Smart SpendingSmart Spending

A garage stuffed with stuff is a big red flag.

By Karen Datko Sep 30, 2009 3:21PM

Do you automatically think that "budget" is the name of a rental-car company? Chances are you have a problem with spending.


A post by Ron at The Wisdom Journal identifies 24 signs to look for to determine if you're a mega-consumer. He said he was inspired to write the post after his kids noticed that someone they know has four yard sales a year and asked, "How much stuff do they have?"


Another sign: "You cannot fit anything else in your garage  -- and you don't even have your car in there."

 

First step: Make sure it's not illegal where you live.

By Karen Datko Sep 30, 2009 3:00PM

"Not the Jet Set" is sorely tempted on the way to work by perfectly usable things people have left out by their trash cans. But what are the rules for Dumpster-diving? Do you need to be sneaky? How do you handle shame?


We did some research and found a handy post at Sueann's NWPR Blog, plus photos of her remarkable finds, including brand new KitchenAid food processor attachments. (Her finds don't include food; she hasn't become a freegan.)

"Dumpster divers have rules," Sueann Ramella wrote. Here are some we gleaned from her post and from other sources:

 

Do you know how to successfully bribe someone? You should.

By Karen Datko Sep 30, 2009 2:54PM

This post comes from partner blog Blueprint for Financial Prosperity.


Popular Mechanics created a list called "100 skills every man should know," which naturally gravitated toward DIY/physical skills like jump-starting a car and splitting firewood. The Frisky listed "30 skills every woman should have before turning 30," which actually touched on more than physical skills (though No. 12 is physical), with a handful of financial skills (Nos. 17-20).

The following isn't a checklist of things you necessarily need to do in your life. It's a list of things you should know how to do in case the need arises.

 

Idea sounds great until you do the math.

By Karen Datko Sep 30, 2009 2:42PM

The Internet is afire with a grand proposal. Instead of bailing out AIG to the tune of $85 billion, why not divide the money among all 200 million or so U.S. adults?


That gives $425,000 to every woman and man, the widely circulated e-mail says, or $297,500 after taxes. Wow.


This idea has gotten a lot of traction online, particularly as Congress is now considering a $700 billion bailout or rescue or whatever for America's financial institutions.

"Sounds like a plan," exclaimed Cathy at Cathy's Blog -- For Me For Once, one of many bloggers who've passed the $85 billion "We Deserve It Dividend" proposal on.


There's only one small problem with this plan.


"It only works out to $425 per person," an anonymous reader of Cathy's Blog wrote. "Whoever is circulating that idea is an idiot. Don't believe everything you read." And how.

 

Blogger plans to be a house with cash.

By Karen Datko Sep 30, 2009 2:38PM

Too much credit and then a shortage thereof might be sinking the economy, but the personal attitude of blogger "NCN" is "Credit? Who needs it." He hasn't borrowed money in any form or fashion for four years -- and that includes using a credit card.


Remarkably, he's even saving up to buy a house with cash. Is this a radical approach that's impossible for most people, or an idea whose time has come? Either way, he explains how to do it.

 

Your chicken coop could be a gold mine.

By Karen Datko Sep 30, 2009 5:05AM

This post comes from Linsey Knerl at partner blog Wise Bread.


When the recession began to really hit home, there was plenty of chatter about selling your plasma, undergoing paid medical tests, and even cutting off your lovely locks for a profit. Here are some of the more off-the-wall commodities we found, and they are making some people a bit more comfortable these days.


Mother's milk. As a mom who nursed three of her four children, I completely understand the benefits and time commitment of breastfeeding. When situations prevent a mom from being able to do this herself, there are some options to keeping the milk flowing, even if it's not her own. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of mothers nationwide, milk has been made available to those who need it via milk banks and other donation centers. The Human Milk Banking Association of America is a good place to start learning about the guidelines for donation, storage and transport.

 

Hey, not everyone can be a nice guy.

By Karen Datko Sep 30, 2009 4:47AM

This devil's advocate post comes from Jim Wang at partner blog Bargaineering.


This devil's advocate post will cover something that's bound to elicit a lot of discussion: Here are four reasons why you shouldn't donate money to charity.


That's right. You read that correctly. I have four reasons why donating your hard-earned money to a charity is a bad idea, and chances are there is at least one reason here that you haven't even considered. If there was ever a devil's advocate post to end all devil's advocate posts (don't worry, it's not the last one), this would probably be it.

 

High-income earners often display some particular traits.

By Karen Datko Sep 30, 2009 4:40AM

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


In June, a user at Ask MetaFilter wondered: What are the differences between someone who makes $100,000/year and someone who makes $30,000? As you might expect, this question generated a lot of discussion -- all of it interesting.


Many commenters noted that, from their experience, high-income earners generally exhibit several of the following traits:

 

DATA PROVIDERS

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

Smart Spending brings you the best money-saving tips from MSN Money and the rest of the Web. Join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

TOOLS

More