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A number of wealthy Americans have banded together to insist that their tax rates go up.

By Karen Datko Apr 9, 2010 6:20PM

Happy Tax Freedom Day to a group of folks I consider real patriots -- millionaires who want to pay higher taxes.


They’re the antithesis of the people (generally not economists) who complain that taxes are way too high but add, “Don’t touch my (Social Security, Medicare, farm subsidies, or whatever their favorite government program is)."


And these noble rich folks are getting their message out there.


Why do some people who have tons of money pursue extreme frugality?

By Karen Datko Apr 9, 2010 2:09PM

Everyone loves the “lived like a pauper but secretly a millionaire” stories. We wonder: What would possess people who have lots of money to live like that?


The latest story comes out of Skelleftea, Sweden, where Curt Degerman died in his sleep of a heart attack and left $1.4 million to a cousin. Degerman was a raggedy-looking guy who was a local fixture for decades, picking up bottles and cans and turning them in for cash. It turns out he was partial to mutual funds, Robert Frank said at The Wall Street Journal’s Wealth Report.


Week of free visits to national parks is one of the deals offered for Earth Day-Week-Month. Don't forget appliance rebates.

By Teresa Mears Apr 9, 2010 12:17PM

What better way to celebrate Earth Day than make a free visit to a U.S. national park?


In celebration of National Parks Week (which just happens to coincide with Earth Day on April 22), entry to all 392 U.S. national parks will be free April 17-25. Some park concessionaires also are offering special deals that week.


Free bagels, 25-cent Blizzards and free movie tickets for eating chocolate.

By Teresa Mears Apr 9, 2010 11:04AM

We’re heading into a great time for food deals and freebies. In addition to our normal fare, we’ve got special deals ahead for Tax Day, April 15, and deals coming up for Earth Day, April 22. We’ll be writing separate posts for those days, so check back later.

Some of the nonedible deals we wrote about last time are still good, including a free 60-day trial membership to BJ’s Wholesale club. The rising number of happy hours provides some good deals for early diners.

With some help from our friends at Cities on the Cheap, we found these new food deals and freebies:


An emergency trip cost more than I wanted to spend. But you can't put a price on some things.

By Donna_Freedman Apr 9, 2010 10:40AM
Springtime in the country whips me into a fevered state. I want to garden and then preserve the harvest. I want to pitch a clothesline and buy a wood stove.

The best I could do this week was to hang out a couple of loads of wash, help my dad stack a pickup's worth of stove lengths, rake salt hay mulch off the garden patch and sneak covetous looks at the pressure canner in his basement.

See what happens to a Seattle resident after a few days in the boonies?  

A new poll adds to the debate over what's right and fair.

By Karen Datko Apr 9, 2010 9:13AM

This post comes from Marilyn Lewis of MSN Money.


There’s a deep new divide in the U.S. right now, and it’s not over politics -- not the red vs. blue kind, anyway. It’s over who’s the victim and who’s the villain in the mortgage meltdown. 


A new survey, commissioned by Fannie Mae, the government agency that buys mortgages from lenders, shows that Americans are split nearly down the middle when asked whom to blame for the mortgage crisis.


The company behind has devised a clever way to avoid having to steer customers to the one site where free credit reports have no strings attached.

By Karen Datko Apr 8, 2010 6:43PM

By now you know all about sites like that offered a free credit report and also automatically signed you up for credit monitoring at a monthly fee -- unless you happened to notice that part and quickly canceled.


Because so many consumers complained about being duped, the Federal Trade Commission last week began requiring Web sites like these to clearly and conspicuously direct consumers to the official source of free credit reports -- no strings attached --


Now we learn that Experian, the owner of has -- at least for now -- found a way to skirt that rule.


The good news is that MLB ticket prices didn't jump this year, and there are discounts to be had.

By Karen Datko Apr 8, 2010 4:23PM

This Deal of the Day comes from Elizabeth Trotta at partner site SmartMoney.


For lovers of America’s pastime, “Take me out to the ball game” has been a bank-breaker for the last few years, with average ticket prices rising by 25.8% between 2005 and 2009 and 60% over the last decade. This summer, they’re still pricey, but with attendance down 3.2% so far this season, according to, it looks like someone is hitting the brakes.



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