantage of discounted tuition at in-state schools.

 

Sales of jeans are down by 6% in the US as clothing choices move toward active and casual.

By MSN Money Partner Aug 14, 2014 5:59PM

Rack of blue denim jeans © Joanna Pecha/Getty ImagesBy Krystal Steinmetz, Money Talks News http://www.moneytalksnews.com/

 

Denim is singing the blues.


Sales of the American-born fashion staple have plummeted, according to NBC News. The NPD Group, a market research company, told NBC that domestic jean sales declined by 6 percent last year.


"A 6 percent drop may not seem like much, but it's rare for denim to take such a dramatic drop. It's a commodity business, we buy it and replenish it all the time," said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst of The NPD Group.


Jeans have been an American uniform for decades. But Americans' love affair with jeans isn't what it used to be. Women prefer "athleisure" clothing these days, a comfort-based casual clothing that includes yoga pants, leggings and jeggings. NBC said:

 

DATA PROVIDERS

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.

ABOUT SMART SPENDING

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.

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

TOOLS

More