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Use your tax refund to help pay for an energy-efficient home improvement this year and get a juicy tax credit next year.

By Stacy Johnson May 10, 2010 8:16AM

This post comes from partner site Money Talks News:

 

Getting a tax refund is nice. Turning that refund into a money-saving home improvement is smart. Creating a tax credit for next year while you're at it? Very smart.

 

I just used my tax refund to partially pay for a new, high-efficiency central air conditioning unit for my home.

 

The National Association of Letter Carriers food drive is tomorrow. Could you spare a can for your fellow man?

By Donna_Freedman May 7, 2010 12:33PM

Blue plastic bags showed up with the mail on Thursday in anticipation of tomorrow's "Stamp Out Hunger" food drive. The bag in my mailbox bore this message:

Food or rent? Could you choose? 42% of the people Food Lifeline serves had to make this difficult choice.

One of my neighbors in the apartment house had tossed the bag on the lobby floor. I wonder if he or she bothered to read the statistic.

 

Frappuccino Happy Hour at Starbucks, plus free tacos and printable coupons.

By Teresa Mears May 7, 2010 12:24PM
It’s time for Friday food deals and freebies.

 

Starbucks starts 10 days of Frappuccino Happy Hours today, May 7, with 50% off Frappuccinos from 3 to 5 p.m. every day through May 16.

We’ve written up a separate post about Mother’s Day freebies, plus offered some  tips for frugal Mother’s Day gifts.

 

Businesses offer freebies and coupons for Mother's Day. Medieval Times or massage?

By Teresa Mears May 7, 2010 11:45AM

We’ve given you some ideas for free and frugal Mother’s Day gifts for the mother who really cares about your financial health.

 

Now we’ve found a few freebies and deals for Mom on her special day. Since most of these deals won’t cost you any cash, you and your mom can indulge without guilt.

Photos are always a popular gift for mothers, and Walgreens and Target both have free photo deals. At Walgreens, you can get a free 8-by-10-inch photo collage through Saturday, May 8. You have to order it online but you can pick it up in the store.

 

Some are better than others for teaching children about financial responsibility.

By Karen Datko May 7, 2010 9:05AM

This post comes from partner blog The Dough Roller.

 

One of the greatest gifts we can give a child is to teach financial responsibility at a young age. And a savings account for children can go a long way in this effort. As my wife and I raise our two kids, now both teenagers, we can see just how important it is that kids understand basic money-management skills.

The right type of online savings account for a child can help teach children several important financial lessons:

 

Consumer Reports also finds that add-on ticket fees really annoy airline passengers.

By Karen Datko May 6, 2010 5:28PM

This post comes from James Limbach at partner site ConsumerAffairs.com.

 

Travelers have a lot to gripe about, but what bugs them most are luggage charges and add-on airline ticket fees, according to a survey by Consumer Reports.

In a nationally representative survey conducted in late January, CR asked 2,000 consumers to score three lists of travel gripes covering rental cars, airlines and hotels for a total of 24 items on a 1-to-10 scale, 1 meaning an experience "does not annoy you at all" and 10 meaning it "annoys you tremendously."

 

An amendment to the banking reform bill would tie the fees to the actual cost of providing the service.

By Karen Datko May 6, 2010 4:13PM

What are you paying these days to use an ATM, particularly one that's outside your bank's network?

 

Guess what, folks. Banks are collecing an average of $2.66 per ATM transaction, according to the Federal Reserve. And, say our friends at MarketWatch, the cost can be $5 (and, we bet, even more) if you tap an ATM at the casino or airport.

U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, estimates that each transaction costs -- at most -- 36 cents. Harkin has introduced an amendment to the financial reform bill that would cap  ATM fees at 50 cents to keep them in line with actual costs. Banks, we imagine, are not amused.

 

Sure, go ahead and buy that $32,000 car because you think you can afford the monthly payments.

By Karen Datko May 6, 2010 1:55PM

This guest post comes from Jason at Frugal Dad.

 

It wasn't until I reached 30 that I started to turn my own financial life around. Unfortunately, by then, the damage was done. In retrospect, I often knew the decisions I was making were not so smart, but I made them anyway because I could always "pay it off later" or "just save more money when I'm older."

 

One of the cruel facts of life is that it gets more difficult the older you become. 

 

Hopefully, my sharing a few of these bad money moves will prevent others from doing the same. And don’t worry: If you are over 30 and still doing these things, it is never too late to start living frugally.

  • Take out three times as much in student loans as your first year's salary.
 

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