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When dollar amounts are the same, we're more likely to say yes to renting -- and less likely to compare options or gather information.

By Aug 14, 2014 1:47PM
A house for rent sign © Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty ImagesBy Christine DiGangi,

Consumers exhibit more reckless behavior when deciding to rent something rather than buy it, a new study out of the University of Maryland finds. The lack of commitment required when deciding to rent a product leads people to consider fewer options, gather less information and settle for a less appealing product than they would when buying, according to a release about the study.

Anastasiya Pocheptsova, the study's author and a professor at Maryland's Smith School of Business, worked with researchers from Columbia and Yale universities to conduct studies of people's behaviors while considering renting and buying the same products. Shoppers more often chose to buy when they had the choice of buying or renting, but when an item was presented only with an option to buy or only with an option to rent, more people chose to get the product when it was framed as a rental. The price of renting and buying was the same.


This roundup of coupon and deal websites will help you save time, energy and money.

By Aug 14, 2014 1:02PM

With all the coupon and daily deal sites sprouting up these days, we've updated our roundup of the best coupon sites for 2014. Fight the flood of emails and discover discount codes that actually work, saving you time, energy, and, of course, money.

Best coupon sites The coupon pioneer and a perennial favorite remains a top pick this year because of its wide selection. As one of the biggest sources of online coupons, it feeds into many affiliates and other coupon sites. is especially useful for grocery trips. Search, "clip," and print coupons before going shopping.

Money Saving Mom: The recipes and frugal-living blog on this site are just extras on top of a comprehensive coupon database. Sort coupons by retailer, item, or expiration date and print before you head to the store. This site draws from other major aggregators such as, as well as individual retailers such as Target, so you can search them all in one place. It was a little messy-looking on our browser (Chrome version 35) when we checked recently, but with more than 5,250 coupons it's hard to complain.

A good novel, a classic whodunit, a scientific treatise, a trashy celebrity mag -- all this and more can be yours for little or nothing.

By MSN Money Partner Aug 13, 2014 2:51PM

This post comes from Donna Freedman at partner site Money Talks News. 


Money Talks News on MSN MoneyA good read is one of life’s great pleasures, whether enjoyed in a hammock on a sunny summer afternoon or in a cozy armchair while winter winds howl outside.


You might be the one howling, though, when you add up the cost of all that reading material.


Car insurance has a mission: Keep an accident from turning into financial disaster. Knowing what most drivers buy can be a good place to start.

By QuinStreet Aug 13, 2014 2:04PM

This post comes from Des Toups at partner site on MSN MoneyWhen you bought your last car insurance policy, how did you decide how much coverage to buy?

Sure, there are generally accepted guidelines out there. Homeowners need at least $100,000 in bodily injury liability protection, because a large, valuable asset like a house is an easy lawsuit target if you don’t have enough to cover your victim’s hospital bills.

Car being towed © Digital Vision Ltd., SuperStockOr maybe you own nothing and have no savings – nothing you could lose. Then you might go for the legal minimum in your state.

There’s a lot of room in between, though, and seeing the choices other drivers in your situation make can be a good guideline when you shop for car insurance yourself. 


Digital alerts can let you know immediately when your card is used for a big purchase.

By Aug 13, 2014 12:48PM
This post comes from Gerri Detweiler at partner site on MSN MoneyBy now, just about everyone knows to guard the digits that are the keys to so many parts of our lives --  Social Security numbers, checking account numbers and credit card numbers. But short of locking up a credit card as soon as you get it and never using it, there's no way to be absolutely sure it will not be used fraudulently. After that, your best hope is to catch it quickly.

 Credit card © Astock/CorbisA credit card fraud victim, a woman we'll call Shawn, recently discovered that digital alerts can save the day. She had her card set to send her an email notification if her Chase Visa was used for a purchase of $200 or more. She had those alerts set up for two uneventful years. And so when she learned on a recent night that $437 had been charged on her card, had been charged on her card, she immediately called Chase.

It turned out the charge was for a Jet Ski rental, which made no sense to her, because it was after dark -- about 9 p.m. -- when the alert came through. But then she learned that the card was used for an in-person purchase at a beach in California, where it was close to 6 p.m. And yet her card was in her wallet.

She's not sure what happened if or when the person who used her card number tried to return the watercraft. Nor does she know how or when her card data was taken. But this she knows: "I am very careful with my accounts." If it could happen to her, it can happen to anyone. 


Crowdfunding is all the rage. Here's the skinny on seven sites promising to help you raise cash. We'll also tell you how to improve your chances of success.

By MSN Money Partner Aug 13, 2014 12:37PM

This post comes from Maryalene LaPonsie at partner site Money Talks News.

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyWant to swim with the dolphins but don't have the bank account to justify that type of splurge? Or would you prefer to save the dolphins rather than swim with them?

 Roll of bills © John Wilkes Studio/CorbisPerhaps you'd like to start a company selling dolphin-shaped hats?

Don't let your lack of cash stop you. Today, you have many options to ask family, friends and even total strangers for their help in funding your dreams.

Enter the world of crowdfunding.

Whether it's to fund your small business or get that killer wedding gift, crowdfunding sites exist for virtually every reason. The sites differ on the details, but all work in the same way. You put out a request, and the masses decide whether to donate money to your cause.

Keep reading for a list of notable crowdfunding sites, plus learn some tips on how to up your chances of success.


Knowing the implications of car insurance while away at school should be on your college prep checklist.

By QuinStreet Aug 12, 2014 2:10PM
This post comes from Marjorie Musick at partner site on MSN MoneyIn their song, "Wide Open Spaces," the Dixie Chicks sing about a Dad yelling, "Check the oil!" as he drops his daughter off at college. This is good advice. Here are seven more tips from auto experts for students taking their cars to college:

Woman with car keys © Jose Luis Pelaez, Inc/Blend Images/Jupiterimages1. Keep your car in good repair

"Many students have a long ride from their hometown to their college campus so they need to make sure that their vehicle is up-to-date on oil changes and other required maintenance so as to avoid breaking down before they even arrive at college," says William Van Tassel, manager of driver training programs at AAA National. "Having a back-up plan such as a AAA membership which includes roadside assistance also helps."


Technology will soon allow you to control who uses your card, and when -- helping you fight fraud.

By Aug 12, 2014 1:04PM

This post comes from Christine DiGangi at partner site on MSN MoneyEmerging technology gives consumers the ability to turn their credit and debit cards on and off through a smartphone app, a capability that can not only help families and businesses control how authorized users shop with the card but also, and perhaps more importantly, help prevent card fraud.

On/off switch © imageBROKER/AlamyOne of the companies developing this tool is Ondot Systems, which works with payment processors to make the technology available to banks and their customers. The on-off function, in addition to other control preferences, is available to cardholders through their bank or credit union's mobile app. Some financial services companies are working to develop their own technologies as well.

A remote control for your credit card

"The basic idea is very simple," said Rachna Ahlawat, founder and executive vice president of products at Ondot Systems.



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