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Psychologists have noticed an increase in drinking, smoking and other vices.

By Karen Datko Dec 8, 2009 9:36PM

We’ve read about all kinds of fascinating responses to the economy: people moving to the country (“ruralpolitans”) or hiking the Appalachian Trail full time (and we really do mean hiking).

But some people appear to be taking the economy out on themselves by drinking too much, smoking or stuffing the old pie hole with fattening foods -- all of which, we might point out, cost money.

 

Kiri Blakeley wrote at Forbes.com:

Debbie Mandel, a stress management expert and author of "Addicted to Stress," says that in times of uncertainty people turn to bad habits to either numb their pain or experience an adrenaline rush. "They seek to replace the low with a high," she says. Apparently so -- Mandel reports seeing an increase in her clients' marijuana use.
 

Some merchants offer free shipping on other days, too.

By Teresa Mears Dec 8, 2009 3:11PM

We’ve observed Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but the special shopping days aren’t over yet. Are you ready for Free Shipping Day?

 

Free Shipping Day, which will be celebrated Dec. 17 this year, is a one-day shopping event in which participating merchants offer free shipping with guaranteed delivery by Dec. 24. Last year, the first year for the promotion, 250 retailers participated. More than 490 have signed up so far for this year’s event.

 

Are tweeting and facebooking at work a distraction or a productivity boost?

By Karen Datko Dec 8, 2009 2:37PM

Rainy-Day Saver tackled a good issue: Are people wasting too much work time on social media, or are they so adept at multitasking that tweeting and texting don’t detract from their performance -- or are they even a plus?

Call us old or old-fashioned, but we think multitasking is highly over-rated. But research on this issue has produced seemingly contradictory results.

 

She located lots of freebies, including pancake mix, coffee, and special food for the dog.

By Karen Datko Dec 8, 2009 12:58PM

This post comes from freelance writer and editor Bev O'Shea.

 

Can you really fill a stocking without spending a nickel? Should you? Or, are "free" gifts worth what you pay for them?

We'll know Christmas morning. We think the teen fashionista will like having a ring sizer (Blue Nile -- and it was here three days after I signed up), and hope her younger brother will appreciate his luggage tags (which feature a picture taken this fall -- thanks, KLM -- and arrived in three weeks).

 

Provocative clothing and too many tattoos and piercings (and bad breath) can sink your chances.

By Karen Datko Dec 8, 2009 11:41AM

This post comes from Jim Wang at partner blog Bargaineering.

 

This article is part of Bargaineering Career Week 2009, a weeklong series focused on your career -- how to find a job, how to tailor your resume, how to find  job opportunities, and how to nail the interview.

 

First impressions count. No matter what people say or want to believe, people will judge you based on the way you look, what you’re wearing, and how you present yourself. That’s why it’s critically important to dress properly for a job interview.

Interviews are hard enough to get as it is. You don’t want your chances to be hurt simply because you’re wearing the wrong clothes.

 

If you're mad at your bank, but hate the hassle of switching, read (and watch) this story. It's easier than you think.

By Stacy Johnson Dec 7, 2009 4:57PM

When the relationship started, you were happy enough. But over the years, everything’s soured. Exchanges that used to be pleasant now turn into battles. You wish you could just walk away. But the trauma of moving on is too much to take. So you grit your teeth and try to endure just one more day.

 

It’s not your spouse I’m talking about: It’s your bank.

 

Just say no to companies that are jacking up rates and raising fees.

By Teresa Mears Dec 7, 2009 3:54PM

Suze Orman has a message for credit card companies that are jacking up interest rates, raising fees and otherwise treating their customers badly: Bye-bye.

 

We don’t need you. We’re going to pay cash.

 

On her Saturday night show on CNBC, she asked viewers to join her in a Back to Cash movement. “Let’s go back to the good old days,’’ she said. “Let’s go back to the times when you literally paid cash for everything. That’s right. Cash. Stop using your credit cards altogether.”

 

Is it ever necessary for the packaging to dwarf the food inside?

By Karen Datko Dec 7, 2009 2:04PM

Does it annoy you when you open a box of some kind of food -- fish sticks, say, or a rice concoction -- and find the box only half full?

 

Consumer Reports examined nine products suggested by readers and, in each case, the actual weight of the contents was accurately displayed but the package contained a disappointing amount.

Federal law prohibits companies from using packaging to mislead consumers, but “slack fill,” as it’s called, “is allowed if it keeps a product from breaking, if the package does double-duty (as a dispenser, or a tray, for example) to accommodate machinery on the assembly line, or to discourage theft in the store,” our partner site ConsumerAffairs.com says.

 

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