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Do you have $669 handy to pay for back-to-school supplies? If not, we've got 15 tips for you.

By MSN Money Partner 41 minutes ago

This post comes from Maryalene LaPonsie at partner site Money Talks News.


Money Talks News on MSN MoneyIf you have school-age kids, I hope you have an extra $669 in your bank account to spend in the next month.


According to the National Retail Federation (.pdf file), that's how much the average household will spend to send their K-12 students back to school this year. If you have a college student, expect your costs to creep up past $900 before you give that final wave goodbye.


But maybe you don't have $669 extra in your checking account. Well, we certainly don't want you to have to pull out the credit card. Instead, here's how to go back to school on the cheap.

 

Your bank may be charging that incredibly high amount if you overdraft your account with a debit card.

By Credit.com 1 hour ago
This post comes from Gerri Detweiler at partner site Credit.com.

Credit.com on MSN MoneyWould you agree to pay a 17,000 percent APR for a loan? Of course not, but many consumers are paying stratospheric rates when they opt into overdraft programs offered by their financial institutions, according to a report released Thursday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.


Woman surprised (© Purestock/SuperStock)I am one of them.


A few years ago, I used my debit card for a very small purchase -- less than $10 if I recall correctly -- but didn’t realize there wasn’t enough to cover it. (For fraud protection reasons I keep a very small amount of money in the account that my debit card is tied to. If I need to use it for a purchase or to get cash, I transfer in more from my other account.)


The fee for my $10 mistake was $35. Ouch.

 

An Insurance.com survey finds that Americans are open to -- and even eager for -- cars that drive themselves.

By QuinStreet 1 hour ago

This post comes from Mark Vallet at partner site Insurance.com.


Insurance.com on MSN MoneyAre you ready for a car that drives itself?


How about one without a steering wheel?

 

A Nissan Leaf outfitted as an autonomous drive vehicle on display at the North American International Auto Show© Jim West/Alamy

Results of a new survey from Insurance.com show many U.S. drivers are ready for a computer co-pilot, but less willing to hand over control completely.

 

The goal is simple: Use technology to get from Point A to Point B more safely and efficiently than drivers could ever do by themselves. But there are competing visions on how to get there.

 

Traditional automakers such as Nissan want to ease us into the computer-driven future as they slowly add autonomous features to traditional vehicles.

 

Google, on the other hand, wants to plunge straight into the deep end with podlike cars that lack a steering wheel, gas pedal and brakes.

 

The technology isn’t decades away. In many respects, it’s already here.

 

Cheap LED light bulbs cost more upfront -- between $8 to $10 apiece -- but begin to pay off within 18 months.

By Cheapism.com 19 hours ago
This post comes from Elizabeth Sheer at partner site Cheapism.com.

Cheapism.com on MSN MoneyAt the beginning of the year, standard 40- and 60-watt incandescent bulbs began their slow fade into obsolescence for both manufacture and sale. In their stead, consumers are turning to LED bulbs, a relatively recent entry into the realm of indoor lighting. LED bulb prices dipped into $10 territory this year, and we found some that are even cheaper.

That's still a lot of dough for a light source. But LED bulbs last up to 25 times longer than traditional bulbs. And they are light years ahead of the CFL bulbs that constituted the first wave of replacement lighting. LEDs light up instantly, stay cool, work in low temperatures, and don't contain mercury, which requires responsible disposal.

LED light bulbs © Scott Olson/Getty Images
We researched five brands to see how long it would take for the cost of an LED bulb to break even with that of an old-school incandescent. Based on manufacturers' data for yearly operating costs, plus the upfront cost of the bulb, the cheap LEDs on our list break even with an incandescent within 18 months.
 

PCs and travel are hot, big-screen TVs and Apple aren't so much, in our August Buying Guide.

By DealNews.com 22 hours ago
This article comes from Lindsay Sakraida and Louis Ramirez at partner site DealNews.

Deal News on MSN MoneyAugust is a brilliant month for many reasons. It's veering towards the end of the summer season, which means clearance sales galore; it features a holiday weekend that will usher in big department store sales; and the kids will start heading back to school soon, so us adults can get back to our normal, screech-free schedules.

All of this makes August an excellent month, and to celebrate, we're taking at a look at what's good and bad to buy for the next 31 days. (It's mostly good!) We waded through our archives of sales, coupons, and daily deals, and also looked to current product trends, to find out. Read our guide, and be sure to sign up for the DealNews Select Newsletter so you don't miss one of the best deals.  

Not using the magic plastic properly and responsibly can be ruinous to your credit rating and financial health.

By MSN Money Partner 23 hours ago

This post comes from Allison Martin at partner site Money Talks News.


Money Talks News on MSN MoneyCredit cards are like a double-edged sword. They can be quite beneficial if used wisely, or wreak havoc on your finances and your credit if handled irresponsibly.


Cutting up a Credit card © Floresco Productions/Corbis To help prevent the latter from happening, here are some credit card sins you definitely want to avoid:


1. Ignoring your credit profile

When was the last time you accessed your credit profile and took the time to review the information in it?


It's easy to assume that your report is stellar because your past reviews indicated so. However, all it takes is one bad move on your part -- or that of a fraudster who has stolen your identity -- to lower your credit score.


Your credit report could also contain errors, which are commonplace these days, according to a Federal Trade Commission report released last year. As we previously told you:

 

Yes, you can actually eat, play or pamper yourself at these U.S. airports.

By MSN Money Partner 23 hours ago

This post comes from Krystal Steinmetz at partner site Money Talks News.


Money Talks News on MSN MoneyNo one wants to be stuck in an airport, sitting for hours with nothing to do. But what if you could fill your down time with a massage or yummy eats from a renowned restaurant, or let your kids burn off some energy at a huge playground, all without leaving the airport?


Airport check-in © Comstock/CorbisIf you think that sounds too good to be true, you're wrong. According to Wendy Perrin of Travel Truth, many U.S. airports feature traveler-friendly activities, businesses and attractions for you or your entire family to enjoy.


So instead of grumbling the next time your flight is delayed by several hours at one of the popular airports below, you might want to make the most of your time by trying one of Perrin's many suggestions. Among them:

 

When it comes to sunglasses, the best product doesn't always go to the biggest spender. Here's why.

By MSN Money Partner Thu 12:11 PM

This post comes from Allison Martin at partner site Money Talks News.

 

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyIt's summertime, so you know what that means -- trips to the beach with sunglasses perched on your nose. For some, the appearance and designer brand of their shades are just as important as those of their bathing suit and may even exceed its price.


The primary functions of sunglasses, whether designer or not, are to shield your eyes from the sun's harmful rays, to boost visibility by eliminating glare and provide an optimal level of comfort. So why do people insist on sporting the most stylish and expensive pair of frames?

 

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