Smart SpendingSmart Spending

Understanding these truths will give you more control over your spending and your satisfaction with life.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 4, 2012 10:05AM

This post comes from David Ning at partner blog Wise Bread.

 

Wise Bread on MSN MoneyOne of the beautiful things about life is that there are always pleasant surprises waiting to be discovered. Even with the sometimes-mundane topic of money, there are revelations to be had.

 

Here are five such money truths that aren't necessarily obvious.

 

Free gas now comes standard with some cars. Why that may not always be the best deal.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 3, 2012 5:45PM

This post comes from Kelli B. Grant at partner site SmartMoney.

 

SmartMoney on MSN MoneyAs anxiety over the price of regular unleaded intensifies, more dealerships are topping off deals on new cars with free gas cards.

 

Image: Couple shopping for car (© Medio Images/Getty Images)The latest ad from Seeger Toyota in St. Louis offers "100 free gallons of gas" at $4 per gallon -- $400 total -- with the purchase of a new Prius. Titus-Will Chevrolet in Tacoma, Wash., offered $500 Safeway cards to drivers buying a Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe or Traverse.

 

Even used cars have incentives.

 

Allegiant Air joins Spirit Airlines in charging passengers an extra fee for bringing their luggage on board.

By Giselle Smith Apr 3, 2012 4:22PM

As if flying wasn't expensive enough, a second U.S. airline has announced plans to charge a fee for carry-on bags.

 

Beginning Wednesday, Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air will charge up to $35 for a carry-on. One small  "personal item" that can fit under a seat will be allowed without an extra charge, according to news reports.

 

They're called '0% promotional balance transfers,' and they can save you money -- or they can drive you deeper into debt.

By Stacy Johnson Apr 3, 2012 1:32PM

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


Money Talks News on MSN MoneyWhen you're mired in credit card debt, it's tough to make a dent in your balance when you're paying double-digit interest rates. And if you're still clinging to a good credit rating, you'll be tempted by the 0% balance-transfer offers that are flooding your mailbox.


Image: Man paying with credit card (© UpperCut Images/UpperCut Images/Getty Images)While zero is always a great interest rate, there has to be a catch, right? In fact, there are several. Before you sign up for a promotional balance-transfer offer, ask yourself these questions:

 

If you are using a paid credit score service, other than myFICO, to look at your score, you probably won't get the same one your lender will.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 3, 2012 10:54AM

This post comes from Miranda Marquit at partner blog Bargaineering.

 

Image: Woman with laptop (© Noel Hendrickson/Digital Vision/Getty Images)By now, many people are well aware that the credit score is an important factor in finances. Your credit scores can have a bearing on the interest rate you receive, possibly saving or costing you hundreds of dollars. Additionally, your credit scores can also influence the insurance premium you pay, and affect other decisions related to finances.

 

But the main reason people worry about their credit scores usually has to do with borrowing money. And, in many cases, the credit score used is the FICO score.

 

Spring cleaning? We can't do your manual labor, but we can save you some time when it comes to going through piles of paperwork.

By Stacy Johnson Apr 2, 2012 5:47PM

This post comes from Brandon Ballenger at partner site Money Talks News.


Money Talks News on MSN MoneySpring is here -- the season of allergies, taxes, and cleaning house.


When you get around to cleaning, don't forget the paperwork. Since tax time is when we're often sifting through paper, it's also a good time to spring clean the family finances.

 

Details are still unclear on the security breach that may have compromised Visa, MasterCard and Discover credit and debit cards accounts.

By Giselle Smith Apr 2, 2012 5:07PM

Despite assurances from the card-processing company that a data breach that came to light Friday has been contained, security experts are urging credit and debit card users to be cautious.

 

Image: Credit card (© Fancy/Veer/Corbis/Corbis)A "massive" data breach was originally reported last week by Krebs on Security. Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported that Atlanta-based Global Payments, a company that processes credit and debit transactions for banks and merchants, had acknowledged a security breach.

 

Global Payments said Sunday that fewer than 1.5 million account numbers had been "exported" and that the security breach had been contained.

 

Cruises, tablets, jewelry for Mother's Day, and home improvement items are attractively priced right now.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 2, 2012 3:30PM

This guest post comes from Lindsay Sakraida at Dealnews.

 

Dealnews on MSN MoneyApril is here, and if you're stuck indoors waiting out showers that will bring May flowers, consider it a blessing: You'll have an excuse to devote more time to shopping around for deals.

 

Image: Cruise ship (© Keith Wood/Corbis)In an effort to guide you toward savvy purchases, we dug through the Dealnews archives from years past to see what goods are, well, good to buy in April, and what you should hold off on. From early home improvement sales to aggressive tablet prices, here's what's in store this month for the smart shopper.

 

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