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Here are a few ideas and tools to keep the cold out of your home and the savings in your wallet.

By Stacy Johnson Oct 5, 2010 4:16PM

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

 

Last May, we gave you "13 cool tips for lower energy bills." Now that winter is approaching, many of the same tips apply to lowering your heating bill -- like cleaning your air filters and installing insulation. Here are some other quick tips and tools to help you prepare.

Use free online tools. Here's a Web-based tool from the U.S. Department of Energy that can help you save energy. You input your house's specifics and it produces ways you might save. Microsoft Hohm is another site that can help you map out an energy-saving strategy and compare your energy usage to that in similar homes in your area.

 

Workers and business owners expect to work longer because of the recession. That may not be bad.

By Teresa Mears Oct 5, 2010 3:25PM

Here comes another survey demonstrating the effect of the recession on workers: 40% are planning to retire later than they had planned just two years ago.

 

And the largest group of those who are delaying retirement are older workers and those in poor health, according to a new survey by Towers Watson, a company that manages employee benefits. This assumes, of course, they have a choice and aren't forced into retirement by layoffs or health problems.

 

Health insurance is a major issue for these workers. More than two-thirds of those planning to delay retirement said they wanted to keep their health care coverage. A total of 61% blamed a decline in the value of their 401k retirement savings.

 

Online scam settlement offers refunds. Meanwhile, how can you recognize real post-purchase offers?

By Karen Datko Oct 5, 2010 1:23PM

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

 

Online shoppers are familiar with the idea of clicking for coupons and discounts. But one wrong click can stealthily add hundreds of dollars to your credit card balance.

These so-called "coupon click fraud" scams have become pervasive enough to draw the attention of state and federal authorities.

  • Last year a federal judge in Boston approved a $10 million class-action settlement against marketer Webloyalty.
 

Public schools raise funds by selling advertising on lockers, in notes to parents and even on the roof.

By Teresa Mears Oct 5, 2010 12:02PM

If you're a parent in Peabody, Mass., soon those permission slips and other school communications won't be brought to you by the letter "P" but by your local pizza parlor.

Desperate to raise money, the school district has decided to sell advertising to local businesses on the 10,000 communiques sent annually to the parents of elementary school students. The district hopes to raise $24,000 to plug holes in the budget.

 

The district is not alone. Public schools nationwide are earning money through all sorts of advertising, reports Christina Hoag of The Associated Press.

 

Don't want to talk to somebody? Pretend to be talking to someone else.

By Donna_Freedman Oct 5, 2010 10:29AM

Quick poll: Who here has pretended to be texting or checking e-mail so you could avoid some kind of personal interaction?


Liars. I bet a whole bunch of you have done this. Heck, I've done it myself, albeit in a low-tech way. (More on that later.)

Melissa Ford wrote about "fauxting," or fake text-messaging, on BlogHer. She copped to doing it herself. But Ford isn't particularly happy about the trend, citing the potential "decline of civility and community" that could result from such closed-off public behavior.

 

Londoner crossed the U.S. on the cheap -- 5 weeks for less than $800. We can learn something from his methods.

By Karen Datko Oct 4, 2010 1:50PM

This post comes from Sierra Black at partner blog Get Rich Slowly.

 

The other day I was walking down the street when a young man approached me and asked directions to the nearest "tube station." I live in Boston, not London. Our subway is called the "T." I happened to be walking to the nearby station myself, so we walked together and got to chatting about travel, since he obviously wasn't from around here.

The young man was from London, it turned out, and had spent the summer traveling around the United States. He'd done it on the cheap: Five weeks of travel had cost him less than $800 for food, lodging and transportation.

 

Third major lender halts actions in 23 states. Action is likely to prolong the housing crisis, but will it help homeowners?

By Teresa Mears Oct 4, 2010 1:49PM

With three major banks now admitting document problems severe enough to spur them to halt foreclosures in 23 states, the foreclosure crisis has entered a new phase.

Bank of America has joined JPMorgan Chase and GMAC (now Ally) in stopping at least some foreclosures in the states where foreclosures go through the court system.

 

The paperwork issues that led to that moratorium are so common that other loan servicers are likely to follow suit, Gretchen Morgenson reports in The New York Times.

 

Speeding is as dangerous as it is costly, but some say speed traps are meant to raise money -- not protect the public good.

By Stacy Johnson Oct 4, 2010 12:53PM

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

 

Technology is not only changing the way we do things, it's changing the way we avoid them. Take speeding tickets, for instance. Over the past year, one of the most popular (for motorists) and hated (for police) ways to avoid them is with a smart-phone app called Trapster.

According to its developers, this free app "combines technologies such as GPS and wireless location, voice transcription, geocoding, reverse geocoding, and SMS, with a central database server. It communicates in real time, using the Internet." The result? Your smart-phone sounds an alarm when you're approaching a known speed trap.

 

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