The average age of vehicles on the list of most frequently stolen cars is 12 years.
NICB spokesman Frank Scafidi says he wasn't surprised that the plucky '94 Accord topped the list.
Some travel destinations are still recovering. Where to go before they get too pricey.
As more people put off travel during the recession, incredibly cheap travel deals cropped up. But now, business and leisure travel are picking up -- and with them, hotel rates.
In Bali, for example, the average price paid for a hotel room during the second quarter of the year climbed 57% over the same period in 2009 (to an average per-night room rate of $203). New York City saw an average price jump of 14% (to $224) over the same period.
Does that mean it's a bad time to travel? Not necessarily.
A short -- and achievable -- list of rules regarding your finances.
Want to drop a bad habit or develop a good one? You need a plan. Or, rather, you need a list.
We Americans love our lists. We especially love short lists. Just check the headlines on magazines, Internet news sites or blogs. You'll almost certainly see ones like "3 easy steps to lose weight/stop smoking/become a millionaire."
Having a list makes us feel we're already halfway to achieving our goals. Lists make us feel confident and in charge: I've got it all figured out! Now I just have to implement it!
It's never really that simple, of course.
Earning more than that may make you feel more successful, but it won't make you happier.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about how money really can buy happiness -- if you spend it right. A big-screen TV isn't a ticket to happiness, but a vacation might be. Giving your money away can boost your well-being, and so can investing it in time with your family.
- Bing: Can money buy happiness?
A new study from Princeton University hangs a price tag on that happiness: $75,000 (.pdf file). That's the annual household income that gives you the most joy for your buck. People with incomes below that magic number report less happiness, overall, than those at or above it.
The bad news: He got laid off. The good news: It happened AFTER he'd cleared his consumer debt.
I feel very bad for Smithee, a staff writer for the Consumerism Commentary personal-finance blog. With no warning he was laid off from his job at a small Web design agency.
In a post called "Laid off, 2010 edition," Smithee wrote that the job loss was particularly frustrating because he had only recently -- and for the first time in his life -- managed to zero out his credit cards.
"I was just learning what it was like to walk around without worrying about paying all my bills on time," he lamented. "I was about to start seriously saving money and/or paying down loans faster than expected. I was going to be in a position to be more than a couple of months away from homelessness. I was stable, and I had plans."
Here's where I think Smithee errs in his thinking:
New report details how large banks finance the payday loan industry.
The weak economy is making it harder for big banks to lend money, and that's driving cash-poor consumers into the arms of unscrupulous payday lenders, right?
Well, not quite, says a report that finds big banks like Wells Fargo and Bank of America are only too eager to lend billions of dollars to some industries like, oh, the payday lenders.
"While small businesses and individuals have struggled to get affordable loans in the wake of the taxpayer bailouts, payday lenders have received new and amended credit agreements from Wall Street," says the report.
Great American Dine Out includes coupons; plus deals for free museum admission and BOGO smoothies.
Next week is the Great American Dine Out, a restaurant fundraiser to help fight childhood hunger in America. As part of the promotion, which is Sept. 19-25, restaurants nationwide are offering discounts, coupons or other incentives to encourage donations to Share Our Strength.
Among this year's participants are Joe's Crabshack, Corner Bakery Cafe, McAlister's Deli, Boston Market, T.G.I. Friday's, Buffalo Wild Wings, Taco Bueno, The Palm Restaurants, Legal Seafoods, P.F. Chang's and First Watch. You can search for participating restaurants in your area here.
If you don't use your credit card number while shopping online, no one can steal it. That's the idea behind virtual credit cards.
The best way to protect your credit card number online might be to use a fake one.
Well, it's not actually fake -- it's "virtual." Yes, it's legal. It's also smart, and may be free depending on your bank.
- Quick quiz: Estimate your credit score
Virtual credit cards have been around for a while now, and the idea is simple. You can use the financial backing of your real credit card -- or debit card, or checking account -- to make all the purchases you normally would on a computer, but without using the card itself. Instead, you use an alternate, virtual credit card number, which is linked to your real one, but protected by computer encryption and other state-of-the-art security measures.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Tying the knot doesn't mean your credit will follow suit. Take a look at these common credit myths about marriage.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
BLOGS WE LIKE
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'