Smart SpendingSmart Spending

Sure, it's illegal, but it's also not very profitable.

By Karen Datko Jan 4, 2011 11:01AM

This post comes from Jim Wang at partner blog Bargaineering.

 

Have you ever been tempted to cheat on your taxes? asks a recent post on The New York Times' You're the Boss blog. Like almost everyone else, I've been tempted (everyone has been tempted or thought about it -- if you haven't, then you're a much better person than the majority) but I've never cheated on my taxes.

 

Here are just three reasons why:

 

The makeup industry is sitting pretty, raking in about $7 billion a year in sales.

By Stacy Johnson Jan 4, 2011 9:59AM

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

 

Everybody wants to look their best. But at what cost?

 

According to a 2008 study by the nonprofit YWCA, U.S. women spend $7 billion a year on cosmetics (.pdf file). Meanwhile, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (.pdf file) says Americans -- so this figure is averaged across men and women -- spent about $600 each in 2009 on "personal care."

For some people, money is no object. But if that's not you, maybe you should consider a makeup budget makeover. 
 

But that doesn't mean they will, especially if their longer-living parents blow through it in their final years.

By Karen Datko Jan 3, 2011 5:23PM

This post comes from Fred Yager at partner site ConsumerAffairs.com.

 

On the face of it, this looks like a huge windfall for baby boomers: MetLife commissioned a study (.pdf file) from Boston College's Center for Retirement Research that says some 78 million American baby boomers will share in an estimated intergenerational transfer of wealth totaling $11.6 trillion. That reportedly includes some $2.4 trillion that has already been gifted.

But when you break it down, the study says that basically comes out to about $64,000 as the median amount, and that two out of three boomers should get something.

 

Consumer spending on average increased to about $100 a day just before Christmas.

By Karen Datko Jan 3, 2011 2:23PM

This post comes from Kimberly Palmer at partner site US News & World Report.

 

If your December credit card bill is a bit more bloated than usual, you're not alone: Gifts, holiday travel, and other end-of-the-year expenses mean that many of us spend more during the last month of the year than at other times.

 

According to a recent Gallup poll, consumer spending at retailers, restaurants and gas stations jumped from an average of about $65 a day to almost $100 a day just before Christmas.

But just as a diet of fresh fruit and vegetables can counter the effects of too much ham and pumpkin pie, a spending diet can give your budget a fresh start in the new year. Here's a quick and easy five-step plan to a new and improved bank account:

 

A top strategy for 2011 includes allowing shopping carts across different brands to be combined online.

By Karen Datko Jan 3, 2011 12:30PM

This guest post comes from Aaron Crowe at dealnews.com.

 

If you've ever felt as if your suggestions or complaints about stores were ignored, changes coming in 2011 might actually make you a believer. You want convenience, lots of choice and lower prices, right? It's on the agenda.

We've tracked down five big improvements coming up in retail, based on reports from Retail Customer Experience and from talking to other retail experts. Here's what you can expect:

 

Statistics show that women aren't as flighty with their spending habits as is commonly believed.

By Karen Datko Jan 3, 2011 11:17AM

This post comes from April Dykman at partner blog Get Rich Slowly.

 

Do women need specialized personal-finance resources specific to our gender? That's what some financial advice books seem to imply. Slate writer Hannah Seligson points out that bookseller Amazon.com has a "money management for women" category, but no category specifically for men.

Some of the cheekier titles in the category include:

There seems to be a general theme around spending. Even as I was writing this post, I saw an episode of "Everybody Loves Raymond" where, to cover up his own overspending, Raymond blames his wife, Debra, for compulsive spending.

 

Compromise, and make a list of house rules if you have to. Just don't fight.

By Karen Datko Jan 3, 2011 10:01AM

This guest post comes from I am the working poor.

 

With the economy as it is, more and more people are moving in together out of necessity. I've been in similar situations myself. Some of them worked out and others did not.

This is one of the ways that homeless people can find themselves completely homeless. When friends or family become completely aggravated with the close quarters or dueling personalities, tempers flare and agreements erode.

Now that I am older, I have become the host. My youngest daughter stays with me occasionally and my son stayed for a while. I just learned that my eldest daughter is 99% sure that she wants to move in for a while.

 

Free hash browns, coupon for bagel poppers and Oscar-watching pizza parties are among this week's deals.

By Teresa Mears Dec 31, 2010 2:43PM

If you're one of the many who received a Kindle book reader for Christmas or Hanukkah, you may be wondering where you can get some free books.

 

The public library is a top spot, of course, and now you can share books with friends. But you can also get free Kindle downloads from Amazon, including the top 100 free Kindle books.

 

If, like me, you didn't get a Kindle and are still reading paper books, we recommend Goodwill, as well as the public library, for good reading on a budget.

 

For snacks, you may want some food coupons. One of your New Year's resolutions is to eat better while saving money, right?

 

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