Who needs a $276,000 dinosaur skull? Apparently, budget-impaired Nicolas Cage did.
The actor, whose films have grossed more than $3.9 billion worldwide, is in financial ruin. He owes $6 million in back taxes, is suing his former money manager for $20 million, his mansions are in foreclosure and many of his belongings are on the auction block (anyone want to buy a shrunken head?).
What lessons can be gleaned from Cage's free-spending ways? How about:
With some exceptions, asking someone how much they make is a big no-no.
This guest post comes from J. Money at Budgets Are Sexy.
Are you my friend? Family? Are we helping each other out with our finances? If not, you're probably just making me angry. Unfortunately, I can't even say that with a straight face because I'm naturally happy.
Seriously though, I'm all for open discussions on money, but you can't be a jerk and ask someone how much they make just because you feel like it.
Lenders are likely to issue fewer credit cards and charge more.
As interest rates and fees rise, Americans’ love affair with credit cards appears to be waning. Credit cards may be ready for a break-up, too.
Constrained by both Congress and the economy from some of their most profitable practices, banks are trying to figure out how to make money under the new conditions. Already, it seems, one result is going to be that fewer people will be able to get credit cards, and even those with good credit may find using those cards more expensive, The New York Times reports.
On a per-minute basis, you might find a cheaper option.
When you think of prepaid cell phones, what do you think of? If you’ve watched "The Wire" on HBO, a gritty drama about life in Baltimore, you associate them with drug dealers. If you were a fan of "The Sopranos," you knew they were good for avoiding wiretaps. If you haven't seen either, chances are you don’t associate them with anything.
Most people don't use prepaid cell phones because we naturally think to a nice buffet-type minute plan with a major carrier.
For our vacation to Europe, we used a pay as you go phone. We couldn't use our own phones since we didn’t have compatible technology but our friend lent us her old phone. We went to a local Orange store (a pay-as-you-go service company), bought a SIM card and loaded it up with some minutes.
The cost of the chip? Zero.
Recession-battered retailers have reduced inventories, making many must-haves hard to find.
If toys are on your Christmas shopping list, you might want to hit the stores now as many of the season's hottest items are already in short supply, The Associated Press reports.
Don't blame overeager parents and collectors. Retailers stung by the recession have cut inventories in anticipation of a repeat of last year's dismal shopping season.
The hot toys this year, according to the AP:
If you want the best bargains, you have to show up early.
The Kohl's Black Friday sale ad was leaked Sunday morning. There are a few standout deals buried in its whopping 64 pages -- mostly toy, jewelry and home items. Coupons, rebates and Kohl's cash make the deals even better.
As usual, all of the truly smoking deals are early bird specials, available only on Friday, Nov. 27, from the time the store opens at 4 a.m. to 1 p.m. (The ad does say some deals will be available online.) For every $50 you spend, you get $10 in "Kohl's cash" to use in the store the first week of December.
Here are some of the better bargains:
Facebook and MySpace games are rife with shady advertising, blogger says.
Trouble's brewing in FarmVille.
A small online firestorm was stirred up recently by technology blogger Michael Arrington at TechCrunch when he called out free Facebook and MySpace games for their deceptive advertising practices.
In the post "Scamville: The Social Gaming Ecosystem Of Hell," Arrington says games such as Mobsters and Farmville are raking in big bucks from ads that promise in-game currency in exchange for signing up for often dubious services. To make matters worse, the games that feature the most egregious scams have become the most popular with users, edging out games that don't feature such trickery.
Potluck dinner, minimal decor, early shopping can all help.
Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away. If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to start shopping and planning to make your holiday frugal as well as fun.
The Sunday newspaper fliers are filled with coupons for such items as chicken broth, butter and other ingredients for Thanksgiving cooking. Many grocery stores also are putting these items on sale, so keep an eye on store deals and look for good sale/coupon combos to really save.
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