Renting a car might be getting pricier soon, but you can still save money if you know where to look and what to say.
Along with airfare and hotel, renting a car is one of the Big Three expenses when you travel. But while everyone talks about how to find cheap fares and cheap rooms, no one talks with the same fervor about how to find the best wheels deals.
And there's never been a better time to seek out car rental tips, because the landscape may soon get more challenging as Hertz and Avis fight to take over Dollar Thrifty.
Check company launches campaign to advocate the right to write checks. But can even YouTube sell 'checks appeal'?
What a retro idea: A new publicity campaign wants to defend our right to use paper checks.
Does anyone still use checks? Haven't they gone the way of green stamps?
Deluxe Corp., which sells paper checks, is organizing the campaign, complete with videos, a Facebook page and other modern social networking tools. The company is arguing that customers should have the right to pay by check if they want to.
Never heard of Squinkies and Zoobles? You'd better start looking for them now. Plus: Grab a Sing-a-ma-jig.
Wondering what the hot toys will be this holiday season?
Fixing the toilet is easy. You can install a thermostat by yourself. And some of the best things in life don't cost anything at all.
Today, let's do something a little different. I'm going to list 48 things I've learned about myself and the world around me that I discovered thanks to frugality.
- I really like sun tea.
- The patience and effort involved in teaching yourself something new is incredibly rewarding when you begin to succeed at it (like my piano playing).
- When you're sitting around a table with friends, it really doesn't matter where you are.
- Young children are usually more interested in the free packaging or other freebies than any item you might buy them.
The core problem is not that those charged with performing modifications are reluctant to do it.
Last year I wrung several good posts from the Obama administration's doomed-from-go scheme to get banks to modify mortgages. It was good material for me. I got to mock both those few who were clueless enough to think it might work and the great many people who were too polite or too loyal to the White House to admit they understood that the program's outlook was grim.
After a while, I got bored of beating that particular dead horse. So many other things to mock.
But I realized recently I never really addressed the basic conceptual flaw in the Home Affordable Modification Program.
The days of finding a 2-year-old car for thousands less than new are gone -- at least for now.
After the engine blew on his 2004 Saturn, Tom Wright figured his next car would, obviously, be used. Given that new cars lose value faster than a 35-year-old utility infielder, why not buy a year-old Toyota RAV4 and save $5,000 right off the bat?
Then he started pricing cars around his hometown of Asheville, N.C. After cash back and a promotional financing offer, the 2010 model was only $1,000 more than the used cars he saw on the market. Sold! "Why buy someone else's problem," he says.
Many car buyers are encountering surprises, both good and bad, as market conditions have turned tried-and-true used-car-buying advice on its head. The tight economy has driven more consumers to used-car lots in search of savings; that increased demand has pushed prices up. The days of finding a 2-year-old car for thousands less than new are gone -- at least for now.
Florida 12-year-old created this year's flavor for the World's Largest Ice Cream Social, which benefits ill children.
Thursday, Sept. 30, is the World's Largest Ice Cream Social, when Cold Stone Creamery dishes up free ice cream to all comers.
The annual event will raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which fulfills wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses. (We're sure Karen would support the wish of 15-year-old Zach, who got to announce the Pittsburgh Steelers' first-round pick in the 2010 NFL draft.)
What Kate Rawley of Tampa, Fla., wished was to be the one who created the ice cream flavor for this year's social. She got her wish, and this year's flavor is called Kate's Creation. Kate, 12, has a congenital spinal cord condition that has meant five surgeries and numerous hospitalizations.
Everyone likes free stuff -- except maybe free malware, viruses, and other problems that can come from searching for free things online.
The Internet is full of freebies, but many come with a high price: stolen personal information, viruses, junk software, plus your time and frustration when you don't get what was advertised.
In fact, just looking for something free online -- even if you don't download or sign up for anything -- puts you and your computer at risk.
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
If you worry about money after the streetlights come on, these actions may help you rest easier.
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'