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Citi to cardholders: Your new interest rate is 29.99%.

By Karen Datko Oct 21, 2009 5:47PM

Is there no end to the new fees, new rates and other credit card company shenanigans before new federal rules kick in and put a stop to some of their antics? Apparently not.


Get this:

  • Citibank on Nov. 30 is raising the variable interest rate on some cards to 29.99% APR, Huffington Post blogger Eva Norlyk Smith said. "The card has a variable APR, so the interest rate, now and forever more, will be calculated by adding 26.74% to the U.S. prime rate," she said. If you pay on time, Citi will reduce the interest charged on your balance by 10%. (That's 10%, not 10 percentage points.) Whoop-de-doo.

More merchants expected to offer deals for delivery.

By Teresa Mears Oct 21, 2009 4:08PM

Here’s good news for online shoppers this holiday season: More retailers are expected to offer free shipping to capture your business.


Merchants are offering free shipping because they know it catches shoppers' attention, The Wall Street Journal reported, and in a year when stores are competing for shoppers, that’s important.


"Free is very exciting," Dan Ariely, a professor of behavioral economics at Duke University, told The Journal. "Free shipping is not just another discount."


New study produces a surprising result.

By Karen Datko Oct 21, 2009 2:35PM

Forget those financial calculations about whether you'd be better off doing the housework yourself rather than hiring it out.


A new study involving 6,877 couples published in the Journal of Family Issues makes it a moot point in our mind (and pardon us while we go find the duster). The Juggle blog at The Wall Street Journal says the study indicates that "for husbands and wives alike, the more housework you do, the more often you are likely to have sex with your spouse."

Wow. That is stunning. The Juggle notes that it's been documented before that women are more pleased with -- and apparently more willing to please -- husbands who do their fair share to help around the house. "But the more housework = more sex link -- for wives, at least -- is a surprise," blogger Sue Shellenbarger writes.


Fire the housekeeper. It's time for DIY.


Whats going on here?


These ID theft devices are probably more common than you think.

By Karen Datko Oct 21, 2009 9:23AM

This guest post comes from David Weliver at Money Under 30 and is part of his series for National Protect Your Identity Week.


Talk about serendipitous. I've been planning a post on credit card and ATM skimmers -- jerry-rigged little devices criminals use to steal your card numbers -- and yesterday my brother tells me he spotted one of these suckers at a rest area on the New York Thruway.


He alerted managers, who called the cops, who confirmed it was a skimmer. It just proves that skimmers are a real threat out there. Skimmers give fraudsters easy access to unwitting victims' credit and debit card numbers -- even PINs. Here's what you need to know to avoid these nasty things.


A beginner's guide for the lazy composter.

By Karen Datko Oct 21, 2009 8:15AM

This post comes from Little House at partner blog Wise Bread.


One thing I enjoy about my small garden is the fragrant smell of my lavender plants and the movement of the feather grass in the wind. I have become an avid small-garden and container gardener. In the process, I've also gotten very eco-conscious about what I put on my plants and in my garden.


I began to research other gardening Web sites, specifically ones that discuss eco-friendly alternatives to fertilizers. The nitrogen in fertilizers isn't healthy for the environment. In excess, it is harmful to your soil, and to aquatic animals when the nitrogen-filled water is washed out to sea.


The more I researched, the more I realized that I could make my own fertilizer, or mulch, using my kitchen waste. Not only do I reduce my kitchen garbage, I reuse it to benefit my plants. I also save money by not having to purchase additional nutrients or replace dead plants very often. It's a three-for-one deal.


'Free' ringtones and games may come with $10-a-month bills.

By Teresa Mears Oct 20, 2009 7:27PM

Be sure to scrutinize your cell phone bill carefully. That “free game” you played on Facebook may come with a $10-per-month charge, writes Steve Alexander of the Star Tribune in Minneapolis.


Alexander writes that most people are savvy about Internet scams that involve giving out your personal information on the Internet, which can lead to identity theft.


They should be equally cautious about giving out their cell phone numbers before they read ALL the fine print. Otherwise, they may find themselves signed up for an expensive “premium SMS,” or text, service –- in essence, agreeing to pay a company to send them advertising.


Flu is keeping many home from work and school. I hope I'm not next.

By Karen Datko Oct 20, 2009 7:23PM

This guest post comes from "vh" at Funny about Money.


People are dropping to the left of us and dropping to the right of us. We seem to have a serious H1N1 flu epidemic going on in our parts.


Recently on the Evening Play-Nooz we heard that thousands of cases have been diagnosed in Arizona, and a number of people have died. Given that many people can't afford to go to the doctor with a case of the flu, the figures are undoubtedly just a fraction of the real number.

For the first time in recorded memory, our choir director didn't show up for midweek practice. He fell ill the morning after the wedding for which we sang, and ended up flat on his back. His doctor told him to stay in bed for seven days, and absolutely not to leave the house.


A vigorous and healthy man, this guy hasn't missed work as long as I've known him, which has been a while. If he's laid low, we frail old bats haven't got a chance.


New study says loan servicers lack financial incentive to modify mortgages.

By Karen Datko Oct 20, 2009 6:11PM

This post comes from Mark Huffman at partner site


At the start of the foreclosure crisis, personal-finance experts urged struggling homeowners to contact their lenders if they started to fall behind on their mortgages. The lenders want to do everything they can, homeowners were told, to avoid a foreclosure.


Now, the experts aren't so sure that's the case.


Consumers who have jumped through a frustrating series of hoops to achieve a mortgage modification -- a lower interest rate or more manageable payments -- are convinced that conventional wisdom is flawed.



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