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With 1 in 11 Americans officially unemployed, the rules of conversation have changed. Here are a few sentences to avoid.

By doubleace Feb 22, 2011 11:25AM

This post comes from Lynn Mucken at MSN Money.

 

It was 10 a.m. on a weekday and, technology being what it is, there was no doubt who was calling. So, instead of a simple "hello," the not-so-clever salutation was, "Why are you telephoning at this hour? Don't you have a job?"

 

A long three seconds of silence, then, "Well, actually, no."

 

Just another lesson learned on how to tread lightly in the minefield that is the U.S. economy. With at least 9% of working-age Americans unemployed -- some of them for two or three years -- there's a whole new protocol for conversations.

 

The future of the Borders bookstore chain seems dimmer than ever. But on the bright side, liquidation sales across the country mean great deals for customers.

By Stacy Johnson Feb 22, 2011 10:16AM

This post comes from Karla Bowsher at partner site Money Talks News.

 

What do a book about the F-word and a bottle of Dr Pepper-flavored gourmet jelly beans have in common? I bought both for 30% off when my local Borders bookstore went out of business in December. And your nearest store could be next.

 

Borders, now in bankruptcy, expects to close 204 stores by April, which means chances are high that you too may be able to cash in. Borders plans to hold liquidation sales in these stores.

 

Airline finally notices it has a problem relating to its customers.

By MSN Money Partner Feb 21, 2011 9:16PM

This post comes from Truman Lewis at partner site ConsumerAffairs.com.

 

It hasn't been a very good year for Delta Air Lines or its passengers. Hoping for a better year in 2011, the airline is sending all 11,000 of its customer-service agents back to school, hoping to retrain them to be at least civil, if not downright polite.

 

Cynics would say it's about time.

 

This implementation of conscious spending means we have more money for other things that are more important.

By MSN Money Partner Feb 21, 2011 3:18PM

This post comes from J.D. Roth at partner blog Get Rich Slowly.

 

Kris and I pulled the plug on our television. We canceled cable, gave our DVD player to her sister, and moved the television to the workshop until we can find a buyer. We're now officially TV-free.

 

Sort of.

 

We haven't given up TV shows and DVDs entirely. We're just consuming this entertainment via other methods. Namely, we use:

 

The work obligation is less than 3 hours a month, but that's too much for some members, who send the help to do their work.

By doubleace Feb 21, 2011 1:50PM

This post comes from Lynn Mucken of MSN Money.

 

There's trouble in a little slice of paradise called Park Slope Food Coop: Instead of working their required 2.75 hours a month at the Brooklyn icon, better-off members are sending their nannies and other hired help to do the heavy lifting.

 

Now, this isn't a moral offense on the level of paying a stand-in $600 to do your fighting -- and dying -- during the Civil War, but even in the neighborhood New York Magazine rates as No. 1 in New York City, it apparently is considered bad form.

 

So, when The New York Times exposed the scandal, nasty things were said.

 

Looking to cut the electric bill? One place to start is the kitchen, which accounts for about a third of household energy use.

By Stacy Johnson Feb 21, 2011 12:07PM

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the kitchen accounts for about one-third of our monthly electric bills. Some costs are unavoidable, like the fridge.

But there are many ways to save money and the environment by being a little more efficient in the kitchen.

 

One year later, 48 who walked away from their houses look back with shame, anger … and enormous relief.

By MSN Money Partner Feb 21, 2011 10:51AM

This post comes from Marilyn Lewis of MSN Money.

 

The typical questions about ethics and blame were not what three Huffington Post writers had in mind last year when they asked readers, "Are you considering walking away? Have you already walked away from an underwater mortgage?"

Nearly one in four American mortgages is worth more than the home it's tied to. That's about 10.8 million mortgages. Borrowers of 58 of those mortgages responded to the reporters. In the ensuing year, 10 homeowners lost touch with The Huffington Post but 48 stayed in contact and reported on their experiences. Today, just eight are still in their homes.

 

Giving the phenomenon a catchy name can trivialize it -- make it trendy. And thus new, financially responsible habits become easier to discard.

By Donna_Freedman Feb 21, 2011 9:24AM

Earlier this month the National Foundation for Credit Counseling shared the results of a new study. Apparently a whole bunch of U.S. residents are tired of budgeting.


"Majority of Americans have frugal fatigue," the press release trumpeted. Some 66% of folks surveyed by the NFCC are feeling the strain of having to watch their dollars.


Wait … Americans are unhappy that they can no longer spend like sailors on shore leave? There's news.

 

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