Smart SpendingSmart Spending

When it comes to life insurance, it pays to quit smoking -- but do you realize just how much you could save?

By MSN Money Partner Nov 16, 2011 1:10PM

This post comes from Aaron Crowe at partner site


If counseling, known health risks and being hassled by your family aren't enough to get you to stop smoking, then consider the high price of cigarettes and how quitting smoking can affect your life insurance quotes.


A smoker in New York, the state with the highest average retail price for a pack of cigarettes at $9.11 when all of the taxes are added, would save $3,325 a year by not buying a pack a day, according to pricing information from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Along with possibly extending your life by quitting, you could buy a lot of life insurance each year at nonsmoker rates with that extra cash. To help quantify exactly how much, we researched some life insurance quotes.


If you think consumers have no rights, you've never heard about 'chargebacks.' All you need is a credit card and proof that a merchant isn't delivering what they promised.

By Stacy Johnson Nov 16, 2011 12:18PM

This post is from Jason Steele at partner site Money Talks News.


MoneyTalksNews on MSN MoneyIn every James Bond movie, our hero is introduced to a fascinating new weapon that he will inevitably turn against the bad guys. While I have no deadly devices concealed in my wallet, my credit cards contain the hidden power to defeat nefarious merchants -- the chargeback.


As Q would say, "Pay attention, 007!"


Despite the popularity of online shopping, brick-and-mortar shopping is valuable because it lets you see what you're buying. What should you watch out for at the store?

By MSN Money Partner Nov 15, 2011 9:05PM

This post comes from Ritika Puri at partner site Investopedia.


From a sociological standpoint, the Internet has transformed the way that we shop. As consumers, we now have access to a wealth of information including consumer reviews, savings strategies and varying personal finance philosophies. Most importantly, the Internet equips us with the power of judgment when we make our most important investments. No matter what we buy, we're always empowered with limitless resources for sound research.


Still, the experience of in-store shopping is important. Could you imagine spending all your time in front of a computer? For many people with desk jobs, this scenario happens far too often. Despite the convenience of online shopping, it's important for us to step outside, window shop and engage with the product that we're about to buy.


What should you be looking for at the day-after-Thanksgiving sales? Electronics top the list, especially HDTVs and laptops.

By MSN Money Partner Nov 15, 2011 7:35PM

This post comes from Melinda Fulmer at MSN Money.


With more than 60 Black Friday store ads leaked to the Web so far, shoppers have a pretty good idea of the holiday deals they'll find starting on Thanksgiving Day.


According to the folks at, more than 12,000 deals are queued up for shoppers this year, most for less than $50.


Some of the biggest bargains will be in the electronics arena, with 87 laptop deals -- 31 of them less than $300 -- and more than 90 HDTVs -- 48 of them less than $300.


Which items do shoppers think are the best bargains?


Consumers may have won a battle when the big banks dropped their proposed debit-card fees earlier this year, but the war is far from over.

By Giselle Smith Nov 15, 2011 6:14PM

Think consumers won the war when the last of the big banks dropped their proposed debit-card fees at the beginning of November? Guess again.

Many banks have found "under the radar" ways to charge customers for holding their accounts, and to make up the income they lost when the Federal Reserve capped debit card fees in June.

Some of the fees are new, and others are increases of existing fees. The banks are not adding these new fees specifically because their debit-card fees were shot down; they've been adding them anyway.


Perhaps you consult your family or a financial advisor when making retirement savings decisions, but you may not realize who else influences you -- and why.

By MSN Money Partner Nov 15, 2011 1:54PM

This post comes from Emily Brandon at partner site U.S. News & World Report.


You may not realize it, but the choices you make when investing assets in your 401k plan may be influenced by the selections your co-workers are making.


A new study by the Pension Research Council at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School found that 401k participants are influenced by their co-workers when they make equity investments. Individuals are likely to increase the portion of their 401k that's allocated to stocks when their peers earn higher equity returns, and they often pull money out of the stock market when peers experience stock market losses.


"People may use their co-workers' asset returns to update their own beliefs about the equity market," says Timothy Lu, an assistant professor at Peking University HSBC Business School and author of the report. "People generally care about not only their absolute wealth, but also their wealth relative to their peers.


That first easy loan can lead to an endless cycle of ever-growing payments before you know it. Make sure you don't slide down this slippery slope.

By MSN Money Partner Nov 15, 2011 12:52PM

This guest post comes from Andrea at So Over Debt.


Ah, payday loans. The bane of my existence for more years than I care to count.


Payday loans can seem like a great idea when you’re desperate for money -- they have offices on every corner, it's relatively easy to be approved, and the staff don't ask a bunch of nosy questions. You can walk out with an envelope of cash in 15 minutes if you come prepared. What's not to love?


Day-after-Thanksgiving sale ads for two more big-box stores are leaked, and Lowe's sweetens the pot with Thanksgiving-day online specials.

By MSN Money Partner Nov 14, 2011 8:40PM

This post comes from Melinda Fulmer at MSN Money.


Hardware giant Lowe’s opens Black Friday at 5 a.m. for its big holiday sale. But online shoppers will get early access to the deals on Thanksgiving Day -- with free shipping between Thursday, November 24, and Monday, November 28, according to the Lowe's ad that was leaked to deal sites Monday.


This sounds like reason enough to stay home and avoid the crowds, especially if you’re looking for deals on tools, large appliances or outdoor items.



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.


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.