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Mother got tired of her daughters always asking for more stuff, so she made them listen to other people's stories.

By Teresa Mears Dec 28, 2010 3:50PM

If you're a parent, you've probably been in this situation: You're doing something special for your kids, like taking them out for ice cream.

And then they whine, because a small cone isn't enough. They want more.

 

When Sharon Dunki Vermont's 11-year-old daughter threw a fit in the ice cream shop because she wanted a larger scoop, the St. Louis mother decided it was time to teach her two daughters a lesson.

 

In reality, they defy the stereotype of the young college dropout who goes it alone.

By Karen Datko Dec 28, 2010 2:43PM

This guest post comes from Pop at Pop Economics.

 

Recently, I detailed the results of several studies on entrepreneurship, all of which started with certain hypotheses -- like "entrepreneurs are risk-takers!" -- but came up empty when they were actually put to the test.

After that post, you might, rightly, be wondering what entrepreneurs do have in common? They're not risk-takers or go-getters -- at least not any more than regular high-performing managers at big corporations are.

 

Researchers have had success finding behaviors and backgrounds -- rather than traits -- that successful founders have in common. There are things that entrepreneurs do that can heighten their likelihoods to surpass $1 million in sales or sell out in an IPO, in contrast with the things that entrepreneurs feel that we were looking at in the last post.

 

So, what are the behaviors of entrepreneurs who hit the big time? Read on.

 

When it comes to charity, most people have good hearts, but many don't use their heads.

By Stacy Johnson Dec 28, 2010 12:32PM

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

 

Americans are known for their charity. According to the Giving USA Foundation, Americans gave close to $300 billion last year, and the Charities Aid Foundation ranks the U.S. in the top five of global givers.

But although we're a giving nation, we could help even more if we used our heads as much as our hearts. Unfortunately, a lot of charities aren't what they claim to be.

 

Hunting, fishing and raising chickens are intriguing to this urban-dweller.

By Karen Datko Dec 28, 2010 10:06AM

This post comes from Jim Wang at partner blog Bargaineering.

 

One of the really fascinating parts of the recession is the effect it has had on news stories.

 

During the boom, mainstream media focused heavily on the excesses of those who had money. You had stories about the most expensive wine or the most expensive dessert. There were stories about luxury cars and of fantastic mansions on enormous estates.

Nowadays, the stories are focused on more pedestrian subjects. They're focused on people who grow gardens on their deck or raise chickens in the city. I find those stories infinitely more interesting because it shows our creativity and our resourcefulness, not our ability to write a check or swipe a card.

 

PC Magazine's 'top 100 websites of 2010' includes some with a money slant you may not have run across before.

By Karen Datko Dec 27, 2010 9:18PM

What are the coolest personal-finance websites you've never seen? We found some gems among PC Magazine's "The top 100 websites of 2010."

A tip o' the hat to NPR for mentioning this terrific compilation of "classic" and "undiscovered" sites, covering topics like fun, food, news, social, shopping, travel, and tech (of course). Oh, and they're free.

 

Foreclosure rescue scams, noncharitable charities and phony debt collectors top the list.

By Karen Datko Dec 27, 2010 4:45PM

This post comes from Mark Huffman at partner site ConsumerAffairs.com.

 

This year was marked by a continued slow recovery from a devastating recession, a still-sinking housing market, skyrocketing gold prices and a proliferation of charities that were less than charitable.

 

It all plays into our annual list of the top 10 scams of 2010.

 

Amazon has patented a system to 'return' gifts before they're shipped. It would save Amazon money, but is it tacky?

By Teresa Mears Dec 27, 2010 3:27PM

Here's a radical way to cut down on gift returns: Reject inappropriate gifts before they're even sent. The giver doesn't have to know.

Amazon has patented a system that will let you do just that: Pre-empt a bad gift before it arrives, surreptitiously exchanging it for something you'd like better.

 

Judging from the diagram from the patent reproduced at TechFlash, you could set up gift rules the same way you set up rules in your Outlook e-mail program. For example, you could tell Amazon to convert all gifts from a specific sender to gift certificates, verify sizes, convert VHS films to DVD or reject any clothing gift that includes wool.

 

As an aunt who nearly always sends educational gifts, I'm not sure I like this. I'd hate to see my gift of "How to Go to College Almost For Free" converted to "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation."

 

The protagonist is careful with her money and is a shrewd horse trader to boot.

By Donna_Freedman Dec 27, 2010 1:38PM

I've been reading and rereading this wonderful Charles Portis novel since I was a teenager. Mattie Ross, the narrator of "True Grit," is a hell of a protagonist. She's strong, determined, relentless and, above all, frugal.

Here are 10 things you could learn from her story, courtesy of Mr. Portis and the Coen brothers. And without a single song by Glen Campbell!

 

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