Online aid lets homeowners try out different scenarios to weigh financial implications of keeping or giving up their home.
In addition to dealing with moral and emotional issues, homeowners have to look closely at the financial repercussions: Is walking away from a home on which the mortgage owed exceeds the value -- a situation faced by about one-quarter of U.S. homeowners who have mortgages -- a good financial decision?
Beat florists at their own game with these 7 tips.
Getting a good deal on flowers this Valentine's Day requires that you not linger too long when you stop to smell the roses.
Valentine's Day is the biggest holiday for fresh-flower sales, accounting for 40% of annual revenue, according to the Society of American Florists, a trade group. Prices can easily top $60 for a bouquet of a dozen long-stemmed roses, with fancier arrangements well above $100.
But wait much beyond the start of February to order, and you can expect to pay a premium.
Think you're the world's best at making smart money moves? Find out by seeing if you've ever fallen for these dumb money moves.
This post comes from Stacy Johnson at partner blog Money Talks News.
Do you waste cash by spending money on dumb things? There’s one way to find out: Take a look at this video and article and see if you’ve ever fallen for any of these dumb deals.
The truth is, it does for many people.
Writing “Your Money: The Missing Manual” has been intense. I’ve spent a ton of time researching personal-finance topics ranging from buying a car to funding a 401k to the relationship between money and happiness. My research has reinforced some of my convictions (index funds are the best investment for 99% of personal investors, for instance) but has toppled others.
One of my beliefs that’s been set on its head is that Americans are better off buying their own homes. I don’t believe that’s necessarily the case anymore.
Helpful tips that produce functional, affordable and attractive results.
Frugal Scholar is doing an interesting series about her experiences remodeling a kitchen on a budget. I love it! I seem to have spent my entire life remodeling houses, and so I’ve developed some strong opinions on the subject. Frugal Scholar proves how brilliant she is by happening to agree, more or less, with those ideas.
Kitchens and bathrooms are just about the most expensive remodeling jobs you can do, short of ripping off and replacing a shake roof. Much of it is stuff you can’t easily do yourself: plumbing (especially having to move plumbing), wiring, gas connections in ancient houses.
Over the course of years, I’ve learned a number of things that help a little to keep costs under control:
Writer asks for deals and saves $730 in a week of bargaining.
Seeking a way to save some money, Washington Post writer Michael S. Rosenwald resorted to a time-honored tactic: He haggled.
Much to his surprise, many of the times he bargained for a lower price, he got one.
“For consumers such as me who have spent decades shopping at full retail, getting a deal on previously no-deal items is liberating and invigorating, as I found out during a recent week I spent haggling,” he wrote.
A change in Air France's policy reignites the debate.
About 76% of respondents to a poll by a travel Web site said airlines should charge obese people a “fat tax” when they fly.
“Only 22% of the 550 people questioned disapproved of introducing extra payments for overweight passengers,” Reuters reported about the Skyscanner survey.
Thus this can of worms gets opened again, and this time the debate has gone global.
Don't forget to check newspaper fliers for restaurant coupons.
We don’t have too many new food freebies this week, so we’ll repeat some of last week’s deals that are still good and remind you of a few perennial freebies, including craft workshops for kids.
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ABOUT SMART SPENDING
Editor Bev O'Shea lives and works in the foothills of the Appalachians. A former copy editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Orlando Sentinel, she joined MSN Money in 2007. She's a fan of sunsets, college football and free shipping, among other things.
Having worked as a writer, reporter and editor for more than 25 years, Editor Julie Tilsner is the sort of person who can't help but correct grammar in Facebook postings and on billboards. She's written for BusinessWeek, the Los Angeles Times, Parenting, Redbook, AOL and others. She lives in Los Angeles County with her family and loves to drink wine and practice yoga, although not generally at the same time.
A writer for MSN Money since January 2007, Donna Freedman won regional and national prizes during an 18-year newspaper career and earned a college degree in midlife without taking out student loans. She also writes about smart money tactics for magazines and on her own site, Surviving and Thriving.
Mitch Lipka has been warning people about scams and shining light on questionable business practices for more than 20 years. Mitch, the consumer columnist for The Boston Globe, has also been a reporter and editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, Consumer Reports, South Florida Sun-Sentinel and AOL. He won the 2010 New York Press Club award for best consumer reporting online and was honored in 2011 for his reporting on child product safety.
Marilyn Lewis is an award-winning writer with a passion for getting readers clear, straight information that helps them stay out of financial trouble. A former reporter for The San Jose Mercury News, she works from her home in Port Townsend, Wash. Contact her at MarilynLewis@Outlook.com.
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