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More people are giving themselves higher marks for being money-savvy, but survey indicates many still need help.

By Karen Datko Apr 19, 2010 2:54PM

In the weeks preceding Financial Literacy Month, the fourth annual Consumer Financial Literacy Survey asked people to grade themselves. Are they getting smarter about money?


“In 2009, 41% graded themselves as C, D or F, with only 34% falling into that category in 2010,” says the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, which sponsored the survey.


The survey showed that people have gotten a bit more money-savvy in the last few years, but the results were a mixed bag. Considering that April is Financial Literacy Month, isn’t now a good time to take stock of yourself? Ask yourself these questions:


Computer firm returned the souls and confessed to an April Fool's prank. But much of life's fine print isn't as amusing.

By Teresa Mears Apr 19, 2010 12:52PM

You know it’s dangerous to skip all the fine print you’re asked to read when you sign up at a website, but there’s so much of it.


An April Fool’s Day prank by a British online game seller demonstrated how few people really do read the fine print: 88% of the site’s customers agreed to give up their immortal souls in order to buy goods from GameStation, according to a report by Fox News.

By placing an order via this Web site on the first day of the fourth month of the year 2010 Anno Domini, you agree to grant Us a non transferable option to claim, for now and for ever more, your immortal soul. Should We wish to exercise this option, you agree to surrender your immortal soul, and any claim you may have on it, within 5 (five) working days of receiving written notification from or one of its duly authorised minions.

Nobody cares more about your money than you do.

By Karen Datko Apr 19, 2010 10:23AM

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


There’s been an influx of new readers at Get Rich Slowly lately. To serve as an intro to the new folks (and to celebrate the site’s fourth anniversary, and in honor of Financial Literacy Month), today I’m going to review my financial philosophy. Although we covered each of these points in turn last autumn, it’s been awhile since I collected these core values in one location.


Based on my research -- and my experience with what does and doesn’t work -- I’ve compiled a list of 14 guidelines that form the basis of everything I write.


Which to fly if you have lots of baggage, want to arrive on time and more.

By Karen Datko Apr 19, 2010 9:16AM

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


It’s report card time for the airlines.


Each year, the W. Frank Barton School of Business at Wichita State University and the Department of Aviation Technology at Purdue University release their Airline Quality Rating (AQR), an analysis of Department of Transportation data on topics like: Which airline does the best job at getting bags to their destination? Which has the best arrival and departure records? 


Why do you suppose most bankers aren't trying as hard as these Texans to modify troubled mortgages?

By Karen Datko Apr 19, 2010 8:14AM

This post comes from Marilyn Lewis of MSN Money.


You get the impression from reading the news that banks and loan servicers -- the companies that collect payments -- are resisting demands and pleas from homeowners and the government (and common sense) to get moving on modifying failing mortgages.


Banks seem to drag their feet. Currently, about 6 million homeowners are behind on their payments and banks have modified only a fraction of them (and even “permanent” modifications aren’t really permanent). Banks foreclosed on 2.8 million homeowners last year.


So it’s kind of amazing to read, in this report from HousingWire reporter Diana Golobay, how some servicers are pulling out all the stops to button-hole delinquent homeowners and get them into mortgage modifications.


With enrollment mostly flat, many camps are holding the line on prices.

By Karen Datko Apr 16, 2010 12:41PM

This Deal of the Day comes from Elizabeth Trotta at partner site SmartMoney.


Want to send Junior to camp this summer but worry about high fees?


The good news is you probably won’t have to pay more, or at least not much more, than last year. Enrollment for 2010 looks steady, at about 11 million campers, according to the American Camp Association. (In the ACA’s most recent survey, three-quarters of participating camps said enrollment this year would be the same or higher than last summer.) So, without a surge of new business, many camps are simply holding the line.


Free fries, BOGO meals and coupons for free drinks among the offerings. Don't forget free entry to national parks.

By Teresa Mears Apr 16, 2010 11:49AM

It’s finally Friday, and it’s time for food deals and freebies.

The Earth Day deals we posted about are still on, including free admission April 17-25 to all national parks that charge an entry fee. This is also the weekend for lots of free local Earth Day events.


Even though April 15 has come and gone, a few of our Tax Day deals are still valid, including free HydroMassage and a BOGO coupon from Boston Market, both good through April 18. And don’t forget that some of last week’s deals are still good.


Everyone grumbles about the boredom and the bad coffee. Ever thought about the financial hardship?

By Donna_Freedman Apr 16, 2010 11:24AM
Earlier this week I dodged the jury-duty bullet. Ordered to report for two days, I was selected for one pool but let go. It may have been because I explained that I'm a freelance writer who cannot afford to be cooped up in a courtroom for weeks. But it may also have been because:
  • I've been injured in an auto accident. (The case we were to have looked at involved lost income and "enjoyment of life" after a crash.)
  • I write for MSN Money. (The guy doing the suing was in the securities industry.)
  • The guy's attorney just didn't like my face. A friend of mine joked, "You look like you’re ready to acquit."


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