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Most people opt to eat out, rather than saving hundreds of dollars (and calories) by packing a sack lunch for work.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 8, 2014 2:16PM

This post comes from Krystal Steinmetz at partner site Money Talks News.

Sitting at your desk with leftover spaghetti and a salad may not sound like the most exciting way to spend your lunch break. Although it's cheaper and typically healthier than going out and buying lunch, it's still not a popular choice for most Americans.

Office worker © Digital Vision, Getty ImagesFilling your belly and saving money seems like a no-brainer, right? Brown-bagging lunch is common personal finance advice for how to save. So why doesn't everyone do it?

Huffington Post contributor Jillian Berman, who saves about $1,550 a year by regularly packing her lunch, wanted to find the answer to that question. She talked to Cornell University behavioral economist David Just, who studies why people choose to eat what they do.

Just told Berman that packing a lunch for work is a more rational choice.

Though it may be less logical, less healthy and more expensive, buying a lunch is the popular choice for most Americans.

Just said there are three reasons for that:


If you need new wheels and are looking to reduce your carbon footprint, here's a list of ecologically friendly vehicles to consider.

By Apr 8, 2014 11:23AM

This post comes from Christine DiGangi at partner site on MSN MoneyIf you're really into buying local and living green, you may find yourself in a bit of a pickle when it comes to choosing a car. Of the 12 Greenest Vehicles of 2014, none of them are from U.S.-based automakers.

Woman in car adjusting mirror © Jose Luis Pelaez Inc, Blend Images, Getty ImagesThe rankings system from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) gives the highest scores for environmental friendly vehicles to nine cars from Japanese manufacturers and three from German companies. (On the flip side, five of the worst cars for the environment are from U.S.-based manufacturers. Yikes.)

Of course, someone looking at the Dodge Ram (worst vehicle on the list) probably isn't going to be attracted to a teeny Smart Car (best), nor would they be able to serve the same purpose. But assuming you're not shopping for a huge truck or flashy sports car (champions of poor fuel economy), and you're looking to reduce your carbon footprint, these 12 cars highlighted by the ACEEE's Green Book are worth a look.


Does your car suck your wallet dry, or do you have an economics-friendly vehicle? Consumer Reports provides answers.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 7, 2014 4:56PM

This post comes from Krystal Steinmetz at partner site Money Talks News.

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyWhen you're looking for a screaming deal on a car, it may be tempting to solely consider the purchase price of a vehicle when making a decision on whether to buy. But the sticker price alone doesn't give you the true picture of the costs associated with owning the car.

According to Consumer Reports, it's important to look past the purchase price and consider Filling fuel tank © Corbisother car-related expenses -- like depreciation, fuel, loan interest, insurance premiums, sales tax, and maintenance and repair -- before you buy a car. These expenses can mean the difference between an economical vehicle and a car that costs more a month than your rent.

Consumer Reports determined that the following vehicles are the most and least expensive to own (according to five-year owner cost estimates):


Female elementary-school teachers and social workers, for example, make less than their male counterparts, according to a new report.

By Money Staff Apr 7, 2014 4:32PM

This post comes from Ruth Mantell at partner site MarketWatch.

MarketWatch on MSN MoneyIt's not news that women earn less than men. But a soon-to-be-released report illustrates a particularly disappointing trend: women earn less than men even in popular woman-dominated jobs.

 Businesswoman and businessman © Eric Audras, PhotoAlto Agency RF Collections, Getty ImagesThe Institute for Women's Policy Research crunched government data and found that in each of the 20 most common occupations for women in 2013, women's median weekly earnings for full-time work were less than weekly earnings for men. Within those top 20 jobs, that relationship holds true for occupations with the largest shares of women.

Take elementary- and middle-school teachers, for example.


According to a new financial analysis, the top tenth of the US's 1 percenters make the rest of the 1 percent look like the 99 percent.

By Money Staff Apr 7, 2014 2:11PM

This post comes from Peter Coy at partner site Bloomberg Businessweek.

Bloomberg BusinessWeek on MSN MoneyThe rallying cry of the Occupy Movement was that the richest 1 percent of Americans is getting richer while the rest of us struggle to get by. That’s not quite right, though. The bottom nine-tenths of the 1 Percent club have about the same slice of the national wealth pie that they had a generation ago.

Wealthy woman © moodboard/CorbisThe gains have accrued almost exclusively to the top tenth of 1 Percenters. The richest 0.1 percent of the American population has rebuilt its share of wealth back to where it was in the Roaring Twenties. And the richest 0.01 percent’s share has grown even more rapidly, quadrupling since the eve of the Reagan Revolution.

These figures come out of a clever analysis by economists Emmanuel Saez of the University of California at Berkeley and Gabriel Zucman of the London School of Economics, who is a visiting professor at Berkeley. The Internal Revenue Service asks about income, not wealth, which is the market value of real estate, stocks, bonds, and other assets. Saez and Zucman were able to deduce wealth by exploiting IRS data going back to when the federal income tax was instituted in 1913.


Money lessons aplenty are tucked in and among all the pow! zap! action of the newest film in the Marvel franchise.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 7, 2014 1:02PM

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

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyI went to the midnight movie premiere of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" last Friday and am still reeling from all the explosions and hand-to-hand combat. In a good way.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier © W.Disney/Everett/Rex Features
Despite the comic-book colors and pow! zap! action, "The Winter Soldier" is a smart political thriller with enough modern paranoia to allow both conservatives and liberals to believe the film is talking specifically to them.

Old-fashioned patriot Captain America (Chris Evans) has learned from the Greatest Generation's wartime mistakes. When he views a high-tech weapon that's more doomsday than deterrent, Cap vows never to support a system that emphasizes fear over freedom.

Which brings me to personal finance. The whole point of Money Talks News is that being smart about finances lets you be secure, rather than afraid.

Due to the way I make a living, I can find money wisdom in just about any form of entertainment, whether it's Wagner, science fiction or even a Coen brothers movie.

"The Winter Soldier" is no exception. Personal finance themes aplenty are tucked in among the incendiary devices.


Opportunities abound to mix volunteer work with a vacation. The big payoff: helping others.

By Apr 7, 2014 12:41PM
This post comes from Louis DeNicola at partner site on MSN MoneyImages of sandy beaches, warm weather, and a cool drink may come to mind when thinking about that next vacation. How about helping to rescue animals, picking olives, or building a house instead?

A woman works with children as part of the Global Volunteers program © Global VolunteersSure, these volunteer projects seem an awful lot like work, but you'll be contributing to a worthy cause while getting away from your day job.

Indeed, sometimes a "working vacation" can be more rewarding than a week at an all-inclusive resort.

Sometimes bad stuff happens to good workers. A few belt-tightening tactics will help you hang on until better times return.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 7, 2014 12:28PM

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

Money Talks News on MSN MoneySuppose the first thing your boss says tomorrow is, "Sorry, but I'm cutting you back to 28 hours a week." How long before you couldn't pay your bills?

Sometimes bad stuff happens to good workers. No one wants to think about a major income drop, but getting ready now means that you won't be quite as blindsided later on.



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