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Online aid lets homeowners try out different scenarios to weigh financial implications of keeping or giving up their home.

By Teresa Mears Feb 1, 2010 4:23PM

We’re hearing more these days about whether homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages should give up and walk away, taking a hit on their credit.

 

In addition to dealing with moral and emotional issues, homeowners have to look closely at the financial repercussions: Is walking away from a home on which the mortgage owed exceeds the value -- a situation faced by about one-quarter of U.S. homeowners who have mortgages -- a good financial decision?

 

The New York Times Bucks Blog tipped us off to a calculator at You Walk Away, a company that, for a fee, helps homeowners walk away from their mortgages.

 

Beat florists at their own game with these 7 tips.

By Karen Datko Feb 1, 2010 1:53PM

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

 

Getting a good deal on flowers this Valentine's Day requires that you not linger too long when you stop to smell the roses.

 

Valentine's Day is the biggest holiday for fresh-flower sales, accounting for 40% of annual revenue, according to the Society of American Florists, a trade group. Prices can easily top $60 for a bouquet of a dozen long-stemmed roses, with fancier arrangements well above $100.

But wait much beyond the start of February to order, and you can expect to pay a premium.

 

Think you're the world's best at making smart money moves? Find out by seeing if you've ever fallen for these dumb money moves.

By Stacy Johnson Feb 1, 2010 9:38AM

This post comes from Stacy Johnson at partner blog Money Talks News.

 

Do you waste cash by spending money on dumb things? There’s one way to find out: Take a look at this video and article and see if you’ve ever fallen for any of these dumb deals.

 

The truth is, it does for many people.

By Karen Datko Feb 1, 2010 8:46AM

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

 

Writing “Your Money: The Missing Manual” has been intense. I’ve spent a ton of time researching personal-finance topics ranging from buying a car to funding a 401k to the relationship between money and happiness. My research has reinforced some of my convictions (index funds are the best investment for 99% of personal investors, for instance) but has toppled others.

One of my beliefs that’s been set on its head is that Americans are better off buying their own homes. I don’t believe that’s necessarily the case anymore.

 

Helpful tips that produce functional, affordable and attractive results.

By Karen Datko Jan 29, 2010 6:56PM

This guest post comes from “vh” at Funny about Money.

 

Frugal Scholar is doing an interesting series about her experiences remodeling a kitchen on a budget. I love it! I seem to have spent my entire life remodeling houses, and so I’ve developed some strong opinions on the subject. Frugal Scholar proves how brilliant she is by happening to agree, more or less, with those ideas.

 

Kitchens and bathrooms are just about the most expensive remodeling jobs you can do, short of ripping off and replacing a shake roof. Much of it is stuff you can’t easily do yourself: plumbing (especially having to move plumbing), wiring, gas connections in ancient houses.

Over the course of years, I’ve learned a number of things that help a little to keep costs under control:

 

Writer asks for deals and saves $730 in a week of bargaining.

By Teresa Mears Jan 29, 2010 6:15PM

Seeking a way to save some money, Washington Post writer Michael S. Rosenwald resorted to a time-honored tactic: He haggled.

 

Much to his surprise, many of the times he bargained for a lower price, he got one.

 

 “For consumers such as me who have spent decades shopping at full retail, getting a deal on previously no-deal items is liberating and invigorating, as I found out during a recent week I spent haggling,” he wrote.

 

A change in Air France's policy reignites the debate.

By Karen Datko Jan 29, 2010 4:14PM

About 76% of respondents to a poll by a travel Web site said airlines should charge obese people a “fat tax” when they fly.

 

“Only 22% of the 550 people questioned disapproved of introducing extra payments for overweight passengers,” Reuters reported about the Skyscanner survey.

Thus this can of worms gets opened again, and this time the debate has gone global.

 

Don't forget to check newspaper fliers for restaurant coupons.

By Teresa Mears Jan 29, 2010 3:07PM

We don’t have too many new food freebies this week, so we’ll repeat some of last week’s deals that are still good and remind you of a few perennial freebies, including craft workshops for kids.

 

Perhaps the dearth of deals and coupons is a sign that we should all cook more. We are noticing restaurant coupons in the Sunday newspaper fliers, so be sure to check there.

 

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