Smart SpendingSmart Spending

Here are some tactics for teaching deferred gratification -- and how a 4-year-old boy has responded to them.

By Karen Datko Jul 8, 2010 9:44AM

This post comes from Trent Hamm at partner blog The Simple Dollar.


The single biggest personal-finance lesson that anyone can learn is that of delayed gratification.


Delayed gratification means that you hold off buying that new cell phone so that you can pay cash for your car in a few years. It means that you immediately save some of your paycheck instead of giving yourself the possibility of spending it now.


The more often you practice delayed gratification, the sweeter the gratification becomes later and the more possibilities unfold in your life. Delayed gratification brings financial stability and with it, lower stress. It brings the realization of bigger dreams, too.


It's one of the things that I most want to integrate into the lives of my children.


The question is obvious: How do you possibly teach delayed gratification to a 4-year-old?


With much of the nation suffering in a heat wave and utilities stretched to capacity, it's time for some cooling tips.

By Stacy Johnson Jul 7, 2010 6:04PM

This post comes from Stacy Johnson at partner site Money Talks News.


With much of the country in the grips of a searing heat wave, it's time for a quick review of cool ways to save energy.

Start by watching the following short news story, then meet me on the other side for more:


Are bosses being unreasonable when they expect you be reachable?

By Karen Datko Jul 7, 2010 4:34PM

For more U.S. workers, taking vacation doesn't mean you totally disconnect from the job. Far from it, in fact.


Cindy Krischer Goodman wrote about the phenomenon for The Miami Herald. A CareerBuilder executive she quoted said a vacation totally free of work no longer exists for professionals. Goodman and her husband are packing laptops and wireless cards for their next trip.  

And so, as we plan on taking time off this summer, we have no real intention to cut ties with our offices. It should be no surprise that most American workers think as we do. With companies staffed lean, fear of job loss still an issue, and technology putting the Internet in our pockets, this likely will be the most difficult summer ever for workers to detach.

Not everyone agrees on what we should and shouldn't carry, but it's wise to be cautious.

By Teresa Mears Jul 7, 2010 2:35PM

We've all seen the credit card commercial that asks "what's in YOUR wallet?"


It's a good question for all of us to ask ourselves from time to time, not just listing what's in our wallets but re-evaluating what should and shouldn’t be there.


Chick-fil-A is celebrating 'Cow Appreciation Day' with free meals. This year, cows will tweet and share locations on Foursquare.

By Teresa Mears Jul 7, 2010 11:22AM

How far would you go to get a free meal? Would you dress like a cow?


If you would, Chick-fil-A has a deal for you. The fast-food chain is celebrating Cow Appreciation Day on Friday, July 9, by providing free combo meals to customers who arrive in full cow costume from head to toe.


Those who are "too chicken" (to use the company's words) to dress completely as cows can get a free entrée with a partial costume. The promotion is good all day, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Children can dress up and get a free meal, too.


The World Cup is almost over, but Major League Soccer plays through November.

By Karen Datko Jul 7, 2010 10:44AM

This Deal of the Day comes from Sarah Morgan at partner site SmartMoney.


Americans are watching this year's World Cup tournament in record numbers -- a blessing and a curse for U.S. soccer fans.


Although the contest, which ends this weekend, could translate to a boost for Major League Soccer in the U.S., the new attention raises the possibility that fans may find it harder to secure cheap tickets to MLS games.


As technology gets more advanced, so do the crooks who are trying to take advantage of it. And, in turn, us.

By Karen Datko Jul 7, 2010 9:37AM

Updated Oct. 4, 2011, 9:33 p.m. ET


This post comes from Paul Michael at partner blog Wise Bread.


The ATM has always been a prime piece of real estate for thieves. You're exposed, you're handling money, and you have your back to the world. But it's been a dangerous game for criminals to play, as they too are exposed and risk being caught, or being seen. These days, it's far better to use advances in technology to do the dirty work for them. The skimmer is the direct result of that.


A skimmer is usually composed of two sections. The first attaches to the card slot, usually covering it completely. The second is a camera, which can be very close to the card slot or some distance away, at the top of the ATM. The card reader records the electronic data from your ATM card, which the thief can use to make an exact copy of it. The camera is there to record your PIN.


49 businesses were cited after undercover probe.

By Karen Datko Jul 6, 2010 6:01PM

This post comes from Mark Huffman at partner site


With the high price of gold, jewelry stores that advertise they will buy your gold jewelry are becoming more common. But increasingly, this may be a case of "seller beware."

For example, the New Jersey Office of Weights and Measures has cited 49 gold- and jewelry-buying businesses for alleged violations of state statutes. Following a statewide inspection sweep, officials say they found inaccurate scales that improperly weighed items and resulted in consumers receiving less money than they should.



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.