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Plane crashes are not that common. And yet …

By Karen Datko Nov 16, 2010 2:43PM

This guest post comes from Pop at Pop Economics.

 

You've probably heard the old yarn about how we often overestimate the chances of dying in a plane crash. When I made a guess before beginning this post, I was actually off by a factor of 10. I, somewhat flippantly, guessed one in a million, when really the chances are closer to one in 11 million.

The mistake (too conveniently) illustrates the point of this post. Humans are notoriously bad at knowing how risky things are, which leads to all sorts of bad decisions we make with our money.

 

Some hand sanitizers are only 40% effective, and last for as little as 2 minutes.

By Stacy Johnson Nov 16, 2010 10:46AM

This post comes from Michael Koretzky at partner site Money Talks News.

 

You can't fight an idea with logic. That's my conclusion after watching my 70-year-old mother obsess about hand sanitizer.

My mom taught me how to save money by clipping coupons and checking my pockets for loose change. But she has no problem spending $3 for a tiny bottle of hand sanitizer that she carries everywhere in her purse. And no amount of research on this topic will change her mind or her spending habits.

 

"Mom, you know that stuff doesn't work as well as you think it does, right?" I asked her once while we were sitting in a restaurant where I was buying her Mother's Day dinner.

 

A great deal of the value derived from a college degree has nothing to do with the concentration/focus/major.

By Karen Datko Nov 15, 2010 4:51PM

This guest post comes from Lauren at Richly Reasonable.

 

I recently wrapped up a weeklong invasion of my good friend E's house. 

 

First off, I'd like to say thank you to E for allowing me to stay at her pad instead of a hotel, thereby saving a little extra to put in the good ol' Roth IRA

 

(The truest friends care about your retirement funds. You can quote me on that. You could quote me on any of this, technically speaking.)

Let me tell you a bit about E. She is a well-spoken, well-written black belt. Maybe not a black belt, but I'm pretty sure I couldn't take her. 

 

E put herself through college at the University of Georgia using a combination of work, parents, scholarships and student loans. Her degree was in theater.

 

The retailer's leaked ad features midnight bargains and a second sale that begins at 5 a.m.

By Karen Datko Nov 15, 2010 3:21PM

This post comes from Melinda Fulmer of MSN Money.

 

Wal-Mart is apparently hoping its two-tier Black Friday sale will get shoppers camping out long enough to forgo their trips to other retailers.

 

The discount giant's Black Friday ad, leaked over the weekend, shows two distinct sales. One set of deals -- for toys, clothes and other goods -- starts at midnight as Thanksgiving Day comes to an end. A set of electronics doorbusters rolls out at 5 a.m. Friday.

 

Are these bargains steep enough to have shoppers camped out at their stores much earlier than they've ever done before?

 

Maybe not. Wal-Mart and others are dropping the threshold for free shipping.

By Karen Datko Nov 15, 2010 1:00PM

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

 

When Wal-Mart announced last week that it will offer free shipping on thousands of online items this holiday season, consumers looking for deals -- and Wal-Mart's retail competitors -- snapped to attention.

But the move could change the way people shop online long after New Year's: You may never have to pay for shipping again.

 

A Washington, D.C., area couple would like to buy a home, but saving for a 20% down payment would require great sacrifice.

By Karen Datko Nov 15, 2010 11:30AM

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

 

Though they could fall further, housing prices are starting to seem reasonable again in many parts of the United States. Mortgage rates are cheap, too. Naturally, that means some Get Rich Slowly readers are beginning to express an interest in buying a home.

But prices are still high in a lot of places -- including Washington, D.C., which is where GRS reader William lives. He recently dropped a line to ask for advice: He'd like to buy a home someday, but prices are too steep. What should he do?

 

I'd sooner talk about my sex life than my paycheck. Either one would be an overshare.

By Donna_Freedman Nov 15, 2010 10:16AM

Over at CBS MoneyWatch, Stacey Bradford described hearing a stranger boast that he has too much money and not enough time to spend it.

 

Anyone besides me want to smack that guy two or three times?

 

First off, don't panic. There are steps you can take to get back in Uncle Sam's good graces.

By Money Staff Nov 12, 2010 5:49PM

This post comes from partner blog The Dough Roller.

 

It’s a scary thing when you can’t pay your taxes.

 

It’s one thing to miss a credit card payment, but failing to pay the federal government taxes that you owe has potentially significant consequences, including interest and penalties.

Fortunately, there are some steps you can take when you can’t pay your taxes. In fact, the Internal Revenue Service provides excellent guidance for those struggling to pay Uncle Sam. With tax time just around the corner, we thought it was a good time to review what you should do if you are having trouble paying your taxes.

 

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