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Plus 4 secret spendthrift confessions.

By Karen Datko Nov 18, 2009 12:53PM

This post comes from Frugal Duchess at partner blog Wise Bread.


From time to time, I take inventory of my frugal habits. This review helps fine-tune my money-saving strategies.

Here is my latest list of 25 frugal things I do, plus a few spendthrift habits. It's a tradition I've picked up from my friend Dawn at Frugal for Life.


Some deals good only today or through Thursday.

By Teresa Mears Nov 18, 2009 12:22PM

If you decided at the last minute you’d like to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, you may get a pleasant surprise: A number of airlines have put tickets on sale for holiday travel.


Midwest is offering round-trip fares starting at $108, and Smarter Travel found that fare was being matched or beaten on most routes by AirTran, Frontier, Northwest, Continental, American, United, and Delta.


Airlines experiment with onboard shopping.

By Teresa Mears Nov 17, 2009 4:51PM

One of our favorite things to do on an airplane is read SkyMall magazine, which is really a catalog full of products you’ve never heard of but now you’ve seen them, you absolutely, really, truly need them.


We’ve never actually ordered anything, but the fantasy is fun.


Now American Airlines is hoping it can persuade customers to go beyond browsing and actually buy things on board, beyond sandwiches and drinks. The airline is calculating that it can make some money off a captive audience, The New York Times reports.


USDA study shows a sharp increase in the number of households that run out of food.

By Karen Datko Nov 17, 2009 3:55PM

The Great Recession will be known for many things -- home foreclosures, lost jobs, inappropriate bonuses on Wall Street.


For us, it has a new face: Nearly one in four U.S. children “struggled last year to get enough to eat,” The Washington Post said in a story about a newly released government report. 

"This is unthinkable. It's like we are living in a Third World country," Vicki Escarra, president of Feeding America, a network of 200 food banks, told the Post.


The Post reports:

In 2008, nearly 17 million children, or 22.5%, lived in households in which food at times was scarce -- 4 million children more than the year before. And the number of youngsters who sometimes were outright hungry rose from nearly 700,000 to almost 1.1 million.

New study says people get smarter with money only to a certain point, usually around age 53.

By Kim Peterson Nov 17, 2009 3:16PM
Insurance needs © Siri Stafford / Photodisc Red / Getty Images We're supposed to get smarter about money and finances as we get older, right? One new study suggests that may not be the case.

Researchers have been tracking the financial mistakes people make in their lives, and came up with an interesting conclusion: The mistake pattern is U-shaped, with the most mistakes occuring early and then later in life.

So when are we the smartest in life, financially speaking? At age 53. After that, we get dumber with money. 

DIY isn't the only way to reduce holiday spending.

By Karen Datko Nov 17, 2009 11:49AM

This guest post comes from Anna Viele at ABDPBT Personal Finance.


I originally published this post last year in response to Oprah’s annual “Favorite Things” show, which, in 2008, featured gift ideas that cost “next to nothing.” I found the ideas shown on that show really not very good, and in general they supported the idea that homemade gifts suck.

I mean, a box covered in pinecones is not something I want, unless my son, Mini, makes it for me, and even then it’s probably going to end up in a storage box.


As I said last year, I think that approaching the holidays without gratuitous overspending requires us to think, not to glue-gun. So here are the 10 realistic ideas I came up with last year for overhauling the holidays, plus a few more that I’ve gathered over the past year. Some will work for you, others won’t, but all of them are better than making silly things that are probably going to show up in somebody else’s trash can.


Take these steps to see if you'll be happy living cable-free.

By Karen Datko Nov 16, 2009 8:12PM

This post comes from Jim Wang at partner blog Bargaineering.


Want to find a hundred bucks a month in savings without giving up all that much? Cancel your cable television service. That sounds absolutely crazy, right?


When people look to trim the fat from their budgets, they often don’t think to cut their cable TV because it feels almost like a utility. Along with your electricity, your water and your telephone are your television and Internet. Who can live in this day and age without those necessities?


But it’s not that crazy, and thousands of people are doing this because of all the free video content on the Internet. Forget the homebrew shows that had their start on the Internet. I mean major broadcasting networks putting the shows on TV for free.

In this post, I’ll describe an approach to finding out if canceling your cable TV service is the right move.


You may be able to find cheaper alternatives.

By Karen Datko Nov 16, 2009 4:38PM

Drug companies will likely face some kind of cost containment whenever health care reform becomes law, so it’s no surprise that they’re raising prices. By some accounts it’s the largest increase in 17 years.

The New York Times reports:

In the last year, the industry has raised the wholesale prices of brand-name prescription drugs by about 9%, according to industry analysts. … The drug trend is distinctly at odds with the direction of the Consumer Price Index, which has fallen by 1.3% in the last year.

What does this mean to you? The NYT says:



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