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You don't need a financial fright to have fun with Halloween. Watch our reporter try out some costumes while you pick up some savings tips.

By Stacy Johnson Oct 18, 2010 3:24PM

This post comes from Brandon Ballenger and Jim Robinson at partner site Money Talks News.

 

The most frightening part of Halloween is how much money we spend on the holiday: almost $6 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. That works out to about $66 per American for costumes, candy and decorations.

 

A woman pays for a stranger's groceries and spawns the 93 Dollar Club, which has raised more than $110,000 for food banks.

By Teresa Mears Oct 18, 2010 2:42PM

You've been there, standing at the grocery checkout and ready to pay the bill, except you forgot your wallet, which contains your checkbook, cash and credit cards. You have no way to pay.

When this happened to Jenni Ware at a Trader Joe's in Menlo Park, Calif., something unusual happened: The woman behind her in line, Carolee Hazard, offered to pay the $207.29 bill with her credit card and asked Ware, a stranger, to mail her a check.

 

Grateful for the help, Ware sent Hazard $300 and told her to use the extra $93 for a massage. Instead, Hazard polled her Facebook friends. And social media met random acts of kindness.

 

The result became a national movement that has raised more than $110,000 for charities that fight hunger. The 93 Dollar Club on Facebook had 3,497 fans as of noon PT Oct. 18, and it has been written about in USA Today and People magazine.

 

Want to lose your wallet or your laptop? Assume everyone's as nice as you are.

By Donna_Freedman Oct 18, 2010 1:17PM

Earlier this year I bought my first laptop. However, I could have gotten one or more for free at the University of Washington

During my three years as a "nontraditional" student (that's the college euphemism for "old"), I was regularly asked by library patrons if I'd watch their stuff while they went to the bathroom.


For intelligent people, they're pretty dumb. Or maybe the world hasn't kicked them in the teeth yet.

 

The average teen sends and receives more than 3,000 texts per month.

By Karen Datko Oct 18, 2010 10:26AM

This post comes from Sara Huffman at partner site ConsumerAffairs.com.

 

Who says teens don't communicate?

 

They do. They just don't do it out loud.

 

Americans between the ages of 13 and 18 send and receive an average of 3,339 texts a month, according to research by the Nielsen Co. That's about six for every hour they're awake.

If your head is spinning, you may want to sit down. Teen boys apparently send and receive an impressive 2,539 texts a month, but the report reveals teen girls are almost twice as busy, sending and receiving an average of 4,050 texts per month.

 

More than 4,000 texts. PER MONTH.

 

Scholarships paid for most of the cost of attending a very expensive university. Here's how she found them and successfully applied.

By Karen Datko Oct 18, 2010 9:23AM

This guest post from Alison is part of the reader stories feature at Get Rich Slowly.

 

I'm a graduate of the George Washington University, a school now known as the most expensive in the country. But when I graduated, my $160,000 education cost me about $4,000.

I walked away with about $9,000 in student loans and a check for more than $5,000 from surplus tuition payments from my senior year. Plus, I'd earned enough scholarship money to pay for graduate school. Twice.

 

How'd I do it? Let me tell you about how to make the most of scholarships for fun and profit.

 

Will we all be burned out by the time stores open their doors Nov. 26?

By Karen Datko Oct 15, 2010 2:45PM

This post comes from Melinda Fulmer of MSN Money.

 

More than two weeks before Halloween, the first Black Friday ad of the season has tiptoed in -- from Dallas discount book retailer Half Price Books.

 

"Leaked" unceremoniously on the retailer's Facebook page, the ad promises early-bird shoppers 20% off and a free calendar with $30 purchase, plus coupons with gift card purchases. It's not exactly exciting -- and it's similar to what this retailer has done in the past -- but then the books are already heavily discounted to begin with.

Even if the books are $3.98, says Kathy Doyle Thomas, HPB's executive vice president, people still expect a big discount on Black Friday, especially after a couple of years of nonstop clearance sales and "Friends and Family" offers. "As retailers we have trained our customers to only come in when we have a big discount," she says.

 

And increasingly those big discounts are coming both before and after Black Friday, making those early morning runs less of a must-do for some consumers.

 

Free breakfast if you wear pajamas, plus free facials, frugal Halloween craft workshops and dining coupons.

By Teresa Mears Oct 15, 2010 12:38PM

Every food has its day, and some even get a week or a month.

Buca di Beppo says Oct. 25 is World Pasta Day. Don't argue, because if you purchase a small or large pasta or entrée, you'll get a free order of spaghetti with either meat sauce or marinara. At least one of my local restaurants declared last week National Pasta Week and offered specials, so stay alert for additional pasta deals.

 

In other festive dining events, Souplantation & Sweet Tomatoes locations that offer breakfast are having a pajama party from 9 a.m. to noon Sunday, Oct. 17, with a free meal for kids who show up in their pajamas.

 

Protect Your Identity Week offers classes, info and free shredding.

By Donna_Freedman Oct 15, 2010 12:28PM
Almost 10 million Americans were victims of identity theft fraud in 2008, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Apparently you can't be too careful: 16% of the victims knew the person who had committed the crime -- and 6% of the time it was a family member.

How can you avoid being ripped off?  

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